Post Edited (PAlady) : 6/3/2008 10:20:46 AM (GMT-6)
Hope everyone is feeling good today.
Great news for me. After all the tests I have had for my rib pain and subsequent findings of "nothing wrong", I have finally found someone who believes me and has disgnosed a major problem. The pain specialist consultant , whom I saw yesterday, did a variety of minor tests before pricking me all over my back and ribs with a pin. The area where I have been having the pain since October 07 felt very different to the rest of me-like a numb pricking rather than sharp like on the rest of my skin. In some areas I could not feel a pin prick at all although I was aware that something was touching me. Instantly she diagnosed that the thoracic nerves (from number 6 to 9) are inflamed, irritated and badly damaged. She is doing an MRI scan in 2 days time to rule out a trapped, bulging disc before I am given some injections near my spine, and a possible epidural as well, so see if this blocks the nerves. Apparently sometimes it does but not in all cases in which case she has to consider what to do next. I am not looking forward to this but have got to the point now where almost anything would be an option to the pain. She said having constant spasms are debilitating enough without all the other pain symptoms that go with this injury. She was also dismayed that it has gone this long undiagnosed and untreated as it makes treatment a lot more difficult. Goes to show that if the doctors had listened to me in the first place I would not be in this situation, as she found it unbelievable that they had all been insistent it was gall blader problems or similar for so long. She also pointed out what we had been saying all along in the fact that if a specialist orders an MRI scan all they are looking for is the problem that they think it is, and even if a major injury was right in front of them they would not see it as they are only able to identify the things they know about!!! Therefore all the nerve damage could have been detcted back in December 07 if the pain consultant had seen the results and not just a gastroenterologist. Unbelievable! Makes you lose so much faith in the medical profession.
On top of this the Government medical I underwent, to be eligible for benefit, also found that I was incapable of work due to the injury so at least I still have a little money coming in to pay my bills. This has all helped in somewhat reducing the anxieties and depression I was having on a daily basis as it takes away the financial pressures and proves that I was not going mad and imagining all this pain!
Although the specialist is hopeful about the injections working, she is doubtful if it will be a permanent solution and it is apparent that I will continue to have nerve damage for life but it may ease my problems just enough to be able to find some kind of work again. Fingers crossed. Good luck to everyone who is suffering and let's hope we all find some solution soon.
How is everybody doing today?
I just wanted to say thanks for the replies I had after my last post, and also to make a confession. After saying I was going to go out on my own, I am afraid I still have not done it (apart from the garden). I am not so much scared at the moment about doing this but more about how I would cope if I suddenly had a severe pain attack whilst out in public and on my own, especially with everyone staring at me like some kind of freak. I have been out a few times with my husband, to the usual appointments etc but still have to take that first step on my own. It is so frustrating because when I decide the night before (having had a fairly good evening pain -wise), to go out the next day, either the pain hits me again or the weather is so bad that it is impossible to go out! Good old Britain-we might get a summer day this year!!
In reply to a couple of questions or points made on other posts:
The pain does not get any better or worse with eating/drinking and I was tested for gall bladder problems right at the beginning of this nightmare and all was clear.
I have absolutely no faith in, or time, to subject myself to interrogations by Psych docs (very bad experience last year-but that is a whole different story on the depression forum!) or even admit how depressed this pain has made me at times- everything goes against you in the UK if you admit something like that and can make the situation 100 times worse. The US is actively encouraged to discuss all problems like this (hence Jerry Springer!!) but if you admit problems in the UK they will have you in a straight jacket before you can blink.
I find that my best therapy for when I am feeling down is to do my writing or listen to music (as I can't drive anywhere remote any more to think, which used to be my best therapy-incidentally, not being able to drive now was definitely a great thing to happen, as the price of petrol is so astronomical I do not know how anyone can afford to drive. Also it was only a matter of time before I was killed by one of the many idiots that drive in our country now). It is also a massive release of stress not to have to put up with that any more. I can recommend it to everyone.
After speaking to the physio that I had been seeing for a while, I filled him in on seeing the pain specialist and he is glad that things seem to be heading in the right direction, but also said (like the specialist) that he is doubtful whether the injections will have a long term effect. It will be at least 6 weeks after having them to decide if they work or not and he told me not to do anything mad if I feel a positive effect straight away! I am just looking forward to a possible day without pain, as I have forgotten what that is like!