I Just Can't Seem To Get a Break

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Stella Johnson, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Since the knife accident my hand has made progress. The ring finger still has no feeling in it, the pinky finger stays bent half way down. I wear a brace at night to try to straighten it. I take it off in the morning and within an hour it curls again.

    My primary doctor put me on oxycontin when I talked to him about switching from the jerk doctor I was seeing. It is the only thing that has taken the edge off the pain.

    Went to my regualr follow up with the Orthopedic hand doctor last week. He felt I needed to see a pain mgmt doctor because of the pain severity.
    I went there today. She thinks I have the early signs of RSD.:sad-very:
    My hand is still swollen, red, stays hot, sweats excessively, most of the pain is in my palm but at times it shoots through my elbow, shoulder, and into the middle of my back.

    When I got home I read about RSD. I'm scared to death. There is no definitive test that shows :sad-very:RSD. But they do tests to rule out other things. I'm having a nerve block next Thursday.

    I was thinking of getting a 2nd opinion. Think I should get one now or wait until after this first test next week?
    From what I read it could possibly be another chronic pain disorder but they are all treated about the same with narcotics and seizure drugs like Topamax or Neurotin.

    I went back to work today. I've been out for 2 months. I work half days this week. I did ok at work but after I left I was in pain again. Then on to the doctor whose office was like a freezer. When I waited for her in the room I had to turn the hot water on the faucet and stick my hand in it. The pain had gotten so badd. Hot anything makes my hand feel better.

    I'm scared. I shouldn't be reading the internet. Apparently RSD doesn't get better, it gets worse as time goes on.

    For a few days last week I was feeling really good. Pain level was a 3 most of the time. So I tried to cut back on the medications because they scare me. But I'm only at a 3 because of the medications. Pain goes back up to a 7 or 8 without it.

    The only time I have ever been this depressed before was when difficult child was having so many problems years ago. I want to cry all the time now. I'm sick of hurting. I just want my life and my hand back. SO and I keep getting into fights, mostly because I fly off the handle for no reason. I hate this.

    I just want to be fixed and normal again. I don't want pain medications, doctors, machines.

    Anyone else out there with any experience with this?

  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Steph I'm going to have to lood up that RSD. I'm not recognizing it by the initials.

    But as I'm understanding it, this happened as a result of the knife wound? I'm not a doctor by far.......but I'm guessing the knife severed a nerve and it hasn't healed properly hence the finger curling and pain. If this has been caused by the knife wound, I don't understand the treatment with the brace.......the brace isn't going to do anything to correct nerve damage.

    Off to look up the RSD.

  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Ok. Duh. Now I feel silly. lol

    But have they even made an attempt to repair the nerve damage? I'd think they'd at least attempt that first before deciding it's RSD.

    I have the RSD in my shoulders thanks to the accident. It's not constant, and I didn't even remember what it's called until I went to look up the RSD. Mine comes and goes. When it's there it's bad. Down my back, up my neck, and into my jaw worse than the actual break/shatter. Not sure if it's caused my the fact there are still bone fragments in there, or just the injury. The accident was about 5 yrs ago and I've not noticed it getting any worse if that makes you feel better, nor spreading.

    doctor said he uses the pain medications to stop the nerves from sending the pain signal, which is supposed to stop the cycle. Not sure if that's true or not. But it seems to work. He mentioned surgery and I said no. My shoulders work fine and I'm not ready to mess with them thankyouverymuch. Besides it doesn't flare up that often.

    I'd get a second opinion. A good one.

  4. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Don't know much about this but if you feel like you need a second opinion get one. It certainly can't hurt.

  5. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    RSD does not always get worse. A lot of occupational therapy can lessen the effect, but I would without a doubt go to a good hand surgeon for a second opinion. Research and call the big hospitals and get an appointment with a good specialist.
  6. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Yes, they did repair the ulnar nerve but they said the small ones couldn't be repaired.
    Not to mention the 1st jerk I saw, who did the surgery, waited 5 days to do my surgery because he was "too busy".
    From what I have read, the longer you wait to repair nerve damage, the more nerves that will die and not be normal again.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    From everything I understand about RSD, it can be very painful. That is what Paula Abdul has. Any of the chronic pain conditions are the pits. Im very sorry to welcome you to the club. Do get a second opinion but basically I think what you have read is the recommended treatment. Welcome to the world of nerve problems.
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    So sorry you're suffering with this. I agree a second opinion couldn't hurt. Many hugs.
  9. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I had my left hand 'repaired' from this a good 25 years ago. Basically what they did it repair all the tendons and sever several nerves. The hand functions enough, but don't have a lot of feeling in two of the fingers. It was a good trade off as I am right handed. My middle finger only bends half way, but that's ok. I can't even effectively flip someone off. It comes back to me. Maybe that's a sign. Thank God I don't have the pain issue. I feel for you.

    Now I have a gimp right hand.

    I hope you get a 2nd opinion.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Carry a rubber band on your wrist at ALL times -

    When you think about it throughout the day?

    Let it slide OVER your fingers and make a SPIDER DOING PUSHUPS ON A MIRROR motion with your fingers (AFTER you stop laughing)

    It will help strengthen the tendons in your pinkey and the wrist....

    Other than that I am just sending gentle kisses for your woo boos.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am sorry you are dealing with this. When i first read about the idiot surgeon waiting 5 days to do the surgery I was worried about something like RSD coming to stay with you.

    The current thought of the "best" medication to treat the nerve pain is lyrica. I am on it and I LOVE it. It really makes a difference. It is supposedly the "next generation" of neurontin. It is an anti seizure medication, like topomax and neurontin, and not everyone tolerates it. I believe Dammit Janet doesn't do well with it, whereas I do very well with-it.

    RSDS is a scary diagnosis. I hate that you are facing it. I have a friend who was diagnosis'd with it in high school after knee surgery to repair something damaged in a cheerleading accident (seh was the one on the top of the pyramid). My friend has had problems all her life from this. It is very important to find a doctor who LISTENS to you and who you feel is responsive.

    I hope they can find a simple thing to fix and it is not RSD. If it IS, I hope and pray that you can find effective treatment and be pain-free very soon.

    If heat helps, sew a few hand towels together, fill with rice, dried beans, even dried corn from the feed mill. Then sew it shut, and microwave. I have even microwaved these in truck stops while travelling, or at work. I sometimes put eucalyptus leaves, mint from mint tea bags, or lavendar flowers in with the filling. It provides a soothing scent when heated.

    Hugs, I KNOW this is scary. Remember it is scary for S also. Be sure to reassure her that you are not going to die from this. As a child who's mom got a chronic disease diagnosis, I remember that fear. It was a very strong fear, and I had 2 parents who were married. It will be stronger for S than it was for me.

    Be sure you are reading CURRENT info on RSD. For most diseases, the literature from 10 years ago is very different from the literature today. My mom was diagnosis'd lupus when I was a teen. My bro was in the army and read the stuff the base library had on lupus. He then went to get compassionate leave through the Red Cross because according to the literature she was going to DIE - SOON. What he was reading was 5 yrs old at the time. And the docs already KNEW it was wrong, that the disease would NOT shorten her lifespan like that. But the only info my bro could find said it would. So he was terrified.

    So make sure you ahve the LATEST info, not the old info. Andhugs to you and S.

    If S wants to talk to soemone who had her mom get a chronic pain diagnosis, I will talk/email/PM with her.
  12. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Dammit Janet,
    I didn't know that's what she has. :sad-very: I hope it doesn't get as bad as hers. There is nothing worse than nerve pain.

    My middle finger works but the ring and pinky finger stick up with it so I can't flip people off either.:916blusher: Thanks for making me laugh. I needed that.

    I can't even wear a watch on that arm anymore. Anything sitting on it makes the nerves go crazy. Thanks for kissing my woo boos.:alien:

    I tried Lyrica. I felt like I was in a constant fog and kept getting dizzy and puky. I'm glad to hear it is working for you.
    I'm trying neurotin tonight. Cross your fingers.
    I've been reading lots of stuff on webmd and nih.gov. Any other good sites?
    That must have been horrible for your brother. Poor guy