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Please help me ...

chiefcchief Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Chronic Pain
I am a 35 yr. old mother of five. I have Ulcerative Colitis and Psoriasis. I have had back pain since my teens but within the last few years it has continually gotten worse, especially within the last 4-5 weeks. My low back/upper butt hurts all the time and can only sit if I roll to the side onto one cheek. The rest of my back and neck is stiff all the time, especially in the mornings to the point that I have great difficulty taking care of myself after I have a bowel movement. I have terrible joint pain throughout my entire body and shooting nerve pain everywhere including fingers and toes. I have aching pains that sporadically jump all over my body or can hurt for days on end in the same place. I have muscle cramps and weakness and permanent numbness in both big toes and in my left calf. It feels tingly in various parts of my body and also like things are crawling on my skin. I have lost bladder and bowel control a couple times. I have significant memory problems. Over the last several years I will very seldom (about twice a year) have this pulsing electric and debilitating pain that starts at my sacrum, goes up my back in into my brain. It feels as if someone hooked my lower back up to an electric pulse. It only lasts for 5-10 seconds or so but it is so painful I freeze and can’t move anything.
Last year and this year I had an MRI done on my lumbar and thoracic. It showed nothing significant beyond one disc degenerating but it still had good height. My primary sent me to a Neurosurgeon who diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. He spent all of three minutes with me and I don’t have the traditional trigger spots of fibromyalgia so I think he's wrong. I went to see a Rheumatologist that thinks it might be psoriatic arthritis. He did tests that showed severely low vitamin D and calcification in my sacroiliac joints. I have a bone scan scheduled for next week. The neurosurgeon put me on Lyrica which has only exaggerated the short term memory loss.
I am getting so bad so quickly that I am thinking of taking FMLA from work. Every day is a constant struggle and I am getting so frustrated. It’s getting almost impossible to care for my children after work. Has anyone lever had these symptoms before?


  • Hi and welcome, Is it posible maybe they need to test the disc you speak of to make sure its not leaking? You can have normal height but disc can still be leaking,
    It took them many years before they finaly did a discogram on me to test the disc at l4l5 and confirmed it was leaking.

    And my mri never showed anything, You might want to ask dr about a discogram to rule out disc leak. Good luck
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • PM sent. I agree you should check into the psoriatic arthitis. It is very painful and you have some pretty good symptoms for it.

    Have you been checked for MS as well? The rhumy should be able to test you if not have your pcp run the tests.

    Feel better,


  • Hi Chief,

    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. You have way too much going on right now. Perhaps you should see an orthopedic doctor as well. Have you had any lab work done or other diagnostic tests besides the MRI and fibro? I too have had ulcerative colitis but am in remisiion. I have also been diagnosed with fibro and have back/neck problems. You could also be dealing with an autoimmune disease as is sometimes the nature with colitis. I am hoping with more consultation you can find some answers and pain relief. It can wear a person down just caring for children when you are not doing so well. There are many super people on this forum. I am fairly new here and have found it to be a great help in understanding some of what I am going through.

    Best Regards,
  • HI Chief,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find some great articles written by doctors and peer reviewed. As far as your symptoms go, for the spine there is a map called the dermatone map that shows patterns of pain from different levels of the spine. For example of you have neck issues it will effect your arms, and lumbar issues will effect your legs.

    I think in your situation, what might be helpful is to keep a pain journal, as to what you were doing the kind of pain your having, burning, stinging, numbness, tingling and so forth, and the location. That might help you sort out the type of pain better and give the doctors more information as to what to look for. Your symptoms are so broad and all over, I am sure it is going to be hard for the doctors to sort them out. I keep a pain journal, as it helps, to keep my thoughts organized and to better explain the pain to my doctors. When the pain is so high, I just don't function so well, and well the memory kind of goes out the window.

    I realize it can feel hopeless sometimes getting a diagnoses, but hang in there and there are many here whom can relate. Just thought i would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Keep us posted as to what you find out.
  • Hi there and welcome. I'm about hour age as well and have a small child that truthfully I agree taking care of saps Anyones strength let alone what your dealing with . I don't have any answers for you beyond what others have said but I hope you keep coming back for support . Keep it positive if you can . Welcome
  • Hi there and welcome. I'm about hour age as well and have a small child that truthfully I agree taking care of saps Anyones strength let alone what your dealing with . I don't have any answers for you beyond what others have said but I hope you keep coming back for support . Keep it positive if you can . Welcome
  • I appreciate all your kind words. I've been doing a lot of research and thinking maybe I have both enteropathic and psoriatic arthritis from the the UC (which is controlled at the moment) and the psoriasis. I'm in better spirits today but my back is being a big jerk.

    Thanks to all!
  • I'm so sorry you are dealing with all of this. I was actually going to ask you if you had seen a rheumy, as a lot of your symptoms fit with ankylosing spondylitis, especially the back/neck stiffness. Do you know if they tested you for the HLA-B27 gene? I am actually in the midst of being evaluated for AS, as I have a lot of the symptoms. I was positive for the gene, among other things. I can totally relate to a lot of your symptoms, from the low back pain and sciatica to the joint pain to the stiffness etc. The fact that you have UC and psoriasis also points to the fact that you may have some type of spondyloarthritis, which is an inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine.

    I am a 29-yr old working mom of 3, so I can relate to your struggles of trying to take care of the children as well. I work 3 days a week, and being home with the kids during the week is not an easy task. It's to the point that I am no longer able to take them outside to play without my husband being there, which makes me feel like a terrible mother.

    In any case, I hope you are able to get some answers soon.
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