My legs are killing me

Support and discussion for health related issues.

Re: My legs are killing me

New postby bridesmom on Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:10 pm

I sure hope you get some relief soon Kath! And a different job! You aren't trying to work like this are you?
Laura
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Re: My legs are killing me

New postby Sancin on Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:08 am

Kathy, I hope you get some real relief soon. My back is extensively degenerated and I have almost all the things the pain clinic described for you, except, fortunately no cervical involvement - yet. I agree with the suggestion for acupuncture. I found that I tried several practitioners before I found one that worked for me. He practices a Korean based ap. I also found I needed at least 4 treatments a week apart, sometimes more. Science does show it is effective for back pain. The very best alternate treatment I find is a good massage therapist.

Adequate and rest periods are essential for pain control. I find meditation is a good practice as well and have occasionally found journalling good. I am currently working with a kinestesiologist with group exercises in the warm water at a pool close by 2x per week. It is an individualized stretch and bend program. I am finding walking in deep water the most challenging thing (I also have degeneration in my feet, ankles and knees). I am finding that the walking in water with various supports is also the most beneficial. Are you taking any analgesics, beside Lyrica? I can't live without my tylenols. I also take diclophenac, but had to cut it in half when I developed a kidney problems. If I know I am going to have to walk any distance I take Tylenol BEFORE I walk. While I am now retired I was RN and worked steadily for more than 40 years.

Yet another thing - try cold on your back (I use a gel pack. Heat is comforting and does work, but when symptoms are really intense 5 - 10 min of cold can be effective.

Do you have any physicians treating your clients that you respect and trust. If so you may be able to ask them if they would take you as a client. I have always found the best way to find a good doctor is through a nurse (or nurse on another clinical unit).

I am Canadian and as you know, we have government health care insurance and few things are rejected in treatment, but some things require approval before treatment starts. HOWEVER, before we had such a thing as hc insurance at all, most hospitals had staff treated free at clinical agencies, and physicians either gave cut rates or free treatment to professional team members. I have always wondered if and if not this does not occur in US or other countries.

Good luck and hope you get some relief and answers soon.

PS - I am taking CYmbalta , cost $246.71 for 3 months when I filled yesterday (I paid $51.91). How much is your Lyrica?
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~*

God put me on this earth to sew and finish a certain number of things. I am so far behind now.....I will never die!.......If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
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Re: My legs are killing me

New postby Sancin on Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:47 am

When my degenerative arthritis (aka osteoarthritis) started about 30 years ago, first in my shoulder, I was prepared as it many people in my family have it and there is a genetic type. Then 15 years ago the provincial arthritis clinic in Vancouver diagnosed me with fibromyalgia. I reluctantly had to admit I would have to give up things like tennis and skiing, things we did as a family.

Unfortunately there are no blood tests for fm or degenerative joints thus many people have difficulty getting a definitive diagnosis. It sounds to me that you have degenerative arthritis and your disks are involved. Plain old x-rays should show boney changes. When my knee started to darn near kill me while on wards I had personal orthotics made. They really helped my back as well for about 15 years. I have them adjusted frequently. I had firm plastic types ones to start with but then got foam, cork and leather ones. I never walk without them. I even put them in my house slippers. Just a few other things that worked. As the Lyrica is helping you it seems like there may be a neurological problem and perhaps your bulging disk has worsened. Overall, I have found if I can relax, not worry, take proactive approach, and most important develop an accepting attitude, it is surprising how much better one can feel. ....

But there will be some days that are stones and some days that are diamonds.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~*

God put me on this earth to sew and finish a certain number of things. I am so far behind now.....I will never die!.......If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
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Re: My legs are killing me

New postby kjh9835 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:56 am

Yes I'm still working. I have to b/c I've had a few call-ins due to this and don't want to lose my job for absenteeism. Since apparently "there's nothing wrong", I can't get FMLA from the dr. Our attendance policy goes year to year (one year after you call in, it "falls off" your record). I missed March 16-18 in 2011 due to my shoulder locking up so once that is off my record, I'll be ok (I actually have two more "final notice" and "discharge warning" but don't want to get that far). All consecutive days are counted as "one" and if you miss more than 3 days, you have to have a dr. note stating you can return to work. If I can't work at all and call in, I will "take advantage" of those 3 days, go back to the dr and tell him "I cannot work like this, I have to have FMLA" and that will give me 12 weeks for this year. If he still won't sign for it, I will take the 3 days off, go to the dr and go back to work. Then if miss again, I'll be at the "final notice" and find a dr who WILL give me FMLA.

I keep track of days I missed (March 2011 for my shoulder, May 2011 due to wrist injury, off two weeks, July 2011 when this all started and Dec. 2011 when I had the nerve blocks) That's four and the total you can miss for a year is six (the last two are the final and discharge warnings). If you work 1/2 your shift, it does not count against you so now if I'm at work and my symptoms increase, I will stick it out half the shift and go home. I have never done that but will if I have to.

Thanks Sancin, I also take diclophenac 25 a day as well as gabapentin (neurontin) 900mg a day. I asked the pain clinic about increasing the diclophenac but they wouldn't (that was back in Dec.), maybe b/c of kidney issues although I don't have any yet. My dr. gave me some kind of card for the Lyrica so my copay was only $25, usually I pay $15-30 depending on the Rx and if it's "on the plan" or not. Some meds I would have to pay much more for but not exactly sure how all the that works. I finally decided it didn't matter what I had to pay (for the most part anyway), if I needed it and the dr. ordered it, I'd pay whatever the cost.

The exception to that was a mood stabilizer med a few years back of which I can't remember the name right now but it was not covered AT ALL and was about $700/month!!!! I switched to one that was covered but right now, am off all "psych" meds for my bi-polar except for an anti-depressant that I must take twice a day for life.

I thought about about some inserts for my shoes but haven't gotten that far yet. I get new work shoes about every 6 months (usually walking type, name brand) and we recently purchased a new mattress/box spring as ours was getting old. That has helped the day to day aches and pains but didn't help the leg pain, neither did the elec. blanket :(

Thanks for all the support, caring and advice but most importantly, a place to vent. Joe's back working killer hours right now and sometimes you just gotta gripe (the dogs go hide when I'm ranting and raving).

Kathy
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Re: My legs are killing me

New postby sewingmom on Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:43 am

Kathy, my insurance pays for part of my orthotics. I would not be able to walk if I did not have them. Go to a podiatrist and have them fitted and use them daily. My foot pain started when I was in my early 20's and I have not been able to wear a shoe with a heel for most of the years since. On days I know I will be on my feet a lot (holidays, shopping days, yard work days) I make sure I wear my best work shoes and never go without my orthotics. My podiatrist has become one of my good friends and helps me as much as can be done. She recommends Alegra shoes for medical personell. I have yet to purchase any, but many of my co-workers wear them. I do not know if you can wear orthotics with them but then, unlike orthotics, you do not hneed a perscription for them. I agree with all that our friends here have said. The most important is to be proactive in taking care of yourself.
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Re: My legs are killing me

New postby bridesmom on Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:24 pm

And don't forget you can rant and rave to your hearts content! I have found the women here give the absolute best cyberhugs and cyber cookies and cybersoup ever! You are loved here!
Laura
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Re: My legs are killing me

New postby Sancin on Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:35 am

Hint re orthotics. Make sure when buying shoes that you buy ones that the inner sole can be removed, even ones that have built in arch supports. Shoes stores will take the inner soles out and cut them to adjust for the orthotics. I wear 'hippy sandals' around the house. Last evening I gave a friend a pair I just love and paid a lot of money for, but I could not wear my orthotics with them. I always take my orthotics with me and try them on with shoes. Unfortunately, I am finding that newer shoes, and sandals especially, have stitched in inner soles. I also replace inner soles with the memory foam inner soles, they are like walking on clouds. Some shoes come with them already built in.

Does your work place or insurance plans have such a thing as short term disability (perhaps that is what FMLA is)? Over the years I have taken a few short term leaves (6 weeks or 4 months paid medical leave) and concentrated on treatment plans such as a walking program, when I could actually walk any distance. Another time I just took it easy and allowed the inflammation and pain symptoms to subside. The leaves were very effective and kept me going for the many years that I did. I think that keeping occupied with other things was actually a form of distraction pain control. Sometimes just a day or two off a week is not enough to let the nervous system calm down. Keep in touch with the pain clinic as there are many many new theories and treatments being developed.

http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/ ... t-sciatica - check out this site for excellent drawings and professional discussion on leg pains. This is a good site to keep bookmarked. I always found reliable information here.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~*

God put me on this earth to sew and finish a certain number of things. I am so far behind now.....I will never die!.......If I stitch fast enough does it count as an aerobic exercise?
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Re: My legs are killing me

New postby kjh9835 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:56 am

Short term disability is a benefit offered but you pay for it and I do. You just never know when you might need it. I tried to get long term disability but was turned down b/c of my depression. No benefit for 14 days but day 15 is covered up to 12 weeks, 60% of my base pay. I'm not worried about the loss of income, we'll be fine.

I'm calling dr again today to insist on a MRI. If he won't, I'll go to the ER and refuse to leave until they do one. I did up my dose like he said. I took 75mg, 150mg, 150mg Monday and was fine. 150mg three times on Tuesday and felt spaced out that afternoon but dr said it would go away in a few days. Kinda like "medicine head" when you take cold medicine. Yesterday I took 150mg in the morning and went to work at 8am for a meeting.

To make a long story short, I felt really weird by lunch, told my boss I was going home, got to the car, felt tingly all over so just sat there for a minute trying to get ahold of someone to drive me home even though I told my boss I was fine. I really thought I could make it home when I clocked out but by the time I got to the car, I knew better. I sat there with my phone in my hand and passed out/fell asleep, whatever you call it. A CNA found me, woke me up and I asked her to take me home. I had been there nearly an hour and was covered in sweat. She brought me some ice water and I waited 35 minutes for her to get off work. By then I was fine. Wide awake, not weird feeling or anything so I drove home just fine.
I don't think I need to be taking 150mg three times a day. My pain was better but I can't tolerate feeling stoned and def. can't work that way. I'll be calling when the office opens. If he can't see me or call in a MRI, I will ask him to contact the pain clinic dr to move up my appt. and go there if I have to.

I checked on those shoes but my internet crashed yesterday so didn't get to see much. I'll check again today since I'm not going to work. They look pricey but at this point, I don't care. I bought some compression stockings a while back that weren't cheap but very supportive and worn by alot of the "older" nurses every day. Ick, I was so sweaty I can't wear them. Maybe a thigh high but if they don't "stay up" I'm not going to be tugging at them all day long and I know knee-hi's are not recommened at all. I even wore a pr of spandex pants under my scrubs one day but they made me sweaty too.

Updates later, thanks to all.

Kathy
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Re: My legs are killing me

New postby sewhappyrtr on Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:35 am

Have you checked for acupuncture yet? or a massage? My massage lady has done my massages for 3 yrs and she has specialized in fibromyalgia massage and also does special feet massages and warm paraffin for arthritis hands.. she is a Godsend to me!!!
Karen
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Re: My legs are killing me

New postby kjh9835 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:46 am

Karen, I have no ins. coverage for acupuncture so haven't done any further research since you said it's expensive. I've had a few massages before and while they feel good, I can't stand the day after feeling of stiffness/soreness. When I mentioned it to the massage therapist they said to soak in a tub with vinegar since massage releases something from the tissues and vinegar will pull it out of your system or something like that. I can't remember as its been quite a few years ago. I had another one a couple years ago by different person, had the same pain the next day so if it will increase my pain, I don't think I want to try again. Sometimes I can't even stand having Joe rest his hand on my sciatic area (outer upper buttocks) when we are in bed.

Dr. called back, said to stop or go back to the 75mg Lyrica if it helped at all and a rheumatologist' office will be calling me for an appointment as he is referring me there (finally, is that not what I asked for 2 weeks ago?????) If they want another MRI, they can order it.

I do have coverage for custom made shoe inserts but not orthopedic shoes, foot support devices like arch supports or corrective shoes so I may go that route if I need to.

He didn't say anything about me getting FMLA so I will wait and see how long it takes for the appointment and if it will be awhile, I will check back with the office or just take the paperwork in and drop it off.

Kathy
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