I'm a 39 year old male, in pain, habitual smoker and crack user. I do not get any conclusive results from Royal London Hospital or my GP apart from telling me my pain is muscular or chest infections but i keep on having severe pains and aches in my right side of my chest coupled with backache. i was robbed in the street on 15th november 2013 and presented to RLH as i was in pain and couldn't breathe they following day. as soon as i said i am a crack user the medic said "well given your history it's more than likely to be muscular so go home and take paracetamol" I did this yet the pain has not gone, it is not the first time I had this & if anything the pains fluctuate, yet am told give it time, but it's 24th December 2013 now, & still getting progressively worse not better like it, apparently, supposed to be doing, if i take paracetamol or smoke crack it doesn't hurt for a couple of hours but have a constant dull ache as opposed to 'stitch' type stabbing pain that usually i have, especially when lying or sitting, lying is worse as i have great difficulty in getting up and also lose feeling in my legs and fall over as leg are completely numb, i have told hold a sturdy object, rock sideways and pull myself up, more so first thing in the morning, as the chest pain really hurt then. if i lie down and am leaning on my elbow my arm goes numb too. All i ever get told it is either muscular or chest infection pains and due to frequent absences with chest problems i was dismissed from my job this year too. i was admitted to RLH in May 2012 as i collapsed in Whitechapel LU Station as i couldn't breathe, they did a scan thing when they put they dye in you but apparently there was a problem so the test proved inconclusive and was discharged with the advice of give up cigarettes as i am a candidate for emphysema due to smoking constantly since the age of 5 and used to be on 60 a day when I was 16 years old. i asked if my 'current lifestyle' was the cause of my collapsing and needing to be on 100 units (?) of oxygen, as breathing was too painful unaided, however I was told "no but it doesn't help" but yet it does, at times, seem to help lessen the pain i feel. i am at a loss on what's truly wrong with me and don't feel i get taken seriously due to my lifestyle (which i do get help with trying to overcome my addiction in a community based DTP). can anyone help guide me as to what my chest issue is, as my mother-in-law was being treated for over a year for muscular pain and this transpired to be terminal lung cancer, she was given a prognosis of 6-12 months and 2 WEEKS later she passed away so obviously i am concerned with this knowledge but feel my symptoms are overlooked as follow my presenting myself numerous times for chest related problems, no tests get carried out and am sent on my way with painkillers so find myself developing a dependence on them now too. my shoulders constantly ache too especially in the joints & when lying down or try to rise up. advice anyone please? x

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16 Replies

  • hi my name is rose I 2 am going through same pains but for different reasons, I stay in a block of 4 flats &sadly an upstairs 1. my dr 2 has no sympathy but no cause im on drugs im alcoholic so I have no hope

    . have bwen without funds since 30 oct. its thanks to y mum who is 79 im surviving

    . dr wouldn't even come out 2 me until I had 2 get my msp involved, all over dr wont write letter yet all other drs will? makes u wonder. keep in there keep going & good luck.

  • If I was you I would take a break from the crack, you may start to feel better. The fags are not helping you. It is difficult to stop. If you don't help yourself nobody else can.

  • Being a crack user doesn't mean you don't also have other medical problems but it will make it difficult to discover the actual problem. Maybe move from community help to residential help for a while to give your body (and mind) a rest and then see what's what with your health? If you don't you may not live long enough to worry about COPD to be honest. Go on, make today the day you take positive action to sort things out :-)

    Best wishes on your difficult journey

  • So sorry to hear about your health problems and the pain you are in. I am not an expert but my mum had COPD and she had pain under her chest, it was never accurately diagnosed however it was either a cracked rib or muscle pain in her diaphragm due to the strain of trying to get her breath. Do you think it could be either of these things for you? I hope you see an improvement soon.

  • Morning and welcome.

    Go to the hospital you sound like you would benefit from Antibiotics and steroids, there's obviously an infection somewhere not to mention you might need some inhalers. Your smoking and crack addiction are separate issues, you need to try and get the pain and or infections under control first.

    Your not going to get to see a GP now so the hospital are the only option.

    Good luck

    Kim xxx

  • just hope you can get some help over Christmas, try another A&E for help.

  • Hello Benluka, you sound like your on a downer with your health. Pain can do this, try not to think of the worst outcome, keep positive you are young and can beat this and recover to lead a better life. Over Christmas if this gets worse go to A&E even if only to talk to someone till you can get thinks sorted after the holidays. Good luck and best wishes, we are all here if you need us.

  • Hi Benluka. Sorry to hear your troubles. Whatever you are on if you are ill you need to be treated. That's what the NHS is about. I would either try another Dr or go to another hospital. Tell them how ill you feel and that there really is something wrong. It took me thirty years and two major operations before anyone believed I had a problem. As for your smoking and crack problem. I'm sure you have tried to kick the habit many times. Keep trying with as much determination as you can. It will happen if you really want it to. It will take time but for your healths sake please do it. X

  • Hi there Benluka. Birthday1 makes a lot of sense with what she says. At the end of the day it comes down to you where you go from here. You are the only one that can change things.

    I wish you well and hope that by this time next year you have been sorted out and your life is much better.

    Best regards, Bobby

  • hello what a good time to too asses your life, your pain sounds like the pain and problems I had before I developed emphysema, I was a smoker then.

  • Dear Benluka, I am so sorry that you are in such a lot of pain., you have been given good advice already from the other posters, I would particularly like you to pay good attention to the post from Birthday1....I know at least 2 people who have had their lives turned around after visiting AA ( I know alcohol is not your predominant addiction, but these guys also had drug problems and beating addiction is often the same, and AA have the best support systems out there) I agree that your first priority is to get some pain relief for you, and to visit another A & E could be your best first step.

    Do you own a hot water bottle? or better still a wheat bag to heat up? as that may help

    You are obviously a really intelligent lady , and you are doing the sensible thing of trying to find some solutions on the internet......I hope that after your immediate problems re pain and your lungs are resolved , you will actively research an answer to the reasons for your addiction and then overcoming it.

    Come in here as often as you like , there is always someone online here to listen

    Good luck and I hope the pain eases soon

    Love Sohara

  • Hi sorry your feeling this way it could be a broken rib if you were hurt. Im sure losing yr job hasny helped yr emotional state. I hope you can get tge support you need. Try to enjoy xmas 2014 is a new start

    Good luck take care


  • I think you need to contact the local hospital PALS - that's the patient organisation...they may be able to help ... they helped my brother who was left to lie in his own urine that seeped around his open wound after an op to to drain liquid - due to severe liver disease. think he got worse treatment as an alcoholic. I also threatened a question in Parliament ( one that I doubt i could have arranged!) . so not sure which helped most ! PUSH PUSH PUSH and do it creatively . wishing you the very best . x

  • Very hard to give up both, if you have a addictive personality,You really have one hell of a job on your hands, But it can be done, never say never,Be strong dig deep,Dont waste a young life, as for the pain which you have now ,Try going to A&E, a different one, As you really do need help right now, Feel for you, and do hope you can get your health sorted, then hopefully you can try with your additions,and make it a much better 2014 for yourself, Take care H x

  • I agree some sort of respiratory infection (I had a bout of pleurisy once which I found very painful. I thought I'd pulled something lifting furniture. Had to lie on my side to lessen the pain. I don't see you mentioning a chest xray, only a test involving dye. If you haven't had an xray you need to get that done first. Go sit at the hospital and wait, or get a referral from your Dr (and still have to wait prob!). When told that your lifestyle doesn't help and you say it does at times, you mean it blocks the pain, but they mean that your lifestyle, ie smoking cigs and crack, eating poorly, irregular sleeping, doesn't do your body any favours fighting infections. Your biggest problem is that to some people as soon as you mention the drugs, as good as our hospitals can be, there's still some prejudice and they tend not to look much further so it's up to you to push. I'm assuming you've taken a course of antibiotics, maybe a different type could work. Really hope things work out for you. Take care. Gina x

  • Pease go and get help, there is help out there. Go to the hospital, and find a new doctor. No-one should suffer like that. I wish you all the best.

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