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Old 10-03-2012, 12:17 AM   #1
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Question Undiagnosed Back Pain... Please Help

Hi, initially I just want to say thank you for creating this site. Itís incredibly hard for patients suffering from pain to get any real help today. So many treat us like weíre liars and/or drug addicts. I just wish all of those who are abusing the medical system would stop so that those who are truly suffering will not be dismissed and continue to go undiagnosed/misdiagnosed.
I am 25 years old, and I have been in 3 major car accidents in my life. (I live in Broward County FL, which is considered one of the most dangerous for motor vehicle accidents. In fact the most dangerous intersection in the country is one mile away from my house. Scary and awful.)
The first was entirely my fault, I was 18 years old and drove my car off of an exit ramp on Alligator Alley in S. Florida.
The second was when I was 21 in the middle of the night and I was making a left turn when a speeding car ran the red light and we collided.
The third was a few days before my 22 birthday. It was during spring break in 2009 and I was on my way home from work at about 3:45 a.m. when a driver sped through a light turning red. I was in motion when the light turned green so I never hit my breaks. When we both reached the middle of the intersection, my front-end hit the back right-side of their SUV. After the accident the driver sped off. I was able to drive my bashed-up car to an empty lot where I called 911. An ambulance came to take me to the hospital. And I was sent home the next morning with a referral to a Pain Management doctor located at the same hospital.
After my first accident, I was also taken to the hospital but I was young and wouldnít let them examine me. I wanted to go home because I was naive and scared.
I did not go to the hospital after the second one at all. I didnít think it was necessary.
Immediately after the third one I had excruciating pain that has persisted for 3 and a half years. It just wonít subside and I have become extremely saddened due to this fact. I am not depressed, I just want the pain to go away because itís not fair (nothing is fair, I understand that, I just hate this and I wish it would stop already).
Now on to my problem :
Following the accident, I went to see the Pain Management doctor I was referred to, she immediately gave me pain medication and sent me for MRIís. The original MRIís showed three problems.
The first is a central disc bulge on the C3 Ė C4 area of the cervical spine.
The second is a disc herniation on the T10 Ė T11 area of the thoracic spine
The third is another central disc bulge on the L4 Ė L5 area of the lumbar spine.
When I changed doctors he ordered new MRIís. I could not afford to get them all at the same time so I began with the lumbar.
The new MRIís diagnosis for this area was exactly the same. ďCentral disc bulgeĒ on the L4 Ė L5.
Last month I got the other two done (using a different machine, at the same facility) and the findings showed nothing wrong.
The issue I am having, is that the technician was making fun of me for my piercings and tattoos (to my face) and acted like there was something wrong with me for having them. Also, I weigh about 97 lbs. and the whirring of the machine was causing my body to vibrate. The technician told me several times to stop moving, and I told him that it wasnít my fault, yet he said it was me and that I was ďnervousĒ. When the report was sent to my new doctor, it said that the findings were negative, yet he did not mention the vibrating (which according to my doctor can cause motion blurs).
My doctor read the technicianís report (only) and said that the findings were so minimal that my pain is basically a ludicrous statement. They he gave me a prescription to get an orthopedic doctorís opinion (in order to cut his liability?) I went to the Ortho today, and I gave him my original MRIís and the new ones. He refused to look at the original ones and said that there was hardly anything wrong. He said that he believed me that I was in pain, but he doesnít know whatís causing it because the MRIís are just not showing anything that would have caused my pain to persist past the initial 3 months following my accident. Finally proceeded to say that I am addicted to the drugs, and that they are unnecessary. Then he recommended that I go to see his friend (a different Pain Management doctor).
How can only the first MRI show something? And how can I still be in pain?
Please help me. I donít know what to do and Iím so tired of doctors thinking that I am lying, simply because of how I look (tattoos and piercings) and the fact that I donít like to complain because I donít want to annoy people. I try to be rather stoic and deal with the pain quietly. Do I have to be extremely vocal to be heard?
Also, how often are MRIís wrong? Specifically, how often do they show nothing, yet their actually is something wrong?

 
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:38 AM   #2
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Re: Undiagnosed Back Pain ... Please Help

Hi Unseen,

Don't you just hate getting judged by the way you look, it drives me crazy. I'm covered in Tattoos myself, however people usually are really shocked when i mention my Bachelors of Science and Masters of Arts degrees. Anyway, I'm sorry your having so much pain. Personally MRI's are a good tool, but its not the only tool, maybe ask for x-rays and CT scans, that might give a better picture when shown side by side with your first MRI's?

Do you have a regular family doctor? If you do, ask him/her for referrals to get the additional tests, if you don't have one, it would be a good idea to get established with one.

Don't give up, you have to advocate for yourself, no one is going to do it for you. Just keep trying no mater what.

Take care and keep us updated.

 
Old 10-03-2012, 05:39 AM   #3
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Re: Undiagnosed Back Pain ... Please Help

Hi Unseen,

Don't you just hate getting judged by the way you look, it drives me crazy. I'm covered in Tattoos myself, however people usually are really shocked when i mention my Bachelors of Science and Masters of Arts degrees. Anyway, I'm sorry your having so much pain. Personally MRI's are a good tool, but its not the only tool, maybe ask for x-rays and CT scans, that might give a better picture when shown side by side with your first MRI's?

Do you have a regular family doctor? If you do, ask him/her for referrals to get the additional tests, if you don't have one, it would be a good idea to get established with one.

Don't give up, you have to advocate for yourself, no one is going to do it for you. Just keep trying no mater what.

Take care and keep us updated.

 
Old 10-03-2012, 07:18 AM   #4
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Re: Undiagnosed Back Pain... Please Help

Welcome to the board. Please describe your symptoms, what type of pain and where it is located, what makes it better or worse, does it radiate out from your back, etc.

From being on boards like this it does seem that younger adults have a difficult time getting someone to take their pain seriously.

We know that anyone who has been involved in an impact accident almost always develops osteoarthritis earlier than normal.

First of all, I would file a complaint with the director of wherever you had the MRI. You have the right to be treated respectfully regardless of appearance. You might even try demanding that the MRIs be redone because of your experience. Perhaps you were shaking due to the way you had been treated by the technician??

How much time elapsed between the two MRIs? It is possible for moderate disc herniations to heal.

The doctor should LOOK with his own eyes at the MRI, not rely on a radiology report. There can be mistakes in a report. I know this first-hand, having once received one that did not even match up to my MRI.

Please post with your symptoms.

 
Old 10-03-2012, 08:50 AM   #5
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Re: Undiagnosed Back Pain... Please Help

I DON'T have Osteoarthritis and I had a whiplash 7 years ago.
Pain never goes away.

So I will explain what EXACTLY has happened to you.
All your tendons, ligaments and muscles got DAMAGED during the accident and unfortunatelly there is no way to fix it. Doctors just dont' know how to fix it.
Isn't it strange? with all their technology they just dont' know how to fix damaged tendons, ligaments and muscles.

Don't you wish you lived in the time of LIncoln with carriages. With carriages you won't suffer from chronic pain. That's how it goes. Cars not meant for people. THey caused more damage than good. Look what happened to you. IT IS FOR LIFE. and it will never go away. Even a surgery in the future will not be able to take away your pain. Because it it involves the soft tissue.

Also, car accident can cause fibromyalgia, you can expect that in the future or you maybe you have it already.

I will comfort you a little. At least your pain is not in the neck.

 
Old 10-08-2012, 12:23 PM   #6
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Re: Undiagnosed Back Pain... Please Help

Hi. Thanks for all of your replys. I really appreciate it. Most doctors when they find out I'm a grad student studying political science and european history are shocked as well.
Anyway I started to keep a pain journal. And the symptoms are mostly located on the left. It radiates from my neck, into my upper/back side of my arm and shoulder. And goes down into my hips and left leg. Although, my calves on both sides and tops of my feet have no feeling anymore. Not for a few years now.
Then when I walk, oh man. I get this horrible pain in my chest, and I'm fit. I mean yeah I smoke cigarettes but I also walk about 9 or 10 miles a week. Anyway, when the chest pain starts, I can't breathe and I get a stabbing under my breast area. (Not sure where lungs are exactly, fascinated by science but never any good at it).
So the pain never goes away. It just stays and doesn't throb. It's just there never ceasing. Like this horribly constant ache and burning feeling, in my neck and low back. My mid-back where the first MRI showed herniation, only hurts when I move for more than a few minutes or sit or lay down for more than 30 minutes.
Oh and the doctor I see now, said never let anyone say I have fibromyalgia. Because once labeled with that, then doctors never take you seriously. This is because he said that only women have this "diagnosis" and that it's only because they are not listened to at home and just want someone to complain to. He also said that the medication for it, is anti-depressants. That's all it is. He was a bit frank, but I appreciate the candor. I don't like being bull-shitted.
Well thanks for your help. I'm not sure what to do, I just know that it's not fair for anyone to have this pain and for governments to decide what kind and how much of certain medications patients are allowed to receive from their doctors is bull. Everyone is different, you can't lump all of us together and say were all identical. We need doctors to treat us as people not paperwork. And we need a government who will help us, not hinder us.
Sorry going off on a rant. Anyway, thanks again. Good luck to all of you! I hope medical science will soon discover a way to cure us for good.

 
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back pain, mri, pain management, thoracic herniation, undiagnosed



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