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Old 02-08-2008, 06:07 PM   #1
Flustered
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Default Desperately need help

Hello..I am new here as of today.

Since May I have been in horrible pain, seen numerous doctors & specialists. The last being a neurosurgeon, who ordered a mri. From the MRI she told me that she thinks I have nerve damage, but is sending me off for a second opinion. That is all I was told. 2 weeks later, I'm still waiting for the appt. for the 2nd opinion. Currently they have me on Norco for the pain, which I absolutely hate the side affects.

My neck is constantly hurting, this morning I woke up my arm hurting so bad, I could almost not bend it...I have a lump (inflammation the neurosurgeon says) on the back of my head, the top of my shoulders & upper back the muscles are instantly spasming when I get up. I am worried about my job, my boss has been very understanding, but I am worried that I won't be able to continue to do that kind of work they have been so patient & understanding. I am just truly frusterated.

Sorry for this being such a big whine session, but I am desperately seeking answers, that don't seem to be coming any too quickly.

Also if anyone knows of a good site on cervical nerve damage I would truly appreciate it.

Thanks for listening.

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Old 02-08-2008, 08:53 PM   #2
braingonebad
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Welcome to NT! Sorry your neck is giving you so much grief.



I can't say what's up from what you describe, could be a lot of things.

There are lots of sites with good info.Thing is, there is SO much info. What I'd say is research what applies to you . Do you have a copy of your MRI report? You can google terms from there. Or ask here for help with that.

You'll find one site that deals more with surgeries, one that talks about bulged dics, - see what I mean? Not all of it is something you need to know, and it could take a lifetime to sift through...




Scary as it was, I had to know all of it for myself. I got all my reports and asked what it meant, looked up words, etc. I asked a million questions on spinal forums about treatments other than surgeries, compared symptoms and meds.

Took me years, but I am finally getting somewhere with it. I have a good pain clinic, PCP and neuro who listen, ask and explain.


I left a lot of docs who blew me off. If they can't believe me or take the time to explain and help me, why am I paying them?



Perhaps you shopuld get that 2nd opinion, and let that doc know you are not happy with the Norco - there are several other meds that might be better for you. And that doc might be better too.

Good luck.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:40 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for your advice.
I don't have a copy of my more recent MRI, but the first MRI I had done showed I had some bone spurs on the left side of my C-3 - C-4 vertebrate with some narrowing on the right. They did not think that it was significant enough to be causing any problems for me. As for my last MRI, I dont have a copy, but I will work on that.

Again, Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:47 AM   #4
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What type of doctor or specialist is your neuro. sending you to for a second opinion?

I hope that it's a neurologist or that you have seen one since the doc is saying she thinks you have nerve damage. By that, does your doctor mean root compression? radiculopathy? a pinched nerve? There is more than one possibility. But bone spurs (basically, arthritis-related) aren't the end of the world, though the effects can cause a lot of pain.

Two weeks waiting for the referral isn't terribly bad; I know it must feel as if you've been waiting forever (I've been in the same situation). I would, however, call the neuro's. office and ask the receptionist if there is any word on when you'll be seeing the person for the second opinion. (It might help move things along.) I suspect, though, the doctors have quite a waiting list and that's why you've not heard anything yet.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:52 AM   #5
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Thanks Bobbi.

Yes she is referring me to a neurologist. One that I know & totally trust. I take care of my mom who has Parkinson's, he is her doc.
All the NS told me was that she thinks I have nerve damage & did not specify. I call the pain meds I am on now, my stupid pills, as I just am so stupid on 'em. If not for them, I would've asked for more answers.
I guess I shouldn't be to flustered about not hearing back from the neuro's yet...my car is currently stuck in the snow in the driveway. Not like I will be doing the driving. The new neuro is 3 1/2 hours away. :P
Thanks! Flustered
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:20 AM   #6
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Flustered, I do remember, too well probably, how it felt in the duration when I had to wait for my first appt. with the neurologist. (The wait was something like two months).

I don't know if this might help any, but... it worked for me at that time: I continually reminded myself that it wouldn't be much longer until the appt. and testing.

Knowing that an appointment is on the horizon is a good thing, I think. If you don't hear anything within two weeks for a date, I'd definitely call and (gently) push it along .
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flustered View Post


All the NS told me was that she thinks I have nerve damage & did not specify. I call the pain meds I am on now, my stupid pills, as I just am so stupid on 'em. If not for them, I would've asked for more answers.
Hi Flustered, the inability to think clearly when suffering pain is something we all experience, and here's a recent article about it. when I asked my Dr about the brain fog, he suggested a lack of sleep. I hadn't thought of that-can't think-but he was so right. The constant pain causes a very restless sleep. Taking meds to sleep then gives an unsatisfying sleep and a hangover!
I suggest that in the waiting interval you make a note of any questions or queries that you have, and take this with you to the appointment. AND write the answers down!
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:52 AM   #8
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Also, you can put in a call to whoever was sent the MRI report and ask them to send you a xerox copy asap in the mail (faster than requesting medical records from the hospital who did the MRI). Just learning how to re-say it in plain English will not only keep you busy, but make it MUCH easier to formulate your questions for your next visit.
If you are in constant pain 24/7, consider asking whoever prescribed norco if you should be on a long acting painkiller, since I think hydrocodone is only a short term painkiller for breakthrough pain. To understand all about it, read Jane Brody's experience after her knee surgery by going to www.nytimes.com and searching her name and pain management.
Hydrocodone has acetomycin (sp?) which I think is not a very strong ant-inlamatory, you might wnat to ask the doctor if it worth trying one and if you can add to the norco a dose of ibuprofen or similar.
You say you have terrible spasms. A muscle relaxant might help, but could make you especially on top of a painkiller. However, if you can't sleep, or the norco doesn't work, mabe what you need is to try a muscl reww A
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:16 PM   #9
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I can so relate! Here is some practical things I have learned and help me cope while I too am waiting for all my appointments to come due. I have c4-5 and c5-6 fused already. C3 has ruined my life as well as c7. At 54 I had to take my retirement because I could no longer keep up with my job and I have no income of my own and my blessed wife is keeping up going until I can get fixed up and back to school as I can no longer do the kind of work I did before.

For pain, like you I hate the narcotics unless I am desparate so I use an ice pack over whatever locations are hurting or burning for about 15 or 20 minutes. It works fantastic to settle down spasms and pain. I also use moist heat. Ice does more for me in most cases. I use a Tens/Ems machine called a twin stim that insurance will pay for if ordered by your doctor or chiropractor if you have insurance. If you don't have much money they can be had used on Ebay real cheap. It is priceless for pain management and the EMS is another option on the machine for tight or spasmed muscles. This machine keeps me off the "crazy drugs" quite a bit as they make me act funny, have brain fog, and make me sick.

My wife runs a powerful massager on my neck and shoulder regions getting the blood flowing and loosing up muscles and it helps a lot. I excercise regularly and lift light weights for toning doing a lot of stretches. The Physical Therapist got my started on that so I won't hurt myself worse. This is extremely helpful and you feel so much better when you are done because the blood is really flowing to the sore areas. You will tighten up again, but it does help a lot.

I live near Pittsburgh, Pa. and we have a Dr. Jho at the Allegheny General Hospital, head of the Minimally Invasive Surgical department. Do yourself a favor and check out MIS procedures for cervical problems on Google and maybe you can find someone locally. Dr. Jho does take out of town patients. The Laser Spine Institute is another to check out. You are always going to hear good and bad about any doctor as no one is 100%. Get a minimum of 2 oppinions and try to see someone that does a procedure other than what is considered traditional as you want to know all that is available. Your surgeon will most likely not help you with this as it is money out of their pocket and it is rare someone puts your best interest first. You are going to have to do this. That is why it is so important to try to get at least comfortable enought to endure the waiting times for a few oppinions and not jump at the first person.

Find a "good" Pain clinic that knows a variety of different procedures. I had one clinic that hurt me worse than when I went in. Check around. I know it is hard especially when you are hurting, but it will pay in the long run. I made some mistakes the first time and am trying to do things different now. There are cutting edge options you might qualify for so at least try. THe Minimaly Invasive Procedures are generally outpatient which impressed me. I am checking out my doctors myself, listening to what others say, and keeping an open mind. No doctor is going to satisfy everyone so be careful how much you listen to other people that have had bad experiences. Follow your heart and if you feel comfortable with someone don't let someone with a grudge to bear affect your oppinion. Just weigh things out.

I hope I have given you some good practical ideas. I speak from experience and am very agressive at my own treatment as a few of my former doctors really let me down. Knowledge is your best friend, praying doesn't hurt either.

God bless, david
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:21 PM   #10
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Hi flustered,

There are some good sites up at the top of the thoracic outlet symdrome forum that review all of the nerves in the neck area.

You might also want to read up on thoracic outlet symdrome since it can mimic cervical disorders, especially the spasming shoulder muscles.
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