Good Morning Bionic Witch, Texaswildrose04, quietcook, Kari7171, and all other back and neck pain surrerers!
I am still in the process of weaning myself off of the TOXIC drug, so I do not have a final outcome for you. My story is this (short version). I had my second son on May 21, 1999. While in labor I was in a great deal of pain even on the epidural, specifically in my back. After giving birth I was able to get rid of the pain by exercising and getting myself back into shape. In August of 2001 I was put on the birth control patch. My doc said that I would not have all of the PMS symptoms that I normally had on the pill because it was an even flow of the hormones into my body. Having the normal flow would take me off of the hormonal roller coaster ride that the pill has caused for me in the past. I was instructed to wear the patch on my hip.
In October of 2001 I started to have pain in my hips. The pains got so bad that I went to the ER. I was diagnosed with bursitus of the hips. I was 37 at that time and still wanting another baby. My pain got much worse as time went on so I went to an orthopedic doc. He told me that it was from my L4/5 disc. I knew nothing about disc problems. I have been a gym rat for many years. Not one day would go by without me doing some form of exercise. I then proceeded to get the run around from docs as to what to do. I was in therapy, pain mgmt, acupuncture, all of which helped just a little bit. I then started on the injection route. They were injecting my L4/5 with steriods. I got no relief from the pain. So I had a discogram. The discogram was negative for my L4/5 and L5/s1. So on I went on the pain med route. I was going to be in pain and limping for the rest of my life. So then the depression set in. I was prescribed ZOloft for the depression.
In the spring of 2002 my upperback and neck started with pain. I never had pain like this before. It was severe. I also started getting this zapping noise in the back of my head and constant tinitius in my ears. I also had some nerve pain in my face, around my mouth area. It seemed to only happen when I turned my head along with the zapping. NO, I am not crazy as all of the doctors and my family even thought I was. Not my husband, but my parents and all of my sisters just think I am becoming a drug addict. My husband has remained supportive of me throughout. I am now getting more depressed. My pain mgmt doc prescribes more zoloft. I cannot figure out if it is helping or not. I guess I should do what my doc says though. These were my thoughts. I then decided that I should go off of the birthcontrol patch. My pain was in my hips, so what a coincidence that the pain was in my hips and that is where my patch was. I now am thinking that maybe it is my si joint. I went off of the patch, had 14 rounds of prolotherapy, and physical therapy for about 1.5 years, but continued to take the zoloft becuse no one could figure out what was wrong with my neck and upper back. My lower back got much better. I was able to tolerate that pain now. I couldn't handle my neck and upper back pain. I went to numerous (about 30 or so, living in Washington I have many docs at my disposal) neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons. The answer I got to my question of why did my neck and upper back go out just after my lower back was that it is the theory of the "knee bone connected to the thigh bone". These same surgeons all told me that I needed at least a single fusion, but more than likely a triple fusion in my cervical spine. Well this just blew me away. How was I going to live with this pain the rest of my life. It did not make sense because my si joint was my problem with my lower back all from the birth control patch, now my neck? How does this make sense??? IN my research I found that the fusion surgery was so bad that there was not a gaurentee that you were going to get better, and you could possibly get worse. THis was making me more depressed. My pain mgmt doc then decided that I needed more Zoloft. I was now up to 150mg a day.
My mornings got so bad that I was having trouble getting out of bed. My zapping and buzzing was very bad in the mornings. Not until I was up for an hour or so did it get better so that I could function. The docs kept telling me that this was all from my discs in my neck. I needed fusion. In my research for the fusion surgery I found out about Stenum hospital in Germany. They would do the cervical disc replacement. I just couldn't quite get the nerve up to do it though. I then did some more research. I ended up finding Dr. Jho in Pittsburg. I mailed my MRI's to him for him to read. He called me the day he got my Films. He told me that I should go to the Gym at least 4/5 days a week (I have not stepped foot in a gym for at least a year, too painful). He said that I should work hard, very hard to get stronger. He said that I did not need surgery. I was a normal, now 40, year old woman. I had some arthritus in my neck, and some bone spurs, but nothing that would ever tell him to do surgery. He said it would be the biggest mistake of my life to ever have surgery. I would get worse. My symptoms are not that of someone with the mechanical " issues" that I have in my neck. Something else must be wrong. I told him that I did have an MRI of my brain, and it appeared normal.
Now what was I going to do.
I was in the pharmacy last week with my two little boys. They of course wanted candy from the candy counter. On top of the counter was a paperback Physicans Desk Reference. To kill time I picked it up and began to read about my meds. I started with the z's first. ON the list of side affects for zoloft was back and neck pain. I was then really, really curious. As soon as the boys and I got home I started my research on the internet. What I found was so completely amazing about zoloft, that I would have never taken it if I had known about it. One graduate student in particular had my problem. THe buzzing, zapping, and neck pain. All of his symptoms were mine. I am so worried now. This is the only story that I read that says that most of the pain went away. I do not know how the others have fared. I guess I will find out soon. I am on 25mg still, and will hopefully be off in a matter of a coulple of weeks. Has anyone else heard of this? I cannot believe that medications have taken the last 2 years of my life away, not only mine, but my now 5 and 8 year old boys and my husband. What would I do without them. My 5 year old does not remember the mommy that had a ton of energy, was not laying around because of pain or popping pills or falling asleep at the dinner table because the meds were too strong. I do not know whether to be angry at the zoloft people, or just garateful to know that this might only be temporary. This buzzing thing is getting out of control. My family is also so upsetting. They think that because I am on the pain meds(oxycontine and roxicodone) that I am just a drug addict, and that is my only problem. They think that I should be able to handle this pain or just snap my fingers and do some kind of surgery to fix it. I think that this is just as painful to me as the pain itself. Does anyone else feel as though there family is not on there side because of pain meds? I am so sad about it. I love my family very much, but this has certainly put a rift between us. My dad is a big AA person and thinks that all people are addicts in some form or another. I try to tell him that I am not him, and that I would not get these drugs if I did not need them. I cannot move in the mornings. I can't wait to get off of all drugs. I will not take anything, even aspirin that I do not absoultely have to now and in the future. I think there is something to be said about homeopathic medicine.
Thank you to all of you for listening. I really need this place to be able to come to to vent. I also want everyone to know my story so that it does not happen to anyone else. Thank God I did not do a surgery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Colleen B :wave: