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Has anyone developed issues with fatigue since the start of your spine issues?

deltaladyddeltalady Posts: 610
:))) It may just be a coincidence but since the start of my sciatic issues in my left leg in October of 08, I have developed other health issues which I am now trying to have diagnosed. Specifically, extreme fatigue -- my Primary Care doc referred me to a hematologist and I am seeing an endocrinologist next week. The severity comes and goes, I can be down (bed ridden/couch bound) for a few days or weeks and then I'll feel more normal for a small period of time. My blood tests came back normal at the hematologist but he took more blood last week and now wants me to have a liver scan. I'm hoping the endocrinologist can diagnose the issue because I can't look for another job until I get both the leg pain and fatigue under control.

I don't venture far from my home right now -- trips to the grocery, drug store, wal mart, etc. Right now, my roots are screaming for a touch up but the thought of driving to my hair salon and sitting through two hours just isn't very appealing. Even my doctor's appointments have to be rescheduled if I'm too tired to make it to the office. Yes, I do have friends I can call to take me to my appointments but I just hate to bother anybody.

Anyway, just thought I'd ask if anyone else has had other health issues crop up after having spinal issues. I was very healthy and very active prior to June of 08 when all this mess started.
:H :H
Thanks for you input!



  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I know just what you mean! I feel the same way. I've been blaming it on the meds I'm taking. My doctor did bloodwork a couple of weeks ago and said I'm vitamin d deficient. He put me on 50,000 IU daily for a week and then one twice weekly for four weeks. I've taken it for a couple of weeks but can't tell any difference so far. I hope that is the problem and that I'll soon get my energy back. It's aggravating to get up as tired or worse than when you went to bed isn't it? I think it makes the pain worse and the depression too. I hope you can find a solution soon. I do understand.

  • :) I'm sorry you'rein the same boat -- I started taking B vitamins liquid supplement every day and a multi vitamin drink mix with Vitamin C boost -- hoping to help the fatigue. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

  • You too Paul? I'm on MS Contin too and it sure does make me nod off during the day. How much did they put you on? I'm at 180mgs a day.

    I certainly agree that chronic pain does take a lot out of you and it kills any stamina you've got. I can drink coffee but it still won't keep my eyes open. I want to do things but I just don't have the energy, and it will have to wait to the next day, and the next, and the next......

    I do have a history of anemia, and I have gone to a hematologist for expensive shots (not B12). I quit that in a heart beat when I saw the bill ($1200 a pop). Hell no. My anemia is auto immune related and it comes and goes.

    Well Judy, take comfort that there is a Starbucks at every corner to refuel you temporarily. Take care :H
  • I think my meds have helped contribute to my extreme fatigue. Hold on a min, got to take a nap.....

    Seriously, between meds, surgeries, infections, generally being very much less active, I have no stamina. I need naps nearly every day.
  • I feel tired everyday also and I'm on ms contin also. I can't imagine how I'd ever get back to work with this low level of energy. My Mom takes thyroid meds so my Dr. keeps a check on mine. I'm trying to force myself to do a bit of excercise everyday even if it's just electric bisseling or doing dishes or using my excercise bike. I hope they find out what's going on. 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
  • I am new. I have had 2 surgeries right L5-S1 and L4-5 laminectomy and discectomy. I have been in severe pain for 8 years and now it is the worst ever. I have more herinations with several nerve compressions and may have surgery next month. I too have started having to take naps daily 2-3 hours. I noticed this 4-5 months ago. I have been on the same meds the whole time. Methadone, cymbalta, soma, lamictal... When it first started my doc did blood tests-no anemia and no thyroid problems. I think I am just worn out through and through from the pain.... i will find out on the 23rd after meeting with a new neurosurgeon if surgery is needed again. My pain dr, a neuroligist and radiologists all feel I need it as I have tried everything.... I feel if I dont get relief soon and can wean off the meds i am going to nhave serious other health problems. My husband and I have enoough issues, I dont need another problem to add to it....
  • :? Hi everyone,

    Well all my tests came back just fine from the endocrinologist. Liver scan from hematologist was fine also.

    I hate to write this down because I'll jinx my good fortune but I've been okay with just minimal fatigue for the last six weeks or so. Once all my tests came back okay (even had my eyes checked), I thought okay I'm just "cracking up"!

    When I think about it rationally, I can see that I probably got to feeling better after I lost my job because the worry and stress over fearing losing my job, plus the chronic pain generated a nice little Cocktail of symptoms all working off each other.

    Chronic pain is an energy zapper on its own, add to that trying to work in pain at a high stress job (another energy zapper) and no wonder I was fatigued. Just drained mentally and physically. If you think about all the things in a normal day that drain your energy and then top it off with chronic pain -- you get what I'm saying -- there's nothing left.

    So, I'm putting forth that it's perfectly normal for all my spiney friends to be tired and take naps and sleep all day if you need to because its part and parcel of being in chronic pain. You only have so much "tiger in your tank" and when the gas is gone, so are you.

    I better stop typing because I'm just sounding silly.

    Take care my friends and thanks again for the input,


  • I have been in pain for 4 1/2 years after a rearend collison. Fused at L4/L5 recently had a EMG/NCS showing sciatica at L5/S1. The burning pain in my buttocks has never changed, but the pain moved from no pain in my foot, to pain in my foot, back to no pain in foot, to pain down my left thigh. I thought for a very long time I was losing my mind. Cymbalta has helped that, it is the only thing that has stopped me from killing myself.

    Anyway as for the naps and being exhausted all the time, I think it is in part because the chronic pain drains you physically and emotionally, and you just don't sleep well. I sleep o.k. for 2 to 3 hours at a time, and I will do this for days, then I will sleep through an entire day.
  • Sciatica is just a bummer. I never had lower back pain. Started as severe back of thigh, moved to outer left foot, then moved to buttocks hip. I'm so happy the cymbalta worked for you to lessen your misery.

    My sciatica is manageable right now but I still have issues with fatigue.

    This past week it came back and I was down for a few days. I get distressed about this because I will need to find work again at some point and I fear losing another job because my energy levels won't be there for me.

    Yesterday, I did a little test. I drove an hour to a friend's mothers garage sale and back home. I haven't driven more than 25 minutes in more than a year. I made it there, spent several hours visiting, then back in car and home by 3:30 p.m. Once I was home, I was exhausted and had to lay down and nap. That just drives me crazy! I even used cruise control for most of the way. My sciatica held up okay to its present pain levels but the tiredness set in.

    Only doc I haven't been to is a rheumotologist. I'll check with my primary care doc and see if he thinks it's worth a shot.

    Oh, by the way, I did pick up a "stretching" tape at the garage sale which I can't wait to try. I've been looking for one for a while.

    Take care,

  • I have come to the conclusion that a lot of the fatigue is meds...and a lot is depression. I don't take any medications for my bulging discs, degenerated discs, facet damage, etc. However, I feel unmotivated and lethargic often. I have accepted that for me, it is mostly depression. Not hide-in-a-dark-bedroom-all-day-depression. But...I'm 29 years old and cannot do the things I could do just a few months ago. My body has changed (loss of muscle, weight gain, age, etc.) and it's depressing! I feel trapped in my body, as I'm sure many people with back pain do. It's frustrating to go from doing physical activities 5 days a week to having trouble putting underwear on. And as far as I'm concerned, it's ok to feel depressed and even angry...for a while.

    It's like moving to a new city or entering a new relationship...you have to figure out what works. I have taken up indoor hobbies such as baking and sewing, since I can take breaks or change my position whenever I feel pain. I still have days when I don't do much, but rest and sort of feel sorry for myself. And when I have those days...I really let myself have them. Then when I feel more energy or motivation, I am sure to act on it quickly before it fades. I am doing whatever I can and trying to find ways of being happy with my new body/lifestyle.

    I don't know if my sharing my feelings will help anyone else, but I thought I'd put it out there. It's difficult to imagine that physical symptoms arise from depression...and no one wants to be depressed! But I think it's important that we acknowledge all possibilities.

    Oh! And if you ask your friends for help...you're not bothering them! That's what friends are for; to be there. If you reach out, you might be surprised how lovely and uplifting it is to accept help from others.

    I wish you all much love and healing. :)
  • :H Thank you for your comments. I am so sorry that you have to deal with issues at such a young age. I agree with you that some of the fatigue could be from depression -- who isn't a little depressed dealing with such a change to their lifestyle.

    It's been 3 months since I orginally posted this thread and am happy to report that my fatigue has improved tremendously coincidentally on a scale with my sciatic pain. Every day I'm trying to keep busy and expend energy so that I can build up my stamina.

    Only thing holding me back right now is a seroma in my left foot. I'm under a doctor's care for it and hope to be rid of this swelling soon.

    Again Mog, sending you warm wishes and healing thoughts,

    take care,

  • I think that pain wears you out, simple as that. Drugs or no drugs I have been tired since my back has gone through different stages and levels of pain.
    I have realized since going through my fusion last year that when I am doing things that I love, my fatigue is greatly reduced. When I am at work, 9-5, d@mn can I get tired. :)

    One Love,

  • It's not just 1 thing. It's all of it together. Your physical and mental state. The medicine. The tests. The inability to do things you need/want to do.

    For me. The pills was part of the issue. I was given Darvocet for back pain and Lyrica for nerve pain. I rarely take a Darvocet, usually just Advil. I had to stop the Lyrica. More side effects than I care to deal with. So now I take nothing for the nerve pain. Take more vitamins. Lots B12 and Folic Acid. I also started taking Vesicare for bladder and Lipitor for cholestrol. The Lipitor I hate and stopped. Now only take half a Vesicare because the makes me drowsy. Throwing out half the pills, not just ones listed as pain meds, made a difference.

    So nerve pain drags me down. The back ache from DDD is not so bad. So I do some stretching and mild exercise for that. Tried more rigorous exercise and it backfired. I had stopped walking. That was a bad idea. No matter how much you hurt. You really, really need to get off your butt and walk. Go 10ft, 20ft, around the house, down the driveway, down the street. Do something!!! You can't just lay on the couch all day. It will slowly kill you.

    The immobility, I think is more damaging than anything. That gets into your head. Then depression starts the spiral down hill. If you're stacked up on meds, especially ones listed as having depression as side effects. Well you are an open invitation to it.

    I'll say this and I'm sure many will disagree. Anti-depressants do not stop depression!!! If you think taking an anti-depressant with your oxy, perc, vicodin, etc, balances it out. Well, I firmly believe that is failing logic. Read the side effects of anti-depressants. One of them is suicide. Duh!!! Wtf???

    You need to do something besides lay around, surf the web, watch tv, read books. It's all droning out activities.

    Does it hurt to be active. Yes. It's not free. Walking is the simplest and most vital. Work out in a pool for less resistance. Do something. Step away from the keyboard and move.

    Well I gotta run (figuratively). I'm painting my living room then going for a walk with the dog. Then taking my mom out to diner. Tomorrow I may do the brakes on the car. Depends on whether I need 2 or 3 coats of paint... Come Monday afternoon I'm gonna be one sore puppy. But I won't be all depressed and feeling sorry for myself. I just do stuff slower.

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