Monday, February 26, 2007

Needles in my Neck

I've had this weird thing wrong with my neck for about 10 years now... It hurts all the time- on a scale of 1-10 it's pretty much always a 3, and then sometimes it's worse. There are times when it's as bad as a 7 or 8 which means numbness and tingling in my left arm and hand. I've got a weird combo of heredity, bad posture, and a car accident messing me up. I've done 5 different rounds of PT now, starting way back in '97 in Fort Worth. Finally when I got up here I got a WONDERFUL doctor at a fantastic Pain Clinic who did an MRI and actually looked at my neck instead of just passing me off to a PT... There are all sorts of fun things going on in 5 of my vertebre- There's limited space between 'em (squished disks), bulges of disks poking into the spinal column and fluid, plus the disks don't line up straight and are a little crooked.. On top of that she could see a couple tears in the spinal fluid sheath, which means PAIN, 'cuz that fluid is supposed to stay in that area, and it burns when it comes in contact with a nerve... (Rarely, rarely do good doctors perform neck or back surgery. It's dangerous, and they'd rather do almost anything that cut in there.) She's recommended I do this thing where they stick a needle in the epidural space around my spinal cord and inject a hydrocortizone steroid into the space. It's supposed to stop the inflamation, stop the pain and maybe give it some time to heal.

I'm so freaked out about the whole thing.. I hate needles. I don't like anyone touching my neck. Lovely combo... She talked to me about this when we first moved up here in 2004 and I had to lay down in her office, 'cuz I started to pass out just talking about the stupid procedure!!! This time I brought my sister with me, 'cuz after the whole fainting thing I couldn't really remember anything she said, just that they were gonna stick a big freaking needle in my neck. So, my pain level has gone up enough that now I'm willing to do it. Plus she did another MRI and we could see that it's looking worse now that it's been about 4 years later... I don't really want to do this, but I hurt, and I don't like the idea of it being worse that it was... I'm glad God's in control!

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