i was told i have disc pressing on spinal cord does anybody know what that means,and what what symtoms it may cause,i am barely getting around and wondering if this could be cause.thank you so mush for any help in advance. the disc is in my neck. marywoo
I had issues of a Disc flattening the spinal cord and I had a large amount of pain and nerve related issues (I had an EMG - Nerve study). And it showed nerve compression as related to the issues with my Discs.
Are you currently seeing a Spinal Specialist? If you haven't seen anybody yet, I would recommend you see a Specialist. Especially, if you're having symptoms as a result.
fiona, thank you so much for your response,i am not seeing a spine specialist because my insurance says if i dont have so many shots in such a period of time they can not send me to neurologist,i tried to tell them i could barely get myself dressed,and they just dont care.i went to pain management dr yesterday and he says hes going to give me facet shots and then burn the nerves,in the meantime iam only walking because i had shot in lower back and that helped my legs but seemed to make upper area worse.i have radiating pain all around neck under arms down rib cage.i also have nerve damage severve stenosis in both sides,worse on left,i have been unable to do chores around house,and do not go out any more because i have no strenth i have osteoporsis too,i am 48 and scared because my family does not understand,and i dont understand why i have to have more shots,my memory is also affected by this iam like an 80 year old,i cant remember anything,the dr told me i need exercise and when i tried i got worse and then he said i should not have done that particular exersise,i dont understand these drs.i just want some relief.fiona thank you for replying it meant so much because i am at my wits end. thanx for listening. marywoo
I'm so sorry about what you're going through. It is sometimes difficult for family members to understand, especially when the pain is chronic and ongoing. When I was first diagnosed with Lupus 11 years ago, my husband had a lot of trouble coping with it. Not only was I the primary bread winner in the home, but I also did most of the chores in the house. One morning I awoke and couldn't get out of bed. Talk about a HUGE shock for my husband, he was coping with my three year old twins and our 9 year old son, while we tried to figure out our financial situation with me unable to work. So, here he needs to do more around the house and deal with the reality of finding a more stable job. (He had been the stay at home parent and just work PT to get out and bring in a little extra income). So, I understand completely how family members can react. I think a lot of times it's just because they want us back to where we were. Even if it's unrealistic, they're trying to cope with the reality that what we're feeling is impacting how much attention we can give things that were previously taken for granted.
I had the injections as well (for my cervical problems). And unfortunately I did not react well to them. I had tremendous migraines afterwards and had difficulty functioning. A lot of people have great results from them. So, I don't want to discourage you. I would however start keeping documentation of what you're feeling and how the injections impact you. Any symptoms you develop - new or increasing. Hopefully, this will help get you into a specialist as soon as possible or at least help you when you DO see a specialist communicate your symptoms, so your issues are addressed.
I will keep you in my thoughts. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
Marywoo, I haven't really got any advice, just sympathy. I am 52 and am presently almost bedridden with neck issues. I am waiting to see a surgeon in 6 weeks and had this acute episode with my neck for 4 months now. The tests I've had so far haven't shown much up. But the specialist wants me to have an EMG before I see him.
So far I've been coping ok, but lately, the pain has become a bit unpredictable, and I find my emotional nerves are becoming pretty frayed, because I don't "trust" my neck anymore. I don't know from day to day what it's going to do next.
So I can relate in a way to how you must be feeling... sometimes I get "mad" with my neck as though it's my enemy, and other times I get so frustrated, because life seems to be going to waste while I'm just lying around waiting. But then I try to think of people who are totally disabled, and living with terrible diseases, and I feel like I'm a whiner. But as someone said on this board, "when it's happening to you, it matters a lot".
Don't give up on seeking the right medical help. Sometimes you have to be persistent in getting through to them.
I like really my own GP a lot, and he is very kind and caring, but he didn't understand what I was trying to tell him. When I told him about the pain I was having, and how whenever I moved, my neck cracked, he said "Oh yes, I know how you feel. I get that too when I've sat my desk a while. I have to stretch and rub my neck and then I go, aaaah that feels so good".
Well, I felt like wrapping his neck with his stethescope, jabbing it with his reflex hammer and then turning it backwards for good measure, and saying, "No, NOW you might know what it feels like." Because that is just what it feels like and the "crack" I get is more like a bone snapping. Instead I just sat there wanting to cry, and wondering how I could explain how bad the pain really gets.
Finally, on my last visit, I said to him, I've given birth 4 times with no drugs, I've had back surgery, a hysterectomy, and 3 other surgeries, all without one whimper. I don't think I'm a sook, but this pain in my neck actually has the power to drop me to the floor, and make me yell.
That's when he decided to give me a referral to the surgeon.
I find it does help to read on here and know that there are people who will understand your fears and frustration and pain.
Last edited by lilydilly; 05-28-2008 at 10:41 PM.
Reason: too long
Mary, can I ask who your insurance company is? In some cases, yes they may have a protocol that they say.....try steroid injections first. BUT in the case of spinal cord infringement, I can't see how that would help. Those are to help with swelling, they don't move a disc out of the way. If you have tried the shots and they don't help.......raise hell and tell them you tried it their way and it did NOTHING for the pain. An insurance company cannot tell you if you can see a specialist or not. A specialist is covered under the plan. If you have a plan that requires a referral from your general practioner, take them your MRI results and let them know you need a referral FAST.
I have worked in HR for years with quite a bit of experience with employee benefits. I have also been an insurance agent for 20 years (don't shoot me lol). I went to bat many times for my employees to get around protocol. THAT is the job of HR. I think you need someone to go to bat for you with the insurance whether it is through a spouse's company or through your own employer.
Trust me, an employer or insurance company does NOT want a lawsuit if something moves that disc any more into the spinal cord creating further damage.
fiona, hugs, and , and lillydilly, i just want to thank you all for responding to my post.I am sorry it took so long to reply,i just cant get enough sleep. i dont know who said they had natural child birth and surgery and it did not compare to this,i totally relate,i would do that 10 times over rather than tolerating this pain.someone asked what kind of insurance i have,it is cigna.i am so sorry you guys have this pain to suffer i wish i could make us all better.i have 5 dogs and 1 parrot,i realize will need to placed some where but i cant bring myself to do it.its not fair to them,and like i said my family is in complete denial,if i had the money i would just leave to a quiet space where no one says whats for dinner?any thoughts on the facet shots? iam not scared of the needles iam afraid of the side effects.again i am sorry for all your pain and do appreciate your responses. marywoo
I completely relate to what you're saying and I'm so sorry you are in so much pain. I have read that Facet Blocks do offer relief for some, so I do think you may find it helps. It's just so hard to tell. It just depends on our individual response. I do think it would be a really good idea to document your reaction to he injection, this will ensure you can provide the spinal specialist with detailed information of your symptoms (once you can see a specialist).
How frustrating to have to jump through so many hoops in order to see a specialist. Insurance companies are so frustrating! When you think about it, it would make much more sense for a spinal specialist to be directing your care to ensure your treatment is appropriate for your condition. I can certainly understand why your frustrated. You do have a lot of people in your corner on this site, who understand what you're going through and want to offer you support. Even if it's just to lend an empathetic ear, so often we don't feel we get the empathy and understanding we need from our family members. But, this is a place to come to vent and share your frustrations and what's wonderful is you will receive TOTAL understanding.
I completely understand that it's not always easy to get online and post. I am the same - sometimes the pain level is too much to be on the computer. So, just post when you can.
You are in my thoughts and remember you have a wonderful group of understanding individuals in your corner!
Mary, Is it possible for you to pay out of pocket for a consultation with a neurosurgeon and then take his or her report to your regular doctor as well as sending a copy to your insurance company --to get them moving on this before any more damage happens? I had three consultations before settling on a neurosurgeon and the range was $250 to $350 for the visits. I did not have to pay entirely out of pocket, but know the full billing from my insurance statements. I really feel for you after reading your initial post and the later ones on this thread, too. I'm very sorry for all that you are going through.
fiona, thanx again for getting me through that (I guess you,d call it panic),if it were not for you girls on here honestly i dont know what i,d do,I use to have alot of girlfriends,but they have really dwiddled,since these back and neck issues,so i guess iam finding out who my real friends are.here you and lilly and huggs and megann have given me back some dignity because i know you understandwhy i cant go out to dinner or to a concert,i can tell you i could no way sit throgh a concert,any noise seems to irritate me,which i hate about myself,i remember being young and not understanding why some people were so grouchy,boy oh boy do i understand now.I have the long pointy nose,now iam working on the wort on the chin and picking out a snazzy broom.LOL. Megan,wanted to anser your question about paying for consult,i am really streched just paying for these shots which are out of pocket w/insurrance $250 and then $25 dollers for follow-up so were pretty broke,they really do take advantage of the lower income people,but i guess they have bills too.thank you all so much,you dont know how much you did for me i really was having irrational thoughts,and that is scarey,you are all great people and i appreciate all of you and i will return the favor.mary
Mary, I'm just so sorry that insurance and doctors and even family are making this so difficult for you. It's already difficult enough all on its own. I had to go through some protocol and insurance hoops to get an MRI (even with a PPO, which I thought gave me more leeway in that regard) that gave the correct diagnosis, but once I was there, things moved fairly quickly for me, not as quicky as I would have liked (had to wait for an appt with a certain neurosurgeon, but I saw two others in the interim), but I was on the road to seeing the right people from then on. It frustrates and angers me that you are having such difficulty -and I'm just a stranger online. But, I know what it's like to suffer while you wait... I'm just so sorry. As for your family, could you print off some information about your diagnosis from websites (or check out a book from the library) for them to read, so they understand that this is not a 'passing flu bug' kind of illness -that it is genuine and something that you will be working with in your life from now on? Would they be open to reading about it or are you up against a brick wall with some of them? Lack of family support is huge -and, again, I'm sorry that you have this as well.
Take care, Mary.
Meghan, your right i am very surprised how these insurrance co.treat people,i had complained to my GP about back pain for years actually ,and if it wasnt for one female chiro who pulled me asise and told me to get to a remy,i still beleave i would be at square one.i cannot imagine how some of these people manage,some are still raising small children,my hearts go out to them,that really is an amazing feat. after reading oher stories one lady doesnt have insurance,and i did not want to have to tell her that you really need an mri because i know this cost at least a thousand dollers.so iam thankful that i do have some insurrance,and honestly its only been one day since those shots and i think i feel better,of course i just got up from a nap lol.meghan i want to thank you personally for taking the time to read my posts,i cant tell you how much it helped,i really was beginning to think of calling dr.kovorkian.lol.ive tried to tell the family but for some reason i still dont think they get it,and its my fault because i did everything when i was able,i learned that lesson to late but hopefully i can help some one else not to make the same mistakes.you have been great.how are you feeling? if you need to vent just let loose i am glad to listen.you really were a life saver. marywoo
I know what you mean, Mary, about wondering how those with young children handle the spinal problems. My son is 13 and I've been very grateful that he is at this point/age when my problems began to be such a real problem. I still feel mother guilt for not being able to do what I use to, but I know that his age helps a LOT. He has health issues, too, and I haven't been able to attend to them/him the same way I was able to before, but he is also able to handle more on his own at this age then he would be if he were several or even a few years younger. I've homeschooled him for 7 years, in part due to his health (and most definitely because of his health the past 2 years), but, because of too much descending on me at once, I 'tanked' with homeschooling this semester and we are looking at other options for him now. I'm eager for my recovery to be complete so I can do much more than I am now able to (for him). That's my greatest motivation. If he were a wee one, I don't know how I'd have handled the past 9 months since things began to get so hard for me. My heart goes out to those with little ones and difficult spinal problems. As for those without any insurance, I can't imagine how hard that must be. The bill on my last MRI was $2,500 (my cervical one). I paid only a portion of that (about $200), but it was stunning to see the full cost. I've heard from someone I recently met without insurance that they negotiated to get her husband an MRI for $500 (lumbar) fully out of pocket. That they managed to get one for that cost, I am amazed (and quite glad for them, too). That was a lot out of their pocket for one billing, of course. And, they have young children as well as a child my son's age.
You don't have to thank me for reading your posts. I was definitely struck by your situation and feel for you. It shouldn't be that hard, shouldn't be 'hard' on any of us in regard to our care and insurance. As I said before, it's hard enough just dealing with the physical condition.
Thank you for asking how I'm feeling. I'm much better than I was my first week post-op. I have a bit more pain today than I did even two days ago, but that's because I'm weaning off my meds now. I'm down to 1/4 doses of my pain killer and muscle relaxant. I weamed off my anti-inflammtory a few days ago (that was a little tough,too). I had an ultrasound today, so had to ride in the car (fully reclined and with pillows, of course) and that may not have been a bright move --to drop meds before that appointment. I would have been wiser to wait a couple days before dropping from 1/2 to 1/4 doses. I mangaged it, though, and napped for hours when I got home. It's important to me to try to wean completely, soon. With my neck surgery my pain med was a narcotic and I had trouble with side effects, so this go 'round we tried an opiate, but I had hallucinations that concerned me (was worried I'd walk out of the house or fall or something, when interacting with a hallucination). My body doesn't seem to like drugs, which would be a great thing if not for pain. I'm hoping the pain level is low when I'm fully recovered and I can leave-off drugs all together. I can handle a level 6 or less without drugs, though I'd prefer to have 0 or at least below 5. I don't like feeling pain all the time even when it's not as bad as being it's worst.
I sure do wish you the best, Mary. Take care.
meghan wow,you really do have your hands full,even those hes 13 its still alot of work .i dont know how you are managing,sometimes just the stress a mother has,always worrying about their children and there health.my son was born with multiply learning disorders,and although he is 25 now,i still worry he also needs medical care and now with this back stuff i just dont have the energy to push him,and that is driving me crazy.my husband is addicted to wow9beleave it or not thats a computer game,so getting help from him i realize now is just not gonna happen,iam stuck its so weird because i just never seen these problems coming and i should have all the signs were there.I use to do all the housework mowed the lawn,put 4 tons of river rock in(thats the one i beleave did me in)i just cant beleave how stupid and reckless with my own body i was.the realization came to late.I also have a 21 year old daughter who has taken up smoking and God only knows what else,and i feel completely responsible,because this is a very stressfull enviroment.the guilt never stops.i cant even manage to make them a healthy dinner anymore.you on the other hand are something else i cant beleave you have managed to wean off meds already,please be carefull because the pain does have a way of sneaking up on us.i use to be able to tolerate pain but this pain is just to much for me to be honest,iam hoping it will subside after menapause,i know that sounds stupid but i think that might have something to do with the pain threshold,i guess that is just desperation but one can hope.i hope your are feeling better today,so far you sound like your coming along nicely,i totally understand the pillows in the car,when i was working i actually took 2 giant fluffy bed pillows on the bus with me,looking back it must have seemed funny to the children on the bus,but it did help with those bumps.you are a very brave person and i admire your atitude,and determination to get off the meds,you are a special person and your son is lucky to have such a great mother. i hope you have an even better day today. mary