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Is it or isn't it?
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juliek75 - February 7

Hi everyone,

I've been dealing with severe chronic back pain now for nearly 4 years. About 6 years ago I sought help for chronic neck pain and was found to have a bulging disc in my neck. PT helped that although I still have to be careful, one too quick turn of the neck and I can't move it for days. Anyhow the back pain is between my shoulder blades, as far as I know I never injured it. 4 years later and almost every test known to mankind and everything keeps coming back negative. I've been going to a pain clinic for about 6 months now and at last visit he said he's running out of options with me. Nothing helps the pain. He also mentioned maybe I have fibromyalgia, he is the third doctor to mention that to me so I'm starting to wonder if maybe it could be true. He started me on Lyrica about 3 weeks ago, but so far once again it doesn't seem to be helping much. After a full day's work I still feel like someone has a large knife in the middle of my upper back and is grinding it around. Now it's got to the point where on a really bad day the pain keeps me up at night. Also for the past year I keep having this off and on red cheeks, I was tested for lupus and once again it was negative. Today I don't know why but when I got home I decided to have a shot of Tequila (I rarely drink, this was just a random thing) anyhow ever since I drank that shot my legs have been killing me. Does that have anything to do with FMS? Anyhow I wish someone could just figure out for certain what is wrong with me. I am 35 and feel 85 My husband thinks I'm just lazy and my sore back is an excuse not to do housework. Somedays I truly wish there was a way to transfer your pain to someone else just for a moment and then he'd realize that I am not a wimp, I am actually strong because I don't lay here and scream in agony all day.


January - February 8

Juliek - I know you will get some good feedback from this site. And read the info on the sidebars, it's extensive! I'm new so not as knowledgeable as others. But - I had Cat scans that came up pretty inconclusive, until I got a sitting MRI which showed many herniated disks very clearly - that was one pain problem solved. (Don't get an MRI while you're lying down, get one while you're sitting.)

Does the pain "between your shoulder blades" feel like it's exactly in your spine? Or could it be knotted up muscles near the spine or close to the shoulder blades? That is a common problem with fibro and can sometimes be helped by trigger point injections (lidocaine helped me) and massage. Make sure you get someone who uses a fine needle and gives you many small injections to numb you up - i.e., someone who knows what they're doing. Also, you might try Lidoderm patches which are basically lidocaine applied to the skin. I use them for my herniated disks, and lie on a heating pad to assist the absorption of medication. They help a lot.

Another thing to consider is could the pain in your back be radiating from elsewhere? For example, if people have severe stomach pain (which you didn't mention) it can radiate to the back...your doctor should be checking out all those possibilities.

It's not clear what your leg pain is. I have pain in my legs, and a feeling of fullness that comes and goes. Other people here have noted trigger points in their legs (that's when the muscles contract into permanent painful knots). Some people get trigger point injections for them. But.. tequila? I don't know.

Could the red cheeks be an allergic reaction?

Sounds to me like you have many common fibro symptoms, but it's important to get other possibilities ruled out. It seems you are working on it. I think it takes a while for Lyrica to kick in, but if it isn't helping, tell your doctor. And I'd recommend you read up on the side effects of that drug and see if you want to live with them. There are other treatments out there, but this one is being marketed heavily right now.

If "nothing is working" for your pain, as you say, have you tried low dose opiates like Vicodin or Percocet? They can be very effective as long as you take them on a strictly controlled basis, that is, only take as much as you need. People are individual, so take as little as you can to calm the pain. If you need more you can increase, but it's best to start very low. Have you tried massage and acupuncture? Those can help too. If you're at a pain clinic, you probably have - but just asking.

Ask your husband to read some of the many posts on this site - or ask his own questions on the family member support site. He should not be bullying you or judging you for your medical problems; he should be supporting you instead of stressing you. Pain is invisible and subjective. What you are feeling is very real for you, and yes, you are strong to bear it and still keep going. Good luck to you.

Hope you feel better soon.



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