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Old 06-19-2009, 07:41 AM   #1
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Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Hi,

Since this is an active board and I never had any idea that something like this could be a possibility, I have many questions after a recent appointment with an orthopedist for neck pain. 15 years ago I was in an accident and fractured my C-6. I have never had any problems whatsoever until about 6 mos ago, where it feels like I have a permanent crick in my neck. I thought it might be arthritis or something, so I went to have it checked out. He did x-rays, reviewed them, and started testing all my reflexes like at a normal doctor appt. I didn't think anything of it. He said he couldn't really see anything wrong in my x-rays except some degeneration, but he didn't understand the pain I was having because he said pain from degeneration would not cause the pain I was having. Then he ordered an MRI. I was confused because he said he didn't see anything wrong. After some coaxing for an explanation other than that he just wanted to check things out, he said that my reflexes were abnormal, "exaggerated," worse on one side than the other. The other thing he said he saw was that, when he pressed on my middle fingernails, my thumbs bent inward, which was also abnormal. He said these were symptoms of a possible spinal cord obstruction and therefore ordered the MRI.

I left the office a little taken aback but not really worried. However, when I got home, of course, I went straight to the internet. One good thing about my research was that I only looked through published medical journals and not any other web site. Then I got a little worried. It listed a few additional common complaints of patients with spinal cord tumors that can result in exaggerated reflexes: headaches, constipation, and respiratory issues. I wouldn't have probably thought anything of it other than that in the past 2 weeks I had gone to 2 specialists about two of the symptoms I've been experiencing because they've had me worried also. I went to see a gastrointerologist for constipation because I've had a major problem with it for about a long as I've had the neck pain. I also went to see a pulmonary specialist in the same week because I've had some issues with breathing, more of a sensation that I'm not getting enough air. Neither could find anything wrong.

So, my MRI is scheduled for this Sunday, 06/21/09. I hope I don't have to wait long to get the results. I haven't completely convinced myself that I've got a tumor or anything yet, but wanted to get your opinion and maybe your advice on whether or not you think, from your experiences, that I may need to prepare myself.

Thanks so much!!

 
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:15 PM   #2
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Hi Gav_73. Those same symptoms are also signs of spinal cord compression from a herniated disk. X-rays don't show disk problems but MRI's do. So I think your doc is probably looking to see if that is the problem first. Exaggerated reflexes(hyper-reflexia) is another symptom of cord compression as is the middle finger testing problem.

Disks can break down pretty easily after you've broken a bone...it may have been injured when you broke the vertebrae and has just recently slipped. And if they slip towards the spinal cord, you get these weird symptoms as it's pressing on the nerves going to the lower part of your body.

So don't jump to tumor. Eliminate the most obvious which is a disk. Then you go from there. And just about everyone here has had some sort of neck injury so joint the conversation and ask lots of questions. That's why were all here..to support and inform each other.

gentle hugs.............Jenny

 
Old 06-20-2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Hello,

Yes, it's possible it could be a disk herniation or maybe even stenosis. Stenosis is narrowing, which would something was causing your spinal canal to narrow. This could be caused by many different things, such as herniations, osteophytes (bony overgrowth), thickening of the spinal ligaments, which can push or buckle into the cord, or even tumors and cysts. Please don't get scared because I mentioned tumors, though. It is only ONE possibility.....chances are that it's not one. There are so many other reasons for your symptoms. Try not to worry too much yet....wait until you get your MRI results back. Also, you should get yourself a copy of the MRI report. Let us know what happens after your next appointment and I hope they find what the problem is.

 
Old 06-20-2009, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Thank you, Jenny and Baybreeze! I'm glad to hear that a herniated disc can also cause these symptoms. I don't have any arm pain or a "pinching" sensation, which is why I went straight to thinking it might be a tumor. Also, all of my symptoms started simultaneously, which I guess could be the same for either a disc or tumor or other things. (Btw, how would they treat stenosis?) He didn't say anything about a herniated disc being his concern, which is weird. Maybe he said symptoms of spinal cord compression which could mean a cyst or something else. Who knows? Like I said, I was completely caught off guard because I went in there thinking arthritis or disc problem. But I also thought it could be seen on an x-ray. I guess he was looking more for a fracture or something. Would a herniated disc always cause arm pain?

One other thing I have been experiencing, but for about 2 years, is increasing loss of muscle control, especially in my hands (at times I can barely write), and in my neck and head (I periodically can't control my head or hands from "shaking," which is not really the appropriate description but the only way I know how to describe it). It is quite embarrassing, although I don't think people can really notice unless I said something. It just feels obvious to me, I guess. It started happening in graduate school way before any neck pain, and it had me so concerned I was scared I had MS. But the "school doctor" didn't seemed concerned and said he didn't think it was a possibility and didn't order any tests. I just let it go and thought it would go away. It did for a little while, and now it's back. It happens about once or twice a day, mostly during the day. I have no idea if it would be associated because it started happening so long (2 years) before my neck pain (6 mos).

Anyway, just all sorts of things swimming through my head at this point. I just thank goodness that I don't have to wait long for the results of the MRI. Probably mid-week next week. I appreciate all the help and advice I can get in the meantime, though. That's for sure!!

Thanks again!

Last edited by gav_73; 06-20-2009 at 09:38 AM.

 
Old 06-20-2009, 10:02 AM   #5
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Hmm, you mentioned you've had loss of muscle control in your hands and neck.....that could be another symptom of cord compression by something. I had a co-worker who started getting pain in her right hand. Over some time, it got worse, then she got to the point that she could no longer use her hand to do anything. Mind you, she had no pains running down her arms, just some pain in her hand and loss of hand function. She started wearing a brace on her hand/wrist, but it did not help at all. Her doctor had thought she had carpal tunnel syndrome. Then more time went by...until she started having problems walking. Then she was finally sent for some MRI's...I believe she had MRI's of her entire spine done, as well. Well, it was found she had a massive disk herniation in her cervical spine that was severely compressing her spinal cord. She had to have surgery right away and ended up getting a fusion on that one level.

Disk herniations can cause all kinds of symptoms and pains, though the pain and symptoms can be different for everyone. You, yourself can even feel different pains & symptoms on different days. It can be very erratic. Some can have a huge herniation, but feel no pains at all; while others may show a minor bulge, but yet have severe pain. With a herniation, you can get numbness, weakness, pins & needles, electrick shock sensations, sciatica, awful nerve pain, cramps, muscle spasms, twitching, itching...sometimes you can get this feeling on your skin that it cannot tough anything. Your skin along the affected nerve path can feel extremely painful. This has happened to me before with my left foot....I could not even have my blanket touch it at night sometimes. However, it would not necessarily feel like this every day. One can also have bowel & bladder problems from herniations.

Like I said, and I am only speaking from experience with my lumbar spine history as well as my own current cervical spine symptoms. To me, though, it just seems like you probably do have cord compression somewhere. Especially after reading other's posts with such similar symptoms.

I had severe lumbar stenosis..to the point that I could hardly walk anymore. I could walk maybe 20-30 feet before I would have to collapse from the pain. I could no longer stand upright...when I did try to walk, I had to bend over forward and it was almost a 90 degree angle. My stenosis was caused by several things: several disk herniations and tears, a lot of bony overgrowth, as well as abnormal thickening and buckling of a spinal ligament into my canal. I finally had surgery....I had multi-level laminectomies at L3 through L5, plus foraminotomies, and somethign else that I can't remember at the moment. I had a lot of bone overgrowth...so they had to cut a lot of it away. They also removed the lamina and some surrounding areas, which is the part of the spine where you feel the bumps on your back. I no longer have those parts of the bones in my lumbar spine. I do have to be very careful, as in the back, my spine there is only covered by muscle now. Of course I had to friggin fall onto my back a week and 1/2 ago, 6 feet off my front steps! Yes, I have been in a lot of pain from that, and I really hope I didn't fracture anything in there! But of course, my basic insurance does not cover MRI's..I would have to pay the whole thing, which would be around $1500.00 and I do not have the money, so I just have to grin & bear it right now and hope I am okay. Plus the fact my neck has been gettin worse & worse and I can't have that checked either yet. Once I get insurance thru my new job..then I will go.

 
Old 06-20-2009, 11:23 AM   #6
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Oh my gosh, Baybreeze, how awful! I have insurance through my work, too, finally, and we have to pay our entire deductible ($1,200) before we can even go to a regular doctor visit without having to pay for the entire thing, and that's for a single person. Families insured have to meet a $2,200 deductible! I met my deductible in the first month (January - thank GOD I had a flexible spending account that I could draw from for reimbursement) due to 4 very expensive medications I have to take for bipolar disorder. Before I went to work while in graduate school (living off student loans of course), I had a basic insurance that I paid for that sucked and I never went to the doctor. That's why I am seeing a ton of doctors now for issues I've put off for months. I truly hope you didn't hurt yourself, but I completely understand not being able to afford healthcare on your own. I've been there, trust me. I sure hope our government sees the light and passes the universal healthcare initiative. So many people in this country lose their lives because they can't afford the costs. It's just terrible. When I broke my neck and was still in a neck brace, the first time I was able to go out of my house with my 3 year old daughter, who had to go live with my parents, we went to rent a movie. It was raining and slippery. I had someone with me. But as we were leaving with the movie, she ran out into the parking lot. My motherly instinct kicked in and I naturally ran after her and slipped and landed flat on my back. I was so scared to move because I was afraid that as soon as I did I would be paralyzed. But a 6 ft fall!!! I hope you're able to get in to see a doctor soon! I'll be thinking of you.

I've also been having problems with my lower back that actually hurts on occasion more than my neck (my neck pain is just constant, and with my history...) But when it hurts, it's a deep and dull, throbbing pain that hurts to the extent that I can't straighten up, like a 90 degree angle like you said. He didn't see anything wrong with my back so I attributed it to sitting at my computer for hours and hours. However, last night while taking a shower, I was bending over shaving my legs and suddenly had a sharp pain in the same place. I had noticed the week before when it was hurting (hurts on the left side of my spine), that there was a lump there that felt like a bruise does when you get one. But when I went in I wasn't experiencing that sharp pain and never had. It wasn't unbearable, just like my neck, but it was VERY noticeable. I'm just glad that they're doing an MRI of my whole spine. Anyway...I'll keep you posted on the results of the MRI. EEEEEK!

 
Old 06-20-2009, 11:27 AM   #7
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Please write anytime. I've been a member of healthboards for a long time (for bipolar disorder) and I am always glad to help and offer support, too. :-)

Last edited by gav_73; 06-20-2009 at 11:31 AM.

 
Old 06-20-2009, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Oh my gosh, Gav...I really feel for you, especially seeing that you also fell, and right after surgery, my god, that's even worse. Actually the insurance that I will be getting also will have a deductible and co-insurance, sort of like you. I think once I pay out 4500, then everything will be paid for. I think I might do a health savings account as well. I also have some expensive meds, well, expensive for me...my docs were able to switch some of them to generic, which was great...and I was able to get my Lyrica through Pfizer for free, which was fabulous...that was because I was unemployed and had such a big medication bill. It's only good for one year, though...and soon I would have to re-apply again, but now I finally have a job, so I don't think once Sept. comes, that I will get them for free anymore. I'm hoping I might be able to get them for a co-pay, though.

Were you getting worse pains after your fall? Were able to get checked out at all? I hope nothing more happened to you after your fall!

With my lower back, I also what you do...I also describe it sometimes as a deep, dull throbbing pain! The last time I had an MRI (after surgery), it showed a few herniations again, plus more facet joint hypertrophy. The worst thing for me seems to be sitting, I think, though I can only walk around for 1/2 hr to 45 minutes at most before my hips and pelvis area get really painful. The longer I sit in one place....the more deep pain I feel...deep inside my spine. Then the spasms start in...I have a problem keeping my neck straight or bending it backward, but it's okay bending forward. However, at times, when I do bend my neck forward, I can feel pain in my lower spine. Sometimes I even get buzzing in my toes from it. Your scenario sounds a lot similar to mine. I will just bet you have compression in there from maybe a herniation or maybe even stenosis...who knows.

When are you getting your MRI? Definitely keep us posted as to the results! Try to feel better, though I know how hard that is.

 
Old 06-20-2009, 01:35 PM   #9
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Hi Gav. Jenny again......the most common cause of spinal cord compression is a herniated disk that ruptures TOWARD the spinal cord instead out away from it. And one of it's symptoms is an actual syndrome known as Clumsy Hand Syndrome from the cord compression(I thought I was just becoming a klutz).

Hang tough until you get the MRI and results. Then you'll have some answers...and possibly a ton more questions....like what to do for it. and we'll all have advice for you!

gentle hugs............Jenny

 
Old 06-20-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Baybreeze! Boy, I should've been on here a long time ago! I have SOOO many of the same symptoms as you describe! Also, my broken neck happened 15 years ago. I've never had ANY problems with it until now - and no, it didn't hurt it after I slipped, thank goodness. That's why I went in to see the doc about it, because I was expecting that maybe arthritis had set in or something. That's another reason I was so surprised with his concern, which apparently explains a lot now that he's said it and after reading the medical journals and talking to you and Jenny. I've had the back problem for a few years, but it comes and goes. So, of course I put it off because I'd only think of getting it checked out when it would happen and then I'd talk myself out of it - mainly because I was broke! LOL But when you said that you don't have trouble bending your head forward as much as you do bending it backwards, that's EXACTLY how it is with me. Plus the pain is really on the right side of my spine, although it can gravitate to the other side, but not often. I've had spasms in the front of my neck on the same side, but it's usually after I've strained it for more than a few seconds, like looking for something under the couch, or whatever. On the other hand, your pain sounds like it's much greater than mine is. I can walk pretty far, but I also eventually get pain in my hips, etc. So weird. And I can sit all day, it's just when I stand that it will really hurt and I can't straighten my back, or when I'm getting out of bed, etc. My neck does not radiate through my body at all, and my neck and back pain is completely different and don't seem related to me. But I have no idea. I'm new to all this business! :-)

Oh, and before I forget - get a flexible spending account (FSA) if you can, not a health savings account (HSA), esp if you have immediate medical concerns. The big difference between an FSA and an HSA is that you can use the entire amount in an FSA before you've actually put the money into it. For example, if you take out an FSA for $2000, and the next day you have to get an MRI, you can pay for the entire thing with your FSA right then and there. An HSA only allows you to spend the money that you've put in at that point in time. So, in the same example, if you've decided to put $2000 into your HSA spread out over the year, and in January you have to get the MRI, you'll only be able to cover it with the amount you've put in in January, which would be about $150. Finally, people who don't go to the doctor much prefer the HSA because it works exactly like a savings acct, meaning you don't lose any of the money at the end of the year, it just keeps accumulating. But you lose the money in the FSA at the end of the year. But like I said, if you go to the doctor a lot, you'll use it up in only a couple months, so no worries really about losing it. Like I said, I used my entire FSA money and met my deductible in one month with my meds. I wouldn't have been able to get them if it weren't for having an FSA where the funds were immediately available. An HSA would have done nothing for me. You definitely need an FSA, not an HSA.

Anyway, my MRI is scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday, 06/21) morning at 10 am. It sounds so boring. I wish I could bring a book! LOL I should get the results on either Weds, Thurs or Friday. And I will definitely keep you posted, and you do the same!!

 
Old 06-20-2009, 01:52 PM   #11
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennybyc View Post
Hi Gav. Jenny again......the most common cause of spinal cord compression is a herniated disk that ruptures TOWARD the spinal cord instead out away from it. And one of it's symptoms is an actual syndrome known as Clumsy Hand Syndrome from the cord compression(I thought I was just becoming a klutz).

Hang tough until you get the MRI and results. Then you'll have some answers...and possibly a ton more questions....like what to do for it. and we'll all have advice for you!

gentle hugs............Jenny
Jenny, thank you so much! You guys have been so supportive and helpful. A herniated disc sounds much less scary to me, but also seems progressively more painful, which is scary as well. And I will no doubt have a gazillion more questions after I get the results, esp if they don't find ANYTHING! I wouldn't know what the heck is going on with me. I'm only 36, healthy weight, eat well, take vitamins, etc. I would hate to think that I'm already having symptoms of old age!!!

 
Old 06-20-2009, 03:09 PM   #12
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Gav - I just recently turned 40, UGHHHH, LOL...however, my low back problems suddenly started when I was about 33 years old. It started out of the blue, and I had never ever had back problems before, never injured myself either. Around 34 is when I started having short bouts of neck pain and symptoms, though it would usually go away after about 2 weeks, though some episodes were just unbearable! I've had the pain go into my left shoulder area and that shoulder was in constant severe spasms 24-7. My shoulder was actually pushed forward. When I layed down at night or I even tried laying on a flat floor to verify it.....My left shoulder would stay up, I was never able to lay it flat on my bed like my other shoulder. The pain was horrible and I was desperate, plus I was working at the time. So I was slapping on tons of lidoderm patches, menthol patches, and heat patches, plus heating pads. With my shoulder, I was so desperate for pain relief that I constantly tried pushing it back. I've had friends and family pull my arm back in hopes it would stop, LOL. And......I have this thing from physical therapy, it's long strap several feet long, but it has a bunch of loops in it that you can put your hands or feet through. The material is kinda the same as a dog leash. It's mainly used to help one with stretching. What I did was put my left arm through a loop, then placed the strap around to the back of my back and over to my back right side....then I used my right arm to try to pull it back into place, LOLOL. Unfortunately, absolutely nothing worked. I had to just suffer through it until it finally went away on it's own. OMG, and driving was torture. I bet driving is torture for you as well! First off, sitting in my car for more than 15 minutes.....I start feeling the deep burning pain deep in my lower lumbar spine and sacral area and then I develop pins & needles in both feet. If I'm driving more than about 45 minutes, OMG!! My feet will start to go numb. One time on my way home from a job, the traffic was in such a jam, I was going nowhere due to an accident on a major freeway. It took me over an hour to get home. Well...my right foot (you know, the one you have to use to push the gas and brake pedal) went completely numb. Boy, that was fun....NOT! I was getting scared. So then I had start driving with my left foot, which was a bit awkward, but I got through it. BUt my left foot also started going numb.

Anyway, my surgeon had told me it was very unusual for someone my age at that time (33-ish) to have such severe lumbar stenosis, but it can happen. He said usually if one develops this, it starts appearing in one's 60's or 70's. Figures I had to get old way before my time. Also, before any of my back pains started, I was also extremely active. I went to the gym religiously every other day and did the treadmill for 45 minutes, then I would do all the weight machines for at least another hour. I would try to do them quick to keep my heart rate up. I was thin, had a very nice figure, so I was told, a great social life, etc. Then suddenly it all ended and life completely changed.
My lumbar problems occured sporadically over the first year or so. I would get flares of horrible pain & stiffness for weeks or months at a time, then it would slowly stop and I would feel okay again. However, the times between feeling bad and good got very short very quickly. While going to the gym, I suddenly started having trouble doing many of the exercises. I started getting fatigued easily, my right ankle started hurting, as well as my hips. I even got this weird pain in the front of my left leg all the time, so I stopped the treadmill. Then I was having trouble doing the weight machine exercises that I had been doing for at least 20 years. Pain was just stopping me..First I though maybe I overdid something and just rested for a couple of days. Getting back on the treadmill did not work, and the weight machines were exhausting me, plus I was feeling pain. It just got worse and worse until I was not physically able to do any of the exercises at the gym anymore. I was working full-time and it became so difficult sitting there, as well as when I had to walk around, which I had to do often. Thank god I had such caring and nice co-workers and bosses! There were many times I went to work anyway in excruciating pain.......but my face would be all red, I was doing breathing techniques for the pain, and many times the nerve pain was so unbearable, I could not help crying. Figures that my job was answering phones and talking to people! Well, there were many times that my boss or other higher-ups in the company sent me home and told me to go lay down, I appeared to be in too much agony. Well, I forgot, but needless to say...after a while of not being to exercise at all......I gained a lot of weight, it figures!
After surgery, I was able to my physical therapy exercises, though it was tough, but I kept going, even on my own, for about 2 years. I still do them at home depending on my pain levels. Now....I just cannot lose weight no matter what I do or try. For the past year and 1/2, at least, I've completely lost my appetite, so I hardly eat much....and yet I still lose nothing, it's weird. But I've come to terms with it because there seems to be nothing I can do about it. Ohh, another thing with the weight....I have taken steroids in different forms so many times....and steroids cause weight gain and bloat, even though I didn't eat more. I also take Lyrica, and one of the biggest side effects is weight gain, UGH.

So anyway, I was thin and very fit when my back problems started, so it had nothing to do with my weight at all. However, my mother's side of the family has a history of bad spine problems, hip replacements at younger ages, and MS. I know my grandmother (mom's mom) was in a wheelchair by age 40 due to her severe pain; My uncle had hip and leg problems as a child already and continues with it today; My aunt started with needing a hip replacement at age 53, and now her other hip is going down the tubes; And my mother haas had lumbar spine problems for many years now and also walks stooped forward a bit, plus she gets bad hips pain. When we go to a store together, we always have to get shopping carts to lean on, LOL. I bet she probably has stenosis, too, though it started later in life for her. So I believe there is something genetic on my mother's side that is possibly joint, cartilage, or arthritic condition related.

Oh geeez, sorry for another long post here! I better stop now, LOL. I hope you feel better somehow and I look forward to your post-office visit regarding your MRI.

 
Old 06-20-2009, 03:46 PM   #13
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Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

LOL - don't worry about the long replies, I'm the same way. :-) Your back problems sound just terrible. You know, that's one of the reasons I went to the doctor when I did, because I've heard the horror stories about back and neck problems and how they can just ruin a person's life. I can't imagine what these years have been like for you! So no surgery or anything has given you any relief, or is it a little better than before but you just can't do all the activities? You know, about the weight gain - I quit smoking 3 years ago and one of the major things that was holding me back was gaining weight. So I went on Jenny Craig at the same time and lost 20 lbs! I am only 5'2", and I wasn't super heavy, about 138lbs or something. And I did it without ANY exercise. It's about $80 a week for food, which is much cheaper than eating out and not much more expensive than groceries. You might want to try it out! (I don't exercise anymore either - but I'm just too lazy! LOL) I WISH I had that discipline, OMG! BTW, I love your profile name. Do you live on the beach??

I have read some places that these problems can be hereditary. It doesn't run in my family, but good lord, it sure runs in yours! How awful for all of you. Cancer, however, is rampant in my family. You name it - leukemia, skin cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer.. Do you have to take pain meds regularly? I am very scared of addiction, as it happens so often with these sorts of problems. Since mine aren't even NEARLY as painful as what you're going through, at least not yet, I am not really worried about that. But I have been worried about getting there eventually if I didn't do something now. I'm so glad I did. I have been spending a fortune seeing all these other doctors about all the other symptoms that now seem related to this one thing!

It's so much more difficult for women to deal with weight gain, although I think we can bear the pain much better than men can. ;-) It made me put off quitting smoking for SO LONG because of my fear of that! Finally when my 44 year old uncle died of lung cancer suddenly, I started to get scared the older I got. That's when I started the JC diet. I love it. It's so easy for a busy life. Anyway, I don't want to sound like an ad or anything, but I know how it feels to be afraid of weight gain, and if nothing else is working and you can't exercise, you really may want to look into it. It's worked for me and I can't stress how EASY it is! If it wasn't, I would never do it.

What is Lyrica, btw? I looked it up and it seems to have a lot of purposes, primarily fibromyalgia. Is there anything else that works as well to treat it? Do you take meds for sleep? I take a ton of them because I have a severe sleep disorder. I take the strongest Ambien they make ON TOP of another strong medication, but is not addictive. It knocks me out for exactly 8 hours and I feel great for work. Of course, I have to take them both at 6 pm to get to sleep by 10. But I conk out before I even realize what's going on and 10 people can be in the room! LOL Finally, I got some sleep meds that work. I haven't had a good night's sleep in about 10 years!

Well, I love hearing from you. Feel free to write any time, as long as you want to write! LOL I have nothing better to do. :-)

 
Old 06-20-2009, 04:47 PM   #14
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Baybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB User
Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

Hi,

My surgery did give me a lot of relief and I am now able to stand almost straight up, which is great! However, I keep getting disk herniations with sciatica and other random nerve pains....but there really is no way to prevent it. And surgery does not fix the spinal arthritis. I was told all this before my surgery. I do have a lot of scar tissue in there, though, which also causes problems. They do all they can to minimize scar tissue, but sometimes it happens and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Oh well.

I've actually tried Jenny Craig amongst other diets. I also took that new OTC weight loss pill called ALLI (it's orlistat, which is a prescription med, but they made a lower dose for over the counter, though it's expensive). You have to take one with every meal that contains any fat. What it does is expel, I think 30 -40 % of the fat in your meals....it comes out, ackkk, and does not get absorbed by the body. No matter what I do, I just cannot lose weight anymore. I believe it is because I can't do exercises long enough nor strenuous enough to get my heart rate up to burn calories. I guess I just have to live with my body the way it is now..oh well.

Thanks for my screenname compliment! I am about 15 minutes away from the beach, but I'm also about 5 blocks away from the bay where I live. So I liked the name and thought it was fitting. However, I cannot go to the beach anymore (haven't in many years) because I also have Lupus...and the sun is an enemy for Lupus. Thankfully mine is not very serious and it seems to be under control with medications.

Lyrica is actually an anti-seizure medication. That is what it was originally approved for. Then it was approved for neuropathy. Supposedly more recently, studies found that is also seemed to help some people with fibromyalgia and it was just recently approved for that purpose as well. I don't know how it helps....my Rheum kept saying my back was probably Fibro, but I've been taking Lyrica for over a year and 1/2 now and it does not help any of the deep, achy pains I feel that my rheum thinks is fibro. The only thing it helps is with my nerve pains. I've had times where I had a lapse in getting my Lyrica and boy did my nerves act up a lot more. Even now...I just had to wait almost a month to get my free ones so I had to go without and I was getting worse and worse. Even on Lyrica, I still do get nerve pains and symptoms, but usually it is less severe. It also helps me sleep. I do not take any specific meds for sleep, though. All together, I take Lyrica, Soma, Ultram, and Plaquenil every day. When I have all my meds and take them all day, I usually have no problem sleeping. I'm sure the muscle relaxers help that, as well. Although after my fall, I sure had trouble sleeping up until about 2 days ago. It killed me to lay down in any position and the pain was even worse laying on either side, so I kept waking up all night. Thankfully the pain from my fall is lessening and it's easier to sleep now. However, even with the muscle relaxers, my neck lately has been in bad spasm and pain...though it's been way worse in the past before Soma. So I'm thinking it is helpfing somewhat, at least.

Hmmm, have you ever tried Elavil at all? Some years ago when I had a bad lupus flare, my Rheum prescribed me oral steroids, the plaquenil, plus Elavil. OMG, the Elavil worked like a charm to make me fall asleep, though it is NOT a sleeping pill. It's actually an anti-depressant, but they made really low dose ones for people with pain. I guess in some studies it was found to help pain in some people. I tell you..I could time exactly when I wanted to fall asleep on Elavil. About an hour after taking it, I would just fall asleep like that..probably within less than a minute. It worked as a sleeping aid for me, but it did not do anything for any of my pains at all. I was only taking them at night before sleep..I think it was a 10mg pill. From what I've read, people who take it for depression usually take anywhere between 75mg and 150 mg per day. OMG, I could not even imagine taking those strengths...I would never function at all! With mine, if I wanted to watch something until 11 PM, I would take my pill around 10 PM and I would be guaranteed to zonk out around 11PM.

 
Old 06-20-2009, 05:35 PM   #15
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Join Date: Jun 2006
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gav_73 HB User
Re: Symptoms of spinal cord obstruction

LOL - yes, I've tried Elavil, and my sleep disorder and bipolar disorder are so severe the only thing that has worked is 12.5 mg of Ambien and 25mg of Seroquel. The Seroquel works like the Elavil did for you. It's actually an anti-psychotic (don't worry, I'm just BP LOL), but the side effects include drowsiness and has shown to help as a sleep aid for BPs. Again, the same with Elavil, people that take it for psychosis take up to 800mg or something crazy! It took me over a YEAR to get up to a whole 25mg pill. I only used to have to take crumbs and it would knock me out in a snap of a finger. The first time I got the RX, the doc told me to take one 25mg pill and see if it was enough. Otherwise to take 50mg. I took one pill and it hit me so hard I had a panic attack and made my husband talk to me because the way it made me feel, I didn't think I'd ever wake up! And to think people take up to 800mg of this stuff! It's totally INSANE!!!

I'm watching The Reader right now. I'm about an hour in. It's is SOOO good, if you're into that kind of movie - a tragic love story, dramatic, emotional. The acting is wonderful, which is such a big deal to me because I am such a tough critic and a hard sell! It drives my husband crazy because we often watch a movie and after 10 minutes I'm sighing and pulling out the computer! LOL But it's really good so far!!! Check it out!

 
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