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new member but have been here since my accident

medanommedano Posts: 20
edited 06/19/2014 - 3:52 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
I appoligize in advance for the wall of text.
6/18/13 I had a spring come loose on a 16'x16' garage door as I was walking through and it came down on my head ,driving me into the ground. I remember little of the accident or the rest of the day.
I had a football shaped mass of pain from the base of my neck to the bottom of my shoulder blades. Horrid pain was also radiating down my right arm and following around my bottom rib on the right side.
After 10 months of ,all i can call it, torure. Trying physical therapy and steroid injections. I had the disc replaced at c7 giving me much needed relief in my arm.
I am stuck,while my arm and neck feel much better , I still have severe ache and burning at t5 and t8 with sharp pain radiating around my rib from back to front.
I had an MRI 2 weeks ago and received a letter from the Dr yesterday saying all is well besides some degenerative disc In my thoracic spine blah, blah blah.
I have numbness on my back,chest, chin and legs. Pins and needles in my feet and my toes feel like they are cramped when they aren't.I had to start using a cane as I am unsteady on my feet and fall so often my wife threatened to leave me if I didn't use it.
I am truly sorry about the whine.I used to think i was a man and as a carpenter, i knew what back pain was.Sitting ,standing ,walking and even loading the dishwasher has become almost intolerable. I take a narcotic pain pill and a muscle relaxant.
I need to know, can I get better? I have read so many discouraging things tonight. Might be the lack of sleep and the pain combined but I am scared. Sorry and thanks for being here.


  • I found out the hard way that there is another person with the same birthday ,last and first name as me with different middle names. The surgeons office has been sending out the wrong records to everyone including my physical therapist. After almost a year I got my MRI report. I have ruptured discs at t5-6, t7-8 and L1 all from my accident. The report comes with a hand written note from the Dr letting me know that it explains my symptoms. I also had a ruptured disc replaced 3 months ago at c7.
    I have a lot of pain, numbness in my upper body, pins /needles in my legs which also do not work very well.
    I have spent many hours searching out information on tspine injuries here and other sites . I saw 1 of the moderators has problems with his and sorry to say, I got excited. I feel so alone in this and can't seem to find meaningful information on it.
    Would someone be willing to message or post on how they deal with it. I can't sit ,stand,walk or lay down for any length of time. The only thing that helps is ice, for hours. It doesn't stop the pain , it changes the way it hurts after it gets cold enough.
    I am not looking to whine, I just don't know what to do.I have never been up against an injury that when I push, it pushes back. Thank you guys for being here!
  • It impacts my cord rather drastically. It was a crushing motion that effected my whole back and neck in many ways, causing all the disc injuries at 1 time. I have attournies working on their stuff as I too got backed into a corner. I'm just trying to figure out how to live with this while drs figure out what to do next. Thanks for responding!
  • I have spent a long time searching and I don't know how I missed this 1 . thank you guys for http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/upper-back-pain-thoracic/thoracic-pain-sufferers .
  • I see the surgeon tomorrow . I have so much anxiety about this guy and his office. From the other patient with the same name and birthday to the doctor that is so busy he only hears half a conversation.
    I received a concussion in my accident that left me with symptoms of a mtbi. A loud ringing in my ears and migraines. I thought I knew what a headache was( I'm so sorry to those "whiners" I sat in judgement of), trouble comprehending what I'm reading or writing and it only gets worse with stress as I find it difficult to think clearly to communicate. I am thankful for autocorrect.
    I am finally getting the doctors to hear me but it took seeing a psychologist and having my 80yro dad go wiworse. Somewhere I lost my credibility, got discounted and treated as less than human.
    I had another argument with my wife yesterday with the typical theme: if I wanted to get better,I would. I have an excuse for everything and a victim mentality. The pain can't be that bad.
    I don't know what to do. I've tried writing it down and found I couldn't make sense of it when I needed to. I don't know how I could be a year into this and not be better. I have had shoulder surgery, I was able to push and made almost a full recovery. I push by trying to walk further, stretch more or twisting and it pushes back.
    My back aches from the base of my neck down to my hips. It is really intense between my shoulder blades. It goes down my right arm around my bottom bright rib. I am on ice 16 or more hours a day as it doesn't stop the hurt but it changes it when it gets cold enough. I can't be up more than an hour at a time sitting or standing. Being slightly inclined seems to be the only to be the only position that doesn't make it worse. I just don't know what to do or where to turn.
  • Overworked doctors can be dangerous!
    At least you can now be reassured that no effort will be spared to ensure your treatment from now on will be carried out with all care and attention. The potential law suit will see to that.
    Loss of function such as leg weakness or bowel/bladder incontinence, rather than pain, will probably be the determining factor when considering surgery. Hopefully conservative treatment over time will do the trick. Otherwise the surgery can be big and brutal, but was highly effective, in my case. I'm glad I had it but equally glad I am not going to go through it again!

    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
  • I went to see the surgeon and took a therapy session to help me process what was said. He kept saying he didn't know me and at 1 point accused me of faking.Said that he didn't think anything but therapy would have a chance at fixing me. My wife and I were fighting like cats and dogs afterwards. Her saying that he was the professional and she had to believe him. That ruptured thoracic discs do not cause problems.

    I struggled with calling the therapist my vocational counselor suggested. I thought if I was really that brand of crazy , there was no hope for me. I am thankful my wife cared enough to see her with me, she helped us see that he was at the end of his medicine. She asked my wife about the man I was before my accident. She asked her to trust her eyes and helped see that it's not my fault I'm not better. I think after that appointment ,it was the lowest feeling of my life , I came so close to ending this nightmare.

    I don't get it,I had a bulging disc at c6-7 with nerve root impingement that caused my arm to hurt and they ,thankfully, replaced it giving me some much needed relief. A ruptured disc with nerve root impingement in my thoracic spine and "those, typically ,don't cause pain. I just know it didn't hurt before the accident.

    My mid back hurts in a deep ,constant, mind numbing ache. The pain radiates around my bottom right rib, the inside of my arms ache , pins and needles in my lower legs, toes feel like they are cramped when they aren't. My legs do not work very good at times, I am 47 years old and am scared to walk alone as I can fall so fast that I'm not sure what happens. Activity ( standing, sitting, walking) more than 2hours makes the pain unbearable. Even lying flat hurts.

    Its funny, I used to be a man,a carpenter, had a good life with many plans and always on the go. Now I'm a shadow, at home on ice all day long ,every day as it doesn't stop the hurt but changes it when it gets cold enough. I've got a Dr this morning and I hope????? I now know what it's like to grovel. I don't know how or when ,but I lost my credibility and also been accused of drug seeking (that's why 1 Dr prescribing and 1pharmacy filling are important) leaving me guilty and having to prove my innocence. I don't know if there's a way out from here. Thanks for the site and the vent!!
  • If I were you, I would find the biggest hospital near my home and then take a look at their physicians on the website and start looking for a thoracic surgeon who treats spine conditions. Even spine surgeons and doctors have their limits to their experiences and knowledge levels about various spine conditions.
    Thoracic surgery is a specialty all it's own and it would be to your advantage to find an experienced thoracic surgeon who can help you.
  • medanommedano Posts: 20
    edited 08/08/2014 - 5:45 PM
    I used spine-health Dr search and got 2 responses. One is 600miles away and the other is 900 miles. My physical therapist suggested 1 that is 100 miles away in a relatively large city. My wife and I are going to sit down this weekend and choose one. Then I already scheduled an appointment with my gp Wednesday for a referral.

    In my world today, nobody believes me.I did cope better 6 months ago but the Pain, at best is a 6. They don't believe that the pain is really that bad, they assume that its really a 3 but I exaggerate it. It limits my activity, chains me to to an ice bag. I am a carpenter, I made my living with my back. I've had thumbnail ripped off , I broke my big toe, I broke my arm, I've had aches and pains even sciatica pain down my leg from a low back injury but nothing like this,nothing to compare this to.

    I'm going to gamble and pick the best I can because this is it. I'm not telling anyone because they force their morality on me . They think my thinking is off or that I sit around and think about my pain all day or I need meds or hospitalization, but its the dark truth of chronic pain. I had no idea this world existed, that I could be so uncomfortable in my own skin. That I could hurt this bad or this long with no relief. That I would be unable to communicate in a way that people understand. The terms of this reality is not 1 that I am able live with and that has to be OK. I am at the limits of what I am able to cope with and there's nothing I can do. If I hurt more or hurt myself again there's nothing I can do,no one to hear . Sad part is I did everything right and still got labled a drug seeker. Enough! Sorry
  • 2 weeks ago my GP started me on gabapentin. 300mg x3 daily. It relieved the diaphragm spasm and now feels like a tight band around my midsection. Last week he and I decided to go up in mg. I am now taking 900 mg 3x daily. It has relieved 50% of the nerve pain in my body but has done nothing for the ache between my shoulder blades( which I'm desperately seeking relief from). My legs are incredibly weak now and I have difficulty walking any distance.Its the combined drugs vybriid 40mg x1 day, 20mg oxycodone every 5 hrs , methocarbam 750mg x4 times day, marinol 10mg x3 daily and now the gabapentin that gives me any relief.

    My moods are really unstable now, I'm just trying to keep my mouth shut and not drag my family into it again. I am trying to make it til I see my GP again Wednesday and hopefully we can come up with a way to stabilize me. I see my counselor again today at 11 and I can't be honest totally honest with her. I would go to the nut ward in a minute if I thought they would help with the pain. If I show I'm upset ,or any sign of frustration I get discounted as "oh,he's got anxiety". I can't get them to hear that it $#$%&$ hurts!!! I had no idea, I am still in shock about how fast I lost my credibility. People that have never experienced chronic pain don't believe it can really be like that.

    To leave on a funny note. My wife got a tooth ache 4 days ago and had to wait til today to see the dentist. The whole time she has been moping around crying and being grumpy. It was an odd way to get a little understanding between us.
  • medanommedano Posts: 20
    edited 08/11/2014 - 12:19 PM
    I had physical therapy today. We tried heat a couple times but I was in so much pain it was hard to tell if it helped so we have been using ice with the stim. Last week we tried putting 2 pads above and below with it kind of massaging all 4 at 1 time. The gabapentin help with my arms and legs so we thought we would try heat and stim again. It wasn't to bad while it was on but when it shut off the pain escalated to a point I couldn't think straight.he had me lay on my stomach and he pushed on my back ,causing it to flex up and down a bit. It seemed to stop the pain from escalating any further. I had an ice pack in my truck so I told my therapist I needed ice and a lot of it. I barely made it to my truck, laid the seat back and put the ice on my skin, then laid there and cried for I don't know how long. I called my brother and son to come drive me home.

    I have been on ice packs for 6hours and can't get much relief. I am a 47 year old man and brought to tears with pain. Over the years i broke my arm, built a custom home with a broken big toe, had a thumbnail ripped off, had my shoulder dislocated requiring rotator cuff surgery but nothing brought me to my knees like this.

    I got a response from 1 of the spine health recommended drs. Their website said thoracic spine specialist but they only do injections. Maybe more luck with the next 1.
  • I hope that you can find someone who specializes in the thoracic spine and get some answers or direction in which to go in ........anything is better than nothing.
  • So, my medication. I just have a story,its not good or bad its just the truth of what happened and I am not promoting anything. Since this started I have barely been able to manage the pain. Before surgery, I wanted to cut my right arm off , it hurt so bad. At 1 point I was taking 100mg morphine and it wouldn't touch it. My Dr as a last and I mean LAST RESORT suggested I try medical cannibus. I won't get into the moral issues as I am a father of 5boys and am well aware of them , struggled hard with it and did I mention last resort? I went from 100mg morphine and no pain relief to 10mg oxycodone and just a little cannibus, It took that horrid pain and turned it into pressure. When it hurts bad enough ,desperate measures thing ,you get the point.

    So rocket through today, my story hasn't changed football shaped mass of pain, from the base of my neck to the bottom of my shoulder blades, it went down my arm and around my bottom right rib. I had surgery and my arm is down to an ache, still have a hugely deep ache between my shoulder blades and a sharp pain around my rib. Now its made up pain from drug use( wink,wink) so like many others on this website,to prove my credibility ,I am zeroed out. 900 mg gabapentin x3 a day , 750mg methocarbam and I want to slam my head in the door it hurts so bad.

    Maybe its my "addiction" wanting drugs or they could $%#@@#$%& listen to me. I really don't know how much further I can go. Its 6:30 am and my GP ( whom I love) just called me worried. I might have hope, GOING TO GET A REFERRAL TO A SPECIALIST IN A BIG CITY who claims to work on thoracic dysfunction and oh yeah I got to get my heart checked out.

    Thanks for an outlet,I'm so sorry to the others that are going through this ,as I had no idea this world existed!
  • medanommedano Posts: 20
    edited 08/29/2014 - 6:22 AM
    Been awhile since I've posted so I thought I'd update. 3 weeks ago today I found myself on large doses of 3 different antidepressants to try to help with nerve pain I shouldn't have. I went down the rabbit whole and almost killed myself. I went through a fast detox of all of them and find myself angry this morning that I didn't do it.

    Being trapped with this pain and waiting for an approval to see a specialist who may or may not be able to help is very disscouraging. I am at a loss, lack clear direction to find help and stuck with the surgeons words ringing in my ears "if I knew you I'd believe you but because I don't know you I don't believe you."

    This morning legs are heavy and I find it difficult to walk a straight line. I feel like I have worms crawling around under the skin in my lower legs ,the bottom of my right foot burns and my toes feel cramped when the obviously aren't. I got to go in now and pretend I'm OK .
  • I'm sorry that the surgeon spoke to you that way. I would file a complaint with the medical board for his area.
    As far as the depression goes, I am not sure why any doctor had you on three different antidepressants, but they can worsen depresssion in some people.
    Have you considered seeing a therapist, someone who can support you in real life while you get this medical situation addressed?
    If you are feeling suicidal, please get help.

    While we at - Health are concerned about our members, we are not equipped to provide intervention or assistance to someone who is suicidal. We strongly encourage those who are feeling or expressing feelings of suicidal ideation to seek the proper support and help in real life. The numbers below are for your convenience.
    Suicide Help Resources
    Suicide Help Resources
    Suicide Hotline Numbers
    USA: 1-800-784-2433
    UK : 08457 90 90 90
    ROI: 1850 60 90 90
    Suicide Hotline Numbers for Canada (URL Link)

  • Guess I'll update. Went off of all drugs. Sick and tired of people talking about depression. I hurt all the time with zero relief short of living in a pool or my inversion table. I'm loosing my job after 20+ years. I'm having to redefine my whole life and put up with a medical community that cares more about how I treat pain than the fact I'm in pain. I'm depressed, you think? Enough rant

    I'm trying to get to a major hospital in Seattle, WA. Symptomatic thoracic back injuries are so rare, no one in my home town knows what to do.
    I'm trying to get my head together because I have 2 kids, 3 step kids, 3 foster kids and 5 grandkids. God forbid ,but ,statistically speaking, 1 or more will get hurt on the job. I have to set the bar for them.
    I have to get my income stabilized then I'm going to hire a personal injury lawyer and burn their playhouses down. I hate people abusing the court system, as a dad, I can't bear the thought of them doing this to one of my kids. All it takes is for good people to say nothing and they have an unspoken rule that allows them to treat people as I have been treated. Much has gone on and have pinned it down to a lack of knowledge that is not my fault. God bless anyone else that has ruptured thoracic disc's, may they find their answers easier than I did. My legs don't work very good ,but luckily, they still do so there may be hope yet.
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