A pain in the neck!

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quevega
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/11/2011 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
This is my first post! I have been in severe pain for 4 years now. I have spinal stenosis, chronically degenerated discs from C3/4 through to C6/7 and significant foraminal narrowing bilaterally at all levels. Most of my pain refers into my left shoulder are and hand, and to quote an old thread I read on her, I feel like I have a baseball in my shoulder!
 
I have had 3 lots of facet joint injections, over 100 trigger point injections, a double microsurgical foraminotomy on the left at C5 and C6, 3 nerve root blocks, acupuncture, physio, soft tissue trigger point therapy, deep tissue massage and 2 weeks ago a cervical epidural. According to all the specialists and consultants I have seen the scans and x-rays of my neck look like those of an 80 year old, I turned 41 a couple of months ago. I have had all the usual medications, co-codamol, tramadol, oxycodone and diazepam. Nothing works and I have not had a pain free day in the last 4 years.
 
My condition is incurable, and it would appear also untreatable! Because it is not visible many people tend to think I exaggerate how much this affects my life. I know I am not alone in my suffering, and I know there are many people in far worse situations. I have stated all the facts relating to my condition but I spend as little time as I can feeling sorry for myself, although some degree of that is inevitable I think.
 
 One of the worst aspects of my situation is trying to deal with the British system of benefits, this has caused me more stress and anxiety than my health problems ever could and I pity anyone who has to deal with these people! I'm not exactly sure why I'm writing this, certainly not looking for sympathy or pity, but perhaps some empathy is possible here? It is not easy to accept that I will be restricted in my physical activities for the rest of my life.
 
 I used to be a pretty successful showjumper and now I am not supposed to ever even get on a horse again, this makes me very sad and while I am learning ti live with it I don't think I will ever be ok with it. Fortunately I also have academic passions and I am in the 2nd year of my psychology degree with the open University, currently I have a 2500 word thematic analysis due in in 6 days and a 2000 essay by the end of the month, but it's not easy to write on the days when I can only lie down!
 
 Anyone who has read all of this deserves my gratitude, and you have it. I guess I just wanted to get it out of my head just for a little while. I would like to wish all my fellow chronic pain sufferers the very best of luck with future treatments.
 
 
 
(Edited for eaiser reading) Thanks! SE wink

Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 5/11/2011 8:53:03 AM (GMT-6)


Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 5/11/2011 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
 
        Awesome! You made it here!
 
           So with that!...I welcome you to the "Chronic Pain" forum quevega! wink
 
              You will just love this site!... and the members! Like I said on my other reply...the members are warm and friendly. They are very good at supporting when needed.
 
      If you would like,...please check out the "Chronic Pain 101" listed at the top of our home page. It's full of great article's, and I'm sure some of them will interest you.
 
           I'm going to take the liberty of editing your first post here, and split up the introduction into smaller paragraph's, so that those members with eye tracking problems and or poor eyesight will be able to read it better. We don't want to miss a single word of you're intro! wink
 
      So "Please" don't be offended, when you see it has been edited. If you would....please try and split up your post into smaller paragraphs in the future, for this same reason.
 
                Please do keep posting and we invite you to stay involved here on the CP forum. I have a few errands to tend to this morning, but will be back in a bit, to give you a better reponce to you're post.
 
           Again!....."Welcome!"
 
        SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together"

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 5/11/2011 9:26:05 AM (GMT-6)


Draka
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 5/11/2011 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
WOW.... it sounds like I wrote your post Quevega!! WELCOME

Honestly if you look up old posts of mine you will hear my words saying the same thing.... even stating that my neck looks like an 80 years old (I am 43).... I was told that exact same thing.... really... uncanny!

Just 5 weeks ago I underwent posterior spine surgery after trying... facet injections, epidurals, acupuncture, massage, Prolotherapy (93 injections in one year) and meds.

I found a very confident neurosurgeon... who, only takes patients after seeing MRI's,.... he will not touch you if he doesn't think he can help!

Don't lose hope I haven't.... I'm hoping that after a long hard recovery... I will be pain free!


quevega
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/11/2011 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Many thanks for the editing, a great improvement and I will certainly try and stick to manageable paragraphs from now on.

I would like to stress that I am generally much more positive in my communications than in my previous post, I had pretty much reached my tipping point just then and was very grateful of the opportunity to express my frustrations freely.

I have never been involved in any sort of forum for chronic pain sufferers and I am very interested to hear the experiences of others, and as I have had quite a few different procedures perhaps I can offer some information and reassurance to anyone who will behaving them in the future.

Although these treatments have not been successful for me that is predominantly because my condition went undiagnosed for 20 years and had reached a point where successful treatment was always going to be a long shot.

Despite this I have tried everything available to me and would urge others to do the same and keep believing that there is some relief out there somewhere.

Thank you for such a warm welcome.

quevega
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/11/2011 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Draka, thank you for your encouraging words.

I truly hope you get a wonderful result from your surgery, I know from experience just how painful it is, and it does sound like we have travelled a very similar path.

I must say that the ineffectiveness of my surgery was in no way the responsibility of my neurosurgeon, who is regarded as one of the best in the country, unfortunately my osteophytes have been present for so long that the damage to the nerves is irreversible and I was told that the surgery had only a 50% chance of being beneficial.

Actually when I went to the consultation he thought I had brought someone else's MRI's with me, something that I can look back on with a smile, despite my circumstances.

I would be very interested to hear a more detailed description of your surgery if this is something that you feel comfortable with. And again I send you my very best wishes for a positive outcome.

Quevega (that's actually the name of a very successful National Hunt racehorse who won me some money last week, maybe it can bring me some more luck!)

momtofourangels
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2265
   Posted 5/11/2011 1:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum Quevega. I'm glad you found us. We are very supportive as you can see. I look forward to getting to know you better.

I haven't had any back surgeries, but I do have chronic pain due to a compression fracture that happened from me falling. I have degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, etc.

I'm sure you will get the support that you're looking for. It's hard to read that you have tried everything and can't get the relief that you need. I do at least have relief from pain meds.

You take care.

love and hugs
Loretta
Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
Meds: Fentanyl patch, oxycodone, otc: BenGay, Tylenol Arthritis on occasion

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16796
   Posted 5/11/2011 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Quevega and I too would like two welcome you to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I am sorry that you are having so much misery and there seems to be no relief in sight. It does appear that you have pretty much ran the gambit medical wise in trying to get some relief. One thing I did not see or may have overlooked it, was if you ever had the Radio Frequency nerve endings burned under flouroscopy? My neck problems are different from yours, I have disc herniations at the last two levels. I had constant pain in my shoulders and it felt like I had a baseball under my right shoulder blade. Nothing took that pain away until I had the RF done. it is not a permanent solution to the problem because the nerve endings do grow back. My PM dr did a diagnostic block first to see if I got any relief and I did so that made me a candidate for the RF. I could not believe something like that got rid of that pain because I had done everything else.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and tell you welcome aboard. Please take care and keep us posted on how you are doing.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

quevega
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/11/2011 3:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow Straydog, that is quite amazing, the way you describe the pain in your right shoulder is exactly how the pain I have in my left shoulder feels. It's like a ball of solid muscle that has been in permanent rigid spasm for 4 years and nothing has ever taken that pain away. Often I have felt like I want someone to open up my shoulder and just cut it out because I just want it gone.

I would be extremely grateful if you could explain in a little more detail this RF treatment you have had as it is not something I am at all aware of. I have had about 20-30 steroid or botox injections into the 'ball' and they have given me no relief, so I am very excited to hear about even the possibility of this treatment.

Many thanks.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16796
   Posted 5/12/2011 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Que this was done by my former PM dr who was an anesthesiologist prior to going into PM. It is done quite frequently now a days by many of them for neck and back pain, I had both done. My neck like I said did great but it did nothing for my low back pain. if you don't mind in order for you to get the correct explanation of the procedure, WebMD has a great explanation of how its done, at least mine was done exactly as they described it. When I went to their site I typed in Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation and there it was. Let me know what you think of it after reading about it. I was given light sedation by IV because you do have to talk to the dr during the procedure and it really was not bad at all. I am sure Botox hurt a whole lot more than this, lol.

Granted it is like anything else we try it may not work for you. But your PM dr can do the diagnostic block to see if you are a candidate for it, then you will know. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

tryin2cope2
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/14/2011 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning,

seems that there are a few horse injuries here. we do love our animals and there is nothing like being on them and nothing more heart breaking then to be told you can not ride again or risk being in a wheel chair.

Q, as I read your post I see my husband story only he was crush by a horse when it stumbled during a work at the track, throwing him on his head and knocking him out as the horse rolled over on top of him. That was in the mid 70s. In '86 while breaking babies (it is hard to stop getting on them) he is throw in a freak accident. This finally ended him getting on horses.

2 surgeries in '87 & '95 have kept him from a wheel chair but not a day without some pain. Right now it is the head aches that are more debilitating then any of his back pain. We are working with a Pain clinic to see what can be done short of more surgery. They did an occipital injection yesterday. Set for a Botox at the end of the month to try to calm the neck muscles.

We have found over the yrs some supplements that help with controlling the inflammation and offset the effects of taking meds. They can take a toll on your system if you are not careful.

But as anyone in pain knows it is also about Coping. Days you have less pain and less coping and days with more pain and better coping.

As the wife/friend of the one in pain, it is important for any spouses to get on board with helping to make that persons day as good as it can be. Find those moments when you can enjoy somethings together because there may be days when you will be alone while they are hurting. We learn to be flexible in our plans because they have to be adjusted to work with the pain level for the day.

As I am typing this Jim has gone off to lay down because he didn't have a good night and needs to take a break. I can't imagine being without him though. so to all spouses of chronic pain people... remember why you fell in love.. that person is still there.. count your blessing every day :-)

di

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 5/14/2011 10:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning "tryin2cope2"

I happened upon this reply from you this morning, and wanted to make sure and "Welcome" you here!

It is rare to have a spouse come here and post, but it does happen, and we encourage it as well.

One thing I would love for you to do is to please consider, posting this same introduction on our home page. You have said some things here that all members need to read, and their spouses as well.

If you will...please go to the chronic pain home page, and click on "Post New Topic" and paste this reply you have posted, there in the body of the new introduction. The reason I request this, is because you will get a much better chance of the members seeing it, and we certainly want all the members to meet you.

I really think you will enjoy the members here, and find them to be warm and friendly. Like wise, I'm sure we will enjoy having you come aboard.

Hope to see you're new introduction soon!

Thanks!...and enjoy!

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together"

tryin2cope2
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/14/2011 10:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok I think I did it right.... kinda new at these chats

di

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 5/14/2011 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
You did just "Perfect" Thank You!

Enjoy the forum!

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together"
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