I'm new here, and I'm hoping one or more of you might be able to help me, because I'm just about at the end of my rope!!
In a nutshell, I'm a 34-yr-old female that has been coping with pain in my thoracic area for over 2 years. Prior to this, I had 2 reconstructive knee surgeries - one on each knee, 6 months apart, each taking about 6 months to heal from. Before my second surgery in October of 2005, I began having lower back pain and horrible soreness in my upper legs & groin area. I was diagnosed with RLS by my Neuro, and put on Neurontin, which I'm still on. I also had an MRI, which showed a slight herniation, but "nothing that should be bothering me" as it's not near a nerve. I also went through PT for this in between sessions for my knees. When it didn't improve 6 mos after my knee surgery, my Ortho sent me to pain management, who put my on stronger drugs and did facet injections (the injections did wonders to calm the lower back, leg & groin pain). A week after my injections, I could barely get out of bed to go to the bathroom because I developed excruciating pain in my thoracic area, and it's never gone away. According to doctors, there is no relation between the lumbar facet injections and my thoracic pain. I've been on almost every kind of pain med known to man, which I absolutely HATE - had facet injections in that area, which didn't work - had an MRI, which was clean - did PT, which didn't work - had trigger point injections with lidocaine, which...say it with me...didn't work! I got a second opinion, and that doc sent me to massage therapy and gave me a TENS. The TENS hurts and makes me nauseous. The massage therapist said he never felt ligaments so tight and suspected that as the culprit, and although tried long and hard, couldn't help me. So he recommended prolotherapy, which I began this past March and has helped a little - but after 5 or 6 sessions I'm still barely functional. I can do more than I used to, but not enough to qualify as any type of normal life. The osteopath doing the prolo said I shouldn't do any kind of exercise, even simple strengthening exercises in the meantime.
The pain is this awful soreness & burning sensation that can take my breath away at times. Sometimes I get shooting or stabbing pains that either are vertical and close to the spine or cut through me right to my chest. Even if I'm mindful of my posture, sitting up for long periods is the worst. Walking and standing are pretty bad too. When I do any of these things, I end up having to take break-through meds, slather on some bio-freeze and lay down, and it can take up to a couple hours to ease up. The best way I can describe it is - when it gets bad - is that it feels like someone is picking me up by that part of my spine and carrying me around like a handbag. I actually visualize this, and can't get that image out of my head until the pain eases. I've had a similar slight burning sensation in this area before when doing things like folding laundry and doing dishes, but never thought anything of it because it was never bad and eased up immediately after I stopped doing what I was doing. And it never bothered me even when participating in strenuous exercise. Now it's completely and utterly debilitating.
Please, please, please - I'm begging - if anyone else has had a similar experience and has any suggestions at all - I don't care how weird they sound - please let me know. I'll try anything. I have a master's degree in mental health counseling which I haven't been able to put to use yet because I can't work. I have a wonderful fiance that I would love to be able to marry and enjoy my wedding without being doped up. And I'm 34 and not getting any younger - I'm dying to start a family but am deathly afraid to get pregnant. I really feel like I'm crazy even though everyone keeps reassuring me that I'm not. I can't even cry anymore, because what good would it do?
Anyway, thanx for listening to me ramble and whine - lol! I hope this quite lengthy note of mine finds everyone feeling OK and in good spirits!