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Old 01-02-2007, 10:45 PM   #1
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uwishtoo HB User
Need some advice - herniated discs also bulging

I have a quick general question before I go in armed to see my family doctor today. I started having severe neck pan a couple of years ago off and on - I kept dismissing it as sleeping on my shoulder wrong, or overdoing things around the house, etc. To try and minimize the pain I asked for an evaluation of my work space where I sit all day in a cubicle using a computer and answering phones. Alot of times it requires me to put the phone against my neck in an unnatural position so that I can type at the same time as being on the phone. No one came to evaluate my work space for ergonomic fitness. My repeated requests for a headset to talk on rather than bending my neck over all the time were refused. I am not in pain now, more discomfort than anything. But when my neck down to my fingers on my left side went almost completely numb I knew there was a problem. I had an MRI done and an electrode test done to check out my hands in comparison to the other. I was told yesterday that I have herniated cervical discs and 4 or 5 bulging discs. The nurse told me - the doctor didn't even call to explain. His advice is to just go to a pain clinic and see if that will help ! Help what ? I am not in pain ? What good will going to a pain clinic for shots do to get rid of bulging discs? Will it help the herniation ? In my mind, no it won't - from what I have read about these conditions the pain management is for people in severe pain - which I am not, and will just delay the inevitable - surgery. I guess my question is this - I am going to go back to my family doctor today and make him explain exactly what is going on with all of this - and ask those same questions. I feel that I should be referred to a neurosurgeon and let him make the decision on surgery or the shots. I have already had one lower back fusion in my life and the surgeon is back in my town practicing now. so I will be referred to him. I spent 7 months of pure hell last year in and out of surgeries and the hospital and doctors offices with a mastectomy and reconstruction and I lost alot of good, active time that I could have spent doing other things. I am not about to let someone waste three months doing pain management only to say at the end of those three months, well, gee, that didn't work so NOW we might need to look at surgery. Sorry but I am not ready or willing to give up practically 6 months of my life again being an experiment for a bunch of doctors. If I go ahead with the pain clinic thing and it doesn't work then that will be 3 months wasted - then I end up on the operating table anyway and after that the recovery time to full life is another three months. I am upset because I planned to travel this year and I just got a new motorcycle (yes, I am female) and if the pain management won't get rid of the bulging discs and fix the hernia then I feel that surgery should be considered as a first alternative rather than the last one, merely due to not wasting time with all of this other crap of pain management when ther IS no pain, just total numbness.

Also, my other question is - could my bulging discs and hernia in the neck area have been caused by my workplace station and it not being set up properly? I am extremely upset that this is going on not only for my life as a person but also as an employee that I feel should have been taken more seriously when asking for help to relieve the problems I was having with my neck during work hours. Maybe if I had been ergonomically evaluated and a head set given to, then the problems of my neck wouldn't have come this far?
I am in for a huge fight I am sure with work and workers comp and am slpwlyg getting emails in place by asking the people things like since I have asked repeatedly for help in my work space set up over the last year and a half I need to know when I can get someone to my desk please? Things like that to document all of this.
Any help or opinion would be general on your part I realize, but what would you advise ? Pain control or surgery ?

 
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:42 PM   #2
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hessie28 HB Userhessie28 HB User
Re: Need some advice - herniated discs also bulging

Hi, I had the same problem. Almost exactly. I was switched to a different office to implement a new procedure. 90 percent of the day was typing. I started having bad pain in my elbow in 2004. I went to my primary who said it was tennis elbow caused by repitition. She said if I wasn't better to come back for a cortisone shot. in 2/05 I saw the orthopedic in the office. He asked me about my work station. I explained how it was set up. He wrote me a prescription stating I needed it evaluated due to my epicondylitis (sp?). Some guy came and looked at it. They gave me a better keyboard and moved a piece of the desk back. My right elbow was laying on the desk as I typed. So evenutally I got the shot and did therapy. About a year later my elbow and wrist started hurting. I could barely move my hand. So I was diagnosed with DeQuarvian's Tenosynivits. I can't spell any of it. I showed her pictures of my work station. She wrote a letter that I needed my work station evaluated and I was not to type until it was done. She gave me another cortisone shot. Two days later my elbow was swollen. I could barely move my arm. I was wearing two braces. She then put me out of work for two weeks. I work for the State so someone did come up to evaluate but did nothing about it. Their answer was to move me back to my old office. So I go back there and I am on the phone all day. So my neck hurts. I go for MRI and it shows three herniated discs and three bulging discs. My neck is completely straight. I am post op from lumbar fusion surgery, laminectomy and discectomy. My elbow is again swollen and now the dr. thinks I have a tear. I have to use a grabber since I can't bend. Probably aggravated it. MRI scheduled for Friday. If I were you I would get a note from the doctor requesting a work station evaluation. I would take pictures also. By the way, I went to a lawyer and filed a workman comp suit. They made me use my sick time in the summer when the doctor put me out. I paid my own copays almost two years for therapy which was done on my own time. I was fine with all that until they would not give me my time back. The lawyer said they know this is common and I should have received workman comp. I'm going next week for an EMG on my neck. Since the back surgery my neck is much worse. I can barely move my arm. My fingers are killing me from typing. I was told not to do surgery on the neck. Try therapy first. Dr. said once they touch the neck you are never the same. Who knows. Hope this helps.

 
Old 01-03-2007, 04:53 AM   #3
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uwishtoo HB User
Re: Need some advice - herniated discs also bulging

I didnt have a doctor ask for the evaluation, I asked for it as any other employee in my company can if they have known problems, which I did. I am afraid of the sick time deal too - last year I was out multiple times for surgeries for reconstruction and was always on short term disability so I was never out for my full 7 weeks at a time and therefore never lost any sick days due to it. It all got paid under the disability act. I know one gal in my office that filed a workmens comp claim for carpal tunnel surgery and the doctor himself only allowed her one day for recouperation - bull ! She had to go back to work to a typing job with the use of one hand. I dont understand the mentality of it all - the workmens comp is there for a reason and they paid for it - but dont want anyone to use it? Just like unemplyment benefits. This is just aggravating since I dont want to put my life on hold again like last year. My doctor is going to sit down for more than two minutes and explain a long list of questions I have and he is going to be told that he is NOT going to just shove me into painful shot treatments without my surgeon looking at me. Jeez. I have a concert trip scheduled in Jan, Feb and Mar and my new bike getting here in about 2 weeks and i want to be well enough to ride and to go to the concerts. If he does refer me to the surgeon and suregry is needed I will do it between the Feb and March trips - that will give me a month to recoup.

 
Old 01-04-2007, 01:21 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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hessie28 HB Userhessie28 HB User
Re: Need some advice - herniated discs also bulging

I'm out of work until April so I am on state disability. I worked there 22 years and never needed workman's comp. Didn't know anything about it. Human Resources never told me to apply. So it all went through my insurance. If I win the lawsuit, all the money paid to therapy, doctors, tests has to be refunded to the insurance and paid by the state. I work for the state. I just hope my credit doesn't get ruined. I can see the late notices coming in already. I didn't know I could request a workstaion evaluation. I only went to the dr. because my elbow hurt. He asked about my desk and it got the ball rolling.

 
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