- CASE FILE
I'm a 32 yr old woman & have been suffering horrible pain since I was19. It affects every part of my life & I'm getting worse. I NEED help.
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
In 2006 was when my issues began. It started in my right leg, knee down to my foot. At first it was like pins and needles but then as the day went on, it turned into sharp stabbing pain. Even straightening my knee caused so much pain it literally took my breath away. My right foot was also swollen, as big as a football. My father took me to the emergency room. I was in a borrowed wheelchair at this point. In the ER they had my foot elevated for hours and the swelling did not recede. They did an ultrasound to make sure there were no blood clots. They thought it might had be diabetic neuropathy or gout. After blood tests and hours there they sent me home and told me to see a Dr. I ended up seeing quite a few Drs who basically spent 1 visit with me, doing blood tests, xrays,& an MRI? They told me they could find nothing and that maybe I should see a therapist. After being referred to an internal medicine Dr, I was sent to a RSD specialist. Which was where I got my diagnosis. Being young and following my father's advice we went to another Dr for the treatments because he was covered by our insurance. This Dr. was the worst human being I've ever met. He did 1 or 2 Cortisone injections in my lower spine. Then I believe 3 nerve blocks. When I still complained of pain it was like he'd get angry at me for still being in pain. When I basically asked what we suppose do next he talked about burning out the nerve. All the research I read tod me if a Dr offered that to run out of his office as fast as possible. When I said no and that I read it could cause worse issues. He basically broke up with me. He explained he never thought I had RSD. That on some scam he saw I had 2 bulging disks in my lower spine area and he thought that was causing the pain- hence the cortisone shots. Which I know nothing about when he did it. Then he basically told me I was fat -pat on my stomach and everything- and if I lost weight I'd be fine. Oh and to add insult to injury referred me to a psychiatrist saying or it could all just be in my head basically.
On a side note. I'd been an athlete for years. I may be a lil chubby right now but I wasn't at all then. When I was in middle school I swam competitively and was 1st in Florida twice- 8th & 16th in the nation. I've always been tough and I know pain. I was a swimmer in high school as well and at a state meet I had a kidney infection with 103 fever and still did my best time. When I got home from that meet I had to be rushed to an after hours clinic and given a giant shot in my leg. Then was told if I still had a fever there following day to come back in for another. Which is exactly what happened when I woke up with a 101 fever the day after. I didn't complain the entire time. I just got through it for my teammates.
Long story short, I stopped seeing Drs after that for a long time. The pain I experienced was so bad some days I thought about killing myself. It would get so bad that I prayed I would pass out from it. I kept wondering how I could still be conscious it hurt so badly. I kept trying to figure out how I could be causing my own pain. All these Drs who were professionals told me I was basically doing it to myself so I felt so crazy trying to figure out how to make it stop. After that there were some really dark years. Living in Fl there was in influx of pain meds everywhere. And I went down a dark road of just doing drugs withdrawing from my friends and family. Giving up on a future. It wasn't until I met someone I and really wanted to be loved and want a future did I see a pain mmgt Dr.
I explained my whole story. He was finally the person who made me believe I wasn't crazy. That there are very obvious symptoms and he put me on a seizure meds which a lot! Then he also put me on Buprenorphine. He said it was a drug for people trying to get off pain meds but there had been studies that it also helps with pain. Which it does. There's still pain. Everyday. On that stupid sad face pain chart- I'd say a normal day is about a 4. But the meds take the edge off. I could finally manage a some what semi-normal life.
Unfortunately, as life goes on different things tend to happen. I was taking care of my father- who had Parkinsons- and things were extremely stressful. I won't go into details but when I'm stressed my swelling and pain seem to increase drastically. It's like this new brain doesn't handle stress as well.- along with short and long term memory?- During that time I got pregnant. At first I had no clue. I was in so much pain I could hardly leave the bed. My boyfriend at the took me to the ER. When I found out I was pregnant. We gave him a short medical explanation of my issues and he basically said things that gave me zero hope. At least he was honest. And he's remark on the high possibility I'd end up losing the baby was correct. After I lost the baby that's when things got really bad for me mentally. The depression was overwhelming and all consuming.
I basically gave up all hope. The one thing I always wanted was a family of my own. I always wanted to be a mommy. Then I basically learned I would probably never be able to have the family I wanted. Id always just be managing my pain and die slowly and agonizing all alone. There's a loneliness in that as well. Something that separates you from everyone else, because how can anyone get it, unless you "get it".
So, I gave up. Gave up on living. I didn't want to hurt anymore and I felt like all my dreams were like the clouds. I could see them, watch them, but I'd never be able to touch them. Only watch them from a far as they blew away.
This is really hard to admit- but I'm gonna be completely upfront. I did some quick goodbyes- nothing poetic or even thoughtful. Mostly because it was a text to select loved ones that said nothing more than I love you & I'm sorry. Then locked myself in a hotel, smoked a few cigarettes, and pulled the trigger of my gun point blank in my stomach. I even used a bullet I knew would cause the most damage. A stared hollow point. If it hadnt been for my sister- her being my best friend and literal heart-going into my computer and finding my last transaction I would be dead for sure. The bullet did a lot of damage. Lost half my left lug. Some of my stomach and my intestines are a bit smaller now.
Here's the kicker. My legs hurt worse in the hospital than my gun shot wound. ?
That was about 5 years ago. Thankfully mentally I'm in a much better place. I had a NDE that gave some new beliefs and I'd never go down that road again. But unfortunately physically I'm getting worse and worse.
Here's the basics. It's pain pain pain. Chronic and acute. The acute is sharp stabbing but thankfully doesn't last to long and it's random where it hits. It's the neverending gnawing pain that gets you. It started on my lower right side. Knee down. Then the same thing on my left lower side. For years it stayed that way except on really bad days when my hands would ache and shake. I'm at the point where it affects my hips and both my hands on a general basis. My stomach causes no issues or pain. I'm exhausted all the time. In could literally sleep for the rest life I'm so tired all the time. When I buck up to do things it's like I can last a 4 yr window before I pass out like I have narcolepsy. Basic things like self care. Showering, makeup, clothes. All of its a chore. I get the spasms that never seem to end and also times where it feels like the bones in my feet are fusing together. I get Charlie horse type things down my calves in the insides of my feet, in my toes. And occasionally the fingers- ring and pinky-both hands- feel like they're stuck, in the knuckle area. When I move them, they don't move fluidly, it's more like popping action. It only happens after I wake up though. And a weird side note. The last few years I've even stopped moving in bed. To the point where I scared my sister because she told me I looked dead.
Whatevers going on, I know it's starting to affect my whole body. When I got my eyes checked. I had an enlarged optical nerve. And I guess the pressure is also orderline high.
I'm sorry if this story is all over the place. Honestly, I do my very best to ignore it as much as possible and talk about it even less. I mostly just talk to myself like a Drill Sargent in my head.
Help. I want to know if my chances for a better quality of life is possible. And if I can help others while doing that. I'm in.