Tuesday, March 29, 2011

pain in the neck

Earlier this month, I started having major neck issues. Keep in mind, I have RA so I have crappy joints to begin with, so I always have aches and pains. But shortly after coming back from Arizona, I started having serious neck and shoulder pain. I was in pain and uncomfortable all the time, and it was hard to focus on anything unless I was laying down.

After about a week of the discomfort, and once I started experiencing weakness and tingling down my left arm, I finally went to see a doctor. I just went to a family medicine guy at the clinic, nothing special. He gave me some exercises and ordered x-rays. He mentioned that if the x-rays were okay, he might recommend an MRI.

I did the x-rays the same day, and the next day the nurse called saying everything was normal. I asked about the MRI, and the nurse said the doctor had noted to call back in a week if I was still experiencing pain.

I was put off. Not only was I struggling to deal with the pain, it was interefering with daily activity AND I was in the midst of IVF stims. I didn't want to risk going into my ER & ET without addressing the issue, especially because of my experience with cycling during an RA flare last summer. (Long story short, it didn't work possibly because of the flare.)

The next day, I called back and said I wanted to do the MRI now. I told the nurse there was no improvement and tried to express the urgency without having to detail my whole IVF/IF story. She talked to the doctor and an order was put in for MRI.

Now call me naive, but I guess I didn't know what an MRI was. I mean, I knew what it was, but didn't realize quite how small that tube is that they put you in. I went in for my MRI the following Wednesday, and promptly freaked out as soon as I was moved into the tube. I walked out, tail between my legs and in tears, without completing the MRI.

**Side bar: Part of why I got so emotional following the MRI attempt, aside from the hormones and urgency of beating the clock on my IVF retrival, was because Noah had an MRV (basically an MRI for the ventricals in the brain) about a year and a half ago. I remember thinking he had to be scared during the test. He wailed and reached for me. I stayed calm, but kept thinking "I'd be so claustraphobic, how must he feel?" SO flash forward to my experience, and I had a sudden wave of guilt for putting Noah in that position. I hate mother's guilt.

Anyways, after my freak-out, I talked to several friends and co-workers and all suggested an Open MRI. Again, naive. Didn't know there was such a thing, so I called the medical group, and they confirmed they didn't have one. So I googled, and found one near my office. I got an appt for that Friday. The day before my retrival.

I survived the open MRI, and was told I'd have results within 24 hours.

So the weekend came and went, and on Monday, the day before my transfer, I still hadn't heard anything. I called the doctor. They hadn't received the results. WHAT?! I called the MRI place, they called the doctor, the doctor called me...

Diagnosis is bulging discs between C5 & C6 and C6 & C7. I had previously self diagnosed (thanks Google) with a C5/C6 problem, because of the location of the pain, weakness, and tingling. I see the orthopedic doctor tomorrow, and I am hoping that all I need is some PT to resolve the issue, and that surgery isn't needed. Especially since I'm PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) with my triplet embryos. :)

No comments: