Sunday, November 17, 2019

A Personal Experience Having Degenerative Disc Disease



The morning after Mother's Day celebration last year I woke with a pain in my right neck, it was the same pain I felt when I am experiencing a muscle stiffed neck, that's why I did not pay much attention to it. I also did not take any pain reliever thinking it will go away the rest of the day. As the day progresses, the pain also increased. The pain also started to radiate to my right shoulder with limited movement. That was the time I decided to take Mefenamic Acid 500mg tablet and I was very positive that in a few minutes the pain will subside. I also applied muscle relaxant cream, but I was wrong, the pain progressed up until the evening that day. I was testing myself and managing pain orally for 24 hours. At around two in the morning, the pain from my neck drew down to my right arm and the neck pain was unbearable, I couldn't my head, cannot tilt it not even slight motion. That is when I decided to go to the emergency room.  

At the emergency room, the attending doctor examined and interviewed me. They took vital signs and hook me to any an intravenous line and started to induced Tramadol IV. It took me four hours in the emergency room until the pain subsided. I was sent home and given oral medication for me to take for five days. Although the evidence of pain still there I was able to move my head and neck, I was able to manage to eat and go to the bathroom. I was confident enough that the pain will be diminished and I would be pain-free the next hours, but I was wrong. When the pain reliever via IV infusion ran off pain started to kick in. This time it got even worse, the unbearable pain that is somewhat like tearing my neck muscles apart, it was sharp and little did I know I was crying with pain. 

Again, I was rushed to the emergency room for the second time and this time pain management in the ER was just an initial step. The doctor requested an X-ray of the cervical spine and with the initial results of Cervical spondylosis. The doctor advised me to have myself admitted for the next 24-48 hours under the care of the specialist as oral medication at home will not work anymore. I succumbed to the advice and I was checked into the hospital at around 3 am.  

When the doctor saw me and saw my ER records along with the x-ray film they took and the initial diagnosis he ordered for me to have an MRI of the spine to get a closer look at what is happening. I was on an intravenous drip and oral pain medication so the pain was bearable. There were times that the sharp stabbing pain was felt before the MRI procedure. At around 3 pm, I was wheeled down to the radiology department for the MRI request, it was my first time to go to that procedure. I was a little anxious and the felling of claustrophobic because of the closed space of the apparatus. The technician instructed me to not move and be still during the procedure, my head was placed flat on and the loud music was heard in the headphones. She also said that I would hear loud throbbing sound during the procedure and this lasted for 30 minutes. 

I was discharged after 36 hours again with oral medication and I was referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon for my MRI results, the diagnosis was Degenerative Disc Disease with Radiculopathy. The affected spine was C5- C6, C6-C7, along with the bulging disc. My cervical spine aged earlier than my age, it is a normal occurrence because of aging. Surgery is not an option for now, but evidently, symptoms like the pain I felt will attack.

For five months now, there are times my neck and shoulder would go stiff and I can feel the pain but not the same excruciating pain I felt before.

I started to regain the strength and mobility of my neck slowly by doing some exercises at home, keeping my diet as healthy as possible. I am taking it slowly and one day at a time.
It was one of the saddest experiences I felt, the crushing pain and I can't bearly move my neck and my head. I got depressed and the worry hit me so hard. But, what to do, for now, I need to accept and learn to deal with my bone disease. 

I never stopped reading about my condition, I want to learn more and know more. I’ve also read that a visit to the chiropractor can help improve my neck problem, I am keeping this option open. 


19 comments:

  1. Spine problems might be the toughest because they affect bones, nerves and discs. This was an interesting post and I hope never to have these problems.

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  2. Oh man, that is terrible. I am glad the pain is not as bad now though.

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  3. woah i love how open and honest you are about sharing something like this with al lof us- keep reading about your condition and def learning more on how to help! So glad the chiropractor is helping!

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  4. Ouch, this sounds painful. I am glad you shared the story though since it could help so many others. My husband might have this issue down the line. His back hurts a lot.

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  5. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and was diagnosed ten years ago and I am still learning things about this disease. It's terrifying to be at the mercy of someone else. (Rena)

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  6. Sorry to hear this happened to you! Chronic pain is certainly not fun to live with. Educating yourself on the disease is so helpful, I hope you can find answers that give you plenty of relief!

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  7. Thank you for opening up about your condition. It's great that you're keeping your options open.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing your story - I can't imagine what it is like to suffer with something like this, I am glad that some things have been able to help you get a bit more movement.

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  9. I have degenerative disc disease in my neck too. I hope you will be feeling better soon and you'll be able to find relief.

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  10. I am sorry you are going through this. I hope a visit to the chiropractor can help. Have you considered an orthopedic pillow? There are lots of customizable ones!

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  11. I am so sorry to hear that you've been dealing with such a terrible amount of pain. My mother has been suffering from degenerative disc disease for years. For her, some days are better than others. What she does each night to try to lessen the pain is to sleep on her back with her legs raised by 3 firm pillows. Hopefully this might help you sleep better at night too.

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  12. This is really not good. I hope you are feeling better now. Thank you for sharing this to us and for spreading awareness regarding this disease.

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  13. First hand accounts are always the best way to share information. The source is trustworthy because they know this personally. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  14. I'm really sorry to hear about this. I hope you're doing better now. I honestly had never heard of this til I read your post. I'm glad to know more about it now.

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  15. This sounds so painful. So sorry to hear about it! You'll be in my prayers!

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  16. I am so sorry that you are suffering! Thank you for sharing your story!

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  17. Mama Maggie's KitchenNovember 20, 2019 at 4:54 PM

    This sounds really scary. I hope you are feeling a lot better now. I will keep you on my prayers. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

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  18. I can only imagine how painful that this must be. I'm wishing you all of the best!

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  19. I am so sorry. I hope you feel a lot better soon. My SIL's Mom suffered from it before too. I think she's feeling better now.

    -LYNNDEE

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