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Lucia25's Latest Activity

  1. HI, I am new to this forum. I am in my mid-30's, and have worked as a critical care RN for almost 10 years. Early on in my nursing career, I sustained a few work-related muskuloskeletal upper back injuries, and was off work recovering for about a month each time. Since then, I have had more or less mild chronic back pain. The pain has been getting more severe lately, so that I would have to take strong narcotics at the end of each shift. Then a few months ago, I suddendly developed numbness, tingling and severe pain in both my arms, and I had to stop working altogether. My MRI showed degenerative disc changes and severe lateral stenosis in my cervical spine. Since being at home on therapy (physio, massage, traction, analgesics etc.) the symptoms have largely improved. Here is the thing though - it seems that no one I have seen knows what to make of it. Even though I've never had any back injury outside of work, no one can tell me if this is work-related, if work will make it worse, and where do I go from here. The neurologist was unsure if I can return to work, and referred me to a neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon said I was not a surgical case, and said that I return to my regular duties, that it's not work-related, and so the ICU work should not make this condition worse! I was very happy to hear this, and currently making arrangements to return to work. He is one of the best neurosurgeons in the city and I value his opinion. However I would also love to hear from anyone else who can relate, or has had experience with early-onset disk degenration & stenosis. All the literature I have found on this says this usually starts much later in life. So my question is...has anyone else out there been diagnosed with severe stenosis/degenerative changes in their 30's (or earlier), and have you been able to keep working regular nursing duties (lifting, turning patients etc) without it becoming worse? Although I have been looking for another, more "sedentary" part time nursing job as a back-up option, the ICU is my "true love" and I would love to keep working there. I would love to hear from anyone else that has experience with anything like this as so far, I can not find much on it or anyone to relate to. I am very grateful for your support.