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Two fusions in 11mths., mylopathy, chronic pain, more ?'s

Started by norskigirl on 10/07/2012 11:14pm

Hi everyone! I'm new to this. It all started in Nov. 2009 when a huge TV on a roll cart wasn't strapped down and fell off onto my neck. It ended my teaching career. They fought my Worker's comp claim and I didn't get anything
even though it was their negligence. I had major lower back pain. I had several lumbar epidural injections. None of them worked. I had a L4-5 fusion with a disectomy, spondylolisthesis, fractured vertebrae, removal of 2 large cysts, and none graft. This surgery was in April of 2010. Recovery was long. I had piriformis syndrome after. I was able to go to PT and pain management through my WC attorney. I had a 24% whole person impairment rating. I got let go from my teaching job and now have a mountain of medical bills. I stayed focused on getting healthy. My insurance changed to Kaiser in August 2010. I continued to have pain, trouble sitting, etc. The physical therapy dept. put me in a cervical traction machine. I felt a pop and went into instant agony after that.
They did an MRI but no one would read the results until January of 2011!!! I had an injection in my C -4-5 on Dec. 24, 2010. Iraq injection that worked. I felt like my head would explode. Kaiser was so busy they contracted me out to Boulder Neurosurgical Associates. Thank you God! Found out later my condition was very serious and I needed to be seen ASAP. I saw BNA in Feb. 2011. I had just turned 50 yrs. old. The PA's exam was the most thorough ever. He found out I had myelopathy. I cried when I saw the images that nothing was surrounding the dura around my spinal cord. Without an ACDF fusion for myelopathy, I would probably become a quadriplegic. So, I was in excellent hands. In March 2011 just 11 months after my first fusion I had another! Thanks to God, I healed. My myelopathy was halted. I felt like I had been given a gift. Physical therapy was paying the co-pay and getting sent home with exercises. They didn't believe in " touchy, feely" modalities like massage, acupuncture, dry needling, etc. Basically,the stuff that made me feel good. Somehow, I had to exercise and motivate myself.
It's now Oct. 2012. I've had numb hands, cold tingling and numbness down my leg, increased pain in my shoulders, arms, right leg, right side of my back, and right fanny cheek. I had to get a checkup for my fusion. They did flexion/ extension X-rays. They show retrolisthesis in C2-3 and anterolisthesis in C-3-4. One measures 2.8. I have radiculopathy and a damaged nerve at L4-5. I was told to "my neck is more flexible", walk for 30 min. And get a Pilates DVD since I can't afford yoga or Pilates classes. This was a physiatrist from Kaiser. I was told to wear splints on my hands at night for the numbness. They won't do anything unless the retro and antero measures 4.0. Well, I've researched these last two things I have extensively. It's frightening. Any opinions? I think I should change insurance here soon with open enrollment. I'm scared. I feel no one will listen to me or they don't care. This is my only life. They are good about giving medication. Anyone have any advice? Should I get a 2nd opinion? My gut tells me something isn't right. My neck grinds now. I live on my heating pad. I'm doing my stretches but I don't want things to get worse......thanks for listening to me.

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fHi norski, Ur case sounds very similar to mine,my name is Rene and I too can nolonger work as an orthopedic nurse,I have been reading and re-reading what u R trying to explain. First I deff.recomend a second opinion.Before I try to give u some advice (being a nurse) can u write exactly what the MRI states and I can then decipher it for U. I hope I can b of some help so I will check in on u when u state exactly what the MRI says..One good thing is they are managing ur pain w/meds, but I do understand why ur not getting any releif from the meds because it does sound like there R more issues to b addressed. Until u get the second opinion I would recomend to take it easy on the excersising. Hang in there,,everyone here is very helpful and supportative through their experiences,Ill check ur blog 2morrow if u get the time to explain MRI.Keep up w/ur faith, Rene Maiello :) one more thing, instead of a tv falling on me,,my spinal issues happened due to a 465lb patient falling on me, crushing my spine and workers comp did not help me either.

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Hi Rene,
Thank you for your response! I will look at my MRI and post. I'm so new at this. I am so sorry!!! I meant to press the like button and it put the thumbs down response in the box next to your comment. That was not my intent.it won't let me change it! I hope you'll still keep writing me. I'm so sorry about what happened to you! I'd like to hear your story. I'll write more later. I wanted to apologize about my mistake. I loved your response!
Thanks,
norskigirl

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Norski,,,No offence taken,,,poop happens.haha. hope U havn a Pain free day,,Rene :) :) :)

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Morning Norski,How U feelin 2day? I moved my blog up so u can read it, Its headed Its been one year since my last blog, Hope my Info can help someone....Youll see my picture on it, its just below yours.

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Hi Rene,
More importantly, are you having a pain free day? Today was tough. Did my 35 min. of treadmill/recumbent bike as my physiatrist suggested. Had my daily heating pad alternating with ice. Does wonders. It's getting colder here so I'm thinking the bones, plates, etc. are talking to me. You are so positive. I went through my records and wrote down the info from my MRI's. It's more organized. I was so frustrated when you want help from your doctor and you get ridiculous responses. I will try to cut and past it so you can look at it. It just seems like we all have to learn to stay out of pain. I find I spend my whole day working on it. Meditation, prayer, and stretching have been helping. Couldn't sleep last night ver well. Oh we'll. There's always tonight. Have a good evening. Karen

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Hi Karen,,about ur MRI,,I read it,,,Boy U have alot going on,, sorry to hear that,from ur MRI the grinding ur feeling is from bone on bone,U have alot of crystalized acid deposits too,,,I know there telling U to excersise, but ur spine has so many issues I wouldnt push it,,ease up a little ur spine is brittle,just try some leg stretching to keep the muscles from shrinking, the more u excersise the more inflammed the nerves R getting causing added Pain.And the traction is a deff. nono,,what where they thinking,,they did that to stretch ur vertabrae to open up the joint spaces bcause of ur discs loosing its fluid, like a flat tire, but after reading ur MRI ur spine is to fragile, and after fussions u never want to stretch the vertabrae in those areas it will cause the fussion to break.increase ur protein, that helps w/muscle repair. In the drug stores they sell BOOST, I like the choc flavoured one,they are high in protein also. Coconut water is also a great way to replenish your body of electrolytes. feel better, Rene :) also ask doc if u can take a vitamin called Glucosamine chondroitan, thats to help grease and lube your joints and vertabrae.

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Rene,
Thank you so much for reading my MRI. Had more Flexion/ extension X-rays report says I have a retrolisthesis and anterolisthesis on C2-3, and C3-4 above my cervical fusion in March 2011. This is what I'm worried about now. The report says one is at 2.8 mm the other is smaller. Suggestions are I walk 30 min., do harder exercises, get a Pilates video, and swim. Everything I've researched about retrolisthesis and anterolisthesis isn't good. I enjoy gentle stretching, I love your ideas. I take several supplements for bone, joint health, etc. I've been drinking soy milk with protein powder. I eat healthy. Chicken, fish, eggs, fruits, veggies, etc. I like your Boost idea. Thank you so much for your medical expertise. It is so caring of you. You're great at what you do. I know how you feel. I like your positive attitude. You say, have a pain free day! Thank you! I try to share my experience, strength, and hope. Yes, I have pain almost 24/7 like most of us. I just don't want anything else to go wrong. I will take your advice. Thank you so much Rene.

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Norski,,,No need to thank me ,,Im just doing my Job,,its a pleasure to B of some help,,and I will continue as long as anyone needs it, I dont advise unless Im certain,,,Orthopedics was my field in nursing along with cardio ( Heart). By helping everyone out I feel like I still have my job back,I think of it as being A nurse via internet,,so I thank U all for that pleasure...Rene :) Thats what got me into this mess, I had a 465lb patient w/ a new knee replacement fall on top of me, crushing my spine.

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Dear Rene, Am trying to find your blog. Not very computer savy...Help

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Kathy, Rene went MIA a couple of months ago. I'm hoping she'll reappear soon. (Just thought I'd let you know.) Hope you're doing ok and are finding answers.

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