Hi everyone, and Happy New Year!
I've only posted on this site once before and I got some great feedback, so I'm hoping for some help and advice.
I'm a 31 year old mother of two little girls (3 and 7). I've been married to my husband for almost nine years. Before my neck went down hill I was a preschool teacher for a local Head Start program.
My neck went down suddenly in May 2009. Long story short...My C/5-C7 are herniated, and C/2-4 are buldging. I have been seeing a pain managment dr at the spine center since the beginning. I've had three epidoral/cortizone shots and a two level facet ablation. The dr didnt advice pt until 2 months after I started seeing him. And...the physical therapist ONLY did traction...which ended up making my pain worse. I finally went against the dr.'s orders and started seeing a chiropractor on Sept.30th. I've been seeing him 2-3x a week since. He does manipulation and PT, and gives me stretches to do at home. He has been a huge help...but I still get very sore. And, my "good" days are no more than 2-3 in a row at best. I still have a lot of spasm and swelling in my neck and shoulers that I can usually manage with ice, stretching and meds.
Now there is pressure about me returning to work. If I don't return by 1/8/10 I will be fired. If I am fired I will have to cover my medical benefits by paying for cobra...This is so I can still recieve my disability benefits, because I need to have some kind of income.
My PM dr. and the chiro both "think I can do it". "Think" is not the word I wanted to hear! They both told me the first 4-6 weeks would be really tough...but it should get better. The chiro said he would know whether or not my body can handle it by about 8 weeks in. I had to talk to the dr about the issues Im facing with "he thinks". If I return to work and my body can't handle it...I won't be able to go back on leave for FMLA until May. My employer will terminate me and I will have no disability benefits, therefore No kind of income. My family finances can not survive without me having some kind of income. UGH!
He told me it's up to me. I don't know what to do. I feel like such a sissy...and I should just suck it up and do it! On the other hand I don't want my condition to get worse because I want to work and make some money. I want to be able to take care of my little girls...my house...my husband. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks.