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Really Need Help!

rhikerrhike Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Lower Back Pain
I woke up on December 15th with TREMENDOUS debilitating back pain that shot down my legs. could not stand upright, bend over, pull up my own pants, put on my shoes, nothing, I was STUCK. Went to the ER and they told me that it was sciatica and started me on valium and vicodine (minimal doses really).

Called the doctor the next day as the pain was excruciating and I needed help. The meds worked, but only for a couple of hours and I had to wait at least 2 more hours for the vicodine and 4 more hours for the valium. She added Prednosone (a 12 day pack) to the med cocktail and doubled both the valium and the vicodine as needed and added Naproxem when the Prednosone was gone. I then had XRays done that showed absolutely nothing.

Wednesday before Christmas I had no relief from the pain without the meds and horrible pressure pain in my mid to lower back while on the pain meds or not, but no sharp shooting pains while on the narcotics. The meds bring my pain level from a 7 to a 4.

I can now move around and do basic tasks on my own but can only stand upright for short periods of time. When I stand too long (more than 3 minutes), my legs begin to shake, the pressure pain increases and I feel like I am going to lose my balance (even with the medications).

The Wednesday before Christmas, I had a doctor's appointment and went in without taking any meds so she could see exactly what was going on. I had the sharp shooting pain down my left leg while in her office and the pressure pain in my middle and lower back was intolerable. That was the last time I had the shooting pain in the leg. She ordered an MRI which I didn't get until the following Tuesday. Those results came back normal.

I am frustrated beyond belief. I still have the huge pressure pain in my middle to lower back and my left hip, but even without the meds first thing in the morning, I don't have the shooting electrical burning pain in my leg anymore. It has been 19 days now. I tried this morning to not take any pain meds and see if I could do it, but I only lasted 1 hour (I have tried this a few times and I can't go without the meds).

I see a new Doctor on Monday morning. (The last one was a nurse practioner and I am uncomfortable with her for various reasons one of which she has prescribed me 4000mg of acetaminaphine a day and I think that's WAY too much, when I asked her to change the Hydrocodone dose to 10/325 instead so that I was getting the same amount of vicodine but less acetaminaphine, she told me no, just cut out 2 of the pills a day, well that still makes 3000mg of acetaminaphine a day and I think that is still too much. I also asked her to try me with Lyrica since it is non-narcotic but works for nerve pain and I would prefer not to be "fuzzy" in my head and she said no again because my current pain management was working and she didn't want to mess with that).

Is there anyone out there with similar issues and/or is there a doctor out there who might want to give me some direction on where to go from here? I know it's only been 19 days and there are lots of people that go much longer than this, but I just can't take not being able to function normally anymore, it's making me crazy.

Thanks for ANY help anyone has to offer.

One other thing about my medical history, I do have Factor V Leiden as well (which makes the Naproxem a little scary for me), so i am not sure if a blood clot in the right spot would cause all of this or not, but I thought I would throw that out there in case it might be a factor.

PS. I had NO injury, lifting, twisting or anything that would explain this, I just woke up like this.


  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You've come to the right place for info. The forums have a lot of knowledgeable and supportive members, also.

    We don't have any medical doctors here that can give you any definitive diagnosis, but we can share our experiences and thoughts.

    I have lower back pain, bad pain in my hips, and shartp pains that shoots down both legs to my knees. My symptoms are due to facet joint inflamation and stenosis. My surgeon was able to see these problems on my MRI, but many times it takes different tests to find what's happening, especially if it's something having to do with facet joints and/or stenosis.

    My suggestion would be for you to find a fellowship-trained spine surgeon, either ortho or neuro, but someone who only works on spines. The ideal situation would be a spine clinic where you these type of surgeons as well as PTs and physio docs.

    Another thing to know is that if you have 10 doctors read one MRI, it's possible that you'll get 10 different readings. So, I'd take your current MRI to the surgeon you find.

    You say that it's "only been 19 days" but I understand how it can seem much longer with such severe pain. I hope you find the right doctor - many times, that's the key, is finding the right doctor for you, one you trust 100% and that you know is working to find the problem so that you can find a solution.

    Take care and please keep us posted.
  • Heres my problem. I can barely stand up without my walker. I have to use a walker to walk and i cant sleep in my bed because i cant get out.

    This happened like a month ago and all i did was lift something not heavy at all but got better and all the sudden horrible.

    I can barely lift my pants up unless its near my knees.
    I cant stand without holding something to support myself. The pain i feel is when i strain my back its like 10/10 that is a huge jolt to my lower back/tailbone area left and right side.

    unbearable. The pain will stop my breath and last for a few minutes than ache for awile.
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