Sorry, I started on another persons newly diagnosed post:
Hi All, I am also new here. I am 50 years old. Just trying to figure out my next step. To make a long story short I have had about 3-4 years of general muscle weakness, fatigue and bone pain. I am usually active, hiking, skiing (snow and water), camping, ect. I ruptured my L5-S1 disc around 1998 and had complete relief/recovery after a laminectomy. This time around I have seen many doctors to include neurology, infections control (because I have unexplained low grade fevers), a rheumatologist (who is now treating me for rheumatoid arthritis since this fall 2014). I am in pain all day, every day. I get limited narcotics (X60 tablets Vicodin every month) so I use them sparingly, usually at night or after yard work or easy house chores. I cannot function on narcotics during the day at work. I use large doses of ibuprofen and aspirins 4 times a day with muscle relaxers but my pain is never below 6-7/10. During this time I have been told I may have possible Parkinsons disease (because of the extremity weakness and tremors), osteoarthritis (because of my bone pain), myositis (because of muscle disfunction), told I may have fibromyalgia and now Rheumatoid arthritis. I am a nurse and are familiar with these conditions and I know I do NOT Have fibromyalgia….“my muscles don’t hurt, my bones and spine hurt” is what I keep telling my doctors, which in fibromyalgia your muscles hurt. I was not familiar and have never heard about this spinal condition. A few months ago my doctor even referred me to a Pain Clinic for cognitive behavior therapy and doubled my antidepressant dose! The symptoms have been coming for about 3-4 yrs now but this last summer I got a bug bite after a Mexico trip that turned into a bad abcess and infection, this increased all my symptoms about 50 times more than they had been! My doc sent me to ER twice this last month for severe pain around my mid section, like a burning vice. The ED ruled out urinary infection, heart attack, kidney stones, ovary tumors and appendicitis. My PCP requested an MRI twice over this time period, last October being the last request but my insurance has denied both requests. I appealed but the MRI was still denied. The second ER visit the doctor did an MRI on lumbar and thoracic spine which showed a syrinx T2- T11, 2cm wide. ALSO I have 13 bulging discs (yes 13!) with 6 of them impinging on nerves, in thoracic area. They put me on steroids, sent me home with narcotic pain meds + anti nausea meds and told me to get into a neurosurgeon in 7 days. It is now 14 days after Dx and my appt with the surgeon is not for 5 weeks away! When asked if I could get in sooner I was told no, that the surgeon wants me to do a month of Physical therapy first, then see her. There has been no mention of additional films, I expected an MRI of my cervical spine and brain, to see the extent of the syrinx and see why my cerebral spinal fluid is leaking, also to rule out tumors, Chiari. Sorry, I am rambling. Anyway, I am wondering if this was what you all had to go thru, the long wait time to even be seen? Everywhere I read it states that it is urgent to find why I am having a CSF leak and prevention of further bulging discs, rupture disc or permanent nerve damage. I already have numbness/tingling in all four extremeties, my back feels like 2X4 lumber pieces in my spine, I have problems closing my sphincter after a bowel movement (it takes a while to close). My function is about 25% per my usua lasy yearl, I am clumsy, trip often, drop things, bump into doors and I have nausea daily, etc. My PCP has told me not to do ANYTHING with any straining, not even walk my dogs, until I see the neurosurgeon. I can’t even work with this pain and fatique. Thank goodness my job is allowing me to be gone so much. SO….should I look for another neurosurgeon that can see me sooner or am I jumping the gun and should be fine to wait 5 more weeks to be seen and another (who knows) how many weeks to get authorized imaging and possible surgery? I feel like I am going to be down and sick all of this spring or longer….I love spring!!! I thought I would have already had surgery by now! My biggest worry is permanent nerve damage. Any insight will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.