Has this happened to anyone else?

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hisfaithful1
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 10/10/2010 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
 
 
Hello everyone,  I've another question for you. I think I had shared with you about my disc bulge in L3-L4 not too long ago, and the arthritis pain in my hips, mostly left one.  Some of you did give me some good advice about going to another doctor, I just can't do it till I get moved back to California.
 
I did ask for copies of some tests I had had done. It turns out that I also have slight disc bulging from T12-11 through L5-S1 with slight disc space narrowing in the L3-4 area with a small posterier annular tear. I would have never known this if I had not gotten copies for myself. Two PCPs looked at these results and didn't tell me everything.
 
 Does this mean I have nothing to worry about? Is that why they didn't bother to tell me do you think? Or was it because they just do not care?
 
 My PCP who ordered this particular test mentioned the L3-4 part and the tear, but didn't explain anything, she only told me not to be lifting more than 25 lbs.
 
They did not suggest any kind of therapy, which I wonder about, or at least some exercises to build up my back muscles?  I honestly have back pain all over my back, especially with any bending over. It hurts so bad I can't wait to go sit down till it subsides.    I really have to watch my level  of activity or my whole back will ache pretty bad.
 
I'm a little confused with this, so please let me know what you think. Can this get worse, or can it get better?
 
  I do plan on seeing another doctor when I'm moved, just do not understand why I wasn't told everything.   Thanks so much for your help.
 
Debbie

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 10/10/2010 5:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Make sure to hook up with a good neurologist when you get to California, the tear could get
worst, makes me wonder why they wouldn't tell you..sounds like
maybe they really didn't know what care to give you...
Please seek out better care when you get to California you have a right to know
what's happening and don't lift any of the boxes, at all, till you know more
from the doctor...don't try any exercise till you get hooked up with a better doctor that hopefully will
be able to help you better...
Make lots of car breaks on your trip and I wish you well in the move.
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Debbie))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
Healing Hugz and well wishes on your move...
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/10/2010 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I had no idea my back was in a mess, too until I saw my MRI report. I just knew I had pain in walking far. My L5-S1 disk is squashed and degenarative.
I can tell you some pain relieving exercises my PT gives me. They may work for you. If they hurt don't do them.
1. raise your right arm straight up then your left. Whichever doesn't hurt repeat that arm only 10 times. Then check the other arm to see if it's not hurting to raise. If it's not hurting raise it 10 times. You should start to feel less pain.
2. Twist from the waist (sitting down) to test which side hurts more. Whichever doesn't hurt twist 10 times that way. The other side should relax and be able to twist that way with ease.
3. Sit to stand- stand up leaning from your hips keeping your back straight. When you sit stick your butt out and lower using your hips and not your back.
4. Imagine a string pulling into your spine just below your belly button. Suck it in and hold for 3 seconds and relax. Repeat 10 times if no pain.
5. Steps- test which side doesn't hurt then step up with the pain free side 10 times. The left side should relax and be able to do ten steps.

Remember, these work for me, but may not work for you. Try it and see. If you have any pain from it stop them.
Joy

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16272
   Posted 10/10/2010 8:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Debbie, if it were me I would not do any type of exercises until I have been cleared by my dr to do so. The last thing you want to do is cause further damage to the level where the tear is located. Any type of twisting motion is not good with a back problem, I am really surprised that Joy is being told to do this exercise. It is always much better to be safe than sorry. Many times drs will leave a tear a lone and let them heal on their own but this can take a lot of time. Drs don't always say much on a person's MRI report unless something really big stands out and they think they may be a surgical candidate. Narrowing is not uncommon, many people have this problem with their backs.

Once you get settled after your move you should get into a PCP so you can get a referral to a specialist for a consult. In the mean time I would protect my back as much as I possibly could.

Please keep us posted on how you are coming along.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3694
   Posted 10/10/2010 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Debbie

What you described is not unusual! Allot of times Doctors see these reports and for what ever reason they either do not think the condition is bad enough to warrant treatment, and tell the patient about it, or they are concerned that it will cause the patient anxiety, or most likely they do not think the patient ought to know, because only the doctor treating the patient should know about a patients condition! I know it doesn't make sense! But allot of Doctors do not believe that their patients should know all that much about their own conditions! Which I think is wrong. As far as your disks goes, yes bulging disks can cause pain, but often bulging disk can be treated with physical therapy, as far a the torn disk goes, ....well I have a herniated and torn disk at T-12 and have had it for a very long time, (over ten years) they said the surgery was to dangerous to fix it, so I went on disabilty and was givern pain meds to make me comfortable. But of course it all depends on which disk it is and how it is affecting you! From what you have said, you suffer from chronic back pain, so it would be wise for you to seek out another Doctor and explain to him about your back pain and how it affects you. Let him/her know what test you have had done, and you might even offer him your copies of your tests, but make sure that you get them back, If you have had an MRI or CT scan make sure you go to that place that you had them done, and ask for a copy of them( they will put a copy of all your x-rays and MRI and CT and the radiologist reports on a CD. That way you will have them with you when you move to California, and you can give them to your new doctor to make copies of but alway ask for your CD back so you will aways have it. I know I put mine in my computer and I can view the MRI right on my own personal computer! As they also include the viewing program with the pictures! You can also view the actual reports that they make with the MRI or CT scan! The MRI department give its patient one copy, but if they lose it, they charge 15 dollars for a replacement! They always tell the patient that when you give it to your Doctor to view, make sure he gives it back to you! Just something to think about doing ( if you haven't already) before your big move.

Good Luck to YOU

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

hisfaithful1
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 10/10/2010 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
 
 
Thanks alot everyone. I am tempted to try those exercises Joy, thank you. If they cause too much pain, then I'll stop.
 
I think it is really arrogant of any doctor to make the decision to not tell their patient what all shows up on any kind of test.  They should at least ask us if we want to know everything.  Who else is mainly in charge of our health but ourselves? We pay them to help us.
 
White Beard- thanks for the helpful suggestion on getting copies of all my tests on CD. I will for sure do that.   If you don't mind me asking, has your torn disc gotten any worse over all these years, or stayed the same. I hope for your sake it has stayed the same. My tear is in the L3 disc. I know I have had it for about 2 years.
 My DH has DDD and just went on disability about a year ago, he suffers terribly, and has to fight for pain meds since his doctor of 25 yrs left.
 
I also have fibro, and have not been able to work in almost 2 years, so I finally applied for disability myself this past August. Expecting a denial, and I will fight the battle till it comes thru. My DH was one of the fortunate ones, and was approved in 5 months. Maybe it was his long history of back problems, and it was all documented, plus his doctor backed him up.
 
Straydog, yes I will ask to bereferred as soon as I am settled in Cali.
 
Chartreux- thanks, and I will be as careful as possible, it's going to be quite a job with me and DH with our bad backs,  but we have to do it. We may even hire some help, or I know people from our church will pitch in.
 
Thanks all you nice people here. And I will keep you updated.
 
Blessings
Debbie 
 

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3694
   Posted 10/11/2010 8:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Debbie
The torn disk at T-12 has not gotten any better! But I also have so many other disks that are bad and have went bad, that is is a continual on going battle, with which one is worse! Just a couple of months ago I was told by a surgeon that I had the back of an 85 year old man, ( I am 59). None of the Doctors or surgeons will touch my Thoracic disks! But I have an excellent PM Doctor that really is the BEST! He has a spinal pain clinic, and he treats the "whole person!" I feel Blessed to have him as my Doctor! Because of my PM I had my ACDF at C-5/6 last fall, and that took away all my arm pain. Because of him I also seen a Neurosurgeon last week and I require another fusion in my neck, this time a posterior fusion of the " Interior Articular process " at C-3/4. and if the bone in the vertebra is not viable, then he will also fuse C-4/5. I have to let him know in the next week or so if I accept having the Surgery. I already have C-5 through 7 fused in the front, if I have the posterior fusion done and he also does C-4/5 then all the vertebra from C-3 through C7 will all be fused together, and I will lose what little mobility that I have left in my neck! It is a big decision to make! But the C-3 vertebra has slipped because of the the joint ( articular Process) on the right side has completely deteriorated away, and fusing those joints is the only way to fix it! Hopefully that will relieve the pain in my upper neck and lower back of my head!

I am a little bit envious of you moving to California! I have many friends that live out there, I myself have spent a few years of my life living in California, I spent two years in the Sacramento area, when I first went into the Air Force, I also spent two years down in San Berdino area at Norton AFB and later on im y career I spent close to two years in the Merced area at Castle AFB! I enjoyed all my tours in California, it is a very nice state. It is just to bad there government is so screwed up! But I live in Illinois and it messed up here too!

I wish you and your husban well, and Good Luck to you both on your move!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/11/2010 9:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Remember if you experience any, and I mean any, pain with them don't do them. My therapist stresses that to the extreme!
She believes in working the "good" side to relax the "bad" side. It's slow and gentle stretches with pauses as needed. It truely helps my pain despise it goes against the thought do not move what might hurt you.
Joy

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5004
   Posted 10/11/2010 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
When you get copies of tests and reports, make copies yourself. It's cheap and easy to copy a disk or photocopy papers. Copies intended for doctors are generally free, but you have to pay if you say they're for yourself.

Also take some responsibility for understanding your conditions yourself. Ask the doctor who ordered the tests to explain the results to you, and not just read you the report. I just had 4 CT scans where 2 different radiologists reading two scans scans completely missed important diagnostic items. My large abscess on my colon would have gone unnoticed if the surgeon had not looked at the scan himself. My gastroenterologist "doesn't read scans, just reports." I expect to have to inform him about the abscess at my visit unless there is an amended report when I go pick up the scans and reports.
Alcie
 
 

hisfaithful1
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 10/11/2010 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
 
 
Gee Alcie, thats scary when 2 doctors missed something so important!  And thanks for the tip, I will get my own copies. I hope it all works out for you!  Unfortunately the doctor who ordered most of my tests has left. I thought she had told me everything, but now I know she did not. The one who took her place says my pain is all from Fibro, I think he is way wrong!  I'm looking forward to new doctors when i get to California.
 
Joy, I will heed your advice, and will be careful about the exercises. I'm really grateful for them though because I have been afraid to try anything and these sound quite mild.  Can you believe a year ago i was walking 3 -4 miles 5 days a week?  Now I'm lucky to walk 2 blocks!  Life can sure change on us so quickly can't it.
 
Hey White Beard,  I lived in San Bernadino when I was a kid, but spent almost my whole life in the desert southwest, a hot little valley 2 hours east of San Diego. I love it there, and am so excited to be going back!
 
I'm glad for you that you have a good pain doctor, that is a blessing. Sorry that your T-12 has not done so well, and along with everything else you are dealing with.  Do you think very many people with bad discs get better?
 
White Beard it sounds like you are facing a tough decision! It also sounds like surgery may be your best option.  I will say a prayer for you. If I did not have my faith, I know life would be much harder to handle. I ask the Lord to get me thru each day, and He hasn't let me down yet.  Thank you for the nice post. I really hope you are able to get some relief from all that pain your dealing with.
 
This is a nice group you all have here!  Thanks again everybody. I will come around whenever I'm able and see how you all are doing.
 
God bless
 
Debbie

Twiggy2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 10/16/2010 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
:-)  hello hisfaithful1 i totally know what your going though as far as the pain is concerned except my doc is always pushing me to do physio and light exercises like yoga and i truly think that they dont understand the amount of pain we are in and that walking even for a half block can put us in complete agony... although thus far i dont know why your doc didnt want you to know what was happening and things you may be able to do to possibly help with strengthen your muscles but hopefully you can find the answers your looking for very soon... take care listen to your pain Twiggy2... wink also warm hugs and prayers to White Beard good luck...

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3694
   Posted 10/16/2010 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Twiggy2
 
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!
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