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New and Scared

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in New Member Introductions
:''( Hi everyone, my name is Nancy. I am 41, had some back problems ever since I was around 12 or so and fell on a roller skate wheel that got me right around my tailbone. Ever since then, I can't stand too long, or stay in one position for too long. That wasn't that big of a deal tho, never went to the Dr. for it, I just dealt with it. I also have diabetes and high blood pressure, depression and generalized anxiety disorder, which makes everything horribly worse. Anyway, about 3 months ago or so, my legs started aching terribly, and nothing really helped, not changing positions, nothing. I went to my Dr. (a PA at my Dr. office actually) who just pushed the pain aside and said it was probably diabetic neuropathy. I bought that idea and was started on Cymbalta, for depression, but also indicated for diabetic peripheral nerve pain. Helped the depression, but didn't touch the legs. Since then, my Dr. has put me on Januvia for the diabetes and as a side note, its been a miracle drug for me... my A1C levels are now in perfectly normal range! Anyway... my Dr put me on Vicodin for the pain, which is the ONLY med that helps. I've tried Darvocet 100, Ultram and a couple others... nothing. So, I've been living on the Vicodin, which it generally takes two to take the pain away. Now, the pain has moved up into my back, lower at first, but now also right in the middle. Finally, my doctor is taking me seriously. I have lost 20 lbs since February without trying, although that could be from the diabetes going back to normal. Regardless, he took x-rays the other day and my spine and hips looked fine.He now has me scheduled for a bone scan this coming Thursday and is in the process of scheduling an MRI asap. The tests themselves scare the crap out of me, let alone what they might find. With my anxiety, in my mind everything is cancer. So I've been spending hours looking up spinal cancer, which isn't doing my mentality any better. I guess I just need someone to talk to and understand the pain, which, although my family believes me, they don't take it too seriously. My husband thinks I should be ready for sex, day or night, and my kids want me to run around to store after store shopping or whatever. I have to take 2 vicodin to be able to even function in the morning, and even THAT doesn't guarantee that I'm going to feel well enough to move any further than to the bathroom. Thats the story so far. Will update after tests. But I do have a couple questions.

First of all, I am unable to work at the moment because of the pain in the legs and back. I have no idea about how to apply for temporary disability while going through these tests. Secondly, would an x-ray show any degenerative disc disease processes? Thirdly, how likely do you think it is that this IS somehow spinal cancer? I'm just so terrified of everything that is happening to me right now and can't get much understanding from my family. Why aren't I cleanig the house like I should be? Why haven't I just jumped up and went grocery shopping? I don't even know how to answer them, since the xray showed nothing, that isn't helping my case when I say I'm in pain and can't really do anything today. Can someone please just talk to me? I would appreciate it very much!

Nancy
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Comments

  • Hello and welcome to the forum! I am really glad that you found your way here and I hope that you are able to find the answers you are looking for.
    I'm sorry that you are experiencing such great pain and are feeling so scared while waiting to find something out about your health. I can't count the number of times I have worked myself up into a frenzy thinking that I have something horrible going on with me only to find out that it isn't. If I start to bruise too much I think that I have leukemia, my bones ache more than usual it must be bone cancer... I think it is very normal to worry when something is out of whack! As for whether you have bone cancer or not, only the tests will let you know for sure. It's very common for a woman of your age (and me-40) to have a bone scan, especially if you are experiencing pain. I believe they suggest a bone scan to check for bone density, but don't quote me on that! The MRI and bone scan will give your doctor a better idea of what's going on with you.
    I don't know how to go about the disability thing, but if you have a job right now I would check with human resources, if not, you might check with social security and see what they tell you (this assuming you are in the US).
    The sex thing can be a tricky thing, but maybe if you have a heart to heart talk with your husband and let him know that it has nothing to do with him, it might help him to give you a little room. If not, then just don't shave your legs and maybe that will deter him! (just kidding of course!) Try talking to your family and let them know how you feel and that you are really having a tough go of it right now and hope they can understand that you can't do the things that they are used to. IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT! First and foremost, don't blame yourself and don't feel guilty for the problems you are having. You aren't doing this to them, it has been done to you (hope that makes sense, it did in my head).
    Good luck on finding answers to your questions. You will enjoy the people on the forum! They are the sweetest people you will ever meet. You will find yourself checking in here all the time once you get going. Keep us informed on your test results!
  • Dear Nancy,

    I'm glad you found your way here.

    At present you don't have a firm diagnosis so please don't worry about what you don't know. It is a huge waste of your precious energy. You may need it for something else. I know it is easy to say but trust me, you have to focus and be strong.
    Regards cancer - I have no comments. If you are a religoius person the god bless you!

    Back pain can be worrying (aside of your other troubles) because it is relentless and nasty so I think it is normal to fera the worst. I lost a 14lb myself but it turned out to be anxiety that caused the weight loss rather than anything more sinister.

    Talk to hubbie and family, be honest with them all. You deserve that much.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
  • please enough already! a bone scan is perfectly normal for those of us with back pain. so is weight loss, weight gain, bruising from being off balance and on and on. the symptoms run the gamut! as far as i know most all diagnosis are given AFTER an mri and most likely not just with an x-ray. that shows your basic skeletal structures and if you don't have a broken bone isn't going to help much. it is just a beginning. and only the beginning!! if you are going to go into a panic after every test this process will kill you!! it can take years!!!yes, to find the right doctor, right tests, and then more tests!! so please RELAX and don't do one more search on such things as cancer till after your diagnosis!! you are only hurting yourself!! 8} please look around and make some new friends and let your doctor be your guide!! good luck! Jenny :)
  • Hi Nancy, welcome to Spine Health. A lot of good things have already been said. One of the things you need to look at if you want to research, is the ungodly amount of spine problems that can cause pain. The number of different things is mind boggling.

    But then it can easily come down to a simple disc bulge or herniation or impingement from some other source. So don't focus on one thing, just focus on the fact that you are getting all the NORMAL TESTS run so that the doc can take a look and see what's going on.

    Just because there's water on the deck of a boat, doesn't mean it's got a hole in the hull and is sinking. Someone took a swim and climbed back on board with wet feet.

    "C"
  • Good point C. I knew we let you hang around for a reason.
  • Ben,

    Should we squeeze you and see if there's any water in that there sponge? =)) Or should we just swab the deck with you first! image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />
  • I am so sorry to hear of all of the pain that you are enduring and no understanding from family members to boot. You have to remember that it is very hard for people to understand something that they have never experienced and can't actually see. Have you tried taking a family member to the doc with you? Or is the doc also doubting your pain? Please try not to stress about the unknown. I know that is hard but I feel if it were bone cancer you would have other signs and hopefully the docs would pick up on it. You are probably in the same boat with the rest of us and it make take lots of testing in order to actually get a diagnosis. Maybe then your family will cut you some slack. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • :))( I loved that one! LOL!!! I'll have to add that to my list of qoates that I keep on my PC. B)
  • Hi Nancy, I too have generalized anxiey disorder, and that it where your fear of cancer is coming from. Just keep reminding yourself that it is the GAD talking, and that spinal cancer is extremely rare, and there is no reason to worry. Worry does not buy us one more minute, in fact it may take some away. I know, easier said than done. I too feared I had cancer, and after my MRI, my MD wanted to see me! So of course I feared the worst, and got all freaked out, called back and insisted they read my MRI result over the phone. It turned out she just wanted me to come in to get a referral to a NS since I had Spondylolisthesis L4-5, not great but better than cancer. My fear of cancer has plagued me my whole life, and it is all coming from GAD. Please try to tell yourself it is the GAD talking, and all will be fine. Get your test results, and go from there. The unknown can be extremely stressful, especially with GAD. We think differently then most people. Sue
  • Dear Nancy, Please don't worry so much about this, You're making it harder on yourself than it should be. First of all, don't be scared of the test's themselves. I've been through every one imaginable, many more than once or even 10 times. The MRI is not scary and doesn't hurt. It is just very loud, where I have my MRI's done they give me headphones and play music for me. I actually haven't had the other test done but my guess is that it's easy too. As for the concern of cancer, I wouldn't even go there right now. You really have no reason to be thinking down those lines. There are so many other things that may be happening to explain this away. Anything from a pinched nerve to an auti-immune disorder. So many things! Your putting the cart before the horse, and all that's going to do is cause you undue stress that you don't need right now. I'm glad to hear that you are on an antidepressant because that will help you through the stress, the depression alone helps to cause the pain to be worse. So farall you've had done is an x-ray, they really don't tell you very much, just that the actual spine is intact. It can't diagnose anything that involves the soft tissues. And believe it or not, it's well known that for many people the cause of back pain is never diagnosed. That doesn't mean that it isn't real or that you don't have to still address it, you would still have to have a pain management program that would include physical therapy and posiibly even med's to cut the pain. As to your home life, I just got lucky (I hate to put it that way) that my husband needed to have hip replacement surgery and his pain had been going on for over 20 something years. It was extremely just before he had his surgery. So he's able to understand what is happening to me. He also says that he just see it in my face and of course by how I walk, act, etc.. But other people who have never been there? Nope, they haven't a clue as to what I go through. Everyone here on this board does though and I wish that I had found it years ago! Come to us when you need a shoulder to cry on or even just to vent. BTW, you can send me a pm anytime and I will reply. I'm great at listening! Too bad about the sex thing though, that is the one thing that I can do without pain. The only one! I've always figured that it had to do with the Endorphins running amok in my body. I can be hurting, my husband will cuddle me, and then "boom" all gone. For th elongest time though my husband was afraid to even touch me, he was afraid to cause me pain or that he would break something. A to the disability, does the state where you live have "state disability"? I live in AZ and we don't. I got Social Security Disability. But in Calif. you call the unemployment office to get things rolling. Actually, when my husband had his surgery his doctors office took care of it for him. He works in Calif. about 5 months of the year so he qualifies for their benefits. I do know that it's paid from the unemployment office though. Try asking your doctors office staff first. You can't get temporary disabilty from the Fed. Gov. it doesn't exist. It starts getting very technical here, the fed. gov. does have SSD, which I'm on, but it's not considered temporary if you are going to miss work for at leat 12 straight months. Do you know what I mean? You can get SSD if you will be disabled for at least one year or more, but anything less and you won't get it. One year is not considered to be temporary. I would go for state first. It's much easier to get. I hope that I haven't confused you! Keep us updated as to what's going on. If you have any questions, please feel free to pm me. Take care of yourself and I'm wishing you the best of luck, Jewels
  • :H I'm Deb and new here too...wanted to say Hi and glad you found us. this is a good place with good people who understand our pain.

    I also had a 'litle anxiety problem' that flew out of control after a work injury, MVA, 2 resulting surgeries and chronic pain. I deveoped PTSD from the lawsuit involving the MVA. Long story short: I totally get the anxiety factor girl!!!

    In fact I was up most of last night worrying about my MRI results which are pending. I also have a new injury with resulting leg problems and I have lost weight too, have poor appetite, and also find myself thinking the worst.. :(

    but we must actively take a role in positive thoughts and affirmations, while also being an advocate for ourselves. Something I have to fight against is minimizing my symptoms ...blowing them off to 'anxiety' or 'my fibro'. :<

    Good for us for starting the investigation! But worrying serves no useful purpose other than dragging us down further, so we must work on ways to deter this. Maybe your meds need to be increased at this time???Can you talk to your doc about this? How are you sleeping??

    I Hope you can do some deep breathing exercises, find some relaxation tapes and quiet times, (whatever has helped your anxiety in the past...use it now) and help dear family understand Mama and wife 'don't feel good ' so give her a break. :)

    We care. let us know what you find out. PM me if you wish!


    Deb
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