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Gotta see OS, and not for a checkup - scared

Cath111CCath111 Posts: 3,702
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi fellow spineys.

I haven't posted about my pain lately, except in answer to others' posts, but I think I've put myself in a bad spot and need to vent and also need some fellow spiney support, I suppose.

Last Friday, I unloaded half a pallet of paper - stupidly enough, without my back brace and generally a box at a time. Those suckers are very heavy.

I was fine, although felt a tad stiff on Friday night and Saturday morning, then I took Wally for a walk about 9:30am Saturday and when I got back I started having very sharp pains in my lower back.

It's progressed throughout the last four days to where it's radiating out to my upper back, around both sides of my abdomen and down my butt and legs. The central pain location is where I imagine my bottom right screw to my rod would be. Sometimes it even hurts to breath. The pain can be both sharp, biting and is always aching - and one slight move can really set of a major pain shoot. When I walk, it hurts most to walk on my right leg because of the pain it causes my back, so I'm limping.

It's started affecting my sleep and by the end of the day yesterday I felt so bad that I actually told my husband I was considering going to the ER last night for pain - it was truly a 9 on the 1-10 scale. I've never considered that before, never. I've also started taking some of the 5mg percs that I was given right after surgery, another thing I haven't done before.

I haven't had pain like this since right after my surgery and I'm so scared that I've broken something. It just feels so intense and isn't subsiding - I'm scared to walk too much, to lift too much, to do anything for fear of making it worse.

This is of course a problem because this is my new job that I need and really do love and I don't want it compromised. Oh, man...

Anyway, sorry to ramble on, I just haven't needed you guys like this in a long time. I do have an appointment with my OS on Friday morning - also amazing because his PA is out for two weeks and he's booked solid until the end of May, except that one appointment that happened to be open on Friday.

Thanks for listening. And if any of you have felt this and can relate, and/or can give me any ideas, I'd appreciate it. Stretching doesn't do it - just my heating pad and resting in my beloved recliner (of course with my blanky).



  • Sorry to hear. You may want to alternate heat and ice since you can't take anti-inflammatories because of your fusion, maybe muscle relaxers if you have them? it's good you have some pain meds but if your pain is 9 I would go to a Dr. before Friday as they may want to x-ray or MRI it like call your Primary Dr or go to ER. If my pain level goes above 7 I'm almost out the door for the ER but usually a hot bath seems to help me but I haven't had fusion. I hope you're able to take some time off work. 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
  • Cathie,

    I have to agree with Charry, a '9' and I am at the ER. Hopefully you didn't do any damage, but you need to get this checked 'yesterday' as they say. It could be another level, a torn muscle (though doubtful if you have radicular pain down your legs), movement of the hardware, etc.

    Please let us know how it goes, and if it keeps at such high levels on the pain and issues in your legs, I would try to push to be seen sooner. Sorry this is going on. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.

  • I am so sorry that you are suffering to much with pain. It sounds like it will be just as well to see a doctor as soon as you can.

    I can appreciate your anxiety as to what has happened to cause all this pain. Hopefully nothing is damaged and this is just a flare. It is so easy to over do it when you are getting back to normal life. I think us spineys probably need to be very careful for the rest of our lives.

    Do let us know how you get on at your appointment.
    We'll be here, waiting to hear how you are doing.

    >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I'm so sorry you're having such terrible pain Cathie. I hope that the Percocet gives you some relief. I agree with the others that you may need to see someone before Friday if it continues to be so bad. I know how scared you must be and I understand it. I know the worry about your new job adds a lot of anxiety to the pain!

    Please let us know how you are and do take it easy. I hope you can take off work a few days if at all possible. When I saw your post I was really glad I checked in on SH today. I will be thinking of you and praying for you my friend.

  • So very sorry to hear about your new onset of severe pain. 9's are bad, I know too well. An earlier reply asked if you had any muscle relaxers, soma, flexiril, or even valium, do you? What you are describing includes muscle spasms & for me, when I get stuck in severe spasm, no pain medication can really fully address the pain. For me soma helps. Like Charry said, heat & ice, a bit basic, but it does help, I've been on & off ice all day myself. It almost sounds like maybe a pinched nerve, as well?? With the radicular symptoms. Just a thought.

    I know you said you hadn't been taking the percs, but right now you should, and take as prescribed, try & stay on top of the pain, that may help reduce and/or control your pain levels.

    Cathie, if your levels don't come down that ER visit might be a good idea, , none of us enjoy an ER visit, but at times it is necessary. At least they can take X-rays on the spot to determine the integrity of your hardware. As you said, its been several days and the pain isn't getting better. I'm glad you have an appointment for Friday, but that's still a couple of days out....

    Continue to rest and I hope you are able to get some relief and sleep tonight. Try not to stress about the new job (I know, easier said, than done - but try) at the moment, your health & well-being is your priority.

    Please keep us posted!

  • Cath,

    That just bites your having huge pain spikes following your return to work. Like the others if you have some muscle relaxers it might be worth a try. Sometimes following surgery a ESI can go a long way and get the inflammation under control. Hopefully the doctor will have a answer on Friday, keep us posted. I do hope you get the pain under control.
  • is to get horizontal, be it bed/recliner to take the pressure off your spine and take the painkillers

    obviously go to the er if you feel it necessary

    good youve got that OS app soon, now hopefully this will resolve, you no why it happened, you cant be lifting this sorta weight, easier said than done i no, have done it myself over the last 22 years with my lumbar

    ive been at the stage where i literally had to lay on the floor coz i could not get up, but after days/weeks laying down it got back to where i could walk again

    n, but in 22 years ive had to be so very carefull re lifting

    any sort of weight

    lets hope it settles down, and really lay down, get that pressure off and give your spine a chance to improve


  • Ok, my pain is down to a 5-7 tonight, depending on my movement or relaxation, etc.

    I do have muscle relaxants, valium, and they help. My hubby also scolded me that I'm still not taking my max meds because I've been trying to cut down. He said this isn't the time to worry about doses.

    Let me say that he was right - I took my max after his schpeil and felt pretty good, then did too much - cleaned the kitchen, cooked dinner, fed the pooch, and I'm an official idiot. Do I get SH points for that?

    When do I learn? Why must I be such a Type A? Debbie, you come to mind for me here. How do you settle yourself down when you feel good and how do you forget so quickly how bad it's been so recently? Man, do I need to make a sign for myself for the fridge reminding me that I have spine problems that can debilitate me? OMG, wtf is up with that???

    But I've now been relaxing a bit, doing some heat and am getting myself really tired for sleep. I can't take time off of work right now, but it's been slow, so not much physical activity.

    Oh, and Charry, I'm taking daily Mexoxicam, a strong anti-inflam for my cervical issues, so that hasn't been helping or an apparent issue for my doc.

    I just need to wait until Friday. I believe that if I take what's prescribed and keep going until Friday, I'll do ok and am anxious to hear what my surgeon says. My hubby would love to say I have a screw loose (dingdong), but hopefully it's an easy fix.

    My guess is PT and some restrictions, which I believe that my boss will work with. Even though lifting is part of my job, she told me that she hired me for my brains (90%) not my braun (10%), so I think if restrictions are warranted, she'll be ok with that.

    If it's something more serious, which my symtoms lead me to think of, then I'll deal with that when and if it comes.

    Thank you all for the support. I know you all understand this type of situation and appreciate your input.

    Why do I keep apologizing to my husband for my physical problems anyway?

    Ack. Thanks again my friends.
  • Cathie,

    My husband gets after me as well for not taking what I am allowed for pain control - I under medicate big time, It drives him nuts!! I know where he is coming from, but I still am stubborn.

    I'm so happy to hear your pain levels are coming down. Hopefully that trend will continue. Will we learn? Nope, we don't! We feel good, and then try to get things done that have been driving us nuts, then we overdue and zing, the pain machine kicks in.

    Make sure you fully brief your doctor when you see him. This way if there is something going on, he will know to check. Wishing you continued pain decreases!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Today my pain levels are back up from having done too much last night after I took more meds then cleaned the kitchen and cooked dinner.

    I'll start my pain diary tonight to take to my doc on Friday and hope for the best. I'd try to get in earlier, but it's really booked solid an I only want to see him - he knows me best and has done both of my surgeries.

    Today's gonna be a toughy...but like we all do, I'll plug through, take my meds and tonight I'm going to rest no matter what!!!!

    Dang, I hate being a spiney on days like this.

    Thanks again for all your thoughts. There's nothing like a spiney to understand our ups and downs. Dang.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    I am sorry to hear about your current setback.
    Things like this can be so frustrating, but as you know we find ways to come through it all
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Yes, it's very frustrating and I'd even take off work today but have some jobs coming in that I need to take care of. I'll just hobble along and do my best. Luckily I only work 7.5 hour days (but paid for 8), so it should go fast.

    I also know that sometimes as we move and keep moving, the pain subsides until we sit and rest again so hopefully that will be the case today. Whatever the case, I'll get through it, like you said.

    It just so blows when I feel I've been improving so much in the past couple of months - maybe that's the problem. We tend to think we're "normals" again and forget that we can really set off a flare by doing too much, it's a common problem among spineys. I know you know that, as many if not all of us do.


  • I see my surgeon today and I've got my pain diary for the last six days written down so I don't miss anything. I want to make sure he knows exactly how much pain I've been in, what the triggers seem to be and how even with rest, meds and heating pad, I'm in moderate pain.

    So, we'll see what he says. Luckily he has x-ray onsite so I'm sure that'll be the first order of business and hope he can see what's happening from that. My biggest worry (other than having something seriously wrong, of course) is that he's very booked up and won't take the time with me that's needed. But he and his PA have always been very good at spending the necessary time, so hopefully this time won't be any different. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

    I'll post back to let you know what's happening. Thanks for all your well wishes and suggestions. Talk soon.

  • Hope all went well at your doctor visit and that you got quality time & some answers.


  • Hope that the surgeon had some answers for you and a plan to help without anything too drastic!

    Take care >:D< >:D< >:D<
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