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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Looking for answers
Aug 31, 2003
Hello, I am suffering from chronic pain and am looking for answers. My pain began in December of last year (2002) as a mild back ache in my upper back and a stiff neck. In January, I began having shooting pains through my arms and fingers. At this time, I sought medical attention. Nine months later, I am in severe pain daily, but I still do not really know what is wrong. I began seeing a neurologist in Feb., and she ordered brain and C-spine MRI's, blood work, and an EMG. All were normal, but the C-spine MRI did show, according to her, mild osteoarthritis. I just picked up the report last month, and I was surprised to read that the radioligist called it "mild degenerative disc disease" - now I'm trying to figure out what, if any differences there are between arthritis and DDD? And that's just the beginning of my questions. After seeing this neurologist for five months, I realized that the only thing she was going to do for me was prescribe anti-inflammatory meds and Vicoprofen one time a day; she was not giving me any answers as to what was causing the pain. So, in June, I saw my family dr., and she ordered a T-spine MRI. The radiologist who read the scans reported that I had a mass from T3-T8. I then saw a second neurologist, as well as the one I'd been seeing, and both of them told me that they did not think the radiologist was right. At the beginning of August, I talked my family doctor into referring me to a neurosurgeon. I saw him two weeks ago, and, once he saw the MRI report suggesting tumors, he immediately referred me to the director of his practice. I thought I might finally be on the road to having some answers and some help - but the second neurosurgeon said that the radioloigist didn't know what the hell he was looking at, and that, there are no tumors in my spine. However, he did say that I have a ruptured disk in my T-spine, but it's "not something he'd operate on". I'll be seeing him again on Wednesday, after I have another T-spine MRI so he can completely rule out the possibility of tumors. Meanwhile, I am in intense pain from morning till night. I have a burning ache around my spinal cord and painful spasms in my shoulders and upper back. I also have intermittent, but intense, pain/numbness in my arms and hands and constant tension headaches. To top it off, I noticed an ache around my tailbone about 6 weeks ago. Now this area, as well as my buttocks, and, occasionally, legs and feet, burn and tingle. I'm sure that there is now "something going on" in my lumbar spine as well as the rest of it. The pain , even on RX pain meds, is at times almost unbearable, and it is only the thought of how much my husband and three kids need me that keeps me from giving in to it. Honestly, though, I don't know how much longer I will be able to cope with it -especially if it continues to worsen as it has so far. I think I've dealt with the pain long enough to warrant surgical intervention - if it's even possible. I would love to hear about everyone's experiences - from how to deal with the pain to how to convince doctors to take me seriously and help me, if they can.
Amy

[This message has been edited by AmyYvonne (edited 08-31-2003).]





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