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Emergency appt with surgeon today - SCARED! (long post)

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Newbie here, but definately need some hugs and prayers.

Background -- chronic neck pain started about 6 years ago. Had MRI and NS consult at that time, discussed slight protrusion at C6, nothing major have a nice life. And by the way you have some arthritis in your neck, no big deal.

Would have occasional flareups every year or so. (Some VERY painful.) GP would prescribe Prednisone and muscle relaxer. Said, no big deal, you'd never want surgery anyway so no need for MRI. Just accept it and live with it.

Taking Tramadol, Skelaxin, NSAID and Elavil for arthritis and DDD; Cymbalta for Fibro. Also develop carpal tunnal and cubital tunnel, get periodic steroid injections.

BAD ankle sprain in May. Wore boot, then brace and had PT. OS says ankle is too loose. Had ankle reconstruction surgery Nov 6.

(Oh yeah, filed for divorce this summer, did not want to. Very sad. No added stress there huh?)

SIX LONG WEEKS of crutches after surgery. Doing well until I am commuting to work FT about two weeks ago. I am actually using crutches the RIGHT way so no soreness in my arms. However suddenly my neck is so sore that I cannot get out of bed. It is so sore that I break down and cry a couple of times.

Begin taking 2 7.5 Vicoprophen every 4 hours around the clock, call OS he refills. Still terrible pain, he sends me to ER for X-ray. ER doc sees some significant compression, offers me more pain meds. No suprise ER doc diagnosis cervical radiculopathy. He thinks herniated disk based on symptoms. Another followup with OS, he looks at neck X-ray says "OMG", sees compression at C5-6 and C 6-7. OS refills Vico and orders MRI, had it Tue 12-16.

Supposed to see OS for MRI results today at 8:30a. Last night had 3 messages from OS nurse, PLUS nurse of SPINE OS in same practice. I am not to see my OS today, instead call office to see SPINE OS, and he wants to see me TODAY.

Good news is that acute pain has improved. It's no longer 9 or 10/10, more like 5 or 6/10. Still have to take all my meds when I get up and sit for 30 mins til they kick in. LITERALLY.

Bad news is much more nerve pain and many neurological symptoms.

Based on my symptoms and research I am afraid that I have spinal stenosis and cervical myelopathy. I also think that I've had symptoms of both for awhile that have been attributed to other conditions: stiff legs, shoulder pain, numbness and tingling in arms and hands. It really scares me that I might have lost valuable treatment time and could be facing a health crises now.

I'm 46 YO, 2 great kids, active, great career. Many blessings too numerous to name, but I am so afraid that I will need emergency surgery. And I can't mess up Christmas for my kids. They are teenagers, but still, first Christmas without Dad.

So sorry for the long post. My entire life story. I found this site a couple of weeks ago and am grateful for that.

I'd appreciate any thoughts or prayers for me this afternoon. Appointment is at 3:13p. It's been a rough few months for my kids and I, and I thought the end was in sight. I would like nothing better than to report back that everything is ok and I am just a hypochondriac!! LOL! Let's hope that's true.


Ali B


  • While the best case senario would be that you are perfectly fine, that may not happen. If in fact you do have an emergency situation on your hands do not blame yourself or grieve for the potential loss of a holiday with your children. I know that many people put so much stock into the christmas holiday and that is ok, but it is still a day like any other. I have no doubt that your kids will love you whether you are opening gifts together at home or in the hospital. Please heed your doctors advice, whatever that may be and weigh your options. There will be many Christmas's to come. I will definately keep you and your family in my thoughts.

    One Love,

  • People and even doctors say to avoid surgery for as long as you can, so it looks like that is what you have done inadvertently. Surgery is no cure all- but I think us cervical patient may have an easier recovery than many lumbar patients. We can be thankful for that.

    Of course it is a stressful time and you are as anxious as we all were. Go ahead and vent, the people here will understand and can relate.

    Good luck-and don't worry about this holiday-you can do it the way you like next year :) The kids should be told the honest truth and your feelings and regrets-I bet they are old enough to understand now the world does not revolve around them-that they are a part of it, not the whole of it. I bet they want to help their mom. That is a great gift you can give them.

    Take care!
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  • I hope all goes well with your Drs today. Even if you do have to have emergency surgery, it will be tough but your kids will have to understand.
    Your story is very similar to mine. So much pain & dismissed by many Dr's for many years, then OMG - YOU HAVE TO HAVE SURGERY!
    Hang in there, it's a long road, but there is a lot of great support here!
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