In 1998, at age 33, I was attempting to hang a curtain rod in my home while standing on a short step stool...I'm handy that way with power tools and the task was only a minor accomplishment, considering I had just completed a home "make over" in the house I was living. Suddenly, and without warning, I fell backwards like a tree crashing in the forest. I had no idea why this occurred, but assumed maybe somehow I had simply slipped off the step stool. Later in the afternoon, I had climbed a short tree over our garage with electric chain saw in hand (I'm telling you, I USED to be very handy with the power tools! LOL), and proceeded to do some necessary trimming. I was only up in the tree about 8 feet off the ground, when suddenly (just like with the curtain rod incident) I tumbled backwards out of the tree onto my back. The jolt of the event put me in an immediate state of shock as I managed to somehow let go of the chain saw, which automatically killed its power and saved amputation of an appendage. I sat high above the drive way on a rock wall briefly, then jumped down like a rock star from a 10 foot embankment, only to discover I had injured my leg in the not so graceful exit from the tree and the stupidity of my leap.
A few weeks later, I developed a strange "dizziness and buzzing" in my head...I felt dizzy all the time...even when I was presumably asleep. I thought perhaps I had hit my head in one of my two falls, but decided to seek a doctor's advise because the dizziness/buzzing was causing me to feel awful. A doctor diagnosed me with an inner ear disorder called, "labyrinthitis"...I was given some pills and told the condition may or may not go away. It eventually did after about 3 more weeks of nauseating dizziness.
A few months passed from my falls and my alleged inner ear disorder. I was standing at my nursing supervisor job about to make rounds in the hospital, when I decided to reach down and fill a small cup with water from the dispenser in my office. As I turned my head and twisted sideways to push the button for water, a jolt of excruciating electrical pain shot up through my neck and into my head. The pain was so intense, I am told I dropped the cup, tried to grab hold of a chair, and proceeded to pass out on the floor, hitting my head on the way down. When I came to, I could hear the sirens of the medics approaching and saw the 10 or so staff gathered around me in concern...all nurses with their dangling stethoscopes waiting to be used. Of course I refused to be transported by the medics to the ER (it's a life long saga of stubbornness) and opted to have my friend take me to my primary care doctor's office instead...my blood pressure was extremely elevated and I still had fairly severe pain in my neck.
Through a few series of tests to rule out "stuff" and an MRI to rule IN "stuff", I was told in 1998 that the pain in my neck and shoulder was originating in my cervical spine, where I had developed two to three herniated disks. I was placed on Prednisone for the first time and sent to physical therapy. Eventually the pain in my neck/shoulder/and arm lessened then went away. I was told I most likely herniated my cervical disks when I fell out of the tree (but I had fallen MANY more times playing basketball in college and had several concussions before the age of 25!). I also have a brain scan done at the time of this MRI and it appeared to be a normal, pinheaded brain.