Hello, everyone. I am happy to have found this forum. Sometimes it is a great thing to find others who potentially understand what you are experiencing/going through.
I have chronic severe neck pain. I believe that the issues are related to a car wreck (1988) that I had many years ago, where someone smashed into my car in an intersection, and the force of the impact was so strong, that I knocked the driver side window out with my head.
I had a C-Scan done at that time on my head, but they didn't do a scan of my neck (unfortunately).
Within the next few years, I began to have strange symptoms, that eventually were diagnosed as MS. (1991-1993)
An MRI revealed the lesions I had in cerebral cortex, but specifically, in my neck.
I lost the feeling completely on my left side (scalp, left arm, torso). At the same time, it was determined that my neck was in very bad shape, and surgery was offered to fix that (which I declined at that time, because I was in fear of setting of more M.S. exacerbations)
I was living in Fort Worth, Texas, as that time. Under a lot of personal stress (small kids, and a failing marriage).
Bad smog, which caused unbelievable hay fever, and constant allergies that interfered with sleep, and for which I had lots of cortozone shots to control.
I mention all of the above, because I have always felt that there was a connection between all of these things.
I believe that the car wreck set off a chain of events that eventually resulted in all of the problems I've just described (and I found medical studies that seemed to substantiate what I am saying. It was a 'repeatable' scenerio that others who had suffered different neck accidents (e.g.: skiing, diving, car wrecks) went on to experience a similar progression. The studies I mention, involved Rhesus monkeys, and they DUPLICATED the same symptoms, after trauma to the cervical spine.
Since that time, I was treated for years for M.S., and experienced symptoms ranging from 'dizzy spells, intense vertigo, numbness and tingling, and weakness.
After moving to Portland, Oregon (1999) (remarrying), the M.S. exacerbations began to decrease in frequency, and have been relatively quiet (no flares) for several years now.
This said, my neck continued to become an increasing issue, with intense bouts of neck pain that would come and go, and for which I sought treatment/relief for for a very long period of time. The only thing that would ever make any difference, was the treatment from an extremely good chiropractor, and massage therapy (which doesn't last, but helped with severe knotting of muscles). Eventually, this stopped working too.
I began taking oxycodone for pain, in 2012.
(as an aside, I was also treated for left-side breast cancer, 4 surgeries, and radiation, between 2011-2012
I had surgery in May of 2014, and had two disk fusions using a newer technique, (ROI-C) cervical cages, at C3-C4, and C4-C5.
I literally had a complete change of curvature of my spine, from an 'S' to a 'C' (the before and after pics, are fairly dramatic)
Unfortunately, within two days of coming home from the hospital, I began to develop frozen shoulder (all of my pain is mostly right-sided, by the way.) The pain was almost unbearable. Eventually it became obvious to me that not only was my pain not improved, it was worse.
So I had yet another surgery in Dec of 2014, this time, posterior. The surgeon checked for any issues in the root canals exiting from the levels that I had surgery at. He noted that they were indeed fairly tight thru the facet joint exit point, and he removed some of the bone at that level.
Since then, I have been fighting relentless, chronic pain, that some days, feels so unbearable, that my mind takes me to places it definitely shouldn't. I have been back to the surgeon, and have seen another surgeon (same group) for a consult.
The answers weren't reassuring. Basically, I felt that the second opinion was a 'SWAG', when a suggestion was made that it could be M.S. related.
The only other diagnostic test that I had, was an EMG, and that showed 'old' long existing nerve damage, left side.
Taking 325/10 Oxycodone 4 times a day (it's not nearly enough to eliminate pain, but it does at least knock it back some)
Also 25M Fentinyl patches, & 600M Neurontin.
I am at my wit's end. I have had some difficulty in the last year, with work (I am a Bus. Systems Analyst). Computer work is probably not the best career I could have, with this condition. That said, what could I possibly do alternatively? On the verge of pursuing disability, which is difficult to get, and bothers me to my core, to have to consider.
I don't know what to do. Out of ideas.
Thank you so much for letting me tell my story, in this forum.