This is my first post here. I am 21 years old and have been in chronic pain for the past 5. When I was in High School I was extremely active- soccer in the fall, swimming + skiing in the winter, lacrosse in the summer, and a combination of all these (aside from skiing), in the summer. I'm not really sure how the pain started, but it progressed, becoming worse in worse, starting in my sophomore year. In my junior year I quit lacrosse. Senior year I stopped playing soccer, despite the fact I was one of the best players on the team. I continued to swim and excelled in competition, but the pain still persisted and still does to this day.
The pain exists in my upper, mid, and lower back. I have tons of knots and spasms. A normal day I consider a 5/10. Some days I feel completely incapacitated in pain. I can't sit or stand for more than 10 minutes without feeling extremely uncomfortable.
I've had x-rays, MRI's, a bone scan. I've seen numerous doctors, including specialists. I've tried a host of medications - NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, meloxicam, nabumetone), Muscle Relaxants (Cyclobenzaprine, Zanaflex), Lidocaine Patches, Nortriptyline, and Lyrica. Nothing has helped. I've had blood tests, been to multiple PT's (that just made the pain worse), and chiropractors (that gave me 20 minutes of relief- but in the big picture made the rest of the day worse). I've had trigger point injections, the electrical stimulation, and massages with no luck. I've also been educated with the "Alexander Technique" - basically postural education.
The doctor I'm seeing now wants to try me on Cymbalta, however I'm not thrilled about taking it. I'm concerned about the side effects, long term use, the stigma, and the efficacy. It doesn't seem to be the most proven drug and it just passed the FDA's approval for the pain indication.
I guess my biggest problem other than the pain and coping with it, is my frustration. Every time I see the doctor I feel like I am wasting time. When you're in as much pain as I am, time is precious. Another day in pain is another day without relief, another day to potentially suck very badly. The answer is always a month away- referrals, next appointments, trying medication for a month, etc. I feel like the answer is never there and there will never be any. After so many years and failures, and a lack of management, I feel trapped. I used to be a much happier person. Sure, I put on a smile and pretend to be the same person I was. Inside I just feel like this problem is tearing me apart within.
My parents for some reason are not supportive either in my quest to get pain relief. I don't think they understand the amount of pain I am in or how greatly it affects me, even if I explain it to them in tears. I think they see an inability to cope with pain as a moral weakness. They are not ones to take pain killers or really any "unnecessary" medications in general. If I bring up the topic they usually ignore it or quickly change subjects. They've been very involved parents though- always pushing me to be a good person and to excel academically and in sports. Their paying for my private and college education as well as my 2 sisters. To put it simply, money is no object to them so I don't see them concerned with the medical costs associated with my treatments. Maybe they're just not good at showing compassion? It's not that I don't think they care, maybe it's just that they don't show it or understand it. It bothers me nonetheless.
I just want it all to stop. I don't want to deal with the pain or frustration associated with the doctors. The frustration at this point, is almost as bad as the pain. No one can diagnose my problem, and therefore no one wants to treat it. I've had to push my doctors along to make any effort. After all, a 21 year old shouldn't be in pain.