I apologize that this will be kinda long - want to give as much info as I can so everyone can hopefully give me some advice/input.
First, a little bit of background - I suffer from several chronic pain issues, including fibromyalgia, lupus, severe osteoarthritis. For the past month or so I've been having a major issue with my right hip and lower back (mostly the hip) - it began with pain in the groin/inside hip area and has now totally encompassed the entire hip and does also affect the lower back (although not all the time). the best way I can describe the pain is like a horrible, horrible toothache that does not go away. it also radiates down my leg into my knee and sometimes all the way down my leg with some shooting/burning pains into my foot. I first went to my PCP about this (she handles all my health issues, including my pain management) and she gave me dilaudid and flexeril (to replace my normal lorcet plus) and immediately made me an urgen appt with an orthopedic doc. She also sent me that day for xrays, which I took with me to the ortho appt (the ortho was actually one of their PA's, but that's fine with me). Anyway, the ortho said I did have ddd, at least one bulgin disc with pinched/trapped nerve/s. She put me on a 6 day tapering course of medrol-dose pack and told me to call her the following week and let me know how I was doing - if I wasn't at least 50% improved she would more than likely wnat to get an MRI. I did not have much, if any at all, improvement, so I called her that following week and told her how I was feeling. They scheduled me for an MRI - I made it another point to tell them that majority of my pain was in my hip, so to be sure that they also looked at the hip durign the MRI. The nurse that was scheduling it said she would mention it to the PA. Unfortunately, the day before the MRI was scheduled for, I ended up having to put my car in the shop and was without any transportation for about a week, so I had to reschedule it (and my follow-up appt with the ortho). I finally had the MRI this past Wed (8/4) -- even though I had made sure to tell the ortho that majority of my pain was in my hip, she STILL only requested the MRI to be done of my lumbar spine - her feeling was that the pain was actually comign from my back. i didn't balk at it - figured she knew what she was talking about. Had the MRI - no problems with that except of course I was hurting more afterward simply from laying on that horribly hard table for so long! Friday (8/6) was my follow-up with the ortho -- MRI findings did show bulging at L3, L4, L5 with some nerve impingement, however, it was not severe impingement. The radiologist also stated there was a tear at L3,L4 -- anyone know what that means - the PA didn't seem to and kind of skipped over it when I asked her what that meant.
Now, of course, the PA has finally decided to listen to me when I tell her that the majority of my pain is in my hip and not all in my back - yes the back does act up, but I think at least part of that is because of me adjusting my positions, gait, etc, to accomodate the hip pain. Yesterday when I was there, she gave me a cortisone injection to see if it would help - I do have a LOT of pinpoint pain when she pressed on certain areas so she though possibly a bursitits? Again, she told me that if I didn't see vast improvement by the beginning of next week, to call the office and she would want me to see their hip specialist - either before getting an MRI of the hip or possibly getting the hip MRI first and then seeing him (why the heck she didn't listen to me before and do the hip at the same time as the other I'll never know!)
The injection was VERY painful - I've had cortisone injections before in my shoulder (have since had that shoulder replaced) and also in both knees at different times in my life, so I'm not a stranger to them. This one was absolutely HORRIBLE though. i dont' know if it was simply because the area she injected was already so painful or if something wasn't right. She did tell me that I could experience some MILD increase in pain last night as a result of the injection and to use ice packs for the next couple of days (I had been switching between heat and ice before this but she said to stick with the ice only for a few days). Well, I'll tell you - what I experienced last night and even this morning is in no way MILD increase in pain - I am totally and completely miserable!! About three hours after the injection, I also began sweating a LOT (yes it's hot here in Va, but I was in the a/c), had some dizziness and nausea. I do sometimes get some nausea when my pain levels are high, but not usually dizziness or sweating.
this morning, after a horrible night of trying to sleep, I'm no longer dizzy, but my stomach is still quite queasy, I have a nasty headache (I tend to get bad headaches whenever I'm on prednisone or any steroid) and I've got body aches all over - no fever or sore throat, so I dont' think it's a virus. Of course, too, the hip pain has not settled down at all.
If it hadn't been after hours when the sweating and nausea started yesterday, I would have called the ortho office to see if they felt it was a "reaction" or side effect of the injection (I've never had this with my other cortisone injections - some localed increased pain, yes, but nothing like this). And of course, it is now the weekend, so I can't call.
Has anyone else ever experienced these types of things with a cortisone injection? Is it somethign I should be really worried about or could I just try to wait it out and call their office on Monday?
I'm so very frustrated not only with my pain right now, but also with the doctor's office - why is it they don't always listen to their patients when they tell them where and how their pain is? is it simply because they are the ones with the degree so they think they know it all? I beg to differ if that's the case - WE are the patients - WE know how we are feeling.
Sorry, I guess I also needed to vent.
If anyone has ANY suggestions, anythign would be greatly appreciated.