How long did you wait after initial symptoms to have surgery? (I have a herniated disc in my neck and/or myleopathy haven't had an MRI yet so it's not diagnosed officially yet)
I have been basically disabled since about March 1. Since about March 1st I have not been able to carry more than about 3-4 pounds if carried in front of me and close to my body. At that time, I initially thought I had somehow managed to tear both rotator cuffs whilst swimming. Tearing the rotator cuff is a common injury in swimming (though it would be unusual to be bilateral) and the pain first occurred after swimming, so I thought it was that. I even went to a shoulder specialist and they did rotator cuff tests on me, told me I was "weak" and told me to go to PT. I went to PT, they told my my posture sucks (admittedly it does - I also have scoliosis which is a big reason why). The "fix" for the posture wound up changing the pain and making it worse. My shoulders feel "heavy" including my trapezius muscles. My arms and hands tingle and feel warmer than they should. My neck hurts a lot - tried driving today and could barely drive 10 minutes. When I don't turn my neck at all it's alright but driving I have to move my neck and I never knew it could hurt so much.
I've been seeing a family doctor since May 30th. He prescribed a muscle relaxant and prednisone. They do make it so I can sleep, for the most part. But my shoulders and traps are still "heavy", my neck hurts a lot (trouble doing any driving). The one day when I felt pretty good and so tried lifting something 6 pounds resulted in a worsening of my condition. I haven't even been doing grocery shopping this past week - which I had been doing on a limited basis purchasing items based on weight etc.
So when I first saw my doctor I thought we were doing an xray (which he said wouldn't show anything but was needed by insurance before an MRI could be ordered) and then an MRI. I thought that the plan was then we'd know what was going on and if PT were next then at least it would be informed.
Well now it's been a week and now he's saying I should try PT before we get an MRI. Well, I did that already and it made it worse. But I did make an appointment for tomorrow morning to see a different PT.
My neck hurts so much it's hard to do anything. Using a laptop (the only computer I have) is hard because it's hard not to look down and so using my laptop winds up hurting my neck. Driving even ten minutes hurts a lot. All I can do is walk (I got a hands free leash for my dog) and watch television. I'm unemployed and haven't been job hunting these past weeks because I feel like even doing a job interview would be difficult for me physically (even moving my laptop to a quiet area is physically daunting) and I can't start a new job if I can't drive to it and if I'd have to take a lot of time off for medical appointments. I can't live like this.
My neck feels swollen and hot and weird right now - here I go using my laptop again and I can't even do this.
Anyway. My doctor seems to want to steer me to "conservative care" and away from surgery. I get that. But on the other hand I don't know how long I should just wait for this stuff to get better "on its own". How long did you wait? How did you know to start asking for surgery? Do you regret going into surgery or do you wish you did it sooner?