Newbie - 32 yr old female - no firm diagnosis, sever pain

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/20/2010 11:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning:
I am 32 years old, have an 8 year old son, a full time job and a pain in my butt and a pain in my neck.

Excuse my attempt at humor its still early in the morning.
My story started about 3 years ago. I would wake up in the morning and go to get out of the bed and realize that I couldn't move. It felt as though I had become paralysed in my sleep. It was so scary.
In the beginning this was happening every 3 or 4 months. It would start with me not being able to move at all. This wears off after a short time and I am able to move but not like a normal human. Its more like my arms and legs are made of logs. It was really hard for me to get to the doctor while it was actually going on since I lived in an apt builing with no elevator. I usually went to the doctor once I was able to move around safely without the fear of falling. It was so embarrasing because the doctors wouldn't really listen to me. They would say things like "your back was hurting, but now its not? You probably just pulled a muscle" I couldn't get them to understand that it DID NOT feel like a pulled muscle. Even my family would say, you must have done something to hurt yourself it will heal in a few days. Pretty much ... stop being a baby.
This goes on for 3 years. I finally stopped going to the doctor because I was worried they thought I was pill shopping (even though I was never prescribed ANYTHING) Flash forward to October of this year. I was at work when one of my "episodes" struck me and I fell. Since I was at work so I had to proceed directly to my doctor and have Xrays because my Boss was worried about a workes comp claim. The xray showed what my family doctor saw as a ruptured disc so he sent me for an MRI and to an orthapedic surgeon for follow up. The MRI of my lumbar spine showed 3 bulging disc, one ruptured disc and one disc that was ok. The ortho said he had to look a the results and then back at my chart 3 or 4 times to believe he actually had the results for the right patient. He said that the pictures of my spine were like that of a 80 or 90 year old woman.
I have since had MRI done of my entire spine and its the same way all the way up and down. I have more damaged discs than good. Two of my bulging discs are pressing on my spinal canal. Ive also had EMG tests and have nerve damage down my left side. Every time I go back to the doctor (I go now once every 3 or 4 weeks) he says "Do you have any questions" and everytime I say... "The same one I always have.... why" its frustrating because he doesn't know why and his answer is always we will just have to watch this and see where it goes.
Sorry for blabbering on, now that I have gotten that off my chest I promise my future posts will be smaller.
Thank you for listening.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 2/20/2010 12:00 PM (GMT -6)   
When you finally think you have a place where people will listen, it's hard to stop! I know, I'm still "blabbering"! I have no idea what in the world could possibly be going on with you, but someone on here may say, "Been there!" Who knows. The thing I would like for you to know is when you need to talk because no one else is listening, come here! I am so glad you found us. The forum monetors will introduce themselves, but I saw this and wanted to say that I've only been here a short time and I'm glad to be here and I've very glad you are here. Keep us updated!
DXed-Syringomyelia C-1 to T-1, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes Type II, Adhesive Capsulitis "aka" Frozen Shoulder, IBS, Panic Disorder, ICC (Interstitial Cystitis), Fibromyalgia, Migraines, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder
Too many meds to name/Too many allergic reactions/sensitivities to too many drugs to name. Meds for Panic Disorder, Pain, Bipolar, IBS, Hypothroidism, Diabetes, Insomnia and then some.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 2/20/2010 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry I'm not familiar with your symptoms , but theres every chance someone who visits here may be .In the meantime please don't apologize for venting your feelings here , thats a healthy thing I beleive and I've done it here as have others .It helps because even if the circumstances may not be identical the fear is real for each of us , it helps to know your not alone , and your not AmyBoo , welcome to you friend .
HIV+ also Hep c , need hip replacement surgery on hold because of cellulitus  .most pain from hip condition and cellulitus .hands numb may have carpal tunnel syndrome now .             .Medecines - Oxycontin , percocet , Oxycondone , Celelbrex ,Avalox , lasix .

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 2/20/2010 12:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the Healing Well boards Amyboo. I'm sorry it's pain that brought you here, but you're in good company!

Has your doctor (or doctors) come up with any kind of a treatment plan for you? Are you on meds now to help with the pain? I hope you start getting the answers you want, but be prepared to never knowing "why". Sometimes, there just isn't an answer for that question.

Looking forward to more of your posts and getting to know you.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pelvic Pain, FAI, Reynauds, IBS, Interstitial Cystitis, Surgical Adhesions, Ophthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes (Surgical Menopause and drug related), plus physically unable to vomit due to Nissen, and I have extremely tiny veins...a joy for blood work or IV's)
Surgeries: Appendix, Uterus, Nissen Fundoplication for GERD, Left Ovary, Gallbladder, Right Ovary, TVT
Medications: Oxycontin, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Nortriptyline
Other: Vitamin D, Multi-Vitamin

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/20/2010 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   
As far as treatment ... I had PT for my lower back but only participated for one month. They weren't willing to work with my schedule. The PT clinic I was going to was open from 7 in the morning until 7 at night but refused to schedule me early mornings or evenings. They said that those times were reserved for school aged children. I was quickly using up all of my vacation time just to do exercises that I can just as easily do at home. I was supervised or assisted just given a sheet of paper with exercises on it and told to do them and let someone know if it caused pain. (really?!?!?)

My Ortho has offered injections, steroid scripts and pain pills. I have declined. Since I am only 32 and the damage is irreversible and likely to get worse I've been trying to manage the pain on my own. I alternate all day between sitting standing and walking (Ive been known to close my office door and lay flat on my back in the floor for a few minutes but only in extreme pain, I don't like drawing attention to myself)
Also because I feel like there is something else causing the pain other than just the disc problems and nerve damage (CIDP, ALS, MS... )I don't want it to look like I am doctor shopping or pill seeking when I go to different specialist. I do have a presciption for Tramadol and can call my ortho to get a prescription for muscle relaxers in the event that my muscles get so tight that I can't move. Some days I walk like Frankenstine.. the hardest part is since it comes and goes (the muscle stiffness, not the pain - pain is always present) sometimes people think that I am walking funny for attention. Sometimes my feelings hurt worse than my body.

Darvocet did nothing for me, Vicodin makes me high and the Tramadol is harder to explain.. its like it does nothing for the pain but I don't care or pay attention to the pain as much. I rarely take them.

I'm planing on maybe starting another thread that actually lists all of my symptoms this one is only the tip of the iceberg. Maybe then someone would be able to identify with me. I've always had problems communicating with others. Something I say makes perfect sense to me but means nothing to someone else... perhaps I will have my fiance translate.

Thanks to all of you who have responded. It is nice to know that even though our problems may differ that there are people out there who understand and realize that sometimes all you want is someone to listen and not judge.

Retired Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 2/20/2010 4:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Amy,

It is probably not related at all, but have you ever been checked by an endocrinologist?.....that is....a good endocrinologist? I wonder because I was recently sent to a new endo who listened to my issues (physical/pain/psychological), took a look at my body, and immediatly ordered blood tests. It turns out that the problem was extremely low human growth hormone production. If they had found this years ago, perhaps my spine would not have deterriorated so quickly. None the less, it would be a reasonable place to go if you can get some testing. It's amazing how many things are related to the endocrine system.

Best of luck!
Previously PrayingForRealRelief....

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 2/20/2010 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi AmyBoo,
Welcome to Healing Well pain forum. I am very glad that you found us, but sorry to read about your medical problems. If you have read any of the posts here at the forum you have seen you are not alone in your suffering. This place offers us a safe place to come and talk, vent, cry or whine whatever we feel we need for the moment. We also learn alot from each other, exchange ideas, it can be surprising what a person can learn here. The one thing we do encourage is all new members to read the forum rules that are listed and abide by them. Also there is a topic called CP101 that has a lot of wonderful information in it so you may want to check it out. None of us here are drs just people suffering for one reason or another trying to help each other out.
What has shown up on your MRI films can be caused by a number of things. Bulging disc and herniations are something that can take time to develop over the years or you can have one specific incident cause either problem. Doing a job that involves a lot of sitting can cause it in both the neck and back, repetitive lifting and it does not have to be anything heavy. Lifting a gallon of milk to put it in the refrigerator and without knowing it make a wrong move, or putting clothes in a dryer or even taking them out of a washer can cause these problems. It does not take doing something heavy to cause these type problems.   
Your description of heaviness is not uncommon and it most likely from the disc involvement. People with neck problems may have headaches, shoulder pain, pain in the shoulder blades and upper back pain, arms aching or numbness and tingling in their finger tips or certain fingers will feel numb. Lumbar problems can cause pain in the buttocks, pain, burning sensation or a tingling sensation into the hips and down a leg. You can also have numbness in a foot or toes because of lumbar pain. A person can have some of these symptoms  or none. Each person is unique just like their pain is. You stated you have nerve damage and that alone can cause so much pain and many problems for a person.  You know there a medications available to help with nerve pain, things like Lyrica, Cymbalta and Neurotin. Regular pain medication has very little effect on nerve pain.
I really do not know what you are wanting your dr to do for you. Pretty much what he has offered is the standard thing most would offer. You may want to get your MRI films and get a second opinion maybe with a neurosurgeon. But, pretty much at this point it sounds like all that can be done is to monitor you to see if there is a change in your symptoms. Many of us are under the care of a pain mgt dr because of the need for medications that regular drs are not willing to prescribe. Most drs only want to give pain meds for a very short time. But there again are procedures, such as injections, trigger point injections, epidurals. If you are not interested in any of that there would be no point in being referred to a pain mgt dr at this time. Other than trying to get in to a good physical therapy program to help build up your muscle structure I am not sure what can be done. Mostly, it is what you are willing to do. Like you said you could stay the same or you could get worse, no one can answer that one, boy, I wish they could it would sure have been a lot easier for most of us.
Please keep us posted on how you are coming along and remember that you are not alone in this. There are many of us in the same boat all trying to paddle in one direction. Take care and again welcome aboard. 

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

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