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Praying for answers after MANY tests!

Haven't been on here for a while, but I have more questions then answers it seems! After 3 neck surgeries (4discs fused - C3 thru C7) I have been in more pain for the last 2 years then ever before. SEVERE neck, shoulder, arm/hand pain!! I'm seeing a new ortho specialist and he is covering all his bases. I've had another MRI of the neck, full body bone scan and waiting for an MRI of the shoulder and another EMG. The bone scan determined that I now have some degeneration of the C7-T1, which might explain some of the pain and I also have ulner nerve damage, but waiting to see the extent of that once I have the EMG.

I'm so sick of tests and even more sick of this chronic pain! (I'm sure many can relate). I have been on percocet and neurontin for a very long time, but I think I've built up a tolerance to the percocet so the doctor is trying a high miligram of vicoden which I will start tomorrow.

When I read posts of people suffering like me and reading how their mind takes them to extremely dark places, I totally get it! If it weren't for my family and a couple close friends, I could honestly see just saying f**k it and checking out! But....I am praying that after all these tests, I will finally have an answer and know what path to take to get to the point where my pain is manageable so that I can live a somewhat "normal" life.

For all that are suffering like me, may God bless you and help ease your pain even if its just a little :)



  • Thanks Jon. I too am trying to lead a somewhat "normal" life. I get up, go to work....sit at a computer (which, by the way is AWFUL for necks and bad backs)!! I even go to the gym 3-4 days a week and struggle thru swimming or riding the bike. I don't remember that last time I didn't have pain. I just have to try to believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and God has some sort of plan for me.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,974
    edited 06/06/2013 - 2:14 AM
    the pain is there, all the time, so its a matter of adjusting.

    Easier said then done. For many of us, we know that we are not going to return to that self we were before any spinal surgery. But, again, as we get older, many of us cant return to our younger days, surgery or not!

    You learn to accept the fact that you are going to be on medications for a long time, some for life. You understand that there are going to be harder days than others. Chronic pain takes us on many roller coaster rides.

    Everyone has the key ingredients that is necessary to continue with chronic pain. For me
    • - Support from my wife and son and daughter (they are 35 and 38 and they still give me total support), - A good amount of stubbornness, I would not give in to chronic pain- Always maintaining a positive outlook, especially during the harder times- Almost never talking/complaining about my situation, so many others have it much worse
    I am sure there are more for me and more for others. You will find your own way to understand your medical situation and take it on head first (though not with your neck) You will always find support here. Oh, and I am sure you will also find some tough love here. We always look to help those that are trying to help themselves.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • I gotta say.....I hate this vicoden and am asking the doctor to put me on something else. All this medication does is make me want to sleep! Tomorrow is my EMG and the follow up with the Ortho doctor is on Thursday. We shall see what he has to say. As far as adjusting goes.... I am using en ergonomic chair that my company paid for and have already adjusted my monitor so that I do not have to bend my neck (this has done nothing to reduce the pain). Sometimes, no matter what you do....the pain will be there so you just have to accept it and hope to manage it the best you can.
  • Lili_InuLLili_Inu Posts: 627
    edited 06/18/2013 - 8:03 PM
    I just have to say that being positive all the time is not even possible. Jon, if you say that you have always been positive, I have a hard time believing this. Aaron, you need to stop apologizing for your comments.

    Post edited by the Spine Health Moderation Team
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Test results are back. Looks like I have pretty severe ulnar neuropathy and will have surgery on August 5th. Doctor said he is "hoping" that will relieve some of the pain in my neck & shoulders. I will be saying prayers that this helps and wouldn't mind a few from others :)
    In the meantime....I have gotten a new ergonomic keyboard at work (one that hooks to the desk and comes out towards you that has the capablities to adjust up & down). off the vicoden and back on percocet. No more triptolene (sp) and take ambien at night to help with sleep.
    Thanks for all the helpful comments and suggestions! Blessings to all :)
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  • let me add....

    I've already had three surgeries on the neck and if the ular surgery doesn't work, my doctor wants to send me to a University of Washington specialist to get a second opinion on the neck. (crossing my fingers that I won't have to).
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