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Posted in: Chronic pain, Neck pain, and Surgery.

Severe chronic pain 2 years post 3 level acdf

Started by Vanna Young on 10/26/2016 1:10am

So here is some of my story. Over the years I experienced many accidents, motor vehicle, ATV, sports injuries, concussions, then in 2009 at had a horrible accident at the beach. I was body boarding in the ocean and a waterspout appeared, coming inland as a tornado. I was taken out by at least a 15 foot wave and tumble in the surf for minutes. Prior to this I always had intermittent neck pain, but I worked as a paramedic and attributed it to lifting heavy patients and all the other accidents I had over the years. That accident resulted in a separate shoulder and torn rotator cuff. 2 months later I got my RN licensure and began working as a nurse. As the years went by the pain in my neck became worse and worse. My job became harder and harder. I eventually was diagnosed with 2 herniated discs. I tried every conservative method, PT, chiropractics, massage, medication, then finally I had a steroid injection done. I had to have it done in hospital because I have a bleeding disorder, so I needed IV factor infusions before and after injection. They sedated me during the injection as soon as I woke up the pain my neck was so intense I could barely handle it. My neurologist admitted me 2 days later for fear I was bleeding around my spinal cord. The MRI showed I wasn't but the herniated disc were majorly protruding into my spinal cord. The months prior to this I was loosing sensation in my right hand, I was dropping things, it was difficult because how was I supposed to insert IVs at work if I could feel my fingers. So I decided to have the surgery. He told me I would be as good as new in 2 weeks. I awoke from surgery in the most excruciating pain in my life. I was told I had to wear a hard collar for 4 weeks and couldn't return to work for 8. I didn't know I had hardware in my neck until a follow-up CT scan and x-ray 8 weeks later. He never told me he was inserting hardware. I went on to have severe pain 24/7, 10 times worse prior to surgery. I attempted returning to work and couldn't do. I too multiple leave of absences and eventually had to resign. About a year later the neurosurgeon agreed to take out my hardware, because I had rejected hardware in my legs years prior due to breaking my leg in 3 places. I thought that would be the answer to relieving my pain. Well it wasn't, I am 2 years post original surgery and live each day in pain. I tried PT, aqua therapy, massage, essential oils, tens, ultrasound, some laser thing, grastons, nothing gives me any relief. I cannot take Nsaids due to my bleeding disorder, I cannot take antidepressants because they make me bleed, neurotin made me so depressed I couldn't get out of bed, lyrics made me hallucinate. I ended up developing cyclic vomiting triggered by pain, so when I'm in pain I puke. I had 6 tears in my stomach from puking so hard that ended up with severe GI bleeding, I became so anemic I needed transfusions. During the surgery where they took out my hardware, I developed a hospital acquired infection that took a picc line and 4 months of IV antibiotics to clear up. I spent 75 days last calendar year in the hospital and lost 60 lbs. I want nothing more than to go back to work as a nurse, I started school when my children were 2 and 2 months old, and worked as a medic at the same time. I missed out on so much to better myself and provide a better life for my kids now I can't work and am in the appeals process for disability. All I ever wanted was 1 more child and cannot have one because of being on medications and the pain would be too intense to survive pregnancy with it. I need a hysterectomy because of my bleeding issues and have to do IV factor infuse during my menses, but still am chronically anemic. The plan 4 years ago was to have 1 more child then hysterectomy. Well I waited to get settled into my nursing career then ended up having my neck surgery. So pregnancy is an impossibility now. So I can't work, I can't have a baby, I need a hysterectomy sooner than later, I am so incredibly depressed. I am only 32 years old and feel like I'm 90. I used to be active, athletic, always out and about. Now riding in the car scares me, because if I were to get into a fender bender without the hardware in my neck would the fusion just snap. I can't imagine having anything else happen to me to exacerbated my pain, because I can barely deal with it now. As I'm typing now, my right hand is going numb, I still have all the same symptoms just 10 times worse prior to surgery. Am I ever going to get relief? Has anyone ever had an experience like mine? I want to be the best Mom I can be and feel all I do is let everyone down because of my pain. ACDF was supposed to help me, instead it ruined my life!

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