)!Hi everyone! I think I am about to lose my mind with the severe pain I am in NOW! And, I'm looking for TIPS! I just started trying to go back to work. Two weeks ago and my back is in HELL!
History: Rolled over in bed one morning in August 2009 and felt a 'funny' 'noise' in my lower back. Payed no attention to it but had tiny difficulty stretching when getting out of bed. Spent the day doing my thing. Two weeks later had severe right leg sciatica where I COULDN'T EVEN SIT IN MY JEEP AND EXTEND RIGHT LEG TO GAS PEDAL TO DRIVE AS THE PAIN WAS SO BAD 24 hours a day walking, sitting and laying down just created severe pain. MRI given immediately by my doctor of 20 years as I just happen to be born with the congenital defect of the inability to feel ANY pain at all as in two severely broken wrists over a 10 year period would each be described to me to my doctor as having a "0" on a 0 to 10 pain scale. And, after an xray each time, I ended up in casts on my wrists for 3 months a piece. So when I Said to my doctor and subsequent orthopedists of this congenital problem and my extensive history for being allergic to almost every over the counter and prescription drugs including oral pain medicine, all have to treat as in medicate me very, very, carefully. ONE BENEDRYL TABLET WILL PUT ME IN INTENSIVE CARE--another congenital birth defect that I HOPE AND PRAY no one reading this ever has to live with on a day to day basis.
Just put a little history in this to tell you all that SEVERE PAIN for me is when I am throwing up nothing--but liquid as I can't even eat and am throwing up liquid acid on my be because I can't make it to my bathroom to use the sink correctly because and only because I am just in SEVERE PAIN IN BACK. And throughout my spine and can't move because of the SEVERE PAIN MY ENTIRE BACK IS FEELING.
First Diagnosis: DEGENERATIVE DISK DISEASE and HERNIATED L-5 S-1 dISC.
Treatment; Laminectomey scheduled for Thanksgiving Vacation (I am a teacher) 2009.
OCTOBER 31, 2009: I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO URINATE FOR DAYS OR HAVE A BOWEL MOVEMENT in two weeks. (I drink a ton of water a day and have daily bowel movements) I suddenly realize this one Sunday morning and decided to go to the local hospital before going to church,
Upon arrival at the ER room with stated condition, I don't even have to wait those 'HOURS' in the waiting room and am quickly ushered into a treatment room and I wonder why--I Am not in any pain at all.
Diagnosis October 31, 2009: Admit to hospital cauda equena syndrome. I had emptied three bags of urine into those bags that they do hang by your bed in the ER roomafter they put into your urinary area and just wanted to go home. EMERGENCY LAMINECTOMY to be performed in the morning. (Remember I was scheduled to have the laminectomy three weeks later at Thanksgiving.
Surgery went well and I WAS discharged the day after the laminectomy with 2 mg of dilauded to take 3 times a day. I got in my jeep and drove home. Instructions Stay home for two weeks, use a walker,take medicine as directed, no driving. Simple instructions BUT I am a work-a-holic and was not staying home for 2 weeks--I had planned one week--and I Drive everywhere--I drove 1 1/2 hours home after being discharged without the surgeon knowing--no problem.Also took Leviquin to prevent any possibility of infection from operation.
Third day after operation, pain began late at night-called surgeon at 10 pm complaining and crying. HE TOLD ME TO TAKE 14 mg of dilauded at once. HE'D SEE ME IN HIS OFFICE TOMORROW. took the 14 mg at once--45 minutes later the pain was getting far worse--called him back--really nice man and I truly mean that--nationally known--he asked how many more pills did I have in the bottle--about 10--he told me to take the rest of the bottle--call him if it didn't work but do not take any of my normal night time, bed time medicine including my high blood pressure medicine. DId as I was told---PAIN INCREASED!!!
Saw him in his office next day 2 hours away from my home driving myself and crying in pain as I drove. And, I did drive my jeep (by the way, I am 60 years old and drive a 2005 Blue Jeep 4 wheel Drive Jeep EVERYWHERE at high speed).
PAIN!!!Could not sit up or stand up or sit down again. Surgeon in very quiet humble voice says to me "Oral pain medicine either does not have any effect on you like dilauded or one pill of Percocet sends you not only to the ER room but into intensive care,,,did you know that?" I said, "figured that out last night, if I had taken my quite limited choice of night time prescription medicines that I normally take I would have died in my sleep because my heart would just have stopped and I don't want to die--got too much to do in life" He laughed...he had a patient that had to be treated for intense pain that never subsided and could not take oral pain medicine or shots of it, I am sure at that moment was laughter for both of us as I couldn't even sit down or stand yet I somehow got to his office driving, against his wishes, right on time for her appt. and he, nationally known did not know how to deal with the PAIN that laughter masked the of pain rolling down my face. I did have SPIRIT TO LIVE THROUGH IT!
He gave me my first pain patch (The type they give to end-stage cancer patients almost at maximum strength---75mcg Durgalesic PATCH (Fentynal Patch) with 10/500 mg Vicaden to take 3 times a day. By Saurday, I felt like the whole nightmare of hideous sciatica and severe herniated L-5 S-1 laminectomy was a figment of my imagination and he also gave me an outstanding velcro soft back brace, removable, the kind that is about six to eight inches wide and has a removable ice or heat pack to use when I needed the cold against my back or heat and slip into the soft pack built into the back of the brace if I
might need warmth or ice as I might want to use it through the day...cost to my insurance company $500.00 in late 2009. I went back to work the next Monday===one week as I had planned.
Late December 2009: I re-herneated the same disk right before Christmas...was in his office the next day with a new MRI and was told that I needed Spinal Fusion l-4 to L-5.
No, I said through my pain---are not successful only 16% true positive reaction. Most result in more limited function (bending), and a patient is in much more Pain and are now on disability. He laughed again and told me I had certainly done my research and he was just going to monitor me so we got down to a 50mcg Fentanyl match and lowered my does of hydrocodene to one 10/500 mcg and gradually to no spinal medication for pain then nothing and April 2010 he released me 'fully recovered" so I could travel deep into the Himilayan mountains of India to teach students and adults to speak English all summer which I did. I took a cane and my brace with me but no PAIN medicine,
THEN ALL HELL BROKE LOSE ON AUGUST 27, 2010 OF THIS PAST YEAR!
I WILL ONLY FOCUS ON MY BACK! No real background! Just facts. I NEED NEED NEED YOUR HELP!!!
I was physically assaulted intentionally by a student at lunch time and knocked unconscious onto a concrete slab of concrete AT MY PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT--WITHOUT MY BACK BRACE ON AND WITHOUT ANY PAIN MEDICINE IN ME!!!!
When I awakened, I had suffered a traumatic brain injury and several other grave injuries---BUT--THE ASSAULT KILLED MY BACK!!!!
Seven months of therapy and still going and I have started back to work though I think I made the wrong choice to go back to work.
WHEN I FELL QUITE HARD ONTO THE CONCRETE SLAB, MY L-5 DISC WAS CRUSHED...I HAD NO LONGER ANY OPERATION FOR REPAIRING
MY VERTEBRAE AVAILABLE AS AN OPTION--NOTHING TO FUSE TO!
My DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE WAS RAPIDLY DISINTERGRATING ALMOST AT EVERY LEVEL OF MY SPINE.
FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY NECK TO THE END OF MY TAILBONE JUST SCREAMS OF PAIN MOST OF THE TIME.
I AM NOT ALLOWED TO MAINTAIN ANY POSITION FOR MORE THAN 30 MINUTES AT A TIME--INCLUDING LYING DOWN OR STAYING IN MY POWER WHEEL CHAIR FOR 30 MINUTES.
I LIVE IN A POWER WHEEL CHAIR OR LIE IN A HUNDRED POSITIONS ON MY BED. I CAN ONLY WALK FOR 30 MINUTES AT A TIME BECAUSE OF THE PAIN--THE PAIN-THE PAIN!
DO NOT BEND...DO NOT TWIST...DO NOT CARRY ANYTHING HEAVIER THAN A PURSE!! PAIN,,,PAIN,,, PAIN!!!
CRAWL OUT OF THE ELEVATOR...REST...CRAWL DOWN TO MY CONDO DOOR...USE THE DOORKNOB TO PICK PAINFUL BENT SPINE UP VERY SLOWLY...OPEN DOOR SLOWLY...LEAN SOFTLY AGAINST BACK OF DOOR AND SLIDE SLOWLY TO FLOOR AND REST...BREATHE!!!!
SITTING AT DOOR CATS WILL COME TO ME TO GREET ME...TEARS ROLL DOWN MY FACE...TEARS OF TOTAL PAIN WITH EVERY NERVE CELL RAW AND EXPOSED...TEARS OF JOY AT MY FOREVER CONSTANT COMPANIONS GREETING ME...MY CATS...TEARS OF THANKSGIVING THAT I AM HOME SAFELY GOD AND I WORKED A FULL DAY ETC.
PAIN MEDICINE; 100 mcg Fentanyl Patch, 3 10/500 Vicodene (hydrocodene) pain pills, AND my new TENS portable, electrostimulant tiny machine attached to my brace under my dress. THANK GOD FOR THE PEOPLE GOD GAVE THE IDEA OF A PORTABLE TENS MACHINE--STRENGTH OF STIMULATION AND RATE ONLY CONTROLLED AND ADJUSTABLE RATE ATTACHED TO ME!
I CAN CONTROL AND PLACE THE ELECTRODES WHERE THEY WILL DO THE MOST EFFECTIVE THROUGHOUT THE DAY...I CAN SLEEP WITH IT!
they at johns hopkins medical center want to insert a permanent electrical system in my body as well as a permanent medicine pump in me. I don't want that. That is giving up. TOO many issues if something goes wrong...a need to be living close to Hopkins...no.
ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS FROM ANYONE TO HELPING ME WITH THE PAIN FROM SEVERE DEGENERATE DISC DISEASE?
I NEED YOUR SUGGESTIONS...PRACTICAL ONES...CORTOSONE SHOTS NEVER WORKED FOR ME!
PLEASE HELP ME...ANY IDEAS? THANK YOU!