I was totally amazed when I read Jennifer Grey's story (“Back On Her Feet,” December 2012/January 2013, http://bit.ly/VZxKKy) because I had such a similar experience.
In 2004, I began experiencing terrible pain in my shoulder—or so I thought. I went to my doctor for X-rays, but he found nothing. I went about my business the best I could. But I couldn't even sit down in the bleachers for more than 15 minutes to watch my daughter play basketball. I would have to stand the rest of the game because the pain was excruciating.
Years later, I went back to my doctor, but still nothing was found. I decided to try a chiropractor, but after a few appointments, he realized he wasn't doing me any good and sent me back to the doctor. It had been almost five years of pain at that point. Then, while getting a neck massage one day, I became momentarily paralyzed, all the way down to my feet. I screamed and told the massage therapist to stop. I knew then that the problem was in my neck and not my shoulder. I called my doctor, and a CAT scan showed that the vertebrae in my neck were completely pressed against my spinal cord.
I was immediately set up with an appointment with a fantastic surgeon in Santa Barbara, CA.
In 2009, he performed a surgery very similar to Jennifer Grey's. They went in through the front and put in a titanium plate and fused my spinal cord together again. I will never have full use of my neck—for example, I can't look up all the way—but the pain is gone. I will forever be grateful.
Santa Maria, CA