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Pitty Party

JulieAJJulieA Posts: 1,420
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Is this ever going to go away? I know that is a stupid question but this "flare" has lastes like 3 months and is getting worse and worse. I am really getting freaked out.

My arms are having very intense myelopathy for the last 4 weeks (24/7). It started out mild like rubber bands around my wrists but now it varies from burning hands to buring all the way down my arms,should, aches etc. It never goes away.

I am experiencing periodic radiculapathy in my feet/back of my legs (a few times a day). Some times I have full blown sciatic pain and some times just the pain in my toes/ arches/ heels/ back of legs etc. Some times it just feels tight.

I have pretty strange pain in my upper back that ranges from numbness/ stabing burning sreading from the size of a 6" dish to a full size shirt. I also get periodic rib pain on either side and periodic stomach pains- some times breathing feels bad.

I had a med refill last week and was told it was my last one. I am being refered to PM- very soon. I am actually relieved since I think the PM might actually run more test. I don't see my NS until the 14th of Oct but I am having the worst time trying to function than I have had since before my lumbar surgery.

I don't know how people manage like this. I have been taking more meds than usual and they aren't doing much. I feel like I have lost control of my life just trying to deel with "this" and I don't like it.

Thanks for listening to me during my "Pitty Party" :)



  • Hi Julie,

    I know how you feel, this chronic pain life is not for sissies!

    I've also hit a rough patch, which I know is normal,but I certainly don't like it. My cervical issues are amping up: now driving is causing lots of neck and shoulder pain. Where I live, most things take almost 30 minutes to get to and I have noticed I am becoming more isolated. Not good for the mental health at all!

    My husband basically "told" me to go to a meeting for dog fostering volunteers tonight: he sees that I need to get out and be with grown-ups.

    I wish there were great words of wisdom I could bestow upon you, however, I am at a loss. Some days I just do a better job at dealing with the pain/limitations, other days, not so much.

    I do know that this site helps me every day, whether I feel the camraderie and support from others, or feel like I have supported/helped another member.

    I think that the "loss of control" that we feel is very frustrating. It can be hard to plan things
    when you don't know day to day how you will be feeling. I hate to make plans/volunteer and then have to cancel because of a bad pain day.

    Hopefully I have helped in some small way, you are not alone.

    Wishing you better days to come,

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    From time to time, I think we all find a need to get into those parties.

    One thing I did read that I found alarming....
    A flare up lasting over 3 months. In my experiences, flare ups are temporary set backs that can last less than a week, but normally are under control after 3 or 4 weeks.

    When it goes beyond that point, it think you really need to consider if it is more than a flare up and perhaps a new problem, or extension of an existing one.

    I think considering the time you have been dealing with this 'flare', discussing it with your doctor(s) would be in order.
    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
  • dilauro said:
    From time to time, I think we all find a need to get into those parties.
    Replacing "parties" with the word "granny panties"?

    Sometimes we all need a good giggle, every now and then.

  • Please, feel free to vent as often as you need. Trying to get through the days and nights with thoracic pain is very challenging.

    Do you have the appointment set up with the PM doctor? I hope you have it scheduled real soon. My PM doctors have been such a blessing and they honestly do their best to keep my pain to as tolerable a level as possible. There are many medications they may try you on, possible PT routines or aqua therapy, self-help measures to use at home and the list goes on.

    I have had flares last months on end and Julie, it is miserable. One thing I can honestly tell you is that you will experience a good day or two, which breaks up the cycle.

    Are you using heat for your back? Lidoderm patches on your ribs? Those Lidoderm patches on the front ribs seem to help me breathe better and they do numb the fascia pain. ThermaCare has several heating patches which I use all over. Mike will tape them to my thoracic area with a gauze pad between my skin and the ThermaCare heating patch. They have one which goes along your trapezius area and it helps calm those knots in that area.

    The worst thing for a person with raging thoracic pain to do is to toss your cookies. It takes forever to calm the nerves and muscle spasms. Should you ever feel overly nauseated, please call your doctor for an anti-nausea medication to take.

    Until you see the PM doctor, try your best to lay low and take the meds you currently have prescribed to take.

    Once again, I am also relieved for you... in that I feel a PM doctor will be able to help you. They are wonderful doctors!

    Wishing you less pain,


  • Thanks peoples.

    I actually talked to the PM clinic yesterday and they had the referal in hand. She called me back at 4pm but I was on the other line. When I returned her call at 4:04 they were closed.

    Ron- I am concerned that things have progressed and I am scared about the future. I don't know what will happen. My PT people think I am unstable and didn't know what to do with me. They called Friday and the 2nd brace ordered had come in. I have to go try it on ad get back on the books.

    The worst is I had the "talk" with my husband Friday/Saturday and let him know what was going on. He doesn't do well with my back issues. Now he's not really talking to me at all. He just said "we are screwed".... Made me feel like a million dollars if you know what I mean.

    I need my salary, I can't imagine living disabilty (it is not enough). Then I have this MVA to factor in and I just get so stressed out. I don't know how people do it. It seems so overwhelming.

  • Julie,

    The one thing I can tell you is you are not alone. I have to agree with Ron, three months is a bit long for a flare-up. I did that whole thing for about 4 months and unfortunately it was another herniation. So hopefully that is not the case for you. Your job I know is and can be very physical at times, so I am sure not getting a good break from it doesn't help at all. As far as the job one thing your husband needs to understand is if you don't have your health all the rest of it is a mute point. I mean if you never feel good enough to enjoy the fruits of your labor, then they don't really serve any purpose.

    Hopefully this new brace will provide you some relief and can get you over the hurdle or the pm doctor has some answers for you. I do know one thing it does help to vent though, just to get it off your chest. The one thing you know is we all understand.

    Hopefully show season will end for you soon and you won't have the added burden of those going on, as some of those concrete floors are just brutal to stand on. If it is any consolations I gave you tons of credit with trying to hang in their and do the job. In the long run if the job doesn't work out, you know you did your very best and tried your hardest and it just wasn't in the cards. Although I also realize it is one hard pill to swallow. But hopefully the new doctors and the brace will provide you some relief. Fingers crossed for you.
  • The best advice I can really give you, is to just take it one day at a time. And when you are battling a fierce thoracic moment, it comes down to taking it minutes at a time.

    Once you get in to see your PM doctor, I hope and pray they will be able to give you a thorough exam and start you with a treatment plan. Sometimes it is trial and error with the treatment plans, but these doctors work with you. They listen. They don't just brush you off. They want to help and get you in the best condition possible.

    I had a huge let down two weeks ago with one of my Physical Therapists. She was the one who has been working on my "waist down" issues since April. She told me she enjoyed challenges and promised to not "give up" on me. Well, although I was getting straight "A's" on all of my home exercises, improving my gait and posture, in addition to my flexibility... she flunked me. From the time she started seeing me, she had to do assessment tests at each visit. From April to now... I have flunked the assessment tests, as there has been no improvement according to those particular tests. I was fuming mad, extremely dissapointed because I have seen a lot of improvement with myself and felt like she actually did "give up" on me. I had an appointment the following day with my primary PM doctor. I explained how I "failed" the assessment tests and at this particular point in time, there is nothing else this Physical Therapist can do for me. I do NOT do well with failing... I am an achiever and probably an over-achiever. I expressed that this was very devastating to me and I wasn't about to give up on treating my lower extremity problems. My PM doctor agreed, she grabbed her prescription pad and wrote me a prescription for aqua therapy at their other out-patient facility through the hospital and also gentle massage for my thoracic area.

    I understand about being scared about the future, but I do my best to focus on "the now". I have been told numerous times that my back is now that of an 85 year old person and I don't need to hear that any more. I still have stamina in me and the extreme desire to improve my condition the best that I can. My muscles are the vital part of my recovery right now. Some are not firing properly and some are still asleep. I will NOT give up and will continue with my daily exercises and stretches... and one way or another, I plan to wake up those muscles that are still asleep.

    I takes a lot of support to get you through this. I have a wonderful Psychiatrist, supportive friends and family. My husband is not of this world... lol. He saved my life and is the best caretaker a person could ever dream of. I wish everyone had a caretaker like him.

    If you aren't getting the proper support and encouragement you need at home, seek out professional counselors, clergy, etc. There are people out there who will help you. And, you have a full support group here at Spine-Health who are always ready to help or just plain listen to whatever complaint or frustration you are dealing with.

    Be good to yourself, take deep breaths and try not to stress over certain things you have absolutely no control over.

  • Thanks TamTam,

    I now have an appt on Oct 7th with the PM and Oct 14th with the NS. I just don't want to feel drugged, but at this point some kind of relief would be nice.

  • Dont be so hard on yourself.
    Myself and a lot of people here have had our own pity parties at one time or another.
    We are all human, and pain is not natural, so it's just a way to release frustration.

    Vent any time you feel the need and someone is always here to listen and comfort.
    But you have been here a long time and i'm sure you have been on the listening end before.
    Good luck with your new doctor.
  • Julie,

    First off, Gentle ****HUGZ**** to you woman! I am so sorry this is going on. I've been watching and sometimes posting in your threads as this has been building up. Pity party? Please, we all have them, so please do invite us to yours, as you have been to OURS for sure!

    Thoracic pain sucks, no way around it. You have to breathe, your torso moves whether we want it to or not, even turning our heads move that torso ever so much, so we can't find a comfy spot most times, and too most times the dang crap wraps around that torso. I'm with Ron, when I've had sudden pain that is above what I normally have, I only give it a few days before I seek answers - unless of course I overdid..well, you know that story - we all have em!

    From your posts of late, this came on slowly but steadily, and therefore really isn't sounding like a flare at all. See if that brace helps, but at the same time be real detailed in your description to your Neuro or PM the progression this "flare" has taken. I sure hope it is just a flare, I really do, but put in your mind that more eyes might be needed to be sure nothing else is going on. We are here for ya Julie, as always!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I want to join! .... I guess my invatation got lost in the mail.

    Trust me i qualify ... But I can't type enough now to explain.

    Film at 11:00

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • LOL cmon in - doors always open.
  • Thanks for the laughs and the uderstanding. I will be passing out party hats and beverages at 10 PST LOL.

    I HATE feeling so helpless and depressed. I am one of those "glass is half full" people by nature so this is been a hard pill to swallow.

    I was going to stop and get my brace today but after dropping off some samples, picking up some product at a distributor and picking up a 20# bag of dog food it was all I could do to get home and lay down- meds at 2 pm today.

    Once my meds kick in I will get back to work- party planning lol. I guess this is my lunch break?


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