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Looking for Ideas

Fireblade-USMCFFireblade-USMC Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Chronic Pain
I need some advice. I had a Laminectomy done in Aug 2008 with 2 discs fused at L5-S1 and L4-L5.

Recovery at first went very well but then about 8 weeks into it. I started to suffer incontenence. This resulted in two prostate surgeries. I am fairly sure that they may have not been necessary as I am thinking this is associated with those discs. I never had this problem until I had this surgery.

My pain continued and in Jan 2008, I had a Spinal Stimulkator implant installed. This seemed to work so I went back to my Job on Feb 15th.

Between Feb 15th and now, my pain has been growing and now I have lower back pain, sciatic pain in both legs and a weird skin senesation problem that wraps around my right rib cage.

I was taking Celebrex, Valium, Lyrica and Percocet 10/325mg. Now, I am taking Opana ER 10 mg X3 with Lyrica and Celebrex. My pain has not improved. It seems to be getting worst.

1. I know the Opana is for long lasting pain, but can you take Percocet for break out pain?
2. What is recommended for helping with sleep.
3. I feel as if I am at the end of the road and just have to accept this state as my reality? Am I missing something as I have done all the tradition stuff like PT for several years, Injections X8.

For me I feel as if I at the point of reality and just need my DR to modify my drugs to the right combination. Can the group share their thoughts as I feel pretty bummed. My wife say, I am giving up but I was looking at the Cognitive Behavior Therapy that suggests that:

It helps you recognize and rethink unrealistic expectations and beliefs about yourself. It teaches you to interrupt unhealthy, self-perpetuating cycles of thought, emotion and behavior. Even if you can't change your chronic pain, you can change the way you feel about it.

So any ideas about what if anything I can do?


  • Well, sounds like you are on a real downer.. I can relate to that, I’m sure plenty on here can. It is pretty hard to accept things being like this – I am having a major issue with it. I’m sure there are lots of people here with better information for you. I take neurontin at night to help me sleep. It works pretty well but I have to take it early in the evening or I don’t want to roll out of the rack at 5 a.m. for work. I feel really groggy and tired if I take it too late in the evening. Other than that, I don’t know what to tell you. I’m on a pretty big pitty pot myself right now.. Take care..
  • It sounds to me that you are taking a perfectly logical approach. You are right. There are some of us that need to accept our limitations and learn how to cope and deal with them. That's not to say that we don't keep looking for the latest and greatest treatment available. I have never given up hope that one day there will be a major medical breakthrough that will help me with my spine issues. Until then I do rely on the medication to help me be as functional as possible. I take methadone which is an opiate prescribed for pain and I also take percocet 10/325 for break through pain. Personally I only take the percs when I really need some extra help as they do have acetaminophen in them and that can take its toll on your liver. There are lots of chronic pain folks that also suffer from depression. The two seem to go hand in hand. If you feel yourself slipping into depression please don't hesitate to talk to your doc about it. It is much easier to treat in the early stages than after it becomes severe. I hope that this will help you. Good luck and please keep us posted.
    BTW- Talk to your doc about something to help with sleep. Different things work for different people.
  • I went to the Mayo site to see what they have:


    Based upon it the only thing I haven't done is the Intrathecal Pump. The research I did on that shows that its success rate declines with time after surgery. The estimate I got was 15%. My Dr was thinking 25% maybe.

    But I did find some good things out on this site. There is a section called Coping & support at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/herniated-disk/DS00893/DSECTION=coping-and-support.

    In it it described 4 things:
    1. Acknowledging the Pain - You may have more success in coping if you affirm that your pain isn't imaginary and make necessary adjustments to accommodate it.
    2. Manage Stress?
    3. Define Triggers
    4. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you recognize and rethink unrealistic expectations and beliefs about yourself. It teaches you to interrupt unhealthy, self-perpetuating cycles of thought, emotion and behavior. Even if you can't change your chronic pain, you can change the way you feel about it.

    This last one looks the most promising. I have pretty much acknowledged the pain and accept that this is what I have to look forward to in life. I know most of my triggers. I think the two biggest thing I can do to help at this point is learning better stress management and cognitive behavior therapy.

    One last item what has been the success rate for the Intrathecal Pain Pumps in the community?
  • you are doing all the right things by researching what may be helpful to you. I have no info on that pain pump but you may want to type it in the search box at the top of this page to see if other members have already discussed this. Good luck!
  • Did you know the SCS could be causing the weird sensations around your chest? They can have a lot of adverse effects down the road.
    Get your handbook that came with your implant and read the adverse effects these things can have.
    It may not be it at all. It's just a thought.
    Best of luck to you. I hope you get things sorted out really soon.
    Patsy W :H
  • Be nice Patsy, The SCS is not perfect but nothing we have is :( Yes, that skin sensation could very well be SCS related. I'd suggest a trip to your programmer, or, turn it off or change the program for a while if you can stand to do so. Often the buzz, tingle will linger, just the nerve memory I think. Give it a bit and see if the sensation leaves you chest.

    My "B" program will cause some discomfort in my right side chest wall if I "crank it up" (probably get some note from FOX for using their NASCAR phrase)...

    Patsy, you know :X just don't tell my wife...

    Have you read this post? has some good tips here and there.
  • There comes a time we all need to accept where we are at on some level. Your acceptance and your wives acceptance may not come at the same time.

    My hubby accepted it a LONG time before I did.

    YET as was also said here - never stop hoping and looking into ways to better your life/health.

    As to your opana ?, I was on opana 10 x 2 and given Percocet for breakthroughs and they did nothing. I was put on Oxycotin and those helped - some.

    However the opana was doing nothing for me so I was removed from both and put on the Fentanyl patch and now use Oxycodone for BT - with good success.

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Awwwww Wrambler. You know I am always nice.
    I am NOT bashing the stimulator in any way. =(( But it can cause strange sensations in the chest and i thought I would pass that along. So sorry if you or anyone else thought I spoke put of turn. It is not my nature to bash anything or anyone, but you know this.
    Patsy W :H
  • I had heard of the SSI causing these problems and turned mine off for two weeks. It didn't help, but then again if you check out my sig, I have a few poped discs in my Thoracic region that could be the cause.

    While, I continue to look and pray for some sort of miracle, I have just accepted this is the way it is. Paul had his thorn and I have my spine.

    I had my FCE today and it was very interesting. Pretty much looks like my views are going to be consistent with the reviewers findings.

    I did find out two really good ways the psychologist can help you out. One is a 37X question test called a PIQ, there is also another one that is 5XX questions. Sometimes just getting validation of your feelings and thoughts can help.

    The other item is Cognitive behavior therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you recognize and rethink unrealistic expectations and beliefs about yourself. It teaches you to interrupt unhealthy, self-perpetuating cycles of thought, emotion and behavior. Even if you can't change your chronic pain, you can change the way you feel about it. I think this hold some promise.
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