I have had a brutal now 6 years. Update is part of my fusion has failed and waiting on the holidays, so that surgeons can sit down and give me my new options. Reconstructive spinal surgery, or just adding a new fusion to sturdy up my neck. Then start rehab #4 and rebuild my entire upper right side shoulder, neck, back, and pectoral region, from basically scratch from the nerve being either cut of or pinched right now it will not grow i only have muscle even on one side of my neck I can push to the spine on my right and my head sits tilted. Going to be a long and rough rehab of at least a year. Even then I will always have permanent damage nerve, fibro, spinal arthritis and a few others. I will hopefully be still walking after surgery. Knock on wood as long as i have that I am blessed, that and the tumor was not cancer! Keeps me positive to know what could have been the results the first time and keeps me going strong! Lucky and blessed I have had amazing Drs and surgeon taking care of me and still do!
At the beginning 1st I was in unreal pain and numbness in my right shoulder and arm. After7 months seeing an orthopedic surgeon nothing was found other than minor issues. So I went to see my regular Dr and the other Dr from the practice noticed I was limited in my head movement, so sent me to see Dr Bennett. I then go see Dr B in a few days due to being friends with my Dr. He looked at me and just says WOW what happened. SO went through it all, he then has me stand up push my arm against the wall and all the muscle from the upper right side had fallen around the nerve (winged scapular), he then touches me lightly and i fell from the pain. He said I have nerve damage and ordered me an emergency nerve conduction study EMG and 3D MRI. EMG found long thoracic nerve damage, and the MRI found a tumor on my spine and my C7 and part C6 vertebra. Dr Bennett then laid out my options, and there werent many. So went with the surgery to remove the tumor not knowing if it was cancer and a 30% chance of being paralyzed. I had the surgery 2 weeks later, it was a success, but I do have some permanent issues. He had to remove the whole C7 vertebra and fused it with a rod screws and bone from my hip. I woke up after the surgery and asked the doc 3 things. Was it cancer? How long was I out? How big was the tumor? He looked at me like I was nuts he asked me if I was out of it? I said no I feel clear, but hurt like a MFer. I was able to walk to the same evening I had the surgery, due to having a great surgeon. He was able to split the nerve and save the motor function but lost the feeling and pain part of the nerve. I had lost 60 pounds the months before surgery due to pain and then stress once i found out what it was.
I worked soo hard with physical therapy had 122 visits last year, and was 85% or so recovered. Which was about how close I figured I would ever get. With nerve damage, and the beginings of fybromyalgia. Then out of no where I noticed one day my shoulder had dropped again and by 3 or 4 inches. I couldnt move my arm upward past shoulder height. So went to see my surgeon, he recommended I go see Dr DuQuinn or Dr Stegeman both are tops in the are. Dr Stegeman's wait to get in was 7 months so I saw Dr DuQuin. He is newer to the area he practiced originally out of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. He couldnt see in the shoulder MRI if the trap was torn, but all signs are there, the drop, cant shrug my shoulder up, I cant raise my arm past shoulder height in fro or the side of me, and the bulge going from my spine to my shoulder. Showing on the MRI was a small tear of a rotator cuff muscle, and of course arthritis and degeneration are showing in the shoulder not a surprise, kind of a given considering. So started therapy again on a very limited basis. Then one morning I went to reach for a drink and I felt a twinge and my head and neck pulled a bit to the left and my pain level went up. I went to PT that morning and my therapist said to get into see the Dr asap cause it feels like something let go completely. He was right I saw my Dr at the end of August and Dr Stegeman happened to be working in the clinic the same day, and due to it being such a rare injury. he came to take a look at it. Both said no good options for surgery, both could leave me in worse shape than I already am. So I have a couple more tests one this week, another EMG to test the trap area, and a MRI but not just the shoulder the whole region.
My other choice and the one I am leaning towards, is going to meet with Dr Burke just came over from Roswell and he does reconstructive surgery. So 1st I went to see Dr Bennett and I will get the MRI.The MRI shows badly herniated paraspinal muscles and a deformity, which is probably the cause of the dramatic drop also issues with scar tissue from my neck surgery. I couldn't be in any better hands 2 great surgeons Dr Bennett saved me the 1st time, and Dr Mark Burke who is younger but his credentials and specialties is amazing. So I met with Dr Burke and he recommended surgery to relieve the hernia. I told him pain is getting real bad, the cold damp weather is torture. Also the muscles on the other side of my neck gets bad cramps from over use to turn and hold my head, due to the pulling on my neck to the one side. He said wasnt sure how much relief I will get but should help with some of non-stop pain. Also went over the possibility of a reconstruction, but wouldnt know till they opened me up.
I am really hoping I can run into some good luck.
I just received that my surgery with DR Burke and Dr Bennett on 2/9/12 to fix the herniation and once in there see what they can do on reconstruction. So could be a very minimal surgery just to fix the herniated area, or full reconstruction which will be much more evasive.
I am battling for temp SSI, havent been able to work since'09. I but at least I did get some good news in the mail to get in all new medical evidence because they are going to review all the evidence so the judge can do final review. My day in front of the judge was great. He only asked me a few questions and told me the reason for 1st denial was my age. He then said to me after 10 mins of you sitting here you have had to keep shifting and changing position and could see I was in pain. So he then basically just talked to my attorney, to figure out how far back to go to make a favorable decision. That isnt the final word still goes to government for final approval, my lawyer said its not good to hear anything quick that usually results in a denial. It has been 3 weeks so I may finally get some good news, maybe can move forward. I have to use Dragon speak to type to use my computer even and have major problems with pain if I cant rest my neck on a pillow. To relieve the muscles that are being over worked do to loss of others. Get real bad spasms and cant move.
I can never do so many things I loved to do. Cant even drive yet cause my head doesnt turn all the way and cant make quick head turns from the metal and fusion can take a long time to heal correctly.The rod sits right on top of a nerve bundle so when it is cold and damp I lock up, cause the metal gets cold so fast. My plan is to go back to school online and get my CPA also gonna major in financial forensics. With the SSI I can go back to school for nothing. Being out of work soo long I need the grants, and move into something I can do part-time. As I get close to finishing getting my CPA. I plan move south/southwest I can find some smaller business and clients to mainly work from home. "I hope at least" cause nothing seems to being going in the right way for the past 2 and a half years. I have family in San Diego and Carson City, and the weather is what I am going to have to live in. I cant deal with much more than another year or 2 tops of winter. I literally cant move spasms and bad cramping, hurts real bad. I know now what a 10 is on the pain scale and it hits when its cold!
With being out of work since early 2009, if it wasnt for family I would be homeless and who knows..
Say a prayer for if you can
I am doing all that I can to get Karma back on my side. Helping take care of my grandmother whom has dementia and has minor stroke and heart attack. So I am here for her around the clock. Family is saving me so its the least I can do. I have a totally different outlook on life, who I surround myself with, and what i do. I only go out and will have a couple drinks on a special occasion, but no more parting. Just cant take the risks that go with going out all the time and with the nerve medications I dont need my liver filtering anything more.
I do feel a lot clearer, no more waking up hurting, well more than the just normal neck and shoulder pain, plus a hangover makes the pain x10. Oh well I dont miss all the b/s drama at the bars. Just a few friends I dont get to see much anymore, cause there is nothing else to do but drink, or so they all say.
THE START TO MY BOOK! LMAO!