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I had a RTA earlier this year and since then have been trawling the internet trying to find some information. I am hoping some of you will be able to give me some answers! I will try and be as concise as possible but apologies in advance for the lengthy information… I am desperate!!
On 17th April of this year, a third party hit me from behind; I was stationary, waiting to turn right; he hit me whilst travelling about 40mph. Police, ambulance and fire services all attended the scene and after some discussion about whether to cut the roof off my car to get me out, I managed to manoeuvre myself out and was taken to hospital in an ambulance; neck brace and body board included! My car was a total loss.
I immediately felt pain and a burning sensation at the base of my head/top of my neck, followed by nausea and vertigo. At hospital I was examined and told I had whiplash. I was given some written information and advised to rest and take anti-inflammatories/pain killers. I was bed-bound for the next 5/6 days. When I was well enough to attend my GP surgery they prescribed Naproxen. I was off work for 7 working days in total before having to return due to financial reasons!
What seemed like a relatively minor rear-end shunt at the time has caused me constant pain and frustration over the past 4 months. I presented initially with classic whiplash symptoms; neck pain, restricted movement, headaches, numbness etc. The Solicitor dealing with my personal injury claim through my insurance company arranged for a medical report and psychiatric assessment and I also had 15 sessions of physio (6 initially, then an extra 9 agreed in 3 lots of 3). The Psychiatrist recommended 8-12 sessions of CBT as I have developed nervousness, anxiety etc. when driving as a result of the accident.
Over the last 2 months the pain has become unbearable; my neck is on agony upon waking almost daily (I am woken every night by pain and struggle to sleep), it feels hot and sweaty, even if the rest of my body temperate feels normal, I don’t remember a day in the last 5 weeks where I haven’t had a headache, I find it difficult to concentrate, I am irritable and emotional; one minute I feel relatively happy and the next I lash out at loved ones, I have awful spasms in my shoulders that send shooting pains down my entire arm and leave me with tingling and weakness in my hand, I get numbness and “dead” feeling in both arms; predominantly my left arm which feels heavy and I have to fight with it to make it work! I am constantly tired, I suffer from bad episodes of fatigue, where I get into bed and sleep for 15 hours at a time! I have vertigo, feelings of being spaced out and not in the room, which is usually accompanied by tinnitus. I get a severe burning pain in my neck, which radiates down my spine into the base of my back, across my shoulders, into my head and behind my eyes and down my arms. I’m even getting weakness in my legs, where I feel like they don’t work (which turns the 5 minute walk from the tube station to work into a 15 minute walk). I have noticed over the past couple of weeks difficulty swallowing and a really dry mouth (after having kidney stones last summer I am very conscious of drinking more than enough fluids per day and am certain that this dry mouth isn’t related to dehydration due to not drinking enough).
I feel unable to commit to plans and my social life is pretty much non-existent. I went out for the first time with my friends at the end of June and the whole experience was one I never want to repeat – I felt hot, dizzy, my heart was racing.. I am only 23 and I desperately want that carefree, happy young girl to be back but I just cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t stand the recrimination from people who don’t understand: “it’s just pain” – I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy! I have a very understanding partner whom I live with but I think even he is struggling to understand the constant mood swings and change in my behaviour; I have lost my libido and this is really putting a strain on our relationship.
I have a 1.5 hour commute into work every day, which involved an hour’s drive followed by 30 minutes on the tube. I am in pain before I even leave the house in the morning. I work as a medical secretary, which is obviously a pretty sedentary job and this is what I find really hard – sitting in the same place for 8 hours a day – I have to get up and walk around every 15 minutes.
I attended my GP last Monday and was prescribed Amitriptyline 10mg, with the aim of being used as a muscle relaxant and to calm the nerves. I am not getting on with this at all; I feel drowsy throughout the mornings, I am nauseous and dizzy. I have another appointment at the end of this week and am keeping my fingers crossed that they will be able to provide me with another solution! After speaking with numerous colleagues, friends, family etc. I am under the impression that as it has now been over 5 months and my symptoms have not improved, I should be requesting some further investigations (MRI in the first instance) in order to see whether there is any facet joints/discs…
Does anyone have any advice or has anyone been through the same thing or similar and would be able to help me as to the next steps I need to take with regards to getting a diagnosis and having some treatment. I am literally at the end of my tether!
Thank you so much in advance
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