I was in a car accident 18 years ago. It was a faulty airbag deploy that caused several problems that were not linked to that because they took 1-2 weeks to show up. I later found out this is fairly common but because of my loose ligaments the initial diagnosis of all my problems was difficult and 2.5 years after the accident. I missed a semester of high school (but still graduated on time
), a year of college, and a semester of graduate school due to these issues. Fortunately, I was able to graduate from both of those too.
A list of my problems and surgeries:
torn discs at C3-4, C4-5, C5-6 diagnosed on provocative discogram when MRI and CT failed to diagnose my problems. I was later fused at C4-5 in 2000 I also had cervical facet blocks and root blocks
thoracic outlet syndrome (both vascular and neurogenic): first rib removal in 2000 on the left and 2002 on the right - neurolysis of the brachial plexus on left in 2007 and 2009, and on the right in 2010
ulnar nerve entrament: nerve moved from canal in 2000 (I've also had my median, saphenous, and peroneal nerves decompressed at various points
broken rib tip removal in 2000
I was warned that the other compromised levels may need to be fused in the next ten years, so I guess I'm lucky I made it 15. I recently began to have pain down my arms (especially my left, which is bad because I'm left handed) and pain in my neck. I went for an MRI and C6-7, which had never had problems before, showed bony intrusion into the spinal canal. I have an appointment with a spinal surgeon that was recommended by my thoracic outlet surgeon, but I was unable to get an appointment until mid-November.
I find myself unable to work, but my former employer has allowed me to take unemployment, so I don't have to apply for disability. I hope to be back to work sometime next year. For the moment I am mostly stuck in my house. I am taking a fairly small amount of hydrocodone everyday, but I've become quite depressed because I can't get out much and was new to the area, so I don't have many local friends. Because my journey has been so long, a lot of my long-term friends don't understand why I still have problems. Heck, some days I don't understand why I still have problems.
Anyway, I'm hoping to find a community where I can get some emotional support and speak with like-minded people.
Thanks for reading this long post.To keep all responses together I have closed this thread and posted the link to the member's thread in Depression and coping forumhttp://www.spine-health.com/forum/mind-body-and-spirit/depression-and-coping/new-diagnosis-new-depression
Liz, spine-health Moderator