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New here, Looking for someone to relate to

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Depression and Coping
Hi everybody,

My name is Jeff, Im 19 years old and ive been dealing with chronic low back pain for almost 2 years. I had fallen delivering pizza on some icy stairs. I have 5 minimal disc bulges, on prominent one, and terrible sciatica in my right leg. Ive been to coutless doctors (upwards of 50), hospitals, everything i can think of, tried all kinds of therapies including many non-pharmacological ones. Everyone i talk to says they understand and tell me things to make it better, but they really dont, and nothing theyve said has worked for me. I find it hard to listen to someone tell me about how bad their back is when they can take tylenol or some other OTC medications to COMPLETLY take their pain away.
Does anyone understand where im coming from? (not necesarily low back pain, but terrible, chronic pain). Anyone with any suggestions, or jsut want to tell me their story I'd love to hear it. Im so stuck, the last doctor i talked to was this morning and he told me that he would continue my current medications but that is no help atall, because clearly they arent working otherwise I wouldn't continue to make appointments with new doctors if waht they were doing was working, or even making the pain tolerable.
My current medications are lyrica 100mg 3 times a day, zanaflex 6mg 4 times a day, tramadol extended release 200mg once a day, and hydrocodone/apap 7.5mg/750mg every 4 hours, all of these medications combined bring me from a 10/10 to a 9 or 9.5 out of ten, i cant consider the pain tolerable if im still crying AT LEAST once a day, usualy 2 or 3 times. Thank you fro taking the time to read this, and thank you in advance for any response, i appreciate it.
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Comments

  • Hi and welcome.
    This is the place where you will find emapthy and understading for your pains.
    Sadly most well meaning people just simply don't know Back PAIN if they describe, like you say relief from the simple meds, OTC and simple hot water bottle, le flat tricks etc.

    Relief like that?? = Heaven.

    Like you and many folk on these boards I have struggled with pain 24/7, varying degrees through the day and week. You learn to soldier on as best you can and do whatever you know may help reduce and give you some comfort.

    I am curious why you are so young and yet don't seem to have a doctor on your case??

    I am not sure you can describe that "ugly" pain to anyone if they haven't been there. I'd rather give birth to twins, scold myself than deal with the pain at the top end of my own experience. Sadly, we all have different thresholds too so it makes it very difficult for anyone to accurately assess you.

    I am not sure there is anything to even liken it to. I just say to people, "I don't think you quite understand, and godwilling you never will!"

    I hope you find support here on the boards.
  • Sorry for your pain I know it sucks. I am two weeks out of fusion surgery and I am sooo happy. I also had to get several opinions but not anywhere close to you. Keep looking, ask for a referal to a surgeon(neurosurgeon and orthopedic) so you can get their opinions. Have you had a recent MRI??? Mine changed significantly within one year. More than the surgeon thought it would. Have you tried any spinal injections such as epidural or SI joint injections?? You are too young to feel this old and broken but obviously you do. Keep pushing!!! Ask lots of questions and look through this site, it is an awesome site. My surgeon is the co-founder of it and people love the site. What part of the world are you from? Best Wishes
  • Do you have a pain management Dr? Have you ever had any injections? I agree with the others you need a referral to an orthopedic surgeon and a Neurologist. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Id like to start by saying that I really, really appreciate all of your responses. I've been passed around from dr. to dr. not getting anywhere. some agree with other dr.'s others say that theyre wrong and give their own opinion. Its extremely hard to find a dr. who belives me and wants to treat me. I really like your response to people when they try to tell you about their pain and who to help it. I usually get upset/angry because 90% of the people jsut tell me to push through and or walk it off, which I would have done 2 years ago if that worked.

    I've had sooo many tests include electromyelograpy (EMG nerve conduction study) which showed a latency in the nerve response, Ive also had maybe 5-6 MRI's including a stand up one which showed a few disc bulges and one more prominent once which dr's jsut shrug off saying that any normal back would show that. Ive had CT scans which were normal. Most of the tests i had were laying down (which is my best position to be in) Ive had epidural steroid injections and a facet block, and as soon as the lidocaine (topical anestetic) wore off the pain went from a 4-5 to a 10+, I also started falling down due to increase shooting pain and weakness, I was crying about half of the day, everyday, and i would have to call family members and even friends sometimes to help pick me up off the floor. I cant tell you how much of a baby you feel like as a 19 year old guy having your friends come and see you crying and have to help you up and into bed.

    Im from Albany, NY, and I recently moved to binghamton, ny to go to school with my girlfriend but I havent been able to go to school yet. to answer your question Ive seen 2 ortho-surgeons, a few neurologists, a couple neurosurgeons, orthopaedics, chiropractor, physical therapists, countless other dr's that i cant remember. All sugeons do not want to operate (which im reluctant to do anyway) My pain managment dr. reviewed my case and determined that Im not in pain, that im abusing drugs and im a "junkie seeking narcotics" were almost his exact words, he thinks im abusing my current narcotic pain medications which are tramadol, darvocet, and more recently vicoden, each helped only a tiny bit, and since he knew ive been to the hospital a few times, he asked me waht i've had that worked the best, and ive had fentanyl, morphine and hydromorphone through an IV in the hospital and I truthfully responded with morphine (which ive found works the best, even though i specifially told him i wasnt looking for narcotics, i jsut want to get out of pain, and besides my current meds this type of medication helps the most). the then almost immediately grabbed my arms and looked at the inside of my elbows looking for needle marks. which he found one (from my most recent blood tests at the hospital, and i had to prove i got a blood test). Im kinda at the end of my rope here. almost all the dr's ive seen jsut think im looking for narcotics to abuse, which they would realize once my pain was controlled i wouldnt be asking for anything. My only idea is to keep going from dr. to dr. trying to find someone who belives me.

    I apologize for any rambling I might have done. Thanks for listening, I feel a little better after typing this. If anyone has any questions for me Ill try to answer them the best i can.

    thanks again,
    Jeff
  • Jeff, I am sorry to hear what you have been through. 5 would be crying all day. My doctor noticed my spine vertebrae's moving over each other when they did an x-ray in which I was bent over a little while holding a bar. This position showed the movement as I was attempting to bend. Maybe, and this is only my opinion 'cause it happened to me; it maybe something to look into because it really hurts and lying down as most comfortable to me. The doctor said when I stood or tried to bend the discs would slip over each other and cause pain. Just trying to help a fellow spiney! If morpine works, get 'em to give it to you. Kadian is pill form morphine I believe. I have it but need it anymore since surgery. I wish you all the best and keep trying and crying when as needed, it helps! Blessings to your girlfiend for standing by you. Pika
  • Aww, sweetie, I am so sorry you are in such pain. It must be terrible not to have the doctors take you seriously! My heart really goes out to you. You don't usually see a young person such as you have such terrible pain from their back. That's the only excuse I can give the whole lot of them!

    I wanted to caution you about the hydrocodone you are taking. The maximum dose of acetometiphine(?) is 4000. If you are taking the tablets every 4 hours, you are taking approx. 4,500 mg. The danger is to your liver and kidneys...damage that can't be undone. Please try to cut that down and take it every 6 hours.

    Hasn't there been one doctor that you felt listened to you? If so, stick with him. When you get prescriptions from many, many different doctors, it makes it appear to the pharmacies that you are a junkie. Have you had physical therapy? Do the epidurals help at all?

    Please take good care of yourself and keep us posted, ok? Many, many hugs to you today. >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Perhaps you could review your meds with your GP. Maybe extended release morphine would help like you said it helped in the hospital. I take ms contin 60 mg twice a day. I've been off work 9 months and the pain is worse before I was on ms contin 30 mg a day and my Dr. kept increasing it. If I were you I would pick up my cane and go back to the Dr
    who's looking after your meds and review the lortab that Joy pointed out as above. I hope you get pain relief soon. Never give up. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I did find a good PM doc who has been pretty good about listening and is not afraid to do a procedure if there is a chance it will help me. I was referred to him by my GP. I've been through all of those same tests multiple times and for me the frustration comes from having negative test results and then poor response to treatment once problems were identified. I was just whining on another area of the forum because on a daily basis I am more convinced that my last procedure has done nothing for me, but my pain levels are only at about 4 or 5 out of 10. I can't take my pain meds at work so I try and survive on ibuprofen but that's kinda a joke. I come here because I get nothing but kind words and encouragement here. I may not understand the pain levels you're at but I definitely understand the frustration, hang in there.
    Jay
  • I am also from upstate ny. I am currently going to start seeing a neurosergon in glens falls this coming week. They are Dr. Greenspan and Dr scialabba. Have you heard of them? I am not very far from you (near plattsburgh), and they are in glens falls I beleive?
  • hi Jeff
    sorry to here that you are suffering along with us vets of pain
    i wont go on about my pain .what i will do it tell you what helps me ..and maybe it may help you
    1.the acticare unit ...this is a high end TENS and more see www.acticare .com
    2.make sure your meds are working {it sounds like you may need a review
    3.memory foam overlay for your bed or and memory foam bed
    4.ice if your back is hot and heat if its cold
    {i should imagine that its hot lower back problems ??}
    and don't try to do too much ..allow yous self to be ill ..this is not a defeatist solution but if you are in pain all the time .over a long time like me you tend to want to do more than you are able to and then get upset when you fail.
    last word make sure that if you are operated on ..you get a very qualified surgeon .
    good luck Jeff
    STRAKER
  • I have had my pain for 2 1/2 years and like you went to multiple drs and had every test and they couldnt find anything wrong. Then finally went to spine clinic in MPLS, MN and spine dr suggested a discogram because MRI and CT dont always show small tears in discs., Well long story short, I had 3 discs with tears and just had 2 level fusion on Dec 11. I thought I was going nuts, cause no one coulod ever find anything. They just kept increasing meds. I didnt want to live my life on narcotics. So find a Dr you have faith in, ask about discogram and keep me posted. Good luck to you, I have been in your shoes and know how depressing it is. Also check into getting something for depression, After a year, I did. Made things easier to deal with, Back pain is one of the biggest causes of depression. There is no reason to be down and in pain both.. :H
  • You have certainly been through a rollercoaster. You need to find one good pain specialist to see, and they can do further testing and maybe put you on a long acting med like Kadian, since the morphine helped you. Perhaps they can do a ct/myelogram to see what the culprit is because MRI's can be inconclusive.
    I totally relate to your story. I suffer from chronic back and nerve pain and none of my 2 surgeries helped me. It sucks to have pain 24/7, and worse is when you have pain flares. I'm sorry this is happening to someone as young as you. For some reason doctors are overly suspicious of a young person in pain. Just because you're young, doesn't mean that you can't experience that. I had arthritis since my early teens and had to eat aspirin to make it through the day.
    Well, I hope you find a good doc to take care of you and offer the treatment you need. Take care
  • Jeff I agree with the others that I think you are being treated this way simply because of your age. Hang in there. You will find a doctor who has a sympathetic ear and will help you but Straker has given you some really great advice if you haven't tried any of these start at the top and don't stop until you get to the bottom.
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