I have avoided blogging for the last week because I have been quietly flipping out...
Last Thursday, I met with a neuro-surgeon from Anchorage to talk to him about my neck. (In fact, it was the fantastic doctor who did my spinal cyst surgery a year and a half ago. Back when I couldn't walk and ended up in a wheel-chair 'cuz of the thing in my back.)
He told me what I pretty much already knew- I have done everything possible to avoid having surgery on my neck, and I've run out of options. There is no longer enough space in my spinal cord to do injections of any kind.
The list of problems is pretty extensive- severe spinal stenosis (narrowing of the space between the vertebrae and the spinal cord), herniated and bulging discs, damaged and deteriorating vertebrae... He told me I have the spine of a much older person, and that they rarely see someone so young with such severe problems. (There's no ONE thing that has caused my problems- I have mild scoliosis, bad back genetics from both sides, I've been in numerous car accidents, years of schooling and bad posture...)
I'm now at the point where Jake & Beth have nightmares about being in a car accident with me because of what my pain doctor has said- Specifically, I'm so close to paralysis from spinal stenosis that if I start having some specific issues that I am to be rushed to the ER.
The neurosurgeon is encouraging/urging me to go ahead with surgery. He's pretty much assuming that I'm going to do it. My pain doc encouraged me to just talk to him and hear what he had to say...
And I STILL don't want to...
I have avoided surgery to the point of craziness. I have babied my neck for 12-13 years, trying to avoid cutting on it. I've seen 6 different physical therapists- 1 in Texas, 2 in Seattle, and the others all at Advanced PT (By far, the best therapists I've ever seen, and I would not be able to survive without them). I've done spinal injections, MRI's, CT's, Electrical stimulation, stretching, extension, exercises to strengthen the surrounding muscles... You name it, I've probably tried it.
I have got some pretty major emotional problems with my neck- I HATE anyone touching it. I have problems getting my hair cut because the scissors are flying around my neck. If I believed in reincarnation (which I don't!) I would swear I'd been murdered in one or more past lives by having my throat slashed. I hate knives, but in particular knives around my neck.
To add to the horror, the surgeon will be getting to my spinal cord through the front of my neck. Which shouldn't make it worse, but it does.
Oh, yeah. And I react TERRIBLY to anasthesia and narcotic medicines- nausea, headaches, swimmy head...
And the pain is so bad in my neck that I'm probably going to go ahead an do it. But I'm still freaking out.
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