Warning: if you're at all squeamish about descriptions of surgery/internal body workings, you might not want to read this post.
I've been away from these forums for a while (that is - if anyone noticed, as I'm not exactly the most prolific poster here). This is unfortunately due to some severe medical issues I've had.
I have cervical spinal stenosis. For the uninitiated, this means that my spinal cord is being squeezed in my neck area, particularly around C4 to C6. The cause was two extruded discs.
The case was severe, enough so that the doctors told me I could be paralyzed if I didn't get surgery - my spinal cord was VERY compressed, and even has myelopathy (bleeding/localized injury to spinal cord).
So two weeks ago tomorrow, I had ACDF (Anterior Cervical Disc and Fusion) neck surgery - they basically opened up the front of my neck, dissected down and extracted the faulty discs, then inserted implants with bone cells from a cadaver donor. Secure these in with titanium screws, and the hope is that the bone grows into the affected spine segments, thereby fusing them together and re-instating stability in my cervical spine.
I'm well into recovery but most of my symptoms have not gone away. Among these are a severe burning in my left foot (worsened by sciatica), arm and shoulder pain, and the worst part - peripheral nueropathy in both hands. Depending on painkillers/how I'm feeling on any given day, the effect this has varies. Sometimes I feel a slight tingling that is just irritating. At other times it is extremely painful and difficult to pick things up and manipulate a keyboard. I have a feeling that by now this condition is permanent due to nerve damage.
So that brings me to the point of this post. I'm finding my experience when playing PC games has degraded quite a bit. In particular I find it difficult to manipulate my pinky with my middle finger as I'm playing first person games. I tried, for example, to replay Mass Effect and my game was WAY off - oftentimes hitting the wrong key because my sense of touch is no longer as sensitive as it was and the tingling/pain is distracting. Running in FPSs is particularly difficult.
My question is - has anyone had a similar experience? Any advice they can give to perhaps retrain my brain and how I manipulate my hands? How about any tips for lowering the pain intensity?