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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board

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"Expendable" is how my family doc is treating me. I really think he feels that this working class dog can be replaced easily and the world will never notice.

I was plowed into by someone doing 55+ driving w/o a license in a near T-bone. Air bags didn't deploy. Yes, I knew I would be sore...for a while. I have been totally successful post my ACDF in '04, resumed all physical activities, lost weight, working out in the gym, and have kept myself in the best physical shape ever since then.

It has been 6 weeks. The ER doc palpated my spine, found no tenderness, and prescribed muscle relaxants and vicodin. I followed up as told with the only family doc I have had for these 10 years--never sick & haven't seen him since '04 either.

He rx'd vicodin and ibuprofen, told me to take it 24/7 for 2 weeks without question or fail. I did. I am not sleeping through the night still. The vibrations from the car after about 30 mins. drive me crazy and cause all kinds of back and neck pain. I have some good moments but then without rhyme or reason, it feels like my left scapula is trying to protrude out the back and it feels like I have been kicked in the lower right back just above the hip bones. These two things have stayed pretty much the same the whole time. I can't sit back on a wooden church pew (which I discovered the hard way). I voiced this on visit #2 and doc set up PT. Two weeks (4 sessions) - I found the PT business itself to be ???? I was interviewed by a real PT on visit 1 who then did Tens, hot moist packs x 30 mins, then deep tissue massage & could hit spots in my back to cause me to stop breathing and elicit pain. Then on visits 2, 3, and 4, I was seen exclusively by techs or aides (all diff. people). On week 2, they decided to start exercises - extreme range of motion of neck and lower spine x 10 reps. They forced my neck to look over right and left shoulders, up & down, angled under arm, and torso/leg twist. My neck felt fine until the repetitive exercises. On visit 3, a young high school boy who was job shadowing was left to demonstrate an exercise and count off. On visit 4, the same young fellow was sent in following my Tens to remove the pads and I felt uncomfortable with this kid seeing my bare back and bra. (I said nothing. My attitude was...yes, I will good naturedly tolerate this if I can feel better.) The PT'ers said I should be in more pain before I got better.

My followup doc visit was yesterday and I told him the pain was worse (new pain) after PT but the same pains were there unchanged. Mysteriously they are in the area behind the seatbelt. The doc then questioned me about if I had an attorney, got ugly that he didn't get involved in insurance matters, and then said that it was all fantasy/a farce any long term effects from a car accident. That long term effects of injury is a made up concept; doesn't happen that if I had been injured, I would have known about it right then after the accident. I have had no x-rays, no labs, just visual/palpation exams. The front wheel of my car had the tire/tube flung off and the wheel itself was twisted 3/4s around on itself. I was sitting right behind this; totalled the car, jammed the driver's door shut. It was a pretty hard hit and yet my family doctor snorts and says that I should be fine. Same doc that told my husband that he doesn't do screening for prostate (PSA) or colon cancer (flexible sig) at any age when my husband questioned routinely several years ago.

The doc gave me an RX for Prozac, wrote on the sheet a diagnosis of depression, says he will keep seeing me weekly until I get tired of coming. Now I am painted to be a "nutcase" on paper no less.

My original neurosurgeon says he can't see me without an MRI study or a new referral for a new problem (that it would be jumping the health ins. channels). I woke up last night at 2:07 a.m. with low back pain and since the PT of last Thurs. I have awakened 3/4 mornings with numb arms and hands which goes away when I get up. Still upon arising my arms feel numb. My family doc says I am imagining it.

I am trying to find a reputable physician to give me a good physical and switch my care. I have never had any blood work or any lab at all from this family doc. I am 40+ but consider myself healthy, rarely have a cold so maybe I never needed screening??? I just don't know, I haven't had any experience with an undiagnosed condition. I called one practice and when I said "car accident" they got really ugly and said they did no insurance work, filed no claims and that I would be 100% cash pay. I am finding it hard to find someone who will take on a new patient and you become a pariah if you have been injured in a car accident. (I was just on my way to work.) I hate to think I will have to live with the pain but by comparison, the physical pain is preferable rather than being insulted and belittled on a weekly basis. Anyone had similar experiences?
I cannot believe how narrow minded some doctors are!!! That is so frustrating. I was made to feel like I was crazy too, and I really started wondering if I was. Funny how fast they break out the antidepressants, but make you feel like your some druggy if you ask for pain meds. I would find a new family doc. a.s.a.p, and push them to order an MRI. I found an awesome family doc, and he had just barely opened his office, so he wasn’t very busy yet, and actually spent a lot more time with me then a busy established office would’ve. I would just let them know that you are having the same type symptoms that you had before you had your ACDF. I had gone to so many different docs, and they diagnosed me from anything to Tortocolis, chronis sinus pressure/pain, sprained neck to chronic headaches.

I still remember when they finally ordered my first MRI after 3 years of all kinds of pain and suffering, and I walked into my family doc’s (at that time), office unable to even turn my head. I asked this itchy….. ahum… nurse if I could please get something for the pain, while tears were rolling down my face, and she (real coldly) told me: [I]“sorry I can’t do anything for you until we get the results”[/I]. I never ever ever went back to that clinic. I finally have a good family doc, neurologist, and a great physical therapist, and they all work together. I just recently got all my records from the last 3 years and everything in those records from all the different doctors that I went to, noted that I had left cervical pain, arm pain, burning, numbness. It is mindblowing that not one of them thought that just maybe one of my discs might be damaged.

Keep fighting!!! I have learned that I am usually pretty much right about what I think is going on with my body.

Take care, and hang in there.

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