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Living in hell...

fusemebabyffusemebaby Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Depression and Coping
That's how I feel most days...like I'm living in hell. Then I come here and read posts from some of you that are much worse than me and feel ashamed. I've had chronic back problems since an accident when I was 12...I'm 42 now. Things started really getting bad for me just three years ago. Since then I've had two L4/L5 microdiscectomies and laminectomies, and I have an L4/L5 fusion scheduled for May 19th of this year.

I am extremely fortunate that I have a wonderful wife that takes better care of me than I deserve. I have a fantastic daughter that understands why I cant play soccer or go on hikes right now and never makes me feel guilty.

I know some of you are alone and don't have anyone to help you . My wife has volunteered to help out anyone in the University Place/Fircrest, Washington area who needs someone to run an errend for them...run to the grocery store, pickup meds, grab you a movie from Blockbuster, etc... free of charge of course...she's one of those people that likes to help others...I don't understand it. ;) If you're interested email me at peterjohnson68@gmail.com


  • i wish you well with your operation and subsequent recovery {you are aware that it will be a long one ?} i too have a fantastic wife that treats me like a king whilst i lay here on my recliner waiting fir my fusion {sometime in sept i am having an ALIF 3 level } any way we are in the uk and i know that your system is different to ours ..again all the best and keep in touch
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Welcome to hell we all fell the same way.

  • Hi living in hell!

    I feel this way too sometimes! Your lucky to have great support. I wished you and your wonderful wife lived here in Toronto! I am alone and it's really hard.
    Fusion L1-L4 in Dec 10. Not feeling so great these days my back feels like it's locked with sharp pains down my left leg! But I'm staying positive doing pilaties and staying as fit and healthy as I can! BUT still in HELL! LOL

  • You are lucky to have a wife who understands who hard it is for some of us to get out and do things...good luck with your surgery!
  • Hi Peter! Wow, you sound exactly like me. I read some of the other people's issues and I feel like a whiney-baby and like I have no reason to complain. Someone told me "pain is pain no matter the cause". I'm afraid the next step for me is fusion and I will put it off as long as they will let me. I injured my lumbar spine in 2006. Worked as a medic so there was a lot of lifting, bending, being contorted in wrecked cars trying to take care of a patient. I was treated with pain meds, prednisone and muscle relaxers for years, all the while being told "You REALLY need to take care of this". (I'm a bad patient...LOL) It finally got to emergent status Jan 2011. Went to the ER and was in surgery an hour later. Had the 2nd microdiscectomy/laminectomy in June 2011. Have had 2 spinal injections under anesthesia in the last 6 weeks, one was around the nerve and the 2nd was around the facet joints. Not helping sorry so say. I've taken Norco, Lyrica, Flexeril for what seems like forever. The pain mngt doc is putting me on a pain patch with Lortab for breakthrough pain. I have permanent sciatic nerve damage because I let it go so long....yay me. The Lyrica helps with the nerve pain. Sounds like your wife is a wonderful lady. Thank GOD for awesome spouses! My hubby is the best. I had to retire my EMS career so thank God he makes a very good living. He asks how I'm doing every day. Most of the time I say "I'm fine" because I'm not a complainer and honestly, I feel like a huge burden. Oh well, it is what it is. :)
  • To everyone with a wonderful support system you are VERY lucky. Like some others who responded to this thread who live alone it is really hard sometimes. But we make it work.

    We all experience pain on differing levels and live with it every day and it sucks. But we make our lives work and we need to be proud of that. Its so nice to have this website since not many people understand. It makes us like one big family!!

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • My L4/L5 fusion on May 19, 2011 went very well. For the first five or six weeks post-op it all felt like a big mistake. After that I honestly felt better everyday. There have been a couple of "shooting pain days" since, but that never lasted for more than a day. My six month follow-up is next week and I'm hoping we see some bone growth. I have been just about 100% pain free for about two months now. I'm not taking any meds other than Tylenol...and only that on a day when I have some "healing" pain. I walk about 16 miles a week and I coach my daughter's soccer team three days a week. So there is hope if fusion is right for you.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,459
    ...so great, Peter!
    Pain free! It is wonderful when things work out!

    I'm very happy for you!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Great news! Thanks for this positive update it can give others hope also. 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
  • Peter,
    That's wonderful! So happy to hear.
    Your family sounds wonderful and you all ae truly blessed to have one aanother. Give your wife a great big hug from me, she is simply amazing and a Godsend. Not too many people like her around. God bless!
  • That's awesome Peter!! Congrats!!
  • Yay!!!!!!! I'm so happy to hear that ! Most of us are still struggling and it is good to hear this news .
  • My one year L4-L5 fusion anniversary was on 5/19/12. Everything was going really well until abut 3 weeks ago. Now I have worsening pain radiating down the back of both my legs...although not both at the same time...each leg seems to take a turn every couple of days. The toes on my left foot tingle and I have a burning sensation on my right hip. I'm also starting to have some weakness in my legs. Before the fusion the disc at L5-S1 was bulging slightly, I'm afraid it's bulging a lot now. I thought at some point I would have to have L5-S1 fused, just not this soon. I've been off all pain killers for 9 months, now I feel like I need them again. I was just starting to feel well enough to start planning physical things I used to enjoy...hiking, climbing, coaching soccer. Here I am a year later, at square 1. I'm depressed and mad.....and frustrated. ~X( F*ck!!!!! ~X(
  • Peter, so sorry to catch your post this evening updating us on what is happening for you now - - and in reading what was going so well with your L-4/5 surgery and fusion last May it has to be devastating to have those painful symptoms back.

    So you're thinking it must be L5-S1 causing the problem.

    Know youll be in touch with your surgeon and a scan most likely will be ordered for you to check things out.

    Yes, its the pits to be facing this a year later and to be feeling depressed, frustrated and angry....

    Im not a seasoned Spiney, no lumbar surgery -- yet but my disc bulges on 3 levels in Lumbar have gone from moderate to severe on 2 levels; I went to Atlanta for well-known Univ Spine Center and had epidural/nerve blocks followed up with rfa's radio frequency ablations that have saved me from going into severe pain and dysfunction. My last one was 2010 and with modifying no lifting anything and doing heavy yardwork Im doing alright - no serious pain or flare-ups.

    Not sure if this is something you are familiar and wondering if you have had the rfa's ?

    Know where your mind might be going - - surgery again...but maybe there are non-interventional treatments possibly could work, injections, ultrasound, myofacial massage therapy, etc., it may not alleviate all of the pain, but it can help - - out of all of non-interventional rfa's were awesome, pain-free until mva.

    Wish you options for what's going on and that youll have confirmation with scan of where/what it is and choices to resolve the pain...and soon !

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