If I ran my business like this I'd be out of business

Trying to get an appointment with a neurosurgeon after my bike accident (after an MRI we discovered I had some extensive damage to my neck) - I have now been hung up on by their phone tree eight times. But the other hilarious thing is their phone tree doesn’t go in sequential order, so it says, “If you’re a doctor press 1, if you are looking for medical records press 2, to make an appointment press 5, to refill a prescription press 3…” and so forth.

I’m loving the notion of someone with a brain injury trying to navigate this system.

I’m glad they’re not in charge of the holy hand grenade of antioch.


Phone trees are extraordinarily frustrating and the amount of time I wait on hold for someone to actually speak with seems to have gone up dramatically during the pandemic. I assume that this is due to many businesses allowing people in various roles to work at home; people who previously spent some portion of their time responding to calls. The IT infrastructure was there to allow them to work at home, but not necessarily to expand the phone system to workers at remote locations.

So sorry to hear about your neck - is it a cervical disk injury?

Yes, severe bulging disk and pinched nerves between a number of the vertebrae. The neck pain isn’t that bad but I am having basically non-stop crippling headaches. MRI fortunately showed no issues with my brain. The non-stop headaches may nor may not contribute to my general grumpiness on the board.


Yikes! that sounds terrible… I had one ruptured cervical disk many years ago, and for about 8 weeks, the pain was excruciating. After that period, it settled down and I was able to avoid having surgery.

I get a little numbness in my right shoulder occasionally when I’m too active, or fail to stretch after weight training. When that happens, I use a simple “over the door” cervical spine traction device for a few minutes a day for a few days and everything returns to normal. I bought it when I was waiting for surgery following the original injury, and it gave me a LOT of relief from the pain in those first 8 weeks.

I’m obviously not a neurologist and would never suggest that you take a recommendation from a sports message board when it comes to your spine. But when you do see someone, see if they recommend something like this. It might give you some real relief from the headaches, while you work out a permanent solution.

Good luck - injuries like this are NO FUN :frowning:

Had spinal neurosurgery 20 years ago for a herniated disc. One of the few great decisions I ever made. Ah, relieeeeef.

That gives me some hope. I’ve been told to avoid surgery and I might, but if the rest of my life is going to be like this with the headaches I hope it doesn’t drag on too long.

Boardmail me if you like.

I never experienced headaches. My issues were nerve related down my right arm to my pointer finger and middle finger. I tried conservative treatments including acupuncture and those alleviated everything except nerve issues in my fingers. Unfortunately, by the time I could get surgery scheduled I was 9 months down the road and while the surgery was completed properly, the nerve damage is permanent.

Truth is, although it is my neck that has the problems, I was actually worried it was something with my brain, because of the headaches. My neck kind of cracks and pops and is a little limited in its ability to turn, but not super painful. Occasionally I’ll have kind of a quick sort of minor pain when I’m moving it, but nothing that is a big deal. The headaches on the other hand are something else. By the end of most days I’m barely able to function, and life circumstances require me to be able to function most evenings.

I’m assuming the progressively worse headaches are a result of fatigue through the day of sitting up, so I’m trying to figure out ways to address this so I can get some rest. WFH allows me to lie down and stretch, etc, but I haven’t noticed a big difference. I also try to go for walks versus hunching over a computer each day.

So physically I’m able to do a lot of things - most everything really, but the headaches are life altering. Meanwhile I just got a call back, said doctor from above can see me… March 11. Ugh.

If he takes your insurance, look up Dr. John MacFarlane out of IHC in Murray. Had C5-7 fusion done 15 years ago and I recommend him to everyone. After he looked at my x-rays he said something like, “Huh, this is the worst I’ve ever seen, what are you doing on Tuesday?”. Uh, having surgery, I guess. Immediate relief from pain so bad I couldn’t sleep at night. I went from getting the recommendation, calling and getting an appointment, to having the surgery in a couple weeks. Quick enough that I didn’t really have time to worry about it.

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MacFarlane was a name recommended to me as well, I’ll be contacting him shortly.

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