kmartin's Journal, 11 May 2010

Yikes. Went and saw the pain management Dr this morning. He rechecked my MRIs, saw the bulging disks and one that was protuding and pinching a nerve that is causing weakness and electrical currents down my left arm. He actually spoke of possible surgery to correct this. Hello, surgery on my neck. Right there with my spinal cord, nerves, and all those things needed to prevent paralysis and death.

I don't like Drs. I don't like surgery. I don't like to take medications that may make me feel altered in any way shape or form.

Well, he is going to try cortizone injections 1st. Says he will sedate me pretty good and then inject this steroid into my neck and all we can do is hope it caused the swelling to reduce. If not, I will need the surgery.

I know DH has had steroid injections in his back and hip, but aren't these like bad for women? Does anyone know what type of risks or side affects there might be for doing this? Would it be better to live with the pain, or have the surgery instead?

Yes, I am a wimp. And I am scared to death he will cause more damage than what has already been done.

Diet Calendar Entry for 11 May 2010:
1846 kcal Fat: 142.43g | Prot: 111.90g | Carb: 30.26g.   Breakfast: BACON 7am, French Vanilla Splenda. Lunch: ground beef, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, salt, pepper. Dinner: Ricotta and Fresh Herb Frittata, bacon, water -throughout the day. Snacks/Other: Ricotta and Fresh Herb Frittata, EAS , David Sunflower Seeds, atkins shake. more...
on diet Atkins  


Keli, my mom has had two discs in her neck repaired. It worked, no bad effects. The steroids are cortisone and it is used to reduce swelling in joints, etc, and there really are no "side effects" like the steroids that we typically think of. Dad had the same problem in his Lumbar area, and had it repaired the end of Feb, and is doing great. His was pressing so hard against his spinal cord, that he lost the ability to lift his leg. Dr said it was the equivalent of a full grown man putting all his weight on one foot, and standing on dad's foot. The difference for dad is amazing. I have had the cortisone injections in my knees and wrists (for carpal tunnel), and there were no side effects at all. Just make sure that the doctor doing the procedures is a good doctor. Check him out on the internet, and possibly get a second opinion. Are you having numbness in your hands and arms, pain in your neck? These are clear indications that something isn't right (obviously), but I would question why he didn't notice the problems with the discs the first time he checked the MRI results. If the cortisone doesn't work, have the surgery. Although it is scary, the advancements that have been made, make it a pretty safe surgery. Of course, there are risks, like any surgery, especially with anesthesia, but I think you will find that liing wtih the pain is the least of the symptoms from a bulging disc that is pressing on the spinal cord. The numbness, tingling, and inability to grasp pencils, etc are also possible effects from this type of injury. Hope this helps, and I will be praying for you.  
11 May 10 by member: ctlss
Oh Goodness...that is alot to think on. I have no answers for you as far as it being in the neck. My mother gets the injections for the same issue but further down the spine. I have never heard her speak of any side effects or issues from it though.  
11 May 10 by member: rebecca319
Stef, this is the Dr that the neurosurgeon referred me to after the MRIs were done. Yes, I have quite a bit of pain in my neck. It gets so bad that I can't turn my head sometimes and I've been getting really had headaches. I have been experiencing some electrical pain down the left arm and also some burning in my feet. I've also been having problems typing and holding onto objects with the same arm. But thanks for the responses. I feel a lot more relieved that I probably wont come out of there disfigured or something.  
11 May 10 by member: kmartin
Im no doc but doesnt cortisone have a lot of side effects? Like swelling, weight gain? I hope you find the best solution, God willing, and please stick to your diet as much as you can, you need it more than ever because of your treatment. Healthy painless days will come... :) Love, Ana 
11 May 10 by member: anapdc
Some steroids do have the effect of causing swelling of the face, weight gain, etc, but Cortisone injections don't usually cause these. Cortisone is even sold over the counter in cream form for itch relief. 
11 May 10 by member: ctlss
OK, thats much better then :) 
11 May 10 by member: anapdc
Thank goodness. I really don't want to deal with more setbacks to this weight loss. At least those not caused by me. Swelling of the face? Really, how awful.  
11 May 10 by member: kmartin
Keli, I found this info. Hope it helps. Cortisone injections are used for the treatment of many different orthopedic problems including arthritis , tendonitis, and bursitis. Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory medication, not a pain killer. However, by reducing inflammation, pain often subsides. Answer: Cortisone injections are very safe to perform. Side effects tend to be rare and minor. However, there are a few potential side effects of a cortisone injection that patients should know about. Systemic Side Effects Systemic side effects occur as a result of a small amount of the cortisone entering the bloodstream and affecting your entire body, not just the location where the cortisone was given. Systemic side effects of a local injection of cortisone are rare and usually minor. Unlike taking oral steroids, or having cortisone injected directly into the bloodstream, only a small amount of a local injection is absorbed by the body. And since the body actually produces cortisone naturally, most people do not experience systemic effects. Those who do may experience: Elevated Blood Sugar The most common systemic reaction is seen in diabetic patients. Patients with diabetes should carefully monitor their blood sugar as cortisone can cause a temporary rise in their levels. Patients taking insulin should be especially careful, checking their blood sugar often and adjusting the insulin doses, if necessary. Facial Flushing Patients may experience flushing sensation and redness of their face. This reaction is more common in women and is seen into up to 15 percent of patients. This can begin within a few hours of the injection and may last for a few days. Local Side Effects Local side effects are those that are only experienced in one area of the body. The local side effects of a cortisone injection are also rare. Pain Some patients have discomfort after the injection and may experience an increase in pain 24 to 48 hours after being treated. This usually subsides quickly and can be aided with an ice pack and anti-inflammatory medication. Infection Whenever there is a break in the skin, like when a needle is used to administer cortisone, there is a chance of infection. Your doctor will sterilize the skin to minimize the risk of infection. Skin Pigment Changes Patients with darker skin should also be aware that cortisone may cause skin around the injection site to lighten. This is not harmful. Loss of Fatty Tissue High doses of cortisone can have detrimental effects on some tissues in the body. When injected into fatty tissue, cortisone can lead to a problem called fat atrophy. Fat atrophy causes loss of fatty tissue, which can lead to dimpling of the skin or the thinning out of fat. Patients who get cortisone injections in the heel to treat plantar fasciitis may find walking painful as fat that usually cushions their steps may thin out. Tendon Rupture Cortisone can also cause weakening of tendons. This is one reason your doctor may limit the number of cortisone injections administered. Cortisone can also lead to tendon rupture, as is the case when cortisone is injected for Achilles tendonitis. Are Cortisone Injections Safe? Cortisone injections are extremely safe, but they do still carry potential problems. If you are concerned about having a cortisone shot, talk with your doctor. While cortisone is a powerful treatment for many orthopedic conditions, there are usually other options that can also be tried. Source:http://orthopedics.abou... 
11 May 10 by member: ctlss
Keli, the swelling of the face is the side effect of other types of steroids, used in medicine, such as ACTH, not cortisone, just to clarify my statement. 
11 May 10 by member: ctlss
I am so sorry Keli that you may have to face surgery, we will pray it can be healed through other treatments. I had a stint put in my left coronary artery 2 yrs ago. I was so scared, the thought of going up and artery into my heart and mess around just scared me so bad...there was nothing to it. I am so much better and I didnt drop dead on the conga line I was in 10 days later on a cruise lol. You dont want to go through life in pain so if you need it you should have it. Our fears are usually way worse then the actual procedure. Stay strong Keli we are all here for you :) 
11 May 10 by member: BCLenny
Keli,you don't want to go the rest of you're life in pain,I agree with Lenny about that.I had sciatic pain 5 years ago which but me in bed for 2 1/2 month the pain in my back and down my legs is something I never want to experience again.I had to have a series of epidual shots in my back if that hadn't help then it would have been surgery.Take care of the pain and I hope you won't have to go thru surgery.We will say a prayer that you get relief with shots.Please take care of yourself We are here for you 
11 May 10 by member: winddancer
Dear Keli, I am so sorry to hear about the pain you have been enduring. You are so sweet and always there with kind uplifting words for me every week. I feel bad that I did not know. I have had several of the coritsone shots mainly for my feet due to plantar facitis, painful but helps. Take care of your pain, it can cause many other problems too. Surgery is scary, but can be the answer, always get a second opinion and I will pray for you. Good Luck and Thank you again it really helps when I receive a comment,I really am glad I have joined this website. Jean 
11 May 10 by member: js6006
thank you all for the kind words and information. Dh had a bad experience with having this done before so I guess thats why Im worried. But it'll be a day off of work and rest. I just got to big girl up. will be fine. 
11 May 10 by member: kmartin
Keli - I don't have any info. on medicines to offer but doing positive visualizations seeing your discs improving couldn't do any harm and may do a lot of good. It works to heal cancer. Give it a try. 
11 May 10 by member: Multiplicity1


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