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Hello Everyone!

ouch.oouch. Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in New Member Introductions
Well, after months of reading posts on this forum I guess it's time I introduce myself. I am in desperate need of support from people who understand what living with chronic pain is like.
Sometime around the age of 14 I started having severe low back pain out of nowhere. After having an MRI I was diagnosed with degenerative disk disease and began physical therapy.
I didn't have any severe problems until about 8 years ago (age 24). I had a couple of huge flare ups about 2 years apart that caused me to be unable to walk/bend/move, etc... I did PT again. I started to get more and more daily low back and leg/hip pain as well as thoracic pain.
About 4-5 years ago I was working with my husband on some landscaping at our new home. I ended up having the worst pain in my life that night! I couldn't move one part of my body without having crippling, mind numbing pain.
MRI showed 3 bulging discs (L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1), annular tear in all three discs, spinal stenosis & bi-lateral facet arthropothy in L4-L-5. I have been in pain 24/7 since that day.
Now on top of everything I have been having major neck flare ups that cause excruciating muscle spasms and once again that pain that makes you unable to move at all. MRI showed 2 bulging discs (not sure which ones) and disc degeneration.
I just finished a series of 3 epidural injections and am currently in PT.
Medications I am taking: Percacet 7.5(1-2 every 4-6 hours), flexaril, Soma for flare up I am still recovering from, Mobic(just started with this), Remeron for sleep, Citalopram for depression.
YIKES! Sorry this post is so long!! Anyway, I hope that I can find some support here. My husband and family just don't seem to understand what I am goingthrough.


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Welcome to S-H, I found this place several years ago and like you I watched from the sidelines for some time before I entered seeking information. You will find many others here that have or are going thru what you are experiencing. From what you have posted it seems as though you are doing things right so keep researching, ask questions, and pursue answers with a vengeance. I have found that the best way for family members to understand what you endure is to take, in your case your husband, to your appointments
    with you. It is also better to have another set of ears with you and they too may help you ask questions you may have.
    Best of luck to you,
  • My husband comes with me to some but not all appointments. He is frustrated because after having the 3 ESI's I do not plan on seeing that PM dr again. The ESI's were crazy painful and caused muscle spasms & my back pain to flare up for about a week afterwards. I had some relief of my leg/hip pain but 2 weeks after the last injection that pain is coming back.

    On my 4th visit to the PM center I finally met one on one with the doc and I did not care for him. I felt like he talked down to me, he told me that my MRI did not show any cervical disc bulges (which in fact it definitely does), he told me that he would "probably not pursue" my neck pain issues because the MRI didn't "look that bad." He also told me that I absolutely should not be taking pain medication daily and prescribed me Percocet 7.5 1 every 12 hours. HAHAHA! i have been taking it for two years 1-2 every 4-6 hours.

    I went back to my orthopedic dr that I have been seeing for 4 years and told him that I went to PM center. He was totally supportive of me getting another opinion. We have switched up a couple of things (anti-inflammatory & muscle relaxer). I would still like to get another opinion from a surgeon - I saw a neurosurgeon in 2009 who said that he thought I was too young for a fusion.

    Anyway, my husband thinks my ortho is just doping me up and has all of the sudden started to hassle me about taking my meds. I have always been open and honest about the meds I take and once again, have been taking them for the past 4 years (was taking hydrocodone before the perc.) Now I have my mother questioning my meds. Today she asked me if I have ever tried just taking an aspirin. Seriously mom??? I just don't know how to make them understand that without them I wouldn't be able to get through the day. I work 50ish hours a week, I take care of our 3 dogs (no kids), and it is getting to a point that I can not keep our house clean and am having to leave early from work/miss work or just quietly suffer and try to get thru each day despite being in pain constantly.

    Once again, sorry for going on and on but I am in major need of support from people that understand what it is like to live like this.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. we are here to support you and we do understand just what you are going through.. it is very difficult for those without chronic pain to really understand what it is about.. thank goodness for SH!! please feel free to chat about whatever is bothering you.. we are here to listen! good luck to you! i hope you find some pain relief soon... Jenny :)
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. I believe you've found the right place for people who understand what it's like to have spine pain and are very supportive.

    We've all walked in your shoes in one way or another and will help you in any way we can.

    I'm very lucky that my hubby understands what I'm going through and even reminds me to take my meds with me everywhere we go before we leave the house. He's seen the consequences too many times through the last few years. We even had the discussion last night, that we both know I'll probably be in pain the rest of my life and will need medications to get through so I can work and just live as normal a life as I can.

    He sees that I go to my job each day, I walk my dog every day, I cook dinners, go out with friends, etc., but also knows that it wouldn't be possible without some form of relief, which includes exercise and medications.

    I think for my hubby, he began to understand when I simply wasn't the person I used to be. It's probably different for you because you've been dealing with this for so long, but mine was a sudden onset and one day I just wasn't the same person he married. I wasn't as bubbly and happy, and complained of pain often. Then came the surgeries and he then understood that spine problems, at least for me, are a lifelong situation and that we'll need to deal with this for the rest of my life.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post, and I don't think I helped you at all, but I just wanted to welcome you and let you know that you'll find tons of support here. Sometimes only other spineys can understand what you're going through and many have found this site to be a godsend for the information and support given here.

    Take care and please keep us posted on your journey.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    I support your idea of obtaining more opinions from either neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons. I also agree with you if the ESI's aren't helping and only causing you more pain then it's time for a new plan. I only have had one facet block injection and it lasted maybe two weeks, down the road I may try another if need be but time will tell.
    Your husband may be just trying to protect you fearing your safety and that
    you are forming an addiction to the pain meds. Both he and your mom love you and they may need to sit down with you and your Dr to understand why
    you need to find proper pain relief. You work long hours so it is important that you also get enough rest. It won't hurt at times to try some Aleve or extra strength Tylenol, if it helps then it's all good.
    Furthermore when your neurosurgeon said he thought you were too young for fusion he was probably concerned for adjacent joint degeneration that is
    common down the road after spinal fusion. Conservative measures for pain relief is the sentiment of most N/S and OA's.
    Hope I was of some support to you, just keep pursuing what's in your best interest.
  • I just started with this forum and i must say I am so far very please with the support just reading posts have given me. Let's see if maybe I can be of some assistance.

    I would like to ask if you are too young to have spinal fusion how is it that children at the age of 14 and up are having these surgeries? I understand that there are complications with surgery and it is not always going to be the best result and may even cause a different set of pain but honestly from reading your post you are at that point if not beyond that point where surgery should be considered a solution. If you haven't found Yoga I suggest you do... Talk about great spine-health, that is the best i think our survival in reducing pain meds.

    Honestly if my mom and/or partner were to question my pain meds I would be a little upset as well but thankfully they do not. I am currently on Oxicotin & oxicodene because I just recently underwent my second spinal fusion back in December and I can't wait to get off of them- I am the person who fears not so much addiction but more immunity to the pain meds, like I have always had a fear that when I truly need them they wont work... Silly I know.

    Lol, imagine we haven't even had our children yet- what in the world will become of us then??? Good luck with your experience here at the forum and hopefully you are able to find a doctor that is more concerned with you spinal health issues and not how many pain meds you are on.
  • Prior to my second surgery I a few relapse of disabling pain where I could not function and I was sent to a pain management facility where the ESIs were fabulous. Unfortunately by the time I did it the last time, it did nothing for me. I might have had it done maybe 9 times in the course of 5 years. At first I did have a similar reaction as yours Ouch, but after that it was great assistance to my pain. Just ensure that the facility you go to has an X-ray machine in the room where they can automatically (in live time) see your problem area in order to have good precision when doing the injections.

    Hope this helps with the ESIs.
  • My husband does not support me in any way since I was injured. He is a very angry man any more.

    I am sharing this with you so you understand you are not alone :hug:

    The members here have been very very supportive and a few have even offered to come over and knock some sense into him lol ;)

    But seriously, the members here have shown me how to live with someone like him ( I will not get a divorce for many reasons )and still take care of myself and not allow him to make me feel bad.

    Keep posting and share/vent - we care :)

    Have you taken your hubby with you to DR appts and let them explain everything to him?

    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.
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