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About ChronicPainGuy

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Date of Birth
November 30
About ChronicPainGuy
Are you::
A person with SCI/D?
Date of injury (NA if not spinal-injured)?:
San Francisco Bay Area
Disabled Software Engineer
Photography, music (playing keyboards)
All dates approximate. I am not referring to my medical file as I write this.
~1985: Both wrists start hurting (I started a full-time job in Feb of 1980 as a software engineer). Over the course of a dozen years, I have ENG's & imaging & am diagnosed with "borderline carpal tunnel" & arthritis but when I visit a hand specialist, he can't assure me the release surgery will help. So I don't get it.

~1988: rear-ended (not very forcefully). 4 - 8 weeks later, I get tingling/pins & needles in R buttocks. Diagnosis Sciatica.

~1994: while trimming tall trees with a pole saw for ~3 hrs, my neck started hurting. When the pain didn't go away, I saw a neurosurgeon. After imaging, he said he wouldn't operate on me unless the pain became intolerable. In the ensuing years I try acupuncture, P.T., Chiropractic, and maybe other things I can't remember.

Some time in 1994-1996 I develop a cyst in my upper right arm. It happens to be right near or on a nerve and my neurosurgeon says I may have permanent tingling in my hand if he removes the cyst. I play piano/keyboards & choose to live with the pain. Symptoms include weakness in R arm; if I try to read a book, within min's the pain increases a lot; it sometimes flares up like my feet, causing a steady 1-2/10 pain level to go up to 4-5/10. After imaging, there is nothing super obvious but I try some injections that end up not helping.

2004: neck pain intolerable; neurosurgeon sends me to get a "discogram" - results indicate C3/C4/C5 fusion. I get the surgery in July/August 2004. No pain relief :-( While recuperating in an early generation tempurpedic bed, I begin to suffer from significant low back pain (4-5/10). MRI shows a mild annular tear and a bulge in the disc at L5/S1.

12/2004: I enter pain management. We start with the lowest value Fentanyl patch.

~7/2006: Cousin from Florida visits. One day we are driving in the Santa Cruz mountains when I accidentally get on Highway 17 south instead of north. Because of bridge repairs, it takes ~1.5 hours just to go far enough to turn around, only to sit for another ~1.5 hrs to get past the work going north on 17. After traffic clears, the top of my Right foot starts hurting. I assume it's the back & forth between brake & gas for 3 hrs. Pain doesn't go away; my Physiatrist tells me it's nerve pain & that the sciatic nerve ends right in the tops of the feet where the pain is. This is a different kind of pain that for me is much harder to tolerate than the neck, back, wrists, etc., pain. I try more P.T. & injections but they yield no relief. Usually the pain is 1-3/10 but it can flare to 5-7/10 on occasion.

Sometime after the foot pain, I find that xanax is able to reduce &/or eliminate (dosage dependent) the pain, including in my upper R arm. Finally I have a way to control nerve pain.

2015: For no apparent reason, I develop coccyx pain (I didn't fall on it or obviously injure it). Since then until now, I have had 3 or 4 injections, each time helping it for a week or two to a few months. I use a special coccyx pillow everywhere I go now. Apparently surgery is available but outcomes aren't great (including some people who end up with more pain than before the coccyx was removed).

I take Suboxone 12-16 mg/day via strips that go under my tongue. I very much dislike the taste. I take Cymbalta for nerve pain (it helps some); Baclofen for when my neck gets really stiff (happens ~6 times/year); Celebrex off & on (helps coccyx pain the most, also neck pain); xanax PRN for over-the-top nerve pain as well as for anxiety (it's hard to be the supposed bread winner in peak earning years & unable to work with 3 kids heading towards college soon).
-More coming
Why did you join this forum?:
Hoping to find new helps for my chronic pain
How did you find us?:
web search
What do you think of this site?:
So far, I like it a lot


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05-31-2017 07:46 PM
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