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  • Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

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    Old 07-15-2008, 05:54 AM   #1
    skych
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    Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Hey all my friends.

    The mornings are becoming really bad for me. It is taking me 1/2 hour just to get out of the bed! I wake up from the burning pain in my neck and in my shoulder and scapuar area. It is so on fire I actually gasp from its intensity.

    Also the last 3 days I have has some type of acidy throat sensation that has been waking me up at night. It crops up during the day sometimes. I have no idea what it is and I have never had it before.

    I am so tired all the time! I have no choice but to do the things I need to do such as shopping and go to 12 step meetings and houshold duties at the barest minimum.

    Most days I can get the burning to feel better(not go away just feel better), but it has been coming back miday and I am just drained of my energy.

    At the last PM visit the PM did not really want to raise any meds because he knows I will more than likely be having surgery soon. He has no other options at this time than to prescribe meds. He said we are in a holding position for now untill surgery.

    In 2 days(july 17th) I will see the Ortho surgeon for my second opinion. My Mom will be coming on Wed. Morning. SHe wants me to meet her at one of our fishing spots at 8 am, but if I feel like this on wed. Morning I just don't know. I love fishing, but this time I just don't know. It will more than likely be the last opportunity to go for me.

    After I take my morning meds, I will feel better about an hour later. I am usually feeling the best from 5-6 am---to--12 pm. then I start to take a seriious nose dive and absolutley need to lay down. Which I do.

    On July 25th I will see my Neurologist again and the one fear I have is that he will want to do all three levels of my neck and that is a really large surgery. I am not saying not to do it if thats what he feels needs to be done, but I know that fusions are not easy so a 2 or 3 level must be so hard. I just want some of this pain to ga away or settle down. I am just so tired.

    I am going to have to sign off right now because I just can't sit here any more. I just don't know when I will have surgery and this pain is just really zapping all I got.
    Please say a prayer that this will pass.
    Chrissy

     
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    Old 07-15-2008, 08:05 AM   #2
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Hey Chrissy, I know this has been going on for quite some time and I am so sorry. I think Steve was right in a previous post that it is time for you to talk to your doc about an increase in meds. You can't go on like this honey. I know that your desire is to avoid meds and get overall relief from the surgery, but in the mean-time, you shouldn't have to suffer like this.

    I've always felt that when you have intense pain flares and insufficient medication, you open yourself up to a myriad of additional illnesses, because the pain wears away at your ability to fight off infections and viruses. The last thing you would want is a nasty flu bug or respiratory infection to postpone your surgery.

    Have you spoken to your doc at all about at least a temporary increase in meds? I just hate to see you suffer like this. Maybe even some non-narcotic meds to help offset your current meds, like anti-inflams or muscle relaxers might be a help for now.

    Hang in there my darlin'. I know this is just as emotionally draining as it is physically taxing. I am praying really loud for you. I hope you can get some much needed relief. Take care of yourself and get lots of rest. Keep us posted, OK hon? God Bless, CMP/MM

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 09:12 AM   #3
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Chrissy,

    I've got a few ideas for you.

    First - to do with the med increase hesitation. The doc seems to be playing your suffering against a potential rise in tolerance. If I were in your shoes I would be presenting something similar to what I worked with Pepper. No one, regardless of upcoming surgeries, etc, should be required to live with an average pain score above 5. I sure as heck don't think your doc would allow himself to suffer at that level for any length of time. IMHO, it's cruel for a doc to tell a patient that a 5 and above is an allowable range of average pain score. My temptation would be to go in and say "what level of pain should be a cut off between allowable and not allowable?" If he answers above 5, then I'd say "so, you're telling me that one can have a decent quality of life with an average pain score above 5?" In my opinion, this line of questioning forces him to admit that above 5 represents an unacceptable quality of life. If he comes back with "oh, I think around 6-7 is a reasonable level of pain for quality of life," then you need another doc. Because if this is really how he feels, then he will always be this way, and you have no hope of ever having a decent quality of life with this doc. So, again, I think I would push him to take a position on this now. He describes it as a "holding position," but for you it's a "suffering needlessly" position.

    Regarding the issue of surgery - I can tell you are hesitant to have this surgery, especially if it goes to the extremes you are fearing. I would ask the doc "what are the chances, honestly, of this surgery succeeding?" Or whatever the question s/b if you can think of a better one. To have it just because some doc says it's the right thing to do doesn't give you objective evidence by which to decide - which is the kind of evidence the docs want from us in order to justify prescribing meds. Tell them you want hard numbers. If they say that there are no real numbers, then I'd seriously consider not having the surgery, or considering another level of surgery that has better odds.

    Just some thoughts Chrissy.

    I sure hope you get to feeling better today sweetie.

    steve

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 09:28 PM   #4
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Chrissy:

    I found that after my foraminotomy I had the same problem. I'd wake up at 5 am and eat a rice cake and take meds just so at 8 am I could get up and function.

    Even if the doctor reccomends 3 levels - don't be too anxious - if it works for you it will be such a relief you won't care :-) And the ACDF was WAY easier than the Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy. With an ACDF hopefully you'll wake up with such huge pain relief from what you are feeling now!

    And just to keep you updated, I may have had a small failure in my foraminotomy. CT scan tomorrow to see if some bone fell in and is sitting on the nerve. Part of me wants the CT to show that so there's a reason I still have the pain down my arm even after the foraminotomy.

    Karin

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    Old 07-16-2008, 05:24 AM   #5
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    chrissy I am going though alot of the same problems.I have the burning down the back of my neck and in between my shoulder blades.I was doing very good after my surgery.Started haveing more pain about 2 1/2 moths post op,then I went back to work full time with no restrictions and now its all I can do to get though the day.Sleeping is awful ,mornings are hell!! If it wasnt for my pain meds I really dont know what I would do!!!! My surgeon took me off my meds about 3 1/2 months post op.....my ortho is doing my pain meds now thank god!!!I have been doing pt for almost 2 months now with no progress after the first month had to quit my job.I called the surgeon yesterday because I couldnt take the pain anymore(thats with percocet) they sent me for x rays and made me an appointment for the 22nd .No more rt till after I see the dr.They told me to go to the ER if it gets to bad....the whole ER things a damn joke the few times I have gone they gave me vicodin 2.5 didnt touch me or run any test but they damn sure billed me as if they had done something.I had acdf c 5/6 with artificial disc and hardware 1/22/08.MRI I had done 2 1/2 months ago showed further narrowing of c 3/4 and 1 bone sprur not sure why he didnt fuse that one also.

    I will keep you any everyone else thats going through this is my thoughts and prayer

    Good Luck

     
    Old 07-16-2008, 01:02 PM   #6
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Oh, my, Chrissy, you sure do have a lot on your plate, don't you? *hugs*

    I picked up on your reference to an "acidy throat sensation". It sounds like acid reflux, which often causes discomfort at night. Prilosec or Pepcid AC might go a long way toward relieving that discomfort. (God knows you don't need any more of that in your life.) They aren't terribly expensive in generic form.

    Acidophilus or another probiotic, taken daily, might also help prevent GI symptoms in general. With all of the meds you're on, it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep your GI tract in balance. You can get what I call the "good stuff" in a health food store, or you can get less-expensive versions at CVS, Walgreens, etc. Probiotics are located in the vitamin and supplement aisles in drugstores

    All the best of luck to you, sweetie.

     
    Old 07-18-2008, 03:49 PM   #7
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Chrissy, Wish I could help with all the other you are going through. But can only send hugs, and understanding of how such constant pain can bring you down. Just a little advice re the acid reflux, which I get from taking meds. I find that if I have a couple of tablespoons of plain natural yogurt with any meds at all, that it really helps with this.
    If I don't, I end up with reflux. Also, I found that between the shoulder blades pain, which is from my neck, also affects my reflux, or vice versa, they are so interconnected. I take a spoon of yogurt, then swallow my pills, then take another spoon of yogurt, to kind of sandwich the pills in the middle. I know they all get mixed up once I've swallowed them, but it really helps. Also, taking a spoonful of slippery elm powder mixed with water and honey before taking any meds, really protects your stomach lining as well. Just thought this might help with that problem at least.
    Hugs from Lily

     
    Old 07-19-2008, 07:26 AM   #8
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    Thumbs up Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Good for you Chrissy to hold your own on your pain condition. I got into a car accident in 93 and no one would help me, look or even believe me! I did get on ssi/disability and am I glad that I did? It is now 15 years later and I am still waking up with severe neck pain, back, myofacial, muscle pain, and constant headaches. Just sitting in front of the computer puts my neck out and my myofacial acts up and my arms to the back of my neck, cranial area goes numb? I started on a lot of anti-depressants which really shut me up from getting to the correct doctor to get help with my auto accident injuries. I now have an appt. with a back and spinal facility...so hopefully I will get some relief...Of course I have to get myself physically to the appt. by myself...but good for you! I HOPE THINGS WORK OUT FOR YOU , PATIENCE IS REALLY YOUR ONLY BEST FRIEND AT THIS TIME.....I FIND THAT VALIUM KEEPS ME CALM AND STOPS ALOT OF THE SPASMS......SO I AM STILL IN LIMBO....BUT I DO GET WALKING, WHATEVER KIND OF MOVEMENT IS GOOD FOR ME..EVEN BENDING AND TWISTING IS AGGRAVATING TO MY SPINE....MY HOUSE IS ALWAYS A MESS BECAUSE I BREAK DOWN PHYSICALLY EVERYDAY. I MAY HAVE ALOT OF EXERCISE MACHINES, BUT I CHOOSE NOT TO STOP MOVING, SO I WILL ALWAYS HAVE USE OF MY LIMBS, BE FUNCTIONAL OR NOT...I WANT TO HAVE BLOOD FLOWING TO MY LIMBS UNTIL THE DAY I DIE....KEEP SEEKING HELP. NOW PHYSICALLY HOLDING MY OWN.
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    Old 07-19-2008, 01:13 PM   #9
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Hi, Chrissy~

    How did you make out at your appt on Thursday?

     
    Old 07-21-2008, 06:40 AM   #10
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Hey all

    Sorry it took me a while to get back about my Ortho Appt. last Thurs.

    I have to say I was very very impressed with this office. It is a large group of Ortho and all of them have lots of experience and in many various areas. The one I saw last Thurs. specializes in the neck and spine.

    My Neuro S. who did my first neck surgery is the best in his field, and I do like him, but his practice just does not compare to the way I felt at the OS's practice.

    When I first got there the Docs PA came in and right out of the gate he sat down and explained the important information from my Discogram. I never was explained the results from this diagnostic test by my Neuro. I had only read it and understood some of it but not really knowing what the various things would mean for me.

    So the PA confirmed I would need to have the ACDF of C 4-5 and C 5-6. He then explained in great detail what hardware is used and how the surgery wold go and what to expect afterward. At one point way back at a Neuro appt. I had a list of questions about the ACDF that I never got to aske because he did not want to discuss the surgery yet. SO I did not bring them to this Ortho appt, but the PA answered almost every question that was on that list. I did ask some questions and he was happy to answer them.
    He did a neurlogical exam on me and I have to say it was much more invilved then my Neurologist has EVER done. The PA was very concerned about the degree of weakness on the left side.

    When the Ortho Surgeon came in he did another Neurological Evaluation even more than the PA's was. It caused me a huge flare in pain but the entire appointment was worth it. The OS asked if I had an EMG and I said the last one I had was in Oct. before my Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy. He asked if I remembered what it said and I told him I thought it was a positive test for nerve damage or impingement coming from the neck.

    He aslo asked if anyone had ordered an MRI of my shoulder to make sure I did nto have a rotator cuff injury. I explained to him that way back in the begining right after my accident on July 10, 2007, I had asked my GP when he ordered the C-spine MRI why we were not going to look at the T-spine and the shoulder. He said it was not necessary. I also told the Orhto that a few months later I was still compaining of the burning in the neck and over the scapular area and I had asked my PM to order an MRI of the T-spine and shoulder. The PM only ordeered the T-spine and said if needed we would do the shoulder later. Well I kept asking and the shoulder was never veiwed with an MRI.

    The Ortho was concerned with the Degree of weakness on the left side and he said he wanted that shoulder MRI'ed before he would do surgery on my Neck.
    I was amazed because all this time...a little over a year since the accident someone has finally listened to me and requested that I have the MRI on the shoulder. Why I had to have the C-cpine the T-spine and the shoulder all done seperately is beyone me. Why not just do it all at one time and get it done and over with. If Iwas a doc I would have ordered them all right off the bat.

    So this morning I will be on the phone to follow up with the Ortho's office to see if they got the tests scheduled for me. I am hoping to get them done this week if possible.

    Question:
    First off hass anyone had a shoulder injury and a neck injury at the same time?
    Have any of you had a shoulder injury at all?

    Now more importantly. I really like my Neurologist, but I like this Orthos office and practice better. It is a much larger group of doctors.

    I already know the neck needs to have a 2 level ACDF and I would like to have the Ortho I just went to do that surgery.
    SO my question is do I let the Neuro go now or wait to have the MRI and EMG tests and then see what both docs say about the new tests and then go from there???

    As for the shoulder I would need to see a different doc because this OS is a spine specialist, but the practice has other orthos in other areas so I am thinking that one of them might do that surgery.
    I certainly hope that there is no injury to my shoulder. Pray for me!! I need all of them I can get at this point.

    So thats the skinny my friends. I will let you all know if I make any prigress today with the upcoming test dates.
    As for my pain...well it is a bit flared because I way over did it yesterday. Shame on me. I am slo considereing asking my PM for an increase in the long acting med I take.
    Chrissy

    Last edited by skych; 07-21-2008 at 06:41 AM.

     
    Old 07-21-2008, 08:51 AM   #11
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Go with the practice/physician you like best. Years ago I had a knee problem and when it got to needng more surgery my gut said "see the other guy" and I didn't. Let's just say I should have listened to my gut.
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    Old 07-22-2008, 02:44 AM   #12
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Chrissy, how you doing honey? I cant believe you have to go for seperate MRIs. They are a pain in the butt. I believe in the long run I have had the shoulder & spine thiing going on together, without anyone realizing it.
    The belief was after the shoulder surgery all my issues & pain would go away but alas that was not the case. The shoulder did need surgery. I did gain better ROM after but never full ROM, it still hurts, not as severe when it is moved. Before the surgery it hurt to move it an inch or two. I have more pain in the back area then before though, that really is confusing.
    I will be very interesting to see what comes up in that shoulder MRI, that would be good if something fixable is found in that shoulder. Long recovery from shoulder surgery, but it may lessen your pain in the long run. It is kind of silly to make you go for more then one MRI when the entire area could be done in one visit. You are always in my thoughts. I am anxious to see what shows in your tests. God bless, Sammy

     
    Old 07-22-2008, 06:29 AM   #13
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Thanks Ladies,

    SpineAZ how are you doing since your Foraminotomy??

    Sammy, I am just so afraid they will find something worng in there. I will be upset because right from the begining I asked to have the C-spine T-spine and shoulder done all at one time. No one listened to me whan I was saying there was really awfull burning in the scapular area. I mean really awful. Maybe it is a standard this Ortho has before he goes and fuses the neck. He would not want to go in and fuse the neck only to find later there was an issue with the shoulder. If there is a shoulder issue they would do that first befor messing with the spine. At lest I believe that is the case. I just can't even think about the huge delay in my life if I find out the shoulder has some issue that needs surgical intervention. I remember both you and Feelsbad...I remember how hard the surgery was for both of you.

    I will have the MRI today. I think I will be able to get the results for the test on Thursday. SOmetimes I can persuade them to gove me a CD disc for my personal records. We shall see. Pray forme today. I will go in at 1:45 and you are 3 hours ahead of me I believe.

    Anyway thanks everyone for the support.
    Chrissy

     
    Old 07-22-2008, 08:47 AM   #14
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Chrissy:

    Well I still have pain so he sent me for a CT - I think he thought he saw something on the xray (a bone that moved from what he mentioned). And, in a way, I was hoping that was it (something concrete that can be fixed). But I picked up the CT scan and the initial report and it doesn't seem to say that. But I'll wait until I see my OSS next Monday for him to tell me what his thoughts are.

    I want to change jobs but I just can't right now with all this neck stuff going on.

    Karin
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    Old 07-22-2008, 10:38 AM   #15
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    Re: Bad Burning neck and scapula pain. Mornings are so hard-need support

    Hi, Chrissy~

    I think you should move forward with the ortho and his group and not look back. I love that he answered all of your questions so thoroughly and looked at the "big picture", including your shoulder.

    Did you talk to him about your PM's reluctance to give you more Valium? Maybe he could convince him that you really need it.

    Have you had a chance to pick up some Prilosec or Pepcid AC (20 mg)? I think you'll be surprised by how much better your stomach and esophagus feel, especially in the morning. Same goes for acidophilus and your lower GI tract.

    I hope the MRI goes well today. You've waited long enough for it. You have my continuing prayers.

    *gentle hugs*

     
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