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Sense Of Helplessness (And Worthlessness)

dharvellddharvell Posts: 98
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:20 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I just had my 6 month appointment with my neurologist, regarding my ongoing neck issues. After this visit, it has become painfully obvious (literally!!!) that I've run out of options.

After being called into the office a full 90 minutes after the scheduled appointment time, I was seated, told that I am too young for the problems I claim to have (even though I have X-rays and MRI's supporting the diagnosis my PCP rendered), reminded that he (the doctor) is 30 years my elder and works 14 hours a days, so I should stop whining and get on with life, then told to leave.

I'm beginning to feel that either nobody believes the pain I am in, or they simply do not care.

I have visited the 2 neurologists in my area and they both go on about how young I am... so move on.

It's getting to the point to where I am beginning to have to fight depression along with the pain of the issues I have with my neck... because the doctors in my area just care about the juicy pay check they get at the end of the week. Forget the patient.

What now? I just feel like I have nowhere to turn and nobody who will listen to me. And it is the worst feeling I have ever experienced.


  • Hey Paul... thanks for the reply and for reminding me that I'm not alone in this thing. It's a bad situation made worse, for me, by a local healthcare system that has forgotten about who they are supposed to be taking care of.

    The fusion is kind of a strange occurance... the arthritis that has formed around the C5-C6 has literally joined the collapsed portions of that area into a single mass. That is incredibly painful, as you may imagine.

    The pain that has become normal, for me, is a strong "ache" in the neck that radiates through what feels like an extremely hot wire that goes behind my left eye. That burning sensation usually creates a headache that just flattens me. The pain also radiates down my left arm and into my fingers. I often find that I have uncontrolled twitches on the left side that last anywhere from a few seconds to days on end.

    But, I'm apparently imagining all of this and my X-rays and MRIs were somehow altered, because I'm too young to be dealing with any of this... I'm 34.

    Crazy how doctors can blow somebody off like that and keep their practice.
  • Hi! I am 35 years old and I started having problems when I was in my teens. I was told it was muscle related and to suck it up. When I was 30 I decided my problems had to be more then muscle strains and pulls. My PCP whom I had for 10 years said that I was to young to have any serious back problems. When I wouldn't let him dismiss my pain he said it was all in my head. I was put on anti depressants and sent away. The worse part is, I kept working at my very physical job which I believed messed my back up even worse. I have been through several doctors and some even told me that they didn't understand why I felt pain. I was like WTF! They would look at all my xrays and MRIs and CTs and tell me I shouldn't be feeling pain. Never mind the nerve impingment at 2 levels or the stenosis and arthritis. Finally I found a doctor who wanted to help me and said I needed surgery but he wouldn't do it. I finally found an Ortho surgeon who was willing to operate along with 2 other opinions. Have you tried seeing an orthopedic surgeon? At this point it couldn't hurt. Just don't give up. I know it's hard when you are so young but are told you have the spine of an 80 year old and you just have to deal with it. Please don't let the nasty doctors get you down because most of them do not know what we are going through. There are good doctors out there it just takes a while to find them sometimes. I wish you good luck and let us know how you are doing.

  • dharvell,

    Pain is Pain. I'm sorry the doctors in your area don't recognize your pain. My doctor thinks my pain is "emotional" so I found myself another f*****g doctor that is willing to help find the cause. Pain can have emotional components but it still needs to be treated and acknowledged.

    I'm new to Spine Health but already have found friends.

    Good luck on your journey to a Pain Free life
  • Hi dharvell,

    I'm so sorry that you're going through all of this. I can tell that, from personal experience, you may need to take your care into your own hands and look around until you find a doctor that is caring enough to listen to you. Travel if you must. I won't hash out my situation again here but suffice it to say that if I had trusted my surgeon I'd probably be in a wheelchair within a year. I took my films to another doc and got that opinion and the rest is history.

    I'd be happy to share my experience with you if you're interested, just PM me. My point is that you shouldn't give up if you feel that your health is at risk. I'm not a doctor hater but I do think that some of them abuse the power and don't truely listen to the patient.

    Sometimes you have to fight for what you know is right.

  • This site has alot of information,,people who understand the frustration you're experiencing. Some of us have been so obviously hurt...like car collisions for instance, that it's incredulous to us that we're told...oh, nothing shows on xrays or mri's. Well if"I" knew how to read one, I could at least argue.
    My first pain management doc was very impersonable, ran behind appt. time as much as and hour or more, and his first agenda upon entering the exam room was to see what had been paid on my account! However...with the first injection I got relief (only for about 2 hrs) from pain that all the other work comp docs, chiro's, physiatrists, PCP, physical terrorist...said I didn't have.
    So, I treated with him for a year an a half. One visit he made me cry, then knew it was time for an antidepressant medication.

    I know youre in pain...I believe you.
    again....I know youre in pain...I BELIEVE YOU.

    I never thought those words would mean so much to me in my life.

    Keep searching for help, I pray you'll get relief soon, we all want that for each other.
  • Hey Dharvell,

    Please do not give up. I have a Neuro Surgeon that said he did not want to do a cervical fusion on a person my age. I think i told this story in your other post. I have since been to see an Orhto surgeon who specializes in the spine and necks are his speaciality.

    I was much more impressed with his office then my neuro's. This orhto did a much more involved Neurological exam then the NEuologist did. I always felt that the Neuro deep down was thinking that I was just over exagerating my pain. I always felt like he did not quite understand how devastated I was to have been in the car accident.

    I had a workers comp case before my car accident happened and I have to say the WC issue helped me to beocme my own advocate. I know my body better than anyone. Sometimes I just have to not take No for an answer. I can be quite pesky when I want what I want when it come to my health. Although I am human and I do get discouraged sometimes and loose the drive to be my own advocate sometiems. It is very tiring to do it, but we as a patient have to get pesky and down right demanding and somewhat nasty on an occasion.

    Please do not give up! Like the others that have posted to you "I BELIEVE IN YOU AND YOUR PAIN!!!" What your experienceing is real and valid. I know there is a Doctor out there who will take you seriously. I am with the other out there who suggested for you to see an Ortho Surgeon. Find one who specializes in the spine. Maybe a teaching or University hopital some where near you might be good.

    Do you see a Pain manageent Doc? SOmetimes they can get with you and explain the testing results and expodite things thorugh the system quicker.
    I am praying for you! Please PM me anytime you want.

  • Get an appointment with an ortho spine specialist.....1 year before my surgery I was seen by a neuro surgeon and he just sent me on my way with an appointment to have PT....1 year later I was in so much pain it was unreal....taking tylenol and that was it....I found a new pcp who sent me to an ortho spine specialist who looked at my old MRI and my new MRI and could not believe it....less than a month after seening the ortho I was having surgery...corpectomy and fused C4-C7....keep looking and don't let it go on too long for perm damage can happen.

  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    You may want to see a Psychiatrist. Whenever these type symptoms are added to Pain it is imperitive to get professional treatment for the additional problem(s) There are a number of PSYd's that also specialize in pain management. Seek and ye shall find.

    Good Luck,

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Thank you all for your comments and encouragement. It is sad to see that so many people are going through the same thing that I am. But yet, it does me good to see that there are people out there who believe me and know what I am going through!

    I'm waiting to hear back from my PCP to see what our next step is. So far, he has been the most supportive doctor in this whole thing.

    Oh yeah! It must be said that I misspoke, earlier. I have seen a neuro surgeon and an ortho surgeon. Those are the "specialists" who have seen me and more-or-less dismissed me.

    Thank you all, again, for the encouragement. I'll get through this, somehow. I have no idea how, but I will.
  • Don't let them get you down. Each doc is just a person with their own biases and do not know everything or aren't willing to look. For the past two months after falling twice and hitting my head on cement and whipping the heck out of my neck I developed weakness in my left arm, hand, and leg. I drop things all the time and can't open pretty much anything ( toothpaste, cell phone, etc). I am now having tremors intermittently in my hands and problems with balance. On my 2nd visit to the neurologist she tells me she thinks my symptoms are because I am depressed... on a subconscious level! She has seen me twice! How could she know this??? I was tearful today as I am tired of these symptoms and fearful I will not be able to make a living and/or care for myself. This does not make me a depressed person.If anything I am the opposite always laughing, joking, and enjoying life. I am going to seek another opinion if not two even if I have to pay out of pocket and I suggest you do the same. It is your life and unfortunately you have to direct your care. Stay strong and find an orthopedic spine specialist like Shar51 said that's good advice. You are not worthless! And it doesn't matter if you are young or not,you have pain and you want it gone!They are doctors not Gods and this is there job,believe me I know I've been an RN for 30+yrs. Take care and stay strong.
  • Edited - duplicate post
  • edited - duplicate post
  • I also have had drs who dismissed my pain and treated mr as a drug seeker. Example...
    Before insurance I went to ER once crying on debilitating pain and the dr didn't do xrsyd or nothing, told me I had strained a muscle. I had to keep going and finally when I got insurance the Nero found all kinds of problems even a fracture through low back fusion.
    It's heartless for drs to be that way and use your age as am excuse for their ignorance.
    As with any or most diseases and conditions..... Who can put an age limit on it???
    Cancer for example, juvenile arthritis, juvenile diabetes, and so on.
    How ignorant those who day your too young are.
    Hope you find a dr to listen.
    Do you have medical coverage?
    Good luck!
  • Its a horrible feeling when people try to dismiss your pain for whatever reason. All pain is legitimate. Some would say that if you got hurt in a car accident, your pain would be more legitmate than if your neck just got tweeked doing whatever.
    But again, your pain is legitimate.

    Do you live in a big city with lots of docs, or a small town with few docs ?? My encouragement would be to get a referall to a large university hospital in whatever city is closest to you.
    There are docs out there who will take the time to help you.

  • Dharvell,

    I know how you feel about doctor saying your too young, shouldn't be in pain, xray's not showing anything,etc. I have been in this battle of chronic neck pain for five years now which I see folks here that have been on this journey much longer, but it doesn't make it any easier.

    Some days I sit and cry all day and all the anti-depressants don't do anything to help the over whelming feeling this will never end.

    I have been with PM now for three years and it has helped me function. Not feel good, but function so I can work, but that is about it. I'm hoping to get an updated xray in the next few months and from reading this site it looks like maybe I should try an orthopedic surgeon??

    I have bone spurs, buliging disks, narrowing of cervical canal and one doc told me I have a disk that has almost disappeared, but he told me this after he saw I was so upset as his comment was "you under a lot of stress?" "your too young for this" are you sure this pain is real", etc. so now I'm now sure if I believe him.

    I hope this week is better for you as some days are better than others in the end and I am praying this is a better week. Hang in there, and your not alone!

  • Please hang in there, there will be resolution for you! sometimes ya got to "MAKE" them understand. be logical not emotional in your discourse, if they dont understand what they are hearing, be firm but gentle..., they may have no empathy. please dont be discouraged k? your young, but you still are in pain, you have a right to seek relief, and get it!
    It helps to talk it over with others of similar historys, come here and get stronger, come here when you need strength, and someday soon youll be the one giving strength in return, its the spiney/neckey way of things.
    Be strong and be of rested spirit, were here to help you in the hard times, its what we do.
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

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