Friday, April 16, 2010

MRI Results

I talked earlier this week about pain, physical therapy, and tests being done on my neck. I decided to go ahead and call my doctor's office today to see if they had the results yet, and if my doctor had read them or not. Normally I don't do that, I usually figure if it's bad, they'll tell me, other wise I can wait till my appointment. Well, my appointment isn't until mid May. I was sick of waiting.

The office just called me back, and it's both good news, and bad, I suppose, though honestly, I am feeling very relieved.

I have Cervical Spondylosis, which is a fancy way of saying I have arthritis in my neck- at the ripe old age of not quite 32. They are going to go ahead and send me to the pain clinic for shots. The way my doctor described it before, it sounds like for the first 3-4 visits, I'll have to get a shot every 3 weeks, but then after that, it will be about every 3 months.

From what I've read up, I think it's an epidural shot, but I'm not sure. Not real sure how crazy I am about a needle in my neck (and needles don't even bother me anymore- not after a week long hospitalization when I was pregnant with my oldest, and getting poked and prodded several times a day), but if it makes the bulk of the pain go away? I'm all for it.

Arthritis in the neck doesn't get better. At most, we can use exercise, and pain relieving to help prevent it from getting worse all that quickly. But, eventually, it'll continue to deterioate and cause more pain.

I have never even heard of arthritis in the neck, and upon looking it up, I'm shocked at how it describes my headaches perfectly, as well as the pain in my neck, shoulders, and sometimes, upper back. I'm guessing that we were too busy looking at the problems my family has, to think that someone my age my have arthritis.

Eventually, if it gets bad enough, I'll wind up needing surgery on my neck to clip the nerve endings (several sites refer to surgery, only one describes a type of surgery, so I'm guessing that's all the surgery is). The nerve endings can regenerate, though, so in some cases, it's something that may need repeating once or twice a year, while in other cases, it may not need repeating at all.

PT is recommended still, because the exercises help. I have noticed less pain overall in my neck, and more mobility, which is key- keeping my mobility up helps slow the deterioration.

Headache wise, I went all day Thursday without a single headache- which is NOT normal. I typically get 2-3 headaches a day, or 1 massive, doesn't want to go away, headache. So, an entire day without one? Pretty much the best day ever.

Today, I have one, but I'm confidant that over time, if I continue with some exercises at home, and occasional stints in PT, plus the pain clinic, that the headaches might actually go away. Wouldn't that be nice?

So, while it isn't the best diagnosis in the world, it is finally a diagnosis after 5+ years of pain that has only gotten steadily worse over time. Maybe now, it'll get steadily better.


Pati @ A Crafty Escape said...

Glad to hear that at least you have a diagnosis that will allow you to treat the root cause. Wishing you a good recovery.

Kelli said...

Such a relief to find a cause! I've been suffering from migraine and chronic daily headache for 11 or so years now, and I'm wondering if mine might not somehow be related to what ails you? Would you mind shooting me an email with some details on your headaches? I had an MRI about 10 years ago, but it was of the head, not the neck. Could that have missed something? It wears on one after a while, the constant pain or threat of pain. I go in cycles, and right now I'm in the discouraged part of the cycle. I just want to FIX it. Tired of round after round of prophylactics hoping it's "the one." But like I said, I'm so glad you found something to help! It gives me hope. :)
Kelli -

Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

I will email you Kelli :)

I am hoping that things will get "better", in the way that they won't get worse, and the pain will be helped. It would be really nice not living with all the pain.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't imagine living with daily pain like that. Hopefully you will begin to feel some relief of some sort soon!

Tailored Trash Queen said...

I used to work in a clinic and our doctor specialized in chronic pain. He prescribed those shots all the time and they are basically an epidural. They help lots of people so I'm hopeful they will help you!!! At least you know what it is now, and maybe that will give you some peace about it anyways and also a better direction in how to deal with it! Thinking about you!

Katelyn said...

So sorry to hear this-esp at age 32! Hope the headaches will go away though.

Maria@ChicaBellaCrafts said...

Thank goodness now you know exactly what it is and you can start treating it. I'll be praying for you, I hope that's okay with you?

Kate said...

Glad to hear you've got a Dx. My husband has arthritis in his neck from an old ice hockey injury and has found that with chiropractic care and lots of stretching he is able to avoid the meds most of the time.

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

Yikes! That doesn't sound fun. But at least it's not cancer or something life threatening. Just life inconvenient:(