Sunday, September 09, 2007

Neck update

First of all, I have finally found out what is going on with my neck. My C6 (cervical) vertebra is oddly shaped with extra bone growth on the right side. When I had the MRI, the way I was "perched" on the table, it looked like the mass was pressing slightly into my spinal cord. (And it probably was at that time... ouch.) The CT scan showed differently. The weird bone is near my spinal cord, but not into it, not dangerously so. Nerves are being pinched, causing the pain across my left shoulder and down my arm. The neurosurgeon explained the surgery that would likely fix my arm pain and maybe help my neck pain... basically he would "drill down" the weird bone part on my C6 to make the right side look like the normal left side, then he would stabilize the C6 by pinning it to my C5. I am now planning to see a 2nd neurosurgeon, to get a 2nd opinion. Sounds like surgery would be the only option, and as spinal surgeries go, this one doesn't sound too bad. Fingers crossed and all that. Anyway, I'm not going to schedule any surgery until after 4th quarter and year-end close, and probably not until after 1st quarter close next year... With payroll taxes (which is what I'm responsible for on my job), the 1st quarter returns are always the more complex in a couple of areas, so if I miss handling that on my job, it could just cause more work for me in the long run. I would feel better being there to handle that stuff myself.

After all the rest I've had the past few weeks, my neck was feeling so much better anyway. The headaches, blurred vision and nausea were almost entirely gone this past Monday... but after working all week, the pain and accompanying crap has returned, though at a very manageable level. I need to figure out how to handle my work space better from a physical standpoint, and really just put my head down and rest my neck a few times a day. Sounds simple, but when you have your head on your arms on a desk that is loaded down with work, it's just not very restful!

My cubicle neighbor has a program on her computer that prompts her to stop and do some exercises; I think it's for carpal tunnel, but I'm not sure. It's a cool program. I can do the same kind of thing by setting up reminders in my Outlook, and I'm going to try it next week. Sometimes whatever I'm working on can be so difficult and mind-boggling, that more time will pass than I realize... When you think about it, that's a real nice aspect of my job. There are some days when I look at the clock, and I say to myself, "holy shit, it's quarter after two already!" Time flies when you're having fun.

I am enjoying my job, and I am really enjoying our company's new flexible work hours and compressed work week options for its employees. There have been a lot of announcements about these new policies, and with them, it's clear our management is putting the employees first on this. Not that anyone can do whatever they want regardless of their job requirements; it's not that easy. But if you can make a good case for adapting your work schedule to fit your personal needs while meeting all the requirements your job may present, you have options. I am now working a flexible schedule so that I can drop Sammy off at school in the morning and pick him up each day. This requires some work time at home, but since I do that a lot anyway, it makes sense on my job and works wonderfully well for me. And Sammy doesn't have to ride the bus an hour in the morning and another hour in the afternoon. It's all good.

Funny how this one thing can jump up my company loyalty and job satisfaction so much. My job is important to me, but it has never been, nor will it ever be, more important to me than my family. The super nice thing is that the company I work for has basically come out and told us employees that's how one's priorities should be. Cool, huh. Very cool.

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