Hey everyone, my name is Greg from Atlanta, Ga. I have had lower back pain since 01/2005.
Warning! Anecdote! It all started me waking up one morning with a back ache. I thought it was my bed at first, so, I changed where I slept and eventually got a new bed. Eventually my back started to hurt if I stood up for a long period of time. (mainly at work) I got an x-ray and an MRI and it showed that at L4/5/S1 I have moderate stenosis. It was around this time that my left leg started to go numb. Best described like you sat on the toilette for too long and your leg goes numb.
I go to see a surgeon and he says, "You're too young" I'm 23 right now, so, I was 21 at that time. I then go see a new PCP (I moved from Mi to Atl) and of course, the first thing he thought is that I was a drug seeker. I told him I was on 7.5/750 Vikes, 60 every two weeks. He sent me to a pain specialist who got me on 7.5 Perc's (120( and 300mg ER Ultram (30). He started doing injections which helped for the first 24 hours but then it all came back. I came in for my appointment one day a little sooner than I was supposed to (I was going to Cali for 2 weeks, so, I was just wanting my script before I went) and he discharged me. So, now I'm horribly dependent on Percocet and have nobody to prescribe me medication. I go to a orthopedic doctor who prescribes me over 450mg of Tramadol a day. I stay with him for a good year because, well, it worked. I did go to another doctor as well who gave me a few Percocet (60). But this is where it got bad. To get rid of the pain, I started taking more than prescribed. Now my dependence has turned into an addiction I do not want. I ended up getting Bariatric surgery 'cause I was also overweight. When I got the surgery, I told my Tramadol doctor (who wouldn't prescribe me ANYTHING else, literally, I begged him) that now I can't take Tramadol due to the surgery. So, instead, he discharged me. I go see another orthopedic doctor who does a bunch of steroid injections and gave me Roxicodone 5mg/5mL (1050mL/month) I told him the injections didn't work so he just sent me to a pain clinic. While with him, I got an EKG and a Myleogram (which showed that my spinal canal is 7mm...(is that bad?) The pain clinic doctor put me on Fentanyl 50mcg patches which don't work well and I'm still getting my Percs from my new PCP (shhhh)
So, after losing 160lbs, 10 injections, 2 MRI's, an X-ray, a myleogram, an EKG, and a wonderful addiction to pain killers, I'm still in pain. Really, does anybody have any advice for me?!! NSAIDs don't work at all (Lyrica, Gabapentin, Neurotin, blah blah blah, and I cna't take 'em anymore anyway).
If you skipped the huge back-story, my stenosis is 7 mm at L5, is that bad?
My opiate tolerance, I have actually eaten a 50mcg patch just to get rid of the pain since it took 16 hours to start working and all it did was obviously give me a buzz and made me fall asleep for 2 hours.
I really really really really want help!