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I've posted already on the injection forum, but more than my neck-back-arm pain, my emotions are what's really getting me down.
Recently been diagnosed with moderate stenosis in the C6-C7 region, along with radiculopathy, which the neurosurgeon suspects is the cause of my reduced ability to use my arms.
I know it's me taking it personally, but this just feels like insult on top of punishment. My wife and I met at essentially a commune a few years ago, and we had our whole lives ready to go into 5th gear (have kids, raise them in said commune, pursue our commune's versions of "careers.") Then, crisis 1 struck: we discovered our commune was sort of like a cult with all sorts of hidden power manipulations going on. We ended up leaving and going to Germany (my wife is German) where we got married and then she got pregnant. Having a child has been my wife's dream for a long time, and one of my own as well. Our son died two weeks before he was due.
Fast-forward to now, we're back in the USA and making a go of it without my wife's friends/family and without the support network I'd built up at the commune over my 13-year involvement. Having no professional credentials in the outside world, I took a farmhand job at an organic farm in the area we moved to (southwest Wisconsin.) Oh, by the way, while teaching wilderness classes at the commune 10 years ago, I fell 100 feet out of a tree (and hit a lot of branches) which resulted in 2 thoracic compression fractures and one thoracic facet fracture. All of that healed albeit with the occasional spasm when I was too stressed or overdoing it.
So anyways, I started this farm job with a little bit of what seemed like carpal tunnel in my wrists. Then it advanced up to my forearms/extensors. Then it moved up into my biceps. I also started having back neck pains every so often. It was a lot of heavy lifting and leaning over bins. I saw a few of our wonderfully inept health care professionals and after spending 1-3 minutes with me they said, "Oh it's just tendinitis, just take it easy, stretch, and ice it - no problem." I finished the farm season and looked forward to healing, but things just got worse. I was laid up for two days just from a couple hours of raking. My upper back (shoulderblade) and neck also started acting up. Went in, got a neck MRI, and got my stenosis/radiculopathy diagnosis.
So far I've been putting off surgery because of the horror stories I've heard. My ESI shot a week ago seemed to provide relief at least for the shoulderblade pain, but now my neck pain has gotten twice as worse and the shoulderblade pain seems like it's coming back. I'm in between jobs, and have no idea what to do with myself. My wife makes good money now, but once we have kids we intend for her to be with the baby for a few years, and what the hell am I? A dead burden? I was already feeling like most people my age could do more than do entry-level jobs, and now I probably can't even handle 90% of entry level jobs because of the physicality of them.
I feel really alone (also - my wife is visiting her family in Germany right now) and just want to disappear. I'm sure this sounds trite to the old hats on here, but it seems like my life is over. I feel like an old man at 35 -- and according to everyone, it's only going to get much worse from here.