|10-07-2007, 03:07 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
My condition and ambiguous health care, a little rant
I'm not feeling very well and would like to tell you my entire story.
Firstly, I'd like to take a step forward and vent out my frustration with health care... whatever that may include: both the private and public health system in my country (aka the Italian SSN, similar to NHS), the level of technology that is available, and the somewhat ambiguous health care professionals I've met throughout the adventurous journey I embarked on more than four months ago.
And I could go on to enumerate the opportunistic behavior of pharmaceutical industries (already mentioned on other topics on this forum) and private bodyworkers...
With all my heart and sincereness, I'm aware of the fact that there are people here and in the world whose priority for attention/care is greater than mine, I'm aware that there are more serious conditions and more important things than this, and with all respect I'm aware that some healthcare professionals are doing an amazing job... yet I'm simply frustrated and at the same time puzzled about what is actually happening to me.
Secondly, I'd like to ask whether anyone here has gone through similar situations and/or found a solution and/or has any ideas as to what else I could do next.
To be short and sweet, while I was doing some routine physical exercises four months ago (June 2007), I did a stretching/yoga posture known as "the plough" (a pose I had actually done numerous times before; thanks to my own stupidity though I always self-learned that stuff), and something happened to the area below my neck.
Initially I thought it was just a whiplash, but the pain was unbearable.
A few days later I went to my general practitioner who assured me that it was "absolutely nothing", and thus I continued living my normal life, walking and going to lectures, doing a few exams (badly, due to the pain... imagine walking around and writing with the feeling of a knife stabbing the base of your neck), but avoiding all physical exercise for a while.
As time passed, the pain snowballed, reaching shoulders, arms and fingers, also making my neck muscles completely rigid.
Everyone thought maybe it was just the compound effect of exam stress and similar factors, but it became only worse, stabbing throughout my neck.
It became so unbearable in July that I was admitted to the emergency department, where several tests were done (but "you still have an amazing flexibility and bending range") and I was prescribed several NSAIDs and to keep a cervical collar for a week.
The pain [obviously] went away for a while (and I swear that during those days I didn't do anything apart from staying in bed and reading books), but as the effects of the drugs wore out, the symptoms relapsed.
Emergency dept once again; and this time they told me to take 2-3 injections a day for two weeks... (omg, all the funny side-effects).
Like the previous time, the symptoms were treated, but relapsed again, despite all my efforts (I literally was like a mummy at home during most of my summer vacation).
Apparently, I had all the symptoms for spinal disc herniation which was what most experts later suggested to be the cause of my pain, but an NMRI scan of my spine (performed towards end of July) revealed only that... my neck was rigid
So everything they did was keeping dismissing me and reassuring me that "nothing was wrong", that everything might actually have a psychogenic cause, etc.
Reassuring words (and also a reassuring MRI), and I'm a pretty positive person... but my body kept sending new warning signals every day.
In mid-August I quit taking medications since I was also told that they are bad and won't really help the cause of the pain. I also traveled to London where I met a private osteopath who - keeping in mind the results of the MRI - conjectured that all I had was nerves pinched by the rigid muscles.
Indeed, in the meantime my muscles around the whole neck-jaw area had become somewhat strange, not really responding to my orders.
He performed several massages and stuff and I felt less tension, more relieved and with time also less pain in the arms and fingers.
Also according to the osteopaths, I had an "incredible range" (bending neck sidewards, backwards and forwards).
He told me that I should really forget everything and even start dancing again
(I obviously didn't).
As time passed, and I came back home, the pains kept relapsing with different intensities, with no real episode of total lack of pain (except the few seconds after I wake up in the morning).
That "knife in the nape/neck" feeling is constantly there throughout the day.
The "pins and needles [and nuclear missiles]" now come in hundreds of different variations, accompanied by sensory abnormalities (implosion feeling between nose and palate... the feeling you get when somebody just punched your nose, light dots flying around in my vision field, sensation of raindrops or acid falling all over my body). I also feel as if some of my mechanic functions are limited (strange blocking feeling when I expand my mouth to yawn, swallow water, etc.), in addition of course to the stabbing and dull pain that occasionally comes along the nerves in the eyes, teeth, chest, ears (haha, even the lobes of the ears!) and other places.
My general practitioner appeared a bit puzzled and told me to go to a private physical therapist here in Italy. That guy did some strange manipulations which made me feel even worse and told me to come to him everyday (and pay him a lot of money). My next try is with the neurologist.
University started again and taking notes at lectures sometimes causes dizziness and vertigo. I can't stay seated for a long time. But I do it because I like what I learn. I also work a lot with the student union, organize parties, compose music (although I really didn't dance even once ever since this stupid accident) and everything else. But sometimes it gets so intense that I must lie down, even when I'm at university or in public transport.
I try to enjoy life, work and do what I always did and learn new things.
And every night I fall asleep telling myself "This is just pain, nothing else. Just get used to it." But the next day I wake up with a new pain or a stronger form/intensity of a previous pain in the area.
Amidst my adventure of life, what I keep wondering about sometimes is...
Is it normal for pain to last, and not only linger but become worse every day, without no cause, for more than 4 months? Could the health professionals have been lying to me right from the start, not doing anything to prevent whatever is happening right now, and maybe...
Could they be waiting for my condition to deteriorate to the point at which they'll be able to charge me more money for whatever treatment I will need?
Or could they have simply overlooked something...?
This is my story. For now.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know.
Long live love and life.
|10-07-2007, 04:26 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Last edited by escapee; 10-07-2007 at 04:34 PM.
|10-07-2007, 06:23 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Berlin, Germany
When you feel pain in your neck that pain lets you cramp your muscles, which can inturn result in increased pain.
I have experienced a state like the one discribing for durations of 2-3 days, but from different courses.
If I were in your position I would go to a hypnotherapist or use some self hypnosis tape.
That can reduce the pain and relax your muscles.
|10-11-2007, 01:54 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Have you seen any of these doctors more than once? If a person has a puzzling condition, sometimes they tend to go to one doctor after another.
It's generally more effective to go back to the same doctor, who can then form a plan to diagnose and treat you. If a treatment doesn't work, it does at least add information that may further the diagnostic process.
If you simply go to another doctor, even though you try to faithfully relay information from other doctor's visits, there's a chance that something can be forgotten that might be the very key to the solution.
I can't offer anything in the way of speculating a diagnosis, but I would be very concerned about continuous and escalating symptoms. Even though you may need some specialty consultations, find a general practitioner and stay with them so they can help map your course.
|10-11-2007, 12:59 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate the fact that you read my story.
escapee... so you think that I might have caused actual nerve damage?
Brutha. Yes, I know medicine isn't perfect; I was just pretty annoyed by their often dismissory attitude (they didn't seem to care). I can understand at the beginning, but when symptoms start escalating, there must be a reason.
And yes, you're also right about the chain reaction of the muscles, that's also what the osteopath said. But can muscles stay permanently cramped like this for more than 4 months?! I can understand a few days, even a few weeks. But 4 months is really a lot.
There's a probability of another undiagnosed cause of my pain...
From a psychological perspective I'm often pretty relaxed. As I said, I [still] enjoy life, I'm constantly happy when I'm with my friends... to be honest, sometimes I get the sudden electric pain exactly when I'm happy and enjoying most!
Do you think I need extra hypnosis to relax the muscles?
In Italy, we basically have the same general practitioner all the time. So she saw me throughout the entire journey and knows all my family's medical history as well.
The neuroradiologist, orthopedics, etc. are also from the same department.
The osteopath in London visited me three times in three weeks.
All of them said there's nothing wrong with me and/or that they can't explain any cause for my pain.
|10-11-2007, 01:32 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
You did a stretching position and something went wrong. May have involved a nerve pinch. Maybe not.
So what is known to determine a reason? Well whatever you did isn't an injury otherwise that would have healed by now. There is something ongoing. Presumably something went out of position, despite your flexibility.
Here's what I suggest to correct positioning:
The Egoscue Method - Be Pain Free
And do the neck pain trio of exercises.
If you are feeling partly or completely better within a fortnight, you know you are on the right track. If not, stop.
If you are better, you will probably want to do a more complete body sequence. It takes longer, but is good prevention. Start with Condition II for at least a week, then move to Condition I or III as per your posture.
The Egoscue Method - Be Pain Free
Notes: be VERY pedantic about doing all exercises as instructed ie in full except if painful, in order, and exactly as described.
Put up your results after the first time you do the neck sequence, and I'll reply.
|10-12-2007, 03:30 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Deathstorm, I'm not exactly sure but you have all the symptoms of neurological disorder ( Caused by a physical injury !?). I believe a neurologist would be able to diagnose the problem better.
I really think you should give the supplement a try while receiving standard treatment from the conventional establishment.
Magnesium (important) ,Zinc, Calcium, Essential fatty acids( Omega6 and 3) ,B1( benfothiamine- mostly for diabetic ), B12 ( Methy-co ), Iron ( mostly for restless leg syndrome ) , folate & other B vitamins are a few important nerve nutrients you can consider. Do you own research you may uncover the nutrient that you lack in your diet which worsen your injury.
Organic vs Inorganic - mineral contents comparison
Last edited by escapee; 10-12-2007 at 04:10 AM.
|10-12-2007, 04:13 AM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2007
About 18 years ago, my former boss' wife had the same symptoms. She was involved in a car accident. No major injuries, but she had some sort of whiplash. She couldn't move her neck, and she was in constant, excruciating pain. She went to all the best doctors, and they were all baffled. This went on for at least 6 months, and my boss was seriously considering life with a permanently disabled wife.
Finally, she went to a reputable accupuncturist. He told her that her muscles were frozen and stiff, and after 6 months, they had become like cement. After a couple of treatments, she recovered 100%. When she went back to the Western doctors, they were very angry at her for doing "weird" stuff to her neck (after all, this was almost 20 years ago).
Today, she is perfectly fine.
After spraining my ankle, I also went to an accupuncturist. Now, this guy was hardcore, because he also punctured my skin and drew out a lot of blood (it was disgustingly black!). But the next day, my ankle was significantly better.
I'm not saying accupuncture is a miracle. But, in many cases, it can really help alleviate pain and circulation problems.
|10-14-2007, 11:38 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
I was going to also suggest acupuncture.
Your doctor's have no vested interest in lying to you. I would put that thought out of your mind.
Doctor's can make mistakes. But they don't lie. They also have a limited range of diagnostic tests they can perform. That is just life. Unusual cases go undiagnosed all the time.
You need to find someone and persist. Don't be nicey nice. Tell them when you make your appointment that you have a complicated history and to book you a double time slot. Explain your entire exam history, get a repeat MRI and some EMG tests which are nerve conduction tests that will show whether you have nerve damage or just perceived nerve pain.
Consider acupuncture. Routine massage therapy as well.
|10-15-2007, 08:33 PM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Upstate, NY
I lived with so many doctor issues while I was in chronic pain for over 6 years and know how frustrated you must feel right now. I now maintain a blog on healing pain naturally and if you emailed me directly I would give you more tips on ways to feel better even when you are in pain. I could rant about the US health care system to no end -- 6 years of tests, diagnosis, several prescriptions and it finally took me to heal myself -- which they said couldn't be done. I also do see a chiropractor who is very holistically based and works wonders as well. I'd love to talk to you some more. Visit my site and blog and PLEASE email me if you want any direct advice on means to control your pain.
Jenny I Used the Law of Attraction to Self Heal Chronic Pain & Chronic Illnesses including Fibromyalgia. I Used the Law of Attraction to Self Heal Chronic Pain & Chronic Illnesses including Fibromyalgia.Heal Pain Naturally
|12-07-2007, 02:39 PM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
I was right. All the time. From the beginning
Didn't come online for lot of time since it's paining to stay at the computer, but I just wanted to let you know.
Look, I'm living/studying in a country (Italy) where it seems that medical negligence seems to be a fashion.
They do have an interest in saying "there's nothing wrong" until the ailment gets bad to a point where the patients are forced to pay money to get a more expensive treatment.
Doctors are humans. And all humans need a profit, you know?
You know what?
In the meantime my pain has becoming worse and worse. And worse. Oh damn, I don't know how to express it in words anymore.
And do you know what's the most ironic thing about this story?
I was right from the beginning! And nobody listened to me!
They even chased me from the hospital when I tried to expose my "theory".
Last week I went to another doctor and showed the old MRI; that doctor confirmed what my own non-medical logic had understood long ago...
He said at first glance that it's clearly visible that I had problems with the discs. Whereas the previous doctors said that there's "absolutely nothing".
I honestly don't know what to do now. Nor what to think.
I've lost my hope and my personality in all these months of dark pain.
I was taken for a hypochondriac idiot that was nuts.
I would like to shoot at the doctors genitals so that they can experience how "imaginary pain" feels like.
Had they told me the truth in the beginning, had they listened to me, I could have been healed in time.
But no, they're Gods, they're always right.
I want a lawyer, or at least publicly expose and humiliate the doctors/hospitals that mistreated me.
|12-08-2007, 10:56 AM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: A cute little town in Sweden :)
As for the humiliation etc. - I know exactly how you feel. I used to live in Finland and I think medical negligence, or, frankly, just lazy a§§ people who don't care or want to do their jobs is a norm in that country. I had a condition that no one could explain either - not that I could get any medical attention for it. I have had nervous breakdowns, floods of tears, panic attacks on more than one occasion fearing for myself, who is going to treat my health problems. They are completely incomptent. One time I had symptoms of fatigue and dizziness so extreme I could do nothing but remain lying, without moving, or else I became nauseous and would vomit. This was sort of chronic, but it rarely was so severe that I had to be inactive. The doctor I was assigned began to resent me, because I had to go to her with the same symptoms, she got nasty and I tried to request a different doctor. Then I just called the hospital and tried to get help from a more specialized doctor, but I called that doctor for 4 days and kept getting told he will call me back, but never. Finally I broke down in a panic and tears on the phone, and only then did the doctor call me back. Thank God I'm out of that country. I won't be moving to Italy either I guess
|12-11-2007, 10:30 PM||#13 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2007
You now have a clash of doctor opinions. You are saying the one who agrees with you is the one who has the right opinion. Maybe, maybe not.
In the end it comes down to, what treatment are they suggesting. If it's an operation then you are back with your own question of whether this answer is motivated by money rather than good outcomes for you.
Don't lose your scepticism at any stage.
Have you taken up any of the suggestions listed above?
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