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  • Just been told I have cervical stenosis. I'm So Scared:(

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    Old 11-03-2006, 09:38 PM   #1
    playmistyforme
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    Unhappy Just been told I have cervical stenosis. I'm So Scared:(

    I was just in a car wreck, than not long after I started having major problems with my body. When I was in the ER I told the doc. there was something wrong, Something felt diffrent. They took X-rays and gave my 4 med's to get filled and told me nothing was wrong.
    I was on my way home and still felt like something was wrong. My neck was very tight and numb. Felt my leg go numb, so I went stright to another ER near by. They did a CT scan, than gave me another med to get filled and said nothing was wrong.
    So went to get them filled on my way home. As the days went by, more things started to go wrong with my body. My whole body felt like it was having a major melt down. When i go to sleep at night i can seem to get confy due to the pain in my neck, shoulders, back, hips, left leg. Hard to get up and down from a sit down position or kneeling down. I started walking with a slit limp, major problems walking when i get up these positions. I get up in the morning with major migrains from all the pain and spasims. Having numbness in my hips. Hard to open my front door with my hand, fell very tingly and numb.....This stuff is scary, so Finally after i cound not take anymore i went to the local urgent care. THe doctor ask me all the normaly questions they ask, he made a request to get a MRI done the following day after giveing me 3 more meds t get filled.
    Went to the appointment for the MRI, the doctor advise me that afternon he was making a apointment with a neroligist. He said he would be able to inform me with a better diagnosis. I was a little upset he did not tell me anything, so they made the apointment. I did research on the doctor i was refured to and noticed he was the best doctor I could see in the state. I went to see my Dr. Specialist the follow week. As he walks in the room he puts all my MRI'S on the viewing screens. We spoke about my family history and my problems. He looked me over and than looked over the x-rays again. He told of course any person in a car wreck you going to be very stiff and have pains. They don't go away the next day, it takes time. He than told me he wanted to start PT 3 times a week for 4 weeks till come to see him again after the 4 weeks. He than told me that I had cervical stenosis. I was really in the dark about what he was talking about. It was like trying to teach a 1 year old there ABC's.
    So i set up my PT apointments with the lady up front and payed my copay and went to work. I started researching this thing called cervical stenosis, I started to cry. I'm so scared and was in shock he din't inform me more about this thing called cervical stenosis. So here I am a few days later still in all this pain and all the new information about my diagnosis and still in shock.
    If there is any information anybody could share with me, i would be greatful. I'm on 25 and feel so old with all this pain...

     
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    Old 11-03-2006, 10:10 PM   #2
    KathyIL
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    Re: Just been told I have cervical stenosis. I'm So Scared:(

    I, too have cervical stenosis along with other spine issues. I was rear-ended 5 years ago while sitting at a stoplight. It was in a 50 mph zone and the woman who hit me did $15,000.00 damage to my SUV.

    It sounds to me that you have a disk or disks either pressing on a nerve or on the spinal cord itself. The neurologist you saw should have done a good physical exam, tested your reflexes, watched the way you walk, tested your strength, etc.

    Unfortunately, many doctors withhold information as soon as they hear someone else may be liable for your injuries. They are more concerned about getting involved in a lawsuit than they are about you.

    Sorry, gotta go. Be back in a little bit.

     
    Old 11-03-2006, 11:02 PM   #3
    KathyIL
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    Re: Just been told I have cervical stenosis. I'm So Scared:(

    Anyway, it seems the doctor should have told you more. The part about your hand and the limp could be troublesome. I am wondering why he didn't order and EMG (this tests the muscles and nerves along specific dermatomes).

    Specifically, you want to know what is causing the spinal stenosis and how narrow it is. Is there nerve root compression? If so, is it bulging disks that are causing the compression? Is the spinal cord compression (more serious)? To what degree is the canal narrowed?

    In my case, first of all, I was born with a smaller than normal spinal canal (cogenitally small spinal canal). Then, at age 40 (5 years ago), I had the big accident. Almost 4 years after the first accident, I was again hit in the rear, this time at a slow speed but by a very large commercial vehicle.

    The result of all this is that I have 2 very large disks compressing my cervical spinal cord and causing marked deformity. I also have other problems in my thoracic spine and my whole skeleton is out of whack. The disks in my spine have developed osteophytes (spurring) over the last 5 years and this is further compressing my cord.

    Even with all this though, I do not have any true neurological deficit (yet). When the cord is compressed enough, I will develop hand and arm weakness, gait (walking) problems, possible loss of bowel and bladder control, etc. At this point, I will need surgery. I am being monitored by a neurologist and neurosurgeon at a well respected place and in fact, will be going back in about a week for a repeat mri to see if there is progression from last year.

    I would ask about getting an mri of the entire spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar) and would be very careful about letting physical therapy manipulate it. Also, stay away from chiropractors until you fully understand the extent of your problems.

    In the doctor's defense, since he told you to come back in 4 weeks, he may just be giving things time to settle down. If things get worse, do not wait 4 weeks. Loss of bowel or bladder control especially, is an absolute emergency.

    In the meantime, learn everything you can about the spine.

    I hope this helps.

     
    Old 11-04-2006, 03:25 PM   #4
    playmistyforme
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    Unhappy Re: Just been told I have cervical stenosis. I'm So Scared:(

    Thank you so much for your reply, I plan on making a list of questions i need to ask when i go back or if things get worse. Also I'm going to start making notes of the pains, where, when, etc..
    The one thing that blew my mind while i was reading your reply was you said you where rear-ended. I was stopped at a red light and this lady dint apply brakes or nothing and came at me full speed. She admitted she was not pay any mind to what was in front of her, now i have to live with for the rest of my life.... It's hard to even to start to relize this may get worse. I thank you for your support. it don't even seem like people take me for real when i describe my problems. They always ask how i do it , i don't even know how i do it day to day. The one thing that really herts is when i think about my furture of having a family. I'm afraid i want be able to care for my family....It's just so much to take in...

     
    Old 11-04-2006, 05:16 PM   #5
    KathyIL
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    Re: Just been told I have cervical stenosis. I'm So Scared:(

    I am so sorry you have to deal with this, hon. Even at my age, I am not ready to admit that I am anything but healthy. At least I have my kids, though, a 16 year old boy and a 13 year old girl.

    I just started another thread in which I tell a lot more of my story and kind of pour my heart out a little. I am still educating myself and am hoping that I get some responses and advice. I just found this board a few days ago. Just do an advanced search on KathyIL if you want to follow the new thread.

    One suggestion that I have for you is to pick up a copy of your mri. If you decide to see another neurologist, just bring it with you, along with any other x-rays or anything that has been done. Many hospitals can now provide these on CD rom but the actual films are better if you can get them.

    Don't start out by telling him you were in an accident. Don't even mention it unless you are specifically asked if you've had any kind of trauma. I wish I would have done this long ago. Because I didn't, it took 4 long years to get diagnosed. You would not believe what I have been through. All the while, I thought I was just being honest.

    You may wish to make an appointment with a neurosurgeon. Don't see a orthopedic surgeon. Whoever you see, try to stick to the facts and don't get emotional. The more you know about the spine, the better.

    Also, remember that it is still early. Your symptoms will likely plateau after a while. Just educate yourself and keep an eye on this. Also, be wary of gp's or other doctors who want to prescribe narcotics. I have refused 2 seperate offers for them by my local gp in recent months.

    And finally, if you are going to get involved in litigation, don't settle until you know the full extent of your problems.

    I'm not trying to be preachy here, just trying to save you some aggravation.

    Incidentally, the woman who hit me also admitted it was her fault. Her exact words were "It's all my fault, officer, I don't know what I was thinking". He noted this on his report...lol. The woman who hit you wasn't name RaeAnne, was she...lol. Oh yeah, she also told me to shut up right after she hit me.

    Incredible, isn't it?

     
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