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?'s due to a freinds suggestion

Willykade247WWillykade247 Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi All,

I am new to posting here, but have been lurking for about a year, or so. Due to a friends suggestions of some issues I have been having. I have decided to make a thread detailing what is going on with me, and hopefully I can get some feedback.

I have been having some say moderate/severe pain for approx four years now. I am now two weeks post-op for a fusion at L-4/5. I have DDD, but also three other herniations in the L-spine. The worst being L-2/3. As Dr stated in bad shape, but just not enough quite to operate on. So I am thinking I will be back in surgery likely within a year, or so. Hopefully not, but we will see. I also from MRI have several levels of compression in the
C-spine. I can't say for sure, but beleive that is the cause of some evil headaches I get. I am sure I have left something out, but will update if I can remember.

What I have been going through. This will be sticking to post op. I came home four days after surgery. My meds prescribe are Tylox 5/500, and I also have Lortab 7.5/500.
I also have prescribed some various muscle relaxers. I have had a couple days relativly pain free, but that has been followed by some horrendous pain. I have tried to tell the DR my issues, and get some type of medication that will work better. A stronger pain med, but seem to have hit a wall with them in this area. I do not drink, or use any illegal drugs of any sort, and I am feeling like the Dr is thinking I am some sort of druggie. I know that pain won't go away 100%, but I am feeling, but two days no relief whatsoever. So about a week ago. I develop a very ;arge bruise around the incision. That brought on more pain. I again for third time tried to get Dr to change my meds. They responded with Do you still have the lortab. Change that from 1 every 4 hours to 2 every 6. Well it didn't help. I have like I siad two days since post-op that the meds have seemed to work. So I called, and told them about the bruise. The nurse explained it to me. I hope I say this correctly. A sub-dermal hematoma. Basically caused from what I understand to be a busted blood vessel, or vessels underneath the skin. Ok, and whatever it is. It as caused a great deal of pain.

I am starting to hurt pretty good right now with all this typing. I may have more to add later. I will see how I feel. Yet the one thing that is really pissing me off is the meds. Sorry for my harsh words, but itis. Lie I said. I live a completly sober lifestyle, and from reading here. I know that the meds won't 100% take away the pain. Nor do I expect them too, but also on the other hand. When these issues started a few years back. I was taking tylox, and demerol. Now I was told then that some Dr's felt they were basically the same strength, but I would beg to differ. Pain meds to me I wonder do they actually help with the pain, or change your attitude enough so you don't care about the pain. As nurse said to me. It will be about 6-8 weeks for your muscles to heal up from the surgery. Why not at least until then give me something worthwhile, or if you will a little stronger such as the demerol.

If I am wrong with my thinking please tell me. If there is anything you all can help mne with. Ideas, comments, suggestions. They are welcomed. Anyway to approach my Dr, and impress upon him these meds are not doing what I think they should etc...As I said anything to help. Even if it is me just thinking worng, or whatever. I thank you for your help in this matter. This site has been a blessing to me. Goodday all...



  • sorry for my godawful typing. I also seem to see some sentances not getting put together correctly. ANy questions please ask. I am as I said starting to not feel to great. As I said when I wake up feeling good. I start by noon or so to go downhill. My apologies for junk typing. I will next time try to go a lil slower, and pay more attention. Thank You.


    to add:: I after thinking realized I left out the following. I do have some numbness is right side of body. A lil in left, but worse in right side. My right hand/arm feels like it is asleep constantly. My right leg tingles, andfeels asleep. There is what I would consider little pain in those areas if comparing to the back issues. If I think of more I will add, but that is it. Thank You.
  • Sorry all,

    I was trying to edit, and didn't realize I was putting in a new answer. I will stop until I am a little more coherent. Goodday to all...

  • Great you made it through your surgery. I know recovery can be long and painful at first. Now that you tried the new suggestion and taking 2 lortabs every 6 hours you could call the Dr. back and let him know that it's not working for you. That the pain and muscle spasms are to much to bear. Hopefully he will be able to help you out then. Hopefully you can see him in person to get a reassessment of how you're doing soon. Have you tried ice or heat to help? I hope you can get some pain relief soon. I haven't had surgery so I hope someone can help you with support. There are many who've recently had back surgery here. 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
  • It seams to me that Dr,s lately are carefull about the hard core drugs because of the miss use of others...I dont know , my self am a recovered alcoholic , I have gone from dilata in the hospital to Oxys at home for a short time to Percs....But for me , and my Dr. knows this , I want off ASAP...some Dr. are different , and I want to be careful of advice here...I have heard off people taking insane amounts of meds ,all I have is my experience..You will be in my prayers...Godbless you
  • Hi John, I also was diagnosed with DDD around 6 years ago and Neurosurgeon also adviced that I may need another fusion in around 5 years But at 33 years of age he and I decided on a single level fusion.

    I had a l5/s1 posterior fusion on the 12 of feb/10 and during the first two weeks, I went through a horid amount of nerve pain, muscle spasms,etc. Two times my right leg literally failed to move for about 15 min...scary times. In the hosp i was on a morphine pump and when i was released I was prescribed Oxycotin.

    It has been almost three weeks since i took any form of pain meds. I had an excellent surgeon (whom I doubted during the first 2 weeks post)and i truly believe that time is a healer and have taught myself to take everything one day at a time. Iam only telling you this cause it's nice to hear some successful fusion stories as I was hunting them down big time after my surgery..

    Take care, sorry i couldn't help you with the pain meds.
  • that you are going through so much pain Willy. Time should certainly help. The first month is typically pretty rough for a fusion. Hang in there, it will get better. Another concern is your neck issues. With such debilitating headaches, your neck compression could be contributing to your overall body pain. Especially if you are having some spinal cord compression. I hope you can get that straightened out as well.

    Take care.

  • I've never had any problems myself but I have heard others say that it is helpful if you can be specific and not just say "I need something stronger." As Charry said, you can tell him you tried the meds as he suggested and you are still having the following issues: ...and then tell him specifically how it is affecting you...like if you get a little relief the first hour and then feel like cutting off your leg...or whatever it is...or if you cannot go for a short walk because the pain is just too great, etc.

    Try to be more specific. The point is to let him know you are doing your best to follow the rules, etc. but you are not getting any relief from XYZ.

    Some doctors and some clinics have very specific rules about what they will and will not prescribe.

    I had a similar surgery two years ago and took pain meds around the clock for the first 8 weeks. I was prescribed 20 mg oxycontin every 8 hours; lyrica every 12 hours, and then viconin 5/325 as needed for break-through pain and a muscle relaxer as needed.

    I don't know if this is fairly typical/a lot/ or little amounts...but I was reasonably comfortable although very sleepy! It was impressed upon me to set an alarm and take the meds around the clock...to not let the pain get ahead of me or it would be difficult to control.

    If your surgeon won't help you, you might want to consult with a pain management doctor.

    Good luck in your recovery.

  • Thank you all for the kind words, and advice. One thing Idi forget to mention is there is lumbar stenosis also, but to get back to the other comments.

    Charry...I have tried to tell the Dr about the pain, and what is going on. Multiple times now. I can't seem to get thru to him. It is very frustrating to me. I have not tried ice, or heat. Yet I can say even the slightest chill brings me quite abit of pain. I do go for my follow-up visit the 1st of April. So I will try to address the issues with him at that time.

    Steve...I can't even get Oxy's if I wanted it seems. I don't want them. Had them for my bike accident years ago, and they in no less words didn't agree with me for multpile reasons. I especially didn't like the time release. It seemed like every two hours I'd get a warm sensation. Then be in pain after 15 mins until they kicked in again. I am glad to hear you have kicked the alcohol down the road. That is good news. See myself I am clean, and sober. No drugs, or alcohol. I feel like I am being made into a druggie for asking for some simple pain relief.

    Killian...I am only three years older than you. I am glad to hear you have done well. Don't worry about not helping with the pain meds. It helps as much to hear others experiances, and such. I am glad to hear it went well. I too wish to be offof the pain meds, but while I am feeling this way. I just don't want to try right now. I refused to take any the first two days at home. I wanted to do it without the meds, but I turned into such a jerk. I was asked to by my wife, and I was ready to at that point. Good luck in your recovery.

    Hey BB...Funnything today has happened. I woke up after what seemed to me a hellish night. Non-sleep and pain just awful. It was two hours after I woke up before I took any pain meds. As for the headaches. Just pure evil is what I call them. Imagine a room where all your senses are deprived. No light, no noise, no wind...etc. These headaches make that too much too bear. Too much noise, light..etc in that type situation, and vomiting ensues. I had twice gone to the hospital got a shot of demerol. Second time all it did was knock me out. Woke up with the headache. Had it for another five days lingering.

    gwennie...that is one thing I have learned here. To be more specific. SO I am keeping a journal of what is goinbg on. I hope that will help him to see my seriousness in this issue. As I stated earlier even if I wanted. I can't get the oxy's. I would prefer a med for breakthru pain. Other than a time release. Or a time release not oxy coupled with a breakthru med if needed.

    Again thank you all for your time.

  • One thing I did want to mention is that Demerol now is almost never prescribed. Not sure of the reason why, but that is what I have heard. I had L4/5 fusion and was on oxycontin, oxycodone and valium for the spasms. Are you on anything for the spasms? A benzodiazepine such as valium probably would be helpful for you. It is initially a very painful recovery.

    Best wishes,

  • Mariane,

    I have heard of that about demerol. The one I took in the past was called meprozine/promethazine. I was also told that Er's were straying away from demerol. I guess supposedly for the as they say high potential for abuse. Well yet they still give you morphine, and many other narcotics. They all have a high potential for abuse. As for me in the past. Demerol what was what gave me relief. Unfortunatly it seems that what works for some. Is what they are getting rid of. Now I am not saying specifically demerol is what I feel would work for me just because of my past issues. Though I feel that is not the only medication that would help me. I am really wanting to try to stray away from the meds with acetominaphen in them. I do believe that has alot to do with some of the issues. Such as nausea, etc. I am open to the Dr to suggest what they think as far as meds would work, but they don't seem open to anything, but what I am currently prescribed. Nice to hear from you, and goodday.

  • Your headache that you describe sounds like a typical migraine. Have you ever been diagnosed with them before?
  • Gwennie,

    No I have not been diagnosed with migraines. Though one thing remains constant when they do hit me. That is a rather large bump, lump. Whatever you wish to call it appears towards the right side base of my neck area. During one of these incidents. I gelt it there. I asked my wife to look, and she also observed this multiple times. Now to be completly honest. I have no idea why, or how they are caused. Only my guess as to the c-spine issues. I have brought this up to both my Spinecare Dr, and neurosurgeon. Not one of them seemed interested enough to pursue it any further. Thankfully it had been a bit since I have had one, but I have also figured out on my own how to counter them. As soon as I feel one comming on. A hot towel, and lay down seems to work. Along with a muscle relaxer, and even a weak pain med. I have been able to thwart a few this last year alone using this method. Thank you for the ideas, and I feel this will be something I should write in my lil journal.

    Hey all...funny thing. After having such a horrid night last evening. I have actually hady best day post-op today by far. I am really starting to hurt good right now, but the day went really well. I can say I trully appreciate all the kind words, and comments. Goodday all...

  • It will get better week by week.

    Please get that neck MRI'd cuz it sounds like some bad spinal headaches due to some shifting of the c-spine. I'm no doc, just my opinion and you don't want any spinal cord compression if you can avoid it.

    GL and heal up!

  • It will get a little better each day. I think you have a few different issues that you might not have realized would happen.

    First is we all take a step backward in pain when the stuff they put in during surgery wears off. That can happen as early as a week and sometimes as late as 3-4 weeks.

    Heat is your friend. Ice is only for immediate treatment because it reduces swelling. Now you need to make friends with a heating pad. Make sure you get one with an automatic shutoff so you don't fall asleep and get burned. You might also want to get a heatable gel pack to use with it since these mold to your body better. I used both together.

    You haven't said much about what you are doing each day. Those early meds can make you feel like superman and you may be expecting too much from your body. About this time you should be sleeping, resting and taking short walks. Anything more is probably too much.

    And yes doctors are afraid of prescribing. Way too many peeps in this country are addicted to prescription meds. If you feel you are having constant pain that is not controlled by your meds I would make an appt to see the doctor immediately. There are complications to all these surgeries.

    And as Gwennie said keep a journal. Write down when you take which meds and then write down how you feel. If you have someone around you have them keep a seperate journal. When you are taking so many narcotics your judgement is not very good. And your memory is terrible.

    Keep us posted. And remember each day will get a little better.
  • YOu have a right to get pain relief. I hope when you see him face to face you tell him to get you something that makes you comfortable. None of us want to be on these damn pills we jsut want a normal life and maybe a day where the pain is bearable. As far as the headaches and numbness that is exactly what I have. I have 5 degenerative discs in my lower back and 2 in my neck. I started to grow the bone spurs in my neck 2 years ago. The spur has grown into my nerve root and causes terrible pain in my arm and migranes that make me throw up. I totally know what you are going through. They gave me a pill specific for the migranes that works like a miracle but you cannot take it with your other meds like pain and muscle relaxers so you have to basically choose which pain is worse that day which majorly sucks. I hope that Thursday the doctor does something to help you. Pain is EXHAUSTING mentally and physically. Best wishes sent your way.

  • Hi all,

    I have an update. I saw the DR for my first follow-up post-op visit yesterday APr 1st. Everything is healing, and comming out ok. As for the meds issued. He bumped me up to lortab 10/500. It is actually better, because I feel the pain relief is significant over the double dosage of lortab 7.5/500's he had me going on, and the benefit of less acetominaphen in it that way. Thak you all for the concern you have showed, and the nice comments. I hope you all have a great pain free day...

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