Monday, June 14, 2010

Pain in the neck!!

So sorry that I haven't been updating the blog as well lately! The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Between my photography and my new home business picking up, and Drs appts for both myself and Jayden, it has been crazy!! Despite how busy our schedule has been, I'm so glad I took the time out to see the Dr and stopped ignoring my pains.

First off, I was sent to an ENT a few months ago for chronic sinus infections and migraines. I wasn't surprised when the Dr gasped at the size of my sinuses and couldn't understand how I could actually breathe through my nose without much effort. Honestly, they've been like that since I was very young and I truly thought it was normal. I guess I adjusted to it. Anyway, he started me on a non steroidal nasal spray for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, I was scheduled to go back for a CT scan of my sinuses to see if the spray helped the inflammation. Well, the CT scan showed no change in the inflammation and also a small cyst inside on of my sinus cavities. OUCH. So I have to have sinus surgery on July 6. The ENT told me that it's only a week recovery, with the first 2 days being the worse b/c my nose will be completely plugged. That's my worse fear, not being able to breathe out of my nose. My second worse fear is being head butted in the nose by my son during recovery!

So, while that news was certainly an inconvenience, I knew it could have been worse. And, yeah, it did get worse. Back in April, I went to my GP for lower back pain that I'd been having for months. I ignored it for so long b/c I thought I'd pulled a muscle, but then I noticed that it wasn't hurting everyday and when it did hurt, it came on all of a sudden and I couldn't find any relief. The Dr sent me for X rays and when those came back with abnormalities, she sent me for an MRI of my entire spine. The results surprised me. My lower back is just fine, with the exception of the scoliosis I've had since birth, but my neck is what's showing signs of spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine). My understanding (from my GP's explanation) was that the narrowing of my cervical spine was causing a disc to bulge and press on my nerves, causing the pain in my lower back. I did find it odd that there was NO pain at all in my neck. My Dr sent me to a physical medicine Dr to discuss treatment options and pain management. Well that appt was this past Friday, and I was NOT prepared for what I was about to be told. First, she did a full range of motion assessment on me and she was surprised that I had no weakness in any limbs and no pain at all in my neck. Only in my lower back. She had me to stand up and she looked at my back and immediately saw the scoliosis which she said is pretty moderate and the curve in my spine is what's causing my lower back pain b/c my muscles on one side are very tight. She wants to me to go to physical therapy and to take a muscle relaxer every night for 2 weeks, to see if it helps to loosen up my muscles and stop some of the pain I've been in.

Ok, simple enough, and not a shocker b/c I've been knowing about my scoliosis. But then the Dr says "However, that's not why you are here." HUH?! WHAT?? She said "Your MRI results are pretty bad and rare for someone your age." At this point I'm just like, Ok... Then she said, "Based on your MRI results, I need to be referring you to a surgeon and when a surgeon sees the results he will recommend surgery." Speechless. Then she says, "But you are not having ANY symptoms at all. All of the pain you are having is due to your scoliosis. If you hadn't complained of that pain, we wouldn't have found the problems in your neck." Me, sitting there nodding in agreement and astonishment. Then she says, "Well, at your age, I don't want to send you to a surgeon if you aren't experiencing any symptoms b/c it is a very risky surgery on the spine and I've had colleagues who had the surgery and were worse off after having it done. Right now, all of your limbs are strong, your reflexes are fine, your muscle tone is great, so I don't want to risk messing any of that up." I agreed! She continued, "However, you need to be aware that your cervical spine is VERY narrow and fragile. A collision or a bad fall could cause your neck to break and you can become paralyzed." At that point I was just staring at her... She gave me all of the symptoms to be aware of and told me as soon as I started to feel any of these symptoms, I need to give her a call and she will call in the referral to the surgeon.

Wow. I seriously think I'm still in shock and denial about this. A week away from turning 30 and I find out that my spine is very fragile. My mom has already called me to tell me a laundry list of things that she doesn't want me to do. One of the things included no more roller coasters!! :( And she also suggested I drive with a neck brace on. HA! Yeah that will happen. I've decided to just give it to God b/c those pictures may show that my neck is narrow and fragile, but I have no symptoms proving that point. I bet my neck is stronger than the Drs think it is. For now, I've added some Calcium and Vitamin D supplements to my diet and life will go on. I wonder what types of household chores I can get out of b/c of this....

1 comment:

PeWee said...

((NIA)) praying for your continued strength and GOOD health!!