I think the three orthopedic doctors I've seen have said the most disheartening things. The first didn't seem to understand the pain I was in, and told me I should do more yoga. When I couldn't help myself and started to cry one time in his office, he told me bluntly I should see a therapist. Another orthopedic doctor acknowledged my pain, which was a relief, and told me that my x-rays showed, at 27 years old, that I had the neck of a person in their 40s, and that eventually I would have to get surgery. I think that's when I started thinking of myself as a person with a disability, whose body was destined to break down at an early age. He gave me injections in the neck in the meantime - one seemed to have a placebo effect that lasted about 2 days, the other had no effect. Finally, the most recent orthopedic doctor I saw had a really terrible bedside manner. After he explained my MRI and CT scan, I asked him what it might mean if I sometimes had heaviness in my head and difficulty focusing. He just stared at my apathetically and said "I don't know." He recommended surgery immediately, and when I asked him about alternatives, he said the only thing that would 'cure' me would be surgery, but that I could try physical therapy in the meantime if I wanted to. I think my neck pain got worse after I started seeing specialists and trying to get to the bottom of my pain. So far this program has reduced my pain by ~80%, and I am feeling more optimistic about my body than I have in a very long time! Part of me feels so ecstatic because I feel like this is the end of the road for my chronic pain, but I'm still cautious and waiting to see if I continue to feel this good. One thing I've been noticing is how much being in pain affected my personality and my worldview - being in pain took so much pleasure out of life, and I feel like I'm starting to get back to the joyful person I remember from my early 20s, before the pain started to take over my life. Feeling so grateful, and cautiously optimistic!