Severe pain; searching for answers and solutions!

Greetings!

Here's my background...

I've had multiple major surgeries that leave me more than vulnerable to chronic and recurring pain. At 15 I had my spine fused from T5-L4. At 18 I had my aortic valve replaced. At 21, my fusion and hardware broke at both T10 and L3, and at 23 we finally discovered the issue and I had it repaired. At 27 I had my aortic valve replaced a second time.

Now I'm 30, and over the past year or so, I've suffered progressively worse pain in my upper left back, shoulder, and underarm areas. This has grown into a severe, debilitating, chronic pain that gets worse with exercise. Essentially everything in contact with my left shoulder blade hurts, and the skin around the most painful areas is partially numb and/or very sensitive (almost painful) to touch.

I've had MRI's of my shoulder, my neck, and everything else between my jaw and my stomach, and what I've heard is, "There's nothing wrong with your trapezius muscle," which is nice and all, but doesn't answer what's causing the pain.

I'm unable to work without taking medication; I'm taking 80mg of OxyContin and 22.5mg of Percocet daily, just to hold down my two jobs, clean my dishes, provide for my wife, and so forth. Otherwise, I'd spend 20hrs a day in bed and essentially remain useless.

This issue began quite awhile after my last surgery, so I doubt those are responsible. I'm looking at everything from muscle tears to cancer, and I'm at my wit's end trying to chase enough doctors down to figure it out.

Anyone with insight would be helpful.

3 Replies

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  • This sounds awful and I am sorry you are suffering so much pain. I haven't got much to offer I'm afraid but have you seen an osteopath or a chiropractor? Maybe they could help?

    I really hope you find some answers soon.

  • I am sooo sorry to hear about your pain and wish I could wave a magic wand for you. I'm not a medical person but someone who has a long medical history. It could be nerve pain? What about seeing a 'pain' specialist? If you are getting nowhere with all your tests.

    Good luck

  • Oh! How I do commiserate with you!! My CRPS, which is agonising nerve pain at best, all started after many operations as well. So many intense surgical procedures were all simply a total overload for the central nervous system, and the Allodynia (heightened sensation of pain) started after the removal of a brain tumor 20 years ago. Please do not get my wrong, I am more pleased that words can say that I came through such a massive operation when my son was just shy of turning 12 years old!! But the pain which I was left to accept as a new part of my life is just so hideous and very hard to bear! I have a marvellous medical team who all take the best care they can to treat me with such respect and compassion. I have tried so many things to help the pain.I do admit that my sense of humor and my positivity are the greatest help in such a situation. Learning how to relax has been a massive help to me as well. I use ice packs very often, rather than heat, due to the nerve pain being a 'burning' sensation. I believe that we all have to try whatever makes sense to us, and if we find any relief we have to be grateful for this bonus!!! I truly wish you well.

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