| | My journey in pain...
Hi my name is Kate & I live in Guildford, UK (near London).
I started suffering with pain in my thumb over 6 years ago that the doctors didn't think much of & to be honest neither did I, although the pain was sometimes extreme. I mean, who wants to make much fuss about a painful thumb!?
The pain worsen over the years & became a burning pain down my left arm, into my thumb & index finger, combined with burning in my shoulder joint and migraines. The docs put me on painkillers & vaguely described it as muscular skeletal disorder or RSI, as I work on computer.
Eventually, over 3 years ago a locum doctor at my surgery recognised the symtoms as a slipped disc as I could hardly move my neck, was in incredible pain & inconsolable. Up to this point I had been paying for physio & chiropractor treatments that didn't help.
This doctor sent me for an Xray & there was the slipped disc at C6. The MRI showed a severly prolapsed disc crushing the nerve to my left arm & squashing my spinal cord. The consultant said it was pretty serious due the the length of time I'd had it & said he need to remove the disc asap to prevent further damage.
Now this being the UK, it is done on the National Health Service, so yes, it's free but quick it isn't. I eventually got the op 14 months after being told it needed to be done asap!
I recovered ok from the op in Nov 2006 but was left with worse pain than ever before. The post op MRI showed no disc left behind, so it was just the damage to the nerve.
Over the last 2 years the pain has got so bad I am on a truckload of painkillers but still suffer constant, severe pain every day. I often have really bad migraines lastly up to 3 weeks at a time, caused by the muscle spasms in my back / neck.
This week I am finally admitting defeat & going part time at work. I'm thinking you may say, 'well at least you can work' which is true but my wages will be lopped in half & that will make life hard. I'm being treated for depression as there is so much of my 'former life' that I have had to give up & the pain itself gets you down.
My pain management doctor says we are running out of options as there is no surgical cure, the steriod & botox epidural injections don't work and I've tried most medications. My last chance is radio frequency pain relief but I have been told to consider this carefully as it could significantly worsen the pain permanently.
So that's me. It helped to get it off my chest there & I would love to hear from anyone in a similar condition as I have no one who can really understand this.