Need advice...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 7/17/2008 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been MIA from HW for a couple weeks. Too much pain coupled with too much stress and too much to do.

Anyways... my condensed history is that in oct 2000 I woke up in pain, and had somehow ruptured the L4-L5-S1. I dealt with the pain as long as I could then had it fused in 2003. I attempted working again in 2005-2006 and had to stop due to pain, I'm currently in my the 1 appeal for my disablity claim.

In January or February my pain got really bad, I went in to my PCP who was handling my pain at the time, she gave me a shot and ordered another CT scan done. The CT showed that the L3-L4 was bulging or ruptured by they can't tell because of the scatter effect form the image due to the metal in my back. Shortly after that - in april I started seeing a doctor at the Integrative Pain Center of Arizona.

Things were going well. He switched some meds around that are working much better with me.

In mid June my back pain started getting worse for no apparent reason. To the point that I called the pain center asking for help, and was told they could give me an appointment in July (I had one before the date they were able to give it to me), and if the pain was that bad to goto the ER. I held off as long as I could, and on July 2nd I went to the ER.

The doc at the ER was very nice. He believed me right away - said I told a easy enough story, and that he didn't see any reason to check it out. (I offered him my doc's numbers in case he needed to contact them). He gave me a shot and I felt better, sent me on my way.

My next appt with my pain doc was on the 8th, so I went in. I told them what happened as far as the pain, how it got dramatically worse for no reason. How I wasn't sleeping due to pain, and how life was just miserable. Doc said that he hoped it was just a bad flare up, that given my history we know I have back problems there was no point in another CT or anything. That if it stayed bad for awhile it might be considred. I was given an extra pill a day for pain, also told that I did the right thing going to the ER, and that the reason they couldn't help is they don't have any of the injectiable pain medication there to fix things fast.

Well, I woke up monday morning this week after a really rough night of sleep. My right hip was really sore. Well when I got up any bending movement of the right hip hurt. Once I got up and walking it was fine, but when I went to sit back down, or get up, or anything it really hurt. Or when I turned on it. It felt like a sprained ankle but around the back and side of my right hip. I took it easy, and got up yesterday feeling better.

Well I sat down yesterday, and when I got back up I had pain shoot through my entire lower half of my body. I don't remember sitting back down, but I was. I wonder if I blacked out from the pain - not sure. It took me about a half hour just to stand up. I then left a note by the door for hubby to check on me when he got home, grabbed a thing of frozen veggies to use as an ice pack, grabbed a phone, and laid down. I then wrote out a note about what happened, where the pain was. What I was taking and when things happened. The pain calmed down, until I moved.

It was so bad that even the dogs tail hitting the bed hurt my back. I couldn't walk, could barely move. I, quite honestly, was worried that I had seriously done something to my back, and kept hoping that my next movement wouldn't leave me paralyzed. So I went to the ER again.

I told the doc what was going on. How moving just about anything made pain shoot down from my lower back. Even moving my chin to my chest had pain shooting out from the lumbar area. AFter quite awhile I was given a few shots for pain relief and that was it.

I asked the doc in the ER if she felt I needed to push the issue of having it checked out, get another CT or something. She completely avoided the question and started in on how much pain medication I was on, and how addicted I was going to be, and how it's going to take more and more to help the pain. I asked again, and it was "well have you thought of physical therapy".. I told her I'd been to three seperate PT's who all said it was something they couldn't fix. Her response was "you could get a second opinion" - which made no sense after saying I'd been to three. I told her I'd tried chiropractic and acupuncture as well. I asked again, and this time it was we've given you about all the pain medication we can safely give you. My question wasn't jumbled, I asked each time "seeing as how I've gone 8 years without and ER visit, and have now been in here twice in a month do you think I need to push with my doctors having new testing, or more testing done to make sure I haven't done anything new". So her responses didn't make sense. When she left I asked my hubby if she could have avoided the question any better.

So thats my question. Today I feel like maybe it was just really really bad muscle spasms pulling on the nerves and such in my back. I'm just scared it's something new, and to be honest, I'm scared to death I'm going to goto bed fine one night, and wake up paralyzed. Could it just be a bad flare up? If so does anyone have any ideas on things to do to help it? I'm thinking heating pad and then light stretching of the muscles, again it's just that fear of making something wrong worse. Should I push even though I just had another CT done in Jan or FEb for a new one? Any advice? LIke I said today it feels all muscle, they feel like I ran a marathon yesterday in my lower back. Sort of like if you work out too hard how sore and achy they are, so I'm hoping it was just the strain from the hip making the back mad....

Thanks ahead of time - sorry for this post being so very long.
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 7/17/2008 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are so concerned about it and think you may have done something to cause more problems in your back, then yes i think you should asked for new tests to see if there is anything new. It doesn't hurt to voice your opinions or concerns to your doctors. I'm sure they would understand your concerns in wanting new tests done given what you've gone through the last month.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/17/2008 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Tammy,
So sorry to read all you're going through. Since in your sig. you list muscle spasms, and you think yourself that might be it (or a good part of it) have you got any muslce relaxants? Maybe I've missed it and you're already taking them. I can't quite keep track of my own stuff these days!

It sounds like muscle spasms are the first thing to rule out. Heat/ice, muscle relaxants, and whatever has worked for you in the past to at least calm the flare. If it calms, then maybe you have a clue it's a muscle. I'm always relieved when it's muscle, because i know over time I can work with that. I'd go easy on any stretching initially. Do you ever get massages? If I had the money I'd get one every week, not for a cure, but to help manage things, and keep those muscles a little looser!

If it doesn't calm down with all these, then I think you should push to have it checked further. You can push for it anyway, but it sounds like maybe try to calm your body and your mind a bit for the moment (I know - easier said...).

Don't know if this helps at all.

Take care,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9607
   Posted 7/17/2008 8:50 PM (GMT -6)   
WB Tammy, you were missed! So very sorry your having a very rough time right now, my quick answer to your question and the one you already know is "yes", ask your doctor about a new mri or ct scan. I sure hope you can get relief soon. I very truly send prayer, well wishes and lots of soft hugz.
PAlady sure does seem to have the best answers, arn't we all better for having her around, she's like awesome...But we've missed you Tammy, get well or better soon hun!
not intended to hurt anyone here....
Prayers Tammy, keep us posted when your able again and lets hope that soon............
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tom inpain
Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/17/2008 10:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tammy: Reading Your post bought tears to my eyes. i go thru the same type of symptoms but with the problem coming from a failed total neck surgery
from what I was explained to me and I have a hard time accepting it is what my Docs call a "flare up" even my bed sheets hurt when the sheets touch my legs. I wrap ace bandages around my legs to stop that awful feeling.
Emergency rooms--- What I say other than it is a nightmare that becomes real unless You can get Your Pain, orthopedic, neuro surgeon to call in advance. I always call all my Doctors and take every medical report and film i have with me together with my blood test's taken by my pain doc showing the levels of the narcotics I take which clearly shows that I am not abusing but taking my pain medication as prescribed. By calling my Doctors in advance it usually paves the way to a pain shot that knocks me simple and then I fall asleep and i love sleeping because it is so hard to do but when i awake-- it usually is time to take me back to the E/R for another shot. My wife informs me that my flare ups last three to four weeks as a brief visit to Hell. Thanks for sharing Your experience with us and please let us know how You feel hopefully You get some relief. Have Your Doctors ever mentioned RSDS to You ? as some of the symptoms I read from You are RSDS symptoms ( but who I am I ) I just thought i would mention it . Please take care and the pain will pass.
Tom Lasko

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