My neck is out again. In a horrifically painful way. The pain has reached new heights... or would that be lows. Whatever. Its life stopping at this point because I can do nothing without pretty intense pain. It's only severe discomfort if I lie back and rest my neck totally.
I've been in a cervical collar for about a week now which does seem to help a bit with the radiating right arm burning pain, but it's not helping the left two fingers which are permanently numb now. It doesn't help with the actual neck pain either but it does stabilise the area so I don't make it any worse. The collar is an experimental treatment, along with saline/lidocaine injections, from the new musculoskeletal pain management physician I'm seeing named Giresh Kanji.
However, because this is clearly a disc issue my GP (general practitioner) thinks Giresh won't be able to do much more and I have a follow up on Monday with the GP to check my status and then a likely referral back to my orthopaedic surgeon. The GP thinks I probably do need surgery based on the fact that my MRIs were taken when I was not symptomatic, therefore the discs were shown in their best state - and even that was 'just below the threshold of surgical intervention' according to the surgeon.
Thank fully my uncle-in-law is a preeminent eye surgeon here in Wellington and he pulled a few strings to get me seen my my GP yesterday afternoon as they were too full to see me otherwise. He's also made a call to a different orthopaedic surgeon to whom I will go for a second opinion if my regular orthopeadic surgeon can't see me soon or can't help.
So now I'm on diazepam x5 for the muscle spasms (too small a dose to actually feel it though - it's Valium for the yanks), Arcoxxia x2 for the inflammation (I can't take regular anti-inflammatories), up to 4 times the normal Losec dose for my stomach to counteract all the other meds, and then Tramadol or Codeine on top of that for pain (which don't do anything really but there is nothing but morphine after that and I don't want to go there). Plus ice packs alternating with heat packs, cervical collar and, well, rest. Cause I can't do much of anything else. I'm just a party girl!
Yes the pain is about an 8 out of 10. Walking on the broken ankle was about a 7 in comparison. I have a very high pain threshold.
So, this too shall pass. It's not been this bad before and that worries me, but I know it will get better. Either on its own accord or via the meds or via surgery - something will happen that will make it better.
I'm worried about work in a big way. I had to take Friday off and I was barely functioning on Thursday. I enjoy my job and the people I work for. I have a great boss and I like the Big Boss too. But at the end of the day, they've got a business unit to keep functioning and my problems don't help them keep a high-performing team. I worry that all of my pain issues and my other problems, like my bum knee/lower back/ ankle and bad stomach makes me look like a malingerer or as someone who is a high risk for advancement/increased duties. That's not because of anything they've said - that's all in my head. I over-think things. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut at work about my health problems as much as practicable. Hell, I need to learn to keep my mouth shut more often full stop.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a pretty open book. I don't hide things consciously and I share what's on my mind fairly readily.
I don't know. I'm confused. I'm trying not to let it depress me too much but that's pretty darn hard right now. I've got a lot of negative 'self' feelings like doubt, loathing and fear playing 10 pin bowling in my head. That team is called the Downers. The pins they are knocking down are my positive 'self' things - like esteem, worth, confidence, trust, belief, etc. They're called Sunshine.
My birthday party is a week from today and I hope that I will be well enough to enjoy it. I haven't sorted a costume yet. I haven't been able to create the Spanish garb I wanted for November Crown either which is a week after that.
Let's not even talk about the two finals I am taking in two weeks, both of which I am horribly behind on studying for.
OK, let's focus on the good things.... I have a great husband who loves me and takes care of me. I have wonderful friends, both old and hew, who put up with me when I get like this and love me anyway. I have a job I like, a warm home, two lovely cats and a family across the waters who love me very much. I'm really quite lucky in the big scheme of things.
Now if I can just get the Downers to stop knocking my Sunshine into the dark alley!