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 ?