Discussions that mention ativan

Back Problems board

Hey everyone,

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

Here's how it all went down:
Mid-November: 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.

Beginning of December: 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.

Mid-December: 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).

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

Mid-January: 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.

End of January: 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.

Given all of that, my question is, where do I go from here? 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.