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Please give me your opinion... do I have REASON to hurt?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in New Member Introductions
I'm a 50 year old female. I drove an 18 wheeler, and I fell from the top step. I could feel my heartbeat in my spine while lying on the ground. I managed to get up, and eat ibuprophen (sp) which did nothing. I didn't want to go to a doctor so my safety manager allowed me to continue working.
After about 3 weeks I wasn't getting better. I was getting worse. I couldn't sweep out a 53' trailer without getting a "catch" in my back that almost made me cry. I started having low back pain. My right leg went numb, if I stood for very long. My middle back would just feel like someone hit me with a rock after sitting, and I'd get a "catch" in my right hip so bad I'd be standing up while driving down the road. NOT SAFE. I finally requested I be allowed to go to a doctor at home.
My safety director sent me to a family doctor. She gave me zanaflex. I insisted she allow me to continue working. She did. Within about 3 weeks later I was finally taken off work and an MRI ordered. She only ordered the lower part of my spine even tho I told her I think I fell on my back and hit my hip as well. The MRI results are below.
Indiana workman's comp directs your medical care. I was approved for a pain clinic to begin steroid injections, but then that approval was taken back. They sent me to an orthopedic surgeon (in my small town we don't have orthos who practice neuro). He saw me for less than 10 minutes and without even telling me he released me to return to work with NO restrictions. My WC checks were stopped, and my boss put me on "laid off" status since he does know I would never tell him a lie about what I'm going through.
Here's what happens:
I can't walk from the front of Walmart ( for instance ) to the back because I get such pain in my back. It's like a "catch". Now BOTH legs go numb along with the area at the top of each leg. I've had HORRID muscle spasms that were so painful I couldn't stand up or walk hardly at all. My daughter came and took me to the hospital. Thank GOD the spasm in my back is gone unless I make a bed, sweep a floor, or try to do simple tasks that require bending or twisting.
Now my left hand is numb on the outside and in my little finger only. I'm not sure, if that's even related to my back injury.
One doctor told me she didn't understand why I had symptoms on my right side since the disc was protruding on the left side. How would I know either? I'm just saying what I feel.
To say I'm depressed is putting it mildly. I had a anxiety attack that made my heart rate go to 176 and my blood pressure went to 159/99 and was climbing. I thought I was having a heart attack so I went to the hospital. They gave me xanax which worked, but I had to lie down cos it made me feel horrible...
I now take zanaflex or skelaxin (neither helps), celexa and doxepin. I take the meds at night. I end up sleeping for 10-12 hours.
Anyone else have these kinds of symptoms? Can you give me an idea of what I need to do to get the docs to check my spine from the neck down and not just the bottom part?
The Indiana Workman's Comp board made an appointment with a Dr. No Name in Lexington, Ky ( 112 miles from here ), and he uses some sort of machine called The Hanoun Evaluation and Rehabilitation (ER) System. What IS that, and will it hurt?
Thanks for any help you can give me.



  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am very impressed by a woman truck driver!! go girl!!! <:P i am also saddened about your accident and subsequent pain problems. :''( i am sorry i am not familiar with your symptoms but i am sure someone will come along who is. we aren't allowed to talk about specific doctors on the site though.please have a look around and make yourself at home. :D it sounds like you do need to see a doctor who will listen to you. Jenny :)
  • I edited his name, Jenny. Thank you for your reply.
  • I can't say for sure as I am not a doc but I noticed that you have an annular tare. I have multiple tares and they will cause the type of pain that you speak of. As far as the catch in your back I also experience that, I call it locking up, and I am pretty sure that part of the problem comes from arthritis in my facet joints. Good luck and please keep us posted.
    Are you a solo driver? My sister and brother in law are team drivers and both have issues with their backs.
  • No, I drive solo. I don't see myself ever driving truck again. So far it's cost me 18 stitches in the back of my head, a right rotator cuff repair, and PTSD from seeing one of our mechanics die. He was 37. I gave him CPR.
    Now I've got a back injury to deal with, and I can't even manage to get Workmen's Comp to send me to a neurologist.

    How do you know I have an "annular tear"?

    ::::going to go look that up:::

    Thanks for your reply!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,844
    With Insurance regulations and restrictions, a doctor must have enough clinical information to warrant MRI's done of the different spinal area.
    A doctor is probably not going to request an MRI for the entire spine unless they had some solid rationale.

    What does you doctor recommend? and what type of treatment are you doing?
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I'm not doing any treatment. I tried PT, but the therapist took me off and suggested an MRI. I was seeing a family doctor that Worker's Comp told me to see.
    I was referred and approved for a pain clinic. I went to one visit, and I was scheduled to return for steroid injections, but the insurance company never approved it even tho they DID approve me to go to the pain clinic. Then the insurance adjuster sent me to an orthopedist. He saw me for less than 10 minutes and released me with no restrictions. He didn't tell me. It was THREE WEEKS later that I got a letter telling me WC was stopped, and I was released to work!
    I called his office and spoke with his office manager. I asked, "Is Dr. No Name good with being just as responsible as I am, if I get behind the wheel of a an 18 wheeler, my legs go numb (they do, if I sit or walk too long), and I can't stop the truck? He's OK with being held just as responsible as I am, if I hurt myself or someone else?
    Within a few minutes his office called and said they were now referring me to a neurosurgeon.
    The visit with the neurosurgeon was approved, but so far I've not been able to get an appointment. Now the Indiana WC Board is sending me to a doctor in Lexington because my attorney and I requested an independent medical exam.
    There's no way I can drive a truck, if I can't even walk a block without awful pain. My middle back hurts like liquid fire, if I sit up for any long periods of time. I can't stand and cook for 15 minutes without both legs going numb(in the front and also the area short shorts would be in front. I don't know how to explain without showing).
    So I'm stuck.
    I thought I was having a heart attack. My heart was racing, my chest hurt, I was light-headed. I went to the ER, and it was a panic attack.
    The only meds I'm on is a muscle relaxer (can't tell it helps), celexa, and doxepin. Those have helped me not be light-headed, and I now sleep better.
    I suppose I just want someone to tell me they believe I'm hurting. I feel like people look at back problems as if a person is seeking only pain meds. The spasms I have, pain meds at the ER didn't even TOUCH. Thank God, those are gone at this time.
    I'm just stuck. I can't risk hurting someone. I can't walk far. I can't sit long. I hurt to climb stairs. I can't sweep my kitchen floor without extreme pain. This all just sucks.
  • Said annular fissure. I thought that was the same as a tare but could be mistaken.
  • First of all, I'm new to your community, so bear with me while I learn the ropes.

    For the past 5 to 6 years I have experienced pain in my abdomen, left side and located at about the bottom of my rib cage. It started out as an occassional and tolerable pain, but enough of a pain that I went to my primary physician. After many tests including Xrays, MRI, CT Scan and even a colonoscopy no obvious source of the pain could be deterimed. I was referred to a rhumatologist who felt my pain is a result of spinal stenosis. As time marched by, the pain has become almost continual and is much more severe. At times the condition improves to a tolerable state, but all too soon, for no apparent reason, the severe pain returns. My new primary physician tells me that he believes the pain is caused by the stenosis and has prescribed a number of pain medications, none of which have reduced the pain to a tolerable level. I visited a chiropracter, who after reading the results of my CT scan and MRI agreed that steniosis could well be the cause of the pain. After some unsuccessful spinal decompression, he mentioned that I might be a candidate for epidural injections. So, on my next visit to my primary physician I'm going to ask for his opinion regarding Medial Branch Block and epidural injection procedures.

    The bottom line is that I have great pain in my abdomen that is a result of medial branch nerve problems associated with stenosis. In other words back pain that is not back pain. Anyone out there experienced a similar problem that was successfully treated by epidural injections? Anyone out there have other treatments that I should discuss with my physician?

    Thanks for listening,
  • I am pretty much in the same boat. And I know you can not drive your truck. I am 50 year woman and I worked for the high way dept. for 22 years. I flung 120lbs jack hammer, laid asphalt, formed and poured concrete, did snow removal what ever you can think of. I became a supervisor of highway maint. crew but still did the work. Now my back is messed up.The thought of getting in a truck hurts. I have annual tears, my spine rotates in the lower back, I have spurring, arthritis,bone and disc degenerative. You name it I have it. I tried the injections but they were a joke, that was through WC in 2004. When I injured again in 2008 I went to my DR. Because WC will shoot you up, drug you up and do what ever it takes to get you back on the job.

    I have not worked for a year now and nothing is getting better. Some days it is tolerable other days it gets so bad I feel like taking all of my meds and just going to sleep. Since it has been a year I have figured other ways to do my home chores but my Dr. said disability. I have received disability from the Co. and am receiving 70% of my pay since it was work related, but I am still fighting WC. in the end of it they will pay me back for my Dr, any and all testing, medications etc. I live in Mo. and the law in Mo is you can see what ever dr you want and they have to pay.

    FYI I found out from my DR that it is almost immposible to be in this much pain for that length of time with out being depressed. He started me on a couple of depression meds. I refused to serequil because it is extremely addictive. I trust my Dr. He very good. He had me do therapy for about a week and stopped it because the pain became more intense.
  • Hi there,

    I really hope things are improving for you.... I just wanted to share that like you my protrusions were on the left... but all my symptoms were on the right... go figure!! My other thought that from your MRI report, it used the classification of Mild, as opposed to moderate or severe. From my reading on this site and others, that seems to be a deciding factor in treatment options... but our bodies do change!! My MRI said my disc was bulging... but by the time they got to me that disc had an annular tear and was protruding (not good apparently??) so stick with it and deffo pursue all options available to you. Have you seen your Neurosurgeon yet??? Do keep us posted... Oh, I nearly forgot... you mentioned arm pain and finger issues... may need a cervical MRI, check with the doc!

    Good luck!
    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
  • Good for you getting the attorney! Ya... I fell off my truck twice, last time gave me the pain in the shorts too.
    Hope your case goes well!youll get that mri eventually, there is too much going on that they cant ignore! take care and good luck
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Waiting is the worst. I hope you find relief soon.
  • I have annular tears also, I keep forgetting to mention them when I post on the Board, but I didn't know they could cause pain either. I have herniated disk in L4-5 and a mild bulge in L3-4 with annular tears in both, it even mentioned a tilt to the right side in my report. But, I'm being told I should not be having this much pain.

    I know from being a legal secretary WC cases are a pain in the butt themselves, I didn't work WC cases, however, I am familiar with them being in the legal field. So I wish you the best and would tell you not to give up. I have a high pain tolerance also and when I have to squeeze a hand or raise a leg, I can do all those things, but that doesn't mean I am not hurting. I don't even have a reflex when they test my left knee - my problems are on the left side and they have to do the right knee several times before they get it to kick out. I've had PT and injections of all kinds and nothing has helped me.

    I use these gel col-packs that I buy from a pharmacy in a medical building and keep them in the freezer and put behind my left hip, it is the only relief I get.

    Hang in there, my cousin was a truck driver and had several surgeries on his back and they never helped him. But, everyone is different. My uncle drove a truck also, that is a tremendous responsibility and I admire any woman who can do that type of work, including the lady who worked as a supervisor for the highway department, that is hard work.

    I can see where it would certainly cause back pain, but to have a fall the way you did, I can't believe the way the system works. It's sad you have to fight so hard to have someone believe you and the right to get some relief for your pain.

    I understand the not being able to walk to the back of the Walmart store, boy do I get it!! Everytime I go, I dread it, but sometimes we have to get out! But, I can't wait to get out, I'm in such pain from walking.

    My best to both of you!
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