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At wit's end, not sure what to do at the moment...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Pain Management
I dont know what to do anymore. I had an MRI last week that ruled out CES, which I am excited about because I was worried about my new symptoms. Well, now my legs are so weak, I have to drag myself around sometimes, which does not work well as I take care of my 9 month old baby daughter. :S My husband cant take any time off because his boss is a jerk and told him to tell me to "deal with it". I dont know what we will exactly do if I have to have surgery next month, all I know is that if it is offered to me, I will probably go ahead and do it. Its been 4 years of medications, acupuncture, injections, rhizotomies,PT, water therapy, etc. I have been in the ER 2 times last month because my pain is not being controlled. My Dr has me on oxycodone 20mg 3-4x a day. I really wish she would give me something else for those really bad days. I heard that if you are able to switch your pain meds, your tolerance doesnt build up as fast and you may be able to receive more relief from pain as well. If she would let me take the oxy (enough for 1/2 month) and say dilaudid (1/2 month) I think I would benefit from it more, but she wont do that so I have to abide by her decision I guess. Well, tonight I noticed that with the increasing pain crawling up my spine and the muscle weakness in my legs and arms, I started to run a fever. /:) I dont think there is any way to get a fever from back pain, it was probably just a coincidence, but it hasnt gone done, and Im not sick in any way, well yet I guess. When I get these new symptoms, I do start to to run pretty warm and sometimes a fever. Im not sure what else to do. I have an appt with a surgeon Nov. 3rd. I am really hoping this one wont write me off as well and offer me surgery. I actually had one dr tell me"well I dont SEE any pain here on your MRI's" :jawdrop: I proceeded to tell him, well maybe not but I can demonstrate on you the pain I FEEL! I was soo mad. Anyway, sorry for the book here just am getting concerned about this new fever and contemplating what to do. Do you think it could be related to new symptoms or am I just being paranoid? LOL Thanks guys :H


  • I think it's good to be careful..when we have a problem/disease/etc.,to be careful not to associate each new symptom with said disease/illness/etc.

    The reason I say this is because it can become a habit to think that every time we get another symtom it has something to do with our problem that we already have,when in reality it may be unrelated.

    I'm 48 yrs. old and have been in pain maybe longer than you have been alive (not sure) lol,but I used to do the same thing in the beginning.Not with my spine of course,but my other issues.I DO understand,believe me I do,and I really am only trying to show you from an old fogies point of view...because once I learned to do this I calmed down a lot.

    On the other hand...there is a fine line,and you are still trying to learn and understand your symptoms...and that can be scary to be sure.I'm glad the CES was ruled out,but surprised to hear you say that you are seeking out surgery before it has been mentioned by your Dr.You sound braver than me..I've had many operations and no way would I want one on my spine.

    I thought I read your post not long ago and your Dr had just raised your meds and they were working...but maybe I'm thinking of something else.

    Good luck on the 3rd~Surgery will be tough with the baby to care for.I hope that if surgery is planned that you get help with the baby and all.. :)
  • the fever could be a sign of infection?!?! I think everyones bodies act differently to pain. I know when my pain,on the bad days, puts me down I feel sick as in nausious, headache etc. Call your doc about the fever though.
    As far as the med chages. My doc changes me every 2 months or so. From percocet 10/325's to Norco 10/325's. It seems to really help. Odd that after taking Perc's for a couple months that the Norco works better. Strange. I have never heard of a doc changing every 2 weeks though. That seems kind of soon to change to a different med. Are you on a long acting med, or are you like me and they don't really work that well? I have taken dilaudid before and it really didn't help as much as the percocet or norco's. When I HAD to go to the ER they gave me an injection on Dilaudid and it worked wonders. However the pill form didn't work so well.
    Even though I am changing my meds and on meds I have pain daily, generally a good 6 everyday. On good days I am a 4-5 and bad I am 10. I too have leg weakness and numbness and it seems that no matter what it is always there. Are you on a nerve med at all? I think that our pain meds are there to take the edge off or take us from a 10 to a 5-6. IF that is happening then the meds are working. In the past 5+yrs I have NEVER been fully out of pain. Had the fusion in 2004 and the pain came back 6 mo post op. Has been extremely bad over the course of the last year to year and a half.
    I hope you can find some type of relief!
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    just wanted to stop by and say sorry that your hurting.
    i know how uncotrolled pain is unbearable at times.
    my legs are also in horrible shape but we are investagting that now. most likely its not my back according to all the tests.
    fever is not a good sign it does mean infection. but there is alot of crap going around right now. my daughter was just sick and could not move.

    do you have a PM dr?? forgive me if I have asked this before.
    mabye something more long acting will work for you. as in the patch etc???

    i see you already have had the nerves burned.
    and never let a dr say your to young. your DX from what iv just read up on is an can be very painful and of course like melissa said she had a fusion and her symptoms came back 6 months later. i imagine there has been succesful surgeries out there.

    did you go back to the dr that gave you the DX of facet arthropathy??? i just read surgery is the last option. and well if you have ran out of all other options then i don't blame you for wanting to have it. just to see if it works is worth a shot in my mind.

    and as you already know there is will be no guarentee that it will even work. but im one to take chances.

    i wish you the best of luck. make that DRS appt with the dr that either gave you your DX or another orthopedic spine specialist and bring your new MRI with you and the paperwork to back you up on your DX.

    it is real, it is painful, and well someone out there has to be willing to help. we are paying them , them not us.

    take care
    terri O:)


    The facet joints connect the posterior elements of the vertebral bodies to one another. Like the bones that form other joints in the human body, such as the hip, knee, or elbow, the articular surfaces of the facet joints are covered by a layer of smooth cartilage, surrounded by a strong capsule of ligaments, and lubricated by synovial fluid. Just like the hip and the knee, the facet joints can also become arthritic and painful, and they can be a source of back pain. The pain and discomfort that is caused by degeneration and arthritis of this part of the spine is called facet arthropathy, which simply means a disease or abnormality of the facet joints.

    Most people who have facet arthropathy will complain of low back pain that is worse with twisting or extension (bending backwards) of the lumbar spine. The pain is often quite well localized, and unlike the pain and numbness caused by a herniated disc or sciatica, it does not usually radiate into the buttocks or down the legs. However, as the facet joints become arthritic, they often develop bone spurs that can decrease the amount of space available for the nerve roots as they exit the spinal canal. This can be a contributing factor in the development of spinal stenosis, which does cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the buttocks and legs.

    Facet arthropathy is rarely the only cause of significant back low back pain, and patients who have this condition often have other disorders that may be contributing to their symptoms, including degenerative disc disease, arthritis of other parts of the spine, and often spinal stenosis as well. Most people with even mild to moderate amounts of arthritis of the lumbar spine will have evidence of facet joint degeneration on a CT scan (CAT scan) or MRI. A bone scan, which shows areas of active inflammation in the spine, is a test that can be used to determine whether or not facet arthropathy may be contributing to a patient's back pain. The facet joints themselves can be selectively injected with a mixture of a local anesthetic and an anti-inflammatory steroid. If this injection relieves a significant amount of the patient's back pain, and there is evidence to suggest that the facet joints are arthritic (such as a positive bone scan, CT, or MRI), then the diagnosis of facet arthropathy can be made with some confidence.

    There are several options for treating the pain and symptoms caused by facet arthropathy. The initial treatment of facet joint disease involves avoiding the motions that cause the joints to be painful (such as repetitive twisting, lifting, or extension of the lumbar spine), a course of anti-inflammatory medications, and stretching and strengthening exercises to improve the strength and endurance of the muscles in the lumbar spine. Injections can be used to relieve some of the pain and discomfort of facet arthropathy by quieting down the inflammation and synovitis that is caused by this type of arthritis. Unfortunately, this is often not a permanent solution, and the pain may recur after several months. There are a few techniques that have recently been developed that attempt to alleviate the pain of facet arthropathy by permanently destroying the nerves that innervate the facet joints and "feel" the pain of the arthritis. These procedures use small electrical probes that are inserted through the skin into the area of the nerves to the facet joints, and an electrical current that destroys the nerve is sent to the tip of the probe. This procedure is called a sinu-vertebral nerve ablation.

    In other situations, surgery may be indicated to relieve the pain of facet arthropathy. This usually occurs when there is evidence of nerve root compression from enlargement of the facet joints, or other disorders in the lumbar spine (such as degenerative disc disease, spinal instability, or spinal stenosis) that need to be treated with surgery. In the course of most forms of a spinal fusion, the surgeon removes the facet joints between the levels of the spine that are to be fused together, which effectively eliminates the facet joints as a source of future symptoms.

  • At the risk of sounding insensitive, the fever could be totally unrelated to your pain etc., and be related to something as simple as a cold. I too had thought that I read just recently that the doctor had changed your meds and you were getting more relief? Actually I have read quite a few of your posts recently and honestly feel like some of the questions are ones that should be posted to your doctors. They are the ones who see you on a regular basis and have your medical charts in front of them....and have read your MRI's etc. We can only give advice based on our own personal experiences and what you are telling us in your posts. Some of your questions regarding pain meds are very specific (example the one on the pain medication board asking about shots in doctors offices) and should be addressed by your team of medical professionals. Please do not get me wrong, I feel for ANYONE who has chronic pain as I have been dealing with it for almost 10 years and finally did have surgery (ACDF C5/6 in December 2007). I would caution you to think long and hard about surgery. It COULD make things better, but you could also find out that things might even be worse on the other side. Recovery from neck/spine surgery can be long and difficult. My neck didn't even BEGIN to fuse until amost 6 months after surgery.....thank God I do not have young children or I would not have been able to lift my child all that time. I still have pain like before surgery, but the neurological symptoms are better......surgery does not guarantee a relief from pain. I know this may sound cold, but ones attitude makes a HUGE difference in a lot of things. Instead of focusing on the pain, focus on what is good....your daughter, your marriage etc. and try not to let the pain rule your life and BECOME your life. I am so impressed with the many people on this forum who have been through so much more and continue to work etc. Dealing with chronic pain is more than physical, it is also mental and the mind is a very powerful thing and it is amazing how we can cause oursleves undue stress by focusing on every new symptom, every little thing that we don't think is right. You have been to many doctors over the past several months......it is coming to the point where you need to take what they are saying to heart and do exactly what they are telling you, or if you feel that you are not getting good medical care, seek out another doctor etc.....You are too young to be looking at a life full of pain....and focusing solely on that. I am sorry if I upset anyone by this post, but like I said, I've been reading posts from mominpain for quite some time now and feel that there are just a lot of inconsistencies in what I've been reading.
  • So maybe it is associated.

    What I am confused on is if they did the nerve ablation - then they concur that your pain is from your nerves? Isnt that how it works? So how could they say nothing shows on your mri, but they burn the nerves?

    Also, have you had a myelogram (sp). These sometimes show a lot more than an MRI.

    Lastly, I think I read something on here about a discogram. A procedure to find where the pain is coming from if nothing comes up on film.

    I am actually going to ask for this procedure at my next appt. My MRI does show protrusion on left and right side at L4L5, but I think that because my L5S1 is torn - thats they reason my pain is so severe.

    Hope you are feeling better today. I have small children too and I know how hard it is when the pain is so intense and it drops you to you knees.

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  • I also think sometimes doctors get frustrated not knowing what to diagnose you with and start throwing around certain conditions as well. I have been monitoring my fever and if it happens when my pain becomes intense, since I still am not sick and I dont have an infection. It is coming along with the intense pain, and I guess sometimes that is just the way my body responds to pain. I am going to see my doctor today and ask about getting a discogram. Im not sure why they havent referred me for one over the past 4 years. :? There isnt much to see on my MRI's, and after researching more about discograms, that can show things that an MRI cannot. I am set to see a surgeon on Nov 3rd, and I think he would be more willing to help me if I had this procedure done and there was more evidence of my pain. Thank you for your reply!
  • and take quite a bit of pain medication. I have an appt with my Dr today to see if she would be willing to give me 2 types of pain medication. I have heard of drs doing this so your body doesnt get quite as used to one medication and the medication may work better as to where I can take less. I have noticed that my fever shows up when I am in extreme pain. I guess its just a reaction my body does when Im in pain.
  • the information about the facet joints Terri. No, there are no pain management drs where I live, or even in the surrounding areas. My regular dr manages my pain medication. I see her today to discuss going on 2 different types of meds to see if I can take less of one medication because my body is quickly getting used to the oxycodone. I am also going to ask about getting a discogram as well. I think it would help my case a great deal. Thank you for responding! :H
  • I have been living with this pain for 4 years, and no one takes me serious because of my age, I have simply been written off. I DO take what my Drs say to heart, and have always followed any directions and advice they have given me. I do not think it is fair to say that my posts are wrong, the reason I am here is to get OPINIONS on certain subjects, not MEDICAL ADVICE. If you feel the need to read all of my posts and put them together to check for "inconsistencies", then I would prefer you just not post to any topics I discuss. I am here for support, and not here to be judged, which you seem to be doing. Why would I be on a message board "making things up"? Why would you put all of my posts together and call them INCONSISTENT?? :? I have been trying to remain positive in everything I do, and am starting to be at a point in my life where I am extremely frustrated. I have turned to the medical world, and so far havent received any benefit, which is to be expected since low back pain can be hard to pinpoint and diagnose. ;) I have also tried many many natural ways to deal with my pain, cognitive therapy, water therapy, herbs and supplements, PT, acupuncture, etc. Please do not be so quick to judge me and the threads I post. I am a chronic pain sufferer like almost everyone else on this board and am looking for support, not someone to point out faults and inconsistencies, :T so If you dont agree with my posts or feel Im doing something wrong, please pm me with it. Otherwise, I would prefer you dont post on my topics since they are INCONSISTENT. Thank you ~X(
  • I think I get them as well due to extreme pain. Im getting frustrated at this point, because I feel like sometimes I am still not taken seriously, so I basically do my own research on the internet, become my own advocate and take the information I find on procedures and therapies to my doctor. She has always been willing to try anything that sounds reasonable and I might benefit from. Today I am going in to see if she will switch my pain contract to 2 different types of pain medication, that might help them become more beneficial to me. I am also going to ask about getting a discogram, since my MRI doesnt show much at all. Wish me luck! Thank you for replying! :H
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