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Pain remains a year after having ACDF in C5 and C6

From: bgracie - on 07/12/2011 3:09pm

Hi Everyone,

I am not trying to scare anyone as I know of others that have had success with this, unfortunately I have not. I am wondering if anyone else out there is going through this, and I do hope you are not. But if you are, do you have any insight or anything that I may be able to try to help my condition. To give you a quick snapshot, I was hurt while parachuting in the military many years ago and the pain would come and go but then in 2009, it came and has never left. I had an MRI in 2009, where it showed a finding of the C5-6 degenerative disc disease with spinal stenosis and posterolateral disc osteophyte complex at the C5-6 creating bilateral neuroforaminal stenosis. There is also spinal cord edema at the C5-6 level showing in the MRI. I was sent by my family doctor to a surgeon who advised me for Nerve Blocks on both the left and right side of my spine as I was having pain down through both arms into my hands.

The neurologist completed the nerve block on my left side and right side of my neck. This had little effect and I was sent for another Nerve Block four months later. On this day while completing the Nerve Block, I passed out from the pain as it was so severe; he went in deeper this time, from what I was told. As I was recovering, I began to see a water circle in my left eye; they rushed me back in the recovery room to monitor me and later released me. The neurologist stated that he would not recommend anymore as my body did not react well to the last Block.

My surgeon than scheduled me for an ACDF (Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion) by using a bone graft from my left hip, and placement of a metal plate and screws within the C5-6 region, in June 2010. Since having the surgery, I have had to deal with not only the pain from the operation and recovery but the disappointment of finding out from my Surgeon, that this is most likely chronic pain that I am dealing with and have been ever since. My last MRI after the surgery showed the following:

The patient has had an interval fusion of the C5-C6. There is some low attenuation signal artifact on T1 and T2-weighted imaging that presumably relates to the presence of a metallic plate and screws. There is a very slight anterior angular deformity. The cord is fairly normal in signal and contour. There is no spinal stenosis. The patient does have a fairly prominent spurring joints of Luschka on the left side. These were present previously and unchanged. There is a associated ligament elevation related to that. On the right side there may also be a little spurring of joints of Luschka similar to the prior study. There is no indication there is a recurrent disc protrusion.

I am not sure if anyone can speak to this, but wanted to share my story as I seem to be getting nowhere with doctors, surgeons or therapists. I am only 39 and want to someday be pain free or as close as I can be. But it is not looking or sounding very good. I look forward to your comments.

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on 07/14/2011 7:25pm

Well bgracie,
I now exactly where ur coming from. I had a C5-C6 spinal diskectomy back in '06. I was doing fine for the first 2 months, I even got out and mowed an acre lawn, was ready to get back into life, but I started to hurt in my right arm bic-ep. It was a cramp/burn. I went back in to see the NS 9 out of 11 months that same year as my surgery. It was getting so bad, to where I couldn't use my arms and my neck was killing me more than it was b4 the surgery. I decided after that whole year of pain that nothing was working, so I went in to have nerve blocks....actually they called them ESI's. The doc used a flouroscope to guide the needle down my neck/back,The first two I had in my C's went fine, but when the doc decided to go further, things rapidly grew much worse and actually grim feeling took over.
What happened was when he decided to go through my T's, the nurse even questioned what he was doing, but he went down it and when he did....HE HIT SOMETHING THAT HAD CAUSED ME TO FEEL I HAD JUST BEEN HIT BY A BOLT OF LIGHTENING. WHEN HE HIT ME, I LOOKED UP, OUT OF THAT HOLE THAT THEY HAVE UR HEAD RESTING IN AND ASKED, "WHAT HAPPENED?" HE STUDDERED AND SAID THAT IT WAS "FRICTION". ACTUALLY, I HAVE DESCOVERED IT WAS WHAT IT CALLED A "WET TAP"....FUN...
HE TOLD ME TO SIT UP REAL FAST AND GOT RIGHT INTO MY FACE AND ASKED ME, "DO U HAVE ANY HEAVY BREATHING, IS UR EARS RINGING?" I TOLD HIM THAT MY HANDS/FEET WERE TOTALLY NUMB...AND STILL ARE TO THIS DAY.
I really think the doc hit my spinal fibers or whatever they are called. I just know that the pain is unbelievably unbearable at times. I don't know what to do and it has been 5 or more yrs. now.
I have been through so much that I thought I was dying. The pain was so horrid that I never a body could go through the AGONY that it did. I just want my life back. They used a DONOR bone on me, not one of my own, I have two screws holding the titanium plates into place. I have been told that I had a screw that has been placed into an opening and put right on top of a nerve...MORE FUN.
I sure hope that NON of that has happened to u. I have been told that I have Fibro and might, but I know that I was messed up by either the surgery or the nerve blocks. I could have some kind of Auto-immune disease, but can't get any answers. Once, they have this thick file on u because ur having to go to A DOC that can FIND what is wrong with u.
I sure pray that u can find answers and not have to deal with any of this PAIN. The way u talk @ it makes me feel that u have something very painful going on. I hope u find a GOOD DOCTOR.. I know, I have been looking for this long and NOTHING, BUT A LIST OF THINGS THAT I DON'T THINIK I HAVE AND WANTING ANSWERS LIKE U. I PRAY THAT U WILL BE JUST FINE. TAKE CARE AND ALWAY GOD BLESS..:)))<3 Karen

Dx with: DDD of Cervical, lumbar, Hip/Joint, Sponylosis, Myofascial Pain syndrome, Spinal stenosis, CM(Chiari Malformation), VA (Venous Anomally), Fibro, Endometriosis(had this and believe that they didn't get it all from Hysterectomy-VERY PAINFUL IN ITSELF),Carpel Tunnel, CRSD-Pain syndrome to where u can't even be touched..much, for it hurts.. etc.(probably forgetting something, but u get the gist of all of the dx's...man, I should be dead...hey?? GOOD LUCK and I am here if u need me..k? :))<3

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on 07/15/2011 11:58am

I have had the same issues for almost 2 years now. In october 2009 I woke up in the middle of the night with horrible pain shooting down my left arm. I tried meds, pt and cervical epidural steroid injections. I finally had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at c5-c6 in november 2010. A lot of the pain went away in the arm but I still have constant pain in my neck and shoulder with occasional pain to the elbow. I have numbness in the arm and left hand with marked weakness. I also have Rheumaotid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Since the surgery I am also hypertensive and borderline diabetic. I also have severe unexplained edema in mi legs. I have pitting edema in my legs ankles and feet. I see a pain doc and am on many pain meds just to be able to function. I'm only 38, neonatal intensive care nurse ( or was) and have 4 children the youngest is 2. I don't want anyone else to suffer crippling pain but its good to know I'm not alone.

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on 07/16/2011 1:37pm

Hey Bgracie,
I just wanted to say that I feel 4 u and pray that u see good days and the pain is only one word. I don't want to curse, but I know it is hard to get through it sometimes. I don't know if ur a strong person or would u say that inside ur a fighter. U will be, if ur not, I am not being cruel here, just stating the facts. It is better that u face ur pain and say that I am going to get to the end of that tunnel. I don't know what to say to u at this time, but to get the right doc and make him see by telling him or rather asking him point blank that u have a certain idea of what it could be or Ask HIM, "DO I HAVE A SPINAL INJURY OF SOMEKIND OR IS A PLATE OR SCREW LOSE?"
I AM SERIOUS GIRL, U HAVE TO FIGHT NOW AND LET THEM KNOW THAT UR IN PAIN, BUT TRY NOT TO SHOW IT. I KNOW THAT SOUNDS LIKE IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE, BUT TAKE IT FROM ME, THEY WILL LISTEN TO U MORE. I HAVE GONE IN TO SEE THE DOC IN EXCRUCIATING PAIN, TEARS FLOWING DOWN MY FACE I WAS IN SO MUCH PAIN, AND HERE I AM OVER 5 YRS. LATER...JUST HANGING ON, BUT I CAN SAY THIS...THE LORD HAS HELPED ME TREMENDOUSLY. HE LOVES US AND HE DOESN'T WANT TO SEE US IN PAIN, HE WANTS TO SEE US...OUR HEARTS <3
ONE GOOD MEASURE OF ADVICE, SEEK HIM AND HE WILL COMFORT U, TRUST ME, I HAVE BEEN WHERE UR. I HAD A C5-C6 SPINAL DISKECTOMY '06 AND IT STARTED WITH JUST A PAINFUL BI-CEP, BUT MOVED INTO MY ARMS, LEGS AND I HAVE HAD INFLAMMATION(ELEVATED SED RATE),EDEMA IN LEGS AT FIRST AND NOW HAVING IT IN MY ARMS AND ABDOMEN. ( SORRY,WRITING IN CAPS BC IT IS EASIER 4 MY EYES AND HANDS:))
BEEN DX WITH: Spinal Stenosis, Spondlyosis, DDD of Cervical, Lumbar, Hip/Joint,Myofascial Pain syndrome, Fibromyalgia(all 18 tender points), CM(CHIARI MALFORMATION), VA (VENOUS ANOMALLY),ACD & F SPINAL DISKECTOMY, ENDOMETRIOSIS,CARPEL TUNNEL*(BOTH WRIST),ETC..nerve damage I think now. and this disease called Myeomalacia or Osteomalacia...maybe schlerdoma

THERE IS SO MUCH MORE THAT I COULD SAY, JUST TIRED AND I WILL CHECK BACK IN W/U OK? LET ME KNOW HOW UR DOING. I JUST WISH 4 U THE BEST AND I WOULD LOVE A REPLY SO I COULD SEE HOW UR DOING. I AM HERE AND WILL CHECK THIS AS OFTEN AS MY MIND REMEMBERS,,,hehe,,I HOPE UR NOT IN THAT STAGE JUST YET. THAT COMES WITH MEDICINE. I HOPE NOT. TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESS ALWAYS. :))))< 3 Karen

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on 07/16/2011 1:45pm

I MEANT TO SAY IT TO U TOO AMYSBABYRN, I THIINK I GOT THAT RIGHT, THE PAGE CHANGED AND I COULD NOT GET UR NAME. SO DON'T FEEL LEFT OUT. I WAS AIMING THAT POST FOR BOTH OF U..OK. TAKE CARE OF URSELF AND I AM SORRY FOR WHAT UR GOING THROUGH SO MUCH. I AM RIGHT HERE WITH U AND WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS OK, SO, STAY STRONG AND DON'T GIVE UP..KEEP FIGHTING,GOD BLESS U 2. :)))

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on 07/16/2011 5:53pm

Hi bgracie and everyone else. I call myself amybabyrn but amy is good enough. I didn't mean to paint such a bleak picture but I am almost as far from the surgery as you are. I wish someone had told me the truth about what the outcome could have been. The surgeon, who was very charming, pretty much said that the surgery would fix everything. I also was going to a pain clinic where at my last appointment before the surgery the nurse practitioner said to me "you had better go through with this surgery next month. You can't expect that the doctor will just keep giving you narcotics forever."What a b*tch! How could a nurse say that to a patient that has jumped through every hoop they asked me to. Anyway, I felt kind of pressured to have the surgery with the fear that no one would help me otherwise. After the surgery I entered a depression feeling "jipped" that I wasn't feeling better. After, the surgeon and the pain clinic were both kind of like "oh well too bad.we've helped you as much as we can." Fortunately I went to a real pain management doc. I know my experience isn't unique. I've heard many stories of people going to "pain clinics" and being treated like a junkie. Its bad enough you're in terrible pain but then to be judged on top of it is criminal.They are making $ hand over fist but then to squeeze all of the $ out of you thru injections and such and then life altering spinal surgery which doesn't do what they told you it would is awful. I now after a year still have severe pain, weight gain, strange pitting edema in my legs that I never had, hypertension that I've never had, and now diabetes on top of it all. All I can say is find a good pain doc who's goal it is is to ease your pain and hold on. I keep going because of my 4 children, I know they need me more than I need to be alone. If I were alone I don't know if I would get up out of bed each day. Keep going. Keep hanging on and try to find someone who really wants to help you. What state are you in? Maybe I can ask for a good doc in your area.

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on 07/22/2011 10:51am

Hi Skeetlmore65 and AmybabyRN,

Thank you so much for sharing your stories with me. May God bless you both and I do pray that the pain we are all going through someday will leave us. It is terrible the way that we are treated both before the surgery and after. Before the surgery they make you feel like you are cracking up and the pain is just in your head. Until they see that yes there really is much wrong. Than after getting you to go for the surgery, they again treat you like the pain is just in your head until again they see that no it is not and than you are told it is chronic pain and you will just need to learn to live with it. I mean really, that is the best answer they can come up with. I feel for you both, I know what it is like to be in pain 24/7, and it is not a fun time at all. It takes so much away from your life, it almost seems like it is in control, I fight my way through but I am getting tired of it. My family depends on me and to be honest without them I would probably give up on this. I am a fighter and have always been, but it is so hard sometimes to keep going. You get thoughts of maybe they would be better off without having me around but than you see the joy in there faces when they see you and that has been what keeps me going and fighting with Doctors, PTs, Pain Mgmt, etc. I dont want to be on the pain pills the rest of my life, nor be in this pain. I do feel comfort knowing i am not alone and truly thank you both for taking the time to write back to me. Thank you again

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on 07/22/2011 1:20pm

I had my first ACDF at C6/7 after I waited 11/2 years because I thought the surgeon needed to make his mercedes payment. I suffered using traction and physical exercise. When I finally went to a neuro surgeon he scheduled me for surgery the next day. I asked him When will the pain go away. He said "when you wake up from the surgery, the pain will be gone." I thought sure, sure it will. IT WAS! THE PAIN WAS GONE and never came back. The 6/7 disc was crushed in 15 pieces and had to be dug out. Being pain free was wonderful. Then in 1986 I started having the same kind of pain, but it was on the opposite side of my shoulder blade and in a slightely different place. I made arrangements to go right away and have it fixed. It was a workman's comp injury and I had to go back to WC Court and secure 5 court orders 21/2 years later I finally got the ACDF at C6/7. It was a failed surgery. The wait caused permanant damage.. They still hurt as bad as they did to begin with. I continue to have problems and found out in 1992 an MRI showed a "metal artifact" was left inside me after the last fustion. Nothing was ever done about it. I saw the MRI and it looked like a litle pair of scissors inside my back. At any rate I continued to do the best I could. I was put on pain management. It helped me have somewhat of a quality of life. I had my first epidural sometime around 1999-2000, nerve blocks after. I had my first set of re abatements in 2007. The first one went well, the left several days later, when they stuck the nurve with the rf (HEAT) I heard pops and cracks in my brain and light flashes. I tried to reach back and take tAhat fire out of my back. The OR staff jumped back and watched ( I had heard of another person having this same thing happen but I wan not prepared for what happened to me) The OR staff never said anything to me about what happened but I had a lot of problems for a long time afterward and the left side never got any reief. I tried again. I had 3 rf abatements Rt 2,3,4 and L C6, T123. It was the old tec style of rf abatement and they used DEPO Medrol steroid. I think I was allergic because I had all kinds of problems after this procedure (muscle apathy? and finally some kind of heart attackj with angeoplastia in 11/2010. The abatement worked this time but it took a long time. It could be a real good treatment for you. Be sure and ask abut the steroids they use because I never had problems with corticortizone. I have stayed on my mild dose of oxycodone and kept looking for the relief I know is there because I felt it back in 1982! There is a lot of money being made in this injection business and no one is interested in fixing the problem causeing the pain. I will tell you that I had prolotherapy, scullier therapy, regenerative therapy back in 1989-1992 and it really works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 Find someone in your area that does this. Many professional atheletes do this but Medicare will not pay for it. It is not a Quick fix but it is PERMANENT. It sounds really bad because it takes lots of injections ( one day I had 64 injections) but they were small and painless. It hurt good and every day I left I felt better than when I walked in. Look into this therapy. They used to use iritants like vinnegar but now they use different irritants and some are using your own blood cells and stem cells to stimulate new cell growth. I am not an advertisement for this therapy. I am a very fortunate person who has had this therapy and I know It WORKS! unfortunately Medicare will not pay for this permanent treatement and only those who have private insurance or are indeendently wealthy can afford to have it.> in the mean time, you must take control of your own treatment. Ask your own questions. Do not take the word of anyone. Check the credentials of the ones supplying your answers. What do they have to gain by telling you what they tell you. Always get more than one diagnosis and choose very carefully who you get to do your surgery or your proceedures. Do your own research. You are the only one that can know if you are hurting and how bad you are hurting. Before anyone can be a judge, they have to have experienced PAIN to know what you are talking about. A compressed nerve hurts and it does not show up on an MRI most of the time to give any doctor the infinitive answers they need to pinpoint your problem. It is easier for them to keep you imprisoned every month to come back for more medication. You are the only one that can keep on looking for relief or give in to capitalistic method of treating the symptoms instead of the cause. LOL and LOLuck

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on 07/22/2011 1:31pm

I had ACDF C 6/7 in 1982. I had my second ACF C5/6 in 1989. Keep your bags packed. I have degeneratin in my neck too, but it was many years ago. If you have substantial problems with degeneration and you first had problems is 2009 and it is now only 2011...boy do you have a rude awakening. Hope you are not on Champus, Medicare or any other form of HMO or what ever that will not allow prolotherapy otherwise known as regenerative therapy. I had it back in 1989-1991 and it is not a quick fix but it is permanent. If you can afford this treatment, NMPN.com will give you some information about this therapy. I am sure you can find it in your area. Even if you have to travel to get it. do it. Do not waste away waiting for a quick fix get started on a permanent one asap. I can not get this therapy which I know works because Medicare will not pay for it. It is far cheaper in the long run than temporary injections. Lots of Luck and huraay for new technology. Prolotherapy is not new but it works. I am not an advertisement for this but I know it works and if I could get it through Medicade I would be there before the sun goes down. LOL and LOluck

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on 07/24/2011 1:07pm

Hi 'Bgracie', I just got thru reading your blog & I feel 'your pain'!! In 2007 I began to have excruciatingly painful--burning, running down my left arm. I suggested that maybe I needed an MRI--I was given an expensive, very painful, USELESS-- 'nerve' test, from a Moron, calling himself a 'neurologist'---when the pain got worse, I finally found a Doctor with a BRAIN- & he prescribed an MRI of my neck--(which, by the way, was NOT in pain!) Long story short... my discs had all collapsed on to nerves running down my left arm. After seeing 2 NeuroSugns... they both agreed that I needed a 3 level FUSION !!! C3-C4-C5-C6!! I was scared to death! The doctor PROMISED me that when I awoke from surgery, I would be painFREEE!! (does that sound familiar??) Again, long story short--I have screws in my neck & Titanium in my neck & 'peeeks' (to replace the discs) in my neck....and also have PAIN running down my left arm---STILLL!! (not as bad as before---butttt it never went away) and now I also have neck pain!!(I take 'Lyrica" for the nerve arm pain & it seems to help. Now --at the ripe age of 57--I SUDDENLY began to have pain running down my left leg & suffer from CHRONIC agonizing pain in my lower back. A recent MRI showed that I have 4 bulging discs, stenosis...you name it.. I have it. Of course they all want to do surgery. My answer??? NOT A CHANCE!!! One Doc did suggest that it could be my SI joint!! & that perhaps some injections might help me. Now Im just waiting to save up enough money, from my food budget to cover the lousy $800.00 plus deductible I STILL owe on my health plan to cover the injections. Im sorry for complaining!! I know that others have it much worse. Its just that its sooooo damn frustrating!! Hang in there 'gracie'!!! There are ALOT of US out here with similar stories & its nice that we have one another. Still suffering in pain, & saving for the Sacroiliac Joint injections, I am. Very Fondly, Caryl.

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on 07/28/2011 9:37pm

I am right there with you on that one. I have nerve damage as well in my neck and back. I can't begin to explain it, I just feel for ALL of you guys that are suffering as well. IT is hard and I pray that I have got through the most of it, but I have two questions. One for Carly and the other I believe it was scary4pain or something along that line. I wish they would put the whole discussion up so we could comment to each one.
Okay, caryl. You mention that nerve test. EMG? I had them on my arms and legs a few times and the first was the worse because I didn't know what to expect. I said a curse word back then, but now you have me worried. I am seeing a new NL who is supposedly one of the best and he has ordered another EMG in 3 weeks. I am wondering if they are going to test my back or neck. Will they do that or do they do that is my question to you? Now @ the prolotherapy, I have seen it done on TV on the Veria Chanel that this girl was healed from debilitatin pain. I had good Ins. too until my husband was cut and he was an excellent employee. IT is just wrong how they done him and I lost the best Ins. that I have ever had. Now, I have Medicare. I want this prolotherapy done. It just doesn't' seem fair, but WE WILL SURVIVE..."Lord Willing".:))))<3 Karen

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on 07/29/2011 4:01am

The nerve test I had done, was performed on both ARMS, with this idiot doctor putting small needles into different places in my arms, testing if he could make me cry from the PAIN, or not. His end result was, I was FINE. He found NO problem! Thats why I refer to him as an idiot. The ACDF 3 level fusion in my neck did indeed lower the pain from a constant TEN down to a constant SIX. I just wish that my DR had told me that it was going to take 2 years for the pain to level off... and not promise me that "ALL PAIN would be gone by the time I woke up!!" NOTTTTTT!! !Now I wish the pain in my left leg would go away. Has anyone had this type of pain? When I sit, there is a burning pain from my thigh to my left knee, so I have to get up--and then the lower back pain nearly cripples me. Because I have soooo many crushed discs, & bulges & everything else wrong with my back---every NS wants to give me back surgery--EXCEPT for one surgeon who thinks that the pain could be helped with SI injections. Has anyone had an SI injection (Sacroiliac Joint injection) ???? Only anesthesiologists & pain specialist give this injection. Such a 'racket' ---all these back & neck injections!!! and then the pain just comes back. Still frustrated & saving my money. Fondly, Caryl

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on 07/31/2011 5:46pm

Hi to all! Understanding your pain here! Well my best friend from highschool told me that surgeries are offered to quickly, and that must of the time the lessions heal with time. It did happened to me, I had a very big hernia at levelc5-c6. compressing my spinal cord. I was so scared of the pain and of getting worst, that it was difficult for me to listen to her. Ok, yes I did wait, and I got better, but then as emotional problems happened in my life and also I hit my head, the pain came back. I was so desperate that I follow the suggestion of my orthopedic surgeon, he didn't tell me that recovery could take a year. I visit another orthosurgeon that told me that he would wait, that I was to anxious, to fix some things in my life... In his practice he told me that they showed a picture of a women with a herniated disc, central pressing the cord, the teacher ask who will suggest to operate, and must of them raise the hand. Then the teacher said is the daughter of our director, mny people lower their hand and suggested observation. The herniated disc reabsorved, no surgery for her. I read from a famous surgeon that exercise is the best, aerobics, with this meaning exercise that oxygenate the body, swimming, standing bike, walking, he says that must of the time disc heal themself. He explains that since we have pain, and doctors scare us we finish doing so much to fix ourself that we end up with more pain. Pain killers could bring depression and then more pain is a vicious cycle.I also heard that a surgeon in Florida stop doing so much surgeries and started people in exercise because he noticed that after operations many got worst. Is true there are the lucky ones, and also the ones that definitely need it. I did have my surgery, I did not have pain in my neck, now I have, and I feel less fluent. When I speak I am so conscious of my head movements. Sissing is painful, I see people in the movies kissing and cuddling, and ufff I could do that before my surgery, I prefer the pains I use to have. I wish I would have listen to my neurologist. I feel worst now and more depress. I think now that people with herniated discs, if they still have strenght I think they can wait for the body to heal itself. I read books from dr. Sarno and for me it made a lot of sense. I don't know if is ok to mention him. Sorry :-/ but I think is great info. I also wish I would have keep trying what he suggest.

Question: Are your intimate relations painful now, for example kissing? Do you feel weird when talking? Don't you sometimes feel exited to do something and then you realize your body does not correspond to what you want. Really is so strange for me, the fusion has depress me more than I was. I could clean, and cook, and bend, and sit without hurting, like I was more flexible, and now I am aware of every movement. Is tru that when they told me you have a herniated disc, I was careful with my movements, with hugging, but then I started to gain confidence, I even did yoga and it felt great! The good ortho told me that I could run if I wanted to, my neurologist told me I could run bike, just be careful with strange movements with your neck, don't head bang. And I said but if I fall, they said everybody can fall... well I am just convince that this surgery is not that promising. And yes a lot end up without pain after surgery but as year pass they need another. I have heard prolotherapy is good. Is there any time machine????? Fffffffff well that's what I think.

I don't drink pain killers, I use 5mg of klonopin in the night that I wish to leave behind, I want to start exercise but I am like fobic now to go out, and I was always on the move. Now I am spending a lot of time in the computer :-/. Well thanks for listening!

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on 08/14/2011 7:59pm

ok everyone, i am a 47 year old, that was in a car accident 15 years ago and it messed up my neck at that time but not enough to do surgery. And unfortunately, i am also a critical care nurse of 24 years so my job consists of lifting majorly. Over the past 3 years the pain had gotten worse in my neck and right arm. And yes, I went through the usual of physical therapy, steroid blocks, and pain killers. Sometimes it would help and decrease the pain. But over the last year, the right arm definitely increased in pain and i was losing the function in my right hand. It was affecting me at work, i had to reteach myself how to write because the pain was so bad. I had no reflexes in the right arm. I had been seeing a neurosurgeon off and on since the accident. Well, i went to a new one that came to our hospital highly recommended. I seen him for the first time a year ago. And he agreed, to continue with conservative treatment. But after recently when i started to lose function of my hand i had to do something. So I went back to the neurosurgeon and he said it was time for surgery that i had been through enough. He knew I was not crazy on having this surgery done. But he promised me i would be back to work in 6-8weeks. So July 7, 2011 I had my surgery, it was c5-c6 and c6-c7 done with titanium plate and fusion. So I am approximately 5 weeks post-op. And I will say the pain on my right arm has decreased. The muscle spasms have been terrible but the muscle relaxant valium does help that. Also, my neurosurgeon started me on physical therapy at about 3 weeks postop. I have been in a collar since this last week. But after surgery, I had pain in my left arm with sl swelling also. They thought it was due to some phlebitis but the pain has continued. The swelling is gone. The pain is very similar to the pain i had in my right arm before this. Thank God I do have a wonderful neurosurgeon. He stays in contact with me constantly. When he took off the collar at 5 weeks and realized how stiff my neck was he ws surprised. So he said that is not normal and to tell physical therapy to fo full force to get my neck moving. The incision looks great. I am still on painkillers due to the pain and numbness in the opposite arm (the left one). My dr. is puzzled by that but he said sometimes you will have referred pain. But he is not taking any chances. He is doing another MRI this week to double check. I do have trouble with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) that i have lost 15 pounds from but that can be normal and my voice goes hoarse off and on. So i understand how everyone is frustrated over their stories. But my neurosurgeon told me from the start that it will be a long ride to go through recovery and that i will have relapses that we deal with as they come but he said i will like the final result. So I keep thinking about this statement and try to keep positive. I know the wait is long but we all need to stay positive. And I will say i am a critical care nurse so i do think very highly and trust my neurosurgeon quite well. I know its not easy but we will all make it through it one way or another.

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on 08/14/2011 8:27pm

Hi bgracie I hope you are feeling better! Right now my memory is not the best, I guess stress and medicine. I just hope you are better. Before surgery I was recommend to read books about dr. Sarno. You can find them free at a library. Maybe it could work.

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on 08/14/2011 8:34pm

Angel3 hope you are better. Just wondering if you feel better and if your herniated disc was central or to the right???? Mine was central it hurt all my body. I had hyperflexia but I was getting better... What I do miss the must is the movement of that area, is so weird, it seems I am the only one that prefers pain to the lost of motion. Guess I did not have much pain or guess that I preferred the lapses of pain. Well I continue thinking that sometimes it has to do with emotions, sure that is my hypothesis now. Everybody is different, and there are people that really get better after surgery. And I know obviously that there is pain after some structures are affected, but I wonder is there is a nocebo effect after the structures are heal? This is driving me crazy so many different stories!

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on 08/21/2011 11:26am

Alicia,, the pain continues but now i feel since physical therapy is really moving my neck, i feel pain everywhere again, so i think my nerves are so sensitive that the pain continues. I am 6 weeks post op. I obviously cannot get back to work yet. Thats my concern because of my job. My repeated MRI looked great. So I think with time just getting the nerves back to working like they are supposed to it will hurt. I had a modified barium swallow for the dysphagia and of course I failed that. So i just get down what food I can. But I am fortunate that my neurosurgeon is staying right up to date with me and talks to me almost every week. I honestly think it will take a year to get things back to normal from what I hear. So I guess we just need to hang in there. Oh, my injury was more towards the right side.

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on 08/22/2011 3:38pm

I keep trying to respond to you and this is the third time. It is hard for me to sit so I will try to say something that you might think about. Some of you with the metal plates and screws with your ACDF, I just about a month ago talked to another fellow who is and has been in much pain. He had Thorac surgery and they put metal bars( back in the day not so very long ago and some probably still do it..He still had much pain,. He went back and they put in shorter screws and he is doing a lot better now, at least that one problem. Now I hope I can get someone to do something about my thoraic (mid back) these injuries when mild hurt many people. most people have C 6/7 and 5/6 problems from whiplash riding a rollercoaster. That is why we must take care of ourselves. I am sure sorry for you bgracie, jumping out of an airplane is hazzordas to your health. I was a woman watching big old men drive 18 wheeler ( I was a Real Estate Broker and boared and not greedy) I had an accident freak...;but I am not a man. Men are best suited for some things and women are best suited for others. At any rate, I am a very blessed person, my creator loves me, but he also gave me a head on my shoulders. You have to take control of your medical help. By the way...w(medical help) here there are or will be lawyers involved. If you have workman's comp, DO NOT SETTLE!. They are always ready to offer you too little too late and then you will be in big trouble. You will have more problems. And if you do settle at some point, Medicare will pay easier for much very good medical help...but too much for others. Watch out for the CNA's and the personal care attendants. theywill rob you blind. Don;t forget...next anti depresnts and antianxiety...anti psychotic...don;t let these idiots direct your mental health. That mental stuff was also broought here from Hitler. We have no democracy here and it will all comming to a halt soon. No one knows, but we sure have a lot of evidence regardless of whether. I have a lot to say. I am a great grandmother and all you children need to up. I will talk to you like your granny. I am also the kind of granny who learns from you children every chance I get. I have to give this up for now least I lose it. Watch out for the other pills, anti-depresent, anti anxiety, anti psychotic....go live in a place where there is legal marajuana. I never even saw pot until I was 27 and my graduating class was 1965-66. I am political active and I am trying to do some things. I have worked on many other causes and this is the wone that I have investigated for 30 years. Do not wait for your doctor to make a referral. be the squeeky wheeel. I read the one reply re: Take control. It is up to you. No one will do it for you. I am fighting now for another wasted$$medicare. I just went to the Dr. last week I have an appointment to have two dics replacements above & below the fusions, doc says I never had a fusion at C6/7!!( I know I did) and by the way...that Phydelphia collar (hard plastic) they put on you after the fusion,,do not tighten it tight where you have straight posture. It will cause your neck to curve the wrong way. I was never told and didn;t know any better and doctors don;t tell you much of anytthingl I will tell you more....It beats watching re-runs..Netflix...Do you have it?? Get it. I can tell you about some very enlightening and interesting documtaries and a few movies that will give you something else to think about. If I keep busy, it helps to distract from the pain. Especially with no sleep...I am going to try to get an Rx for clorisdiprodol (SP??) muscle relaxor. Be careful this stuff is on the National Highway and Safety Administration's #1 drug for car accidents. You should never take this stuff regularly. I still try every once in a while to try to get some sleep. It has been over a year or two since I had that one so it may work for a deay or two. See........you will most likely become immune (addicted) to a lot of Rx that help at first. Neuronton (sp??) idea sounded ok so I tried it too...supposed to increase the # of neuron recptors in the brain so your immunity will not be as strong. It did nothing for me. The only medication that has consistently worked on me is OXycodone. Oxycotin did not do it. I heard of people crushing them and snorting them. I took morphene and MS contin (contin = time release) they did nothing for me. Deladid was the most wonderful thing I ever had for pain...but I knew to look out as I can take something only one time and then it will not work again. I got 4mg deladid (?) and was PAINFREE for 6 entire days. I waited 6 months and got another one and it did nothing. I havn't had any now for about 10 years so I might get some good out of it. The oral delladid did not work for me and the oral morphene. I have tried everythhinng and can not spell most of it. The things that I have suggested to my doctor fall on deaf ears. I am about to make a huge pest out of myself. I am getting too old for surgery and the back surgeon who graduated magna cum laude in biology has speciality ACDF, says he can fix my thorax by replacing the two discs in my neck. I say I want a new Thorax MRI, I got one, my primary physician (about 44 years old and a baby doctor ) has draqged his feet too long. My time was almost up thanksgiving 2010. Life is good. Get Netflix. I have always listened to everyone and no one ever told me anything without me asking. The only dumb question is the one youj do not ask. Ask a lot of questions and then check the sources (weapons of mass destruction)! I am sure you will get better but U R the only One who can insure that. Take control and do not quit. It is a struggle. I have been fighting for U for 30 years. I am a squeeky wheel. People need to knwo this government doesn;t give a damn about your life if you are not paying taxes. No matter how much taxes youhave paid. Thou shall not kill. War is murder. I am anti violence and anti war. In 2003 over 1/2 of every tax dollar went for defence. I think that stealth bommer thingy costs $45,000,000.00 each. All those other bommers cost less than that but over 20,000,00 each (2003) We could solve the world hunger problems and care fore each other like we were meant to. If this world comes to an end on Dec 21, 2010 like the Mayian calander predicts or not...a person should be able to have relief from pain if they have pain. American Drug war has made the ruling class very violent and greedy. Pharmacuiticals are the next best thing to Defence profits. And then there is the criminal justice system or should I say in light of the new world order bogus cheritable non profit corporations like the ones who have taken over the mental health practices, affordable houseing, unemployment...etc..combined with private contractors doing what the government should be doing for our tax dollars. Make criminals out of everyone you can so they can not vote, but then who needs to vote, we already have witnessed out presidential cou. Some people do try and mean well. Some are just in it for the power and $$. Same as most everyone now. Legal Bribery. Voting reform was changed in 2010 and now what Casino Jack did and is doing time for is now legal for all lobbiests. I have lobbied in congress. No one cares about you and if you are a complete idiot you can always sign a do not ressutate order for premeditated suicide and let this government full of greedy people will not have to be bothered any more. Please take your time and become well informed. You could be important in the upcomming election. Do get active and write your political leaders. Tell them. Get a petition. I will start something and let you know where to go so you can see if you can start one in your grass roots. If we all get together and organize maybe we can help those behind us avoid some grief. Hind sight is always 20/20 LOL and LOL til next time. I have already learned a lot of stuff off here and I will also tell you some more. later

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on 08/22/2011 3:27pm

I meant I never saw pot until I was 27. I was and am a non smoker. I could never figure that one out. Confederate soldiers smoked tree bark when they ran out of tobacco. It just seems like sucking all that smoke into your lungs intentionally, would not be a good thing for any kind of smoke. I tried pot when I was 27 and I waited for what ever it is that is supposed to happen, I don;t get it, It is over rated, But different drugs do different things to different people. Myself I have seen 6 generations grow. I see the things going on. WORLD WIDE. The injustice and poverty in this world has made everyone sick. The ruling class is poluting the water and air faster than what is left of the rain forrests can replinsih. Did U know that after a tree doesnt get rain foa a little while it starts putting of carbin monoxide...This is already happening some places. I got a Rx for pot in 2002 and I couldn't afford to buy it. It does help. I started to smoke some in April when I had the last 7 RF abatements in my neck and thorax. I thought I was going to die and I refused to go to the emergency. I took a benedryl ( Toxic between muscle relaxor tezididine (?sp) and Ceproflexin (?sp antibiotic) Someone offered me some pot and I smoked it. It did help. I have been smoking some when ever I feel like it now and dont give a hoot. If I am a criminal, I am already under house arrest and can not do much. What do I have to lose? All those natural drugs would not be so popular if people were given some hope for a good life. I did some research whan I was accused of having cocaine in myh system.. those pee cups do not tell how much there is in your system. You can get it in your system from handling something that had some on it just like pot. If you breathe the air around people smoking cigaretts, second hand smoke...I read all about it...my little nieces and grand nieces and nephews and other kin and frriends and their familys go throuh cocaine and meth. The meth has tore every one that uses it up. It was first developed in china to make the workers work longer and harder. Look at the world picture. Pharmacuiticals cause too many deaths. Cocaine according to the toxicology book used by law enforcement says there has not been one death contributed to cocaine or morphene except for overdose, most of those accidental. There is so much toxins out there, it is time to stop judging everyone. Anything to exccess to too much. I tried to set a good example for all to live a good clean life, being a non smoker set me up to lead a very loanly life. Some social things are worth the trouble. This day and age I can tell that if you think all those drugs keep showing up in your streets and there is an overabundance of police and quazi policfe and private contractors...It is just a scam. Quit listening to the main stream media. Wise up..pay some attention. I know none of u thought it would be like this, and no one cares if you hurt. War hurts a lot of innocent people. We need to spend out resources making the world a better place of all god's children instead of murdering innocent defenceless civilians. Lets get some grass roots petitions going to get some help for chronic pain. It sure would not hurt to get that prolotherapy...If botox is one choice for treatment.why not give something that I know personally worked for me a try. B ut first really check to see if your screws are too long. LOL : )

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on 09/05/2011 4:45pm

hi again everyone, well now i am about 8 weeks post op and still having some problems. My neck still doesnt have complete movement and aches. I use ice packs and heat everyday. And the right hand falls asleep everytime i bend it at the elbow. I am going friday for all the nerve test conductions gain to check it out. I am using a TENs unit now to help with the pain. I am still getting hoarse off and on and still have trouble eating but doing ok with that.. So it is starting to get frustrating because i have to be back to work by 12 weeks for my job as a nurse lifting patients. So we will see what happens. Anyone else got suggestions?

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on 09/05/2011 9:22pm

Excuse the photo, it is on my web for my daughter, I am unable to sit very long and I am always too busy trying to make a difference. I would like to file a federal class action suit agains the State of Texas in particular. Colorado, New Mexico, California all treat pain seriously. It is a very clear False Imprisonment by the way they do not listen to the pa/tients. Many States treat pain like you are a junkie. I even went to counseling one time because I NEVER SLEEP! I may get a total of two hours each night if I am lucky. One tip will be, get a doctor who is at least 50 ) That Kolopin /chlonazapam is the worse. I am sure there will be a class action suit with it before too long. It will make you start to lose your memory!. Look into it for yourself. Opiants are a natural product and not chemicals. Those natzi drugs are the worse. All those anti anxiety, anti depression, anti psychotic drugs are all to be avoided at all costs.

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on 09/05/2011 9:22pm

Excuse the photo, it is on my web for my daughter, I am unable to sit very long and I am always too busy trying to make a difference. I would like to file a federal class action suit agains the State of Texas in particular. Colorado, New Mexico, California all treat pain seriously. It is a very clear False Imprisonment by the way they do not listen to the pa/tients. Many States treat pain like you are a junkie. I even went to counseling one time because I NEVER SLEEP! I may get a total of two hours each night if I am lucky. One tip will be, get a doctor who is at least 50 ) That Kolopin /chlonazapam is the worse. I am sure there will be a class action suit with it before too long. It will make you start to lose your memory!. Look into it for yourself. Opiants are a natural product and not chemicals. Those natzi drugs are the worse. All those anti anxiety, anti depression, anti psychotic drugs are all to be avoided at all costs.

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on 09/05/2011 9:22pm

Excuse the photo, it is on my web for my daughter, I am unable to sit very long and I am always too busy trying to make a difference. I would like to file a federal class action suit agains the State of Texas in particular. Colorado, New Mexico, California all treat pain seriously. It is a very clear False Imprisonment by the way they do not listen to the pa/tients. Many States treat pain like you are a junkie. I even went to counseling one time because I NEVER SLEEP! I may get a total of two hours each night if I am lucky. One tip will be, get a doctor who is at least 50 ) That Kolopin /chlonazapam is the worse. I am sure there will be a class action suit with it before too long. It will make you start to lose your memory!. Look into it for yourself. Opiants are a natural product and not chemicals. Those natzi drugs are the worse. All those anti anxiety, anti depression, anti psychotic drugs are all to be avoided at all costs.

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on 09/06/2011 3:14pm

Mary Kathryn, I know what u mean. So many docs don't seem to try hard enough.I have been to so many or them, but it seems they test they heck out of u and give u some kind of dx. and send u on ur way. THAT IS IT? Where is the fixing part? I know, I could be fixed. I think all of this is because of the neck surgery and they can't see behind the plates, but I am going to request getting them taken out. I know they can, if they have fused like they said. It is just a small butterfly looking titanium plate with 2 screws. I looked at my MRI close up and u can see the screws are bent inward like they are touching. SOmething is wrong. It is not only that, I have been told there was a problem with a screw on top of a nerve, but the NS just won't do anything @ it. He just acts like I am some hypochondriac or something. I am so tired of it. I will say this , if they find that I have lost 6 yrs. of my life due to a screw that he, the NS, would not investigate. I will do something, some kind of recourse on it. I have missed sooo much life. SO many functions, laughter and it is just NOT fair for someone to do this to you and just ignore it. The doc even mentioned after he asked me where most of the pain was, he said that is your C5...DAH, that is where I had the surgery.
I am sorry for being so brass. I am just irate today. Having to go to a Cardiologist in the morning and wondering if maybe he got something besides a nerve under that screw.
MAY I ask how u broke that rod in ur back. I know, I was active 2 months after my surgery I was mowing lawns(riding) and just getting back into life when the burning and aching started in my right arm, but I have been through it and it is just one thing after another. After I had nerve blocks*(Epidural Steroid Injections), I seem to have got worse, so I don't know what my problem is, but I don't have anything else to go on, since Lyme, Lupus, Ms..well, that last one, I donno..yet. I pray not. I just want it to be something fixable..that is all.
I sure hope ur doing better and I can imagine how painful the lower back can be. Mine burns like fire when I stand too long. They have told me that I have T8-T9 disk hern. and T10-T11 disk hern. w/ hypertrophy. I don't know what hypertrophy is, but I am going to look it up. I don't have such a good memory either because of the meds they have me on.Take care and God Bless always.:)))<3 Karen

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on 09/07/2011 4:21pm

I have atropic something in an area and I read all about it before. I could feel what was happining and told my doc and he did not care. I have been trying to get my info to my NS since April 5, 2011. I finally got the last MRI that was over a year old because the NS has to have them no older than a year. It is going on now for 2 weeks, every day I call and he never returns my call and they say they can not give the report to me until he "signs off" I have to get this done before October 10,2011 or Medicare will have to pay for another MRI somewhere. Atrophy I think is when your ligaments are too weak to hold the muscles where they belong, My muscles are just hanging off my back. Now he will be out of town until Friday and I will have to be in a crowd who will surely be there waiting for hime to return. More time hours sitting in a chair that kills my back! They need to be able to Practice Medicene and not have anyone telling them to give you or not to give you pain Rx. I have bilateral problems and my shoulders, forearm elbow wrists hurt and I had bylateral ulner shortning, carpal tunnel release, dequirvins release and othocopic surgery. They can not find anything! And my wrists hurt to pick up or move. R worse than L but both hurt. I see at 5/6 the cord is said to be FLAT and 6/2 it says it is indented on my lastes MRI Cirvical. That sounds like that has been a problem I have been telling them about for 15 years! i will be back later. I am really enjoying all this info. Time for everyone to know what will happen next. The Doctors leave that part out.

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on 09/14/2011 9:57pm

ok everyone, this is angel3 with updates,, I`m about 10 weeks post-op and not doing well. The dysphagia is getting better though. Still get hoarse at times but thats ok. Continue with muscle spasms that i use the tens unit and muscle relaxants with. But the problem lies in my left arm now. Went back to neurologist for repeat nerve conduction tests and i actually have 2 things going on in that arm. The first is i have the ulnar nerve entrapment now which i need to go see another dr for and my one muscle does not conduct as well which they think is just from positioning and will get better over time. The problem is I am just healing up at such a slow rate and my doctors feel it is too much stress on me and think that I am getting depressed now. I have to get back to work by 12 weeks or I could lose my job so I went to see the neurosurgeon today and he told me I could go back for 6 hours at a time with restrictions of transferring patients not by myself and no lifting my arms above my shoulders. ( I still do not have good movement in my neck yet.) Well the problem is I`m a nurse in a critical care area at the bedside. I have to beable to do these things or I can`t work. And they wonder why I look like I`m depressed? But I will have to say my neurosurgeon has been awesome and am staying right at my side with encouragement and is not missing a thing. Him and my primary physician talk about my case all the time to each other to keep things updated. So I do feel I am getting the best of care and would not have gone to anyone different. Its just frustrating being the patient when I am the nurse. And financially it is killing us. But I do not know what else to do and being middle class of course there is no assistance for us at our level. So we might end up losing things, so I guess that I could be getting depresseed. Any one have suggestions, let me know? Thanks everyone!

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on 03/31/2012 1:01am

I had the same problem with a constant problem with pain in my wrists, tingling numbness, They did carple tunnel release, DeQurvins release, orthoscopic surgery and then they shortened my ulnar bones. None of it did any good. I just got new MRI's and Xrays ant it looks like ther is some problem at C4/5 sad T 1; no one listens and they now tell me that my problem si arthritis. It had never been arthritis before and now it is a convenient thing for them to say to not have to deal with me.I submitted my MRi's to a new lazer surgery that deals with the Thorax sounds really good. It seems like they are doing a lot of good these days with lasers. I am about to go for some prolo therapy. I know ti works. Pain clinics are a scam and once they get you in there, you will not come out alive and you life will be over. Do not sit and wait for you r doctor to tell you anything, you will be waiting forever. You have to take control of your own treatment and do not take no for an answer. Much is going on out there and most is not good to hear. People are dying off like flys and given too much "mental Health" crap. What can I say, No one cares until it happens to them.

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on 03/31/2012 1:04am

I am particularly interested to hear from Skeetmore. Please contact me..we need to talk about that wet tap thing, I know others who have had the samed thing happen. It needs to come out, and I have never recovered from the one I had.

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on 03/31/2012 1:04am

I am particularly interested to hear from Skeetmore. Please contact me..we need to talk about that wet tap thing, I know others who have had the samed thing happen. It needs to come out, and I have never recovered from the one I had.

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on 03/31/2012 1:04am

I am particularly interested to hear from Skeetmore. Please contact me..we need to talk about that wet tap thing, I know others who have had the samed thing happen. It needs to come out, and I have never recovered from the one I had.

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on 03/31/2012 1:04am

I am particularly interested to hear from Skeetmore. Please contact me..we need to talk about that wet tap thing, I know others who have had the samed thing happen. It needs to come out, and I have never recovered from the one I had.

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