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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index

I could really use some advice and a pep talk on being proactive with my NS...How long does it usually take to get in to see a NS once referred by the Neuro anyway? My neuro referred me the second week in August and my appt is still not until 9/30...I had to leave work early today because my hands, arms neck and head hurt so much -- I just could not sit any longer. 9/30 seems so far away!

My symptoms: since 98
-- right hand tingles and goes numb; has become much more frequent in the past 5 weeks
-- arms ache as if I have been exercising too much -- that sure isn't the case!
-- nerves in right arm sensitive to pressure -- shocks travel up and out my fingertips -- can;t stand cold either
-- Neck aches -- am constantly rolling my shoulders to relieve pain -- neck makes strange "popping" (?) noises when I do that
-- Headaches start at base of neck and travel up sides of head to focus on right and left temples -- have always attributed to stress
-- Lightning bolts of pain shoot from the base of my neck down my arms and out my fingers about 60% of the time when I sneeze. One of the most painful things I have ever experienced.
-- The pad of my thumb on my right hand has been sensitized to touch for past 3-4 weeks -- tingles and shocks when touched.
-- Last two weeks my left arm has started to experience similar symptoms as right.

CTS has been (painfully) ruled out not once, not twice but three separate times...last test did show a marked delay in response in the nerve that runs down into my right pinkie for what it's worth but dr said it wasn't from CTS...2 MRIs, 4 years apart ... 1st one in 99 said herniation at C5/6 with osteophyte in contact with spinal cord -- ortho surg said he disagreed (even though he pointed ut where something was touching the spinal column...siad it was a flare-up , inflammation based...would not operate unless I lost use of the arm ... put me on NSAIDs, exercise and rest during "flare-ups" -- NSAIDs no longer work, exercise makes my hand go numb, rest works some as long as I lay on my bed and do nothing!

2nd MRI in aug 03: do not understand it all -- C3/4 bulge with moderate left foraminal (I do not have report in front ofme but that was the jist) signs of osteoarthritis and degeneration. C5/7 moderate herniation with bulge and right foraminal involvement (?) something about slight intrusion into the spinal column ... degeneration ... and something called reverse lordosis, which I found on the web and it said it meant the curve of my neck is the opposite of what it should be....that does not sound too good to me but my Nuro never even mentioned it.

For four years i have tolerated this as a necessary evil in my life, but whether this is just a longer flare-up or something else has happened I do not want to deal with this anymore. As silly as it sounds, I want to paint my living room in a weekend instead of the three weeks it seems to be taking me because I can only work for very short periods of time before the pain makes me have to stop. I want to write in my journal and not have to stop every five minutes because my hand is ether cramping or completely numb....I am discovering that life really is in the details.

ANYWAY -- does anyone out there have any words of wisdom as I prepare for the neurosurgeon? I do not want a repeat of my 15 minute "consultation" with the Ortho guy in 99 ... I did not know any better, i believed him...he was the doctor. Man have I smartened up since then! I want this over and while the idea of surgery absolutely terrifies me, if this disc "flare-up" hasn't gotten better in 4 years...

What should I do if he says surgery is not indicated, try NSAIDs try painkillers or muscle relaxants (been there, can't tolerate them)? Is he the sole arbiter of this decision?

Help me be brave!!! I do not do confrontation well...I have read some of your posts and you all seem to know how to get what you need! I need some of that!!


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