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  • Back Pain - New, Scared, Need Advice!

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    Old 02-01-2004, 06:01 PM   #1
    starcrossd03's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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    starcrossd03 HB User
    Unhappy Back Pain - New, Scared, Need Advice!

    Hey everyone,

    I'm new here, and have a few questions.

    Here's how it all went down:
    [B]Mid-November: [/B] was working full-time on a project for school, really stressed; started to develop pain in my upper back (behind one shoulder blade or the other, it switched); within a week, the pain was so bad that nobody could touch my back and I had to go to the ER.

    The ER doc said it was muscle spasms, without running any tests; put me on a painkiller (I can't even remember which one now) and Flexiril.

    I went to a GP the next day, who confirmed the diagnosis and put me on Vicodin.

    2 days later, I was back in the ER, as the pain hadn't gotten any better. The doc took an XRay of my neck, said I had a slipped disc, and referred me to a neurosurgeon.

    [B]Beginning of December: [/B] Went to the neurosurgeon; had an MRI on my cervical spine, came back fine. The doctor didn't even talk to me about the results or what it could be; put me on Dilautid and sent me to a pain mgmt doc.

    [B]Mid-December:[/B] I'd developed serious muscle spasms and tremors; by the time I got in to see the pain mgmt doc, I had to be put in a wheelchair because of the severity of the spasms. The pain doc referred me immediately to a neurologist, who put me in the ER and hospital. Had an MRI on my brain; everything looks fine. The neurologist and a (different) consulting pain mgmt doc said I had "seritonin syndrome," told me to come off ALL of the meds (by that point I was on a lot -- dilautid/vicodin, ativan, zoloft, ibuprofen, I forget what else) and released me from the hospital.

    Got off some of the meds; felt fine for about a week before the pain and tremors started again. This time the pain was in my left leg (from my buttocks to my ankle), constant and severe. Muscle spasms also started back up. Got an MRI on my lumbar spine; again, everything looks fine. Got a week of PT in before my insurance ran out until the middle of January (switch in insurance companies).

    [B]Beginning of January:[/B] Went back to pain mgmt doc who consulted in the hospital; told me to go back to the neurologist.

    [B]Mid-January:[/B] Went to see an orthopedist; started tremoring in his waiting room; he took a quick look at my test results and (rudely) dismissed me to go back to my neurologist, as this problem was "clearly not in his area."

    Had another ER visit due to severe muscle spasms; they wrote it off as anxiety.

    [B]End of January:[/B] FINALLY saw my neurologist (he's tough to get an appt with); he took me off all narcotics and the ativan (which I'd had to take again to control the tremors, but didn't work), and put me on Klonipin and Neurontin instead. The Klonipin seems to be working beautifully; I've only had 4 episodes of spasms in the past 2 weeks, all of which were less severe and definitely triggered by anxiety.

    Still, the pain is severe. I'm on a low dosage of Neurontin (500 mg) which we're ramping up slowly. I've started to move around more, and have been noticing more severe pain in my lower back (was never a real problem before). Heat is the only thing that seems to help; within 10-15 of coming off heat and moving around, the pain in both back and leg is severe again.

    [B]Given all of that, my question is, where do I go from here? [/B] Do I just continue with the neurologist, who's against running any other tests until the pain is under control? (Ramping up the Neurontin 100 mg per week -- it could be a year until the pain is better!) He also won't Rx any more PT until the pain is better. Do I try to see another orthopedist? What other doctor could I/should I try to see for another opionion? Do any of you have similar conditions, and what diagnoses have you gotten/what treatment has worked/what tests have been run/what is the prognosis? Am I going to get better or not? I mean, I'm 23, I was a high-potential MBA student, and this has essentially STOPPED my life...this is scary. Am I going to have to work from home for the rest of my life? Am I going to spend 90% of my time alone in my apt? I'm a very social person, and this is just awful.

    I'm just so scared and frustrated; I ran across this board, and it seemed like some of you have had similar situations. Any advice you could give would be helpful...incredibly helpful. Feel free to respond here.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Last edited by moderator2; 02-02-2004 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Please carefully read, know and follow the Policies and Guidelines. Click on FAQ at the top of the board. Thank you.

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    Old 02-02-2004, 03:53 PM   #2
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    carol632's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2003
    Location: Missouri
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    Re: Back Pain - New, Scared, Need Advice!

    Sara, basically, I think you are getting blown off. A good doctor doesn't say here are some pain pills. Lets get the pain under control and then look for why you are hurting! It should be the other way around. Now this is strictly a personal opinion, others will see it differently...but I find neurosurgeons to be pompous and overbearing. But what matters most is to find a doctor who is interested in you...wants to find out what is wrong, and works to do so. If that means seeing l0 doctors, so be it. It's sad that it must be that way, but sometimes it is. Don't accept any doctor who isn't willing to listen, run tests, and do something other than hand out pills. The meds are important to try to keep you comfortable while the hunt is on, but the need to take them must be found.
    I hope this was helpful in some way.

    Old 02-02-2004, 05:07 PM   #3
    Join Date: Mar 2003
    Posts: 11
    mglenn HB User
    Re: Back Pain - New, Scared, Need Advice!

    You may not need the doctors at all. I found a book that saved me from a life of pain. I suffered for six months before finding the book. If you are willing to spend around $10 to possibly fix the problem for good then buy the book "Healing Back Pain" by Dr. John E. Sarno. It was the best $10 that I ever spent.

    I never bought the videos, as the book helped me without having to get the videos. Check it out, you cannot afford not to.


    Last edited by moderator2; 02-02-2004 at 07:56 PM. Reason: Not allowed to post commercial websites. Please carefully read, know and follow the Policies and Guidelines. Click on FAQ at the top of the board. Thank you.

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