Osteoarthritis-the most frequent type of arthritis. This degenerative joint disease affects over 16 million Americans. This form of arthritis is caused when the cartilage surrounding the edges of the bones begins to drop and the joints are no longer cushioned. This caused the joints to rub together and in serious cases, you can hear the bones grating against one another. At the onset of osteoarthritis, the symptoms are normally mild and consist of pain and stiffness of the joints. As the disease progresses, inflammation and loss of motion can occur. In some severe cases, deformity can occur if the grinding joints wear one edge of the joint higher than the other.
Before the Olympic Games opened in Sydney last month, the aging gold medalists Bruce Jenner, Dorothy Hamill and Bart Conner were talking more about their arthritis than the coming events. There’s a good reason. All three athletes are being paid by either Merck or Pharmacia to appear on talk shows and speak to groups about the new prescription pain relievers that they are taking for their sore joints. The testimonials are part of one of the fiercest and most expensive battles …
Two large drug companies say they have developed a new class of drugs that can relieve pain and inflammation without the gastrointestinal side effects of current drugs. The companies, G. D. Searle and Company, a division of Monsanto Company, and Merck and Company reported yesterday in San Diego at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology on results of tests of the new drugs. It remains to be seen if the results will hold up in further tests, or …
QUESTION: I have pain… and no end in sight.?OK, so I've got pains I can't explain… the problem is that I've been to countless doctors and have been unable to get a satisfactory diagnosis. The pain seems to be everywhere… when I am seated in certain positions… I feel it in my hips and in my mid back. When I walk or stand for any length of time… the pain is lower now… like my lumbar area… and in my neck… I also have numbness and heat in my hands (like arthritis)… tingling in my chest… numbness, tingling and heat in my legs. I have pains in my chest too… though I think that might just be panic and fear over these pains…. I don't know. I've been given pain meds and muscle relaxants which work… but then I run out and I've been unable to find a doctor who is willing to give me an ongoing prescription. I've gone to acupuncturists, chiropractors, pain management centers, walk in clinics…. I've spent THOUSANDS, all to no avail. I have also invested in a Temper-pedic mattress, weekly massage, a hot tub… and still I am plagued by pain. Further, as this is impacting both my mood and my ability to think clearly, I've spiraled into a deep depression where I feel absolutely certain I am going to die… and soon. The fear of this and worry over my family is keeping me up at night… I find myself looking up my symptoms and finding the causes ranging from anything from a weakened immune system to lung cancer to leukemia. So naturally I'm terrified. The other thing is that I'm uninsured and insurable (due to my weight… I'm 315lbs, and the fact that I'm self employed)… and because I'm unable to really exercise…. so it's getting worse… not better. I had a seated MRI in January… I think some of my problems are only clear when I'm standing since that's when I'm in pain. According to the MRI (we didn't do the lumbar), I have I have at least three blown discs… T-10 to T11, T-11 to T-12 and T-12 to L-1…. that plus macular degeneration of the discs is causing inflammation and osteoarthritis symptoms…. I'm only 38… yet apparently I have the spine of a 70 year old. I recently paid $3000 OOP for facet injections… a mixture of steroids and Novocaine… and I've gotten some minor relief…. but I'm still in alot of pain and it's not getting better. My hands are on fire most of the time. To be honest, I'm not convinced the pain I'm in is all in my back…. I feel chest pains and hip pains too… I've been told it's all related… but part of me says fibromyalgia, part of me says it's depression or a midlife crisis… and another part of me thinks it might be cancer, lupus, a heart condition, or even AIDS…. because all sometimes present as inflammation of the joints… and referring pain. To make matters worse, I now can't find a doctor to give me something to help the pain anymore… I've been to dozens of clinics…. the prevailing thought is that if it can't be cured with 30 days worth of flexoril and vicoden… I should be made to suffer. The last doctor I went to suggested I lose the weight…. as if that hadn't been discussed… or as if I could stand up long enough to exercise meaningfully. So guys…. what do I do? I am dieting… and I'm taking Alli… a great diet pill… it's working. I also do not have any history selling pills or avoiding treatment. The pain management clinics in my area are against giving out pain medication for some reason… they all promote alternative remedies… which don't work. How do I find a pain management clinic who is willing to prescribe drugs?
Okay. I'm stunned that with three blown discs and osteoarthritis symptoms, even pain management centers have been unwilling to help you with your pain. I'm also amazed that no one seems to have taken seriously the possibility that in addition to your back problems, you may have fibromyalgia or lupus. Fibromyalgia is a tricky beast to diagnose, but for heaven's sake, lupus can be ruled out with a simple test! I have to be honest with you: this sounds like blatant size discrimination to me, pure and simple. I promise you this: no thin person with your list of symptoms would be simply advised to "exercise" without any serious diagnostic work done to find the cause of your multiple pain issues. I also promise you that a thin person with three blown discs, osteoarthritis symptoms, and joint pain would *never* be refused pain relief at a pain management clinic unless he or she had a bad history of resisting treatment or illegally selling the drugs. This simply would not happen. Unfortunately, I'm not altogether sure how to advise you. First stop would probably be this list: http://www.cat-and-dragon.com/stef/fat/ffp.html It is a list of doctors known to be "fat friendly," or at least not "fat bigoted." Unfortunately, you may not live in one of the cities that has any doctors listed. If so, then I think you'll have to find a decent doctor on your own. The same site listed above also has some advice as to what questions to ask in a phone interview, to make sure that the doctor you're about to see is not blatantly discriminatory. The second thing I'd recommend is that you see a doctor about your depression issues. I'm NOT saying that you're crazy, or that your pain is "all in your head." I am, however, positive that you're depressed. It's hardly surprising: most people who deal with chronic pain become depressed sooner or later, even the ones who *are* getting decent care, and you are not getting the health care you deserve. Between that, the pain, and your financial situation, it's completely unsurprising that you're feeling very depressed. However, doing something about the depression now will give you the strength and energy that you're going to need to seek out the medical attention that you require. And, as an added bonus, some antidepressants can also help reduce pain. I'd make an appointment to see a psychiatrist or a counselor as soon as possible. I don't know where you live, but most cities have low-cost clinics that will help you for a low fee. If you don't live in a rural area, then you might want to look into that. Finally, you may want to tell your story to a national advocacy group. I don't know if they can help you, but it's certainly worth a shot, and if nothing else, it will get your story out there. Because really, it is absolutely outrageous that you have been blown off by pain management, given your medical issues. NAAFA's website is below: ETA: Adam, that's great that Alli is working for you. Just to make it clear, I didn't mean to imply that you were a drug seeker! Just that I'm totally appalled at the idea of a pain management specialist refusing drugs to someone with your sort of problems except in that one particular instance. To find pain management clinics, try Googling the name of your city and state, plus "Pain Management." If you live in a rural area, use the name of the nearest city. Then you can check the websites of all the clinics that come up and see if you can deduce what their drug policy is from their sites. If not, or if they don't have websites, then try calling them and asking about their approach to pain management. You might also look for an online support forum for people with chronic pain. It's possible that someone there might be able to steer you to a better clinic or doctor in your area. Finally, if nothing else works, take pamzstew's advice for now and go to the ER. They will have to help you, and maybe you'll have more luck getting to a doc who will take you seriously through them. Good luck. I really hope you can find a solution soon. You sound like you're really suffering, and it's not fair.
Woe, you ever tried looking in your area for a Pain Clinic. They are helpful, but be careful they can give too many meds. Having surgery could help some, but the pain will be ongoing. I am a witness. Yes, loosing some weight would help tremendously. Cut back on breads, potatoes, stuff that we really want but do not need. LOL There are exercises you can do while sitting. But, right now the main problem is getting your back fixed, and taking control of your pain. Make an appointment with the Hospitalist. They are the physicians at the hospitals that see various patients, but will call in a specialist in the area of health needed. Insurance or not, go to the ER, they cannot turn you away. And, if they do, well that is a legal situation. I am a nurse, believe me they cannot turn you away. I will be praying for you. Let me know how things turn out. You might really want to check out the Pain Clinic though.
Invest some money in a really good diet book. Change your diet. First of all that will help you loose weight. Try eating alot of fresh salads and fresh sushi. And lots of fruit. Think healthy, change the way you think Try self improvment of self- Tell yourself you are going to get better. And really believe it. Get off all the drugs they are slowly killing you (pain medication) Try some natural 100% pure goanna oil for you spine. Take calicium supplement as well as magnesium. Colloidal gold and silver. Drink a cap daily.( a cap means a thimble) not a shot glass).. Go swimming when you can permit yourself to exercise. An hour 3 times a week. And dont be lazy.. Have some serious Blood test Done, get the doctor to check for everthing. To alleviate your wondering thoughts of disease. Than take appropriate action, when results are back. And take some St johns wort for your depression ( make sure you dont mix this with any antidepressant medication as it has an adverse effect on thr body. You need to manage your pain too, for now I suggest staying on a pain medication so you can sleep at night. But eventually you will want to get of it, and be free from pain. Have you try'd Medical Marijuana? can you get some? It depends some people it works well for others it doesn't. Other option is a beta blocker injection into the spine if the pain is that bad. ( the stuff they inject pregnant women about to give birth, try that whoow. Sorry I could not of been of more assistance bets of luck with the pain and dont loose hope. Jet09
Change your life, and your lifestyle. Sometimes physical ailments are just a reflection of psychological and life issues.