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Humbled once again by a flare up!

deltaladyddeltalady Posts: 610
~X( Well, my run of good luck has run out. For several weeks I've enjoyed tolerable pain levels that have allowed me to run errands and even have a few lunches with friends. Then, out of the blue, I started to feel more pain coming on.

For the most part, my pain has always been in my left thigh radiating to my outer foot and sometimes in the buttocks and hip (but no numbness). Now, I feel the nerve pain at my L4/L5 radiate into my tailbone, buttocks, hip and leg and now with numbness into my right leg.

Had to bring out the big guns (oxy) for the last few days and have been laid up in bed with ice and heat and any other tricks of the trade I could think up.

I'm just frustrated like most of you because I don't know what causes things to change -- I can't think of anything I did to injure my back. It's so weird because on Monday of this week I was feeling the best I've felt in a long time and thought maybe I was finally turning a corner and starting to heal. :(

Thanks for reading my tale of woe. Nothing anyone can say, just have to ride this out.



  • sorry that you are in pain once again ..i just hope that its a short flare up and you are soon back on your feet
  • Dear Judy,

    I am so sorry to hear about your flare-up.

    Like you mentioned in your signature line... you suffer with "super nasty nerve pain".

    I sometimes feel that our nerves just can't make up their minds... and they make this fact known... by showing up in different places, to throw us for a loop.

    From what you described in your opening line... I think this is a jealous nerve. You were doing great for several weeks and even had a few lunches with your friends. (That is fantastic to hear, by the way!) Because your attention was directed elsewhere... it sounds like this nerve just decided to act up good.

    WHAT NERVE... shame on it. [(

    Keep taking it real easy this weekend, Judy. I hope this flare-up is very short lived. I can very much relate to the frustrations, particularly when you were having so many good days. The good days will return.

    You'll be in my thoughts and prayers,

    Tammy >:D<
  • Thinkin about you Judy, feel better.
  • the pains may move from here to there but all we care is you are here. get better quick. we miss you...feel better
    pete >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Sorry to hear about your flare up
  • Your post was to close to home as have disk herniation also and was laid out flat for 6+ weeks before recently experiencing slight improvement and regaining the ability to stand without pain (for short durations and finally walking further each day). I see your postings very regularly and like you, hoping and working toward not going down a surgery route (although know personally in the flesh some people that have successfully, including fusion 20 years ago). Your posting upset me as could see myself having a sudden permanent setback without explanation and had minor emotional slump last night so please know that I feel your pain. Please continue to share the success and setbacks and know that others are here to support you!

    Please stay positive and try hard to regard this as a setback and continue with exercises and the trend you demonstrated toward improvement.

    Kind regards >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • ;) Thanks Pete, Straker, Tammy, Kat, Donna and Terry for your posts of support.

    I'm started feeling better yesterday and am now handling the pain with ice packs and meds. You guys all know when theh pain hits a certain personal threshold, you just go a little nuts.

    Tammy, you are so funny, "the nerve!" Terry, hang in there also - -one thing I've noticed is at least the flares are coming further apart (count your blessings Judy!)

    I'm going to dig through my old VCR tapes and find a Yoga or Pilates tape and start trying to firm up the old "middle aged" abs -- Did I mention how much i love sweets? (UGH!) I've gained a few pounds in the last weeks of laying around and it's all in my middle SO I know it's not good for my back. Will start doing more stretches also - does stretching for a cupcake count?! Drats, I guess not.

    Thanks a million, my spinies!

  • I hope you get over this awful pain flare soon. Meanwhile get some rest and keep taking your meds and using ice and heat. Hang in there sweetie.. >:D<
  • I hope you're feeling better it sure feels rough to have more pain again after a few weeks. Maybe one day it'll be totally gone. It's a little teaser though. 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
  • Prior to surgery Pilates was the best thing EVER for my pain management. It has helped strengthen my "core" abdominals as well as back muscles.

    I love Pilates! I love Pilates! So easy to do and just about effortless. I can't wait to start up the exercises again. I have a squishy ball that I placed under my sacrum while lying on my back. In that position my legs would be straight up in the air and then I'd sloooooooowly do the leg flutters, scissors, whatever it's called. Colleen Craig has written a few books on Pilates which I picked up at the auction website for about 5 bucks. And well worth it!

    Prior to my surgery, the position that I mentioned above was one of the few things that actually brought relief from the nerve pain in my leg/foot/hip.

    Well, I can't say enough about Pilates and strengthing the core abs and back muscles. After starting those exercises I lost 20lbs within 4 months. Although my GP says dealing with chronic pain may have contributed to appetite loss. B)

    I've come to terms with the FACT that regular exercise and stretching is going to be a major part of my life and wellbeing. Even though I think I'd rather be lazy and lay around eating bon-bon's. On the days when I was dragging my leg around and wretching in pain I'd notice obese people and wonder how come they can move better than me? If I was that fat I wouldn't even be able to get out of bed. ~X( Oh well, life's not fair.

    Btw, the pain that you described is the pain that I get when I've been sitting too long. I had a lateral L4/L5 disc herniation and still deal with sacroiliac pain. While reading the forums I had to switch from chair sitting to exercise ball sitting. It helps strengthen the ab muscles so it's a double bonus. ;) But there are exercise ball stands available.

    Another interesting tidbit, my PT told me to ALWAYS keep the core abs engaged unless I'm in bed. :O I thought she was joking! Nope. So I walk around with my ab muscles slightly sucked in at all times. Almost. Several months ago (when I was working) a skinny co-worker was thumbing through one of my Colleen Craig books. I mentioned something about keeping the abs engaged at all times and how strange I thought it was. She said "Oh yeah. I do it all the time. Except after a big thanksgiving day meal" @)

    Hope you start feeling better. If you're seeing a PT you might already know about these exercises. :)))

  • I'm glad that you mentioned Pilates. I have many tapes and DVDs going back to Winsor and Scott. Recently, I've ordered new ones that are geared to beginners, and one called, "Pilates for Wimps". That's me. I'm 6 wks out from an ALIF at L5/S1. I'm doing fine, and the fusion is doing fine. I'm just afraid of pulling something loose if I do more than walk. But, I've decided that I'm going to make Pilates my new form of exercise, in addition to Tai Chi, which I used to play. Thank you for bringing Pilates up.

  • Judy,
    For the most part flare ups equate to time and however long that may be for each episode the next one will arrive come rain or shine. Staying away from that invisible threshold where a flare up can start is almost impossible to identify with no consistency or reason. For the most part we have to take it on the chin and even knowing what caused it would not reduce the pain itself, in my early days I thought I could attach the pain head on, this was an understandable strategy and it never worked. My life was tainted by manic activity and subsequent immobility, metronomic in presentation, how I can laugh now.

    Flare up strategy should be the big gun element, and to some extent you only know what works once the pain has arrived when you option then become limited and survival is the name of the game. I once spent four weeks in one seated place los a lot of weight and learned a lot about myself and things I would do once I could strand again.

    You have to find what works for you through trial and error increased pain and the tears, I have the support of my family I could not have done this on my own. What have you learned this time, we all learn for these unwelcome and periodic flare-ups an eventful happening in the chronic pain cycle.

    Take care, many have all ridden that path.

  • You didn't say and I wonder do you have the spasms or is it always just the shooting pain down the leg? I'm talking about the lower muscle spasms that make you fall down?
  • You didn't say and I wonder do you have the spasms or is it always just the shooting pain down the leg? I'm talking about the lower muscle spasms that make you fall down?
  • Rhenry, I don't have the muscle spasms that make me fall down -- I do that quite nicely on my own because I'm a clutz!

    Meydey and Charry -- my posse in pain -- :))) you two are the best! Thanks for the support.

    Zoe and Rusty -- yes, Pilates it is! It does wonders for the core but YOU HAVE TO DO IT! (That's meant for me :) )

    John -- Wearing a rut in that path you talked about -- I understand what you're saying -- I'm coping.

  • it looks like i have come out in sympathy .since returning from my recent isle of man trip my back and leg pain has gone through the roof if fact it started to deteriorate whilst i was away from my home comforts .anyway i have been house bound and in terrible pain for nearly 4 weeks now .i went to see my doctor today {3 Aug 09} and he said that yet again ..i am sorry ..but there is nothing i can do for you ..then he wrote me another prescription for my meds ..we had a talk and he said that i was his worst case of chronic pain and related health problems we have been down the pain clinic line but to no avail and i have tried swimming {but that only make me worse } as for walking i do it only when absolutely necessary because it hurts too much .i told him all i am fit for is reclining and taking pain killers !! he told me that after my last operation he was surprised that i would even be able to walk again! as my lower back is finished and together with the TOS and other medical problems ..i must look at life realistically and not try to over extend myself because it wont help me ..he was very ..to the point.. and told me that he has terminal ill people that are more able and fitter than me !! my prognosis is very grim he has told me to do what i can when i can and was very to have to tell a 43 year old man that his future is very uncertain ,,i left the surgery very upset ...i did not deserve this i thought that my life would be better and longer than my doctor thins it will be ..hard words to take in but my doctor is a realist and a very good man ..he would not have told me that information if he felt that there was a glimmer of hope ....anyone else got similar news?
  • Sorry to hear about your flare up of pain. I'm sure you have answered this question several hundred times already, but may I ask why they thought you were not a surgical candidate? Did you see a neurosurgeon as well? Have you ever had flexion/extension back x-rays?

    Your history sounds an awful lot like mine. Hope you continue to heal.

    Best wishes,

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