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New Here

Hello everyone. My name is Wendy, I'm 29 years old and back on April 17th, 2010 I was rear ended while test driving a car. I've been dealing with chronic pain since then. My whole life has been flipped upside down. I've seen a chiropractor, orthopedists,surgeons,psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, neuro psychologist, pain management and a regular pcp. I've had 3 epidurals, been on a ton of different meds and been through rehab and cognitive rehab. I've had several doctors suggest several different surgeries. After all of this time, I've finally gotten through to my most recent orthopedist about the pain that I'm in. So tomorrow I'm meeting with pain management to schedule having a cervical facet block procedure done. Then after that, he said he can determine which surgery he wants to do on me. Either a ACDF or a disc replacement.

I really don't know everything that is wrong with me. I do know that it's all cervical issues. I know that I have a severed nerve and 3 slipped discs. I have so much paperwork from all of the doctors that I've been going to, that I don't even look at it anymore. I am going for a new x-ray in the next few days and then a new MRI once I get approved.

Tonight, I 'googled' "can't sleep because of pain" and I came across this forum/site. I'm hoping to get some useful info here and hopefully support as well. My husband doesn't understand what I am going through and neither do my children, which of course I don't expect them to. Right now I take Cymbalta- 120mg/tylenol 3/naproxen and nuvigil. I can't sleep at night and then during the day, I guess because I'm just so drained and exhausted, I finally pass out. That's why I'm on nuvigil. I had to move my mom in with me to help me with my 3 year old son, since I physically can't.

I'm sure once I start reading posts, most of you will have been dealing with issues longer than me. I don't really understand how people can cope with this. The medicine doesn't do anything for me. I'm always in pain, always. There's never a time when I'm not in pain. Well, except for when I'm drunk. About a year ago I turned to alcohol for relief. It was the only thing that helped. I started to get worried though because I drank every night. I had to stop. Now, I sit, miserable, every single day of my life. When I lay in bed at night I say over and over again, 'kill myself, kill myself.' I just don't know what to do anymore or know how to handle this anymore.


  • Welcome to the site. You are kinda spelling it out for yourself. New Xray, new MRI, new days coming. Sounds like you are seeing a few different docs, but if you dont feel comfortablable with them or dont like what they have to say then seek more opinions. That in itself is a HUGE step in the process. Then you & the doc come up with a plan and go from there.

    I really cannot imagine not finding this site. the depression that comes with pain and uncertainty can be so extreme. And I know that my problems pale in comparison to alot of stories I have read on this site. You can get through this. Just take it one step at a time. that is all any of us can do. And yes is is very hard for the people around us to understand what we go through. If you walked around with a butcher knife stickin out of your thigh everyone would be like OMG there is a butcher knife stickin out of your leg!!! How can you deal with that!!! You better get that fixed!!! But the internal, unseen pain is almost unrelatable to anyone who hasnt been through it. Many here would opt for that butcher knife insead of the chronic pain every day of the week. So yes this site is a great place for that type of support.

    If you cannot deal with what you are going through there is absolutley no shame in seeking mental help as well. If you need it, you need it. Bottom line. If your suicidal thoughts continue you MUST ask for help. Its no different than what you are dealing with physically. Something is wrong and therefore needs to be fixed.

    I hope this reply helps you even if it is just a tiny bit. I also know the feeling of waiting for someone to reply to your first post, to understand, to listen. If you stick with the site I guarantee you that will happen. Reading & commenting on others posts helps also.

    Good luck Wendy, post alot. All day if you have to. Sometimes just getting it out helps. You will get support here.
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • Welcome to this site Wendy, I am kinda like you, chronic pain, nerve pain, procedures that haven't worked and am a basket case. I think I have fallen through the cracks that the docs are just passing me off due to no insurance (have applied for disability and Medicaid, but in Ohio you have to be proven disabled to qualify for Medicaid) Filing due to the pain in neck (cervical stenousis, and upper thorasic area right side due to scoliosis) makes it almost impossible just to function in my own home. This pain and sleepless nights and worrying are leading to depression cause I can't do almost everything I love to do. Am being shuffled around right now between a spine doc and a neurosurgeon (don't know why I am even seeing him as surgery will b my last resort) The spine doc office screwed up my Lyrica order so I will not be receiving it until sometime next week, by then I will have been out for a couple of days. Since my "interventional " pain management doc "discharged me" due to nothing else we can do for you I no longer am on the backlofen (muscle spasms) so am basically back to where I was when I first began seeking treatment over 2 years ago. I just want to scream and cry but I know that won't accomplish anything. I know how you feel about paperwork, I have a ton and it is overwhelming. Now the neurosurgeon wants a new series of scoliosis films done and an EMG. And he deals mostly with brain surgery and neck, not thorasic problems, so should I continue to see him when I know that ultimately he won't be able to deal with my issues? Just had 2 MRI's done over the summer, I AM JUST FRUSTRATED!!! Thanks for listening/reading
    Scoliosis in t-3, t-4, and t-5, degenerative cervical/spine disease, and sensory poluneropathy
  • Hi everyone, I am also new. I posted earlier today my story. This forum is helpful thus far, reading other peoples' thoughts helps bring a tiny bit of solace during this very dark painful time. We rely on medical professionals who dismiss us because they "cannot do anything else to help." and expect us to just be okay with that. I was just commenting to a friend recently that you don't know how evil people are until you have an invisible 'disability'...I have a very hard time with opening doors, and it is so surprising how many people out and about don't hold door's open or notice struggling. Unless you have crutches or a visibly obvious problem, people are oblivious to it......
  • Wendy: hi and welcome here.

    Yes there's lots of info and posts of people's stories learn from here. Have you read the FAQ near to of page? Have you read the great articles in the 'Conditions' tab?

    A couple of general comments / suggestions.

    Pain. If your pain is neuropathic (nerve irritated, inflamed, squished, damaged), then there are other alternative medications to Cymbalta. Commonly used ones are gabapentin (Neurontin) and Pregabalin (Lyrica). Lyrica worked effectively on my pain. Note: There side effects for these medications. Lots of comments here if you want research, good and bad. What works for some doesn't for others. But then they find relief from something that didn't work for others. Go figure! We are all different. Anyway, bottom line, you should be able to get pain relief. Alcohol does it for you, so it is theoretically possible. Some people can't get relief because they can't or won't take the medicine or have issues with there PM doctor or their doc is not up to it or a dud. Why do you think the doctors haven't been able to provide adequate pain relief and find medicines that work for you?

    I note that some of the pain management articles are a decade old and out of date. This is a shame. So they are not really useful to provide links too. Sorry.

    Husband. As Ben said its difficult for other people to feel our pain. Read a great post here about a husband wanting his wife to understand. He got her to come to the doctors with him. He heard the discussions, saw the doctors responses and comments, and heard the doctor propose surgery. The penny finally dropped. Would your husband be capable of getting there for some of the really key consults? This may be a challenge if he has a large commute, etc, but it is very important to get him onboard as this can really strain a relationship. http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/chronic-pain/trying-make-my-wife-understand-pain

    Details: it would help us if you would tell us more detail about your pain and a summary of the technical info from MRI and or EMG. You mention that a nerve is severed, would you expand on this and also the slipped discs. Also what has been the surgical diagnoses, opinions and surgery recommendations?

    It's great that you mother is helping in this difficult time for you. I think that's very kind. It's not something that we hear happening very often often.

    There are lots of folks here that have had similar or exactly the same as you that can give you some first hand experience.

    Take care.
  • Hi, I am also new to the site. So sorry to hear about your injury. A few weeks ago, I sat in the hospital feeling sorry for myself recovering from Disc surgery. I found this site and thought to myself, I'm damn lucky not to have half the problems others are going through.

    I can only offer support to you. I can't imagine the pain and frustration you are expieriencing. It sounds to me that you need to find the right pain med to give you at least some temporary relief while the doctors figure out a plan for your wellness. I would press your doctor to change your medication regiman if you are constantly in pain. You need to rest and for your mental well being, you need someway to ease your pain.

    It concerns me when people feel they have no recourse in life and contemplate ending theirs to rid themselves of the pain. I think sometimes doctors do not understand the agony and uncertainty patients feel when faced with a cripiling injury such as yours. I hope you can find an answer to your pain and get back on the road to good health. If you need an ear, we're here to listen. Hang in there girl!
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