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Monday, August 5, 2013

Pain Pain Go Away...

"If you step on a crack, you break your mother's back!" -- unknown

That was a childhood ditty that one heard when growing up on the streets of Brooklyn. Ain't it sweet? The cracks referred to are cracks in the concrete sidewalks. One had to be very deft, or have extremely small feet, to not step on a crack. The way my back feels I'd swear my kids are stepping on cracks, but we don't have any sidewalks. So, I guess I'll have to chalk it up to something else. I just don't know what.

At first I thought I developed back pain because I tried using rubber bands instead of weights to do arm lifts. Because of the Rheumatoid Arthritis in my hands, I cannot hold weights any more so thought the bands would be a good substitute. Afterwards I felt the burn in my muscles and was happy. But then a couple of days later the back pain started. I don't remember pulling my back out, which to me would be a sudden powerful pain. Rather, my pain started with a mild nudge every day for the past two weeks culminating into a knock-out punch when I tried to move upon waking up yesterday morning. I literally could not get out of bed, and had to call upon the help of my husband to remove the puppy from my head and gently place me in an upright position. Let me tell you, that is some scary shit -- not being able to fend off a puppy!

My RA pain has always been bad in the mornings, but usually involves my feet. This is a new and most unwelcome development. It took me a while to get the strength to stand and wobble to the table. I tried stretching as much as I could which wasn't much, and asked my husband to run a hot shower. That seemed to help a lot. I took a couple of Ibuprofrens as well. Screw my liver. I needed the pain to be bearable. It became tolerable, but every time I tried to get in and out of my car I was reminded that it still existed. I laugh at myself now thinking that I was *this close* to buying a 2001 Jaguar the day before. There's no way I would be able to be comfortable in a vehicle that's lower to the ground than the one I'm driving in now. But damn, she was sweet looking.

Anyway, I don't even know if this back pain is from RA or if it's something worse. Yes, there are worse diseases than RA. And since I feel like my rheumy doesn't seem to be too concerned with me after our previous "disagreement," I thought now is the time to seek a second opinion. I asked around, Googled, etc. and found there were two specialists that most folks recommend, mine, and a doctor from Carilion. As soon as I was able to make my way out of bed I called the other doctor's office to make an appointment. They wouldn't make an appointment for me without a referral from my rheumy. I don't want my doctor to know. I just want a second opinion. The nurse suggested I go to my family doctor then and get a written referral from him even though he's associated with LG, not Carilion. She then added a by the way -- I wouldn't be able to see the doctor I asked for because he wasn't taking any new patients, but I could see a Nurse Practitioner instead. Ummm, no. The whole point of seeing this particular doctor was because he came recommended, and by the way, why do I need a referral then to see a NP??? Huh, huh?!

So, I called my rheumy's office this morning and explained to the front desk what was going on. I told her I needed to know if this is related to RA and come on it, or perhaps its due to something else and need to call my family doctor instead. She said she would relay the message to my doctor's nurse and they would get back to me right away. I figure "right away" means at the end of the day. I really feel like I'm Elaine from Seinfeld when she couldn't get a doctor to see her because of the notes in her file of her being a "difficult" patient. I didn't think she was difficult at all!

 I really have to learn how to control my tongue. This valley is too small for my big attitude....

"Pain pain, go away, come back another day..." -- Me.


  1. I have fibromyalgia and the same kind of back thing you describe. A few times in the last 30 years it's gone out and put me in bed, but mostly it threatens, then after a few days it goes away. Walking helps. Me anyway.

  2. Trudy, I just got off the phone with the nurse. They want me to go on Enbrel. I don't know what to do.

  3. I hope you are feeling better today. I am sorry to hear that you're not well.

  4. Hope you feel better! I think u need x-ray & mri of your back- to see if there's slipped discs or something- in which case epidurals or cortizone shots may help otherwise botox shots if its muscular...all if which can be good for pain relief....RA isn't the only thing it could be...but I guess if you try the embrel & it gives you relief...your problem will be solved.if not more is going on ... you may even have nerve infringement if there are slipped discs. Anyway- hope you get some relief!

  5. Thanks everyone...feeling a little better. I agree with John, I think I need an x-ray. Did some research on Embrel and have decided against it. My Rheumy says there's nothing else he can do for me then. Now he will truly live up to his Dr. Do Nothing name...Ha!

  6. IMO, you should seek a pain doctor. You are in too much pain to make decisions for the long term and these are powerful drugs that you may have to be on for the rest of your life. You need an MRI and a pain management plan. Pronto says doctor Sandi.