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new member introduction

nicholennichole Posts: 14
edited 12/04/2015 - 5:31 PM in Chronic Pain
Hi. My name is Nichole. I have chronic pain. I'm am 37 years old and have been in pain since I was 23. I am joining this forum to meet new people who understand what I live with everyday and to also hopefully give back in some way. Make an online group of friends , since I don't get out and hang with love people. I stay at home when I'm not at work or shopping. There are many issues that this pain causes and though I might get to them all eventually, I guess I'll just start by introducing myself and describing a summary of my pain.

Through the years it gets worse. I'm now worried about finances in the future and how long I will be able to walk and care for my school age son. It began in my lower back across the entire lower back, with a burning sensation, and if it was touched firmly it would ache deep with in for a few moments. And pain while walking, tingling and numbness in my arms. I received cortisone shots at age 25. They helped a lot, but only for a short time. Through the years the areas of pain has spread. First to the entire low back area all the way to the tail bone, which now can't be touched without causing deep aching and burning, even with just light touch. I'm always afraid of people who come up behind me that they may accidentally bump into my back.

Then a few years later, when I was about 30, the pain spread up both side of my ribcage and wrapped around to the sides of the ribs. This pain feels black and blue to the touch, and no longer feels a tickle, but instead of a tickle, huge amounts of pain. When I bend or twist, or touch my ribs I feel bruised.

Around 34, the pain began in my neck and wrists also. I have severe headaches at the base of my skull, my neck pops and clunks and has limited motion. And many days I feel as though I can't hold my own head up.

By 35, the pain began between my shoulder blades. My ribs feel out of place from the back, but also many times in the front by the sternum. My muscles spasm, and sharp pick like pains shoot through the area in waves. The thoracic spine now pops and clunks, and is almost always screaming in sharp pain and spasms.

Now at 37, my entire body hurts. My knees pop and clunks and crack as well as my ankles and toes. I have a throbbing pain in both hips, loss of sensation in both thighs and in select areas of both calves and feet. Tickle is gone and has been replaced by sharp stabbing pain. The front of my this burn when I walk. The hips pop and burn and ache while walking, sitting, lying. It is difficult to stand after sitting more then 10 minutes. My low back pops and clunks all the time, it aches dully unless touched. It burns to bend, throbbed when laying down. And a new addition this year is rotator cuff pain and popping when moving arms and when at rest. Neck popping and cracking with every move. Difficult to lift head when looking up, sharp pain when I look up and loss of turning movement when looking up. And my arms fall asleep and tingle with pins and needles from the elbow to the wrist, and from the wrist to all the appendages.

I'm tired all of the time. I get 4-6 hours of sleep most nights. But not all at once. My stomach is torn up from the OTC pills and my kidneys are bleeding from the ibuprophen. Tramadol makes me hyper, Vicodin does nothing. And I'm trying to not take anything pill wise for the pain and am beginning to use hot showers, ice, heating pads, and bath soaks when I can. Everything is such a painful chore now. And I don't know how much longer I can keep faking I'm fine. I walk funny now. But I have to keep working. I have no insurance and I am responsible for my son financially. I'm pretty much depressed, frustrated, scared, lost, and isolated (other than work). I'd like to have a social life here with you guys and learn more about chronic pain and how to deal with it. And how to lessen the pain. Any tricks and such to maybe make it lessen up so I can continue to work until my son is grown.

Thanks for reading this. I'm going to read other new members posts now and check out the site. Hope to hear from you all soon

Crack, pop, oww, grunt,pop...I'm ok :)


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    edited 12/05/2015 - 3:00 AM
    I may have missed it, but have you had any testing done?
    Any referral to specialist, ex, pain management?
    Do you have a diagnosis?

    My primary tried to work with my pain couple of years before referring me to pain management.
    That was best thing for me!
    He did variety of testing with results helping him with treatments and medication for my spinal issues.

    At the beginning of my spinal pain, I would have treatment and feel better, and resume my bending, lifting, twisting....
    And the pain would scream louder again!
    Finally, I heard doctor when he explained it's a forever thing for me. No bending, no twisting, no lifting!

    If I do any movement that causes pain, I stop. It not worth risk for me to cause further injury to myself.

    If you use the search in this site, upper right on page, you may benefit from post called, The Blend, for coping with pain.
    Also, The Spoon Theory...which was most helpful for me to understand my limitations...and easily explained to others.

    Hopefully, you have a hands on support system ,also...maybe help with some household chores, shopping, child care?
    I'm glad you've found this site! Overwhelming with information and caring members!

    You're not alone!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • nicholennichole Posts: 14
    edited 12/05/2015 - 6:31 PM
    I'm uninsured and low income. So not much treatment done no. In junior high i was diagnosed with scoliosis and was told id need rods in my back. But my mom didnt have the money and she said id be fine and that it just meant id have to go to chiropractor when i was older.
    In 2003 when it started, i had a hard time getting out of bed anbd such. The pain was new to me and therefore much worse, as i hadnt learned to handle it yet. I went to the doctor after several months and paid out of pocket. I had xrays and MRI that suggested degenerative joint disease, but the doctor told me I was too young for anything like that. He said to do yoga and don't be sedentary. Told me to take 12 ibuprofen a day and injected both sides of spine with cortisone. I took 3-4 ibuprofen a day and did yoga as best I could for a few months. But the exercise made the pain and swelling worse.

    2 years ago, i had cervical x rays that show phase 2 degeneration (the neck of an 80year old woman) I was told this is still reversible before phase 3. No MRI, but xrays indicate pinching of the nerves. I also had x rays of lower back which showed hyperlordodis and the pinching of all nerve roots from L1 down. The doctor said the clicking is the vertebral spines interlocking and un-locking with each other. Was told I would need 16 weeks of vigorous physical therapy 5 days a week to start with. But I don't have $4000 and I have to work, so I can't do that. Plus, I can barely move, let alone 5 days a week of vigorous exercise. I am thinking something much slower and then build up...not start out fast and end up on the floor.

    I went in recently for the newer pains and loss of feeling, and tingling, plus the old excruciating back, and was prescribed tramadol, ibuprofen, citalopram, and flexeril. The doctor referred me to another doctor. When I called the number I was given I discovered it was a surgeons office. They want me to pay out of pocket $132 for the consultation and $500 per month for treatment. Again that is out of my financial range. So I am just plucking along day by day, trying to pay the bills. Trying not to be concerned and dwell on a gloom future.

    I applied for Medicaid and unfortunately only disabled adults get free medical coverage. I applied for disability but the denial letter said because I am still working I am not eligible. I went to a lawyer and they said I have no paper trail or treatment. And that first I must begin treatment and create a paper trail. So I'm back to start. And the circle goes on. Lol.

    I will look at the blend and spoon you suggested. And thanks again

    Crack, pop, oww, grunt,pop...I'm ok :)
  • In the state I live in I am exempt from getting Obamacare or help from healthcare.gov as this state did not take the gap insurance. It just means I don't get penalized for not having coverage, and because of that the lowest healthcare is over $300 a month. The government website literally will not allow me to purchase insurance because I can't afford it. The website then sends my information directly to state medicaid. They denied my application.

    In this state only those who are determined to be disabled are eligible for medical help. Because I am trying to remain working to support my son and myself my application for disability was denied. No tests, no images, just a range of motion test by their doctor. My denial letter says that because I am still employed and earning some income , while it may not be substantial, it is income. And therefore I do not meet criteria for disability.

    So basically, in this state I have to not work at all. I have to work as long as I can. Until my son is 18. So I force myself
    I am down to 19-22 hours per week and while I need more money to pay bills, I can't physically do any more than that. So ...on the bright side ....it may not be too much longer before I can apply again. Lol. Seriously though....I am trying to save money for MRI so that I can be eligible for cortisone shots again.

    I need X-ray and MRI before I can receive the shots. Then after MRI I will have to save for shots before I can get the shots. So, its possible in a future. Those are my goals anyways.....if I get the shots maybe I can work 29 hours again and get the cable tv turned back on
    Crack, pop, oww, grunt,pop...I'm ok :)
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    Your discomfort sounds like mine used to but now the pops and snaps and numbness all have names. My suggestion is to go to the insurance site as often as possible- daily. Keep putting in your numbers. Initially it's all automated but eventually there will be a human.

    My over the counter go to has been some of those pain patches. It seems like such a little thing but I swear by them!
    Keep plugging! It will get better!

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
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