Went to ER about pain in legs

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    And if you want to really confuse ER docs tell them you are absolutely not interested in pain medications and that you are simply there to figure out what is wrong with you!

    Everyone looked at me like I had two heads. They kept trying to convince me to just take a Rx or a shot or or or. I kept telling them that if pain medications was gonna do the trick I wouldnt have left my house at 2 am to come sit in their waiting room for 3 hours then sit back in the cubicle for another hour! I wanted a reason for all the pain not a shot or a Rx for the same darned medication I have in my safe at home!

    Finally the doctor poked around, asked a few questions and basically told me his "best guess" is that I have peripheral nerve damage due to either spinal stenosis or a herniated disc. After reading the web on both I am thinking spinal stenosis because the herniated disc would seem to cause more pain down either the back of the leg or down the front ending at the thigh. Mine goes down both the front and back of my legs in my shins and reaches into my feet with tingling on the top of my feet. It is much worse on my left leg.

    Now I have to get referred back to the ortho when I see my GP on Friday...sigh.

    I still didnt get away from the ER without a Rx either. They were so determined that they just had to write something that even though I told them I had prescription strength Aleive at home they wrote me for prescription strength Advil...and flexeril...which I had already told them I take! Now what sense does that make? Obviously I wont be filling those prescriptions...duh!

    Dont they read the charts after they ask me what medications I am on and the dosages? I told them I took flexeril...and then they prescribe it again...stupid stupid. I guess they just couldnt help themselves from prescribing SOMETHING!!! LOL.
  2. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Well, it sounds as if you got an answer though....that's good right? I'm sorry about all of the waiting though. The prescription part.....I think you just caught them off guard because you didn't WANT anything for the pain. They probably thought you had more than 2 heads! LOL! It made them feel better sending you off with something for relief....had to be it. (even if it was for medications you already have)
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You should have heard them practically begging me to take something...anything!

    "Are you sure now? We can give you some Lorcet...maybe Vicodin? How bout a nice shot?"

    I kept telling them that I already had Lorcet at home...vicodin is the same thing and I couldnt take a shot because I had to drive myself home and hello? I drove myself there after taking my ambien, klonopin, lamictal and topamax, and lorcet...I didnt think it was wise to add a shot to the mix!

    Now granted I did take all that at 11 pm and didnt leave the house till 2 am...but still!
  4. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    His 'best guess?' Geez.

    How about actually doing some tests. It does sound like a nerve thing.

    I had lower back surgery eons ago and to this day still have problems with my left leg. Don't know how to spell it, but they had to route my ciadit (Star, don't get me on spelling) vein/nerve. Heck...it's been so long I don't even remember which is which.

    In the end, just taking a pain medication is not the answer. It sounds like you need to have someone really look at the ISSUE.

  5. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Don't bother with Ortho....he's just going to refer you to a pain management guy, who will likely offer epidural injections. Just ask for a referral to pain management guy and save yourself the extra visit.
  6. jal

    jal Member

    I am sorry you are hurting. I can truley sympathize with that type of pain.

    The sciatic nerve runs over your buttock and down the side of your leg to the foot. The pain with-a disc is excrutiating and the nerve (depending on the damage) will/can tingle.

    I would see either the ortho or a neuro surgeon and have an MRI done.

    I ruptured a disc at age 14 - had it removed. I herniated a disc at 19 - 2 years of therapy to get rid of that pain. I herniated another disc around age 26 and then at 31 the piece of disc that they left in from my operation came free and floated to lodge itself in between a vertabrae and a nerve. I did the cortisone shots for that (2 of them) never again. They are painful. I actually got sick with-bronchitis and coughed it out of place. I could actually feel my foot again (I had lost feeling because of the location).

    I went back to my neuro surgeon for that last one and he wanted to do a fusion which would have put me in a body cast for 6-8 months. I had a young difficult child - no way was I going to go thru that. So I tried the ortho route and did therapy and the shots. I guess I just got a bit of luck coughing the darn thing out of position.

    Good luck.
  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I'm sorry you're in pain. It is so sad - The mentality of the staff - Just mask the pain and you'll be on your merry way...:mad:

    I hope you get a correct diag soon!!! Keep us posted. WFEN
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Good for you for insisting on an answer. My brother in law would be taken to ER several times for pain - nurses would give him pain relief, he would sit about 1 -2 hrs waiting for the doctor. By then pain would be gone and doctor would refuse to even consider what the cause was, "You feel better, you can go". I will tell my sister not to allow ER staff to medicate him until after the doctor's figure it out.
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Janet -

    I'm so sorry you're in so much pain. I would see a neuro, too, like we talked about for the peripheral nerve pain.

    They always want to prescribe something for me, too, at the ER. I don't think they would know what to do otherwise.
  10. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    I'm sorry they treated you like that Janet. :( Any chance at all you can come out this way some time and have Duke take a look? You know they won't just give you medications and dismiss you. They even have a social department that can help with arrangements to make it all easier (what ever your needs to make it here and such). They are really nice and good but you know that and you don't need a referral with your insurance.

    And ya'll are scaring me now! I have some herniated discs and bulging discs beyond my ankylosing spondylitis/degenerative disc disease and I'm experiencing some of the things you talk about. They have referred me to a neuro surgeon and based on what ya'll just talked about I'm not sure I want to even talk with him. It's a scary proposition :(
  11. Star*

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


    Hugs for the pain. Now - If you really want to shut ER people up cold - do what I do when I WANT to know what is wrong and I am ALSO not interested in pain medications.

    Borry my DF - yes borrow said in Southern slang - Borry - him. He's got long hair, tattoos, and looks like he'd go for "anything" at "any moment". When they come in and say How about Vicodin or a nice shot, you just say like I do - "No I dont want anything but HE'll take it!!" and he nods. (jokingly) and THAT usually stops it cold.

  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Janet, I agree with-jal--get an MRI. "Best guess" doesn't cut it.
    Although he may be right in the long run.
    So sorry. ERs are not fun places no matter what.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    But Janet, Didn't they offer you any Benadryl????

    (Sorry, local joke. Our hospital treats almost every health issue in women and children with liquid or injectable benadryl. Jess was dripping blood and all they wanted to give her was a shot of benadryl. From a FALL!)

    I would go for the MRI. Also, has anyone discussed lyrica?? The maker is very good at helping people who can't afford it get it.


  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have tried Lyrica and cant take it. I ended up with pretty horrid side effects...so that is out. Years ago I tried Neurontin but with the topamax and lamictal on board now the last rheumy I saw was afraid to add that to my mix. I didnt really see much help with that one either to be honest.

    I did have a MRI in Dec but I dont know what the results are because after I finally got my nerve up to actually DO the darned test, I flaked out on actually going back to the ortho to get the results...lol. Isnt that the stupidest thing ever? I have the biggest phobia of MRI's ever and had to take a ton of medications just to get my lower half into the open MRI so repeating this test aint happening anytime soon unless they put me completely out.

    Tia....you know, going to Duke really might be my best bet. I might call up there on Monday to see about scheduling an appointment.
  15. Star*

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

    Janet -

    DF has tons of tattoos and a huge fear of enclosed spaces. For NO MORE MONEY they sent him to an OPEN MRI. They checked his tattoos (no problem) and fixed it so that he could have air right in his face. He did great.

    Also have you EVER considered a pain management doctor? DF takes Methadone and it's helped him more than anything else. It's a neural receptor blocker. He still has pain with taking 6 a day - but not like he did and he's got rods and hardware in his back, knees and his face is wired together too.

    Just a thought for you. OPEN MRI.
  16. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Good luck Janet. I hope you do call. They are great and usually the wait is not to long at all up here. Maybe you want to see anybody else (another specialist) while you're here too? They can coordinate that as well.
  17. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Just a thought---don't mean to scare anyone, but...
    My gfgbiomom was having tremedous pain in her hip and leg. Turned out to be the main artery from her heart to her nether region was clogged and she had no blood flow. Did they check your toes for regular blood flow??? What is the pain like?
  18. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I am SO sorry that you are hurting.

    To echo Everywoman, did they check for blood clots?

    I don't know if you remember, but about a month or so ago I went into the ER because my leg (thigh) was in a lot of pain, and I was afraid it may be a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis). The triage nurse asked me if I had taken anything for the pain. I told her no. She asked me why not? I told her that I rarely take anything for pain; I have to be really hurting...I am so afraid I will get addicted.

    Her response?

    "Well that's just silly. Don't you want to get better?"


    I said You're kidding, right? Pain medication does not "make you better". It just masks the pain for awhile. Whatever is wrong with you, is STILL wrong with you!


    My leg pain ended up not to be a clot. they did an ultrasound to check it out.

    I hope you get some relief soon.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was told if it was a clot then my leg would be swollen, tight and red looking. Now that could be true or untrue...I do live in the boonies. I do wonder about blood flow because I am a smoker, tend towards sedentary lifestyle, and my feet sometimes have a bluish cast to them. Not all the time, but sometimes. I dont appear to have enough edema to worry anyone. Guess that is good.

    My feet and ankles are the one place I am not fat...lmao.

    Oh...on the MRI...I did have mine open and I still got freaked out. I walked out of one open MRI that they wanted to do on my head and cervical area because they had to clamp my head down. Oh hell no...make that a double hell no! People...I am so claustrophobic its not funny. Even the open ones freak me out. I would love to try the new ones where you sit down in the middle of a room and they can take the pictures from around you. Maybe then I could handle it. As it stands now...it took me taking a valium, 3 klonopin, 5 benedryl, and 2 lorcets just to do the last one. I wont walk in for another without IV sedation. If they cant knock me completely out, well we just wont do it.
  20. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    a few words about our local ERs.
    I would not choose to take our dog to any, or even send my enemies there. I have such a LONG list of extreme bad experiences there....

    Our ER last time I was there actually has you sing papers saying you understand they do not diagnosis there....and that that are basically just a stopgap and you need to go to your own personal doctor...they are just there to help you wait it out till your doctor can see you. and you waive responsibility on them for any error in diagnosis. and no, they seldom do any tests in our ER. So you go in, wait 8-16 hours in waiting room, then you go back from wwaitig room to sit in hall on a chair cuz even tho our hospital is relatively new, it is already far too small, and you sit there another 2-3 hours and eventually, if you are lucky, someone comes along and maybe pops a thermometer in your face....(or your ear or armpit or whatever) and they will give you a Rx for a medication and tell you go fill it, and the Rx is for enough medications for 12 hours, and then they tell you go call your own doctor. Usually the Rx is for tylenol.
    and yeah, it even goes this way if you are bleeding all over their floor or if you have a wild rash.....doesn;t matter. Even if yu come in by ambulance.