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Old 01-27-2010, 06:32 PM   #1
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Neck problems!!!

The past two days I have had extreme neck pain and down into my shoulders!! I have also been woke up by my left hand the pointer finger and the thumb going numb, so numb that it actually wakes me up. It's getting harder and harder to turn my neck! The best way to describe some of the feelings that I am having is the achiness that you feel when you have the flu, I feel that almost all the time in my whole body! But this pain in my neck is unreal! Does this sound familiar to anybody?

Michelle

 
Old 01-27-2010, 09:06 PM   #2
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Re: Neck problems!!!

For my upper body I use cold compresses and acupressure. When I have pain in my temporal region it will radiate to just behind my ear and then start radiating to my neck. If I use acupressure, I can usually stop it at the temporal area. If acupressure does not work behind my ear, I start cold compresses ASAP.

The hands are always strange- for me. I have found that sleeping on an incline helps and sometimes I will wear insulated gloves even indoors. At other times, I will immerse my numb hands in cold water and it will help when the gloves do not.

As for bedtime, I always think in layers. I might need to peel off layers or add layers. I have found that I sleep best during the winter months with the thermostat at 60 degrees F. During the summer the ceiling fan helps at night.

You have to experiment and find what works for you. Once you have found it, all the pieces seem to fit together and life is no longer a difficult puzzle! It is like finding the missing puzzle piece!
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:16 AM   #3
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Re: Neck problems!!!

shell, you might have the flu! In my local hospital, we have 320 beds, and right now, 275 of them are taken up by serious flu cases....dont rule it out.

HOwever, you could have also pinched a nerve. ANd, your symtoms also sounds slightly like carpal tunnel syndrome. YOu know i suffer with the identical complaint and have had both pinched nerve and carpal ruled out; however, my symtoms are coming back to be MS related....more on that, after next MRI I hope- but you should really think about having a full MRI done of the c and L spine, since youre having so many back issues....also, lesions in the brain CAN affect the spine- so get the brain done, too. With and without contrast...

Jayhawk is right about experimenting with what works for heat/ cold. For me, if I even put a heating pad on me for 4 minutes, Id be in a complete MS relapse for the next week. ....I know youve been using a heat pad at times for your lower back. For me, that would give me exactly what you are experiencing...mabye that heating pad trick isnt helping, but instead bringing on new symtoms? Some of us are THAT heat intolerant. I am.....however, if I put an ice bag on my shoulders or back of neck, it makes me feel much better...its going to take some real experimentation, and probably another round of MRIs to rule out why this is happening....but I would avoid heat for a week and see if you feel better. Try ice. Try Motrin. Just try differnt things until you can tell if its muscle, MS, or self inflicted! (heat). Let us know.
Nikki
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: Neck problems!!!

I can't thank yall enough for your responses!! What gets me is yall even remember other issues that I have talked about!! Thank you for caring so much! I am in a delimna ( not sure if I spelled correctly) the job that I have is closing the office as of March 31, 2010 and my insurance will stop, I haven't been to the doctor in 5 years with the problems that I have been experiencing because I was tired of being told that it was in my head! So if I go now and get and MRI and do get diagnosed with MS or anything for that matter, then it will be a pre-existing condition. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do? I really would like to go to the doctor with me having so many problems right now but I don't want to hurt myself if I find another job and get new insurance and get labeled with a pre-existing condition. Thanks again for all your help! I REALLY do appreciate it!!

Michelle

 
Old 01-29-2010, 11:20 AM   #5
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Re: Neck problems!!!

The insurance dilemma is always a difficult choice. When I was GM of my old company, I negotiated a full package for all the employees. Our group cost was $90/mo for the employee and $165 for employee plus family. The company's cost was equal to the employee's cost.

When I had to depart the company, COBRA was not an option. My rates under COBRA shot up to $650/mo for my family. I gave up on insurance for 2 years until Medicare kicked in.

It is difficult to live without insurance, but MS is not the end of the world. I do not do Meds; therefore, my annual costs were 2 visits a year to see my neurologist. My neurologist put off tests until Medicare started. I did not, nor do I want, to be a financial burden on my legacy- my children.

If you are without insurance, the MS Association has funding available to help with MRI costs.

If an insurance company suspects you had a pre-existing condition, they could throw obstacles in your way.

It is really up to you to decide on how quickly you need a diagnosis. Will a diagnosis alter your life? That is, how important is it to get a diagnosis at this time in your life? Can you exist without meds? Yes, life is livable without meds. If you make some lifestyle adjustments to avoid your MS triggers (suspected MS triggers), then you can live very easily- in my opinion.

I will keep you in my prayers as insurance can certainly be a problem and cause of stress.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:48 AM   #6
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Re: Neck problems!!!

Shelley- of course we remember all the things that you talk about! About your insuarnace inssue- thats a tricky one. Do you know if you have any prospects for a new job in the near future? Thats kind of the decision maker right now....if you are sure that something is happening in the next few months- you can certainly be honest with the doctor and tell him that you dont want to be "labeled" until your insurance kicks in...but if you have no ideas of what is going to happen employment wise- then you really should listen to your heart here.

99% sure that you wont end up with a MS dx too quickly. I think its going to take while, and many tests before you get "labled"- but thats just it, no one can be sure of that....as far as the back pain and related tests to that- they wont stop you from getting insurance. The big thing is not having MS labeled, because if you want to start meds, those cost thousands a month, and without insurance, there are still plans available (Rebif guarantees no more then 50$ per month and Betaseron has a 0 per month benefit for up to a year) and the very worst case scenario is that your insurance wont cover you for a year- in the meantime, you can go on one of those two drugs....

As Jayhawk stated, they have to offer you COBRA, but its not cheap. If you are just covering yourself, you might be able to afford it...it lasts up to 18 months, and if you take advantage of it, no matter what happens health wise, you wont have to deal with the pre-existing condition clause. If you are covered up until you get NEW coverage, there is no gap in coverage- they cant hold it against you even if you get a diagnosis.

So lots to think about. I would definately start talking to doctors and getting some answers...no matter what, your health is more important then anything else, and there is help available from the MS society and the drug manufacturers....

Good luck!
Nikki
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:45 PM   #7
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Re: Neck problems!!!

MSNik,

Thank you! I know that it can take years to get a diagnosis of MS, if that's what you have, because I have been going through this for over 5 years now. It seems like my symptoms are getting worse and more frequently. I stopped going to the doctor because I was tired of hearing that it was all in my head. I have went to a few interviews but no good prospects. I thank you for sharing the great information because there was some information that you shared that I didn't know. I am just going to leave it up to the Lord, He knows best!! There is a reason for everything and I am not going to question Him, it will work out!! I was debating on going to the doctor visit that I have scheduled for Feb 10 for my field vision test because I was scared that I would be told possible MS and be told to see a neurologist and it would hurt me as far as a pre-existing condition. I didn't know that you could talk to the doctor and let him know that I don't need to be labeled and they would work with you. So do you think that it will be ok to go to the appointment? Thanks so much for talking with me, when I started on this discussion board the two people that I remember were MSNik and MSJayhawk. You two really have a gift to talk to people and make them feel better! Thank you!!

Michelle

 
Old 01-30-2010, 05:19 AM   #8
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Re: Neck problems!!!

Yes, I think you should go to the doctor in Feb. No matter what, youre eyes arent something you should play with. I definately think having the field vision test, while you have insuarnce- is a good idea.

Most doctors who I know will work with their patients. You just have to be honest, and tell them what you are facing....

Is it possible that youll be able to keep insurance for yourself while you are unemployed, thru COBRA? If you can, i would suggest it. It would solve all your problems.

Any job prosects on the horizon??

Nikki
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Old 01-30-2010, 05:57 PM   #9
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Re: Neck problems!!!

Michelle,
Nikki is right on the target about the insurance. In case you have anything wrong with you that's chronic, you can't afford to go without insurance. As long as you can prove no break in insurance coverage, you cannot be dinged or denied for pre-existing conditions if you have company provided insurance through a new employr. If you want to get insurance privately, as the laws stand now (go insurance reform!) you can be rejected for pre-existing conditions. So your best bet would be to get COBRA if you lose your job before you have new employment. Good luck to you!!

 
Old 01-31-2010, 01:45 PM   #10
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Re: Neck problems!!!

Thanks you guys!!! I have applied to the schools here because I was a teacher assistant for 5 years and they have good insurance and you have your summers off!! I was emailed last week and asked by one of the schools if I was still interested and to let them know by Friday, which I did!! I understand the COBRA thing but I can't afford that, its way too expensive with me losing my job and my husband has been looking a job since he lost his in December of 2008!! This economy has got to pick up soon!!!

Michelle

 
Old 02-01-2010, 03:59 AM   #11
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Re: Neck problems!!!

Good luck with the interview and keep us posted!!
Nikki
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:40 AM   #12
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Re: Neck problems!!!

MSNik,

Thanks so much and I will keep you all posted!

 
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