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Old 11-20-2007, 08:17 PM   #1
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Unhappy PLEASE help me!

I hope I'm on the right board - I know this is long, but PLEASE bear with me!

In Feb., I started having pain in my left middle finger. Nothing major, didn't go to the doctor. By June, when I went in for my annual, it was becoming an issue - it had spread up my arms to my shoulders. I also started having major pain in by back (upper and lower). So since June, I've tried to convince THREE doctors that there's something wrong. I know all the "don't switch doctors" theories, but here's the the diagnostics I've had from all three: carpal tunnel test (press your hands together), hand x-rays, SED rate along with a whole bunch of other blood tests (including West Nile Virus) and shoulder x-rays. I've tried: ibuprofen, naprosyn, sulfazalazine, arthrotec and vistra, all anti-inflammatories.

I'm seeing a chiropractor now (5 weeks in), and it's helped a little. He took x-rays of my spine and says I have cervical kyphosis and a degenerated disk in my low back, and we're still holding out hope it'll get better. But I can't go for about more than four hours sitting at work without being in serious pain. My lower back always hurts. About five weeks ago, my left hip went numb. It's still numb. I have shooting pains in my hips and down my legs - mostly down the backs, but after a while my calves and ankles start to get in on the action. From the middle of my back to the middle of my shoulders, it feels like I'm getting jabbed with a hot poker. My shoulders, elbows and lower arms (both sides, but worse on the right) feel like they're on fire. If I work too long, the TOPS of my wrists ache.

So I guess here's the thing - I realize the back-hip-lower leg things are probably from the disk. I think after Thanksgiving I'm going to convince someone to MRI the disk to see how bad it is. But what's wrong with my arms?!? Is it coming from spinal problems, or should I be looking elsewhere? And how do I convince my doctor I need help? Narcotics are, of course, helpful for the pain, but it's not solving the problem. But, now that my PCP has cut me off the Lortab (I've been on it for six weeks), I have NO pain relief, and no solution in sight.

I don't know where else to turn - if ANYONE has any insight/suggestions/directions to a really tall cliff I can jump off of, PLEASE let me know!

 
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Old 11-21-2007, 07:21 AM   #2
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Re: PLEASE help me!

You can actually have a TON of finger,wrist,arm and upper arm issues with certain c spine issues going on.and YOU DO need that MRI.your symptoms would indicate the need to look deeper within the cord space and the nerve level just to see whats going on in there,espescially if something showed up on your x rays.believe me,you DO need to have the MRI done.your symptoms just indicate the NEED here i guess i don't understand just whats up with your docs??x rays only show the outside of the spine not the inside,that is where your main problem probably lies.it can be a direct nerve compression or many other things that are possible to actually have inside that area.but it does need evaluating to find the source of your ongoing symptoms.i would seriously push this with your doc.you just have no real idea of what is actually going on within any body part til you take that good hard look inside,trust me on that one.this IS a need for you.just tell your doc,unless you can tell me just exactly what is going on within my spine,i need that MRI.he wont know,he cannot possibly know til he looks in there.just push this til you get your need met.sometimes you have to take control or some of the docs out there WILL push you the wrong way.believe me, i have been thru this many times.i wish you luck.just make alot of noise til someone hears you.please let me know how things go,K? FB
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 11-21-2007, 07:21 AM   #3
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Re: PLEASE help me!

That sounds an awful lot like what I was going through before I was diagnosed with (depending who you ask) mild fibromyalgia or widespread myofascial pain syndrome. In particular, pain all over the back, cervical kyphosis, (caused by severely spasmed neck muscles) arm pain, and seemingly random pain in one finger.

Question: When you have the pain in your finger, how does moving your finger affect it? How does moving around your neck and shoulder affect it?

Things that helped: Nortriptyline, started at 40mg per day, now ok at 20.

Taking calcium 1000g and magnesium 400-500g to ease muscle spasms.

Yoga (I got a few private lessons with someone accustomed to working with medical issues). Activity helps, but only if I'm very careful how I do it.

Trigger point massage and trigger point injections, though I still cannot tolerate any form of neck massage.

Better ergonomics, work position, etc.

Please, please think twice and then think again if any doctor recommends any surgical prodecure for you, also.

Let me know if any of this sounds relevant, and if there's anything else I can do to help.

 
Old 11-28-2007, 08:30 PM   #4
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Re: PLEASE help me!

Ladies, thanks to both of you for the advice. I FINALLY talked my doctor into the MRI - no appointment yet, but they were setting it up. Hopefully this will get us a step closer to a diagnosis!

feelbad, thanks for giving me the balls to speak up - sometimes it's easy to say "oh, the doc knows best." But I guess I've lived with me for 36 years - I know when it's not right!

janewhite1, I only get finger pain when pressure is applied - holding something heavy or awkward, or hanging something (purse) from one finger. I first noticed it when I would use the tip of my left middle finger to push the turn signal up for a rt turn in the car. It grew from there. It does bother me more when my upper back is tight. Fibromyalgia has been thrown out there, but I think he wants to rule out anything else.

I do appreciate your time - hopefully I'll have some good news soon. Or at least some news!

 
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