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15 Months of back pain with little to no diagnosis

guuargguuar Posts: 1
edited 10/30/2015 - 10:38 PM in Chronic Pain
I am new here and seeking advice or any help really to point me in the right direction.

To be clear I come here in utter frustration. I do live in Canada where our supposed universal health care is supposed to be great. I've quickly discovered its all about doctors herding us like cattle to make whopping $38 per appointment.

My issues started back in September 2014. At the time I was 34 years old. I went to my then doctor complaining of nagging back pain that simply wouldn't go away. I have suffered 3 collapsed lungs earlier in my life and would attest the back pain was eerily similar sensation. My massage therapist had pointed out to me earlier that there was a noticeable large tumor of some sort on my left scapula/shoulder blade area. I had never noticed it but it certainly did hurt when she applied pressure upon the area.

My family doctor at that time literally poked me with a wooden cooking spoon and said it's a lipoma you are fine. Now I can see why they would say it is a lipoma as most such growths are benign.

I took it upon myself to find a new family doctor closer to home. I found a wonderful doctor who definitely seemed to take more serious interest in his patients health. He pretty much told me he couldn't tell what it was without having proper tests done. Sent me for a huge amount of blood tests and xrays which showed absolutely nothing.

He then put in for an MRI. For some reason the MRI only examined the tumor which they stated was benign and didn't exactly focus on the spinal area.

The MRI results stated the tumor was most likely a benign lipoma. They couldn't say without certainty without it being removed. It also showed a slight curve to the top portion of my spine.

The doctor put in a request with a surgeon to have the lipoma removed. This can take 6-18 months here in Canada for it to get done.

After all of this I was put on Tylenol 4. A lot of Tylenol 4. The tylenol did the job of negating the pain at the cost of sedating me more than I would like. Eventually the doctor tried Percocet and then followed that up with straight codeine contin and codeine IR for approximately 9 months.

I wasn't exactly happy on the opiates. Sure the first few weeks were bliss. But once the tolerance grows it's just going through the motions to keep the pain at bay. The decision was made to put me on Medical Marijuana for the pain as my family doctor was convinced this is Fibromyalgia.

I was able to transition from the opiates to medical marijuana fairly easily. I am not the type with an addictive personality and the amount of opiates I was taking really didn't get ramped up over time. I was able to transition from the opiates to marijuana within 2 days. Those two days weren't enjoyable with flue like symptoms however after that I felt fine.

For the first week things were great!. The marijuana worked. I pretty much stopped using the marijuana as it was causing severe heart burn making me want to vommit. Things were ok for a few days. Approx 21 days after stopping opiates all together out of no where the back pain returned.

Only this time the pain was substantially worse. I went to the ER they told me it was rebound pain not to worry. The pain has now susisted for over 10 days.

The pain isn't always there but it is fairly persistent. The pain will come on from doing quite frankly nothing. sitting a table for 15-20 mins will cause pain that makes me feel fatigued. Taking my dogs for a walk will cause similar pain that makes me again feel fatigued. The pain is substantially worse at night. I wake up at 2am and 3am consistently without getting proper rest as I feel pain in my back and neck that makes it impossible to get comfortable unless I happen to sleep on a heating pad non stop.

I have seen 9 doctors now. Two GPs and 7 different ER doctors. I've went to the ER went the pain got so severed it was unbearable. I have 9 different options. 9 different recommend courses of actions. Seems many doctors like saying it's FIBRO despite other symptoms.

My symptoms.

1) Severe pain originating from the spine. The muscles don't hurt. I've had enough massages to realize my muscles in my back are 100% fine.

2) I have a 1.5" lipoma/benign tumor located on my left scapula that may or may not be pinching nerves, who knows.

3) The primary back and neck pain is worse at night. The pain tends to radiate from all parts of my back.

4) When the pain comes on I can feel the pain from straight through the front of my chest and even into my throat. So much so I have physically vommitted in my sleep. I've never suffered from sleep apnea, heart burn or acid reflux.

5) I consistently lose sensation in my fingers. So-called pins and needles in both hands primarily on my smaller fingers.

6) I have had extremely loose stool for the past 21 days. I know getting off opiates can cause this but it's been over a month and I'm yet to have one solid stool unless I take copious amounts of immodium.

7) I've had pretty much no appetite for the past year at all.

8) My father did suffer from degenerative discs at a similar age

I'm really at my wits end with doctors that refuse to attempt to address the problem rather than us a bandaid with medication.

Currently my GP is only giving me ONE (1) 5 MG Valium pill PER DAY!!!!! I can't state this enough. The valium helps but for the love of god 1 single pill per day is not going to help anyones quality of life.

I'd love input from others. I just feel like I'm out of options. I was told today the wait to see a pain doctor will be 19 months.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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