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My Struggle (Newbie)

MellissyMMellissy Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in New Member Introductions
I just found and joined this board a few hours ago, and have found it very informative and comforting. I knew there were others out there like me, and now I've found that. However, I'm still a little confused. I'm 26, and have been told by doctors that I shouldn't have all the problems that I do. But I have them. I wasn't injured, except for various falls which now injure me a lot more than they used to. And I've felt like this since I was 19. However, I wasn't diagnosed with degenerative disc disease until I was 22, but they still wouldn't help me—I didn't have insurance. Even after being on disability and having insurance and having an MRI done, the doctor lied to me about the severity of my condition and I didn't think to ask for the test results (but I do, now). He just made out like I was a hypochondriac or a junkie.
I dragged through the next year, limping, until the pain got so severe that I went to the ER. That's when he read the same MRI that the doctor a year before had read, and it showed then that I had a herniated disc. They put me on pain medicine and muscle relaxers and I went to physical therapy for a while (because I'm only able to receive 15 visits in a year).
I had a fall down the stairs two weeks ago, and even pain medicine doesn't help. I tried my doctor and the ER, but because I'm scheduled for epidural spinal injections at the pain clinic, they wouldn't help (the injections are for my lumbar but most of the pain was my neck, which caused headaches), so now I have to talk to them about what's going on.

PRIMARY: Cervical and Spinal Stenosis, Scoliosis, Arthritis (Spinal and joint related) and Fibromyalgia.
Several bulging discs, protrusions and bone spurs in regions C, T & L.
C3-C4: Herniated Disc
C5-C6: Herniated Disc
L3-L4: Herniated Disc
L4-L5: Disc Desiccation
L7-S1: Pseudarthrosis at the transverse elements (left side)
Besides that, I have depression, glaucoma/lattice degeneration/astigmatism/strabismus (walleyed), asthma, allergies, GERD, ADHD, OCD, and a deviated septum, which causes more problems with breathing.

I've had multiple tests done, including MRI’s and blood work.

Medications: Won't list all, just depression and pain medicine. Prozac (40mg-1/day), trazadone (50mg-1or2/day), flexeril (10mg-3/day) and hydrocodone (7.5-500mg, 2/day).

And how long have I been in pain? I'm 26, so 7 years, but in the past two years, it's increased and in the past three months, it's REALLY been bad.

My doctors: PCP, Spine & Pain Center, as well as eye doctor and allergist.

I'm glad I've found this site, because now it's gotten really bad. I can't walk that great, though I still refuse to use my cane unless absolutely needed, and my medicine hasn't been doing the trick, anymore. It used to help, but now it seems like it doesn't want to work, anymore.
However, I'm just glad that I found a place where people understand what I'm going through. If anyone has ideas/comments, then I'm up to hearing them. If not, then I'm just glad that I found a place where people understand my pain, and won't judge me on it :)



  • Hi Missy,

    I am glad you joined spine-health. I hope we can be a support to you. I know how it is with doctors dismissing us because of our age. It seems like you have some good doctors now! It takes a while to find them. Have you consulted with a surgeon? Is physical therapy helping you?
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • I've consulted with surgeons, but they don't want to do surgery yet "because of my age," so I'm going to try the epidural spinal injections this Thursday, and I'm set up for those a total of three times. And physical therapy actually does help me, for a while, because he tries to align my spine, and it actually works, but I'm only covered 15 visits per year :(

    I see by your post that your actually younger than me, but I'm glad I found someone around my age. Everyone thinks that because we're youmg, we shouldn't be in pain, so they put us off a whole lot longer. I don't know why they won't do surgery on me, because I have enough reasons for it, but I guess I'll probably have to wait, because it's up to them and not me. If I went a state over and was covered, they might do it, but I can't drive, so I'd have to work that out :)
  • Sorry you have back issues. The epidural injections really are worth trying. They help some people a great deal.
  • I've heard that they do help a lot. I've been told by many not to have them done (either their painful or the steroids can hurt me--which I've been on steroids before), but they were by people who didn't have back issues. I'm open to trying anything that could or will help me. I'm only worried about needles being in my back. I had a bad experience with a spinal tap about five years ago (I'd told him that I had scoliosis, but I guess he didn't believe me--he hit, and drew fluid, from the wrong place three times, and I was sick for two months, because of it), but as long as they sedate me, I think I'll be (and do) fine.

    However, I guess I will have to tell them that I fell down my stairs two weeks ago (my laundry room is in the basement). I told my doctor, who I usually don't see (he, in the past, just oversaw my case) that I'd fallen down the stairs, and his reply was, "oh...that's not good." That's all he said, and it pissed me off. Three days later, I still couldn't stand the pain, so I went to the ER and they said that since I was going to the pain clinic, that he wouldn't do anything for me. My neck is what's bothering me. I mean, yeah, my back flared up real bad and hasn't improved, but I can't stand headaches or my neck stiffening up and hurting, which the stiffening of it causes the headaches, and I've been nauseated from it. They didn't seem to believe me--I guess they thought I was just there for drugs :( which really upsets me. My medicine's not helping me as much as it used to, but I wanted them to do an MRI or SOMETHING to see that I didn't damage it any further. Instead, they just helped me with my nausea and sent me on my way.

    I've been getting even more depressed about all of this, as of late, and I'm really glad that I found this board. Now I can talk to others who understand what I'm going through, to keep me from going crazier ;)
  • I am so sorry to hear what a tough time you have had with all ur back problems. I have also had a really tough go of it until I finally started a PM clinic in August 2011 and I could not believe how differently they treated me.When my pain began I didn't have insurance, and was only seeing my primary dr. It gradually got worse over the next 3 years when finally I was approved for SSD due to another illness and I became eligible for Medicare and then my primary referred me to a neurologist. I then had to wait 2 months to get in to see him and on my 1st visit he ordered a MRI which I was more than glad to do because I wanted to know what the exact problem was. I had the MRI done and the results were a L3,L4,and L5 herniation with nerve damage to the L4 nerve root. I called the imaging center and had them fax me a copy of the MRI results so I could keep for my own records. So a few weeks pass and I go back to the neuro for my follow up after the MRI at which time he tells me that my MRI was good and that no problems were found which I knew was not true because I had the same report that he had. So at that time I pulled my copy out and asked how those results could be determined as good and he then told me that the best thing I could do if I was experiencing pain which he didn't know why I would be would be for me to swim daily for exercise. So I go back to my primary and give him my MRI results and tell him what the neuro said and he couldn't believe it. He was just as dumbfounded as I was as to why the neuro would do something like this. So in the end it was my primary that had to refer me to pain management which took 2 months to get into, but it was great. The dr I see now is so caring and understanding. My 1st visit she sat and listened to me for over an hour and she discussed her plan of action. I have had epidural steroid injections 3 times which didn't help at all and now we are doing nerve blocks which unfortunately aren't helping either. My dr said she is going to switch my meds when I go back in March because the Norco 10/325 I'm currently on 4 times a day just isn't touching the pain. I also take Mobic and use Lidocaine ointment and have a Tens Unit and have done PT. But I am hopeful that we can figure something out because I have one very determined dr that genuinely cares and wants to help. I'm sorry this was so long, but I just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone and I truly hope that you can find some relief from your pain very soon. No one should have to live with pain that keeps them from living their life. I will be 27 in March and I refuse to accept that my life is over because of this pain. Again, I wish you all the best and hope you find relief:)
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