Diane Cohen | CaringBridge

Diane Cohen no more pain in the neck

First post: 12/13/2016 Latest post: 4/24/2017
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The story begins a year ago, when I started feeling numbness in my feet and tingling in my arms. I saw my doctor, who ordered an MRI of my neck, then sent me to a neurosurgeon. The surgeon informed me that I had bone spurs in my cervical vertebrae that were compressing my spinal cord, causing all kinds of problems. The best approach, he said, was to operate, take off a piece of my vertebrae, scrape off the bone spurs, then stabilize my neck with a metal plate and screws.
I stopped listening when he said "screws."
I thought about a second opinion but found one unexpectedly, when I spoke to the husband of a woman whose conversion I was supervising. He was also a neurologist and agreed with the first doctor's plan of attack. He even told me his wife had had the surgery and was doing just fine. So I contacted the neurosurgeon for a surgery date. Frankly, at this point I'm looking forward to it. I am having trouble walking - my balance is off because my leg and foot muscles don't always cooperate, and my right leg feels like it's losing its strength.
The date is approaching. I visit Kaiser on Sunset in Los Angeles for pre-op prep on Dec. 20, and the surgery is set for Jan. 4. The doctor foresees 4-6 days in the hospital, followed by rehab if I have trouble walking, or straight home if I'm good. Physical therapy comes to visit me in the beginning, after which I can go to my local Kaiser for PT. I will not be able to drive for two months, but if someone drives me, I am allowed to get out of house arrest. I will be wearing a soft collar most of the time. Conversation piece.
I'm really not worried about the outcome of the surgery. At my first visit, the neurosurgeon said I was in good shape - "most people don't come to me til they're in a wheel chair." I have no intention of attending my granddaughter's bat mitzvah in two years in a wheel chair.
I do worry about pain. I don't enjoy pain. But it will pass, with good drugs, and I will return to my life. I do expect to chafe under inactivity, the inability to jump in my car when I want to (I do after all live in Los Angeles), because I so hate to be dependent on others. Hate it hate it hate it. But this too shall  pass. Until then, either I or my son Scott or my cousin Marcia will keep this page up to date with my progress. Once I'm past the pain stage, I hope to record my thoughts on this first surgery in my life (how did I make it this far without going under a knife???). For those of you so inclined, prayers may be said for Ravdina bat Miriam.

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