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Old 12-19-2010, 08:23 AM   #1
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Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

Hello people. As you all know. I suffer tremendously from severe chronic neck pain probably, well I said probably cause no doctor knows why I suffer so much from neck pain,,,,,,my pcp believes its caused by the two bulging disks inside my neck pressing somewhere. Those bulging disks are minor the MRI showed but causing me not to be able to sleep at night. Cannot rest my neck not on the left and not on the right side. Great life since the age 35, the age of the car accident. Since then 5 years passed.

The physical therapist I've been to said it is only a limitation. and sleeping is not a big deal. interesting. I do not really want to go on disability since I do not have a family to support me.

My doctor said if I ever want to go on disability there is no way acording to what I have I will be approved!. He recommended me to go to a psychologist and by doing so he/she will say I am depressed etc and cannot do a job.
what is going on here. that is not the truth. the truth is that i am suffering from pain. I am not suffering from depression. Honestly, I am not suffering from depression.

I would like your opinion and anybody on disability how you did it. Those of you with chronic neck/back pain plus disks problems/herniated/bulging.
Thanks and appreciate.

Last edited by nochange; 12-19-2010 at 08:24 AM.

 
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Old 12-19-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

I am sorry they won't take you seriously as I experienced that also for many years but I was suffering depression also. I didn't understand that at first but when I was sitting in my car crying one day I realised that depression had taken hold of me. So I was given anti-depressants and took them for several years. Depression is a disease that you may not realise you have until it has you. I have lost a number of relatives and friends through suicide when people around them didn't even know that they were so sick.
I am not saying you are depressed but it does usually follow chronic pain and a lack of support so please talk to someone anyway as you may be effected in future if you are not sleeping and you are in pain a lot. Chronic pain seems to go hand in hand with depression so just be aware.
I hope you can find someone to take you seriously and treat your neck problems. Take care.
Allan
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25-Nov-2010: ALIF fusion L5-S1. 9 years of Chronic lower back pain. Nearly 18 months of pain across my upper pelvis, through my butt and down my left leg into my foot. Sciatica relieved by surgery.

 
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:09 PM   #3
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

Allan, thanks for your response. appreciate. but i do not have any support. My doctor understad sleeping is important but that where is start and where it ends. I dictate him what to rx me. I am like a doctor now. No friend wanted to listened to this pain I have in the neck. No compassion. nothing. they all DUMPED me. You want to hear something you would not believe it? my boyfirend DUMPED me NOW. just now. He knew all this time I have been suffering from chronic pain and wheh i wanted to talk about it with him he said it makes him DEPRESED. So please, he said, do now talk about it. So i had to keep my mouth shut. Why people do not want to give support to us:???

Now he DUMPED me.He does not want a sick WOMAN. I can walk walk fine, I just cannot sleep without clonazepam 4mg higher dose to start with and suffer from pain so i guess it affects my mood and made me sad sometimes. I never shout or scream. I really quiet i think i am just sad

i wonder if there is any support from anyone in this world concerning my pain.I am starring to cry. i have never been DUMPED by a guy before., it hurts my feelings.

Plus I do not have any family support, they will never understand what it means to live with chronic pain.

I've been taking clonazepam now I hope i will be able to sleep some and say goodbye to my boyfriennd who DUMPED ME. just caused i am a chronic pain patient. Thinking about it, why should i say good by to him. I won't shed a tear.

Please people, if you have any more opinions on any issues type here. I really appreciate.
espcially now that i am Dumped. In order to make me feel good he was tellign me I am a beautiful woman so I can feel good, big deal. oh well, he dumped me cause i am not well. chronic pain paitent who needs pain meds expensive pain meds plus this girl having problmes sleepings.

This guy is gone. The truth is that i am a very strong person who fight back.really want to work eventough this chronic pain

I am off to sleep with clonazepam.
any help is greatly appreiated.

Last edited by nochange; 12-20-2010 at 04:26 AM.

 
Old 12-19-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

You must be strong to except this without any tears. My wife left me in a similar way only I caught her on the mobile to another man. Then I looked in her phone to see she had been talking to this guy for a while. I cried a lot and the doctor told me I had depression. After a while I went to see her and she had been out with someone and was going out that night to see the fireworks at the Sydney Olympics and I broke down and couldn't stop crying. It took me nearly 2 years to get over loosing my job, my wife and my home. After 2 years I joined AA and it took me a further 2 years to get sober and well. Then another 8 years of chronic pain before I got my surgery. Now I am re-cooperating and will be taking my time before I will know what I should do next. I am a bit lost and it will take some help I think for me to resume some kind of normal life. I hope you find help and are able to move on from where you are now.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:19 PM   #5
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

NC, have you ever considered having the disk bulges reduced by injection of papain? its relatively non invasive and if your pain is indeed caused by these disks pushing somwhere, then it should bring remarkable relief

I know you say you only take Oxycotin in the morning because it keeps you awake, have you tried anyother long acting pain meds, such as SR Morphine, methadone or levolorphanol?

These might give you the relief you need.
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:21 PM   #6
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

I am sorry that you are in so much pain but can understand. I have had to stop doing everything that I love due to two spinal surgeries and PAIN. I have stopped doing fostercare cause it wasn't fair to the kids in my home that I wasn't able to take them out because of pain. I have stopped working as a CPS Case Manager because I couldn't handle driving, working, sitting at my desk, etc.. I could go on and on. My husband bless his heart, tries to understand but sometimes gets so angry at me that I don't just get up and get things done. He doesn't understand that pain wears you out both emotionally and physcially. It takes twice as much to do anything. Walking, showering, folding clothes, cooking, cleaning, even the simplest things that we have always taken advantage of now we can't do. So I understand and I am sorry that you are going through this. Hopefully some supportive comments in this blog and a doctor that will listen to you will help you concor this stage in your life. Don't give up, it will get better, if not physically then emotionally you will learn to deal with it. As far as the boyfriend that "Dumped" you. Better now than 10 years down the road when you are married with children and you are unable to relie on him for help and support. You will find another that is better suited for you just give it time. I wish you well and keep me posted as to how you are doing.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:40 AM   #7
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

yep, perhaps morphine or methadone or the fentanyl patch. I will ask my doctor.
Thx John. Perhaps those will let me sleep without clonazepam.

Yeah, I will have to admit it. Pain wears you out emotionally and physicaly. I have never thought about that this way. I was taught to fight back. My doctor told me he saw worse cases than mine. well I am sure there are. It could always be worse. But he never talked about wears you out. I am going to talk about it with him tomorrow. See what he can offer. Yeah, I need all the power in the world to get a shower, getting dressed, clean etc. But since I am a very strong person I do not give up to life and my condition.
If I give up to life I will be depressed.

 
Old 12-21-2010, 12:37 AM   #8
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

I agree, its so draining..... everything in life becomes an effort, even things that should be fun. Its like going around with a 25kg bag of cement tied to your back, it makes everything so much harder.
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:18 PM   #9
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

I am so sorry... I am a CP for years by now. I cant even imagine, even for someone strong like I am, not to have any support of my loved ones. How did this happen that even your family doesn't want to know about your pain?
Enough to make you depressed, is in it?
About your boy friend... I bet in a couple of years, you will say thank you that he left. It may be painful now, but why do you need someone near you who doesn't want to know about your problems?

I live with severe pain 24/7 and sleep very little, and wake up 20 times a night to walk my pain a little, to cry a little, to take more medicine. But in the morning, I am trying to smile and tell them I am OK. Not b/c my loved ones will not understand my pain, but I am trying my best not to talk about it too much. Knowing how much they care about my well being, I don't want them to worry too much about me. I cant help myself to improve my life quality much, so why would I bring them down all the time? I love them too much to do this to them. Some days I cant help it and than they can see my suffering, but in days when I can - I smile!!!

I believe you have pain, can you please tell me what tests were done for you? My neck problems started about a year after my other spinal problems took place. While I had brain MRI due to MS, they saw a pretty big syst attached at C-5 and C-6, they also saw bulging discs, bone chips due to OA and damaged cartridge due to RA.
Since I had 2 major spinal fusions at my lumbar areas, and complications from it as well, my Doctors ask me to hold as long as I can about the neck surgery. Patients who have RA, Lupus and other inflammatory diseases do not recommended ortho surgeries since body is not healing well and surgeries have more tendencies to fail. So I am hanging in there so far knowing that one day I will not be able to handle this pain and luck of life quality anymore.
I agree with you about sleeping or even laying down, very hard to find a position where you neck may be comfortable.
I bought myself an excellent special pillow at "Bad Back" store where they sale mattresses, different things to help patients with spinal problems. I also bought a pillow in a car. I don't drive, but this pillow I attach to my passenger chair and it helps me to hold my neck in comfortable position on a road.
I have big problem to sit in front of computer for example and hold my head on a shoulders (literally) without major pain in 10 minutes. Please, avoid it. Don't aggravate your neck talking on a phone and holding your phone in between your head and shoulder, b/c it makes your neck bend on one side for too long, this is total killer. If you have to use your phone at work for too long in this position, do yourself a favor and buy at Staples a special thing which you attach to your phone and it prevents you to bend your neck while talking.
About disability. When I went to have my first spinal fusion, I was 100% positive, I am coming back to my favorite job in 6 weeks rain or snow. No way I would ever thought that I become disabled.
Well, I did. I fought to the end to go back to normal life, but I wasn't lucky. I did not have any problems to get my disability because of major surgery which caused major complications. When insurance sent me to their own Doctors, they had to make sure that my Dr doesn't exaggerate my issues. When I walked in a room with 6 people,most of them doctors, it took them only 2 questions and one look at me to sign papers: permanent disability.

But I do know how much it takes for other people to get disability, I even know a lady who had to hire a lawyer to get her disability. I personally think if your problems are serious - you get disability with no problems. But who am I?
Best of luck to you dear,
Moldova

 
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Old 01-02-2011, 03:49 PM   #10
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

NC, before you try going onto disability, i would suggest you try both MS Contin methadone combined with Celebrex, to see if they releive your pain while still allowing you to sleep - fentanyl patches might also be worth a look.

I hope the rotation of sleep meds (clonazepam and doxepin) works well for you, everything seems better after a good sleep.... atleast it will alow you to take a sleep med every night, even if you dont get a full 8 hours from it
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:02 PM   #11
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

moldova, I had an MRI done. 2 bulging disks(minimal) I can't find my notes now. too tired sorry. but it was a severe whiplash, I guess. I have never had a whiplash before. so in order to leave you with pain like that you have to have a severe whiplash, no? I would think so. That is my assumption. I was told at the pain clinic there is no way a pain can persist after 5 years!, she never saw a thing like that before(did she really study medicine?), she touched my neck and she really felt the strained muscled where it hurt me 24/7 but she still could not understand why it still persists. Next I said I want to have another PM doctor. Ohhhh, that was a different kind. I could not believe it. He said I imagine the pain. I should have recorded him. He said that it is only bulging disks and bulging disks do not cause pain. It is only the herniated disks which cause the pain. He even knew to tell me the percentage! 90% of your pain is your pure imagination. He also told me, do not cry. What is that? a pain doctor who is telling me to now cry?. Why he chose this profession. Leave this proffession to me or others who feel the pain. (Well, I did now study medicine so would not be able to do it unfortunatelly) I did not respond. Needless to say, went back to my family doctor and told him they do not believe me. I had an argument with my family doctor, you just do not want to know. he wanted me back there and i said NO.
I said they do not believe me and i am not going to convince them. they want me on anti-depressant. even my family doctor never even thought i need anti-depressants!. He does not think it is the right way to treat chronic pain. When first saw me he right away knew that after 6 months if pain persists it is called chronic pain. I do not know how he knows/knew about it. He knows something about chronic pain but he would not tell me where he knows about chronic pain. Pain clinic is 2 hours from where i live and i would not go there i told him. they do not have emotions eventhough i suffer. none of the PM doctors there even told me how much they are sorry I suffer. What do I need them for.
Oh, the last PM(saw two)did me a hugh favor and increase my one percocet a day to two!. he also said that percocet is the same as fentanyl patch!!!. He just said, it is the same you know. Well, no, I knew it is not the same. but I did not answer. I knew I am done with pain clinic. As long as family doctor are allowed to rx you pain meds i will keep going to them and also they do not force you to do the injection. I told my family doctor I do not want injection cause I am afraid of further damaging my neck(have you done it moldova??)and he said, oh well, if you don't want you don't have to).

I cry almost every day. It is depression. It is pain. You know they have this expression pain in the neck. heck I cannot hear this expression.

I have some girlfriends and I make new friends but I do not tell them anything. they just do not know. they have no idea. I sometimes just sit there and cry but they think it is cause i am lonely ya right.

So you wake up 20 times a night eventhough you take so many pain meds? did you know if you will be able to sleep through the night deep sleep your pain will lessen. I do not know what to offer you. I am sure you know more than me. most people take serequel for sleep now. Have you tried that?.

To sum it up. I feel like somebody is pinching and punching me but mostly pinching me on my left side of my neck 24/7. It is getting inside my bones almost, to my nerves.
It gets worst when I lay my neck on the pillow. There is no surgery to take away the pain in the neck, did you know that?. I read in our forum. Most surgery do not take the pain away. Even the surgeon I went to told me that sadly. I think he hated it when they do neck surgery and it doesn't take the pain away. I believe with back surgery more chances for some pain to go away, not sure but with neck surgery it is not possible, perhaps cause the neck has a nerve intersection. Even my family doctor did not know that. I just heard that on the radio, it has nerve intersection with so many nerves, how can you expect the pain to go away.

Have you tried the fentanyl patch? I will ask my doctor for the patch. he has already agreed for it some time ago. cause anyway oxycontin won't allow sleeping. so what is the point.

I hope you are reading this and will respond. Are you allowed to drive moldova? or they do not allow driving for people on certain pain meds. I would like to know.

P.S moldova, please tell me what sleeping pills you take. do you take the SAME every day?
and also I wanted to tell you I sometime have headache, that Topamax takes care of it pretty good but it has side effects. I have noticed i forget NAMES. Even the names of meds I take, I do not like that. It is non-narcotic which is great and it helps which is GREAT. but forget names. I don't know what this Topamax has in it that makes you forget names. But it does help the pain. anything that helps the pain is a blessing you know. You get to a point you just do not care about forgetting names I guess. My doctor doesn't usually prescribe Topamax to his patients, he said that. that is the neurologist job. I told him I will not go to her. She does not like narcotic, I told him when she saw in my chart my that he(my family doctor)prescribes me percocet she got upset. She also told me that nobody died from chronic pain, can you believe that statement?. WHy did she study medicine, I wonder.

Last edited by nochange; 01-02-2011 at 10:15 PM.

 
Old 01-02-2011, 10:51 PM   #12
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

Nochange, which painkiller do you take at bedtime (I remember you saying you only take your oxycontin in the morning)

Sleeping pills arnt very good at helping you sleep through pain, for them to work you generaly need to take an analgesic to releive the pain, as well as a sleeping pill.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:54 PM   #13
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

John, I don't plan to go on disability, I hope at this moment. disability will make me lose my mind. i am living on coffee and bread and that is enough for me. till I find a job. I have already worked 2 years after the accident with no sleep at all and no pain killers and made it. so everything is possible if you really want it.

I went to my doctor and asked for doxepin for sleep. He said he doesn't like to prescribe TWO sleeping pills together, I asked him WHY? but he did not answer me. He said he is really busy and I did not want to put pressure on him. He said, does clonazepam works? I said yes, then he said when it stops working we will start you on something else.

Now, he said doxepin is an anti-depressant and it is not for sleep. He has never heard anything about doexpin med for sleep and he never rx this for sleep. Well, to tell you the truth I was really happy to hear that he really believes in me that i truely have chronic pain and not depression. I could convince him to rx me doxepin but i was really worried because he looked at me in a strange way like i am a shopping for medications...He was about to write me a prescription for doxepin but i was worried he will add i am shopping for medications. He is kind of doctor who tells me to not worry about tomorrow because you do not know what will happen tomorrow. but I told him I have high tolerance to meds. He just did not want to discuss it.

WHat I can do is stop taking clonazepam and only get a prescription from him for doxepin and see if it works? that could be an option so he won't think i am shopping for medications. What is wrong with them all. It is not even narcotics. and he knows i do not take oxycontin everyday. He knows I am against the use of drugs.

He said if I want he will rx me serequel. He did not know it is for sleep but not together with clonazepam. I did not know family doctors are allowed to rx serequel. It is EXPENSIVE if you do not go to a psychologist. Last thing I will do is go to those people. Those people will make me DEPRESSED.

I forgot to mention: I was on mirtazapine for sleep(that is anti-depressant - that only worked for 3-4 days, was(as you know)on amitriptyline(that is anti-depressant - that did not give me even one day of sleep.

Perhaps my family doctor thinks that since I have already took anti-depressant in the past for sleep and it did not help what is the point to try another one???

By the way, doxepin is REALLY CHEAP. NO MONEY. But I have never heard anybody in our forum taking doxepin for sleep. Does it help all people?

Last edited by nochange; 01-02-2011 at 11:01 PM.

 
Old 01-02-2011, 11:08 PM   #14
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

Amitriptyline and doxepin are very similar, so if amitriptyline didnt help you, its likely doxepin wouldnt.

If you read the wikipedia articly on doxepin, you will see that it is used for sleep though.

Benzodiazepines like clonazepam can keep working long term even if you take them every night - a study done by the british medical journal in the 1970's on the closely related drug nitrazepam showed it kept working for six months, and the authors concluded that if it hadnt stopped working in six months, it likely never would - having said all that, rotating sleep meds is still a fairly common practive for chronic insomniacs.

Taking Seroquel (or doxepin or amitriptyline - they all produce sleep in the same way, by blocking histamine receptors in the brain) at the same time as your clonazepam would enhance the effect, so you would get a deeper, longer sleep (you could get the same enhancement by taking Tylenol PM, Sominex or Benadryl with your clonazepam, as these all contain the sedating antihistamine diphenhydramine).... So, tonight, maybe try taking your clonazepam along with a some Benadryl

Do you take a pain killer at bedtime, Percacet, Vicodin or whatever? Sleeping pills arnt very good at helping you sleep through pain, it is generaly best to take a pain kiler plus a sleeping pill in your situation, where you are kept awake by pain and discomfort.

Also, have you and your doctor ever discussed the use of fentanyl (Durgesic) patches? They might be the answer to your prayers, especialy if used with an antiinflamatory like Celebrax or Mobic, along with your Topomax and somthing to help you sleep.
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:21 PM   #15
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Re: Chronic Neck Pain and Disability?

nochange, Have you ever tried Unisom (Doxylamine succinate)? They are OTC and I take the ones that say "Unisom Sleeptabs" 25 mg per tablet. On occassion when I have trouble sleeping I take 1-2. But ask your doc first. Maybe you've tried it already? They are an anti-histamine like Benadryl. Another thing, family doctors can and do prescribe antidepressants. Mine prescribes me Zoloft which is an antidepressant. Hope you get to sleep tonight...janiee

 
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