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Hi everyone ^^ I just found this group this evening. I'm a 19 year old college student who has been suffering from chronic pain since November 2008. Originally it was just pelvic pain, but over the past year or so it has spread to my neck, shoulders, arms, elbows, back, lower back, chest, and legs. I've also had really bad sciatic pain, chest pain since I was in high school, arrhythmia, and extremely bad menstrual cramps. More recently I've had this weird thing where my vision will shake back and forth (I haven't been able to find a name for it exactly), dizziness, loss of balance, occasional severe pain at even slight pressure (especially on my legs) and extreme pain in my knees after exercising (and I mean EXTREME. I couldn't walk, sit, stand, lay down, move, or keep still. It was agony. My doctor got a panicked midnight call from me -- moist heat for a few hours helped, but it was really scary). I've seen six doctors and had multiple ultrasounds, a million blood tests, x-rays, CT scans, allergy testing, a laparoscopy, a colonoscopy, and an upper GI endoscopy.

I don't really know how to describe my pain -- it's really achy and deep. There are times where it feels like my arms are going to fall off, and times where I feel like I can't sit still because my back and shoulders hurt so bad. Sometimes my sciatica is so bad that I just want to get in my bed and curl into a ball. I've tried to stop taking OTC pain meds because 1) they don't really work and 2) I've taken so many since high school -- I feel like I might be at risk for liver damage or something (and, actually, one of my BFFs just found out that she has liver damage from all the meds and allergy stuff she's taken all her life, and she's my age. My fear it pretty justified, I think). I mainly rely on my heating pad for relief. To by honest, though, I really just want a diagnosis already. I'm almost scared to keep getting tested for different things, because they always come back negative (which is, I suppose, a good thing, but it's so, so disheartening. I'm beginning to feel like this is all in my head). It would be more than nice if I could just find out what the heck is wrong so that I can start getting some real treatment and move on with my life!

Any advice or input is more than welcome -- I've been kind of going all this alone lately, and it's a bit overwhelming. It'll be nice to actually have people to talk to who know what it's like. I've dealt with a lot of people who don't understand -- doctors, friends, professors -- and it's hard because I can't even really tell them what's actually wrong. Anywhere I can go where people DO understand is a definitely a haven.

Thanks for reading! :D
JessicaSL JessicaSL 18-21, F 1 Response Apr 28, 2011

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Update! I went to see a new PCP in early October, and she thinks that it is fibro. I'm on Lyrica now, and will be starting physical therapy as soon as I have the time. I think the Lyrica has been helping -- I don't have constant, every day pain, but I still do get nerve pain. Though the pain bouts are slightly rarer, I still get them. But it's better than before, thank goodness. And I think the physical therapy will do me good when I can finally start it (probably this summer). I'm just glad that I finally have a diagnosis and am finally getting real treatment!