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muscle spasms+flu, plus thanks4posts!

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Old 03-16-2005, 09:35 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 7
serendip HB User
Red face muscle spasms+flu, plus thanks4posts!

hi all.

thanks for your posts here, they cheered me in ways i'd forgotten existed.
it's lovely to hear about people with problems so very similar, they could be my own.

a bit o history:
after having my own computer consulting biz for over15 years, i was a passenger in a car accident...early onset degenerative changes probably coupled with the accident caused first 2 then 3 now 5 severely herniated c-spine discs (ok, c3-t1). this causes me constant intractable pain, severe muscle spasms in neck/shoulders/arms, trigger points, myofascial knots. i've also got some carpal tunnel in both arms, tendonitis/bursitis in right shoulder. let's just say my UBEs are a WRECK! i'm officially disabled by this stuff, fortunately no surgery (no discs good enough to fuse to) except a bunch of epidural shots that didn't work and now trigger point shots which help a bit. accupuncture helps some, pt does NOT. heat does. 40mg oxycontin twice daily and 5/325 percoset up to 4times daily help somewhat, too (at least i sleep fairly through the night).

recently, i developed a mild case of the flu. boyfriend has it BAD, 103.5 fever and coughing up glunk, nausea, the whole works. i just have 101-ish fever and bad chills.

so yesterday, the chills started getting worse, even as fever went down.
problem is, as chills increase, muscle spasms set in in neck/shoulders/arms, pretty badly. i try treating with heat, lidoderm patches (which often help take edge off at least), advil or tylenol (to reduce the fever)...nada.

finally, i call my pain management doc's emergency number around 7, figuring maybe he'll call in a muscle relaxant so i can at least sleep (tremors have been keeping me up mostly past 3 nights, about 2hrs sleep per day total, and i know i won't shake the flu if i don't get better rest!). pain doc on call (not my own, the jr guy on staff) says that it sounds like the symptoms are primarily from the flu and i should call my gp. pain doc only prescribes pain meds, not flu meds. i explain that the symptom which is keeping me awake is muscle spasms, and perhaps a muscle relaxant is in order, but he thinks i should persist with tylenol and/or advil every 4-6 hours and drink lots of fluids, plus call the gp.

so i do. gp is oldfashioned but trusted, i usually see him for a flu shot and if i get strep or something (nothing but those simple things). he concurs, i should stick with tylenol or advil or even aspirin every 4-6 hours to bring fever and chills down, and hopefully relieve muscle spasms from the core outward.

i understand all that. gosh, after almost 5 years of suffering with this chronic pain and spasm problem, i shoulda guessed what they'd say. problem really is, i'm an under-reporter...i don't like to complain, and don't call in asking for help until it's probably too late. even my pain docs aren't treating me for the frequent pain-related migraines i've been getting a lot lately, i mean i believe most migraine patients are given Rx to deal with migraines if they get more than 2 per month...i have nothing on hand to try to deal with that or severe muscle spasms (which usually precede my migraines, ugh). so i guess i should've been stronger in asking for what i wanted, muscle relaxant or tranquilizer so i could rest and stop having spasms. but i did not.

by 10:15p, the spasms migrated into the front of my chest, feeling like left-sided chest pain. it got hard to breathe, and i decided to call the hospital. by 11:15, the EMT and MICU guys were in my livingroom, giving me oxygen and a quick ekg. everything looked ok, oxygen relaxed me a bit (i did NOT know that it had that effect!), but we went to ER anyway.

at ER, had a full ekg, cardiac enzymes, and chest xray...all perfectly healthy. all concur, it's the flu, dehydration, mild diahrrea that are giving me chills which aggravate spasms. ER also decides to do nothing for the spasms, although they tell me when i ask that of COURSE i can put a lidoderm patch over the sore front-chest muscles. i didn't think of this myself, probably because i was feeling so sick. duh!

i also was running perilously low on my pain Rx, as early flu symptoms last fri caused me to miss pain doc appt.

i'm now on my way to an emergency pain doc visit, hopefully to get some trigger point injections and/or a muscle relaxant Rx plus my normal Rx's refilled. but i can't help thinking...if only i had muscle relaxant in small quantity ON HAND, or if only the pain doc on call had really listened to me, or known how under-reporting i am, i might've been able to avoid stress of ER visit, not to mention expense to the whole system, and get some much-needed rest with a muscle relaxant (called in or on hand or whatever).

i'd like your thoughts on the above.
does anyone else get spasms to this level? sometimes i look like i have parkinsons, the shoulder (trapezoids mostly) fire constantly even when i feel good, causing MRIs to blur etc, and when they really go at it my whole arm tremors something awful. i've not met anyone else who gets spasms like this.

also, if anyone else has spasms exacerbated by flu, or experience getting your pain docs to give you Rx to keep on hand to PREVENT emergencies from occurring...please chime in!

thanks a LOT

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Old 03-29-2005, 01:01 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3
Lisa77429 HB User
Re: muscle spasms+flu, plus thanks4posts!

Ours is a little different so this is more of a sympathy letter for you - I'm sorry about the pain. My son (22) has cerebral palsy and every time he gets the faintest hint of fever, he has severe leg spasms. You'd think he was a woman giving birth - THEY HURT! I feel for you as I feel for him. Well, 2 months ago he got sick with flu like symptoms - tests indicated high bacterial and viral but flu test kept coming out negative. Trust me, we were in the er during the middle of the night begging for morphine lol. Rounds of different antibiotics/steroids, etc. plus a muscle biopsy and a slew of blood work - nothing. Two months later and he still has a fever EVERY DAY. Total exhaustion and continous SEVERE muscle spasms. You guessed, NO PAIN RELIEF from his primary physician. I'm very not so patiently waiting by the phone (day 2) to hear from his doctor - begging him for relief. I don't get it. Why should people have to suffer so bad when there is something out there that helps? Might be time to fire a few doctors - I don't know. Hang in there as we are. Maybe we'll get lucky and find truly sympathetic doctors.


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