Discussions that mention skelaxin

Pain Management board

This is very long, so I'm going to post it in segments. Sorry for the length and if I should’ve posted it elsewhere, but I posted it as such so it would read sequentially:

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has responded so promptly. I can't express to you how nice it is to have people who are not only here for me, but who can relate to my situation too.

I'm sorry I didn't go into specifics of my situation in my original post. I had just come out of my parent’s bedroom actually where we had a several hour long discussion about everything, and there were tears and arguing, etc. etc. So, I'll happily go into it now; I'm in a better frame of mind today, and my thoughts are not so all over the place. I'm sorry if I end up writing an entire saga, but it's nice to have everyone completely informed regarding what I've been through, what I've done medically, etc.

I live in New York, but I go to school in LA. Sometime in the middle of February last year, I woke up at school one morning (probably at 2 or 3 in the afternoon), and I went to go visit some friends on another floor. I went to the bathroom in their room, and as I turned to leave from washing my hands at the sink, I essentially collapsed onto the floor. Now, I'm a pretty big and bulky guy, and I have never lost strength in my legs to the point where they buckled and prevented me from standing). I spent the next two days in bed, because whenever I got up, even if it was just to go to the bathroom, I could not handle the shooting pain down my right leg. It was like nothing I had ever felt in my life. Finally, I was able to get out of bed and walk around slowly with a limp. I got over to the university's health center, which is renowned for not knowing what they're doing and misdiagnosing most students that come in. Anyway, without telling you what I've done on a day to day basis between now and then, the health center told me that I was having muscle spasms and most likely had sciatica due to a pinched nerve. I wasn't really sure what that meant, but I shrugged my shoulders and tried to learn how to walk with the shooting pain. They sent me away with 800mg of Advil (4x a day I believe) and a bunch of Flexeril. I took the medication and got no relief, but I had to continue with my studies and my life at school.

Two weeks later I flew home because I still was in the same amount of pain, and my parents wanted me to see my own doctors at home. I went to see my family doctor, who recommended that I go see an orthopedist, or maybe a chiropractor. My family happens to know a chiropractor in my neighborhood, so we made an appointment for the same day and went over there. Not such a good decision. He did electro-therapy, or whatever it's called, on my back, and began stretching me out in ways that were pretty painful. Before I left, this guy told me I needed to come back everyday, and he'd have me fixed in a week. I left very sore, and my mom and I looked at each other and both agreed never to go back. Good decision. I stayed at home and relaxed the rest of the week, icing my back, and switching over to Aleve, Still, I was in the same amount of pain.

I went back to school and tried to distract myself with my life there, continuing to take my NSAIDs and Flexeril as needed. I was still in a lot of pain, but I had become accustomed to it at that point. Two weeks later I came home for spring break, and I got in to see an orthopedist. He x-rayed me and told me that from my symptoms, I most likely had a disc problem. He wrote me prescriptions for Prednisone (which made me absolutely nuts; everyone in my family has really weird reactions to that particular drug), Skelaxin, physical therapy, and an MRI. I only had a few days at home, so the MRI was not even an option. I went back to school, switching back to naproxen because the prednisone was no good, and I was able to make an appointment with my school's physical therapy office, but the first appointment I was able to get was not until mid-April (this was already the end of March, and school ended the beginning of May). I continued with the Aleve, and didn't even bother with the Flexeril because it didn't do anything. All I was able to do was go on with normal day activities, and I figured if I pushed through the pain, perhaps I'd get stronger and feel better.

I started physical therapy, and I was extremely sore and back in a lot of pain after the first two sessions. I went into the health center again to see if they could give me anything else for the pain. Surprisingly, without even negotiating or asking, they gave me Vicodin (5/500) and Soma, which I'd never heard of before. The only other time in my life that I had taken a narcotic was when I was thirteen and had an awful inner ear infection, to the point where I could not fall asleep because I couldn't stay in one position for more than five minutes. I believe I was on Tylenol 3 then, and I just remember the two times I took it that it knocked me out. My parents told me to really try to hold off on using the Vicodin unless I really needed it, so I let it sit in my room for a week before I took it, and I took one Soma every night before I went to sleep. I continued with physical therapy when I could, but I had five finals and papers to write, and I could not prioritize anything regarding my back. One night, my shooting pain flared up and I decided to take the Vicodin with the Soma, and I got very buzzed, which I suppose distracted me enough to not think about the pain. I started taking two Vicodin and one Soma every night until I came home. I went to physical therapy in LA for a total of about seven times, and every time I left, I felt very sore.

So that's essentially my beginning story of how my back pain started. I'm sorry that went on so long, I just kept typing. It's very frustrating though because I can't exactly pinpoint what exactly hurt my back, and I probably will never be able to. Anyway, I'll try to make the rest of my story concise.

I came home and went back to the orthopedist, and explained that I was still in the same amount of pain. He urged me to go get an MRI, and he tried me on a five day steroid pack, I'm not exactly sure what it's called. It didn't make me crazy like the Prednisone, but it didn't do anything. He also refilled the Soma for me, but I had no painkiller.

I went and got a standup MRI, which was not a smart idea in retrospect. The report came back and said that I had spinal stenosis, bulging discs (not sure exactly which ones, but the three above L5-S1, and a herniation and nerve compression at L5-S1. I went back to the doctor, and he told me to do physical therapy again. Sometime in between, I put a call into the doctor and he prescribed me Tramadol, which in combination with the Soma made me very euphoric, but really provided no relief. I continued physical therapy for about a month, and again felt like I was in pain every time I left, and every time I came back I told them that I felt like it was hurting me.

I was able to get into see this renowned spinal surgeon on Long Island. Many, many people recommended him and said he would definitely fix me. I went to go see him and loved him right away. He looked at the report and dismissed most everything on it, and told me what I had to worry about was the spinal stenosis and L5-S1 herniation with nerve compression. He told me that's what was putting me in so much pain. He also let me know in looking at the films that it looked like I had degenerative disc disease, which would most likely be something I'd have to deal with forever. He had me stop physical therapy right away, and subsequently, the physical therapist told me that I should stop and I was probably a good candidate for epidural shots. That was a little discouraging to hear from a physical therapist. But anyway, he told me not to worry about surgery or anything else, and he had me go into a pain management office to go get three epidural shots. He was very open to prescribing me medications, and when I told him the Vicodin didn't really relieve much pain, he gave me Darvocet, and again continued with the Soma. He also gave me Voltarin, just as a supplement to the shots.

At this point it was the end of June, and I was very hopeful about the shots. I took the Darvocet a few times and really did not like it at all. It buzzed me, but also made me feel out of it and very hazy, if that makes sense at all. So I stopped the Darvocet and went back on Tramadol, which wasn't doing much, but I could function better on that compared to the Darvocet. I went to meet the PM doctor, who came off very arrogant to me. He told me that, "For sure, three days after my first shot I'd feel 80% better." My mom was very pleased with him, and I hoped to god that he was right. At that point, we didn't even discuss medications.

A week later I went for the first shot, which they put me out for (I think it was twilight). I was very apprehensive about the anesthetic, just because I hadn't had any kind of medical procedure since I had my tonsils out when I was three. Everything went fine though, and I left feeling kind of sore, but very optimistic and happy that I was potentially on the right path to recovery. The next five or six days I woke up every morning thinking that this would be the day I feel better. Before I got out of bed, I'd straighten out my leg and slowly lift it, hoping that there would be some dissipation of pain (this is how I typical determine my pain level). Obviously, this was a huge let down. I felt no relief at all. But, I was still not discouraged, and hoped that a second shot would do the trick. I was still in so much pain though, and it was seemingly increasing. I called my new doctor (the wonderful spinal surgeon) to try to get something stronger to relieve my pain, and after having much trouble getting in touch with him, he told us that although he'd love to help me, I was under the care of the PM doctor currently, and it would be unprofessional for him to give me anything.