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Old 01-30-2009, 06:01 AM   #1
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damara72 HB User
Unhappy My journey in pain...

Hi my name is Kate & I live in Guildford, UK (near London).
I started suffering with pain in my thumb over 6 years ago that the doctors didn't think much of & to be honest neither did I, although the pain was sometimes extreme. I mean, who wants to make much fuss about a painful thumb!?
The pain worsen over the years & became a burning pain down my left arm, into my thumb & index finger, combined with burning in my shoulder joint and migraines. The docs put me on painkillers & vaguely described it as muscular skeletal disorder or RSI, as I work on computer.

Eventually, over 3 years ago a locum doctor at my surgery recognised the symtoms as a slipped disc as I could hardly move my neck, was in incredible pain & inconsolable. Up to this point I had been paying for physio & chiropractor treatments that didn't help.
This doctor sent me for an Xray & there was the slipped disc at C6. The MRI showed a severly prolapsed disc crushing the nerve to my left arm & squashing my spinal cord. The consultant said it was pretty serious due the the length of time I'd had it & said he need to remove the disc asap to prevent further damage.

Now this being the UK, it is done on the National Health Service, so yes, it's free but quick it isn't. I eventually got the op 14 months after being told it needed to be done asap!
I recovered ok from the op in Nov 2006 but was left with worse pain than ever before. The post op MRI showed no disc left behind, so it was just the damage to the nerve.

Over the last 2 years the pain has got so bad I am on a truckload of painkillers but still suffer constant, severe pain every day. I often have really bad migraines lastly up to 3 weeks at a time, caused by the muscle spasms in my back / neck.
This week I am finally admitting defeat & going part time at work. I'm thinking you may say, 'well at least you can work' which is true but my wages will be lopped in half & that will make life hard. I'm being treated for depression as there is so much of my 'former life' that I have had to give up & the pain itself gets you down.

My pain management doctor says we are running out of options as there is no surgical cure, the steriod & botox epidural injections don't work and I've tried most medications. My last chance is radio frequency pain relief but I have been told to consider this carefully as it could significantly worsen the pain permanently.

So that's me. It helped to get it off my chest there & I would love to hear from anyone in a similar condition as I have no one who can really understand this.

 
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:04 AM   #2
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bethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB User
Re: My journey in pain...

Have you investigated the possiblity of lyme disease? The fact that your problems started with your thumb and have progressed since that time somewhat rule out injury. The infections that lyme carries can eat away at muscles, bones, and nerves and could possibly explain the derioration of your bones.

Steroids would make your condition worse if you have lyme, because steroids suppress the immune system when it needs to be in full gear to fight the bacterial infection(s) going on in your body.

Based on the large number of posts coming from the UK, it sounds like few doctors think to take lyme into account despite it's carriors being found in London. I have included a link regarding lyme in the UK which includes a map showing where lyme has been id'd...I suspect it is grossly underidentified but at least you'll have an idea...

[url]http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol6no4/smith.htm[/url]

The following link is much better and includes pictures of a few of the various symptoms.

[url]http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pagerender.fcgi?artid=2548698&pageindex= 1[/url]


There are much better sites (Candadian in particular) that address symptoms, treatment, and statistics.

Bethsheba

PS Lyme is treated with special antibiotics longer than other infections are treated.

Last edited by bethsheba; 02-03-2009 at 11:37 AM. Reason: Found UK gov links with info

 
Old 02-16-2009, 02:36 PM   #3
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REMZY HB User
Talking Re: My journey in pain...

you are not alone. i know that when i go to pain dr. i see alot of people worse off than i. i try to be thankfull for what i do have still, but i to know what its like to wake up (if i can sleep that is), in chronic pain. we have to stick together and support eachother becuase noone else truly knows what its like. stay good.

 
Old 02-17-2009, 12:23 AM   #4
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damara72 HB User
Re: My journey in pain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by REMZY View Post
you are not alone. i know that when i go to pain dr. i see alot of people worse off than i. i try to be thankfull for what i do have still, but i to know what its like to wake up (if i can sleep that is), in chronic pain. we have to stick together and support eachother becuase noone else truly knows what its like. stay good.
Thanks for your message - you are so right! My mantra to myself is 'There are always people worse off than you' - that keeps me going each day. But that's not to say I don't wish I was out of this dreadful, constant pain for good. Here's hoping.
And good luck to you - I hope the pain Dr finds something that works for you.

 
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