Spinal Stenosis Sufferers Community
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C5-C6 cadaver disk with titanium plate surgery

I had cervical stenosis pain for the last three years caused by disk degeneration due to age (that's what the spine specialist said).  I had surgery on March 20 because my spine specialist did an MRI and found the herniated disk was pressing on my spinal cord.  I did have a lot of pain on the back left side of my neck and pain in my left elbow along with tingling in my fingers, but it was manageable with medication and injections.  I was reluctant to say the least about this surgery because I have been a "go getter," and always on my feet, being all I can be for as long as I can remember.  When I went to the surgeon, he convinced me that I would be up and about and doing fine enough to go back to work in two to six weeks.  I felt, well I will be back to my kids in two weeks.  WRONG!  I have never been in so much pain in all my life.  This was three months ago and it has gotten better since the first day.  But the surgeon said the two hour surgery turned into a three hour surgery because of all the bone spurs and said it was much worse than he anticipated.  I have never been in so much pain in all my life.  Since the disk was shot and had to put the cadaver bone in, this forced them to pull all the muscles in my shoulders and down my back.  Throughout recovery it has gotten slowly better but I still feel trapped in a body that can and will not do what I need it to do to keep going and do my job.  I am scared and angry and upset most of the time.  I worry that I  am not going to be able to do my job when school starts back.  I wish I never had this done.  I would have rather taken  my chances and stayed in the situation I was in taking my chances.  At least before, the pain was manageable with meds and injections.  Now the surgeon has completely taken me off the meds and wants me to exercise all the time (as if I don't and/or won't).  I was in the service for three years and know what exercise is and I have worked and tried to get back to where I was, to no prevail.  I am a 54 year old female who cannot just quit working because I am not retirement age and cannot live without insurance.  If I tried to go on welfare or disability, I would lose everything I worked my whole life for and have no insurance.  Also, my husband wants me to snap out of it and make myself get back at it.  He loves his sugar momma and does not plan on his benefits going away.  I am afraid if they do, he will feel the same way about me and want me to go away too, because of the way he is acting.  He doesn't understand.  I look fine, so he thinks why can't I act fine and go on with life.  I hurt from my head to my toes and cannot get rid of the pain.  When I try to talk to the surgeon and he looks at the x-ray and says everything looks to be healing fine.  I said, then why am I in so much pain and can't sleep and/or perform as I have always done.  He shrugs his shoulders and say "I don't know."  Well that doesn't FIX THE PROBLEM!  I certainly don't know either.  If you are ever told by a surgeon that it must be done but you can still walk and move, DON'T DO IT!  You will regret it!  Take my advice...
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