Happy Jan (me) and Happy Easter (you).
The best news is that today I visited the neurologist my GP had referred me to. Everyone said to me "Don't let him operate on your neck - he will want to because that's what surgeons do!" but I was keen to get his opinion.
I was only with him for about 10 minutes. He looked at the X rays and CT scans and asked me a few questions about how it happened and what I'd been doing to look after myself since then. I was stunned when he said "Your neck is certainly badly damaged, but I'm not going to suggest an operation - you seem to be managing it yourself without any surgical intervention"! He is sending me for an MRI scan as he explained that it will show up much more than X rays and CT scans, and he will be able to see where the nerves have been pinched. But, definitely no operation. Maybe in years to come, but he said if I continue to look after myself and have osteotherapy and acupuncture to help with any pain, I should be fine.
Just goes to show that it is never too late to take control of your own health and look for alternative methods of doing so instead of relying on pain killers to mask any pain without fixing the source of pain. It isn't just luck that I've not had a stroke before now; my blood pressure is chronically high due to the genes I inherited from my mother, but I've reduced the chances of stroke by lifestyle changes and taking the appropriate medication to keep it stable.
Of course there is always cancer to be considered, and nobody gets much warning about that - you just wake up one day and it's there....so I'll just cross my fingers and hope it will be a matter of luck that it doesn't get me one day.
In the meantime, I wish you all a very happy and safe Easter.