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Thoracic Pain at T7



  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 08/26/2013 - 2:23 PM
    When you go to the specialist try and take someone with you who knows what pain you are in everyday. When you are in pain it's really hard to explain things in a logical manner. I used to have to take meds just to cope with the car ride. With my new specialist I also took along what I had written on SH about my pain and asked him to read it. Saved me having to explain everything over and over again. I really think this helped him understand a lot better than answering the endless questions. They see so many people and they forget.

    I know as in my old job I used to see about twenty people a day and they would expect me to remember their specific circumstances. Although you take notes, people morph into one after a while especially if you are really busy. So please take a person with you and take the notes you write from SH and ask him/her to read them. It made an incredible difference for me and helped the specialist remember who I was.
  • MLCampbellMMLCampbell Posts: 7
    edited 09/03/2013 - 5:48 AM
    That's a good idea, and you're right my thoughts have been everywhere. Took a week off work, and still can't put clothes on in the morning without pain. Also losing weight? Ugh... I don't know what to do. GP says two more days, rest heals all. Blah...
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  • After being rescheduled several times, I am finally seeing this specialist on the 14th. I hope it's worth the wait. In the mean time, I've written up what I want to say and kept a pain journal. I ended up in the E.R. for suspected appendicitis, and an x-ray for breathing issues from referred pain. (I didn't have appendicitis, thank goodness!) So - x-ray caught that area of the spine, and it showed no fractures or anything which wasn't surprising - I've already had an x-ray in the past which was the same. Hopefully, she will have some idea from our consultation and I will definitely ask for an order for an MRI if she doesn't suggest it herself. She's been known to work WITH you, so I'm hoping for the best. I will tell you what we find! Just gotta get through the week, although that's easier said than done. Wish me luck. :)
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 10/09/2013 - 9:14 PM
    I have had some more time to think about this.

    My pain was only on one side which the specialist thought was really strange.

    If you have pain only on one side like me it may be that the disks are herniated on one side - I don't know if they can be damaged on one side and not the other. I have had more time to think because if it was bone it would be picked up in an XRay so it is probably disks or muscle damage and I can't comment on them as my disks were not herniated for some unknown reason which is strange in itself.

    Sorry True blue there are not many surgeons who seem to know about thoracic. I wish I had listened to the first old doctor I saw from work. he had dealt with a lot of thoracic crush injuries from pilots ejecting from aircraft. He told me I would not be able to work and that he would put me on a pension straight away. I stupidly said no, I wanted to work so I did in incredible pain for around seven years then finally had to give up. In hindsight I wish I had taken his advice as he was the only specialist I have gone to that had seen my specific injury before. I think he must have retired by now.

    Sorry True Blue you have already done that. Now I feel like a total idiot and am very grateful for the information you PMed me. I live in Australia but no-one I have seen will touch me here - I can still walk and just have pain - the risk vs reward they say is too dangerous. I must admit my physio has worked wonders and as long as I don't over do it the pain is now manageable most days with painkillers and muscle relaxants - before this it wasn't as I had constant knife like pain, even with painkillers and muscle relaxants they hardly touched the pain, it was always there. If I do something stupid, carry shopping bags, use the rake, try to live some form of normal life, guess this is just the new normal for me but it is so frustrating when I was fit I could breeze through things, now it is a massive exercise to get something done.

    Anyway this isn't about me. Please take someone with you. I also bought a new car that doesn't hurt so much to drive, maybe becuase it has stiffer suspension and I can strap myself in really tightly. I sleep with a pillow between my knees and can't believe the difference this has made as well.

    Hope they can find out what is wrong. Good luck. They told me my injury would heal also.

    Sorry as I said before I have had more time to think about this.

    Crushed bone is usually picked up in an XRay so you probably haven't crushed your vertebrae which is good. So most of my experience is probably totally irrelevant to you. Mick and Trueblue seem to have suffered thoracic disk damage so they are probably the ones who will know the best course of action

    Please keep us updated on how everything went.
  • mickkrmmickkr Posts: 166
    edited 10/10/2013 - 8:38 PM
    Fingers crossed you will on the road to a proper diagnosis and proper treatment.

    TSP-I know you are in OZ and things are a bit more spread out compared with where I live (London,UK), but don't give up trying to get some surgery. I know it is risky, but so do the doctors performing the surgery so they prepare for this. When I had mine there was a chest team - expert in opening the chest cavity and a neuro team for the actual spine surgery. I was all wired up to alert them of any neurological changes during the surgery to indicate any contact with the cord and there were two anesthetists keeping a close eye on my breathing etc. I know this because they all visited me at some time during my recovery.

    Thoracic spine surgery is a rare event for these guys.For many of them it is the first and, possibly only time they participate. Mine took place at a teaching hospital and I was playing to a full gallery, so I'm told. I hope I looked my best, but I'm in no hurry to play the part again.

    My advise is BE PERSISTENT. Keep nagging until they are sick of the sight of you and will do anything to get you out of their hair. That's my experience. I wish I had staged a collapse on a busy road junction and had been rushed to hospital as an emergency instead of turning up for endless fruitless appointments week in, week out until I eventually became an actual emergency!

    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
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  • I have been to soo many specialists. They won't do anything until it becomes an emergency. I can still walk and am afraid of paralysis which they cannot guarantee would not happen. I must admit I am terrified of an operation but if that would take the pain away I would do anything. My new physio has worked wonders for me - it was immediate pain relief when she put my T4 and shoulder into the correct mechanical position.

    I can handle the pain now with opiods and muscle relaxants. It is not incessant like it was. If my body can get used to keeping my T4 and shoulder in the correct mechanical position I will slowly decrease the opiods, asked my GP and he said the muscle relaxants I am taking are not addictive.

    That is really what I am hoping. Just being out of pain for a few hours is a miracle for me. I think they treat thoracic trauma injuries differently now and put people in a full body cast which I wish I had. I did not realise it is such an uncommon injury until I researched. I thought the Drs had seen it before but they obviously hadn't so really had no experience in that area.

    I know what I have to be careful doing and if I don't take notice I really pay for it. Shopping really kills me for hours afterwards even if I only carry one bag at a time. At the moment, no-one in Brisbane will touch me because pain is my only symptom the wrap around pain - it doesn't seem to be effecting my breathing, I can walk which is a miracle in itself and do not get and I don't have nerve pain which is good, I would probably get nerve pain if I had an operation.

    I am so tired of Doctors and think I would have to go interstate to Sydney or Melbourne to get someone to operate. At the moment I am trying to enjoy a few hours without constant pain. It is like a miracle to me. I really don't know what to do next. I need to give the physio a chance, it is working at the moment if I am careful. The luxury of not having constant pain for a while is amazing.

    After 8 years I am just really worn down by the whole drama. I watched an amazing video on pain called 'The Secret Life of Pain'. It is on You Tube but watched it here on SBS but has been taken down now. It is well worth watching as now they know the exact part of the brain which receives pain signals and are experimenting with electronic therapy to that part of the brain that signals pain. They have also found the gene that causes pain - there is a family that feels no pain at all, they do not have the pain gene. I watched the whole documentary and if I was in the UK would try and get on the trial for it.

    Thank you for the advice. I think I have driven enough of them crazy in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. They say the outcomes and I quote 'are not usually good for this injury at this level.' As it is bone that is crushed I think they would operate if it was disks - I can't understand why my disks did not herniate as well. Anyway am so exhausted by the whole thing - will give the physio a chance. Thanks for your advice Mick - this is such a crap situation, I am so glad I have found a bit of relief at last.

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