01 February 2012

I'm a Pain in My Neck

Have you ever heard about those people who wake up one day and feel like they're falling apart? They were fine on Tuesday, but come Wednesday morning - BAM! - they're barely keeping it together? That's me. I was fine (relatively) Christmas Day, but when I woke up Dec. 26, I thought my arm was going to fall off - or I was going to cut it off.

I've always had neck/back pain, nothing too bad, but recurrent and therefore annoying. Luckily, I've had two amazing chiropractors over the years who've kept me more or less moving.

A few years ago, I got to the bottom of my pain - take a look at the picture*. Do you see what I see? My spine isn't exactly straight. Oops. It causes wear and tear on my vertebrae (and arthritis, yay, me) and, coupled with my job, that recurrent neck/back pain I mentioned earlier.

Unfortunately, it's more than just annoying pain now. I'm not happy to announce that I have two herniated discs. (I've always been an overachiever. One herniated disc wasn't enough for me. No siree.) Let's just say my pain isn't so manageable anymore. And the tingling in my arm makes it really hard to hold/move/carry heavy things. Sometimes it's even hard to write.

So, I get to see a neurosurgeon in a few weeks. There's a chance he'll recommend physical therapy or cortisone shots or oral steroids or continued chiropractic care, but he could recommend surgery, so of course that's where my head is at. I'm not handling it so well. For a lot of reasons.

Up until recently, I've been fairly healthy. Aside from allergies and sinus issues (which is a fun story for another day), I'm rarely sick. I've never broken a bone. And the only minor surgery I had was elective and for a good cause. I'm not ready to need invasive medical care, although I'm sure people rarely are. I'm not ready to need maintenance meds (although the ones for my migraines are Godsends). I'm not ready to break down.

So, I'm gonna do something about it. All that exercise and eat right stuff you hear people blabbing about. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

* I was going to post a picture of my brain from the MRI, because I thought it was cool that I know what my brain looks like, but upon further review, I realized I wasn't sure that what I was looking at was my brain. I didn't want to post a picture of what I thought was my brain and then have one of you smarties say, um, Amber, that's your ear.


Wendy said...

Major yikes! Think of it this way, if you *do* have to have surgery, at least it would make you better and then you hopefully wouldn't have to deal with it anymore!

Sassytimes said...

Yikes! Best of luck if you need surgery. Hoping the pain becomes manageable for you!

I have a crooked spine too. :(

(Your brain/ear comment made me laugh out loud)

Gerry said...

So sorry you have to be going through all of this. It is a very difficult thing to decide to do if they recommend surgery. Hope things get better.

Verification word: "spilly" I love it