My husband just told me tonight I maxed out his sympathy for the day, and I've been lurking on this site for a few weeks now so here I am! Hoping I can find some support here, as I'm really nervous most of the time waiting for this surgery.
Long story short, 4/4/15, day before Easter, I was in a freak accident. I was sitting on a porch swing attached to a gazebo, and the entire thing collapsed. An enormous wood beam fell on my head, causing my neck to be yanked down quickly. My 2 year old daughter had been standing right in front of me when it happened, so my immediate response was to jump up and find her. Miraculously she had somehow run away in time to not get hurt. I was brought to the ER by ambulance and the ER doctor ordered X-rays, CT scan, and an MRI of my head/neck. He told me I have a congenital fusion between C6/C7, which caused my neck to be less mobile, leading to a strained ligament in my neck. That's all he told me. He said I'd feel better in a week or two and sent me on my way. I asked if I needed to follow up anywhere and he said he didn't think it would be necessary.
Well...3 weeks passed and I didn't feel much better, my neck was still in pain and I had pain radiating down into my right shoulder and arm, so I went in to my PCP to follow up. He referred me to a neurosurgeon and put me on steroids in the meantime. I got a call from the neurosurgeon's office the next day and they wanted to see me immediately. Fortunately, I was able to get in there right away and the Neuro proceeded to tell me how I had a much more severe injury than the ER doctor told me, and that if he had been notified I was in the ER that night he would have come over immediately and operated on my neck. He said he couldn't believe I hadn't been put in a neck brace or anything, and that if I tripped and fell or twisted my neck the wrong way I could be immediately paralyzed or killed. He totally put the fear of God in me about my neck, and wanted to operate the next day! He said the ligament holding C5/C6 was torn and there was no other option but surgery, unless I wanted to live my life in a neck brace to prevent being paralyzed or killed.
I left that appointment and called my husband sobbing. I was so terrified. He went with me to get fitted for a Miami-J collar that same day, and to do pre-op stuff at the hospital. We got through all of that and at some point during that day it occurred to me I should at least get a 2nd opinion! I was able to get a doctor friend of ours to pull a favor with an orthopedic surgeon he knows and I got in to see him the next day. He took a look at my scans and told me the same thing as the first doctor....with the ligament that got torn, surgery was my only option, and until surgery I needed to be in the neck brace 24/7.
I decided I wanted to go to yet another doctor, one at XXXXXXl, who specializes in cervical spine injuries and minimally invasive surgeries, but I couldn't get in to see him till June 5th. Sooooo...right now I'm just waiting for that appointment and frankly, just scared to death. I wear my neck brace 24/7, am not allowed to drive or lift anything over 10 lbs. I have three children (8, 5, and 2) and this has just been the hardest thing to explain to them. I can't sleep at night, get quickly worn out and sore during the day, and want to rip this dumb Miami-J collar off now that it's 90 degrees outside in NC!!! I don't know how i'm going to make it till June 5th, much less however long it'll take to get a surgery date with this doctor. Fortunately, I have a lot of support from friends bringing me meals and helping with cleaning the house/yard work/etc. But I can't help but feel a little depressed and "woe is me" that this crazy accident happened to ME and now I'm in this situation
Sorry this is so long, but thanks for "listening".