Hi -- I have a whole host of symptoms,.. that have been going on for the better part of 6 years.
The 'major' ones are:
Chronic pain , 24/7 -- in my neck, in the middle of my back, in my lower back.. even in my hips at times.
Weakness -- pretty much every muscle in my body feels shaky/weak -- holding my arm over my head with a blow dryer will wear out my shoulder muscle in seconds.. -- you know the 'DUI' test where you hold one leg out a foot off the ground? Well if I do that my upper leg and lower abs feel like they are about to give out after just seconds, and sometimes literally visibly shake (yet my leg is strong?) I could go on with the weakness.. even my fingers don't 'work' right anymore.. just noticeably uncoordinated , get tight, muscles in hands burn from squeezing a pump sprayer handle (which should never happen.).
My spine pops SO much -- with most movements of my neck it is stiff , painful and it sounds like it is grinding in most directions. If I breath in deep I feel a pop in the back near the middle spine (close to the scapula, but the pop is on the right hand side of the thoracic spine).. again, could rattle on here -- but my entire spine pops and cracks quite unnaturally. (I am now 34.. this was happening at age 27 (2007).
Some related or maybe unrelated things:
vision -- A hugely distressing problem that the eye doctor has no answer for. Hard to describe, but I see halo's around all lights (especially at night) -- I see starbursts around lights.. even during the daytime. IE: car lights in broad daylight streak out in all different directions. The worst part is what I'm looking at has this quick yet subtle 'shaking' to it.. at all times. Like my eyes are moving around VERY slightly, and very very quickly - like a shimmering/flickering, but my eyes aren't moving around. It makes focus very hard, yet my vision is 20/20 in acuity.. how do you convince a doctor to help with vision when you have 20/20 acuity (I used to think acuity is all that mattered.)
Brain? -- Maybe it's cause I've bee in living hell from these symptoms for over half a decade just 'toughing it out' -- I don't know anymore. But my memory is not very good anymore, I can't think clearly, I'm depressed, anxious, and well feel miserable.
Enough on the symptoms --
I spent years researching my symptoms reading everything I could get my hands on, books, internet, etc -- and never could find an answer so I just gave up. Doesn't help.
I've seen 3 GP's -- none have helped. Two of them ordered Xrays of my spine, but said.. "Well, they look fine to me.. nothing is wrong." -- Meanwhile I'm thinking.. great, I'm in constant pain, stiffness, and misery and since the Xray looks ok I'm just doomed to suffer? Of course I am rather meek at the doctors, I don't try to tell them how to do their job. ONE doctor gave me 30 Lortabs every 6 months.. and it helps , the only thing that has every helped. But they last like 2 hours and don't even begin to be 'enough' to help 24/7 symptoms. The other doctors gave me ibuprofen, and mobic. Neither helped -- like trying to kill an elephant with a bb gun.
One doctor, when I told them more about my vision (for the fourth time in a row) ordered an MRI of the brain. Results normal. Another doctor for my constant pain said just go to a chiropractor, you should be fine.
I guess because I don't go into the office crying, or showing my pain (I try to hold it in, I have always had a high pain tolerance) they see me and think my complaints are meaningless? I get very hopeless when I leave a doctor after I open up about how bad my symptoms are and they leave me with no help, medication, treatment or ideas. I understand they aren't the ones feeling what I feel -- but who else do I go to?
I am posting here to try and figure out what to do next.
I haven't had an MRI of my spine.. no part of it. I think logically I should get an MRI of the spine due to the chronic pain all over it. Though I 100% expect it to come back completely normal, and I'm once again dumbfounded at having no proof for my symptoms. But, knowing back surgery I also know having a bad MRI result isn't a 'good' thing, but at least I would have some proof where a doctor would treat my symptoms. At this point that is "ok" with me.
Since I have pain from the base of my skull to the bottom of my spine -- what MRI do I get? Can they order a full spine MRI? I certainly don't want to get the wrong section imaged that would not show a problem.. ie: Get my thoracic spine imaged and it shows "normal" and have problems in my cervical spine and/or Lumbar/sacrum. How do I approach that with a doctor? I have insurance, but with a $750 deductible. I have saved a few thousand in anticipation of an MRI.
If I get one ordered, for my symptoms what is better with or without contrast? I see this as a 'one shot' deal/test and if there is a problem I want it to be found.
I have so many symptoms and problems and no 'test' to back any of it up at the moment that it makes me so leary to go to any doctor now. Any advice on how to handle the doctor I do go see? I can't 'live' with these things.. I can't work, can't finish school.. I am in some ways disabled due to this - but I "look" normal.
Can I get pain medication for my chronic pain before they figure out what is causing it? I am no drug seeker,.. and just want some relief.. and to me I don't see why a doctor can't treat my symptoms until he or she can figure out just what the heck is going on with me. Why must I continue suffering until some 'test' can come back positive? Why would I go spend money and lie over and over to the same doctor? (Which is the only thing I can assume some of them would think if they allow me to keep coming back but don't treat me.)
I know I probably sound pathetic, I apologize if so. I'm just in bad shape and have no clue what happened to cause this and need some direction and answers.
I appreciate your time and advice,