Monday, December 21, 2009

A Pain In The Neck (part 3)

A pain in the neck that stays for too long is not something you should take for granted even if you can stand the torture...

Here's the 3rd part of my story.

I'm still holding on. The worst is over, since the inflammation has subsided.
At the moment I'm using a neck brace when I'm working at my desk or in the car. (One of my carpool partners drives like a fighter pilot driving a 4 wheel-drive in the jungle!!!) But everyone at the office has to ask why I'm wearing a neck brace. Some call me Darth Vader!!!

I'm using my left hand for the mouse to take off the strain on my right arm nerve. By all indications, this time it's the c5,c6 disk that's the cause as the pain goes along the outside of the right upper arm. The worst time is when I try to brush my teeth in the morning. So, for the time being I also switch to using my left hand to do that.

I consider going for a swim every weekend should be a good start. Give the protruded material time to shrink off. That was what the neurosurgeon said.

After all that, I'll consider a tattoo on my right arm that says: "Do not exceed 10 kgs hanging weight". I'm happy as long as it hurts only when I laugh....sigh.
That's my life. And pain seems an inevitable part of it.

On 2nd thoughts again... The knife twisting pain came back this afternoon. I think I have no choice but to take next step. I found that a Specialist Hospital in Penang has PLDD facilities. I'm going there tomorrow to see if that option is applicable for my case. There is an Iranian specialist there who is quite experienced.

I met the specialist this morning. PLDD cannot be done on cervical disks, only for lumbar discs. That's what he said. His only recommendation was anterior discectomy, normal procedure for such cases. He's reputed to be the best neurosurgeon in this north zone. He wants to remove C3/4 and C5/6 discs as they're both herniated. His fee: RM17K.

To proceed or not, I'll keep that option open yet. Considering the consequences and costs, I give myself another month or so. If the pain increases in frequency and intensity, I'll proceed. If it decreases, I'll hang on for another 5 - 6 months as the 1st neurosurgeon advised, the disc material will shrink and release the pressure on the nerve. If my sleep, normal life or work is too impeded by the condition, then there is no choice. The choice is mine. be continued

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