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3 months of conservative treatment--some improvement (in Canada)

allie_baallie_b Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:03 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
An x-ray in March 2012 showed a degenerated disc between C5/C6; the pain and damage are isolated in my upper right side, and my right arm and right hand. I'm a 37-year-old female in excellent health: I'm athletic, flexible, I look, move and feel like a woman in her mid-20s. Or I did until this happened.

After two months of PT and acupuncture; and, three months of managing the pain, spasms and inflammation with tridural and Flexiril initially (first couple of weeks), then gabapentin--900mg/3-4x a day, and baclofen--20 mg/3-4 x a day. I'm healing but the pain is debilitating without medication.

I live in Canada. I'm a graduate student. I'm scheduled for a CT scan in September 2012 and an MRI in February 2013.

The pain makes living without medication almost impossible.

The medications gabapentin and baclofen make life bearable but planning, thinking, and studying are difficult and near impossible (I've also started taking ibuprofen 400 mg/3-4x-a-day for radial nerve entrapment and inflammation). I'm now depressed so I'm adding 10-20 mg of amitriptyline at night to my medications.

(I also take 20-40 mg daily of Adderall XL, and 72 mg of Concerta for my pre-existing ADD. Without these ADD meds, the other meds would knock me on my butt completely.)

So I'm wondering what I should do next. Wait it out a few more months on the gabapentin and baclofen? Or begin seeking more aggressive treatment?

I really need advice. I want to see my GP this week to review my meds and my treatment.

I'm worried I won't be able to continue with my studies come September 2012.
38 yo F
Spinal fusion w/instrumentation c5-c7 05/03/13


  • Hey Allie-

    I am a fellow Canadian.. and understand the frustrations of waiting for testing, what to do, etc.
    I have a wee bit of advice for you--- which helped me alot.

    I started a daily journal-- recording lots.. the weather, what I ate, pills and when I took them, baths and showers, times and heat or luke-warm , pain levels, where the pain is radiating etc...
    I recorded all I could. Over time, I found some connections that really helped me, which I wouldn't have found out had I not had my journal. I like to think of myself as a perfect cookie, just working on the recipe now;):)

    I found CBT helped me deal with the pain daily, (cognative behaviour therapy).

    I learned how to relax.. finally! haha... but truly body relax.

    I learned to be kinder to ME- not beat myself up today because.. I couldn't push the vacuum, for example. I told myself.. it will still be there tomorrow.. instead of.. "you loozer.. can't even keep your floors clean!".
    I also had alot of anger... so instead of beating myself up about my issues I was facing, I got "mad" at my back, who has the nickname Bertha. It sounds silly, but it did help me "deal" much better in ME. (hand in hand with being kind to yourself!).
    I also have learned how to advocate for myself- which I never did before. Not just wait for "a doctor" to fix me.

    I worry about Today.. not tomorrow or yesterday. "yesterday is history- tomorrow is a mystery- today is a gift. that is why we call it the 'present'.

    I also no longer 'care' what others think of me.. where previous, I sure did. wanted everyone to like me. There may be people in your life who just... don't get it. That is why this forum is so fantastic, one of the reasons. You have lots of support. So, if you feel.. alone in life, LOG ON here!!! People do care. Sometimes they don't understand what pain does to us though. That was hard for me--- people not understanding. Then I thought.. YAY, they don't understand.. cause it means they are not in pain.. and it brings me joy now, not aggravation, to know those I love in my life just dont' get "it" cause they literally do not get pain!.. not like our levels.

    When I need to make heavy decisions, I do the good ole' fashioned 'pro and con' list. maybe that will help you figure out your next step?

    I wish you the best.. you have found a great forum! Check out the wonderful articles available.. questions to ask your Dr. etc.

    Ok- hope my above, ramblings as I call them.. my thoughts all over the board!... hope something clicks with ya and you find some relief!!!! (eh!),. had to add that Eh in!!!!

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