Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pain in the Neck!

Yup, Literally!

I haven't posted in five days because it's been a rough week. Everything's fine for the most part, but I am now wearing a new accessory, a cervical collar; the girls and I call it my new necklace.

Nearly two weeks ago I hurt my neck and shoulder carrying a backpack, Sydney and double stroller up and down stairs going through three train stations. We went to the Tanabata Festival and had a really good time. The next morning, Tuesday, I woke up with a kink in my neck and blew it off to sleeping funny. The following day it was still bothering me, but by that night my arm would be tingly and numb...almost felt like my funny bone was being hit constantly, and from my shoulder to my fingers, not just at my elbow. Thursday morning I woke up to what felt like a knife on the ride side of the back of my neck. The muscle between my neck and shoulder hurt really bad, and if I moved it felt like a jolt of electricity traveled from my neck to my fingers on my right hand. I looked online, a hypochondriac's dream, and figured it was a strained muscle, and the muscle was hitting the nerve. I put ice on my shoulder and neck, took motrin and hoped for the best. By Saturday I was doing better, and the constant headache was subsiding. It wasn't painful, but felt more like a lot of pressure right at the top of my the hairline. I was also able to hang on to a half gallon of milk which I almost dropped a few days earlier.

Since I was feeling better, on Sunday I wanted to hang up more pictures. So I asked a neighbor to help me move the entertainment center and TV. It wasn't centered and up against the wall, so it didn't need that much adjustment. We were done within a few minutes, and when I knelt down to pull, I felt that jolt again and knew I had made a big mistake. That night the pain was worse than it had been, and I considered going to the E.R. I read more about pinched nerves, and since my hand and arm weren't discolored, I didn't think going in would be necessary. I gave it another couple of days before calling the doctor, and when I did they told me to come in. They booked an appointment for me for Wednesday and I went in that afternoon.

The doctor said said there's a knot in the back of my neck...her words: it's like someone shot 20 CCs of saline into it. Physical therapy starts next week and I'm on some pretty impressive meds. Can't drive or lift, and if I'm in pain in two weeks I get an MRI to see if it's a disc. In the mean time I have to ice it for 10 minutes every hour. Swell! The girls have been fairly cooperative, and my new friends here have been offering help. Today the girls went to Julie's house for about 90 minutes, and it was great to just hear the quiet in the house. I haven't done laundry in almost a week since I can't lift the basket, but today needed to change the sheets on Keanna's bed. I had her climb on the bed and strip it, and I kicked the sheets down the stairs. I can walk okay, and thankfully my lower back is okay, but I'm extremely uncomfortable. Yesterday the girls pulled a chair over to the pantry, climbed up and opened a large bag of potato chips. Lovely. Chips were all over the kitchen and living room floors, and they even managed to bring the bag upstairs. I followed the trail just like in Hansel and Gretel. Thankfully the vacuum was upstairs. I used my left arm and vacuumed, and knew I had to do downstairs since it was much worse. I was stepping on chips making it worse and dragging them even more around the house. Keanna helped me, but my neck started bothering me. The muscle feels better, but my spine hurts more now.

Not much fun with no husband around, but we're managing. Before I got on the medicine I was averaging 3-4 hours of sleep a night and sleeping on the couch during the day. The girls now know how to turn on the TV, change out DVDs and Wii games, and Keanna's been petting my face and hair like a dog reassuring me that she'll take care of me. It's so cute!

So here's a summary...

-definitely a pinched nerve
-doc (a female commander, really liked her) thinks it's a muscle strain causing it, so basically a pulled muscle which is better than if it were a disc problem
-it's not overly serious, but I need physical therapy and start next week
-she named it along with the nerves but it was Greek to me
-she felt the back of my neck and had me do all these different things with my head, neck hands and arms
-she also said it's very swollen-neck and shoulder area as a whole, not just the knot. I can see how much puffier my right side is than my left
-I'm on a really good muscle relaxer/anti-inflammatory too
-can only drive if I must, no heavy lifting
-if I'm still in pain in 2-3 weeks she wants to do an MRI to see if it's a disc problem


Andrew-Josiah said...

Ah Katie...I wish I was there to help you. Im so sorry...I know how much nerve pain hurts! Was it your Ulnar Nerve in your neck? I have that problem in my elbow and wrist. I have had surgery once...and going to have to have it again in a few months. YUCK! Im so sorry. You are in my prayers!

newsjunkie said...

Ouch! I hope you're feeling better soon!!

Jackie said...

Ugh! Of COURSE it happened when Bob was gone! Wish I was there or you were here...I'd take the girls...the boys loved them! Don't suppose you can mail them...?!

Take it as easy as you can (HA!)