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really bad night!

tammycttammyc Posts: 894
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Last night was horrible. It started late in the afternoon. I was on the computer looking for a picture that my daughter wanted to show her friend that was over.I started getting bad pain in my stomach like i've had many times before.I knew it was coming from my spine,the pain got worse and my ribs started hurting very badly, so bad that it was taking my breath away..The pain started to travel up toward my shoulderblades and down my spine into my low back and hips.I could feel the pain surrounding my rib area travelling to the front of my ribs. It was so bad that i couldn't stand up straight and i was leaning to my left side when i stood.I looked like a nut when i walked. I took some pain meds.that didn't seem to do anything then some nerve pain meds. i thought might help.They didn't seem to do much either.I finally took a muscle relaxant and i figured if that didn't help i'd go to the hospital. I don't think that it relaxed me that much but with everything i had in my system i passed out for a while. My poor husband didn't get any sleep because he said i was snoring very loud.I don't normally snore. I woke up this morning and the pain in my back was still there just at a lower level.Its still like that tonight. I"ve been taking pain meds all day long.I only have one muscle relaxant left so i have to call my doctors in the morning and see if i can get a refill on my perscription. Hopefully she'll do it ,if not i'll have to go to the walk in clinic and get more.Its pretty bad that i can't even go two weeks without a massage without my muscles getting so tight that it causes me so many pain problems.


  • during this period of time my stomach felt like it was swollen along with the pain.When i woke up in the middle of the night i realized that i had lost some control of my bladder and had to go and change. This isn't the first time thats happened there have been a few other times,but normally during the day i don't seem to have a problem.
  • Sorry to hear you had such a bad night. Have you considered seeking out evaluation from Internal Medicine instead of sticking with your GP, NS and the walk in clinic? Have you had any kind of studies done other than those related to your spine and bladder? Sorry if you have already listed this info before, but it seems to me that if you keep running into a brick wall with these guys, then maybe seeing someone in Internal Medicine for an in depth physical work up would be to your benefit.

    I hope you find some sort of relief soon.

  • No i never thought of that at all. Everyone that i've talked to has said that they think my problems stem from my thoracic spine area,which my doctor refuses to do any imaging of.Whenever i stress my back too much in that area then i get that really bad pain my stomach feels swollen and my bladder will hurt and sometimes i have accidents. In order to see an internest i'd have to get my doctor to refer to one and my relationship with her at the moment is very strained.
  • Well if your relationship with your GP is strained at the moment, what have you got to lose by asking for a referral to Internal Medicine? I know I'm not in your shoes, but if you feel like junk so much anymore and no one seems to really want to help, maybe they will be happy to "pass you off" to someone else in a manner of speaking.

    I think it is fairly crazy for a doc to make an assumption about your new problems being created by your spine, yet refuse to take a look to validate the "diagnosis".

    You've got so much going on, a fresh set of eyes from a different perspective, might be what is needed in order to pinpoint the problem.

    I know it's easy for us to blame a lot of our problems on our spines, however, we are just as prone to other physical maladies that may mimic complex problems of the spine. I hope that makes sense.

    Don't let these docs convince you to just give up or give in. Advocate for yourself and find out what in the world is really wrong!

  • I think that your absolutely right but right now i'm just so discouraged by all of it that i feel like i just need a break from all the medical crap going on. The people that really wanted to help me i've been pushed away from through the insurance co.I have my massages but they only last so long and there not really changing the problem. Maybe i just need a break.
  • I have some experience with gastrointestinal problems, and I wanted you to know that from what you described, this sounds like it could very well be something OTHER than your spine. There are many different gastro problems that will hurt in your back. Also, the pattern of going around your ribs definitely sounds more internal medicine related than to do with your spine. Not to discredit that you have t-spine stuff, but my opinion is that you likely have something separate going on. Is the pain on the left or the right side?

    I agree with C. Call for a referral to a gastroenterologist and have a workup done. The severity of pain you are describing is something that warrants further investigation. Remember that spine doctors don't often think outside the box. They treat the spines and when there is something else going on, they typically don't diagnose, or just send you back to your GP. Maybe it is time for you to change GPs and get that referral. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this were something simple that could be taken care of easily?

    Tammy, you know I have a neurogenic bladder, caused from spinal cord injury. Your intermittent periods of slight incontinence need to be investigated by a urologist. My spine doctor sent me for thorough workups because spine doctors aren't trained to help with those problems. Urologists have equipment to do testing to determine what is going on. It isn't pleasant, but they can test the pressures in the bladder, how the sphincter works or doesn't work, etc. They may start you with a medication to see if this problem can be taken care of. Do you have issues when you cough or sneeze, jog, turn over in bed, etc.? Often we women have problems where our bladder falls and a simple "lift" will get rid of incontinence problems. There are many things that can be done to help.

    Also, a tens unit possibly may help with the spasming. I use mine daily. It helps, but nothing is going to take the spasms away completely. Also, I have trigger point injections every 2 months in my neck and shoulder area. Has anyone recommended this?

    So to lay it out plainly, I would recommend

    1) Have a candid and assertive discussion with your GP. Find a new one if he/she won't work with you.
    2) See a urologist
    3) See a gastroenterologist.
    4) Ask your spine doctor for a tens unit.
    5) Ask your pain management doctor about trigger point injections.

    This post probably is a little over the top of giving medical advice here, and we aren't suppose to do this. Remember that I have no professional medical training. I am frustrated for you and feel like you need to be shown how to advocate for yourself. Don't let the doctors just sweep you under the rug, so to speak.

    I'll give you a recent example of how I should have been advocating for myself:
    I have a difficult time walking, dragging my left leg and foot substantially. There are other gait issues, but the dragging the foot is what is relevant here. I frequently trip over my toes. Well, I see three doctors. None mentioned that a brace would help me. My daughter recently had foot surgery and her surgeon, who knows nothing about my medical treatment, asked me some questions about the way I walk and suggested that I wear an AFO brace. He was like "Cindy, there are braces that could help you walk better." The next time I saw my doctor, I asked her about it. She immediately referred me to a prosthetist and I now have a custom made AFO brace which has dramatically improved the way I walk. Now all three of my doctors could have referred me for this brace, but it took me asking about it for that to be done. I had just accepted that there was nothing more to be done, because no one had suggested it. So I will reiterate, we have to be proactive in our care. Had my daughter's doctor not suggested this, had I not asked my doctor about it, I would not have the brace.

    Tammy, be assertive. If you ask for help and the doctor dismisses your question, be firm. Tell your doctor you want those referrals. Demand the referrals. Don't worry about what the doctor thinks of you--maybe he/she will be saying "Damn, it's about time you stood up for yourself! Way to go Tammy!"

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I agree with Cindy. We have to advocate for ourselves because no one else will do it for us. Tammy, do you have some one who you can take to see you PCP? Spouse or friend with a note book and a pen? Write down everything you want to discuss and ask your spouse/friend to help keep you on track at the appt.

    I would not hesistae to ask for your records if your PCP is still giving you trouble. You just call the office and tell the records department that you need copy of your file. Take the file to interview a few new PCP if you feel like you are a good fit, hand them the file.

    Good luck,

  • for your suggestions,i just don't feel like i have any fight left in me. I've had severe back pain for a few days now and my husband wanted to make an apt. to see my doctor but i told him that she won't help me anyways so why bother calling.I just don't feel like sitting there arguing with her anymore to try and get some help for myself.Its just gotten too much for me.
  • You could always hire Sara Palin to be your bull dog and take the fight for you :O) That was my weak attempt at humor :O)

    Seriously take your husband let him argue for you.


  • Thats pretty good! :D Na my husband wouldn't help me out that way.He's understanding as to what happened to me with the accident but he's no good at talking to doctors.I've tried taking him with me before for support and he just sits there and agrees with the doctors.He thinks that if they have the diploma they know whats best for you.
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