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Pitty Party #2

JulieAJJulieA Posts: 1,420
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
How much longer can I live like this?

I have a big sales meeting this Friday- I have been spreading the prep work out so I would be able to manage set up Thursday and the meeting and clean up on Friday.

Today my co-worker helped me load my mini van and tomorrow she is going to help me set up at the hotel (Thank goodness). Usually my manager comes up from out of state, but not this time. Even with her helping me I have been very close to level 8 pain since we started at 10 am.

I was actually crying about the meeting last night, I know how much pain I am going to be in and I am not looking forward to it. Panic is what I feel about it. I see the Pain Management Doctor tomorrow afternoon but I doubt any changes will be made (to meds) that will be effective in 24 hours or if I even want to risk it.

Today I was actually sent home from PT because I was in too much pain. I was hoping for a message and she was like do you want to work out? NO- I have been lifting box's all day I am in terrible pain.... She said maybe you should re-schedule when your feeling better (I was already on the books)... She is not the compassionate one (I see 2 PT people). Last time I was there the other gal was trying to have the talk with me (we don't know what we can do for you). I think they want to drop me.

I did finally get called back by an attorney yesterday or rather his assistant. She took down all my information asked loads of questions and then said for me to call back after I see my NS. He needs to tell me I was injured in the MVA otherwise their is no case... I wasn't told that by him. I was called by one of the billing offices that did my first injection after the accident and they said my health insurance wouldn't pay since my NS said this was the result of a MVA. So now I have to try to nail that down.

Yesterday was a super easy day. I spent my entire day in meetings. All I had to do was pay attention. One of the chefs also had back problems so we had to take a break every hour and I took my self to the sofa and layed down. It didn't make a bit of difference between my pain yesterday or today. I am hurting pretty badly no matter what I am doing. I wake up around level 5 and it quickly goes right up to 8 and just stays there.

I feel like I am stuck in a nightmare and I cant wake up. I feel like a big broken record. My daughter asks me what is wrong since my eyes are watering (holding back tears) and I say nothing- just my back hurts... Every day it's the same story.

Upper back pain spreads from my bra closure area in a circular map outward the epi center in the middle of my spine. Some times it goes numb or feels numb but under it still hurts like h3ll. Some times- maybe 50% of the time the pain wraps into my ribs in the front. It is hard to explain- but it feels hard to breath (even though it really isn't). I don't quite knnow what is going on? My hands are really bugging me with various places along my arms/forarms either burning or hurting. Sometimes holding the steering wheel feels odd/ my arms are really weak. Add in the tippy top of my shoulders (new) burning. My feet/legs are newer. Sharp pains going into my toes and arches with what feels like bands squeezing off the circulation around my calves and intermitten sciatic pain in either leg. The neck feels fine other than lots of cracking and popping and the lumbar feels good to.

I think I am going to change my middle name from Ann to Agony.

Sorry for the rant- I can't talk to my family and friends about this. I feel like there is no one to unload on. When anyone asks me " Hey Julie how's your back doing" I am so close to the edge that I just say "great". I am afraid to tell anyone the real story. #1 I am afraid I am going to loose my composure and #2 I am afraid I am going to scare away my friends/family.

Julie Agony- Spine Health Nut!


  • Julie there is nothing you could say that would scare me away! I'm here for you and I know lots of others are too. You are right..we understand.

    At least you are getting a few answers. Call the NS office and tell them you need something from him saying that he feels the injury is due to the accident. That should not be a big deal. Then the attorney can get moving. The PT may be a good sign also since if they feel they can't help it throws it back to the doctor.

    The good news is that in two days the big meeting will be over and the weekend will be here!!! Yeah Weekend!!!

  • I hear ya! This round-and-round life of chronic pain just stinks. It would be one thing to deal with if we were home with absolutely no obligations, but who has that?

    I am a stay at home mom, and while I don't have to "go to work" I still find myself most mornings dreading to get up to get the kids off to school, care for the dogs, blah, blah, blah.

    I think we all know what you mean about responding "just fine" when asked about our back problems. Who wants to hear us complain all the time? Even when my husband asks I usually give him a sugar-coated response, "I'm hurting, but I'll be OK", this way I'm not lying, but at least I feel like I'm not whining, know what I mean?

    Tomorrow morning I have my (almost) 1 year check-up for my ALIF, and to see about my train wreck of a neck and how its doing.

    As I'm sure you know, this is a safe place to vent your fears, frustrations, etc., we know what you are going through and can offer a shoulder to cry/vent on, or maybe some words of wisdom or comfort.

    Hoping better days are ahead for you,

  • Howdy Julie,

    Yeppers, this IS the place to let it out. We are here for you woman! "Fine!" Is what I say most times to people, or "same-o-same-o". Like you said, other people don't get it. Oh sure, sometime in their life they may have had the same level of pain, but that isn't remembered much because *IT* went away! I'm so sorry you are hurting so bad. I get more and more flares it seems, but yours seem to be almost daily.

    What is your NS saying about all the changes? Any game plan yet? Like Kris said, hopefully the paperwork portion with your lawyer will be fixed soon. Sending you positive energy to help calm some of your pain. Gentle *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks guys.

    I just got back from the PM interview. It went well. He looked at my MRI and was saying OMG what did you do? We went over it together. He showed me several things that were missed in the report. He thinks I would benefit from the very rare thoracic minimally invasive discectomy. He knows some one who does it and apparently this guys is considering moving up here or even coming up to work for some time. In the very worst I could go there. But first he says I need to see my NS and get his opinion.

    We are going to try another set of injections at the problem areas and see if we can get at least one to shrink then I might be a candidate for a pump or a scs but right now due to the distance between my big issues I am not.

    I am getting new meds filled. Enbrel? Oxycodone (I think) and Xanaflex. He will see me in a month to check the meds unless there is a problem and about 2 weeks for the injection. Transforminal something or other. Same one I had last time with no luck but it was the wrong level and I am in too much pain not to try it.

  • OK- I just picked up the meds. It is embeda not enbrel. I guess there is a big difference.

  • Julie,

    Looks like a game plan is starting to form! Good for you! I hope the new meds help as well. :) Please let us know how it goes - as I am guessing your going to see this thoracic specialist after your NS consult? Fingers crossed. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Brenda unless the geco is going to send me on an all expense paid trip to see a special surgeon I am not going to be able to go anywhere for a long time. I simply can not afford to see a specialist in the "lower 48" as we say up here.

    One of the reasons I am freaking out about going on disability is how do I wean my self off my paycheck? I need to work for at least 10 more years- get my daughter through college/married etc.

    Disabilty doesn't pay enough for us to live in this house. We would have to down size. I am all for it but hubby and daughter are still coming to terms with it. I have been thinking about it for months they have only had the last couple of weeks.

    It will be interesting to see what my NS has to say next week. The PM said I have zero reflex's in any of my limbs. He is concerned - he called me a triple crowner (neck/lumbar/thoracic).

    He says I am a very rare patient. He wants me to have a new mri (this one isn't clear since I was in so much pain I could be still) and he wants a CT scan - he thinks the NS will order them both.

    He was pretty cool about the medication. He told me I can take the bt meds all at once at night or throughout the day. He didn't make me turn in all my left over meds from before either. I could have stayed on what I have been using but I have been on it so long we decided it was time for a change.

    All in all a good experience.

  • What level is he talking about for the thoracic?
  • Sorry Julie,

    From reading your post, I thought this thoracic guy was a few towns away, oops! We all gotta do what we gotta do, and only you know what you can and can't do or afford. :)

    I'm just happy for you that you are at least getting answers now. I've never had a doctor take back my "left over meds", interesting. "Triple Crown", I like that descriptive! After I crashed and was hooked up with the Neurologist, he point blank told me I was a mess (no MRI's back then), and he wasn't sure if I could be fixed as my whole spine was involved. Fortunately for that time he got everything under control. Never was pain free, but he allowed me to function and continue in my career for almost 23 more years. Fingers crossed that you will find similar soon! Gentle *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • What happened with the attorney? All of this should be paid for by the car insurance. Plus you may be getting replacement for income from the car insurance. Right now I get $180 a week from disability. Then the car insurance policy pays be 80% of my salary (not taxable so they pay less than full amount) less the disability. So in total it is slightly less than 80% tax free.

    Now that you have a definate confirmation you need to get the insurance side straightened out.
  • How are you doing, after your big event yesterday? You have been on my mind!

    I was looking up the new medication you mentioned and it sounds like a good one. Is it providing you relief? I hope, I hope, I hope?

    Also was wondering if you are prescribed a good muscle relaxant?

    I can't remember if I told you this before, but in case I haven't... here goes!

    I use Lidoderm patches every day on my front ribs and they really help to numb up the fascia pain. For the inner rib pain, the pain meds and my Neurontin seem to help that pain the most. Ever since my fall, I have been battling the non-stop pain in both rib cages. When my rib cages are in a big flare-up, it really does hurt to breathe in. Sometimes the muscle relaxers will help this pain too, Julie.

    When it comes to the back pain, laying down is the only way I feel relief. I apply heat to the T6,T7,T8 areas. I also put a Lidoderm patch at the top of my lumbar area, close to my fusion site at T11, T12. Heat, laying down, elevating the legs and taking all prescribed meds with lots of deep breathing.

    I am anxious to hear how your appointment goes with the NS. I have my monthly PM appointment this Tuesday and I am going to ask about the "tippy top" shoulder pain. I have that too and usually rub ActivOn all around both of those shoulder bones.

    Hope you can relax this weekend and hope that your new pain med is helping!

    Take good care,

    Tammy >:D<
  • Thanks Tammy,

    My meeting went very well. Having my business partner available for labor made all the difference.

    I started the long acting pain med Embeda the night before so I took a does at 5 am. Then when I got onsite at the big hotel I took the zanaflex and the oxycodone. I think the meds helped tremendously. I then chugged a Sugar Free Rock Star so I wouldn't fall asleep and got busy.

    I used my last lidoderm patch a few weeks back. I need to get some more. I forgot to ask the PM doctor. I can call on and ask. My PCP has given them to me in the past. I use heat and ice and I have a HD tens unit.

    I was hurting pretty bad last night and ended up not sleeping (I am blaming it on the SF rock star). I am planning a nap later. No more big caffiene!

    I have some laundry to do, house work etc. I need to go and get some dog food some time today... Hubby is suppose to take my van for an oil change. I should have a pleasant day.

    Have a good day Tammy >:D<

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