I have been a passive, yet loyal reader of this forum for awhile and decided today is the day that I post my question. I have learned much from others' questions, but I do have issues that I haven't found addressed so far. I am asking for help and guidance...
In May 2008, I experienced right side numbness in my arm while driving home from work. The numbness continued to the point that I lost use of the arm and it extended down into my right foot and leg and eventually into the right side of my face. Thinking that I was experiencing a stroke, my primary MD transferred me to a larger hospital where I underwent an MRI of my Head and Carotid U/S, and nothing was found at that time that could explain what was happening to me. My symptoms seemed to come and go without explanation, and I returned to my primary MD still seeking answers in Sept. 2008, and she ordered an MRI of my Cervical Spine.
This is the results of my MRI:
C2-3: No disc bulge or protrustion.
C3-4: Mild diffuse bulge is present. No focal protrusion is seen.
C4-5: Mild diffuse bulge is present. There is mild flattening of the anterior aspect of the thecal sac. There is mild narrowing of the neural foramina bilaterally.
C5-6: Mild broad-based left posterolaterally disc protrusion is present. There is mild compromise of the left lateral recess.
C6-7: Mild broad-based right paracentral disc protrusion is present. There is minimal compromise of the right lateral recess;
1. MILD BROAD-BASED DISC PROTRUSIONS ECCENTRIC TO LEFT AT C5-6 AND CENTERED TO THE RIGHT AT C6-7. ASSOCIATED COMPROMISE OF LATERAL RECESSES AT THESE LEVELS.
2. BROAD-BASED MIDLINE DISC PROTRUSION AT C4-5 WITH MILD SPINAL STENOSIS. AGAIN, CORRELATION WITH DISTRIBUTION OF RADICULAR SYMPTOMS IS RECOMMENDED.
This MRI report was six months ago, and my primary MD felt that this was due to some type of trauma that I may have experienced as a young child that is now causing me problems, I am 43, and recalled an incident of being hit in the back of my head with a bat while participating in softball. At the time of this diagnosis,I elected to just wait and deal with the symptoms as they arise.
I have been experiencing increasing symptoms for the past month or so, with increasing fatigue and migraines, then last week while sleeping, I felt an odd feeling of a "squishiness" in the back of my neck, then experienced the feeling of some liquid running down my neck, I was lying on my side at the time. Since this occurrence, I have been in constant pain and discomfort with my neck and my head feels so "heavy" and I am just exhausted most of the time. I was prescribed Elavil to help me sleep, but I experienced so much grogginess with it the next day, I only take it when I have to. Lately though, with the help of Tylenol PM, I am able to rest some, but within an hour of rising, those recurring symptoms of my head feeling heavy and pain in my neck now extend into my upper back through to my mid-chest. I also experience pain under my right arm and I have this feeling of a stick or poker-like pain in my right armpit.
I have been referred to a neurosurgeon and will be seeing him for the first time on March 24th. Does anyone have any experience with the above symptoms, and what would be your opinion about what I might be expecting to hear from the neurosurgeon? I am wondering about PT or epidural injections, or will he recommend surgery? The one thing I keep reading is the recommendation to wait on surgery until the last resort, and I can understand this, yet I am in pain now most of the time. How much more must I endure before I will know that it is "time"? Any and all opinions would be welcome right now!