I am a 52-year-old female. I am overweight, but not obese. Early November I woke up with very uncomfortable neck/shoulder pain. I also had a dull headache, pressure behind my eyes and a tapping noise in my right ear (it sounded as if someone was doing Morse code in my ear). I went to my primary doctor and he did an extensive amount of blood tests to rule out an array of things. Everything came back fine other than my vitamin D being low, which I live in Michigan, it was fall, so wasn’t surprising. I started taking a vitamin D supplement to help. I then went to see a chiropractor. I had never been to one before, but for some reason, this is what I felt I needed. An x-ray was done and the chiropractor said I had the middle stages of disc degeneration. However, my primary doctor didn’t agree. My primary doctor is a D.O. so he did some mild adjustments on me and was treating me for stress. I didn’t feel I had stress, but went along with it.
I was also going and getting massages every 2 weeks to help with the pain. I felt like I had knots all over my back. Eventually the ringing in my ear went away. But the pain has never left. I have been hurting every day for the past 2 months. The dull headaches still are present, the mild pressure behind my eyes never has gone away.
On December 21st the pain was so bad, that I finally agreed to go to the ER. They ended up admitting me over night and ran a cat scan and an MRI. The cat scan came back negative, however the MRI came back showing that I had a bulging disc, along with several pinched nerves. The hospital discharged me with a prescription of Gabapentin.
I then contacted my primary doctor who referred me to see a neurosurgeon but also put me on a 10-day dosage of steroids. I saw the neurosurgeon last Friday and left there in tears. I was really hoping he was going to have an answer to my pain and how to make it go away and instead he made me feel like my pain wasn’t real. He told me that the gabapentin and steroids were going to kill me, to get off of them and wrote me a script for what ended up being 2 compound drugs that my insurance wouldn’t cover that would have cost me $1300. He said I did not need surgery and for the most part told me that my MRI was fine. This left me confused. Then why am I hurting and why did the hospital read my MRI and see what they saw and why did my doctor confirm this?
Sunday evening, I had what I call a meltdown. This is not me. But my husband ended up staying home from work yesterday with me because I was so worked up over all of this. I have been hurting for 2 months. For 2 months, I rarely get out of my pajamas. I sit on the couch with a heating pad in pain. I get myself worked up that there is more than just what the MRI showed wrong with me and start thinking I am dying.
I was only on the gabapentin for 3 1/2 weeks. Probably not long enough, but the side effects were to great. Sunday at 10pm I took my last dose. I do not know if it was the cause, but my upper stomach was hurting so bad. I kept feeling like my heart was racing and beating on the outside of my chest. About 2-3 hours after a dose, I would feel as if I was in a fog. I couldn’t think straight. Yesterday, I woke up and actually felt some of those feelings gone. Then I took my morning steroid pill and some of those feelings returned. So yesterday morning I also took my last steroid pill. Today, I am in more pain then I have been so obviously the gabapentin and steroid were helping somewhat and I still don’t feel great. My stomach is not hurting as badly but still hurts. My head still has a bit of a fog to it, but also not as bad.
So....after a long winded post here are some questions I have.
Does the heart racing, heart beating outside of my chest sound like something the gabapentin or steroid would cause only after being on it for 3 1/2 weeks and if so, would it still continue after being off the pills for 24 hours?
I hurt. I mean my neck hurts. My shoulders ache. My back hurts. My arms ache. My head hurts. I feel like areas of my body are bruised. When I move my head to the right or left, I feel like someone has stabbed me in my shoulder. Even under my chin feels bruised. Does this sound normal for a bulging disc and pinched nerves?
This has been going on for 2 months and I feel no light at the end of the tunnel. I start physical therapy tomorrow but really don’t even have hope right now with that. I am starting to think I have more serious things wrong (cancer) yet am terrified to even have anything checked to get that answer. I am literally a mess.
Please any insight anyone can give me I would appreciate!!