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Old 10-30-2008, 03:44 PM   #1
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ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

Hello everyone, Went to surgeon PM wanted me to see today.
To sum it up he said what many of you have heard I am sure, no choice, surgery or leave it in gods hands for pain contol.
Also lumbar in the future. I wont worry about that for now.

ACDF on 5-6. Pretty much he explained about the procedure & why it was needed & said he does not take from the hip because it can just cause more pain & lasting pain at that. He was younger then I thought, maybe I am just getting old,lol.
Cut & dry. Although he did not really get into the stenosis & that I am wondering about. I was in to much pain & to much on my mind to even ask alot of questions, my husband did alot of the talking.
He wants my PM to order the lumbar if he feels the need, but said more then likely surgery will be needed in possably a year there, due to what has shown it L1-2 & my symptoms & his exam. So I will have to pop on the back board to become educated more on that area.
His assistant did seem to like the fact that I am trying to learn as much as I can on cervical. He did say pretty simple procedure but to make sure I do everything I can to heal the right way that its when complications arise that causes alot more pain & problems.
He went over my symptoms & explained how the pain can be coming from what was found on the MRI, but due to it being an ongoing problem I would have to see how much of the pain the surgery would take care of. He did feel it would take care of alot of it, but I would have to wait & see if something like myofascial damage is part of the problem. I have one of those headaches today & that alone is worth getting the surgery for. I am worried about those headaches, I am having them more often.

I am calling to set up the date tommorrow, was going to wait to speak to my PM but after talking to my family no sense in waiting.
All these years & the doctors that looked at me like I was just some bored depressed middle age women, live & learn.
I want to thank you all for taking time out for me & know how very much I appreciate your time. Looks like a few of us will be facing surgery around the same time & hey at least we can hold hands through it all, Marcia (feelbad) & I went through shoulder surgery together last Jan, & sure was nice to have someone who understood & yes someone to complain to,lol.
God bless, Sammy
Ps forget to mention this surgeon also pointed out a bonespur in the MRI that was not in the report, I guess it can depend on who is looking at those films

Last edited by sammyo1; 10-30-2008 at 05:36 PM. Reason: added

 
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:44 PM   #2
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

Oh honey, I was afraid of this. BUT this is good news, it sounds like something can be done to help relieve your pain and for that we will say PRAISE THE LORD. THANK YOU JESUS!! This is fantastic news and after all you have been thru we will continue to pray that it helps resolve your pain.

Please keep us posted on the date and hopefully they can get you in soon so that you can be recovering during the holidays. Who knows we may be cyber buddies going thru fusion surgery together.

Sammy, please read my post entitled 13 year old on this board.

 
Old 10-31-2008, 08:13 AM   #3
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

at least there IS something that can be done about this sammy,and thats alot. i had my c 6-7 fusion done(with hardware added months after it) so i am very well versed in this surgery too,go figure,lol. way too much knowledge from way too much crap. i think between sky(i still have to get back to you sky) and myself and others here sammy,we can hold you up and help you thru all this just fine.

relying solely upon any rad read of your films is not something that any good surgeon just would do. my surgeons always seemed to find little things in my films that the rad missed or completly misinterpretted. it comes down to level of experience and knowledge of your interpretting rad as to what will or wont be in any given report. this is why every surgeons wants to see your films themselves. thats a good thing for you. they KNOW what they are looking for specifically. luckily,that anterior approach is like ten times better for you as far as pain and problems,espescially with the muscle crap,post op,trust me. also not taking the bone graft from you is HUGE too. my hubby had that done with his c 5-6 about four years before i needed my c 6-7 done,and wow the pain he had in that hip was wayyy worese than his neck,and for weeks and weeks it just ached. when my surgeon said he was not going touse MY bone,believe me,i was very relieved having watched hubby hobble around using an actual cane for support. unreal actually. so it sounds really good for you so far sweetie.

i know you have alot going on here right now,but hopefully this will help so much with some of the pain and symptoms you are experiencing right now,ya know? taking away any part of our pain when we have so many areas is a biggie let me tell ya. is this an ortho or a neuro hon? just wondering. they should take care of that stenosis when they are in there too. if i remember right that was a bigger issue? they just clear that when they do the fusion stuff.

well,i gotta go let out the pony dog, he's drooling and slapping my left arm with his club paw as we speak,what fun. keep us posted sammy,and don;t forget that we love you and we are here for ya,K? take care my friend,Marcia
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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 10-31-2008, 11:03 AM   #4
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

Marica, Funny everyone has asked about the stenosis to. I dont recall him bringing it up, but he said to take the films to my PM & have him look at them & also see how he wants to proceed with the lumbar. Such as if he wants to order an MRI of the entire area. More of less he is saying the lumbar cant be dealt with as far as he goes so leave it up to the PM for now.
Well I sure the heck want to know whats going on in that area. I am not playing the guessing games that I have with the C area.
Even though the lumbar will have to wait I think I should know & am entitled to know whats up in there. I will bring it up to my PM that this surgeon did not mention the stenosis & see what he says. Mean while I have someone trying to see how well this surgeon is known. I know I have to have the surgery but hey want to know something about the surgeon performing it.

First I will have to explain to my PM why I never brought much up about that lumbar area.
I have no problem doing that, since every doctor completly ignored me on that & even went as far as to say I was more of less imagining things.
Well after being treated like some fruitcake why the heck would I push my luck with a PM, to darn afraid of rocking that boat. As with the C area the L is bad in the mornings, my hip & lower back was driving me crazy, & my leg was just heavy & numb all day today. I have mentioned it on here in the past but I just focused on what was causing me the most pain & problems. I am just as angry with myself as I am with the doctors right now for putting it off.

I can handle the lower & just muddle through. My only concern is my PM not wanting to treat me while I am under the surgeons care for the C area.
I dont know how that works. I am scared of being abandoned like I was after the shoulder surgery.
I know I needed the shoulder done but my husband & sister said they have to wonder. My ROM was much worse before the decompression.

For now I will do the best I can with it all, my life is a mess & I will have to take it one day at a time. I am thinking between the C & L that is what is making pretty much my whole back hurt.
The chest pain is increasing pretty bad & I am praying that is will go away with the surgery. I cant handle that pain & noone has said for sure what they believe is causing it. I hope that is not the myofascial, ribs to. That has stumped every doctor.
I am relieved to have a DX & I know I have along road to go but I will be so happy to get a start on better pain control.
I just have to make sure I can get this PM to stick with me & understand why I did not bring up the other problems. Any opinions or advice there?

I have pretty much alittle over a month to make it with work in all this pain, hopefully the PM will work with me there to. god bless & as always you are the such a good friend never forget how much I appreciate the time you take & I want you to know how much I value your opinions. Everyone has taught me so much & just the fact that I have you all has helped more then any of you know. I am afraid of going it alone & knowing you are all here makes me think it will be ok. My husband & I are having some problems & I just dont think I can depend on him through this, its tough & I am scared. I have put off calling today for the surgery. I have this weekend to get it together & make sure I have any help I need post op. Please continue to pray for me. Sammy

 
Old 11-01-2008, 08:58 AM   #5
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

i always say my little sammy prayer hon. i still really feel that alot of what is truely exascerbating that lumbar crap IS related to alot of the muscle involvement you have had going on sammy. really. the way my low back is right now,and i too have some lumbar crap that i still do not think is actually really symptomatic yet,its the muscle crap? from what my therepist told me,because of that fascia and how close the muscle groups are from c,t and l,it IS possible to have some pretty significant issues with the muscles that can affect the entire back area. i have it all the way down thru my dang buttocks right now. while you DO have lumbar issues i just really think given how really progressive this has all been for you that since the upper has been so ungodly bad for how many months now? it IS having a very direct impact upon your lumbar too. ya gotta remember that fascia hon and just how it all tightens up and contracts when one area is even inflammed,and yours has been like a constant since your dang rotator was done,ya know what i mean? go back and find our old posts and read what was going on then and just how this has become worse and worse over all this time. it has been getting progressively worse,in many ways. given that simple fact that your muscles have just not been able to even stretch properly since probably even before that rotator surgery,well,it could explain alot ya know? i just think while you do have lumbar problems,they would not be half as bad as they are now if the muscle crap wasn't there. i guess thats what i am really trying to say here. it IS a part,that much i know just from what I feel in this freakshow body i have.

just getting the areas to release would help you SOOO much hon,really alot. can you believe,even tho i have felt that i pretty much hit the roms back like two months ago,i am STILL making small increments of progress,even this far out? i KNOW without a doubt that if i had not been able to go back to my myo guy post op after this torturous sugery we just went thru i would not be where i am at right now,i KNOW that much. that myo release is what made the difference in my recovery and just being able to maintain some level of pain control. its just the greatest therepy and therepist i have ever had or tired. i just know sammy,in what i have felt with my crap that you have to have some pretty deep TPs that are really creating alot of the more underlying crap in you right now,it would have to be there given what you have not been able to do,ya know? its just the basics of how our muscles are and react in given situations along with what that fascia does when its just really inflammed in us.

i would most defintiely write down all the questions you want to ask your PM hon and do not let him blow anything off this time,or ever again. you just need to demand that something be looked into that you really do feel is an issue. you simply need a much closer look into that lumbar area and get some opinions on it. it just may or may not be the bigger issue here,it kind of depends more on what is actually affected and by how much. but those muscles are also playing their part too in keeping all that overall back crap going too,so you do have to also keep that in mind as well. espescially if you get told that what you are feeling could not be stemming from the actual problems in your eventual lumbar films? that can happen too unfortunetly. but what our muscles actually do and how they can impact us can really screw up alot and make us feel horrendous levels of pain,just from the muscle/fascia angle too,believe me.

your just going to have to become a bit more demanding in getting your own needs met with surgeons and your PM. PMs can be intimidating sometimes as they are the ones who are in charge of our meds,i can relate to that one,believe me. but you also have a right to actually know whats going on inside your own body that could also be causing you pain and other symptoms too. ya just have to find that happy medium of understanding with your PM in making certain he gets it,ya know? simply ask him after you speak with him if he actually understands what you just told him and how it is impacting you. and also what he may agree with is possible or not too. once YOU know for sure that he understands where you are coming from,believe me sammy,it will make an impact on you just knowing he gets you.

you never did mention,is the surgeon an ortho or neurosurgeon? if i remember right it is an ortho? you may want to also get a second opinion from an NS too, but with your ins issues that may not be possible. its just a good idea when dealing with that much more heavily innervated area of the spine,the C. it's just very different from the rest of the spine,thats all. at least your issue are not around that c 7-8 nerve junction,so thats a biggie for you. i will be here for ya sammy no matter what,K? keep us posted. Marcia
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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 11-05-2008, 10:50 AM   #6
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

Marcia, I am miserable, I mean miserable. My entire back is hurting & the dang right shoulder is kicking into high gear. I put some info on one of the threads on PM board.
My daughter ran into me with the cart at the grocery store, & nearly knocked me off my feet. I am not sure if that is why I am so bad today. I was not doing great anyway but last night & today I am in so much pain, hurts to walk. Tons of pressure in my lower back & my shoulders are just aching.
I had such a huge amount of pain I was up at 1:00 am I dont know I am waking up every night with these shoulders & arms. This one had me screaming & trust me I dont scream. It was like an electrical shock or something from the back of my scapula (just below) down my entire arm & hand, my ring finger was torture. I could not get rid of the pins & needles sensation & my hand felt cold & swollen. I will tell you scared me, shot up the back of my neck & instant headache. Fell asleep with my head on ice.

This surgeon is an ortho. Surgeon recommended by my PM, I asked a PT who treats my clients & he said he has heard of him & he has a pretty good rep.
I will be handing my PM the MRIs today & see what he say & then probably schedule surgery from there. I just can see anything else that would help.
Its getting worse & worse & I cant take much more, loosing more & more ROM & having a hard time gripping things with my hands.
On the flip side of course I am scared of surgery, my family is already threatening to tie me to a chair after surgery if need be. In fact they are thinking I need to be away from home for the first couple weeks, I have a hard time sitting still so they want to remove any temptation to do anything,lol. We will see.

I want that MRI on the lumbar, I dont want to play the guessing game like I have been doing all along. At least I will know whats going on in there.
I just feel a ton of pressure on my lower back & my legs feel heavy, I dont want to pick them up to walk at all in the mornings. Today I cant get rid of it, I have to assume my daughters hit & run with the cart has something to do with it. She can forget her drivers license,lol. God bless you Marcia you dont know what your support means to me. I do believe the muscles are in high gear to. We will see what my PM says today. Lets hope he understands my need for better PM, still have to try to work, thank god no work today.

If my husband get this job I will feel so much easier about things, you know.
Should hear something in the next couple weeks. We are ran by automotive here & its not good at all. Please continue to pray. god bless, Sammy

 
Old 11-05-2008, 12:25 PM   #7
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

Sammy, just read our post and wanted to drop in to wish you luck in your upcoming decision concerning having another surgery. At least it sounds like you have finally found out what is going on, and that is a good thing. You have been in pain for so long, it is almost a relief to find out what is causing all the pain.

I haven't been on the boards for awhile, but do drop in occasionally to see what is happening with everyone. I am still having the neck and back pain myself, but have been putting up with it for now. I have my good days and my bad days!!

Just wanted to wish you the very best, and I will be checking back in to see what you decided about surgery. My thoughts are with you, as well as everyone else here.

Judy

 
Old 11-06-2008, 04:35 AM   #8
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

Hello Chab, So nice to hear from you & so sorry your still in pain.
I went to my PM yesturday & he took one look at the MRI & said get the surgery, tried everything else & he believes the only other thing to so is surgery. He the problems are pretty clear on the MRIs. So I will schedule today. It is getting worse so why prolong.
Chab have you had the MRIs? If so what did it show?
I am starting to believe there is no way to get alot of relief when those nerves are involved. How is your daughter? I am so glad to hear from you & hope you are taking good care of yourself.

Marica no lumbar MRI till after the cervical surgery. My PM said the insurance would give us a hard time with the cervical coming up. I tend to believe him do to what I have had to go through in the past. He did say after the surgery on the C area he would be looking at the lumbar. Thank goodness I was worried about being left hi & dry. Once bitten twice shy. As long as I know it will be looked into I can deal with it.
god bless, Sammy

 
Old 11-10-2008, 05:12 AM   #9
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

God bless you sky, I will be taking notes from here. Cant write first thing in the morning, cant hold anything in my hands, for that matter my fingers are as numb as can be.
I will be in a collar because he said cant go without it at night for approx. 6wks, dont know what kind, will ask. I am assuming he will do the surgery as that is what he said. He talked about different methods, then a cage & mentioned he does not take from the hip. He said I should have some of this pain gone right away due to the nerves being inpinged & over night in the hospital.
I think that is it. The rest I will ask, thanks to you. He did say going back to work depends on how the fusion is going & what kind of work I will be doing.
I think I can get a shower bench my friend has 2 of them. My family is trying to make plans on who will do what. My one thinks I should come to her house because I am to bad at home, meaning I cant sit still. she has threatened to tie me down already,lol. She lives way out in the country & that makes me nervous.
I am a hyper person cant stand to be idle. I am putting a post up on things I can do to keep occupied. I am dreading it. I took care of my sister when she had cervical surgery but cant remember it all & she is different, has rhuem. arthritis so was already limited. I will go abit crazy with nothing to do.
I dont want to be off work to long & think this will go faster then the shoulder & pray its less painful. I had days with that shoulder that I could not even talk it hurt so bad postop. I will have to ask Marcia she may know.
I should be looking for a wedge sometime with in the next few weeks. I am surrounded by medical supply stores.
Did you have to sleep in a chair or were you allowed in the bed with the wedge? My sister had to sleep in the recliner for abit. I know the collar bothered her, I padded it with maxi pads one day,lol, that was all I could find in her house soft & small enough. The old fashion kind. Her surgery was different & from the back due to her other problems. Then I got called to go to Florida due to emergency with one of my other sisters for 2wks, so dont remember much else.
I am so grateful to have you to give me guidance & Marcia knows how I am post of, told her to rest up. They should be calling me today to schedule & I ask that they leave a message if I dont answer do to work. I am barely making it at work & trying desperatly to hold on. I was in so much pain yesturday, my lower & upper, could not feel my foot & felt like my knee would collapse, lower back hurt like mad along with my upper, ribs & chest. I am a mess.
My PM already told me to make an appointment in Jan. to come in after surgery so yes I will ask but I have a feeling the surgeons going to hand it over to my PM since he already is prescribing my meds & gave me scripts till Jan. I would rather stick with my PM anyway, know him better & he understands my pain more. I am grateful he will continue to treat me, have a feeling I will need him for the lumbar & am praying there is no left over nerve damage or myofascial. The ribs & chest worry me. Not one doctor could figure out why the rib area is so painful. OK I have wrote a book here.
God bless you for being here for me, Sammy

 
Old 11-11-2008, 08:10 AM   #10
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

hey sammy. this surgery will be nothing like what we experienced post op with that hellish shoulder crap,trust me. if i took all the post op pain from my two c spine and two knee surgeries and added them all together it still would not come close to actually hitting the pain intensity i felt with that rotator hell,honestly.

since they will be going into the front of your neck with this surgery,they are also not having to cut thru any real muscle mass like they would if you had the back approach like chrissy had sooo many issues with. i had some of the same problems she did from my spinal cord surgery only becasue of all that thick muscle they have to cut thru,so thats a biggie for you hon.

i would actually ask your surgeon to get a 'fitted" collar for you. i had the philly(collar from hell trust me) the first go round and the second time around they decided to actually let me know that i could actually get one fitted at this orthotics place across the street from my NSs office. my that was nice of them. i got whats called the miami "J"? this was a really really comfy collar to wear and also has nice padding in all the right places too. this really would be a great collar,and to have it fitted for your actual neck size is also really important. it is just more comfortable the bettter that fit is. they all kind of suck since they do limit movement,but thats the splint that will hold those bone endplates in place so that graft can attach itself properly. its one of those little nessescary evils.
as far as sleeping goes,i spent alot of time on a nice comfy fold out twin size bed in my livingroom(this has been thru like every surgery with me now). the thing is,in order to really find that comfy posistion,in most cases,you do have to keep that head raised up a bit,at least for awhile. with that bed,i could place the couch cushions underneath the mattress since we did not have an actual recliner. it worked really well for me. just try a few things before your suregry to see how well you can sleep while kinda in that somewhat upright posistion at first? then go with what you feel will work for you. just have extra pillows or towels(and smaller hand towels too) standing by incase you need to tuck one under your neck or around an area to make things more comfy. everyone is kind of individual there ya know?

if i think of anything else i will pass it along hon. i think you will do okay with this.the worst day for me after both c spine surgeries was mostly the day of and the day after. that first week is bit painful(but NOTHING at all like the rotator was,trust me on that one) but you have already been thru one of the MOST painful surgeries out there,so this will not be a biggie for you to handle. it WILL make things better for you sammy,just losing what has been a major contributor not only to your pain,but alot ofthe muscle crap stemming from having really angry nerves up there too. i WILL be here along with sky to guide you along thru this sweetie. i have already been thrut he worst of the worst with you and i am not about to bail on you now,K? hang in there sammy. we will be here for ya. 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 11-11-2008, 01:22 PM   #11
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

Hi Sammy:
Just catching up on threads today. Well, opinions and advice are free, so here is some free stuff for ya. With your symptoms you need that surgery. Much more serious than my stuff. Anyway after reading the whole thread I think you will come out of surgery better than ever. It sounds like the surgeon has pinpointed your problem. How awesome is it to have all these post-op people helping w/your recovery. After all this catching up on threads I am going to continue to look for more doctor/surgeon advice.

I think ROM (more free stuff) is a big deal to look out for. I thought standing and moving like a statue would help, but it does not. When you are up and moving please try some Qi-Gong. It is all soft, slow movement stuff. It has helped me. Video tapes/dvd's are available. I bet you could even find free streaming videos online. Also, Feldenkrais helps you "unfreeze". Please look into it.

About your financial situation, I will praying, hoping, about your husbands' job search. The economy is crashing, but there are jobs out there that will not go away. Don't laugh, ok laugh, but healthcare workers can work anywhere they wish. Hospitals are like small cities, they have many different positions. If you are near a big hospital, worth a try. There is still demand in that area thanks to people like us! Most jobs are not posted in the classifides either - talk to everybody you come in contact with and mention jobs. It is hard, pride must wait till later. Temporary agencies are not steady, but they can lead to a temp-to-hire situation. I wish I could help more with your job situation.

I am so glad you have a direction to go in now. Keep posting.

Blessings to you and your family - in my thoughts. Matt

 
Old 11-14-2008, 05:02 AM   #12
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Re: ACDF C5-6, Lumbar in future

Ok everyone read your posts. Surgeons office called, pre-surgery consultation of some sort next wed.
Been busy, have one of my girls off work so had to work more & at the end of my rope here.
Matt I think you do need to be speaking with some other doctors out there. You have alot going on like me & this is been several years for me, only because they could not pin the problem down. I am worried about what permenant damage can be left now. I dont look forward to surgery but hey if it can help some of this then have to try. I am miserable here & everytime I thought it could not get worse it did. Dont want to see you suffering anymore then you are, so please get some opinions.

Marcia, bless you, girl you know me pretty well. I am so thrilled to hear this wont be as bad as the shoulder. I will learn more wed. I am sure. My neck hurts pretty bad right now & both arms have been waking me up, who knew fingers could hurt so bad. The right is as bad as the left now but the left has less ROM. If the headaches & chest pain hold off I am managing.
Alot of pressure in that lower back & getting some wierd things down there, but I can handle that hopefully. Girl I am a mess. You & I both playing wonder women roles choosing careers that dont cut if for pint size women like us. I just told my husband how lucky I am to have you all. I actually feel sorry for those who dont have support like I do.
Sky I am going to start preparing soon as I find the date, which I think may be next week. I dont have a lap top but pehaps I can rent of borrow one. I will have my husband look into that for me. I have to be able to come here & talk to my spinny & CP family or I will go crazy.
Soon as I get some time I am making alist of everything you all are recommending, I want to be prepared & thanks to you all I can be. I am not a person to sit idle (ADHD) so I will do what ever it takes to keep myself occupied. I want to go into work just to check things out as soon as I can but I know from experiance with the shoulder not to rush it. I want to try to get to Florida to for my sister so I will have to really do everything I can to recovery. I have heard the worst part is the collar, or just getting used to it.
My husband still has a shot a this job he has been looking into & I am praying it comes through. I can rest then & not worry so much about the income coming in. He should know in the next few weeks. Everything is bad here in this state. We will be blessed if he gets it. That is my biggest worry right now. My income is helping to keep us going.
Please continue to pray that this job comes through. God bless you all & thank you so much. Keep any advice & suggestions coming. Sammy

 
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