Post by therdre on Feb 26, 2019 15:47:19 GMT -8
Hello, I wanted to know if anyone has had a similar problem as me and could recommend what to do in this situation. In November of 2017 I got shingles and it seems to have set off other underlying issues I was unaware of. The shingles has left me with severe phn on my left hip and thigh. When they did an MRI it showed that I also have 2 bulging discs in my L4/L5 area. I wasn't having issues before the shingles but it seems to have set something off because not only do I get unbearable pain in my hip and thigh but also in the rest of my left leg along with my back and neck. I get horrible burning across my entire leg (although its usually focused in my foot) and sometimes it'll extend up to my ribs and across my stomach and up and down my spine. Along with the burning the pain is in the same areas although my hip and thigh are the worst. I've seen multiple doctors who have mostly patronized me and treated me like I was a drug addict. I am currently searching for a new doctor although I do not have very good insurance so it's been difficult (waiting to hear back about a potential neurologist I found).
I'm currently seeing a pain management specialist who has done little to aid me. I'm on a low dose opioids that help some of the burning and pain but once it reaches a certain point I notice no difference in the pain when I take them. I'm also on the max amount of gabapentin per day (3600mg) which does help but not nearly enough to make me even remotely comfortable. Since the pain is in my hip and thigh I have difficulty walking and some days I am unable to walk because the pain is so bad. It's absolutely ruined my life I'm unable to do anything social and I had to drop out of school. I had been in and out of college (I'm 30 now) for years but finally got my act together and finished community college and transferred to a great university where I was doing a dual major in chemical and nuclear engineering. I do work 2 days a week but I call out frequently and even though I sit most of my shifts it's an absolute nightmare to get through. I feel like my life has been ripped away from me.
2 nights ago the pain was so bad I had to go to the emergency room and the ER doctors and nurses were very concerned that I was not getting proper treatment. Because of the pain my blood pressure was in stroke territory along with me having difficulty breathing and uncontrollably spasming. They gave me a muscle injection of Dilaudid and while it didn't completely take away the pain it did at least calm it down enough to bring my blood pressure to a reasonable level (although it was still high) and it make the spasming stop (although it's returned today). This isn't the first time it's gotten this bad but I haven't gone to the ER in a while because I can't afford it. They told me to come back if it gets that bad again but it would bankrupt me.
I'm wondering if anyone has advice because I'm at a loss. Mentally I'm having difficulty dealing with the pain and at times I've become unreasonable angry over small things because of it. My doctor refuses to give me anything strong and wants to keep trying things that we've already done before that haven't worked. I'm getting a nerve block tomorrow which does work but it only provides 1-2 weeks of relief and my insurance only covers 6 per year which won't even remotely cover me for the rest of the year. We tried a trial spinal simulator but all it did was aggravate the issue. There's another type of spinal simulator they said they could try but I'm quite fearful of getting it because I don't think I can take the increase in pain again. Outside of that they have nothing and are content with letting me suffer. I did book an appointment with the neurologist I found in case my insurance approves it (app is 1 month away) if they don't I'll keep searching. I'm not sure what to do in the meantime and I'm afraid of getting a stroke from my blood pressure being so high. I can probably go to the hospital 1 more time but after that I wouldn't be able to afford it. I usually ice my leg all day long and don't wear socks because they irritate my foot too much. I also sometimes use a heating pad but it's hit or miss as to if it works or not. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated whether it be how to deal with the doctors or suggestions for pain relief.