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Thread: PAIN: When Is An ER Visit Necessary?

  1. #1

    PAIN: When Is An ER Visit Necessary?

    My neck started hurting yesterday...really intense pain...can't turn my head from side to side because of it. I have an arsenal of stuff to use for pain but nothing is working. I take Neurontin everyday and I recently started Klonipine. I slept with a lidoderm patch on it last night--no help. Today, I took a Flexeril in case it's just muscle spasms--slept for a while but got no pain relief. Now, I'm sitting in my recliner with an ice pack--still no relief. The pain is radiating down the backs of both arms into my elbows. I really don't want to go to the ER, but I'm getting a little worried. My SCI (T8-9) occurred due to a calcium deposit that broke and compressed my spinal cord one day when I was simply doing laundry. I have severe DDD and I know I have a buldging disc in my cervical spine, but I'm not sure which level. Am I just being paranoid?
    Last edited by Danine; 10-15-2008 at 11:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    Thats not paranoid of you at all. You should go. The radiating pain thing is never good. It hurts a lot. Sounds like a radiculopathy. Go.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/herniated-disk/HD99999

    A few pages in there is a list of three reasons to head to the ER.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  4. #4
    Thanks Skippy for responding. Thanks Sue, for the link. I'm still in a lot of pain. It's been four days now and it's really wearing me down. I'm still hoping it will resolve on its own. I do have a low grade fever, but assume it's not related to the pain. I never thought I'd be living this existence at 37........
    "The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off." -Gloria Steinem

  5. #5
    I would never mess around w/ cervical spinal pain. I wish you'd gotten an appt w/ a neuro guy already. The ER can help you out w/ pain, and maybe decide if you need an emergency neuro consult. I think you need it checked out stat, if not for the pain, to prevent damage from the bulging disc affecting your spinal cord at the cervical level.

    You're a para. You don't want to be a quad. You need xrays etc to determine whether that is something you're flirting with here. This happened to me twice post-sci, they never did figure out why, but that was a month or so after my sci surgery.

    Not positive the ER is the best approach to this but it may be the one you've got. If it were me I would probably go to an ER w/ a good neurologist AND orthoped. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Go with Beth's advice. I'm solely going off your lower back pain. And while you have a low grade temp if it gets higher with neck pain that could spell meningitis.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  7. #7
    Thanks, Betheny and Sue. I've had such horrible experiences with ER visits in the past, I'm really trying to avoid going there. I actually had a visit with my physiatrist recently (but before my neck started hurting) and have a thoracic and lumbar MRI scheduled for Thursday. I'm thinking of calling her to see if she can add the cervical area to the MRI order as well. The pain waxes and wanes...if it'll just wane more than wax until Thursday, maybe I'll be all right. Also, I still have a low grade fever, and I wonder if some of the achiness is just coming from that and maybe some extra inflamation due to whatever virus/etc. is causing the low grade fever.
    Last edited by Danine; 10-19-2008 at 11:21 AM. Reason: to add info
    "The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off." -Gloria Steinem

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