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ProfessorTomoe

Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

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The rizatriptan isn't working any more. I've got a crippling migraine. Have taken 3 doses today. Not doing jack to get rid of it. Got to talk to my doctor about a replacement medicine.

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9 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

The rizatriptan isn't working any more. I've got a crippling migraine. Have taken 3 doses today. Not doing jack to get rid of it. Got to talk to my doctor about a replacement medicine.

Oh that sucks.  Hope you get a replacement that works!

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My doctor gave me Nurtec ODT. Right as the migraines stopped. Or rather, transitioned to sinus headaches. Go figure.

In other news, I've resumed drinking a bottle of tonic water a day per my doctor's orders. My hands are shaking, and now I've got a sharp pain from my back down my left shoulder through my left arm to my left hand. I'm guessing it's nerve related and hoping that tonic water might help, unless it's a pinched nerve, in which case tonic water won't do squat. Hell, my oxycodone isn't denting the pain from it. Again, go figure.

In other other news, I've been waiting for more than a week for my insurance to approve an MRI of my head, as ordered by my primary care physician. He ordered it after I reported my falls, along with my migraines, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, and so on. I have no idea what's taking BCBS such a long time to approve the MRI, but they're really dragging their feet. Guess what I'm going to say next? That's right - go figure.

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Had to go to the doctor about the sharp pain on my upper left neck/shoulder/arm/hand. He took an X-ray of my neck and pronounced the spine in that area "horrendous" (direct quote) with degenerative changes. I always considered myself a bit of a degenerate, but I never knew it directly applied to a part of my internal anatomic structure. :) Anyway, he is thinking that my pain (now an 8 on a 1-10 scale) is stemming from a pinched or damaged nerve in my neck. He's ordering yet another MRI and sending an official referral on the problem to my chronic pain management doctor, who treats spinal problems. He's also prescribed a muscle relaxant to get rid of back and upper arm spasms I've been having, and he gave me a steroid shot to treat assumed inflammation in the neck area. It's taken some of the edge off, maybe knocking the pain level down to a seven.

As for the MRI, I was supposed to have the one on my skull done today, but I've been in too much pain to lie still. I called prior to the doctor's appointment and rescheduled for next Wednesday. Now that the doctor wants me to have another MRI done just below my skull down through my neck, I've asked whether he can arrange to have it and the skull MRI done at the same time so that I only have to pay one copay. He said he would do his best to arrange that.

Not exactly how I wanted to start off the New Year.

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2 hours ago, ijuin said:

Well, at least now you have a proper lead on the source if the problem, which is the first step to remedying it.

If it's anything like my lumbar spine, a true "remedy" is a distant prospect. The doctor's use of the word "horrendous" sank the odds of a true remedy awfully low. I think I may have to settle for steady treatments instead, like I have with my lumbar spine. We shall see.

I've never had a doctor use the word "horrendous" to describe my medical condition before. It worries me, it really does.

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5 hours ago, ijuin said:

Well, any treatment is probably better than no treatment, given your level of pain.

I *will* grant you that. Ow owowowow ow.

At least I'm not hovering at an 8 anymore. I'm at a steady 7, with ebbs down to 6.  The muscle relaxant isn't really helping to get rid of my muscle spasms, though. I may have to call the doctor back about that on Monday.

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I don't know what I would do with a constant pain level of 7.  Of course my 10 is being struck by lightning so we may not have the same scale.

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3 hours ago, mlooney said:

I don't know what I would do with a constant pain level of 7.  Of course my 10 is being struck by lightning so we may not have the same scale.

I think we're pretty close.

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For me, a ten is where the only thing you can think about is the wish for the pain to end, even if that means being unconscious.

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2 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

I think we're pretty close.

That sucks then.  Really hope they fix what is wrong with you.

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I got the official reading of my neck X-ray from the Radiologist:

Quote

Cervical spine xrays:
Severe multilevel degenerative changes. Worst at c5-c6 and c6-c7. Severe loss of disc height and osteophyte formation.

I looked up "osteophyte" and found that it basically translates to "bone spurs, mainly found around the neck and shoulder spinal areas."

In other words, my neck is horrendous. How it got that way without giving me trouble until now is anyone's guess.

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My podiatrist once brought up the subject of surgery and bone spurs when discussing my feet

The opinion seemed to be it was possible but not guaranteed, so I've stuck with orthotics in my shoes since then

I would hope for something significantly more certain when dealing with the neck

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I have just spent six hours in the Emergency Room being treated for out-of-control pain. My neck/shoulder/arm blasted up to a nine on the Saffir-Simpson scale (okay, maybe not that scale), forcing me to seek refuge in painkillers stronger than oxycodone. To that end, I was treated with the following:

  • Dilaudid
  • Valium (for muscle spasms)
  • Steroids (for inflammation)
  • Ketamine (for pain, when the Dilaudid didn't work)

With the latter, I experienced the weirdest (and first ever) "trip" of my lifetime. It literally felt like someone had put my brain inside a spin washer. I had dissociative sensations and hallucinations of a geometric sort (mild). These were accompanied by a bit of nausea, which the nurse brought under control with a shot of Zofran. I never lost complete control, thankfully - I was able to remind myself that everything I was experiencing was due to the Ketamine, and I just had to ride it out.

Unfortunately, I only experienced about 15-30 seconds of pain relief, and that was during the worst of the dissociative sensations, when nothing really registered. Sigh.

I am now back home, still in pain. I await Monday morning, when I am to call my pain management doctor's office and beg for an appointment to get in in person so I can get scheduled for a spinal injection to block the pain at the source. Fingers crossed at the wrist.

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1 hour ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Followup: I was told that Ketamine utilization can result in bad dreams for the patient. None were experienced overnight. Guess I dodged a bullet.

Yeah, with all you are going through, having bad dreams on top of it would be adding insult to injury. 

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21 minutes ago, mlooney said:

...insult to injury. 

Strangely enough, there was no injury involved with any of this. My neck/shoulder/arm just began hurting, out of the blue. No cause whatsoever.

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Just because you didn't fall down doesn't mean there was not injury.  This was just internal injury.  Of course this depends on your point of view about body parts not doing what they are supposed to do.

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No joy from the pain management doctor. l have to wait for a telemedicine appointment on Friday with his assistant, at which point we'll discuss what happened in the ER. Then...I don't know what will happen then. My pain tolerance may be burned out by then.

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Here's some good news, anyway - I'm going to be able to combine both my brain and my cervical spine MRIs into one visit tomorrow afternoon, and will only have to pay one copay for the lot. At $100 per MRI, that's good news indeed. Now, if I can just make sure the right doctors receive the right MRI studies ... :P

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15 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Now, if I can just make sure the right doctors receive the right MRI studies

Just have them sent to all of them.  Including your podiatrist.   Can't be to sure.

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