You all here on the boards were so helpful to me last year when I was having a problem with my Ortho for my shoulder pain that I thought I would come back for more
Might be a little long....I had ACDF on C-5-6 in Feb 2005, the radiating pain down my arm and the pain when I rotated my neck went away, but I was left with pain in my shoulder blades and up into my neck. BTW, my Neuro never had me go to PT post surgery. Well in the months following surgery my muscle tightness, burning and pain increased so I found a wonderful Spine Surgeon closer to my home and he did X-rays, MRI's, Bone Scan, and found nothing..suggested that I go back to the Neuro because one of my screws was a little off and he didn't know if that was where it was placed originally or if it had moved. Anyway, went back to the Neuro with my MRI's and X-rays in hand and he said everything was fine, I was completely fused and everything was where it should be. He sent me to have nerve and muscle testing...everything was fine there. Said he could do no more for me and suggested I see a Physiatrist.
That's where I am now....I've been doing PT, MT and have been seeing a pain psychiatrist for 7 weeks now. I've seen minor improvement...meaning that I have a bit more stamina now and don't go into a major pain flair everytime I do something such as vacuum or go out for an evening, or even just a bit of housework. I even planted in my garden last week and thought for sure that I would pay dearly but to my surprise I didn't (paid just a little, but I could deal with that). The psychiatrist has helped me immensly in making some life changes that are definately better for my health and mental well being...leaving my current job being the biggest.
But the fact is that I'm still in pain everyday. About a 7 or so on the scale, I do have times that it goes down as low as 3 or 4 but those are few and far between. I feel that my pain could be managed better.
I'm new to all of this so I thought that I was in Pain Management with my current regiment of healthcare providers, but when I went for a follow up last week with my physiatrist and told him where I was, he suggested accupuncture or facet injections, I opted for accupuncture first, he agreed, he likes to go the conservative routes first. I told him that the pain meds (Hydro 10/325 1-1/2 tablets 4 times per day) weren't always enough and that some days I go over. He gave me a little look and said that the goal is to wean me off the pain meds, but at this point I can't imagine being off them...I feel like I'm 90 years old in the mornings (I'm only 47
) he said that's ok but try to even it out. He gave me script for Gabapentin for the burning nerve type pain and Rozarem for sleep. The Rozarem had the opposite effect so I only took it for one night, but am still on a low dose of the Gabapentin. The verdict is still out on that because I got hives but it could be something else causing that. Anyway. I called him to tell him about the hives and the Rozarem and asked if I could be switched to something stronger or perhaps a LA med and he said that he doesn't prescribe LA meds becasue he's not a Pain Management specialist (much to my surprise). He did do a blood test to check my liver levels bacause of all the tylenol and I've also been on Mobic 15mgs since January, the bloodwork came back normal.
I'm working really hard on my PT and excersises, strengthening my core and my posture, but it hurts. Everytime I'm touched in my neck and upper back I'm in terrible pain for at least one day until it mellows out to my normal every day pain.
So after that long story, my question really is do I ask again for something stronger or do I ask for a referral to PM specialist or just try to tough this out until my next appointment which isn't until the end of June.
Thanks so much and I have to tell you all that I've learned so much from you all on this board. JeanneO