Tuesday, December 9, 2014


For the last several months, I've been working with several doctors, trying to get some relief from my almost constant neck stiffness and pain. X-rays show I have some cervical spine degeneration, but not much that explains my symptoms. I was sent to a Physical Medicine specialist (BTW - I thought all medicine was "physical" - call me surprised) who prescribed physical therapy traction and put me on a seizure medicine that helps with nerve pain. The goal with PT is to work up to being able to stand 20 pounds of pressure in traction so I can qualify for a home traction unit.

Fast forward to yesterday. In PT, I had started with 10 pounds of pressure and was gradually working my way up in terms of tolerance. Until yesterday, the most I had had was 15 pounds. The physical therapist decided to bump me up to 20 to see how I tolerated it.  When I sat up after treatment, my whole scalp felt like it had been injected with Novocain. My mid-back muscles were a little crampy because there was so much pull on my spine. I was so stiff and sore all of yesterday, but was told to expect that. This morning, I was OK, but my pain and soreness increased through the day, with most of the pain concentrated in my shoulder. It got so bad at one point I shut my office door so I could be teary without causing a scene. Then, tonight in night class, my arms started going numb.

Several hours later, after tests to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack or stroke, the doctor determined my muscle spasms were so severe they were impinging nerves in my shoulders. I'm now at home with REALLY strong muscle relaxants and pain killers. And I'm so incredibly frustrated.

Why can't this body just work the way I need it to?

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