I am a 42yr old female with 3 children. 10 years ago I developed chronic asthma. I was put on 40mg of steroids for a period of 2-3 years along with every other asthma medication. I was seen at a hospital clinic, and every visit I was seen by a new doctor who would give me a different treatment. I soon went from being an active person who weighed 115lbs to weighing 165lbs. I could not walk up stairs because I was over weight. I was sick with head colds and chest colds constantly. I was hospitalized 4-5 times a year with asthma related illnesses. My lower back began to hurt 2 years into starting the steroids and the weight gain, and my right leg began to go numb.
When I told the doctors about this, I was told that it was my imagination. I told the doctors that I now walked with a limp, once again I was told that I was imagining the pain, they would not do a test to see why I was in pain. Also, I wanted to know why I had to stay on such high doses of steroids. I was told that I needed this to keep my lungs function. I finally complained so much about the pain in my back and leg that a MRI was ordered. Two bulges were found in the L2 and L3 part of my spine. The doctors told me that even though a bulge was found, I should not be in that much pain. I began having open sores on my arms, neck, and face. The Doctors said it was diabetes, and I had to start taking insulin. The steroids increased my sugar levels and it became almost impossible to control the diabetes. My joints were always in pain; my lower back was in agony, the doctors refused to give me anything to relieve the pain in my back or joints because they said that I was imagining the pain. I began to grow excessive hair all over my body, and I had a bad vaginal discharge. After 3 years of taking the steroids and insulin, my weight was 180lbs, at 5'2" I could barely walk.
I stopped going to see the doctors because I felt that they did not care about me. I took myself off the steroids and began taking vitamins, and I got more rest. The weight began to come off, and my sugar levels began to go back to normal. It took 7 years before I was feeling normal again. I was no longer having asthma attacks, (I was intubated 4 times in the past) and I did not have to use the inhaler as much during the course of the day.
But now my back and neck were hurting me. I thought that the stiff neck was stress, or sore muscles. I would hear a cracking noise when ever I moved my head. I ignored this because I thought it was my imagination and I did not want to go thorough the horrors of the doctors again.
When my arm and fingers began to go numb I thought it was a stroke. I went to the ER and I was told that it might be MS, or pinched nerves, or a tumor, anything but a proper diagnosis. The pain in my neck became so server I had to stop working. I could not clean my house, wash my hair or body properly, or concentrate because I was in so much pain. I began having migraines and tremors in my hand. I loss feeling in three fingers, and I have partial hearing in my ear. I went to see a specialist and was finally diagnosis with cervical spinal stenosis. I felt happy to finally get a diagnosis and an explanation for the pain I was suffering. But now I am back to the beginning with dealing with doctors. I read up on my condition and found that it usually occurs around the age of 50 and up. Because I am so young the doctors feel that I do not need surgery to correct this. I am being treated with pain pills. I now can not function, I am in chronic pain, I slowly losing the use of my right arm, my hair has begun to fall out, and I am on so much medication just to be comfortable I can't drive a car or hold a job. I am on SSI, but that does not pay the bills. I am on the verge of ending my life because the doctors can't seem to help me, I have tried eastern medical treatment and that did not work either. I am so tired of being in pain, and not able to care for my self or my family. I figure that if I end my life I won't have to listen to any more lame doctors, and I will at least be a peace.
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