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Facing another hurdle

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Lower Back Pain
This year I had 3 surgeries on L5/S1, the 1st is to remove scar tissues, overgrowth bone, and instruments; 2nd is to stop the bleeding muscles and hematoma, and 3rd, an I & D to clean out infection. The problem did not stop there. I had spots in the lungs and my blood works came back with high sed rates, high white blood counts and low platelets. After an intensive care, I was told of infection. I came home with more antibiotics to administer, till today. Though my sed rate is falling, due to my consistent fever,coughing, and sweats, the doctors ordered an MRI last Thursday for both the chest and lumbar. I was really sad to see that at the areas that the surgeon did I & D on the spine, the abcess has returned. On the lungs, a portion is covered.

Next week I will get a CT. The ID doc said that it is because of osteomylitis and mild sepsis; and the only way to 'clear' it is another surgery. I also learn from him that with osteomylitis, it is hard to cure.

My pain level at the back is 4, good thing the pain down the leg and foot are gone, so that is good. The low-grade fever, sweats and cough are making me so weak and sicky. I don't know when all these will end, but I cannot give up, can I? I don't think the antibiotics is working too.

So now, all I can do is wait, and pray for a miracle to happen.

I am seeing my ID doc on Tuesday, and OS on Thursday. Any advise as to what questions to ask? Any suggestions?


  • I don't have any suggestions for you but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am that you're going through this.

    Why don't you think the antibiotics are working? Have you talked to your doc about this?

    No, you can't give up. I hope you have a good support system, be it family and/or friends.

    Hugs to you. Hang in there.
  • Hi Adam,
    I don't have any medical advice to offer you cuz I really don't know anything about what you are going through. However, I can offer my support for what you are going through. I am sorry you are going through so much and you've been through so much already. You must just be so exhausted from fighting this. Don't give up though and keep your faith. I hope they can give you a different, stronger antibiotic to fight this.

    My thoughts and prayers are always with you >:D<

  • Hi Adamapple,

    I am very sorry for what you are going through. If I think of any questions you can ask the ID I will pm them to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that you feel better soon and get answers. I have a friend who told me to pass the below to anyone who I thought might need it.

    We have been made right with God because of our faith. Now we have peace with him because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus we have received God's grace. In that grace we stand. We are all full of joy because we expect to share in God's glory. And that's not all. We are full of joy even when we suffer. We know that our suffering gives us strength to go on. The strength to go on produces character. Character produces hope. And hope will never let us down. God has poured his love into our hearts. He did it through the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

  • Thank you Cath, Ming and Kate, thank you for your support and kind words.

    I've been on antibiotics since Feb 21st. Different types, both through the PICC line and oral. Stopped one type (the strongest) beginning of last week, where the doc told me, 'This is the moment of truth. We will know for sure if all the infection is gone.'

    The blood tests did showed signs of improvement, however the symptoms do not match it. One reason could be the test was done on the day when the doc said to stop that antibiotic.

    The ID doc called the OS, wanting a CT. But this OS ordered an MRI instead. I don't know why. He was not my regular OS and I didn't had a pleasant meet with him last week. After the MRI, the OS discussed with the radiologist and ID doc, now he is ordering the CT.

    I am just about to my neck with this OS, and I emailed my regular OS to take back the case. Only to find that he is on vacation. I intend to seek another opinion, however, there is a long wait at the new facility.

    I am just tired of feeling sick with fever, sweats and cough all the time. When the ID doc revealed another I & D, I almost faint. This would be my 4th one this year. The question is, 'Do I want this OS to do it?' Big sigh.

  • I'm sorry to hear what's happening. Since your lungs are involved they should call a Respirologist. I hoep you can overcome this. I wish you well and will say a prayer for you. 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
  • Sorry for your situation.I know what you are going thru cause
    I had osteomyelitis.It damaged two lumbar vertebrae.I hope they will heal completely.In my case only the MRI showed the
    infection.No blood work,no fever.Even had a CT guided biopsy of the disc.
    What is the agent of your infection?I was treated with antibiotics for six weeks.They just wiped out my immune system
    Just made it easier for the infection.Then Inf.Dis. doctor switched me to antifungal meds.They did the tick but,so had the infection....It had a field day for 2 1/2 months.
    Word of advice-stay on the top of it.Don't let anyone dismiss you.
    I hope this gets resolved soon.Take care.

  • Thanks for your hug, Cath. I am lucky to have a good support system at home and church, but I guess I am tiring them out lol.
  • Thanks for your support and prayers Ming. That is what I need now, lots of prayers. As I've said, "I am praying for a miracle to happen." Hugs.
  • Thanks for the uplifting verse. I need to read it again and again, to remind myself of hope. Thank you so much.
  • Thanks, Charry, for your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate it.

    The ID doc is also a pulmonary doc. He has been on top of my lung problems, that is causing the cough, it seems that the oral antibiotic for the lung is helping. He told me to take warm shower 3 times a day too to help with the breathing. He is actually the one that is pressing on the OS, requesting him to order tests. I don't know why the OS is reluctant to do it, but he has no choice, and eventually gave in.
  • Thanks G. for sharing your experience. I am glad to know that someone has been in my shoes, and can guide me through this. So please stay around and help me.

    I already had an I & D done on Feb 21st, and blood works / change on Mar 10th due to sepsis. Right now, the infection returned (or didn't go away) and ID doc said that it is osteomylitis, as there are changes to the bone, compared to the previous MRIs and CTs dated back Jan 18th, Feb 21st, and Feb 25th. It hasn't gone to the point that the vertebrae are totally damage, but we want to prevent that, don't we? I am having a CT next week. CRP still pending. Sed Rate was 65 went down to 19 once and now at 28.

    Yes, thanks for reminding me to stay on top of things (because I am about to give up, and too weak to handle all these) I am also about to 'fire' this current OS. I emailed my original OS, who is on vacation now, that I want to see him when he returns.

    What do you mean by agent? I have staph aureus, grain positive. It was MSSA at the time I started antibiotics, but I was sort of "allergic" to vanco, because when they adminster it at the hospital, I developed chest pain and couldn't breathe, with rash all over the PICC line, and was given a different antibiotic. I currently now on 2 IV antibiotic and 1 oral. But now the ID doc thinks the pain was due to my lungs, and not the vanco. Duh??? Like it is a mystery to them as to what is really going on. I am now on my 6th week of antibiotics, going to 7th. I don't mind the PICC part, its the overall weakness of the body. Do you know what I mean? I was asked to take fish oil to strengthen my heart. I am a diabetic, and my blood sugars has been in the 250s, couldn't control, so now I am insulin dependant.

    I will ask ID doc about anti-fungal meds this Tuesday.

    Thanks you so much.

    P.S. Can you paste your link here on your story so I can follow?

  • Hi Adam, I also have recently discovered about osteomylitis, also did an I & D and on antibiotics. My OS has ordered a bone scan. I am waiting for insurance to approve before I could make the appointment. Maybe you need a test like that, to determine how much / where are all the affected places, as it will be clearly seen with radioactive material.

    I know how hard this is, going through, fighting infection and feeling weak all over. Hang in there. Having fever is not a good sign. Your sed rate is still on the high side but not too bad. My Inf Disease doc said that over 50 is something to watch out for and required to be in the hospital. Don't ever give up.

    Best of luck,
  • Thank you Pepper for your well wishes. I have never done a bone scan. I will probably ask the doc what other tests we can perform before any surgery, to make sure it is necessary. Thanks for the tip.

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