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The frustration is real...

Hello everybody,

I have a hard time making a long story short. I'm going to try to not dry your eyes out reading this. I am writing this because I feel as if I am at my wits' end. I have been dealing with back/leg issues since about July of 2014. After a few days of working, I had a nice triple threat of stomach issues, bladder issues and tingling in the right leg/foot that lead to one diagnosis, some medicine and two trips to the Emergency Room in a week's time. Since then I feel as if I have either confused each and every single health professional I have talked to or have been jerked around and all-the-while, my body isn't right and I'm the one who has to suffer through it.

So, in July I had begun noticing some pain in my lower back that would, on occasion shoot upward when working (at the time I was working at a retail food outlet and did a lot of truck unloading) and buzzing feeling in the right leg and calf. Over time I developed tightness in the knee and the back of my thigh and over time I had begun noticing pain in the left hip down to the thigh. My primary care physician, a Physician Assistant originally ordered an x-ray of the lower back, which he said came back fine. Disc spaces were "well preserved", according to him and he prescribed physical therapy. And so I did that -- for three months. And the pain in my left side had gone away but the tingling and sensation of loss of feeling at times did not. After therapy ended, I went for a follow-up appointment and I was a little tense in the shin and calf, which lead to an ultrasound for blood clots. That, too came back negative. The next step was an x-ray of the right knee to rule out any structural issues within the knee. That came back fine.

The next step was to order an EMG and Nerve Conduction Study, primarily on the right leg to see just what, if any nerve issues may be present. I had that done today. Now, in the past couple of weeks I had started to notice that when I would lay down on my back or on my left side, my left thigh would go numb from the hip to just above the knee and it would spread over to midway across the quad. As soon as I would stand up, the numbess would subside. On top of this, I have been getting numbness in my left shoulder blade, or just underneath that when standing and walking.

Today, the nerve study came back "fine". The gentleman who conducted the test said there was no signs of a pinched nerve in the lower back or any muscular or nervous issue. The frustration of that alone was enough to make me want to break down but that would be reserved for later today as, for the first time, my left foot has begun to tingle almost more than the right has the entire time. And the left leg just feels pretty weak right now. One thing I have had going for me with this is that every time things seem to get pretty rough, they're usually washed away with a good night's sleep so I am truly hoping that some ibuprofen and a nice sleep will fix things but just knowing that I had that done, and this has happened -- not even twelve hours later is like; "Why"?

Making matters worse, I was discussing things with my mother tonight and my father immediately said "It's you sciatic nerve.". It may be, it may not be, I don't know -- I can't get to the point where we can even get a diagnosis. His next response was "There are some people who have pain and aches and have to live with it.". So, I'm not exactly getting a ton of support from family on this one, either.

The mental toll this is taking is considerable. I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to spend the next 30-50 years of my life compensating for something I did, not knowing what I did or how or why.

Thanks for reading.


  • I am sorry to hear of ur health battles. I read it twice to really see if I was reading it correctly. Sounds like u need 2 things a MRI and a good neurosurgeon. X-rays will not find what they need to see. Just a thought . I will be prpraying for u.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,422
    My first thought was as therebak..from above.
    I would try for opinion of doctor familiar with spinal,issues. And there are other tests to do.

    My pain management doctor did my EMG himself. Having the doctor more involved is definitely more reassuring .
    my primary didn't know,what to,do with me and sent me to pain management. That is where I received the proper tests and treatments.
    Please keep,us posted with how you are doing. Best of luck!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I am sorry there isn't much support from your family about what you are going through. I too have chronic pain daily due to an injury to my back and spine. I have had to learn to push through the pain and that is hard to do , depending on my day and what is going on etc etc. I literally will grin and bear it, therefore, people assume, I am not in any pain because I am smiling or not laying in a bed or on the couch moaning in pain. I feel like saying don't judge a book by its cover, you have no idea how I am feeling and like you not knowing if I am ever going to have pain free day ever again. I have to beg for help in my home as far a housekeeping goes. I mention I am hurting to someone they don't understand. Just yesterday at work, I mentioned my back was hurting pretty bad, so I have to be extra careful on lifting heavy things, and the response I got was, oh you will be ok. Don't you ever feel like yelling at whomever and say...I am not ok, I don't know if I will ever be ok so dont say that to me.
  • colortheworldccolortheworld Posts: 4
    edited 04/12/2015 - 1:25 PM
    Thanks for the kind words.

    I left out a potentially integral part, apparently in that -- over the past month or so, I have been dealing with some pretty intense pressure and at times pain in the abdominal area. Varying in nature -- it usually exists as pressure on the belly button, as if it is about to blow out of my body and will pull down to the left side near my groin when laying down. This past Thursday, I had had enough of that issue and went back to my original physician who conducted an examination of my stomach issues and my back issues and a few points of note are that the reflexes in my right knee, to his words "are gone", but the right ankle and left leg are fine. Strength-wise, everything seems to be okay, but he suspects a possible herniated disc. We're finally discussing an MRI.

    But before that, he wants to handle the pain and pressure I am feeling in my abdomen. After evaluating for pain and tenderness, he suspects it may potentially be diverticulitis and has ordered an abdominal CT scan regarding that.

    So for the time being, whatever is wrong with my back is being set-aside. Unless by some chance, any potential back issues are causing the abdominal nonsense, as well.

    Thanks again for the support.
  • If its of an interest to you I had nerve conduction tests conducted. He said I was fine. In fact i have very compacted nerves in my back due to L5 S1 Spondylethis (sp). I have no reflexes at ankle or knee on either leg I hope to get my fusion tomorrow.
    I wouldn't personally take any notice of his findings. Hopefully you will be able to get an MRI very soon. In the meantime I hope they can find the source of your other problems.
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