Thanks, PAlady and modernartgrl. This was my PM doc, and I have had MRIs, CTs, discograms, nerveblocks, RFablation, .... the list goes on. The MRI's I've had show discs that are bulging and torn and leaking in the low back (I think around L4-L5?). The discs at L1-L2 and lower Thoracic discs (which is where my bad chronic pain is) look clean with only Schmorl nodes and mild stenosis. According to the PM docs (I've been to 3 so far), my MRI and CT scans are "unremarkable." After doing the discogram study, they said that the healthy (relatively speaking) discs are the ones that are generating my chronic pain, and the torn/bulging/leaking discs at the low back didn't cause pain when injected. One of the docs also told me that my scans show that I have Juvenile Discogenic Disorder - which essentially means my spine is degenerating at a faster rate than average, and he said it cannot be treated because almost every disc I have would need to be replaced. Loads of help, right? Anyhow, these scans are all over a year old, but my current PM doc said yesterday that since my scans are "don't show anything," there's "no point in looking again." Yeah, seriously. Good grief... Imagine if everyone else got to work that way! "yes, ma'am, I know you have water in the basement, but two years ago when it rained, nothing came in, so there's no point in checking the roof again. Here's a mop!" Sometimes I think pain management clinics should really be called "treatment avoidance clinics" - the motto could be "You pay, We delay!"
This is sort of an extension of the issues I've had with all the docs I've seen throughout this whole ordeal... I know many of you can relate. They look at my scans and say that nothing on the tests looks bad enough to be causing the degree of pain I'm having. On more than one occasion, the pain has progressed to the point where I am unable to walk or even stand or sit up and have had to be hospitalized and treated with IV pain meds, but even then the docs sort of write it off. The last time, they told me that I should expect to need hospital IV pain med treatment every couple of years since my body is so worn out from trying to compensate for the back pain. I said "wait a minute - that isn't okay! I am an otherwise healthy young person. How is it okay that I would have this much pain? How is it okay that you KNOW I will need to come to the hospital again because my pain isn't being managed enough? How can you not see that something needs to be done to TREAT me?" But that's exactly what is happening. Unfortunately, I am out of doctors too. I have seen every PM within a day's driving distance, so I don't know what to do next.