Tuesday, November 29, 2005

the Back Situation......

I finally made an appt to see a doc about my back.......again!! I haven't seen anyone or been treated for about 2 years now. I had gotten pretty frustrated with my other doctors so I stopped seeing them. They were unable to tell me what may be causing my chronic pain and their treatment didnt seem to do much for me. I was on Bextra for a while, but after that was discontinued I just went back to taking Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) for my lower back pain. The thing that motivated me to finally make an appt is that my mid and upper back had started to hurt too. We had determined that my lower back pain was from a chronic inflammation of my Sacroiliac joints (or SI joints), although the cause was unknown. Anyway, I had figured out a way to somewhat control the lowerback pain with just Naproxen Sodium and light stretching, although I would frequently have "flare ups". Then, co-incidentally not long after starting my present job at the museum, my mid and lower back started to become stiff and painful most of the time, too. I was pretty sure that it was muscular rather that joint pain, and probably from sitting hunched over a computer all day. I tried acetaminophen (Tylenol) to control the pain, but that only worked marginally and I usually felt like I had been hit by a truck by the end of the day as well as when I woke up in the morning. So I decided I couldnt live with it anymore and made an appt with a Physcial Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist.

I had the appt yesterday and it went pretty well. He actually LISTENED to me!! Can you believe that!! Most of the docs I had seen up to that point conducted the patient interview with one hand on the door handle, at least mentally if not actually. So it was refreshing to have someone at least pretend to listen to my symptoms and concerns. After telling him everything, he suspects that it is either a form of sacroiliitis or possibly early onset of arthritis. He ordered several tests including a CBC and CMET to see if my having been taking NSAIDS for so long has started to effect my liver and kidneys, an X-ray of my thoracic and lunbar back (which I am actually kind of excited about since I will get to talk to an X-ray tech during it), another steriod injection to the SI joints to decrease or eliminate the pain so that I can start physical therapy soon. Also, he determined that my mid and upper back pain was indeed from muscle tightness and strain from sitting and doing repeated motion at the computer and he gave me some muscle relaxants for that, which are working well so far.

So things are in motion, which is good. It would be great if I could get the healing process well on its way by the time I start school. It would be very difficult to coordinate doc and PT visits while being 2 and a half hours away. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I am also in the process of being diagnosed with sarcoiliitis. What ended up happening with you? How old are you? What are you doing? How long did it take before they diagnosed you?
I'm 24 and have been having problems for about 1.5 years. It was originally diagnosed as a muscle injury but that made no sense because there was no incident.
I know what you mean about doctors with their hands on the door handle.
I have been a bit depressed about everything because I thought they wouldn't work out what was wrong. It seemed like the whole diagnosing process was done via guess and check. But the sacroiliitis thing sort of makes sense.