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Since 2004.. no diagnosis.. really?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Chronic Pain
Maybe I should have used my first post to introduce myself.. but I was totally excited when I stumbled upon this forum. My name is Dre, I live in south Riverside County in Southern California, I am a 32 year old male, I'm about 30-40 lbs overweight, mostly in my gut. I was otherwise fine until 2004. In 2004 I had just been promoted to marketing and sales after supervising a warehouse for 5 years. SERIOUS labor, lifting and working to the bone, I was always hurting myself.

Well, one day I was helping my brother in law move "his" chiropractor table .. well I was lifting it by myself when suddenly my lower right ribs literally disengaged from their home just below my right shoulder blade.. I fell to the ground and couldn't move or breath. My brother ran over, turned me over and "Smashed" them back into place, 3 of them.. OMG the pain was totally insane!! However it went away almost immediately.

Well.. later that day my wife and I decided to make a salad for dinner and we had some mushrooms in the fridge. For a week.. oops.. well I decided to try them anyways(DUMB) and after chewing on them for a sec and swallowing a bit I realized they were rotten and spit the rest out..

Later that night is when it all started..

I woke up uncontrollably and viciously vomiting and wretching, no joke! .. I couldn't move, I was shaking and rolling all over the floor.. after a while I was a little bit more alert and I forced myself to drink some water.. and by that time my wife and father had thrown me in the car to go to the ER. All I could think was.. MY LIVER

Well.. when I got there they gave me a shot of protonix and some kinda pain relieving coctail. EXCEPT!!! I noticed something different and strange!

I had this burning pain under my lower right ribs and it radiated towards my back and straight through to a spot below my shoulder blade, where the ribs dislodged. I felt sick and my upper right side of my abdomen by my stomach was sore.

I tried to explain this to the doctor but he said I needed to see my primary and he proceeded to inject more of the meds... I pleaded and begged for them to check it out and they finally took a CT scan of my abdomen and when he came back to talk to me, he said It was clear.. ??? Wow! I was in some serious pain!

So.. a day or two passed before I saw my primary..

He examined me. I told him that there is a RAW spot very sensitive to touch under my lower right ribs that I cannot touch, lay on or put any pressure on or I will scream or pass out cause of the pain.. Mind you this was January 2004.. If it is pressed while over the ribs it hurts, it's like the wall of my abdomen was raw and when it rubs on my ribs it hurts! my back was sore and numb where that spot was across from my liver..

So he ordered another CT scan, an MRI and several x-rays of my chest, spine and abdomen. He also ordered some blood tests and a urine test and kept insisting I go to the ER.. but they wouldn't even help me...

Results: CT scan.. 5mm spot on my liver otherwise OK
MRI - good
Blood - good
Urine - Slightly elevated enzymes..

well.. before I could do anything else.. I got fired!

Lost my job, insurance.. everything.. and was still in agonizing pain.

I lived with it for about a year before I got a new job and insurance.. I was eating over the counter drugs like candy! and they just didn't work.. I couldn't figure it out.. I tried everything.. cleanses, diets.. chiropractor visits.. massages.. herbs.. etc etc.

So when I told my new doctor about my problem he seemed pretty concerned.. at first... he ordered a CT scan, somehow that 5mm bump disapeared. so it was clear.. MRI's blood tests, urine tests.. all clear!

So he sent me to GI doctor thinking it could be my gall bladder.. the GI doctor said I needed an EGD since the location was right below the rib.. mind you I have a bit of a belly. Well it came back pretty clear except that I had what looked like PRE-BERRET type of condition starting up, but nothing yet.. my throat was a little red.. I did have heartburn all the time back then.. not anymore though.

a week later I started having a huge amounts of pain. One night it was so bad I couldn't lay down or I would puke and the burning ache was so unbearable. So my wife took me to the ER and again.. after all the scans.. NOTHING!

So when I went back to my doctor to tell him I was still in a ton of pain and went to the ER he literally threw his hands in the air and said there was nothing he could do and asked me see a psychologist because it might just be in my head.. because I had told him how my mom had just died because of bone and breast cancer and that maybe I was having sympathy pains.. However I had the pain before I even knew this, a whole year before actually. Meanwhile the sore area was growing.. and the pain had probably doubled in that year of waiting.

I didn't know what to do, he just gave up on me, wouldn't even give me anything for the pain! I felt like I was dying!

So to top this off. I hurt seriously hurt my back. I was working at a large retail store and one day I tried to lift a really large wooden box full of dirt.. and WHAM! my back cracked and I fell to the ground. I couldnt stand or move.. However I was outside in the back of the store where nobody could see me.. after a half hour or so of trying to stand I crawled around back to the receiving door and had them call a manager. They didn't know what to do so I ended up barely getting to the ER myself. I could put any pressure on my left leg or buttock, none.. So when i got to the ER I had to hold myself up with my arms in the chair for a half hour.. Turns out I had some movement of my lower spine and I couldnt walk for literally 3 weeks! I was out for 3 months. I limp to this very day.

I still had my side to worry about... I had to get help. So I had to move on and get a new doctor.. but.. before I did..

I went to ER once again.. I was in so much pain I was blacking out.. I would get all wound up and the lights would flash and bam.. I was out! I would snap out of it only to awake in pain again.. this time I went to Loma Linda.. they have everything.. well after sitting up all night in the ER after MRIs and CT scans... all they could say it that my bile ducts were slightly dialated.. and they sent me home.. in pain.. .

So I found a new doctor, internal medicine for almost 30 years.. He was amazed to see me limping in and laying down on his table in pain. So he did what any doctor would and ordered a whole new set of tests. this time my spine showed some signs of spondylithesis and he decided to order a HIDA scan for my side.. well the new GI surgeon decided it was slow .. about 34% and he thought the symptoms I was displaying were related to it.. I agreed.. I thought it was it! So I decided to have it removed.

When I woke up from the surgery I still had the pain but it was intensified by a 1,000,000!!! I was screaming in pain, it was like he had cut directly into it and missed it completely! (it's right in between the two scars below the ribs) I asked him to observe everything before he took it out since he would have a camera inside of me and he agreed.. I was in shock.. I felt so bad, so after 2 hours of morphine and anti vomiting drugs they released me and I went home.. in pain

I was devastated!! the pain was there.. still there! and now I was missing one of my organs.. my back was screwed up and I was so depressed.. and my new doctor was confused..

He sent my to a nuerosurgeon for my spine who of course thinks I should pin it together to avoid further failure..

So about the pain. He sent me to "Pain Management" they give me some relief. He wouldn't give me anything for the pain and wanted them to decide. They saw the MRI's and knew right away that I had some nerves in my mid back that were squished. Yay.. they think it may be why my side hurts
?? I have had 2 series of steroid injections and nerve blocks in my back inbetween my ribs to help relieve the pain in my side, but to little avail. The pills help a lot .. except I have to keep taking them to control it because the pain eats right the drugs within hours.

So to top it off, about 3 months into it I sniffed and my neck went completety out.. I got an MRI and it showed some stenosis, my spinal cord looked like a kidney bean instead of a circle.. between my c3 and c4 and I have a blown disc in the c5 c6 .. and some pinched nerves.. I am so messed up.. It's like I'm always walking on egg shells.

This was the last thing that happened.. meanwhile I cannot lay on my side, I cannot sleep well.. My mind is always on the pain.. always because it is so prevailant. It hurts when I have too much to eat, when I lift things for a long period of time, when I hold my pee, when I have to go #2.. I can feel the spot in the front, but it feels so deep.. straight through to my back below my shoulder blade.

My lower back and neck always go out.. I mean out too. when my neck goes.. I can't move my arms or breath.. my elbows and shoulders hurt I can't even lift or move my head. I'm almost completety blind in one eye and I sometimes forget I have a right side.. hhmmm.. all my pain seems to be there..

So now I am on norcos.. and I have tried every pain killer, nerve pain meds.. antidepresants (norepinephrine and serotonin blockers, they actually make me more stressed out like i'm going to blow through the roof.. I grind my teeth and I even ground one down a few millimeters) I am trying to take Lyrica at the moment.. but this pain persists.. even through the meds.. I need help.. I don't want to live my life like this, I'm young.. and nobody can help me.. It hurts "ALL" the time..

I currenty do HR work.. I smile and grin through the pain, however my boss knows, she's cool though.. and doesn't ever ask me to do anything strenuous. I walk through my painful limp so it's not so noticeable, but it is still embarrassing.. My wife and son are always worried and I am so completely stressed out. I am afraid I wont be able to much any longer, I can't stand too long, I can't sit in one place.. I can't lift anything, I can't bend down or climb.. and nobody is helping me. It's been 5 years. I need some relief quick.. If a normal healthy person suddenly took on my pain, they would be rushing to an ER.... please help


P.S. - I am sorry I am so dramatic, but I don't know any other way to express myself. it's been too long



  • Hello Dre,

    I just finished reading your post and will try to offer you some hope! ;) Number one, I applaud you for been such a persistent self-advocate for your healthcare! Being the one that is in all the pain, makes you the one most desperate for a proper diagnosis! trust me I know! I was misdiagnosed sooo many times from the age of 15 until the age of 24! I went for years without truly knowing the cause of my pain but knowing I had to figure it out and keep fighting until I found the right doctor with the right diagnosis! I was placed on sooo many medications that I would literally get high within minutes of taking all of them! It was a horrible sensation! I too had a doctor tell me it was all in my head! My own parents doubted me at one point! It was only because I did not give up that I eventually found my doctor. I know the pain can sometimes be so debilitating it's hard to go on...but u have to. Keep being a strong advocate for your care and don't be afraid to try roads you've tried before. I went to 3 different rheumatologists all who told me I tested negative for RA before I found one who confirmed my RA...also it would take so long before I got an appointment that i would be asymptomatic by the time i saw them! Also, stressing yourself will only cause more pain...I know it's hard not to feel so desperate and fed up but stress will only aggravate pain. I'll be praying for you to feel some relief soon and to find a proper diagnosis so you can start the proper treatment soon! Keep ur head up!
  • Hello everyone, I hope someone out there can give me some advise on my condition. I had my first herniated disc in April 1999. I had a microdisectomy by a neurosurgeon and the operation was a success and I lived pain free for 10 years. Now I have herniated another disc and I am in severe pain which is worst then it was ten years ago. I was wondering if I should have the same operation a 2nd time or should I just get the steroid shots. I am going to see a neurosurgeon this week and I pray to god he tells me some good news because the percocets are not going to work anymore and every morning when I get out of my bed I scream and cry. Does anyone have any advise, please, I can't even walk. Has anyone had a 2nd microdiscetomy operation?
  • I hope you can find a Dr to give you the right tests and meds for pain. Keep asking your Primary Dr for more ortho and NeuroSurgeon opinions. Also I got a 2nd opinion Pain Management Dr who helped me with more issues such as using a different steroid for epidurals as well as injections for facet joints. Good luck and keep looking for someone to help. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I would get a second opinion Debbie and try conservative treatments first. I have had a herniated disc for almost 15 months and had many injections and still have pain. But everyone is different. I know there are many here who've had to go for a 2nd microdisectomy weeks after the first failed. I think if you created a new post look in left hand column and more people will answer your post. Take care and good luck. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I was shocked when reading your story and all the horrible pain you experienced. Now that you're seeing a pain specialist, don't let them leave you in so much pain like that; no one should ever suffer like that even if a diagnosis isn't reached yet. Pain like that is impossible to fake and the doctors should know better. Do they have you on an extended release narcotic like morphine? It would help you when you take it with the Norco, a muscle relaxer, and nerve pain med like Lyrica. I'd stay away from NSAIDS because of your GI problems. A combination of these meds are effective in all aspects of back pain and I rely on them too so my pain can be managed. I am surprised you're able to work in your condition and I hope your doctors keep you comfortable and the pain under control. Chronic pain affects everyone along with the sufferer, and I'm glad your wife is supportive of you through this difficult journey. Take care of yourself and I hope things smooth out for you.
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