Hey all, it's been a while. I've been pretty busy with work and then with being cooped up in the VA for almost a month while my medications were adjusted - they may have finally gotten a good combination this time so we'll see. Over the past month though, I've noticed that the arm/shoulder pain and the pins and needles/numbness has been slowly returning, although not as severe as last time. It's likely the level that didn't get fused (C4/5, which is right above my C5/6 fusion site) is getting worse, and I'm worried that it may mean that I will need it operated on within the next year and a half to two years.
I really don't want to go back to how I was before the first fusion - I don't want to struggle with medications and doctor's visits and pain like before. I don't want to end up dependent on a cane again. I know that this day was eventually going to come - I just didn't expect it to come so soon.
At least this time, I know what to expect and how to manage it before it gets worse. I've already contacted the VA and asked to see my doctor in person as soon as it's safe to resume in-person appointments again and have read up on new things that we could try to see if it will push surgery further down the road without me deteriorating to the point of existing from pill to pill again.
There's a lot more things going in my favor now than there was a few years ago before moving to Rochester: I have health insurance that isn't ever going to be placed in jeopardy of lapsing, costing too much, or being stopped. I live in a large city now, not in the middle of nowhere, so finding specialists that I can access without hours of travel in New York winters isn't going to be difficult. I have a very supportive family here and live a 90 second walk from the public transit center with busses that run from 5am-1am so transportation and support is thankfully not an issue. My apartment is accessible and right by the elevator so no worries there if it comes down to needing mobility adjustments.
At least now I won't be where I was five years ago when this all started at age 19 (I'm still at the ripe old age of 24 so being young-ish is a good thing LOL) and had absolutely nothing. I'm not alone this time.