April 18th 2009, I awakened to extreme pain in my lower back and gout-like pain in my right foot. I also had a mild temp. I went to the ER and was sent to a RI hospital for an emergency MRI, as the ER doctor thought I might have an abscess on my spine.
In RI, they found no indication of abscess and were able, for the most part, to treat the back pain, but not the foot pain, which now was present in both feet.
I was discharged to rehab and landed back in a MA hospital where I was DX with Gout, but it did not respond to treatment well, so I was in and out of hospital and rehab for 2 months approx. until the insurance would not pay for any more rehab days and they felt that nothing more could be done in the hospital.
Since then, I have experienced pain in both feet that is at times intense, but is controlled somewhat with high dose (100mcg Duragesic patch) of narcotics and some Percoset for breakthrough pain.
Gout was ruled out. So was any serious peripheral neuropathy (although, I do have some). The latest thing they blame it on is arthritis in my foot, but two treatments of injected steroid have not been of much help.
You would think that, with all the pain killers I am on, I should have no pain at all, but I have a lot of stiffness in the AM that can last for hours; a certain constant pain in my feet, but mostly worse after walking or standing or even sitting with my legs down for a few hours.
I also have pain in my hands and arms and had carpal tunnel release done on both hands, but still have a different sort of pain now. Also, I have some pain in my shoulders and a lot of pain in my outer (but not inner) thighs.
Overall, I just feel bad and no one can explain the sudden onset or intensity of the pain.
A few other pieces of info. Until about 45 days ago, I had a lot of edema in my legs below the knee (but not feet). I am mildly diabetic, but my sugars are under control and have been to the extent that the doctor in the rehab stopped even testing me daily because the readings were always normal and I complained about the constant sticks.
My weight is excessive. At one point, I was up over 310, but just before this started, I was down to 250-ish for the first time in many years and felt great.
I went back up to 300 after the hospital and now am at 278.
Previous to this, my BP was borderline high, but it went normal while in the hospital last year. Recently, it is back up again. Not extremely high, but higher than normal and not responding too well to meds.
Prior to April 2009, I had 2 other lower back pain incidents. One was Dec 2008 and the other was about 3 months later. Both were treated with dose pack steroids and went away in less than a week. Prior to that, it had been several years since I had any kind of major back pain; just minor pain like sciatica.
The MRI of my back shows nothing. No physical damage. Same for my feet, except for the arthritis that is not responding to treatment. An Xray of my hand shows some arthritis at the base of the thumb, but doesn't really explain why all the fingers hurt at times and often I also have pain in the palms.
I have had 3 prior incidents of Gout, but those went away and were about 5 or 6 years apart if I remember.
One other thing. Just a couple of days before April 19, I received a flu shot and also hepatitis vaccines. Probably no relationship there, but maybe?
There are very good doctors here, but they are all stumped or try to explain it with a DX that doesn't really fit that well.
Can you or someone else help me?
It seems insane that the pain meds will not eliminate this pain completely and I know it is not an ideal situation to be on those kind of meds for the long term.
That's all I can think of. Ask more if you need to.