Posted 10/27/2012 12:29 PM (GMT -7)
Just to refresh - My PM had suggested RFA, as well as referred me to a neurosurgeon. Surgeon said that yes, I am a candidate for fusion (said he would do two levels, C5-6 & C6-7), however, as my MRI didn't indicate 'emergent' he was more comfortable waiting, due to my age - I'm 41. His words were, "You're 40 years old, and hopefully, you have another 40 years. If we do this now, the level above will compensate for the fused levels and it will only be a matter of time before that level will need surgery, too." However, he said he would schedule me now, if I wanted to.
I will still get a second opinion (I would anyway, regardless of what the first one said, before having surgery), however, financially, it just wasn't happening anytime soon. So, in desperation to get some relief, I suppose, as well as a dash of eternal optimism, I scheduled the RFA with my PM doc. Had the treatment eleven days ago and at this point, I feel as if it was the worst mistake I have made in my six years in pain management.
Since having the procedure, I haven't been able to complete a full days work. I manage thru the morning somehow, but by lunchtime, it (this is the only way I have found to describe the pain) hurts simply holding my head up. The skin on the back of my head is completely numb to the touch. However, from about mid head to my shoulder, it hurts even when I touch it. The pain in my neck / shoulder / back is worse than before the procedure. Prior, while working, my meds would keep me at around a 5, give or take a bit... Now, with every med I can take, the best I can get to is a 7, and that is only if I am able to lie down on my heating pad. It even hurts sitting on the couch.
All that said, I am still holding out and it is my hope that I can post a follow up to this that RFA was my miracle! I've been finding personal accounts, looking for experiences where people had 'turn arounds'. I've found a few experiences where the person was "sore" for up to three weeks before having any relief. While I would not describe my pain as "sore", as I said, I'm holding out hope!
I have not phoned my doctor, yet, as while he was doing the procedure (and I was under the influence of Versed), he explained that the top level, C2, could possibly get "angry" and cause considerable pain. I wasn't thinking at the time, to ask him if it would get happy again, so I want to be sure to give it sufficient time to settle down.
Has anyone had any experience with this? Maybe I had my rose colored glasses on, but I would think that once the nerves are essentially severed, that pain was just not possible, like it would be *instant*... Guess I was wrong?