Hi everyone, I'm new here.
I'm only 20 years old, but I've had chronic back pain for about three years, and recently, I've been having new problems. You can skip to the last paragraph if you want. But if anyone relates to my story, I'd like to know I'm not the only one dealing with something like this.
Let's rewind... beginning of October I woke up with numb hands. End of the day, my tailbone goes numb when I sit on the floor. Stand up, it goes away. It's like this for at least a week. Mid-October, I can't remember exactly why (maybe lying on my side on the floor), but my tailbone and hips hurt. Kinda like someone tilted them and I could feel it out of place when I walked. Next day, this feeling is gone. Hands continue to be numb when I wake up. Elbow sensitivity. Pain in last two fingers. Painful resting elbows when lying down on back (interferes with falling asleep). Typing is painful (haven't been typing that much, just school related work. Needed a few paper extensions). End of October - writing with a pencil is painful (taping pinky to next finger somewhat helps to write). Thumbs swell up in shower. Arms and hands pain are constantly distracting me in class, even though I'm writing/typing less each day. Side of hands following down pinky are blue-ish and painful. Meaty part of palm below thumb is light purple. Veins show more in wrist. "Short" response test 8AM in the morning comes up and I race to write everything in 50 minutes. I pay for it with 7/10 pain for the rest of the day, despite not writing for the rest of the day.
Parents take me home. Doctor orders blood test. Haven't heard back yet. Need to stand at one point because of elbow sensitivity/pain. Got extensions for written homework. Went back to school. Hand pain ranges from 5-7/10 pain during week. I wake up a few times at night, feeling slightly restless around Wednesday-Friday. Unusual for me to wake up at night at all, but I contribute this to new medication I just started. Friday was busy. Got back from classes at 10:30. Took Halloween decorations down, making 2-3 trips downstairs to put them away. Make an additional trip upstairs and down to get leaf decorations for fall. Cleaned dishes. Biked a few minutes down to my apartment leasor's office to get carbon monoxide detector batteries. Biked back. Ate lunch. Walked to bus stop 1-2 minutes from my door. Went grocery shopping walking/standing around store for approx 1 hour. Came home, put stuff away. Tried to make breaded zucchini like I tried at this one place before. Checked phone and heard there was a thing on campus. Walked 5-6 minutes to bus stop that takes students around campus road. Check thing out briefly. It's nice outside for November, so I just walked back to my apartment. Takes about 10-15 minutes. Get back and do laundry. Two loads, thank you. Doing okay, not feeling bad except for my damn hands/arms. But still too wiped to cook. Ordered fast food, I confess.
It's Saturday, I wake up early. I feel too uncomfortable to stay in bad. Sit around a little bit. Ate breakfast. Sat on the floor, opened up my textbook, read a few pages. Tired, so I lie down on my side and I could care less about my arm being numb. Wake up 20-25 minutes later and my side/hips feels weird. Get up. Hips/tailbone sore and painful. Shouldn't have done that. But sleeping on floor is a thing I do sometimes and this has never happened. Too uncomfortable to sit anywhere in my apartment. Campus bus doesn't run on weekends. Decided to walk to campus to study in a more comfortable chair. Walk starts out uncomfortable, but ends up being very painful. By the time I get to the building, I think I'm gonna collapse if I don't sit down soon. I plop down in an empty place and sit in an odd way so my tailbone doesn't hurt. Luckily, there's a bus that can take me back by my apartment, so I take it home after I study. Woke up early the next day, my hands aren't numb? I start homework and write notes. Some pain, but not that bad. I do some typing later, and it was okay. Worked on artsy/crafty project stuff. Back was hurting a lot. I moved once and it felt like my spine moved in a few directions. My back felt slanted. My neck felt off too. I was just happy to be going to bed at 11. AND WOW, no major elbow sensitivity/pain. But I lied down and couldn't get comfortable. I felt my back lock up and I had to stand up and crack it. It didn't feel like it smoothed into place. I repeated this a lot. The pain seemed moved when I tried to straighten myself. My neck felt like it was being pushed down and the side of my face got tight for a little while. Like there was air pressure in my head. I had sharp pains in my right thumb and wrist (new), which lasted about 5 minutes. This went on until 1:30, when I called my mom. I was afraid I would wake up unable to move. I had a neurologist appointment Tuesday anyway, so I was just going to wait. I had to keep standing up and lying back down. This went on until I passed out at 3:30. I woke up at 6:30 with no trouble. Getting up was a bit weird, like my back wanted to be folded in. I walked around and the feeling went away, but my back still feels weird. I didn't go to classes. Waited for my parents to pick me up. In the meantime, I got another pressure feeling in my head (different from migraines or tension headaches, which are gnawing or achey feelings for me. This was like a tightness feeling).
Couldn't sleep until 3 AM Monday night. Walking is okay. Balance is only very slightly affected, not noticable. But I feel it sometimes. Last night, I did get some sleep in my own bed. But I woke up with numb hands. Back pain was less off in the morning. More just regular back pain.
I'm a 130 pound 5'5" female, and I'm admittedly not toned, but I think I'm active enough that I shouldn't be having these problems. The neurologist I went to says all of this is because I'm not getting enough exercise... I'm so incensed! In September, I did a lot of bike riding to classes, instead of taking the bus. I'm not on some little campus either, there is some considerable walking involved. It's a 6 minute walk to most of my classes once the bus drops me off. I do that 5-6 minute walk back and forth from the bus stop to my apartment 2-3 times a day sometimes. I need to get books from the library for one class, so I do 6 minute walks to the library, walk up to the second floor, and search around for an hour sometimes. I also have another 10 minute walk to the health center once a week (group therapy... it's helpful. I get stressed. Don't judge). I mean, I know these things aren't that intensive, but it's not like I sit on my ass all day. I also make most of my own food, and that doesn't take 0 energy... I also do yoga sometimes. I know I'm not some super fit person, but this pain is really uncomfortable. It just can't be because I'm "not exercising enough". This summer, I was even proud of how much exercise I got in - I did a lot of bike riding and walking to places. This is despite having chronic back pain (which sometimes forces me not to do these things). I just want answers ): I'm so terribly stressed.