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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) (CRPS) Message Board

  • Nightmare from a tetanus shot

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    Old 06-22-2003, 07:35 AM   #1
    bjones
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    Unhappy Nightmare from a tetanus shot

    Hi, thanks for the friendly welcome!

    Briefly, here is my situation. Feb. 3 I had a pysical for work.Have always been healthy and haven't had a regular Dr's care for years, but decided at 41 I should start taking care of myself, so went to my kid's Dr, he is Peds/Internal medicine, and a great guy. Anyway, could not remember last tetanus shot I had, it's been years, so he reccomended a booster. Few days later noticed rt shoulder was abt 2 inches lower than left, very noticeable! Then arm and shoulder began hurtin, tingling and numbness in arm, last 2 fingers on hand wd go icy cold, arm became very heavy and almost paralyzed at shoulder. Pn became very bad. GP sent me for MRI and referred me to neuro,
    EMG showed patchy nerve damage and a lesion of the spinal accessory nerve that was pre-existing, had injured my trapezius carrying heavy bags on shoulder(I teach preschool). Anyway, dx was brachial plxus neuritis, which is known to be a rare adverse reaction to tetanus vaccine. Drs keep saying, it will go away, nerves heal slowly, and giving me more meds. Can't use most of their meds cause I have 2 young kids at home, need to be able to drive, fix meals, etc, can't lie on the couch doped up for months one end. Meds don't really take pain away, anyway, just make me really "out-of-it". Additional tests detected severe osteoporosis and thoracic curvature of the spine, am now taking Fosamax for bone loss, and am on Wellbutrin to help me quit smoking. I am 41, and pre-menopause, so the osteo was a shock, I have also lost 1 inch or more of ht.

    Two months after the tetanus shot, new sx appeared in rt hand. Whole hand now goes icy cold several x a day, hand constantly aches, like coming in from the cold and the hand starts to warm up. Get shooting and stabbing type pns from forearm into hand, hand gets pale and bluish or mottled looking and am seeing some atrophy of the thumb pad and I think last 2 fingers, they have been 1/2 dead since Feb. Worst is any use of the hand increases pain, just rinsing my face or picking up a coffee cup, or carrying anything at all.
    Can't open bottles or jars, can't do much of anything with rt hand.

    I have been told this sounds very much like RSD and I need to get it checked out right away, so am looking for help on how to go about that. I am seeing my GP tomorrow, he did mention RSD at end of April as a possible reason for my hand sx, but I did not want to even consider it. Am also going to talk to an anesthesiologist today, he goes to our church, and his wife has been keeping him informed of my problems, she said he wd be happy to talk to me, he has done stellate ganglion blocks and has a very active pain clinic. So will see what he advises, but am thinking if GP approves, will ask for referral to see this dr and get the blocks as soon as I get back from vacation. We leave for FL on Wednesday, will be gone 2 weeks, and don't want to know before I leave, really need to relax and try to come to grips with all this and try to amke decisions abt work, filing for compensation, etc, etc, etc. And enjoy spending time with my kids. When I come back will be soon enough to find out the news.

    Am also to see results of second EMG tomorrow, am anxious to know what if anything shows up, and how it compares to one done in March.

    Anyway, that's my story in a nutshell - all from a tetanus booster.


     
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    Old 06-22-2003, 09:25 AM   #2
    Soxy
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    Unbelievable! What a story! I had never heard of RSD until I was diagnosed last year. I had no trauma or "event". My ankle was sore for about a year prior but I thought nothing of it. I walked 3 miles a day for exercise and thought I could walk it off-lol! Finally last June when it became so swollen, painful and I began walking with a limp I went to the doc and Voila - RSD! It's as if this disorder is lurking just waiting for nice unsuspecting hardworking folks like you enjoying life and then BOOM! Who would have thought a shot could bring it on? As I've said before this disorder has a mind of its own. The doc you said you will be going to sounds like a caring one. That is important. We are here for you. Take care. Hope you manage to have some fun in Florida.
    Soxy

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    Old 06-23-2003, 02:01 PM   #3
    bjones
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    Soxy, You're right about the monster, feel like I've been seized by a demon! Saw GP today, he wants to talk with Chicago neuro abt latest EMG results, thenif nothing shows that can account for my sx, we will start looking intoi RSD. He has some patients with RSD, it turns out, so that is why he is familiar with it. He wondered at last appt if that is what we were seeing, and sx have continued to get worse. Problem is, just the EMG has flared my nerves so bad, still in pn from the needle sticks and that was 10 days ago!! He worries, and so do I, that injecting anything into a nerve right now will make me much worse!! What do you do if you can't do the blocks? Any other diagnostic tests? Are the blocks my best or only hope of putting this in remission, if it is RSD?

    Beth

     
    Old 06-24-2003, 10:14 AM   #4
    Soxy
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    For me, the lumbar blocks confirmed that I had RSD and also may have put my left foot into remission?. The doc who first diagnosed me did so after seeing my foot and doing numerous tests - blood work, x-rays, cat-scans, and a mri to rule anyting else out. He was a physiatrist. He referred me to a pain/anest doc who did the blocks. That's the route I took. I don't know if there are any tests that are specifically tailored to RSD. I now have RSD in my other foot. I don't know if this helps. Half the time when I answer someone's question, I forget what they are asking????!!!!!
    Take care.
    Dianne

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    Old 06-24-2003, 05:27 PM   #5
    scriptor
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    Hello, me scriptor hehe!!

    Anyways I know someone in town who got RSD from a tetnas shot(don't think I spelled it right). I'll tell you guys the story. It's preety amazing.

    This lady got scratched by her dog. It was bad enough to go into the hospital. So she went in. The nurse on duty wanted to give her the tetnas shot but she is DEATHLY affraid of needles and she said no. Her dog was fine anyways. But the nurse said she needed one and it was tetnas shot day and they were suppossed to see how many they could do in one day. So the nurse got the needle ready and CHASED her around the hospital!! I'm completely serious! The nurse finally caught up and jammed the needle in. Well the needle broke off, and the lady fainted.

    The next day she was at work, she's a cook, and her arm just all of a sudden swelled right up and she couldn't even grip the knife. She went to see the doc and was told she had RSD.

    The blocks didn't go well with her. And for some strange reason someone told her she wasn't allowed to go to PT. After awhile the RSD spread to one of her legs and up to the other arm and then went down to the other leg. So she had it in all her limbs.

    Then her husband and her were parked at the drive-in window getting some food, when they get re-ended. Well the RSD spread to her back and neck.

    Now she comes to PT when she can walk. She did the HBO and it did miacles on her!! She crawled into it and basically skipped out!! I'm serious. She was sponsered by a company down here. She's an amazing lady.

    I've yapped enough. ByeBye

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    Old 06-24-2003, 08:24 PM   #6
    bjones
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    That is strangely comforting, even though the nurse sounds homicidal!! My Drs won't definitely say the tetanus shot is the culprit, because "it is so rare"!
    Well, rare, yes, but impossible, no, otherwise it wd be nonexistant!

    And until tetanus shot arm was 100% normal in use and sensation, no problems. Sx began less than a week after the injection. And brachial neuritis occurring as adverse reaction to tetanus hot is on the vaccine injury table, it has happened enough to establish a relationship, and adverse reactions don't get on that table easily!!

    I wd love to talk to anyone else who has had major nerve problems due to an injection. Feels a bit lonely, and getting accurate dx is taking forever, seems like.


     
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