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my hopes were crushed today please help

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi All,

I went to my surgeon with all my tests and my MRI today.
To my surprise he told me that I had Mild disc bulges and
arthritus which he said wasen't uncommon. I asked why I am
I so much pain and he said he had no idas........

He said I would need to go back to my pain management doc
and maybe try a lidoderm patch and a stronger pain med
along with the nerve and muscle pain meds I take. He also
said he would refer me to a nerve doc, but he had said my
nerve test was alright enough to say I have no back
He commented about a pych doc to see sometimes to help
with meds if pain is so great... I thought great he thinks
its all in my mind. I can tell by touch exactly where it is
the pain on my back L-5 and L-6 and I have numbness on bottom of feet. Also tingly feeling on feet. I have sharp
pain that shoots down bottom and back on legs when it wants. I know its there not in head.

I had sharp pain catch me off guard on Thanksgiving and I
fell. I am so upset. I was a very happy mom and wife. I
worked alot. Now I can't even drive rigvht now. I don't
feel like much and my poor daughter is 13 and watching
me. I really am losing hope fast. Any help or thought I
would love to hear. I feel stupid but am open for anything
and today was horrible.... Thank you


  • I know how you feel in so far as doctors not understanding your pain and telling you its all in your head.Do you have the option to get a 2nd opinion at all?

    All I can say is don't let this keep you down, there are others who will believe your pain just around the corner.Sometimes I cannot believe doctors pass that line so quickly, an MRI is not the end all, be all of how much pain we are having its just another diagnostic tool.Yes, it is in our heads because we hurt and the mind can be a powerful interpreter as well.It seems this surgeon is just taking the easy route IMHO.

    I hope you have a better tomorrow with a renewed energy to get the answers you seek.

    vent anytime it helps a lot and we are all here for similar reasons.
  • i feel so so sorry for you and yes i do understand completely where you are coming from.
    defo go see the nerve specialist because after reading your post it really does sound as thought it is nerve damage.
    i have teenage kids as well so i totally understand how you feel about them watching their mother in pain.
    the look on there little faces is frightening and your heart just bleeds for them.
    why dont you sit her down and explain all that you can and ask her for her help turn it round in a way that she feels like she is there for you at the moment and that you do need her help as much as she has needed you threw the 13yrs she has been around.
    i did this and it did make them think about it in a different light,but believe me sometimes they still go off on one!!!lol
    so give it a go and im thiking about you as i too was once in your position and i totally understand how you feel.

    good luck and keep us posted on how you get on.

    LOVE P
  • Thank You,

    Tomorrow will be better I am sure. I will let medicine work and start anew. I see you have taken Norco. Thats what I am trying. I am hoping it will give comfort.

  • She is such a good helper. She just wants her mom back so bad I know its very hard. She broke down tonite as I am losin it alot tonite. I will try to chat my feeling hear with others who have been throgh experiences and try tobe positive. It is just hard today. I will try to go to nerve doc too. If it will help. was just frustrated. I can go to any and all.... Not to costly just timley

    thanks for your thoughts and will be in touch nite
  • hey susie,
    its hard being a mum to teenagers at the best off times never mind the fact that we have all this pain to deal with also.
    my oldest is 17(girl) now when i started out onthis road she was the same age as your daughter is now and believe me i would have been lost without her she is my knight in shining armour.
    dont get me wrong we have had our ups and downs like all parents and teenagers do but heck id be lost without her.
    she finishes school sept 09 and then she is off to uni, i am begining to realise how hard a time she had with covering her school work and looking out for me life is very tiught for our kids.
    then comes the next girl(15) well she is the most easiest off going child i have ever met in my life!!! dont know where she came from lolshe to helps out but needs a little push in the right direction!!!
    and last but not least my beautiful baby boy (well hes 11!!!!) but still my baby and my only son,well the girl thats gets him will have a good life he is a gentleman in the making!!!
    so basically the moral of the story is..........live life, enjoy your kids and dont suffer in silence enjoy the ups and downs off being a parent because these years pass by so so quickly and can never be replaced.
    our kids are there for us we just need to give them a little guidance once in a while.

    love to you and your wonderful family xoxoxooxox

    MRS P
  • I've had the same things happen to me. Docs saying they don't know why you're in so much pain, and telling me to get evaluated. I got evaluated and got a clean, passing grade of sanity, haha! Then they started listening to me a bit more but I still had to fight for what all of us deserve, pain relief. I believed in myself, and had a closed MRI and gee, wahlah, I have a herniated disc. Not saying that you do because bulging discs can cause just as much pain. The nerve test only tests for nerve damage of motor nerves. A lot of times, small fiber nerves or sensory nerves can be the problem. There is a test for this but you basically have to make them do it.

    Please don't give up hope, I've felt like you so many times but I'm living proof that help is out there!!! You just have to research, not be afraid to MAKE docs understand, and keep at it with the strength of 1,000 men. It's hard, I know, but hope should not and cannot be lost. I had to go to a bunch of docs before I got the tests I needed and my pain properly treated. I had to stick with the same pain doc for 6 months in order for him to trust me and provide me with relief. But I'm grateful I stuck through it and I have faith that you can too!!!

    I'm here for you if you need me...

    Much love,
  • Good morning,

    I will turn to you for your advice. I have an appt set for Dec 23 already and will need then to ask about the nerve test you mentioned. Will have to lok at it again. Then will go to nerve doc with info. Do you know if there is such a thing as a MRI where you are vertical? That would show alot. This morning my husband said my back looked just terrible very swollen the worst he has ever seen yet.

    Thanks for your knowledge Lisa.

  • Hi Susie, I totally understand your frustrations. I've had back pain for over 10 years and it has slowly worsened and the last 4 years have been terrible.

    I've had everything from PT to facet injections, in between 3 sets of Epidurals, Sacroiliac Injections, Discogram, Selective Nerve Root Injections, pain management and am still in pain. I have a mild herniated disc, leg pain, numbness and weakness in left leg and my right calf pulls with pain when I walk, but the nurse from the new orthopedic Surgeon I am seeing next Monday just called and said the MRI showed I shouldn't be having the pain I say I am having, however, they would see me.

    I've been to several Neurosurgeons who have said the same thing and then finally, a few years ago an orthopedic surgeon, who first told me he could take the pressure off my left side, by doing fusion surgery and that would help my pain. Then he found out I had a small stroke 7 years ago and blamed osteoporosis for not doing surgery. I had back pain before the stroke. But, I understand his hesitation, and I suppose I will have to live with this pain the rest my life because of that.

    My pain management doctor I saw for 10 years has relocated, my neurologist who understood my pain and has taken care of me for 15 years, has recently retired and it seems I'm right back where I started. I suppose I will keep the appointment with this new doctor, I was referred to him, however, I need to find a pain management doctor, perhaps one who can help me. I'm taking medications, but they are not helping at all.

    I have grown children and grandchildren and do not feel like doing any of the things I did. And, I don't have time to think about myself, I stay busy, but do have to give in and stay in bed some days. However, I do try to help my girls out with the grandchildren, and stay busy, but the pain persist and I pay for everything .... just doing laundry.

    Best of luck to you,

  • Whatever you do keep on going to docs until you find one that can and will help you. It took me 2 1/2 years to find the doc that would help me. He/She is out there you just have to find them. The fact that they have put you on Norco may indicate that they believe that you are suffering from nerve pain. I think that is a nerve pain med. A pain psych does not always indicate that they do not believe you. I have seen several members with chronic pain post that they see them and they actually help them to cope with the chronic pain. Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
  • legalone and painintheback for your thoughts.... Today was alittle bit easier for me. I am trying to let new meds work. I will be in here with updates and really am thankful for you all. hugs Susie
  • I was wondering reading your post...many doctors are poor bed side manner communicators.

    Perhaps your case is simply that for that doctor, he feels he can't treat you. Perhaps you are outside the scope of this expertise?
    Not many doctors fess up to "I don't know" so try another doctor.

    I realsie that pain does not show on XR, MRI or CT scans but reasons for the pain, unless purely muscular, will show up. And then, a good PT will be able to massage a a good feel into your muscles and pass an educated opinion. My muscles are fibrosed for being too many years in spasm. I have no control on this fact.

    Any how, what I am trying to say is, don't be put off. Keep going until to find a doc that will help you.

    Take good care.
  • It was good to know that I am not alone. I have two young children (7 - boy and 8 - girl). I went through a similar situation to the one I find myself in now previous to children and it is much harder to deal with the pain with kids. Before I could just come home from work and take care of myself for the rest of the night. Now - there is no time for that.

    I have had the similar experience with doc - esp. ortho guys. I had one tell me to exercise. I am a gardener - which is a very physical job, i weigh in at 100 pounds and am all muscle (my husband 6' and 220 lbs says he wouldn't mess with me). He went as far as to deny that I had a lipoma removed from my pelvis area at the U of Michigan Hospital. I have only seen ortho's (pain between the shoulder blades since apr 07) and pain med docs. From a suggestion of a er nurse friend I am seeing a nuerosurgeon on the 29th. Though i believe the pain med docs take me seriously, they are not diagnostic. I hope I am not turned away on the 29th. I know I have felt very defeated with docs. I get my hopes up and then feel crushed as you did. It is such a roller coaster ride.

    Good luck with all you deal with - patti
  • my first mri showed a buldging disc and then i had a discectomy where they inject dye into your disc and you tell them your pain level. i also had nerve test . but first mri eventhough it showed a buldging disc on L4-5 was read by a dr recommended by my pain dr and he said it did not look that bad. by the way i could not walk and pain was severe to the max. then i had the discectomy and the dye flowed out of disc which shows herniated disc. so one test might not be as definitive to a dr so as i have a million times on this site, i recommend getting as many test as you can. if you request one a dr should do it unless you are hmo and not ppo. hmo are different. they have to approve procedures and if they are too expensive, they might deny them. if you have ppo, get as many test as you can to confirm your pain. back pain is one of the most problems that drs do not believe. a lot of times pain can not be proved by tests. so watch out. make sure you have all tests which will reaffirm your pain to your dr
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Hi...I'm new here and have the same issues...we sound very much alike. I have 3 bulging discs in my neck (found 2 years ago) and a recent MRI confirming a new bulging disc L5-S1. I have horrible pain and feel misunderstood. I have 5 children ages 5-16, quit work...was an RN...due to lifting restrictions.

    I've had many pain treatments by my pain doc that I've seen for 2 years and I have loved her...so compasionate...was on Fentanyl patch for past year...I asked to try to come off, I weaned off several meds myself (lyrica, muscle relaxer, antidep)...then last month, when I showed up at my monthly appt having a bad day and asking if I could go back on the minimum patch for pain instead of pills, she wanted me to go to a psychologist. It made me so sad and baffled me b/c I'm the one who wanted to try off the patch in the first place. I couldn't help that I failed to NOT be in pain. Another thing I thought of is that the patch gives no highs and lows...its a constant level...so I would think its less of an issue when doctors are afraid to write for narcotics (although I know the patch is heavy duty and 24 hours). Now, currently, I sit here with no pain medicine b/c she upset me and I am not going to a head doctor. I'm in agony.

    I hate the stigma this back stuff gives us. I hate the term 'drug seeker', but I know its there b/c I'm a nurse and am used to it. Now I get treated like one. It's horrible and humiliating and no one can understand these issues, but people like yourselves...that's why I've sought out this board. I only wish I could find a doctor who has had severe sciatica before...just for compassion.
  • I read all the stories here, and yours, and I am sorry you have all had to go thru this uphill battle. And to top it off, have your mental faculties questioned and feeling like no one believes your pain. I wish things weren't this way. I'm six months out of a TLIF and the pain won't let up. I ask myself why is this going on and hope this second surgery doesn't fail me. I have 2 children and I want to do more as far as activities, and I can't. Day to day living is hard too; I can't be relied on for this or that. Decent days are far in between. Thankfully I have a good neurosurgeon and pain specialist to help. I hope you all find the answers you seek and someone that will listen.

    PS Did you wean yourself off with your doctor's knowledge and how did you do at first off the fentanyl?
  • I'm getting facet joint injections and an epidural this Saturday. PM Dr. could tell it was facet joint arthritis because when I leaned back there was more pain then when I leaned forward. I hope you'll find some relief seeing the PM Dr. If you get the lidoderm patch let us know how that works. Thanks. 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
  • Hi, I did ask to wean off the patches. I was on 25mcg, went to 12mcg, then went off. She gave me clonodine (just a few) in case of withdrawl symptoms and some vicodin for breakthru. I didn't have any problems coming off with withdrawl symptoms...just my pain was too much to bear after about a month. So, I asked to go back on the 12mcg patches and she suggested the psychologist. Now I am taking nothing b/c I haven't gone back.

    I hope you feel better and everyone gets some type of relief. I know its very tough with kids...to have the energy and abitity to do the things we need to do for them and with them. Bless you all.
  • I had an L5 S1 fusion in 2004. about 2 yrs ago the pain came back and over the course of teh last year it has hit me hard. I feel like I did before surgery.
    Now my NS is wonderful!!!! I have had MRI's, injections,bone scans, xrays etc. My personal thought is that there is something wrong with the hardware. ALSO I get hip and leg pain, numbness, tingling and at times what I call dead leg, where I get up and I take a step and I cant feel my leg and it gives out.
    Now The NS said all of my nerve roots look fine. He said that with my symptoms and that IF the nerve roots were not open or whatever he would put me down for surgery. But the nerves are fine. So he wants me to see and arthritis doc and see what he says. He told me he is NOT going to give up on me because I am for one only 32 with 2 young children, But because of my pain levels. He is just stummped at the moment. I am going to request a CT scan because I feel that there is movement in the hardware. I remember ready a post a few months back where someones husband was having the same symptoms as I was and all of his scans, mri etc were fine. Then he had a CT scan and they found movement in his hardware. So I am going to suggest this to my NS and have it done before the end of the year since I am 100% on my insurance. Hopefully the arthritis doc will have something to say but I dont think that is the case. No arthritis has showed up on the xray or anything else. So he is not totally sure if it is arthritis but is hoping that that doc will have an RA med of some sort that could possibly help even if it isn't arthritis. The bone scan had a lot of hot spots but teh only one that alarmed him was the SI joint. So we did an injection and now I have pains there and I have never had pains there before. Poor NS is stummped. LOL
    ANYWAY sorry for rambling 8} and if too much detail that oyu dont need. I am a stay at home mom so when I get on here I feel like I am actually talking with adults. LOL My suggestion is to get ahold of your doc and have him refer you to an arthritis doc. IF he THINKS you MIGHT have arthritis he should send you to that doc instead of pain management. That way at least you can try meds from the Arthritis doc, as my NS suggested. So please dont give up and if you feel your doc has given up on you find a new doc. Or if you like your doc but are just worried about how he is treating/not treating your pain then please get a second opinion. I am thankful for the NS that I have. He is so laid back, only in his mid to late 30's, and is truely concerned about the patient. Not only that but he is the type of doc that you want to try to get all dressed up and have your hair and makeup done nicely for. LOL Yah he is good looking. LOL
    Anyway keep us posted, dont give up and either get a second opinion or ask for a referral to an arthritis doc.
    Good Luck! MJ
  • oops I double posted so I tried to delete the second post
  • I would have never thought of an arthritis doc...I know they saw some arthritis/DDD on my Cerviical MRI...

  • Hi Jon,

    You were kind enough to respond to me on 12-3 about a discectomy. I am so happy to hear that word. I am off to the doctor on wed and will ask for this test. I do have an HMO however, there was mention to my husband and myself along time ago that one or all three of my disc's may be leaking and that when this happens it doesn't appear on an MRI. This was told to us by the doctor that gace me my epedural shots. He said that I looked to be a classic case. But he said that the procedure is a last resort and painful.

    I am there now and ready. He also wrote that in my records so I shouldn't have too much trouble.

    Thanks again,

  • It's not you, it's the doctors! First of all it sounds like you have an obvious case of sciatic pain. I would bet the ranch on that. I've had to endure way too much of that to not recognize the symptoms. Have you ever watched the show on TV called 'Mysterey Diagnosis'? I love that show because it makes me feel better, knowing that other people have gone through so much of what I have with doctors. It wlways seems as though rather than a doctor being able to just say "I don't know", they have to suggest it's all in your head. That happens all of the time on that show. I certainly feel bad that the people on the show have those problems of course, but it's something I can identify with. I find it comforting. Does that sound weird?
    As for what else is wrong with you, it may take time for them to diagnose you, and sometimes it never happens, but you need to find a good PM who will be supportive and work with you to help relieve the pain in a better manner. The Lidoderm patches really don't help much with me, I can never tell I even have one on. I guess you could try it though.
    Please don't be down on yourself. I know how that can be, for I too have felt like a helpless lump on the sofa many times. My husband has to do so much on top of holding down a job with tons of hours. But then I have to remember that I certainly never asked for this and I don't deserve it. None of us do! We are victims of pain. As long as your daughter knows that you love her that is truly all she needs from you. The rest will work itself out. I wish you the very best and hope you get a diagnosis soon. Take care and hang in there.
    May you have a very Merry Christmas,
    Big hugs,
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