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Help me- 14 months after surgery

Started by Bellanut on 01/03/2019 10:51pm

I wasn’t in an accident or have any injury. I was told after an MRI that I had spinal stenosis, arthritis and degenerative disk disease. I had a fusion October of 2017. It was 3 levels in my neck (I would be guess if I told you which ones) . It was done through the front of my neck and was 3,4 & 5 or 4,5 & 6. Sorry I didn’t care the numbers at the time. So, it was a two yr process before surgery, had a couple different surgeons opinions and felt like I selected well. Pre surgery was on a lot of pain meds, had horrible pressure and pain inbetween shoulders and down arms as well as my neck. The first few days after surgery everything was as expected. After 3-4 days was completely paralyzed below right shoulder to above right elbow. I had to cut my hair off because I couldn’t brush it, wash it or pull it up by myself. I did physically therapy a couple of times. After a while I got feeling back but now hurts so bad now in the same place.
That was issue one. #2- swallowing almost impossible. Have seen some specialists and from what I gather only one side of muscles work when my throat pushes food down. I choke daily and have lost over 30 pounds now- it was nice at first now way too much weight.
#3 disfigured - I signed a lot of paperwork even one about death, but nothing about my shoulder neck area is pushed out. I would say my back was my “sexiest” trait, if I had one. Nope gone.
And last, I have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety since surgery. Most recently suggestion of ptsd. That is scary. All the other stuff okay but mentally, can’t deal. I don’t want to sound suicidal, but can’t say the idea has never crossed my mind. It’s very overwhelming at times.
I guess to sum it up does it get better? I stopped taking all pain meds about 3 months after surgery, my surgeon and family doctor are aware of everything. I’m working on the mental stuff with my doc. I was athletic all my life and I try to be as active as possible still and found other hobbies. This surgery was because I couldn’t function anymore physically, and now I can’t function at all I feel like. I still work over 40 hrs a week, but as me, I don’t know who that is? I’m hateful and irritable. I seclude myself and complain about being alone. Because that makes since.
I just wonder am I unique? Does this happen because I have asked Siri and google and everyone/thing else and I’m not finding anything. Please share anything

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5 Responses


I'm very sorry to hear about all these issues & conditions & pain that you are dealing with post-surgery.

To be honest, I just signed up today on this website to get information for my mom's upcoming surgery. If I may, I'd like to ask you a few questions for clarification. Thank you.

1) I don't understand how you can work over 40 hours a week with these symptoms and intense pain. What type of work do you do?

3) How old are you? I assumed that you were elderly because of the severity of your condition pre-surgery, until you I read that you are still working over 40 hours a week.

3) What has your surgeon's response been about your post surgery issues, pain, complications, etc?


I am 38 years old. Never had accident, broken bone, nothing my whole life. Always played sports in school and even coached my son’s baseball team until he went to high school. I just feel apart at once.
I am a property manager for 60 units throughout 3 counties. I do a lot of marketing and paperwork. I also run the construction projects and schedule maintenance and repair. A lot, but I love my job. It does bother me a lot and if I have to clean or paint I’m usually in bed for 2 days after. I have been with my job since before my surgery. I have the ability to work from my bed if I have to. They are great to me.
My surgeon has always brushed everything off i say, maybe was worried about malpractice. It’s past me being able to do anything, but he switched practices about 6 months after and really haven’t had much contact. My family doctor has been great trying to investigate everything and help me. She will bring books into my room and we will sit there and research stuff.
I don’t know why my body is just falling apart. I had lower back surgery 6 years ago and it worked amazing and I assumed this one would to. This time around I found out I have degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. I don’t know a whole bunch about that. I am positive I could get disability for mental if not physical by this point, but I love my job and I want more than that. I just keep praying I’m still healing and it’s going to get better.


Hi Bellanut
I feel exactly what your going through. Pain, pain, and more pain! I’m depressed a, I’m evil and I’m always sitting alone because I don’t want to be bothered. 90% of these physicians do not want to fill out the disability papers because they don’t want to go in court. I say just fill the paperwork out. We are there patients they know are pain but don’t want to get involved with SSA . It’s said that your physician left for another practice. My neurosurgeon dismissed me as I’m good and if I need him for something else give them a call. So I have my family physician and she’s trying to figure it all out. She’s the one who prescribed gabapentin when the surgeon didn’t prescribed me anything but some narcotics that I didn’t take..
I sure hope everything gets better for us because it’s gett harder by the day.


Hello Bellanut and others, I also feel your pain, I had an ACDF on C5/6 C6/7 in July 2017 and since then have had to give up work and live with daily pain that is not only a physical battle but a mental one as well, I have to take pain meds to get through the day although am very mindful of the amount I take, I have gone from a person who loved playing sports and working full time to a person who is constantly in pain through my neck, shoulders, arms and hands. My doctors have been very supportive although can offer no solution, All I can say is never give up and keep searching for the magic solution for all of us because one day it will be found.
Keep moving as much as possible and I have found that massage for those muscles can give temporary relief.
This site helps, please stay in touch


Hello everyone

I just really feel your alls pain because im in the same boat but have yet to have surgery.

Ive lived with chronic neck pain and headaches for about 12 yrs but honestly i was managing it and living with it relatively ok. just got used to it
Now my symptoms have deteriorated as i have both arms radiating pain, shoulder, hands, wherever it just travels everyday somewhere new. But i m talking seering, aching pain. Weak arms, weak hands.
im taking gabapentin but trying to be conservative
i do not want to do surgery but its one of two scenarios:

live on drugs
attempt the surgery that from what ive been reading has no better prognosis and opens up yet another can of worms

I really feel for everyone as i truly truly understand your pain. Its like there is no escape, it consumes every aspect of our lives. Colors our world.I try to stay busy with work (largelly handicapped with weakness now..) i try to stay busy but its my contant companion whether i like it or not