... find I have difficulty picking up objects and other manual dexterity issues. (I will feel like I have something in my hand firmly but when I lift/move it sometimes it just drops right out. It really surprises me because it "Feels" like I have a solid grip on it.

I am considering the surgery, but I am curious about a couple things. One physician told me the surgery (installing a shunt to relieve pressure) would not help reduce the symptoms and only keep it from getting worse but another told me that it may reduce my pain levels but carries a significant risk of paralysis.

Which is true?

Any other suggestions or comments anyone can provide me with on how to better cope with this condition would be greatly appreciated as I am at my wits end with being in constant severe pain.

I always said I wanted to live forever and now here I am, 40 years old and after 4 years of dealing with this I don't know if I can make it another 4 years let alone 40...

Thanks in advance for your advice, comments and suggestions.