| | Knife like central back pain followed by muscle wasting=Parsonage Turner Syndrome
The title of my story is what guided me to the right diagnosis on the internet. 2 years ago, I began to have severe 10/10 periscapular pain (pain along the medial border of the scapula) that was unrelenting and unbelievable. It felt like an ice pick stuck into my back along my upper spine. This pain progressed over 2-3 weeks and did not allow me to do anything other than wonder if I was dying. I was unable to sleep on my back, sides, or stomach as the pain would increase in all these positions. I had to try and sleep in a kneeling fetal position to obtain even 30 minutes of any kind of rest. When the pain finally began to let up after 3 weeks, the severe weakness and atrophy and wasting began in my right pectorals, latissimus, biceps, and triceps. This is what really scared me. I went from being able to bench near 300 pounds regularly to not being able to support my body weight through my right arm at all. The numbness and thickness/fullness began at this point as well from my forearm down my median nerve distribution to the 1st through third digits. This was almost as bad as the prior back pain as my thumb and index finger felt like tingling swollen sausages 24/7. My forearm had a deep bone ache along the extent of the radius bone. I started to believe that I was dying from bone cancer or a spinal tumor or ALS...you name it. My biggest mistake was trying to look online for a possible diagnosis and just fueled my fears with every kind of horrific disease imaginable. This led to a new anxiety condition and panic attacks as I felt helpless. I heard every diagnosis from MDs and specialists from Parkinsons to Fibromyalgia. I finally found a small post online with an exact description of my symptoms at 2 AM exactly 1 month after I had a complete breakdown. My hope that this small description may find one of you that has given up hope as I had. I hope it makes you realize you are not alone and that although this disorder is very difficulty there is an answer to your mystery and that things do get better. Parsonage Turner was not the end but a new beginning as it allowed me to face death (even though I was not dying) and awake with a new appreciation for life. Be happy.