I originally injured my back about
2 years ago changing a battery out of my wife's car. It had acid leaking out of one of the terminals and I didn't realize it. It slipped out of my hands and me, being the super-smart person that I am, really didn't want to clean up the mess so I stooped down and caught it about
an inch before it hit the ground. I felt a big pop and a strange sensation of something letting go deep down and very low in my back. It didn't hurt much at the time. Later I went in to wash up and my back started doing something I had never seen or heard of before. I didn't have a muscle spasm, per say, but more like a seizure. My back started seizing and letting go several times a second. My wife was so concerned (I was thinking it was more like a curiosity at the time) she adamantly demanded that I go to the hospital.
At the hospital, they did an X-Ray and told me that it showed that I was having a back spasm. I am not sure how they can see that on an X-Ray but I assume my back would not hold still long enough to get a decent picture of the bones??? At any rate, they gave me a couple of injections and sent me on my way with a script
for 16 Vicodin and I ended up back in the ER a couple of days after that ran out. This time they gave me a shot of Ultram and told me to get lost.
I went to my family Dr. after that and we started a regimen of Oxycontin and Norco. This continued until November of '08 when (due to a misunderstand of sorts) I ran out of medicine early and my Dr. abruptly told me to find a new Dr. without any warning. I ended up in the ER again after my last Rx ran out (he was kind enough to give me one month of Oxycontin after giving me the boot) and I ended up finding my current Dr. (the one that seems to be torturing me) after that.
I have been to one pain clinic before and one of the procedures they did (epidural/spinal injection) really messed my back up bad. This just happens to be the exact same time I ran out of medication early. They did this procedure and it left me unable to move. I told my Dr. three times (in person by appt. in the month after the procedure) that I was taking more medication just to be able to sit up, that I wasn't able to work or basically function. I am not sure if he just wasn't paying attention to me or if... honestly I do not know what happened. In the end, I ran out early and he asked me to leave his practice. And that was that. I was pretty naive about
pain meds before this happened but I realize what happened and why now. This is a mistake I will never make again. I will only take more of a med if I have it in writing from the Dr.
Ok, after a brief explanation of how I ended up here I will tell you what all I have done.
Baclofen (a few other muscle relaxers but I cannot remember them all)
Lyrica (not for long, long story there)
Ambien (for sleep, along w/about
5 other meds before I found this one)
Injection on both sides of my spine into the muscles (sorry I do not know the name of them) - no effect good or bad.
Spinal/Epidural injections (hurt WAY more than they helped, basically incapacitated me)
At home exercise
Special patches that use electricity to ionize medication into my back (useless)
There is more that I know I am leaving out but that's a pretty good idea of what I have done so far. They cannot find anything that can be surgically fixed so I have not had any surgeries. The X-Rays and MRI's find mild Scoliosis (I had Scoliosis as a kid but they said I grew out of it) and mild arthritis. I have been to family doctors, internal medicine doctors, Rheumatologists, Pain Clinics, etc. I have not been to a Neurologist yet (I have requested it but it hasn't happened yet) so I do not know how that might play out.
Here is a brief example of the pain I am in on a regular basis:
I wake up throughout the night due to my extreme lower back hurting. This is just about
where my spine reaches my pelvis. This is a deep, sick ache that NEVER goes away. It usually gets worse over the course of the day and gets so bad at night that I cannot bring myself to sit up straight. Usually twisting and canting to my left side helps a small amount so this ends up being my usual posture; sitting canted to the left with my back twisted about
15 degrees from my pelvis.
Mid to Mid-Lower Back:
I also have a pain in the mid to mid-lower range in my back. This is more of an acute sharp pain than my lower back is, which is chronic. I usually do not have this pain first thing in the morning. It will develop soon after I begin the day and am sitting up trying to work. It progresses and becomes very, very bad toward the evening. By the end of the day, the pain in my middle back has usually surpassed the pain in my lower back as far as severity goes. As I said, the mid-back pain is more acute and can be very bad whereas the lower back pain is chronic and more dull. The problem with the lower back pain is that it NEVER goes away. When I can lay down for a while, the middle back pain will at least subside a bit or in the case of sleeping at night, can be gone by morning. The best way to describe this mid-back pain is that it feels like someone has inserted a spatula in between my vertebrae and is twisting it. Not so much a stabbing pain as a very sharp pressure and twisting sensation.
I have shook in a tremor-like way since I was approx. 18 (12 years ago). Extreme cold, exertion and bad pain seem to make this a lot worse. When I am in a lot of pain, I shake like a leaf and have been accused of being out of medication and going through WD until I produce my pills/patches and prove that I have not run out. I believe these tremors to be unrelated to the chronic back pain since the tremors started a decade before the chronic back pain did. I am not a Dr. so who knows. More than a few doctors have told me that it is unrelated so I have to defer to them. I am currently on the Baclofen for the tremors but when my pain is bad, I still shake in an almost violent way. I shake on a normal day but during high-pain days, it is very bad and I require a cane to be able to get up and sit down without falling.
I hope this kind of gives you an idea of where I am and where I have been. I have been through a lot but I am at the worst now that I have ever been. I believe that this is due in large part to an ineffective medication with a sub-standard (at least!) delivery mechanism.
Fentanyl Patch - 100mcgs x 72 hours
Baclofen - 10mg x 8 hours
Post Edited (skrape) : 6/12/2009 8:41:03 PM (GMT-6)