**Excuse my abruptness in this post... As I'm sure you all know, you're not in the best mood when you're in pain. Anyway, on to my story... My pediatrician won't call in any muscle relaxers for me because she apparently doesn't do it, even when it's completely necessary. You see, I had an injury from a roller-coaster 2 years ago and I'm still suffering from pinched nerves and severe pain. I've tried physical therapy (4 courses of it), massage therapy, chiropractic care, seen two orthopedic surgeons, etc., etc. They all just say that there's nothing they can do, they can't operate, and the physical therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractor all made my pain worse. I have an appointment with a pain clinic for 2 months from now (that's the soonest I could get), and in 3 weeks (again, the soonest appointment) I have ANOTHER orthopedic specialist appointment.
Now my question... The pain management clinic seems absolutely ridiculous, and I'm thinking of cancelling it. There is a 6 hour psychological evaluation (yes, [U][B]SIX[/B][/U] HOURS), and the main method of treatment that they offer is "behavioral coping techniques" with a psychologist, and anti-depressants. Am I missing something here? I'm not some pill-seeker (I've never taken anything besides Tylenol and Motrin for pain killers in my life as a matter of fact), and this is a legitimate injury. I have the x-rays to prove it. The pain that I'm in is real, and it seems to me that my doctor just can't be bothered so they're sending me to some clinic for fakers, when in fact, I am the real deal and anyone with half a brain would know that. I have 11 vertebrae that are shifted, and I even got scoliosis from the initial injury. (Do you have any idea how hard you have to be thrown on a roller coaster for your spine to curve and stay that way?) Ugh, it's just so frustrating and I'm getting nothing but the run-around. Do normal pain clinics offer that type of treatment as the primary treatment? Or is this abnormal and I should try to find a different one? What I'm most frustrated with is the fact that even if I WENT to this one, I'd have to wait over 2 months, and still get nothing more than "deal with it." I've been out of school for this entire week and laying FLAT. That's the only position I'm not in pain in. Please! I'm in desperate need of some help!!! Again, I would appreciate any feedback and sorry for the "rant-ness" of my post!
This may sould ridiculous or stupid to you, but, have you thought of hypnosis? A good hypnotist can work with pain management. A back injury can take its toll on a person emotionally. Some anti-depressants worak as pain medication as well working on the depression. As far as massage therapy, was it swedish massage or deep tissue massage? Have you seen a spine specialist? If not, try to find one in your area and make an appointment with them. I know at times it is difficult, but try to stay positive. Good luck to you and do keep everyone here posted.
[QUOTE=nanatothesixth]This may sould ridiculous or stupid to you, but, have you thought of hypnosis? A good hypnotist can work with pain management. A back injury can take its toll on a person emotionally. Some anti-depressants worak as pain medication as well working on the depression. As far as massage therapy, was it swedish massage or deep tissue massage? Have you seen a spine specialist? If not, try to find one in your area and make an appointment with them. I know at times it is difficult, but try to stay positive. Good luck to you and do keep everyone here posted.[/QUOTE]
Hey thanks for responding! To be quite honest, I have not thought about hypnosis, nor would I ever consider it. I understand that it may work for SOME people who have things such as [b]unexplained[/b] pain that won't go away, but everyone knows the reason for mine, there is still an INJURY, yet they just don't know how to fix it. My thinking is, "Well, if you can't fix it, at least give me something to dull the pain when it gets REALLY bad." I have a very high pain tolerance, in my opinion anyway, because it takes a lot to withstand sinus infections every three weeks for years and years (I've been dealing with that since I was 6). I can tolerate this back pain most of the time, but around mid-terms, which consisted of sitting over writing for 5 hours a day, four days in a row, and when I was out of school for 2 weeks straight (from a sinus infection) and had to make up the work over ONE weekend, my back can't take that kind of strain.
All things considered, I am in VERY high spirits. I've never been depressed either, and I'm not now, which is why I'm slightly perturbed with the though of going on antidepressants. I think that doctors are too eager to prescribe antidepressants and SSRIs in general. I had an allergist, yes an ALLERGIST, try to put me on Zoloft for sinus infections/allergies before. A few weeks later, another allergist told me that I had one of the worst cases of chronic sinusitis she had ever seen, put me on a preventative dose of antibiotics, and said that the other doctor was the crazy one for wanting to stick me on that! LOL!
Anyway, basically every spine doctor that I've been to has asked how I've been dealing with the depression. That aggravates me as well because for some reason unbeknownst to me, I have been able to retain the exact same personality and energy levels as I had before. I am not sad, or tired, nor do I feel hopeless at all. Am I irritated? Yes, but since when did being irritated that no one will help you, make you depressed?
Please though, know that what I wrote wasn't me being defensive to your or annoyed with what you said... And I thank you very much for taking the time to write that. Rather I'm just trying to explain why that whole theory (which both this clinic and other doctors in the past) doesn't seem to apply to me. My pain isn't like lingering long after my injury was healed with no explanation as to why -- the injury didn't heal EVER, and no one knows how to heal it! :-/
Oh, by the way, I had both Swedish and deep tissue massage, and they both bothered me.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but have you ever gotten a diagnosis for what is causing your pain, as it seems to me that you haven't. It appears that the doctors have not be able to, nor have they tried hard enought, find the source of your pain.
. Find a spine specialist. That is either a neuorosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon who has had an additional year of training and who works only on spinal issues. There are any number of tests that can be done to pin down a diagnosis and then treatment. In the meantime, if you want to do the pm thing, maybe they can at least help with the pain while the source is being tracked down.
I've been seeing a pain management doctor for many years and there have been two times that I've been required to take a psychological test. One was for my Social Security claim and it lasted approx. 20-30 minutes and the other was a written test that was mailed to me to get insurance approval for a surgery that carried a high risk of failure. This one was about 25-30 questions. I can't imagine what would take SIX hours!?!?!
Antidepressents are often prescribed as a type of pain killer (I know it bothered me when they were first prescribed for me too). I would consider a different pain management clinic, one that takes your physical problem seriously. I'd seen many doctors before I ended up there and it was the first doctor to take my injury seriously enough to find out what was going on with me.
Good luck, I hope you get this straightened out soon and find some pain relief!
As part of my pain management plan, I too, was sent to a shrink. And, I have had to go three times. The pain is real. The injury is real. It is part of an intergrated plan. I figure that if I jump all of the hoops and hurdles, and play along with the plan, they might take me seriously.
I think that this is all part of a new process that the doctors are using to flush out those who they can if the pain is not legitimate. If I were you, I would play along and hope that insurance covers it. I did get some insight from the shrink as to how pain works and how sometimes if they can break the cycle of pain, they can get a foot hold on how to work best with your pain.
[QUOTE=carol632]Please correct me if I am wrong, but have you ever gotten a diagnosis for what is causing your pain, as it seems to me that you haven't. It appears that the doctors have not be able to, nor have they tried hard enought, find the source of your pain.[/QUOTE]
They know what's causing it. They know why it happened (the roller coaster). They know which exact spots on my spine are hurting, and which vertebrae are shifted (from x-rays, MRIs, etc.). They know that I have had pain (varying in degree) since the injury happened, and before that, I had no problems whatsoever. They know that I can't sit or stand for more than 10 minutes at a time without pain. They can visually SEE that one side of my back is two inches higher than the other. The only thing they don't know is how to fix it. Surgery isn't an option, and everything short of surgery hasn't helped, or it's made it worse. It's like everyone I go to tries to pawn me off on someone else. Maybe because I'm so young and they're idea is "well, it won't kill her... she's young and otherwise healthy, nothing I can do..."
I don't know what the long-term answer is, but in the mean time, I don't think it's right for me to have to sit in pain without being able to function. My doctor is a little pansy who's afraid to prescribe any sort of pain relievers or muscle relaxers. She said to try Aleve if Tylenol or Motrin don't work (which I'm sure most of you can agree that they do NOTHING whatsoever), but I had an ALLERGIC REACTION to it! I'm completely stuck! I can't do anything to help myself, as I am a minor... My mother has called every hospital in the state basically, but they all say that they're not sure how they'd treat me, or they refer me to the same exact pain management clinic which I can't get in for another TWO MONTHS! Etc, etc, etc, etc!!!! What my doctor is perhaps missing is that while she's at home, happy and pain-free, I'm sitting here in constant pain... So of course she's not in any rush to help me. I haven't slept more than 2 or 3 hours per night in the past two weeks because I get shooting pains in almost every position. The little sleep that I do get is when I pass out from being absolutely exhausted and I can't physically keep my eyes open any longer. I wake up in pain. I'm in pain right now typing this. I just need someone to do SOMETHING, and no one will see me. I guess that my case is unusual because I'm not even 16 yet and I'm still having the problems of an 80 year old, but that's no excuse for being completely ignored and given the run-around. Did any of you go through this kind of ridiculousness before you finally got help???????
Being young and in so much pain for a young lady of your age,just don't seem fair.You should be out there dancing and getting ready to drive.I have daughter your age.
Have you tried traction therapy or a lift in your shoe to try to raleive some of the pain you are getting from a shifted spine.I also have a shifted spine,not to your degree.Mine is from 2 previous lumbar surgeries with instrumentation,that has slipped and it is a very risky proceedure,I won't have it done.
Have your exam,it is standard now days and with so many youths addicted to prescription meds they do this as a stansard protocal.It is not fair to the youth that are truelly in pain that have the clinical proof as you do.
Your mother is doing an excellent job trying to get you the proper medical care,hang in there,I know 2 months is a long way off,stay positive and have happy thaughts it might help your pain.
Is there any way you could seek out different medical care? Sometimes it can take several doctors to find one that will continue to work on your behalf to manage your pain. I am on pain meds and muscle relaxers on an as needed basic for a sever fibro flare. However, a pain management center is on the horizon to help me with coping strategies to us in addition with pain meds as some pain will in fact be life long. It is better to use a multitude of remedies to help keep the effectiveness of pain management at a certain comfort level for a longer period of time before having to increase meds. Hope you get to feeling better soon!
So sorry you are having such a hard time getting help for your pain. I just got the paperwork yesterday from the new Pain Management clinic they are sending me to (the first one only did ESI's which I can't and won't take) and there are 18 pages for me to fill out...7 for the doctor and 11 for the psychologist. I guess the physical therapist gets to read all of it...or not. There are numerous questions regarding addiction in here, so that seems to be their primary focus of concern in "treating" their patients. This "integrated" program is my last hope. I can't wait to get off of the medications. Most of the time the effects of the meds are worse than the pain...nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, weight gain...and on and on. They've changed my meds 5 or 6 times since August and each one is worse than the one before and none of them really help my pain.
If I have one piece of advice for you, it is that you and your mother become aware of the possible side effects of every medication once prescribed and report it immediately to your doctor if you have any trouble at all, no matter how insignificant you might think it is at the time.
I can't really give you any advice, just that I'm the mother of a teenager who's life changed at the age of 14 because of back problems. My daughter's diagnosis came at age 11, but she survived until she started high school. I do know that this pain takes away a great part of your high school life. My daughter went from an active athlete prior to HS to a kid who was pulled out of all sports at the beginning of 9th grade and spent two years on the couch in pain. It stinks!!
We were very lucky to have found an excellent pediatric othopaedist who focuses on scoliosis (even though her scoly wasn't her major problem, he delt with spinal issues). He always was compassionate to us and helped us deal with her pain. He never treated her like this was in her head. I guess we were very blessed with him and that surgery could be done to correct the problem she was born with.
It sounds like you have seen many drs. Have you been to a pediatric orthopaedist? He/She specializes in the pediatric patient. From what has been explained the pediatric spine is much different than the adult spine. I hope you and your mother are successful in solving your back problem so you can get the rest of your life back. cas
Honey I am so sorry that you are dealing with this much pain at such an early age. I also have a daughter in her 20's and you should be enjoying your youth free from such a burden. It might not be a bad idea to talk with a pyscologist to really get a handle on the best possible way to treat your pain.
Although I have never heard of a 6 hour evaluation maybe there could be a compromise to this rediculous 6 hours. I would really try to get to a pediatric
spine specialist. Do you have a children's hospital on your area? if so then call the hospital and ask who the head of the spine dept is and then check to see if your insurance covers it and make an appointment. Before I would go the path that you have in front of you I think that a different opinion is your best answer. I am in my 50's and deal with pain everyday because of 3 back surgeries and DDD and RA, so I understand what you are going through and unfortunalty people like us deal with others who sometimes can't understand
or want to deal with our problems. This is an incredible board with very understanding compassionate people so please if we can help in anyway if only to be there to talk to you and support you then let us help! I hope you get some answers and some relief very soon.
Gidday Melissa (I`m calling from Perth, Western Australia), I am very sorry to hear about your suffering and the advise that I personally will give you is, to only see a Spinal Surgeon. Nobody else.
In 1981 I broke my back and was told I would never walk again.
To cut a long story short, after two agonising years, I did learn how to walk again.
Three years after the accident, I had a spinal fusion performed by an Orthopedic Surgeon. Six months after the operation the pain was unbearable, I was suicidle. I went back to the surgeon and he just brushed it off incinuating (excuse spelling if I`ve got it wrong) that the pain must be in my head. I had numerous appointments with him (expensive ones) and each time I felt completely lost, he did not want to know. Anyway, in the end I shouted at him and I cried that the pain was killing me and that he had to open me up and have a look because I couldn`t go on like this. He was startled to say the least at my outburst.
Three years after my first surgery, he opened me up again. He apologised to me after the operation. He said that there were compressed nerves caused by all the bone that had grown over the fusion and none of the xrays had shown this.
Again, a few months down the track, I was in more pain than before and I did actually try taking my life a number of times. I thought that I would end up in a mental institution because of the pain.
This time I thought that I would not go with the same surgeon, I would try and find somebody else, so I saw another Orthopedic Surgeon and another one. Neither of them were interested in me, they didn`t seem to give a toss about my suffering.
I asked the one Othopedic Surgeon if there was purely a Spinal Surgeon that I could see and he muttered a name quickly and then walked back into his office.
My Dad was with me and I was in a right state but I remembered the name that the surgeon had mumbled and when I got home I rang him straight away and I got an appointment to see him the next week.
I saw this Spinal Surgeon, he took xrays and then he told me that even if my health insurance would not cover me, he would still do an operation on me, as my spine was in such a mess.
He open me up and he put in a Hartshill Rectangle (an operation that he actually invented) and after the five and a half hour operation he said that in all his years of surgery, he had never seen such a complicated back injury as mine and he was amazed that I could walk, but he was even more amazed that I could smile.
When he said that I felt like bursting into tears. At last somebody fully understood what I was going through.
Melissa, sorry for going on, I have tried to make it short mind, but what I want to stress to you is, only see a Spinal Surgeon, nobody else, because a good Spinal Surgeon knows so much more than anybody else does. I know that they are expensive, but in the long run it really does pay, believe me.
I wish you all the luck in the world and my thoughts are with you.
Right, I`m off to bed now coz it`s 2.01 am in Perth and my bum is aching from sitting here. I take ages to do an email as my keyboard skills are awful (putting it politely)
All the best
Why are you so afraid of the psychological profile? The body isn't just a bunch of parts -- they all work together. When you are in chronic pain it can be easy to let that effect other areas of your life.
Pain mgmt isn't all about taking drugs or getting ESIs to relieve pain. It includes things like deep breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and the like. I'm not particularly "into" complimentary medicine, but I do know that when I'm cranky because my whole back hurts and my leg is twitching, I am a much nicer person if I lie on the bed for an hour with some lavendar scented candles or essential oils around me. Does it help the pain, per se? No. Does it make me better able to cope (i.e., manage) with the pain? Yes.
We all want to take the least amount of drugs possible (due to the side effects, which can seemingly be as bad as the original back pain) and maybe letting these new doctors learn about you not just from a clinical perspective will help them better help you.