Hi everyone, First let me say I am so glad to find a place where I won't be judged on appearance or be called a liar when I tell someone I'm in pain (for some reason if I'm not screaming from the pain then I'm just making it up). I'm hoping that I can find some friends that I can talk to about medical as well as every day things. Being in so much pain I have no friends left and all my family live in different states. So I'm looking forward to getting to know everyon
That said, I'm a 39 yo mom of 4 kids. 3 kids still live with me including my married daughter. Her husband and 6 month old son also live with us. Oh and did I mention she's pregnant again? Her due date is 2 days before the due date she had with her son. Should be fun.
Ok so here's the medical mess I'm in;
I have had a total hysterectomy, gallbladder removed, tonsils removed, sinus surgery. These were all prior to 2004.
Since 2004 on the other hand it seems my body decided to fall apart on me and I have had nothing but medical issues and surgeries.
Started in March 04 with sudden severe sciatic nerve pain down my right leg -herniated disk L5-S1, went the pain management route with steroid shots, pain meds, pt. Nothing worked. then we moved to Colorado and I found a great doc who said the nerve was being really damaged and offered me two surgical options complete fusion or be part of a study using the artifical discs. Did some research and decided that the artifical discs were just too new and I wanted the tried and true method.
Had my surgery May 05 went well till 2 days after surgery they found a blood clot and had to remove everything and re-insert. Everything went smoothly after that. Leg pain was gone and I was ready to go on with my life.
I guess I was too ready to get on with life because a month after surgery I was standing on a dresser painting a wall when I fell off and hit my back on the edge of the dresser. I was very lucky the fusion hardware and incision were fine. But when they did the x-ray's of my back they found out that I have Avascular Necrosis in my right hip. They sent me in for mri of both hips and found the necrosis in both with the Right being much worse. So in September 05 I went in and had something called a core decompression in both hips. Left me in a wheelchair for 6 weeks and did not help at all. Then they did a partial hip replacement Feb 06. That helped for awhile then they had to completely replace the hip August 07. It's been great since then, no more pains down my leg and no more bone grinding on bone when I walk.
After having all those surgeries in less than 18 months I had been bumped up to higher and higher doses of narcotics. I was on fentanyl 125 mcg/ 2 days, Ocycontin 60 3Xday, vicodin 10/325 Q4hrs, skelaxin 800 3Xday and xanax. I was on so much stuff I didn't even realize how much of life I was missing out on. Plus I still a lot of pain so I checked into the hospital and completely got off all meds.
Since then things were ok but I was still getting major headaches and had started getting low back pain again so I went back to the ortho doc. He set me up with a discogram. (most painful "test" I've ever had). He found a herniated disc at L4-L5 and checked the discs at c4-c5, c5-c6, c6-c7. They all came up positive. I was in so much pain he decided not to do anymore checking. He told me that I needed to have surgery on my lower back again and this time when offered the artifical disc I agreed to it. He replaced the disc Dec 24, 2007. We wanted to fit it in before the end of the year since our deductable had already been met for that year. With that surgery my back pain was gone almost immediately. The incision they made in my stomach on the other had took longer to heal but now more than a year later I have no regrets.
So where I stand right now is this: I started seeing a pain management doc right after the disco on my neck which was over a year ago. We have been working on ways for me to deal with the pain. tried injections, pt, tens unit and yes unfortunately I have had to go back on pain meds but I refuse to take anything stronger than a vicodin 7.5/350.
In october I developed a crushing headache and was admitted to the hospital with a brain aneurysm. It's too small to do surgery but not too small to cause a lot of pain in my head. Add to that the pain in my head, neck and shoulders from the discs in my neck, I'm just about at the end of my rope.
I saw my pain management doctor looking for relief, some magic shot or implant that would give me some relief. Unfortunately he said he is at the end of his bag of tricks and that I needed to call my ortho and have him set me up for surgery. Saw my ortho doc and he did xrays of my neck and back. Said the back is healing well but the neck looks bad. Going for an MRI on Tuesday then back to the ortho Wednesday.
Now here's the question ortho wants to do another discogram because he never tested the rest of the discs in my neck and the xray is showing some changes above and below the discs he did check. I really don't want to go through another disco especially if he's just going to fuse my neck anyway.
Also those of you who have had multi-level fusions in the neck are you happy with your decisions. Do you think a disco did or could have helped with your decision?
Ok well if you read this far I thank you very much. You probably know more about me than my own kids do. OH and I PROMISE next posts WILL be shorter.