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Old 01-21-2008, 06:16 PM   #1
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Unhappy Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!

Hi everyone,

I know I have been sounding much better but that hot pker burning pain is back and I can not get it under control.

I ended up not driving myself today, stupid idea anyway, I got my class mate to drive me again today.

This morning I woke up with that hot buring pain and it has just progressed as the day has gone on.

I have been active the last few days but I don't think that I have over done or anything. While shopping for sweat pants and all that on 2 different days for a few hours the person who drove me would not let me even carry my purse or anything that I wanted to take into a dressing room. They basically catered to me.

Same way today when my friend Barbara took me to Borders books. She carried my purse for me opened the car door and store doors for me. When we were at wal-mat she pushed the cart and lifted everything.

I could just feel it all day long like it was before the surgery. BURNING BURNING BURNING...YUCKY... I am sad and want to cry!!

This afternoon I tried Ice heat laying with a towel under my neck of course my regular meds. I thought to call the doc but it is a holiday. I should have tried anyway.


I am so sad. SOme of my symptoms are just totally gone and now besides the hot poker I also have my inscision that goes up the back of my neck and every now and then I get a sharp shooting burning shocky feeling that sor of extends upward spreading up my skull from the inscision.

Yikes I am scared it has not helped!!!!!

I will see the doc on Friday but I start school tomorrow.

Please help me I just dont know what to think...I mean I never figures it...the pain...would go away completly but to sort of go away and then be back with a VENGENCE.

On top of the we are having an Area District meeting this evening that would usually take place after a monday evening 12 step meeting but because I did not want to sit in a hard chair that long I asked for the meeting to be at my house. I am the distrct chair so I need to be present.

I will just try to maintain a level of calmness an get through the best I can.

Thought I was doing well and now I am scared and sad....


Last edited by skych; 01-21-2008 at 06:17 PM.

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Old 01-21-2008, 07:06 PM   #2
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!

Hi, Chrissy,
I am so sorry you are feeling so bad. I have read your posts and know that you have been through a lot. I personally would not recommend that you take more meds if you can help it. Maybe just lie in bed or take a shower, try to sleep it off, watch stupid tv. Call your dr. first thing in the morning or if you can't wait, page them tonight. I would definitely do that before trying to self-medicate, especially if you have any history of substance abuse (you mentioned the 12-step). I know you have had surgery recently - I remember the first week being bad as far as pain goes.
Hang in there (easy for me to say, right?),

Old 01-21-2008, 09:37 PM   #3
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!


I know I dont like to take more than what it says on the bottle it just seems not right.

I made it through my 12 step district meeting here at my house and it was good to have some friends here but it was also tough just the same. Laughing and talking alot and turning my head to much hurts. I did wear my brace to try and minimize any discomfort.

I have some tylenol PM's here so I am going to take those and lay with my heating pad. not on my neck but on my lap and of course with the cat on top of that and see if I can get my neck and head to relax.

Have I not been taking enough breaks where I actually lay down like 3 -4 times a day? I am sitting on the couch usually and walking around with in my house doing light household things. That about it other than the shopping stuff that I did.

Thanks God that I dont have to be picked up for class until 12-1 pm. We dont start class til 230 but we both need to go to the college bookstore to hoefuly pick up our text books. That is a big stresser for me because I am the type of student who has already started reading the books before the start of the semester.

Poo...I am jus trying to do the right thing and I told the surgeon I wanted to get off the meds in 6 weeks is that unrealistic with this added pain?

I just want to be sure that it is just the nerves regenerating rather than still being injured.

Thanks for posting tonight. I am going to lay here for a while petting the cat and relaxing for now. Hope you check back tomorrow!!


Maybe I need to rest my dome(head and neck) by laying down 15 min 3 x a day just to gove it an added break. Guess it cant hurt right????

Old 01-22-2008, 06:19 AM   #4
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!

Chrissy, I am sorry you are going through this, but don't panic. Wait till you talk to your doctor. I know how much you were looking forward to getting rid of all this but it may not last & you don't want to cause yourself all this stress. I hope you have an appointment soon, in the mean time take it easy, don't over do it at all. I am sure you are busy with school & all, even studying & reading can be tough on the neck so do yur best to take it easy. Let us know how your feeling & what the doc says. Maybe its not that unsual for this to occur. As always sending you all my best. Sammy

Old 01-22-2008, 05:07 PM   #5
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!

Chrissy, I am so sorry to hear your having more trouble. That hot poker feeling is the same as I get in the middle of my back, so I can relate to that. Maybe there is a lot of imflammation in there and it is acting up because of all the prodding and poking during the surgery. I think you should call your doctor everytime you have a new symptom, or a new question. That's what he is there for, and he should help you through this. I still think your doing great in getting yourself out there and starting school and with your meetings. I think I would be laying in bed feeling sorry for myself! With all this pain, your amazing in how your getting on with things!!

Call that doc, and thinking about you. Feel better, fast, and hope this pain goes away quickly.


Old 01-22-2008, 10:15 PM   #6
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!


I had so many things going on this morning thry to get my text books from the school book store was a huge issue that I have bben dealing with for days, SO like an idiot I did not call the doc and you can bet I will be calling tomorrow for sure.

I went to school about 12:30 even though class did not start til 230 because of the book problem which I did get fixed.

I had class from 245 - 300 and then a 15 min break for the Micro biology Lab from 4 pm until 645. Now i did take meds at scholl but the pain I had by the time I got home was so off the fli86(*&^(*&^(*&^ping charts I am crying,

I am so frustrated and in pain.

Then I had all these variious phone messages to listen to and home messages one of which was from my 12 step sponsee who was really having an issue I could here it in her voice so I dealt with that after only about a half hour after being home from scholl. I did take my last dose of meds at 720pm and my sponsee come over shortly after and was here in tears over some issues she has going on!! Bless her heart only 20 yrs old trying to change her life and relly working hard at it. I just did not have it in me to say I was hurting to much to help her work through the stuff.

I actually thought it may get me out of myself but it only made my nekc feel worse. It is now 10 PM and I am in pure agony.

I try to do all the right things like wear the brace as needed gentel stretching and of course I have been up and around walking. In and during class I get up and stand for a few minutes and try to change the position but nothing works. I just want to scream.

What The HECK was I thinking???/ I just want that burning deep hot knife to give me a frigging break.
OH MY GOD and I just letting it out here sorry guys.

I am sad and in ppain and I just want to brek down. I know many otherers have had chronic pain for a much longer time than I but this is going into the 4th year and I jsuat am flat wore the F&%$!!! OUT

Is this just the nerves just trying to get better or is the original problem still there???

How does the doctor determine this????

What if it is still there??? OMG!!!

OKAY I am so sorry for like pretty much freaking out but today was sooooo hard. I will stop now with the maddness and say that I also know that God has a plan for me and I really gotta try and surrender but it fells real hard right now.

Love you all and thank you for being here for me!

Love Chrissy

No wind in my sails today!!

Last edited by skych; 01-22-2008 at 10:17 PM.

Old 01-23-2008, 02:06 AM   #7
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!

Dear Chrissy - Take it from a veteran - yes you are in pain because You are doing too much.

Has it even been 3 weeks? Didn't you have a forinotomy and laminectomy?

Look hun - the meds are at times giving you false sense of being able to do more. Obviously you need to slow down.

It is too early to say success of failure - many months from now you will look back at this, you really need to give yourself time to heal, relax, have patience, and limit yourself for a good week until you start feeling better. This shopping business, and doing all the extra stuff besides school is not helping you. I don't care if your friend is carrying your purse and pushing the cart!

The Dr. will be telling you the same thing if you told him all you have been doing. Your body is telling you it needs more time.

Hugs, NP

Last edited by PNo; 01-23-2008 at 02:08 AM.

Old 01-23-2008, 03:16 AM   #8
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!


I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through. You've already been through so much. You certainly have had your share and more!

I have to agree with neckpatient, it seems like you're taking on too much. Right now your body needs to heal and to do that you need to be in a relaxed state. I know 3 weeks post-op after my fusion I couldn't have imagined taking on what you're attempting. I do realize that school is so important to you, but is there any way you can take a bit of a break and inform your professors that you just had surgery? Maybe, a tutor could help you get caught up. I just feel like you need to rest. Resting = healing. I definitely agree, we need to make attempts to become active, but I think more gradually would be better for you.

Definitely call your Surgeon with the symptoms you're experiencing, I think that's the important first step.

You're in my thoughts.

~ Fiona
080807-Cervical-Stim~071707-ACDF-C5-C7 w/instrumentation/bone graft~'07/06 Lumber instrum. removed 05/04-Fusion(DDD/Collapsed Disc L5-S1)08/99-Microdisectomy(Herniated Disc) ~Lupus/EDS,Migraine

Old 01-23-2008, 07:54 AM   #9
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!

i agree with the above hon,cut just had a pretty in depth involved surgery and it will take some time to actually heal from it.your body is telling you to slow down.

i am just wondering chrissy,what was the extent of the problem up there PRE op?what did your MRI state about the area you had fused?any cord contact at all?from what you mentioned here,this is the very same pain you had before the surgery that you are continuing to still have?or is this new or different?that is where i get confused(its a pretty easy thing to do these days).

since you cannot afford the lido patches hon,try using just the lido is much more just need something that is going to do some numbing for you.that is the only thing that helps with my stinging burning crap i have.i only use lido in various forms since it does work the best out of anything else i have tried.the lido ointment is the same 5% that the patches are but since it isn't quite the same delivery system with constant contact onthe skin,it is a little less effective but it still does work and you could probably afford it.its ALOT cheaper than the patches and will help you some just really need some level of relief from this hell and i do think the ointment woud be your very best bet at this point.

personally chrissy,based upon your description of the pain you are having(both post and pre),and i am hoping like heck i am wrong here,but this does sound like possible nerve or(depending upon extent of your issue pre op)even cord damage.the level of the burning you are having is just way out of proportion to what you had done,you know what i mean?from your description,this is NOT a muscle thing,correct?is this an actual burn/sting type thing with hypersensitivity to even slight touch?i just need to know this.hopefully the nerves will finally settle down hon and things will get better for you.if you could let me know the answer to the above question it would really help to try and figure this out for you.also,let me know what your pre op MRI stated about that area,K?there is also the possibility that the surgeon just 'set something off' here too.its one of those things that can happen with any level of spinal surgery.let me know for sure if this is the very same pain you had pre op too,K?just trying to get a handle on this for you hon.DO call and ask about that lido ointment tho,it would really help some.much better than anything else right just need 'numb'.take care hon and please keep us posted on all things.i am thinking of you alot chrissy.Marcia
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

Old 01-23-2008, 09:44 AM   #10
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!


FIONA!!!! I was just thinking of you the other day....Thanks for your reply and please post on how you are doing. I have missed you!

What I had done just to clarify is a Posterior Cervical Foaminotomy and Laminotmoy. I think I mistakenly called it a lamiectomy at one tiem.

I did not have any fusion.

Surgery was Jan 8th and I stayed in the hospital for 2 days.

What they did is they go in posteriorly and drill a hole into the lamina of the verterbra. They remove any small bony frags and any herniated disc material that is compressing the spinal nerve roots coming from the spine.

I had this done at levels C 3-4 and C 4-5 The NS considered C 5-6 but at the time just before surgery he reviewd the MRI and said he did not think I needed it at that level.

Somewhere on the board I posted the original MRI that stated stuff about the herniations(bulges) at the C 3-4 4-5 5-6 but nothing about the neural encroachment which the NS showed me and it was very clear on the MRI to the naked eye but yet the MRI report said nothing about it and in fact was very vague.

My attorney requested that the MRI be re-read by the radiologist with the NS reports and then it cam back saying the same stuff and a lbit more detail about the arthropathy at the facet joints etc and the nerual encroachmnet.

It did say in the re-read that there was potential C 5 compromise and I asked the NS what this meant and he said it was referring the the radiating stuff that I was having in my shoulder.

Anyway I am sure that I can get the report out and re-post it in this thread if you guys want.
I personally did think that one level and I cant remember which one did look very close to the cord.

Here are my symptoms pre op....mostly left sided

Neck spasams and burning pain with numness and tingling.
Neck pain that would burn and radiate down the neck to the shoulderline and into and out down to about my elbow.
There was injury overlap in the tingly and burning in my left arm because I am still not a year out fom my elbow ulnar nerve decompression 3-07
I also had this spot at the base of meck and at the shoulderline just a bit lateraal to the spine that would feel as though a hot knife was inserted there. very awfuel burning.
I would have arm weakness and a heavy feeling arm and some clumsyness occasionaly.
My left arm pit was sore and burning for a few months non stop and this would radiate around to the breast area.
I also had a deep scapula burning that was at the thoracic level that was awful and almost constant


The arm pit and deep thoracic burning has gone away, since suregy and has not returned. I did have the neurological stuff in my arm right after surgery but it is not present at this point.
For a while I had bad spasams after the surgery but now they are intermittent and I am not sure it it is healing or what.
Surgery was the 8th and today is the 23 and that burning hot knife had gone awy so I thought until about a week ago I felt it coming back and now it is relentless and constant again but varies in its intensity.

Sorry so long

I know nerves take a long time to heal because I was explained all about that when I had the Ulnar nerve transposition last March.

See my Mom came and stayed at my home and took care of me for a few days post op. She left for about 48 hrs. then came backe for anotthe 2 days and then I was left to manage on my own. I did have people call and scheck on me and one or 2 people stop in to help a little but It was left to me to manage the meds.

I think that I mismanaged and was not taking the right little.
Anyway I cant remember the exact day but I did call the NS and he said to return to the ER for pain control and testing but they did not do any x-rays or mri's just a half *** physical exam and get my pain controled.

The NS's PA came to see me and I had brought all my meds with me because that was just easier than making the list of it all in the heat of the moment trying to get to the ER. When I took the new or refill prescriptions to get filled I went back to get them a few days later and noticed that it was for a lessor amount.

Now I was not quite out of the dicharge meds from the first hospital stay. So I was folling the direction on the first bottle. The directions being take 2 10/325 percocet every 4 hours. After the overnight from the ER admit I was not taking quite 12 pillls a day maybe 7-8. But I was confused because the new prescription said 1 10/325 perc every six hours.

I am also taking Hydroxy Pam or vitsaril 3 times a day and I do have Valium left form the surgery discharge but I do not take those unless I fell like dying.

Anyway I know this is long but I will see the NS on Fri.

I will explain I am confused about the meds doses and nedd to know if he thinks the nervers are just ****** form surgery and trying to heal if if he thinks there is still an issue.
I have a list of stuff to ask.
Anyway. No one really gae and specifics except to walk and wear brace and dont lift. When I was admitted after the ER visit they showed me some stretching exercises and I have been working on those but not forcecing.
I am happy that some symptoms are gone but one of the huge things the NS and I were trying to help was that hot dagger knife stuff so I am a bit concerned.

Could this be the C 5-6 level causeing this?
OH S$%T if they gotta go back in and fix it.
Anyway I am doin absolutely nothing but laying on my couch and studying today. THAT IS IT.

I live alone and have to ask for help whic is hard but my friend and classmate who is a CNA has been helping me out so much. I guess I should ask if she coul come and do some dishes or something. Or can I do those my self?

So many emotions that I actually cried myself to sleep last night. Some crying from pain and some from the emotional pain.

Just real real tired and depressed. School focus will I am sure be a good thing for me at this point. And yes my professor and I have talked obout my issues extensively. I had the same teacher last semester so she is aware of everything and even shared with me that she is a chronic pain sufferer herself.
Anyway yes I am having bad pain today but I need to hit those books now.

Please anymore thoughts or words of encouragemnt are appreciated.

Love you all,

Last edited by skych; 01-23-2008 at 09:54 AM.

Old 01-23-2008, 09:47 AM   #11
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!

I get this sometimes and my chiropractor always helps it......why don't you try a chiropractor? maybe that's not good advice, I just read further and realized you had surgery......

Last edited by rosequartz; 01-23-2008 at 09:49 AM.

Old 01-23-2008, 04:39 PM   #12
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!


Thanks Rose, I was going to chiro before surgery and I loved it. They were not adjusting me per docs orders unless absolutely necessary. If I have to have it done they use the activater tool.
Mostly what they did was massgae therapy and ultrasound stimulation therapy.


Called the doc today and talked to the receptionist/assistan whatever. She has the physicians assistant call me back and talk with me, I was in the middle of explaining everything about how the prescribing directions on the bottle aft the surgery discharge and before the ER re-admit said one thing and that the Prescription Directions from the script he the PA wrote were of a lesser amount on the perscription upon discharge from ER re-admit were different he politley said.....let me interupt yo and say that we generally prescribe 10/325 percocet 1-2 tabs every four -six hours as needed after surgery and if it is not working you should call your PM or GP.

Then I said that the script upon discharge from ER re-admit said 1 10/325 every 6 hours as need he told me that I could take 1-2 10/325 every 4-6 as needed and I said had the bottle said that I may not be in so much pain.

HUGE Miscommunication on the part of the PA as far as I am concerned!!!

I told him of the burning hot poker and all that and said I would take the meds with HIS now approved new directiopns and ss if that would work.

He sort of made me feel as though I was looking for some kind of HUIGE quantity of meds. FOr crying out loud had the Flipping directions been correct I may have not been undermedicated.

I am so careful about the darm directions because I am already in recovery from street drugs so I follow the directions as they are written. Because the last thing I need is them thinking that I am abusing the frigging things.

Really if I could do with it all I would gladly move on. My sponsor is very aware of all the stuff and how much and how often I take them. Cheezzze her and my MOM were pushing that silly PCA pump while i was in and out of sleep exactly every 6 minutes because I apparently was not able to.

Whatever. I still have my burning hot poker. This afternoon I actually fell a bit better...hmmmmm you think that is because I was allowed to take a bit more medication????

I also have done nothing but sit on my couch and study and make some phone calls.

My friend from school Barbara and her Hubby who has had 14 spinal surgeries came buy to bring me some stamps so I could mail my bilss. They also brought me lunch and Barb did my pile of dirty dishes. Very nice of them to also stay and visit while we all ate lunch.

That was right after the doc called and they thought it was a huge communication error as well.

Right now I have a level about a 6 1/2 which is way better than a 10.

I can operate at a 6 real easy and I can even live and do alot more at that level, if I can keep it from flarring to high.

Do you think because the burning hot knife is bothering me so much he will want to have some x-ray or MRI just to make sure, or is it still just way to soon????

Please let me know what you all think.

I had some tears today but those were more frustration tears than pain tears so that is an inprovement.


Old 01-24-2008, 05:58 AM   #13
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!

Chrissy, Gee what a mess. when is your next appointment? Perhaps you should write down any questions you have & really make your concerns known. There really is some confusion there. I don't get some docs. Especially after surgery there should be no misunderstandings or miscommunications at all. I would guess in order to heal faster you would need the proper pain control. I think we all know that being in pain causes us to tense up & is exhausting not to mention the mental aspects which have a whole lot to do with how we feel physically. I am not real knowlegdable about these surgerys but I would think you need to just ask the doc if he has concerns over your pain & if he feels any testing should be done.
Honestly sometimes I think they forget that we are not doctors & we do not know what to expect.
I know as much as I hate taking the pain meds I can't function with out them. Forgot to take my oxy at bedtime last night & could not get out of bed this morning, laid there crying. Not being able to control the pain is depressing. I have ruined my day & maybe even the next couple. it will take me time to get back in control & on schedule with the pain control. I feel like crap. I am so angry with myself. We have to have pain control in order to function physically & mentally. I just don't think even at times the doctors understand.
Try not to worry (easy to say) & make sure you have a list of questions to ask the doc. More importantly take it easy. Talk to you soon. Sammy

Old 01-24-2008, 07:42 AM   #14
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!


Thanks hon for just beign you!

I told the PA at NS's office now that I have permission to take them more often I may be able to control the pain I have.

Yesterday I actually did next to nothing except to take a shower which believ it or not takes a lot out of my to do that and dry my hair.

But the thing is that after I talk to the PA which was around noon, my friend Barbara and her hubby cam by with lunch etc and I was able to add in an extra dose and yesterday was much eaiser.

This morning I have a lot of pain but that is the norm when I wake up plus it is very cold and snowing this morning and will be for a few days.

I have school this afternoon but only for 1 hour and 15 min lecture. The long day is Tues and that is the tuffy.

I will see NS on Friday and talk aboout all my concerns.

You dont have long untill your surgery day...I marked it on my calendar.

How long is your hospital stay going to be Sammy???? I will be thinking happy thoughts and praying for you to have a speedy recovery.
I also put Marcia on the calendar as well. You guys will be holding hands in spirit .... only a week apart with your surgeries.

Talk to you later.
Chablis are you doing ok????


Old 01-24-2008, 08:35 AM   #15
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Re: Burning Hot poker feeling at base of neck and shoulder is back!! I want to cry!!!

your so sweet think of us while you are dealing with all this.bless you has the med change actually helped you then?is that one 'hot spot' feeling any better at all when you take the meds or does it pretty much stay the same?just wondering if this is a neuropathic thing or something just because the nerves are still really inflammed.if this is actually at the base of your skull,everytime you move your head up and down(even a little bit just considering where it actually is) it could just be a constant type of irritation that is setting all the nerves off,you know what i mean?that day you said you did pretty much nothing?how was that hot spot feeling then,any better?you mentioned you do have some valium?what is that dosage?you could try cutting them in half(i do this with mine i use for leg spasticity)and just one day,try taking them about like every four/six hours or something and see if just keeping a bit less 'tightness" in that muscle area in the back maybe wont help just have alot of inflammation back there right now which is all playing off each other,you know what i mean?the nerves,when really ****** off,just start firing signals to the muscles,which in turn create those wonderful wads of tissue we call trigger points.the valium just could help some.if you are not used to taking it,then just doing the one half thing may be enough for you depending on what the actual mg amount is.i would at least try this for one day and see what happens.i really would look into that lido ointment tho could help would just help reduce the intensity if nothing just need a break from this crap.

considering where they went in and how close in proximity your issues were to the cord,even the surgery placed them right there by your cord too,there just could have been some level of real contact there at that level too.i just assumed that they would have done a fusion along with what you had,my bad there hon.thats actually a really good thing for you.if you have to,ask the surgeon for some level of steriods like a round of the medrol dose pack.since you are not actually trying to fuse bone,this would be a good choice to just get things calmed down back there.steriods can do wonders for ongoing inflammation,even better than any level of narcotic,just becasue it is hitting the 'real" problem,not just masking it with a pain med,ya know?just another option.i am just thinking tht alot of your pain issues at this point post op are probably more from just plain old inflammation.getting another MRI at like one month out or so if the symptoms are still the very same wouldn't least this would take a good look inside that area and be able to see if there is still something affecting that same nerve that was causing that burning to begin with.hopefully this is not a neuropathic pain issue and will simply resolve itself once the major trauma of that surgery settles down for you.just give some of the suggestions a try and see if you don;t get at least some drop of the overall wouldn't hurt at this point.i do hope things get better soon for you chrissy,i do think you have suffered more than enough already.take care and take it really easy,K?and as usual,keep us posted hon.marcia
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

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