Posted by Budzoid on March 1, 2009, at 23:14:11
Does this make sense to anyone else? I'm 50 yrs. old and have had problems my whole life with periodic stiffness or "cricks" in my neck. I had a neck injury when I was about 8 yrs. old and had to wear a neck brace for 2 months. As I got older, I would get a stiff neck every 4-5 yrs. that lasted for a couple of weeks and then would go away. As I got older, these episodes became more frequent. In the early 90's I was diagnosed with OCD and put on Xanax by my mental health Doc.(First time I had ever gone to one).It helped with my mental problems and all was good for about 8 yrs. These were some of the best and most productive times in my life (very out-going and sociable).I give full credit to the Benzo's. Thinking back now, I had very few stiff neck problems during this time. Well, the next thing I know, my Doc. had left and his replacement was totally against the use of Benzo's. He stepped me off of them and told me I was depressed and put me on Prozac, Trazadone, and Mirtazapine (some to help me sleep). I had never felt depressed before, but after being taken off the Xanax, I soon felt depressed and figured all the new meds. would help with that. I also noticed my neck problems had returned. After about 10 yrs. of being on the SRRI's, and repeated requests to be put back on some type of Benzo, and being told I was a bad person for "wanting to get a buzz" from them, I stopped taking all the "crazy meds." he had me on. After about 2 months I felt much better (clear headed). Unfortunately, my neck stiffness got so bad that I had to get a couple of MRIs which showed degenerative joint problems (arthritis) and bone spurs that were enclosing around my nerves, causing more and more pain in my neck and back. I saw a neurosurgeon and was told they could fuse my bones together and make it look better on an x-ray, but it would not stop the pain and stiffness. Next, they put me on opiates (which I hate). In the mean time , whenever I would have to go to the emergency room for the neck stiffness, they would always put me on a couple of months of Valium for the muscle spasms in my neck and my stiffness would go away for several months. I have just had steroid injections in my back and neck. It helped a lot for about 2 days. Next they are going to inject Botox. If that doesn't help, they will start doing epidurals! I am now on both morphine and percocets for the constant pain. Needless to say, my quality of life is going downhill fast.
Recently I was doing research on the 'net and came across something called Stiff Man Syndrome: (http://www.med.yale.edu/neurol/programs/neuromuscular/stiff_man.html) and I believe it explains why Benzo's helped my stiff neck problems in the past and I kept asking for them (unknowingly) all this time and why they may be the only medicine that can actually improve my situation and quality of life. How can I convince my Doc. to try this for a few months and see what happens, when he is so dead set against them because they can be "addictive"? I guess a life addicted to opiates is O.K. (?). Would someone please check out the link I provided and let me know if this sounds reasonable, or am I just a bad person for asking again for Benzo's. Keep in mind that I use the VA, so getting another doctor is not an option. Thanks