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I need some support--Sorry its long!

iowarobiniiowarobin Posts: 1,268
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
basically I have been on here for a year and two months. Right ahead of my 2 level PLIF. Most of you know me, for those that dont, I have had serious back pain for 3 1/2 years. It took over 2 years and 8 or 9 Drs,Nueros, Orthos, and every test imaginable, plus the bonus of having 2 discograms, and fighting with insurance company and going as far as appealing it at the state level to get the PLIF approved.
I had my 2 level PLIF L4-S-1 December 11,2008. I had my hardware taken out Sept 4,2009. DUring the last 2 years I have had another 7 surgeries. Knee, Hysterectomy, shoulder, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel, tumor in sacrum, tumor behind eye socket.
That being said, I am still taking high doses of pain meds. 100 mcg Fentanyl patch, 30mg Oxycodone every 4 hours, Flexaril for spasms as needed. My pain level at 3 hours after taking bt is around a 7. If I get in car to go uptown and do errands, it flares up. If I ride more than 1 hour, it can put me down on my back for a day. I have tried treadmill, and within the first 1.5 minutes, I have a severe flare. Going to my Otho, is 2 hours, there and 2 back. It will give me a flare for a couple days. Even laying down most of the way.
I had MRI and Ct the end of Dec. Saw Ortho Jan 5. He couldnt see anything on MRI or CT that was a problem. I had the original surgery for torn discs. I had three of them, Two were bad, one not so much. So MRI and CT didnt show any problems back then either. My Ortho wants to wait until May and see if resting helps. I have been doing basically nothing now for two months. I live on pain meds and rest. Nothing has changed. Oh, and I started PT in November, and it sent me to ER just having the minimal Pt.
I am really getting frustrated, putting it mildly. I am 14 months out, completely fused, and still in as much pain as prior to the fusion. Mentally, I am so drained. I am taking antidepressants. I see a pain dr. I go again next Tues, and he had put me on Baclofen for tight muscles. You start on it and up the dose after a week. After three weeks, I had to decrease the dose as it was making me hurt more than helping. I am going to discuss with Pain Dr about switching to different meds, as I have been on them over a year and feel I should not have to take BT so often,
Anyway,,, I am so down. I feel the fusion has done nothing for the back pain, or at least very little. I dont want to keep waiting to see if it gets better, I simply think my Ortho did a great job, and he did a 1 level on my friend that had back pain for 5 years and she is off all meds and doing great. So its not that I dont think that he did anything wrong, but dont know how to tell him I am sick and tired of hurting.
I have read so many posts of people that have thought about ending it all because of pain. I have been down that path alot lately. Not that I would, just feel so completely worthless. I have tried to be positive. To look for the good, yada yada. I am sick of not being able to do things cause of the conseqences of doing it. I hate being on pain meds, so much. You know, go to kitchen, cant remember why. I have thought about going to another different Ortho with my last discogram and surgery reports and see what he/she says. But past experience with other Drs has been disappointing. I am just pissed. Pissed that I endured a surgery and wasted a whole year plus waiting to feel better! I am pissed that I am still on pain meds , Its just not fair. Is it because it took me 2 years to find a Dr that could diagnose torn discs? Is it too late, has the disc fluid eroded my back and it will never feel better.. I need some kind of hope. Answers please.....Thanks,Robin


  • wow- I really don't know what I can say to help. All I can say is that I really feel for you. I appreciate that that doesn't help you and I hope that someone else perhaps has the answers.
    I just didn't want you to think you are being ignored - it sounds like you have really been through the wringer.
  • Robin I wish I had a magic pill that would make it all go away. I think you hit the right answer when you talked about getting another opinion. If your doctor isn't giving you an answer it might be because he just isn't seeing it. A fresh set of eyes can't hurt either.

    Why is it 2 hours to the doctor? Is there any one closer to you? I oomplain about the 20 mins it takes me to get to my docs - guess I should keep quiet on that one.

    I think you said this was an orthosurgeon. How about seeing a neurosurgeon? I find thta they look at things completely differently.

  • I'm sorry to hear you're still having pain for 14 months after your surgery. Do you have a Pain Management Dr. can offer SCS or med pump for your pain? Does your PT do acupuncture? I think maybe it's taking so long to heal because you were in pain for so long before your surgery so it may take time to heal? I'm saying a prayer for you that they find the answer soon. Please call a Distress line if you need to talk to someone urgently. You've been through so much and hope you get some pain relief soon. Are you using a walker to get around? Please take care and thinking of 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
  • I just read Straker's post over on the chronic pain board and he is feeling just like you are.

    Would you mind saying a bit more about your pain? Is it primarily in your back or do you also have it in a leg/hip/foot? What all has your surgeon suggested might be the cause or pain generator?

    I would think after all those surgeries your body might just be in shock.

    Have you thought about going to a psychologist who specializes in chronic pain? I don't know if someone like that would have anything to offer, or not.

    Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you.

  • I'm so sorry you're suffering like this. Unfortunately, I don't have anything to help but I'm wondering something. Did your surgeon tell you to expect the PLIF to relieve your back pain? From everything I've read, surgeries like this are done to preserve nerve function, not to relieve pain, and people often are disillusioned because they still hurt. Back pain is one of the most difficult things a doctor has to treat because there is no procedure which can guarantee to relieve it. Please understand that I'm not trying to say you should just put up with the pain because I'm not. I'm just wondering if your surgeon gave you unrealistic expectations for the surgery. I truly hope you can get some relief because nobody can stand a high level of pain with no relief in site. Sending healing thoughts your way. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • Hi Robin! Just wanted you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. You have been through so much. I wonder if you kept a pain log if you could find any coorelations.
    I know it isn't much of a suggestion, but you never know! I am so sorry you are going through this.

    I agree that your body may be in shock, there is a huge release of stress hormones that occurs after surgery ~ which is why we often find ourselves crying several days/weeks after surgery. A massage might help also as massage releases the "good feeling/happy' hormones. Please let us know how you are doing! We are here to support you! Shari
  • Thanks to all that have offered support.
    Kris- I live in a rural area, so any major city is 2 hours away, the ortho I picked was an hour closer than the one that proposed a 3 level fusion.
    Charry- I am not using a walker. I think I need to use a cane though, as I am not walking as well, kind of hobble. Probably shouldnt do that, so I might try the cane. I havnt had the SCS or pain pump offered, have thought about asking about it, but felt it was like giving up on being pain med free.
    Gwennie- my pain is just in lower back, across hips. I have some arthritis in SI joint according to Xray. Dr doesnt know what pain generator is. He has been dismissing the other torn disc cause I didnt have as bad of reaction on the discogram as the ones he fused. I havnt gone to pain psy as there is not one in the immediate area. I have such problems traveling, that I just dont want to add another Dr in the mix if I dont have to. I handle it pretty well most days.I just hurt the same as before the fusion, which makes me wonder about the disc that does have some problems. Not looking to do another surgery, just feel I need to have it checked out. You know like I didnt get everything needed? The first surgeon was going to do 3. I was scared and went for another opinion. My Dr said only 2, and it would be better to deal with the other one later, if needed, than to risk having problems doing 3 levels at once.
    Inchworm, My surgeon never told me my pain would be completely gone. He talked sucess rates and how he thought he could help me feel alot better. He has always been pretty upfront with me. Thanks for the good wishes.
    I just feel like not doing something with the disc that did give reaction on the dicogram is wrong now, not that I want to go through another one, which would make 3, but to know if it is a pain generator or not. It hurts to drive, sit, ride in car, stand, walk to far, bend, twist, it still feels like it did, only it is weird cause I have a pain above the fusion, not high, but upper low back, then it feels a little better than hurts bad across low hip, SI joint. Just like somethings still wrong. Thanks, Robin
    Jayhawk- Thanks, for thinking of me. I cant have massage as I cant stand to have anyone rub my back no matter how softly. I wish I was wrong.
  • Hey Robin! Have they checked your SI joints? I have signif issues with my SI joints, caused by years of low back pain. I feel it in my low back, makes it difficult to be in a car or certain chair and can be palpated. When they are bad, I feel it all the way to my hips. They can be injected which helps so very much.

    In terms of a massage, I agree, I don't want anyone near my back, but there are many other body parts; arms, shoulders, hands, legs, feet, scalp, etc.

    Has a PT or OT checked your body aleignment. Being in pain, causes us to alter our posture which puts stress on other joints. If you have assess to a Wii, the Wii fit is remarkedly accurate and is used in therapy clinics across the U.S. By learning to correct your body posture/aleignment it helps to reduce pain.

    What about the strength of your core muscles, abs,back etc. After having so many surgeries, just having a weak core, can really cause a lot of pain

    I hope this is helpful! Hang in there Shari
  • There's also the possibility of hyperalgesia. It is a theory (in particular the Opioid Induced Hyperalgesia) that not all docs buy in to, but enough do that it can't be completely dismissed.

    An increased sensation to painful stimuli that may follow damage to soft tissue containing NOCICEPTORS or injury to a peripheral nerve. Hyperalgesia can occur both at the site of tissue damage (primary hyperalgesia) and in the surrounding undamaged areas (secondary hyperalgesia). (Kandel et al., Principles of Neural Science, 3d ed, p386)
    Common Causes

    * Damage to nociceptors
    * Damage to peripheral nerves
    * Inflammation or by disease
    * Long term opioid use
    * Psychological disorders
    * Reflex sympathetic osteodystrophy
    * Stroke

    It takes a good PM doc and a lot of guts to test the waters to see if this is the issue, especially if OIH is suspected.

    I personally think there is some validity to the OIH theory, because I believe I experienced it. There came a point in time where the opioids being prescribed to me were being upped almost every other week. It then became a battle to stave off withdrawal long enough to get more in my system.

    I detoxed off all opioids and have avoided them for the past couple of years. I am now able to control the majority of my pain with my SCS, Neurontin and Celebrex. I would never have believed it possible before this all occurred.

    I went through a period similar to you where I had more surgery in a 2 year period of time, then most people do in several lifetimes. I believe that all the insult to my body between the surgeries and the drugs just created a no-win situation. In my heart of hearts I believe that were it not for getting completely away from the opioids, I would have drowned in all the misery by now.

    That's just one theory. Talk to your doc. Talk to someone. It is not a fun place to be and without someone else helping, it's a very hard pit to crawl out of.

  • Robin, I'm so sad to read your post. You've been through so much and are a role model of strength to so many here. I know that sometimes, like now, you feel like that can't be possible because of how down you are, but you are. I've seen so many posts where you encourage others - like when you were debating about having the operation on your eye, you were consoling someone who was feeling like you are now.

    I'm glad that so many are offering medical advice to you, but I'm not. I just want you to know that I think the world of you and am so sorry that your having such a tough stretch. Know that we're all here for you because what goes around comes around. Vent and cry all you want here with us.

    You need to take a close look at your avitar and see your little grandbaby. It's apparent, even with such a small picture, how you're holding her with so much love and care. Grandbaby's can help make things better. They're like little packages of hope, love, nurturing, humor, and future all in one little body. All it takes to feel this is to hold them and kiss them then watch them watch you and grab your finger with their little hand. You created a wonderful daughter that created a wonderful grandbaby. In my world, that's not useless. You've done something extraordinary. I know it's no help to you right now, but it's true, nevertheless.

    Please take care of yourself and I'm sending you a huge, but gentle, hug that lasts a whole five minutes.

  • Shari, I have had several SI injections, and they didnt do anything for me. Besides being awfully painful. My Dr also did a test to see if it was my SI joint before he did fusion. So although there is arthritis, it isnt the cause of my pain now.
    C, I dont know much about what you are talking about, could you give me some more insight about it
    Cath, thank you so much for the thoughts and kind words. I try to help others so that I can forget about my problems. I was just overwelmed this week when I read of so many having such great results. Not that I am not extremely happy for them, I am. It is just disheartning to me sometimes. I just want my life back so badly. And you are right about the grandbabies. They do keep me going in my darkest days. Thanks so much! Love, Robin
  • Here's one of the better summaries I've read. It comes out of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
    Opioid-induced hyperalgesia is a clinical phenomenon, characterized by increasing in pain in patients who are receiving increasing doses of opioids.

    Clinical features of opioid hyperalgesia:

    * History
    -Increasing sensitivity to pain stimuli hyperalgesia).
    -Worsening pain despite increasing doses of opioids.
    -Pain that becomes more diffuse, extending beyond the distribution of pre-existing pain.
    -Can occur at any dose of opioid, but more commonly with high parenteral doses of morphine or hydromorphone and/or in the setting of renal failure.

    * Physical Examination
    -Pain elicited from ordinarily non-painful stimuli, such as stroking skin with cotton (allodynia)
    -Presence of other opioid hyperexcitability effects: myoclonus, delirium or seizures


    * Reduce or discontinue the current opioid.
    * Change opioid to one with less risk of neurotoxic effects: fentanyl or methadone
    * Add an infusion of a non-opioid NMDA receptor antagonist such as ketamine
    * Add a non-opioid adjuvant such as acetaminophen or an NSAID.
    * Initiate epidural, intrathecal, regional or local anesthesia and taper/discontinue systemic opioids.
    * Increase hydration if clinically appropriate.


    Opioids can lead to a paradoxical increase in pain. Opioid-induced hyperalgesia should be considered in any patient with increasing pain that is not responding to increasing opioids. Referral to pain/palliative care professionals is appropriate to help develop a management strategy.
  • I had facet joint injections that helped with bending and turning. I hope you're feeling better soon. 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
  • C, Thanks for the info. I am not sure if it applies to me as the physical examination indications are not really applicable to me. I havnt had any increase in my meds since before surgery in Dec 08. So I think that after 14 months my body has just become to used to them. My pain Dr and I are discussing changing meds. My Ortho thought that I should be changed to Methadone. Not sure about that, as I am not that informed about that med and need more info before I change to that. My Pain Dr had me try Baclofen, and it made my pain worse after 3 weeks. I went back down to the starting 1/2 dose and the pain went away. So next he will try some different pain meds or something else. I am gonna talk to him about pain pump or SCS. I would like to make sure the other disc isnt bad first. Dont want to go through something I dont have to.
    Charry, Thanks and I am glad they worked for you. I have had those injections, radio frequency lesioning or whatever they call it, trigger point injections, SI Joint injections and medrol dose packs. None of them did much if any good. And now with all the steroids, I have dental problems, and wont do anymore now. I think I have tried eveything. Water therapy, PT, every injection and test. They tested me for RA, and seizures. I feel like I have been poked and prodded in every way imaginable. Besides the surgery.. #:S
  • I have been where you are. Doing everything you can to find out what's wrong. Test after test come out normal yet the pain is debilitating. I saw MANY Dr's over a 3 1/2 year period who scratched thier heads, shrugged at me, or sent me on my way. All the while a disc fragment was battering my nerve as I hobbled with a cane in severe pain. I finally found a neuro that examined me and said it was obvious I had a pinched nerve and during exploratory surgery found the fragment wrapped up in a nerve(NOT VISIBLE on MRI). I was left with permanent nerve damage but was able to walk w/out cane again. Is it possible you have some nerve damage too? Or a disc fragment? Our journey is a long and horrible one. Don't give up on yourself you are worth fighting for! Try to stay strong and keep looking for the answers. Sending you a gentle spiney hug.

    Faith M
  • Hi Robin! Just wanted you to know I am thinking of you today! Hoping that you had a restful night and find some peace today! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers! Wish I could be closer to give you a gentle hug, but a cyber hug is the next best thing! HUGS!!!! Take care and know that you are in our prayes!! Shari
  • I have no advice for you. You are in my prayers, I wanted you to know that. You have been through so much garbage recently, I wish I could take away your pain. Hopefully some Dr. can figure out how to help you. In the meantime, grandbaby love can help you feel better, at least emotionally.
    I wish you the best, Lisa
  • Well I just got off the phone from making a appointment with my Ortho for next Tues. I was supposed to see him the end of March, but I decided I dont want to wait till May to see if it gets better. I have waited and been paitient, and I am tired of hurting. I want to find out what the problem is, if I can and do something about it, other than take massive doses of pain meds. Wish me luck. I have to be strong to oppose the Lets wait and See Forces! :? :SS Love, Robin
  • Robin, I'm sorry to be so late in posting but just came across your post today.

    Sending an armful of >:D< s your way. Bless your heart, I'd be over it too.

    I've read everyone's responses and can't add much in the way of advice. It's so hard for you being out in the country away from a big city offering top rate medical facilities. I know you said you've been to neurosurgeons but I think another look see might be required. I know what I'm asking is not simple -- having to be away from home when you're already in pain and traveling --- just make things worse. I just think it may be a little sliver of something that's impinging a nerve. It happened to a friend of mine and a top neuro here in Orlando found it and she's fine now (and it's been years).

    I was going to recommend massage but you said you can't stomach it. My massage lady used this little hand held gizmo on my stomach that was supposed to help break up scar tissue from my hysterectomy I had in 2004. She said that sometimes the scar tissue involved itself in the back. I have no idea whether that helped my sciatica or it was just time passing. But I'm thinking with all the surgeries you've had on your stomach and back that it wouldn't hurt to check that out. I'll talk to her and find out the name of the gizmo she used on me.

    Have you been able to sit in a jacuzzi or spa tub to help relax your muscles?

    I wish I were rich. I'd come get you in my nice plush RV and take you to your doctor's appts. or put you up in a nice place in the big city for a week so you could get to your appts. Damn the $$$$.

    Since you're feeling so blue, you need some extra TLC from your family and friends. You're in my prayers and I'll ask my aunt (who has a direct line to God (LOL!))to put you on her church's prayer list. Can't hurt!

    Please know you beloved on this site and we're all just a post away. You're NOT and I repeat NOT worthless! It's just the pain and exhaustion talking. Once you're better, you'll forget you ever thought that way --- OKAY!

    Hugs again sweetie and Ill get back to you.

  • You're pretty much where I was except much worse off. I first had a fusion. For that procedure I got 8 opinions: two wanted to do at least a three-level fusion; the others all indicated I needed a one-level fusion. Of course I went with the one level, for all the obvious reasons.

    The surgery was uneventful. I fused quickly and recovered well...except that my radiculopathy in my leg never went away, and the new nerve pain I developed in the hospital 12 hours after surgery never went away either. I had a second smaller surgery but that didn't relieve the pain either.

    I have spent the last year trying to get to the bottom of this. At first both surgeons told me there was nothing else to do as the nerves did not show up as being compressed on imaging studies. They told me to get a SCS trial. I did not want to because I felt there was something wrong that could be addressed rather than just treating for the pain.

    Eventually I convinced surgeon # 2 to let me get a standing MRI. It provided just enough information to confirm what I and my alternate medicine guy were thinking...I was still unstable and a nerve was getting pinched when the L5 vertebra shifted over the S1. Then the doctor was willing to send me for a bunch of nerve blocks, injections, etc. until we could narrow down what else might be causing pain and /or instability.

    I am now scheduled for a three level fusion (actually one level on each side of where I am already fused at L4-5), the surgery I probably should have had at the beginning of my journey. Whether it resolves my nerve pain remains to be seen. By now the nerve has been compressed since 2005! But I have reason to believe I do not have permanent damage as I do not have foot drop or total numbness, and the pain goes away as soon as I sit or lie down. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Sorry this is so long, but I think you can see the similarities in our stories. Sometimes you just have to be persistent and keep looking for answers.

    What I have learned from all the consultations with specialists is that they spend a very short time studying the imaging and talking to the patient before mentally forming a diagnosis and treatment plan. They go for the most common and the most obvious, and do not take the time or thought to examine what else might be the pain generator.

    Robin, I know you have a lot of determination and will not give up until you find an answer. I'm glad you called your doctor and I pray that together, you can find some solutions.

    Xx Gwennie
  • I remember you and I were having our back surgeries around the same time and we are both in Iowa...like you I have had too many surgeries in a short amount of time & I do agree it puts our bodies in a stress mode so that could be part of it but did I read correctly that you still have a torn disc?

    Tears are very painful and not everyone (esp the specialists) recognize this. I had an annular tear that was giving me the same pain you are describing. It is much more painful than just a herniation in my opinion (I just had my C6/7 fused for a herniation)
    The liquid leaking is very irritating and it is almost unbearable.

    I see you have an appt soon..I hope you get some answers. Is your guy in DSM?

  • I can't add much that already hasn't been said - but I wanted to recommend NOT using a cane. If you need something - use the walker.

    My NS really gave me the riot act when I suggested using a cane (much cooler than a walker if anyone were to see me using it) - he said that all a cane will do is make you worse - it's too lop-sided and it messes with your back bigtime.

    A walker keeps you straight and supported.

    Anyway, just my two-cents. I hope you get some help at your apt.
  • I am looking forward to Tues Dr appt. and moving towards a resolve to all of this. But I am also fearful of the probablitily of another discogram. I have already endured 2 of them, just it is the only thing that showed tears in the past...Whew..There it is out. My fears of testing again, the fighting with the insurance company cause my Otho is not in network. At this point I dont want to switch to someone else! I wish I would have done the 3 level to begin with and be done with it all! ARRRGGGG.
  • Hi Robin,

    I'm so sorry to hear that you haven't noticed any improvements with your lower back pain. This is such a bummer.

    I was hoping the scans would prove to be "true" this time around and you would finally start feeling better. Your body has been through a lot over the past two years and it's going to take time for you to get back on your feet. If you feel that the one disc is the culprit to your ongoing pain... be sure to mention this at your visit on Tuesday. Your doctor might order a discogram or whatever test he feels necessary, to get a more precise reading/view on that disc for you.

    What kind of PT did you start and what happened when you had to go to the ER? Were you admitted? When I first started my PT, I didn't have the best of luck either. I gave it a break for about a month and I started back up at home. I learned a lot of good stretches in aqua therapy, so I started implementing them on land... at my own comfortable pace. When summer came, I got in the pool every day and did all of the aqua therapy exercises I was taught. Being in the pool or hot tub now... feels heavenly and I know you will get to this point, as well. You really will.

    How is your energy level? Have you had your blood drawn recently? My PCP keeps a real close eye on my blood, to make sure I'm not deficient in any areas. I have a tendency to run anemic and that really zaps the energy out of me and makes me feel like I have an achy flu. Your blood is probably just fine, but it's good to have it checked once in a while. About 6 months ago, I was low on potassium. You wouldn't believe the important role potassium plays in our body. When you are deficient, the symptoms are like the side effects listed for narcotic medications. Pretty wild, eh? You have trouble with concentration, it affects your muscle coordination and you feel very tired and sluggish. I started drinking papaya nectar and eating organic oatmeal for breakfast. Morning snacks are vanilla yogurt with canteloupe chunks and walnut granola topping... and a cold glass of chocolate Silk. (Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, but they cause inflammation for me).

    I think it's a good idea to review your current pain medications (and any other medications you are taking) with your doctor. There are other ER and IR medications he may suggest. The material that "C" posted is very interesting and informative. I'm glad she shared her experience, as this really could happen to any one of us. I've been really fortunate, so far, as my pain medications do a satisfactory job on my back pain. I have been told, I will probably need pain control the rest of my life... but guess what? I believe in miracles! (I've gone from taking 240mg of Oxycontin daily to 90mg a day within a years time. When my tailbone pain was getting to be too much to handle, my PM doctor increased my Oxycontin dose to 120mg a day and it does help to take the edge off my tailbone pain). I would prefer to stay at 90mg (or less) a day, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the nerve block(s) and the coccyx injections take.

    One thing I have learned along the way, is we need distractions throughout the day. Do you play any online games? I used to play Euchre and Backgammon. (I can't sit long enough to play those yet). Before Mike took over maintaining our entire household, he played World of Warcraft. He still will play, when Michael (21) comes to the house. It's something they used to play together for years. I think Cath111 plays it too. I love to watch. The graphics are amazing. It's been a good change of scenery to watch the Olympic's on TV. It makes me want to snow ski again, sooooo bad. Do you have any pets? How is the grandbaby doing? I think you have another one on the way, too? I would absolultely love to hold an infant right now. I used to take care of the babies at church, during services. I might need to do that real soon with Mike, as I'm getting that craving. We have three cats that are very entertaining. One fetches like a dog (her mouse toy). It's hilarious. The mommy cat is 2 years old and her two girls are 11 months old. We just had them spayed last Friday and they are doing fabulous. They are the best cats and bring all of us a lot of comfort and enjoyment. I think pets are great for homebound people. We were planning on getting a dog, but the night I came home from the hospital... the mommy cat (Penelope) meowed through the screen door and has been with us ever since.

    Hang in there, sweety. It really does get better, but man alive... with some of us, it takes a long time before you start to feel any improvements. Maybe some others can think of some good distractions that get them through their days. Walking... try to walk a little bit each day. That truly is the best exercise.

    I need to sign off for now, as my tailbone is killing moi!

    Hugs to you and I'll be anxious to hear how you doctor visit goes on Tuesday. Vent anytime you need to... you have many friends here and we'll try to support you the best we can.

    Love ya,

    Tammy >:D<
  • you are such a great friend! I just got back from having to put our weiner dog of 14 yrs, Missy to sleep. She had lost her bladder control and was starting to throw up all the time. At her age, we decided not to put her through any big heroics. She was tired and always going to her kennel to lay and just sleep. Shes with her roomie, our other one, Buffy that we had to put to sleep last year. Dang animals, they are so hard to let go.
    So with that, my back is killing me, and I am gonna rest for a while. Talk to you soon. Love, Robin
  • My condolences...it is so hard to have to make that decision.

    I have just spent several hours researching the reliability of discography and it is a very interesting topic. My surgeon almost never uses them. I suppose he must from time to time, but it was never mentioned to me, and when I asked, he let me know that he feels for the amount of information they provide, and the accuracy of that information, he feels they are too painful and he doesn't want to put his patients through the procedure.

    I would think there would be another way to find out what's going on, especially since you have already had two discograms in the past. They can tell a lot from nerve blocks.

    I hope you don't need another one.

  • :( :( Our beloved pets -- such wonderful love and affection they give us -- I know you will miss her terribly.


  • Robin, but want you to know that I am so sorry for all you are going through. You have had a very rough ride, and I hope and pray that things will improve for you. I'll pray for your appointment on Tuesday, for wisdom for the doctor.

    You are definantely not worthless, Robin. (I know that feeling, when you just can't do the things you want to, or feel you should do.) You are so supportive to lots of people on here, and that is worth so much. More than you will ever fully know.

    Take care Robin, so many people on here appreciate you and are longing for you to have some relief.

  • Dear Robin,

    I am so sorry for your loss...you have my sincere sympathy.

    I feel the same as you do... Missy is back with her roomie and they are enjoying their reunion.

    Our pets are part of our family and it's always hard to say goodbye.

    Mike grew up with Dachshund's all of his life. I think they are absolutely adorable and we will be getting one, sometime this year.

    Robin, had I known about your day yesterday... I would never, ever, have asked if you had pets. I can't tell you how awful I felt, after reading your reply.

    I will be anxious to hear how your appointment goes on Tuesday. Many prayers are being said for you and I know this year is going to be better than last year was. We'll get through it... I promise!

    Much love and sympathy,

    Tammy >:D<
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