I'd rreeeeaally interested to see how the (presumedly) socialised medicine at home differs from, say, Highmark/Blue Cross. I'm "recovering" [sic] from C1-C2 fusion by means of two titanium drywall screws apiece connected by two parallel-to-spine rods and a little bit of hip bone. The young talent at the physical therapy place never seem to disappoint for entertainment, while the "my age" chick does a good handie on my upper neck with stretches and pressure-point releases.
Now, the question about disparate Health Care methods has to do with the year-and-a-half that I went with Spike headaches and loss of cognitive functions weather directly related words simply due to Chronic sleep deprivation. Dr Google is often a quack - but did call this one pretty well near the beginning by some sources speaking about nerve/spinal cord impingement that presents as localised, random head pain known as "ice pick" headaches.
My neurosurgeon from previous lumbar problems seems pretty sharp, so, 2 nonths later, I get an office visit. It took the obligatory X-Ray, CT-Scan, and another 6 months for a first MRI at which point some stenosis around C4-C5 was evident. OK, so, PT for a while. Minimal relief. This led to direction to one of your really hot, smokin' Polish chicks (Pychynski, 35-38 yrs age) who got me some cognitive functuon tests, useless meds, and I think another something or other. it might have been a full head MRI and MRA for cranial lesions or blood pressure or some such things; looking into my skull, they saw nothing...
OK, it's a little over a year now and a follow-up with the neurosurgeon sees a second MRI of my neck called for, only higher up. I go back to the neurosurgeon for those results.His PA tells me that I have two problems that they want to start looking at with surgery. One is the aforementioned C4-C5 flattening that could help with some head stuff, due to muscle inflation that neither PT nor drugs are adequately controlling. This is also in light of nerve tingling in arms & fingers and a tendancy to drop stuff (drinks, soldering irons, etc). The other piece of work is something "new" after 12-14 months of study, seen just now in this most recent MRI: the C1 to C2 issue to which they now ascribe the actual ice pick headaches.
Maybe they Googled it.
Anyway, the suggestion was for the lower one (C4/5) to get worked on first, due to motor sklls. Bearing in mind that a disability-retired friend "died" due to untreatable pain from a bullet lodged in his neck (Oakland PD, only one of 5 friends' suicide losses involving a gun), I considered how long I, too, was willig to live like this. Leaving out the thought process, I chose the C1/2 surgery first. that was Feb 13 this year.
...cut, cut, sawzall, drill, glue, stitch...
Hey! The outright "spike" bulshit is all but disappeared once in awhile something kind of tries to creep in but that's only once every several days at worst and not very strong.
For those contemplating this kind of work, I cannot emphasize the degree to which a long recovery and the attendant instructions must be followed, and then some. Things have been here & there, though - after 3 days of trying to live "normally" (remove car wheels, replace brake pads; tilt over a 30' home weather station tower, add sky camera and a Ubiquity long-range WiFi bridge; triage new-to-me jet-ski for steering cable replacement; other BS), what is active now and continues for almost a week are a prominent back of head ache and continuing neck tension and dizziess despite some of the best PT and therapy around. Now, if she was single, impure thoughts would prevail.
It's a journey, that's for sure, this nerve shyte. Oh, a note about mail-order TENS stimulators - use with adult supervision. after trying one this weekend, i took it to therapy and compared it, also, to something from Germany's past. Fuque Me, that little dial goes from zero to 3-ish, then from there to uncontrolled bowel release by 4. And it's "FDA Approved". The cheerleader at PT helped set it up similarly to their combat grade TENS truth-extractor on the cart....
So, Ed, i'm especially interested in how you progress through your ordeal. Best wishes. PM at any time.