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Multiple C-Spine Issues

Max_LeeMax_Lee New York, United StatesPosts: 88
edited 10/23/2015 - 9:36 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am a 19 year old woman with multilevel desiccation in my C-Spine and disk protrusions C4-C5/C5-C6. I incurred an injury at BCT that lead to my discharge. I'd had pain since the beginning of the training cycle since dropping a 60-70lb bag off the back of a truck and catching it, making me thing I'd simply pulled my shoulder, and it was even diagnosed as such from the beginning of June-late July. I was accused of faking more than once, because I'd 'been seen multiple times with no resolution of pain'. After a road march at the end of July, I lost sensation in my right hand, and had an MRI and EMG done, showing DDD in my C-Spine with multilevel desiccation and protrusions C4-C5/C5-C6, as well as reduced conductivity in the nerves in my right arm. After moving chairs while on staff duty, I wound up much worse, in so much pain I could not walk on my own or go from a prone position to an upright position. It was over a week before I could sit up and walk on my own, and I ended up hospitalized, and was diagnosed by the Army doctors as having 'Mild DDD with multilevel dessication, potrusions C4-C5/C5-C6, and minor stenosis' (off the discharge papers), and placed on Mobic & Robaxin (which only took me from an 8/10 down to a 3/10, and I ran out). I regained use of my hand after a month, but still have numbness/tingling in my fingers today. The Army sent me home for failing to complete BCT and did not treat me beyond that. I was also not treated well by providers, a lot of whom told me it was all in my head despite the physical evidence, but they were nowhere near as bad as my COC, so I don't think badly of them at all. The way I was treated by the majority of people over the course of 4 months, as well as the day I got to the point I couldn't walk and what happened that day (I can barely talk about it and I get flashbacks) has left me depressed and traumatized.
I currently have severe stabbing pain between my right shoulder blade and my spine, numbness and tingling in my right hand, I have started getting headaches in the back of my head, and sitting upright or walking/standing for long periods of time increases my pain. I had been taking 15 of Mobic 1x/day with 2 Tylenol every 6 hours and 500 of Robaxin every 8 hours until I ran out of Mobic & Robaxin and switched to just Tylenol and other OTC painkillers. I've also tried IcyHot, Tiger Balm, and heating pads/heat packs, none of which do much at all.
I was an active woman, worked out and did CrossFit five days a week, played sports in high school, danced as a kid, I've done karate for six years; and now I can't do much of anything. I haven't worked out since the end of July.
I made an appointment with a spine specialist for next week, and I'm hoping something can be done. I've seen a lot of things about younger people being told there's no way DDD can cause their pain because they are so young, so I'm a little worried the same thing will happen. I can't function like this until I'm considered 'old enough' for more aggressive treatment than I've already gotten (which hasn't worked).

Link to members introduction post......
Kieran Lee
 "The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the
brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do
not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.''-Anonymous



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • Max_LeeMax_Lee New York, United StatesPosts: 88
    edited 11/18/2015 - 2:20 PM
    I saw the specialist, who told me to try physical therapy and referred me to a pain management specialist. I was prescribed Gabapentin, which had helped a little with the tingling in my hand. He also recommended cervical epidural spinal injections. It didn't help, if anything, it's made me worse. The tingling in my hand had gone away, but after the injection, it came back with a vengeance and I feel like there is a knife in my back again. Does this not working mean I have to get even more aggressive treatment or does it just take a long time to work?
    Kieran Lee
     "The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the
    brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do
    not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.''-Anonymous

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Those are good questions for your doctor.

    For me, the epidurals that have been effective with me, I will have repeated in time when increased pain presents itself.
    But for the ones not effective, doctor doesn't repeat them. My thoracic spine pain was not helped with epidurals.

    One good thing, effective or not, while with the fluoroscopy, doctor can see that area of your spine and to an extent see some changes if there...or, I don't know all he can see,.
    But that's the way it explained to me.

    My PM did several other testings, and much of the medications, treatments...is trial and try again.
    Although it can take time, the things that are not effective still give Doctor information and gets him closer to more effective treatments plans for you.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Max_LeeMax_Lee New York, United StatesPosts: 88
    I went back to pain management, and said that the injection hadn't worked, and the doctor said that sometimes the first injection doesn't work but the second one does. So I do the second injection, and when I stood up, I blacked out. I woke up on the floor, and they said I was probably just dehydrated. I went home, and I've been in worse pain than before the injection ever since, and that was three days ago. I still feel off as well, like I'm going to pass out again, I have to stand up slowly because I get really dizzy. Physical therapy didn't go well yesterday, it made my pain even worse. My medication (Gabapentin 300mg 3x/day and Tylenol 1000mg every 6hrs) isn't touching it at all (as usual). I haven't slept much at all, maybe five hours in the past few days. I'm going nuts and the doctor's office doesn't open until Monday and I'm not scheduled to go back for two weeks. I'm trying to walk around as much as I can tolerate just to keep my body moving, but I can't tolerate as much as before. At this point I feel as if I'm just being tortured and I'm driving my poor family and my fiancee nuts.
    Any advice?
    Kieran Lee
     "The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the
    brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do
    not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.''-Anonymous

  • Tfd1989TTfd1989 Posts: 2
    edited 12/03/2015 - 4:33 AM
    Sorry to hear of your treatment so far but hopefully you get answers soon. I can only suggest seeing a chiropractor if u haven't already done so. I was also hurt at work and diagnosed as shoulder sprain strain by occu health because they wanted to do no further testing, it wasn't until I began experiencing the sharp pain in my shoulder blade and numbness in my hand that I went and saw a chiropractor. He sent me for a cervical mri which should ddd, protruding disc c4-5 and reversal of normal lordosis. an EMG showed nerve issues along my right arm also, after several visits and manipulations I regained full feeling in my hand and the pain was better, not gone but tolerable. I don't think a chiropractor should be the end of the road for you either but at least it may provide temporary relief and maybe some further answers. good luck
  • Max_LeeMax_Lee New York, United StatesPosts: 88
    I've got...issues with people touching my neck after the last really bad flareup (Army providers put ice on it, after I said please don't, it'll just make it worse - it made it worse, and left me with trust issues), so letting someone manipulate my neck like that...nope.
    Thank you, however, for your advice. Sorry to hear about your issues, I'm glad a chiropractor worked out for you.
    Kieran Lee
     "The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the
    brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do
    not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.''-Anonymous

  • Faith981Faith981 Posts: 78
    edited 12/09/2015 - 2:56 PM
    Max Lee, when I first was injured after I had a few accidents close together, I also had a stressful emotional scare with a stalker. With the beginnings of small disc herniations, having had a concussion and a fractured tailbone, combined with the emotional fear and stress caused me to develop fibromyalgia which has mostly resolved over time with medication, physical therapy and cognitive therapy. That is just my own opinon and experience, I'm not a doctor. The medical community aren't sure what causes fibromyalgia and it is looked at as a waste basket diagnosis when they can't explain it with anything else. From what I read it seems most common in women who have had a physical and emotional trauma close together. Some common symptoms are what you mentioned along with others, pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, numbness, tingling, tender points on the body that can't be touched, among others. Maybe an avenue to look into with a doctor.
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