My first time writing so I apologize ahead time because this will be long!
I have had chronic pain now for about 5 years and sometimes it gets so DEPRESSING. I had decompression surgery in April 2008 L3-L5 and if you look at a subsequent MRI it looks like it was successful. I still have pain however! My pain has morphed over the years but currently the situation is:
Pain is worse at night and it constantly wakes me up. It seems like it's positional. By the time it wakes me my left leg and sometimes my right as well are throbbing at around a 7. I take tramadol but it doesn't really do anything for the pain other than make me care about it slightly less. I can usually shift around and fall back asleep (I also take trazedone to help with sleep and lyrica which I don't think does anything but make me gain weight!) until the pain wakes me again. If I don't wake up the pain enters whatever dream I'm having which is pretty weird. I also often get referred pain in my torso and upper left quadrant of my chest. I can get it to go considerably down just be getting up and walking around, but a girl's gotta sleep! Driving in the car isn't fun either but I have a short commute so it's not a big deal. We all learn how to live with certain levels of pain don't we?
Let me just say that I function quite well during the day. I'm a high school teacher so I do a lot of running around which is good for me. Most people don't know I take pain meds every night and have chronic pain. I miss work rarely because of it but it does affect my social life. Since the pain meds take a long time to kick in I'm usually medicated by 6:30 which means I'm worthless for the night.
I've tried MANY different things including 7 injections, none of which ever worked. Also tried acupuncture, chiropractic, swim therapy, tens unit, tons of physical therapy,etc. etc. I've been to many doctors and had many tests and they all seem to throw their hands up in the air and don't know what to do with me. I go to a pain clinic now and they want me to try a Spinal Cord Stimulator. I'm hesitant to do it basically because I'd really like to find out WHY I have pain instead of just finding ways to treat it. The SCS seems like a last resort that I'll do but again I want to know why I have pain. I do have really good insurance so I'll keep looking for a doctor that will listen but that gets old too. Sometimes I have lower back flair ups but it's usually just nerve pain in the legs.
I'm 53 years old, love to travel and want to keep up with my 45 year old husband! I'm too young for this!
Any advice or support would be helpful. Thanks for your patience reading this long rant and thanks for letting me vent. My husband is very sympathetic but the truth is if you've never experience chronic pain people really can't relate and know what you're going through.
Thanks for your support!
By the way, Dolce is my beautiful darn near perfect 13 year old border collie.