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Cervical,Thoracic and Lumbar pain

EazysvixenEEazysvixen Posts: 19
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
Hi, all of this started on July 22,2008 with L5-S1 herniation. After a year of steroid injections, PT, Radio frequency ablation,I had disc removed and spine fused Nov. 20,2009. By december 2009, I complained to my NS about mid back pain,popping feeling,neck pain(complained of neck pain since summer 2009) and continued low back pain. He refused to pay attention to me, ended up going to family doc.He had full spine MRI done and switched NS docs for me. Found herniations at C5-C6, C6-C7, dessicated disc T6-T7,herniation T7-T8 with deformity of chord,dessicated disc T8-T9, as well as 3 more bulging discs at L2-L5. I have deg. disc disease,arthritis in every facet joint,spurs at numerous locations,lumbar stenosis,cysts...you name it, I think I have it and I'm only 41.
For thoracic problems I have undergone 4 rounds of steroid injections and numerous pain pills,muscle relaxers,anti-inflammatories which now line my bathroom cabinet because none of them worked and I'm not taking pills that don't work.I refused to take narcotics until last month when the pain became unbearable. Cymbalta for nerve pain(works for my depression and stress)Lortab and now morphine has been prescribed. Neither of them work either so they will join the others lining my cabinet.Have even tried vitamins,herbal supplements to no avail. I can't do PT because the more I move, the more I hurt. I can only stand up, walk for 5-10 minutes, I can't do any housework or shopping or cooking. I can't even hold my 4 month old,15 pound grandaughter.I couldn't hold her when she was born at 7 lbs. unless I lay down.I have been having pain in sternum and one of my right ribs for the last 2 weeks. My pain clinic doc has given up and sent me back to NS. Waiting for new MRI and then app. with NS on June 13th.Pain is at the point where I could use a walker just to walk around my house(because I can't stand upright, I have to slouch, bend over to alleviate some of the pain)but I don't have one, and I'm wondering how much longer before I end up in a wheelchair. The only time I am not in pain is if I'm laying flat on my back. I'm afraid of surgery since low spine fusion went so well NOT!!!!!! Not looking forward to finding out results of new MRI or thoracic surgery if needed. Have already been told they will go through my side???!!!!!Through my ribs doesn't seem like the correct approach but either way, side or back, I lose part of my rib right?
I have heard so many horror stories and I know that surgery on any part of my spine could make things worse. I honestly don't think I could handle it if it got any worse. Am already praying for a miracle or pain free paralyses. I am mother of 3, ages 22-19-9 and step mother to 4, ages 11-13-15-17(step children live with their mom), wife to a WONDERFUL man, and I feel totally useless!!!!! Have tried to stay strong but I don't know how much longer I can do this. Don't worry , already seeing shrink and I'm not selfish enough to hurt myself. Not saying I won't go insane though LOL I worked for 23 years, hard jobs, on my feet, lifting up to 100 pounds repeatedly for 10 of those years for the Walmart Distribution Center. I was an avid hiker, swimmer, kneeboarder,horse and motorcycle rider,dog walker,gardener....loved being outdoors. Now .....not so much. I dread getting out of bed in the morning,and having to watch as life goes on around me while I sit or lay on the couch because I'm in too much pain to move.I haven't worked since injury in 2008.I have been on disability for almost a year, so I at least have financial help.Hubby is a truck driver, see him a few days every 2-3 months!!! 22 & 9 yr. old daughters live with me and do pretty much everything around here.
I guess I don't really have any questions for now, just looking for understanding and maybe some positive feedback. Someone to tell me there is hope for me.Please, Dear God , let there be hope for me.



  • I wish I could say I had an answer for you, but I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. I hate to hear of other people suffering so much with this kind of pain. It sounds like you've truly tried all of the conservative methods of treatment. I hope and pray that the NS can provide you with some kind of answer. I know that you are not wanting to go the surgery route again, but unfortunately, that may be what is needed.

    I can definitely relate to the feeling of desperation. I am only 29 and have only recently been afflicted with this pain. My injury occurred 7 months ago, but every day is constant pain. I have tried it all as well...medications, PT, injections, yoga, stretching, walking, etc, etc, etc. My thoracic MRI showed that I have herniations throughout my t-spine, two of which are pressing on my spinal cord. I was just told by my NS that I will need surgery, but I am going for a second opinion before doing so. It's hard to imagine what life will be like in the coming years, if this is what it is like now. I have recently developed numbness and tingling in my legs and feet, and since last night I've had it in my right arm. I don't know what to think anymore.

    Anyway, I wish I could offer you some hope, other than to say to keep focusing on the good things you have in life, such as your husband and children. Try to take one day at a time. It's not easy to do when you wake up in pain everyday and wonder if tomorrow will be the day you won't be able to walk. I have a 10-year old, 2.5-year old, and a 15-month old, and I find it's getting harder and harder to care for them. I try to have faith that one day things will be better.
  • Howdy Rhonda,

    First off a hearty Welcome to our spiney family here at Spine Health! Sorry you have all that going on forcing you to come here. You have come to the right place though. Welcome!!

    I too am a trifecta, though not as bad in the thoracic as you (see history by clicking my name). I'm facing revision for my neck plus an additional level, upper and lower lumbar surgeries as well. Fortunately for me, since much of my pain is nerve, Lyrica is handling things fairly (85% ish) well. I have narcotics for the days mechanical pain wants attention!

    I use to think spine surgery was the 'fix all', but of course now facing a revision, plus seeing what some folks on here have experienced, I no longer believe that. I see you are similar in those beliefs. I so hope they find either a medication, some method of PT, message, trigger point etc., can give you some relief.

    You sound like a strong, dedicated and determined woman. We are here for you to talk with, vent too, cry with or even giggle when the opportunity arises. Again, Welcome aboard!!! Gentle support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thank you Kim and Aviatrix for welcoming me into the group. It amazes and saddens me to see so many people suffering from the same problems as me or worse.I wonder if any of you have come to this forum because all of your friends deserted you like mine did.I haven't seen any of them since the day I got hurt. I still have my mom and dad, but I don't like to complain to them because it makes them worry even more about me. Example- My mother found out I was prescribed morphine and freaked when my daughter left me alone for a few hours to attend my nephew's graduation.I don't know what she thought might happen, what she thought I might do??? But I try to leave them out of the loop unless it's something important like surgery dates.Same with my husband. He's on the road all the time. There isn't anything he can do for me and I hate to upset him by calling him complaining or feeling sorry for myself.He's been wonderful throughout this entire ordeal,but he wants to be my superhero and fix me....but he can't.We often fantasize that I have the healing powers of Wolverine and a doctor can give me an adamantium spine LOL I hope people know the X-Men and know who and what I'm talking about LOL
    Kim, my faith is all I have left. I have 3 churches praying for me and all my family members.I often imagine waking up one morning completely free of pain and proceeding to run out my door, banging on all the neighbor's doors, screaming that God healed me!!! Running, turning cartwheels(things I haven't been able to do in 3 years) all the way down the road LOL Wouldn't that be a sight? Especially since I sleep the way I was born!!!! Would definately have to remember to dress myself before going out screaming about my miracle!!!!
    Aviatrix...I am a strong, dedicated, determined woman. Until I met my husband in 2003, I was a single mother, 3 failed marriages. I bought my home and raised my kids with no welfare, very little child support and no help from anyone.That's partially what makes this so hard for me. I was EXTREMELY independent, never asked for help with anything before all this happened. If a tree needed to be chopped, I did it.If my car needed to be worked on , I did it . I went to work with severe kidney infections(one of which ended up having a security guard drive to me the hospital where I was admitted for 3 days),bronchitis,a broken wrist,achilles tendonitis and pregnant! I sliced my thumb open with a box cutter, needed stitches but I went to bathroom,washed it out, put ointment on it, taped it up and went back to work throwing freight and lifting 75 lbs pallets over my head.I was the epitome of independence,worked as hard or harder than any man. LOL Beyonce Knowles had nothing on me LOL (Independent Women) Now I'm lucky if I can walk to the mailbox or take my dog outside.I tried sweeping my kitchen 3 days ago and ended up in tears for 2 hours from the pain and just feeling so...I hate using the word... useless. I'm still here,i'm alive and still loving and caring just as much as I did before. But this weak, sad person I am now, isn't me. I want ME back so badly.
    I'm sorry for complaining, I know you must feel the same way.It's great knowing that I'm not alone, there are others that I can talk to that can relate and understand and give me hope.Surely there is a miracle out there for all of us. You are all in my prayers.I wish you all the best of luck with any future treatments, surgeries. Please keep me posted. I will post results from new MRI when I get them and see what my NS says on 13th.
  • Rhonda,

    I know at times we all feel useless, but that isn't really a word we should let creep into our minds. Our bodies are broken and we have to work with what we've got.

    Both my husband and I were both single until we were almost 30, and very independent, so I get where you're at. I use to be a competitive gymnast, jet and helicopter pilot and law enforcement officer as well as licensed as an electrician and airframe and powerplant mechanic - so the spiney stuff took a lot out of me as well. I did have to chuckle when you talked about cutting your thumb. I sliced the top of my hand from the first knuckle back to the wrist. I too needed stitches, but instead, bathroom, washed it out good, peroxide and then super glue! (G) Oh, and you can barely see the scar!

    Due to my lumbar I've had to walk with a cane for almost a year, and at times that isn't working too well for me either. The hubby is trying to push me to get a wheelchair or a 'hover-round'...grrr... Like with the pre-cane days, pride is in the way there. Standing more than a few minutes, or sitting "proper posture" is killer.

    I guess with all that I'm trying to say cut yourself a break. It isn't "your fault" that all this is going on. It's not like we wished for it, but stuff happens. I still prefer this to being 6 feet under as they say. :)

    I've been going through this since 1985, but the chronic side since 2002. I hate it, but I have to work with what I have. Like you agreed and said, 'dedicated, determined and independent. That is still there, spine issues or not! Remember you are still you. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • My ex is a genius with anything mechanical.He builds drag cars from the ground up. I already have a deal with him that if I end up in a hover round or electric wheel chair , he's gonna soup it up for me :-). I'll have the only 60 mph wheelchair around LOL YEEHAWWWWWW!!!!!!
  • WOW you did all that? I wanna be you when I grow up :-)That is so awesome!!!! A pilot,an officer, an electrician and powerplant mechanic!!! You are my idol!!!! See it's women like you that inspired me to be so independent. My mom worked her whole life too. Nothing as exciting as you , but she taught me to be independent, daddy taught me to be tough.Navy man with 3 girls. He had to teach us to be tough :-)I got in fights in school with guys, not girls LOL Girls weren't stupid enough to mess with me. LOL

    You are correct, I need to buck up and move on. I do try every day, I try. Even just simple things around the house are getting harder,it's depressing but I try to stay positive. Each night I close my eyes and thank God for what I have, for all the blessings He's bestowed on me and my family.In my heart I know everything is going to be ok no matter what happens, it's my head that keeps me down.So many bad thoughts cloud my mind and I need to stop listening to them!!!! WOW I just read what I typed on that last sentence and it sounds a little psychotic. Kinda like , it's ok if you talk to yourself , just don't start answering LOL

    Anyway thank you for the pep talk :-)
  • My growing up was the opposite. Basically we grew up poor, and basically were told were where never going to go anywhere, and live with it. Something in me decided "nope, I can't stand this, and I will get out of here, period!!" Forgot one (and it helps as I've done Adjunct Instructor in colleges for extra scratch when needed) a certificated flight/ground instructor for airplanes, gliders and helicopters to include instrument, night vision goggles and tactical. (G) In Florida, my FAA license carries similar weight for teaching credentials in accredited courses.

    I get bored easily! I guess with me I've always been a multi-tasker, and too saw that folks that focused on *one* career were pretty limited. I've had a few lawyers contact me of late to be a consultant for accident investigations (aircraft) to include training and experiences of those involved. If they want to bring me to the court house (I won't drive there - too far for me time wise) I'm game. :) I'm retired, so I'm comfy, but being involved is okay with me too!

    I am so happy to see your parents pushed you to be all you can be. I was jealous of those kinds of parents growing up, but found given the right internal drive and personality, either type can work!

    Nodding too, NONE of us are useless, we are just "re-enabled" due to our spines. Not like what we would want of course. I am almost 50, and was going to retire at 50 (in federal law enforcement or fire fighting you can retire at 50), so the spine stuff bumped me a year and a half. I've been dealing with this stuff since the mid 80's when I crashed, and exasperated my medical strain/effects to my spine over the years. I don't think I would do anything different. Please keep in mind, YOU are YOU regardless of the medical or spine issues. If you are open with your hubby and family, hopefully they will get it.

    Another thing you might want to do - to add to the day to day understanding (good days, bad days etc.) search on here for "Letter to Normals", and "The Spoon story"... Though not spine issues, it shows a normal person that there are days we just can do things, other days we are almost (cough) normal. I hope these references help you on the home front. :) *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hehehe...Nodding, we figure if it is a gas engine (do they even have gas engines for these? I thought they were all electric?) we can override the governor and change out the fuel lines and fuel pump for more capacity!! If electric, replace the capacitors and inverters for higher voltage to allow more umf! (G) Some pretty crystal for bling too, don't forget that part! Lol!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • He put a gas engine on a bicycle so I'm sure he could put one on a wheel chair or hover-round LOL
  • Oh my Gosh I just read both stories you mentioned and was moved to tears. I posted both on my Facebook page to let my friends and family read them. I have 2 sisters, one older, one younger. Older one always makes statements like " You look like you're getting around better today" or " I think if you just try more , exercise more you could get better" Please understand that she is 5'11" and weighs 115 lbs. She doesn't understand that I have to take pain pills before I can even get out bed or that exercise is not an option for me. I went from being a non-stop, balls to the wall, constantly on the go, 36 hours a week aerobics, weight lifting,sauna ( it was 110 in the back of those trailers)and cardio all in one job,weighing 160 all muscle at 5'8" ( I am the runt of the family) ,having bigger muscles than some men, to .....NOTHING!!! I was bedridden for 2 months when all this started and gained 40 pounds almost immediately. I eat one meal a day, which according to doc is making my body go into starvation mode and store fat!BUT I'm not hungry. I can't force myself to eat 3 meals when it makes me feel sick to my stomach to do so. I have always had a slow metabolism, so my job was the perfect way for me to exercise.Screw Body by Jake, or me , I had Body by Walmart DC. LOL I weigh 236 pounds now. I have tried to lose weight. I did lose 17 pounds at one point by eating cottage cheese and peaches and crackers for breakfast and forcing myself to eat chicken and veggies for dinner even though I wasn't hungry. My blood pressure sky rocketed and the nurse at my NS threatened to whoop me if I didn't get blood work done for cholesterol. I have never had any of that done and I'm 41 so I guess he's right. I do need to get it done.
    Younger sister just ignores me. She doesn't ask me any questions, which I appreciate,but then she runs her mouth to others saying I'm going to become a drug addict and I need to lose weight.Understand that my "little" sister is 6'3" and weighs 125 pounds LOL I let my youngest daughter spend the weekend with her and somehow her husband ended up thinking that I just GAVE my daughter to them!! LOL As if that would happen even if I were paralyzed!!! NOONE gets my kids. Not even my ex's LOL
    As I said in previous post, my parents just worry about me a lot. They at least understand and don't try to push me to do more when they know I can't.
    My husband, I had to have the uncomfortable talk with him letting him know that I still desire him, love him , need him, but the thought of being intimate is unbearable. He's a truck driver and I rarely get to see him. Every time he was able to come home, he would try, and sometimes I would just give in even though I suffered for it. I had to explain it to him, I just can't do "it" anymore.It hurts too much, causes me added pain afterwards.It was a blow to his ego and self esteem but I can't help it.I am sorry I can't give him what he wants but I do still love him and I know, without a doubt that he loves me.The one hurtful statement he made to me was " It just makes me angry that all your ex's, the people who treated you badly, got the best part of you, and I get stuck with..." I finished his statement,"The broken down, sick, in constant pain, unable to have sex me!!!???" I have told him numerous times I would not blame him, or hold it against him if he cheated. I know he will NEVER do that, but I wouldn't blame him if he did.My husband has a heart of gold. He didn't mean to hurt me, the words came out before he thought about what he was saying.He will be with me till the day I die and I know that he would give his life for me, do anything to be able to take away my pain.He is my soul mate:-)
    It is hard for them to understand what I go through. My daughters are the only ones who see it on a daily basis and they don't ask more of me than I can give.
    I am greatful for my family, wish my friends hadn't disappeared though/ Thanks again for sharing those stories with me. I do appreciate it :-)
  • I read your story and let me say Oh My! Your all over pain is very much relatable! I had the same thing and was in very severe pain like you. Ended up not being able to do very much at all because of the extensive pain. I was very active and did most of everything around my house.Not because i had to but just because i loved doing it.It sounds like you have a lot of nerve pain. I was just wondering if they have even tried you on any kind of nerve pain medication. I suffered for four years before they found a medication that worked for me. It helped me get to the operation. I know that you don't want to have another surgery because of the results of the first one but just remember its a different doctor and the results could be different.It might make you much better and give you some of your life back again.I feel the same way. I may be looking at a second surgery but i have to tell myself that it might make things better again.If you have spinal cord problems no conservative measures will help with that unfortunately. I have cord compression in my neck that caused the pain,weakness,numbness all over the place and once i had my surgery everything felt so much better. There is always hope so don't give up and spend a lot of time on hear because these people really help you through the tough times. ;))
  • Thank you so much for your post Tammy.I appreciate any and all responses.I just told my daughter that I am so glad I joined this site because all of you are so helpful and understanding.To answer your question about nerve pain meds, I have so many meds I don't remember what they are for anymore. So here's a list LOL On top of numerous steroid packs and injections,facet blocks and 2 radio frequency ablations I have taken these pills-Zanaflex,skelaxin,Topamax,flexeril,Baclofen,Soma,
    Neurontin,Naproxen and Mobic I know are anti-inflammatories, and of course there are the Lortab and Morphine pain pills,Cymbalta which is supposed to work on nerve pain but doesn't,although it does help with depression and stress.Currently the only one I take is Cymbalta because the others are useless for me. Nothing has worked.The most I got out of all of those meds was dry mouth, nausea, Neurontin caused me to feel like I had the flu,my entire body ached, and of course dizziness and basicly I passed out from being in la la land for 4 hours every time I took most of those pills. I have a 9 yr. old and even though I can't do anything like play with her, I still wanted to be present both in body and mind. So I refuse to take pills that put me in the DERRRR state of mind, numbing my brain and making me feel like I need to have someone with a spit rag to wipe the drool from my mouth because I'm so out of it. LOL Her father was an alcoholic for 3 years,she's seen enough of that!!!! Needless to say, all those meds have become liners for my bathroom cabinet. Surgery,of course is a last resort. I know I am getting to that point and it does scare me, but it's become a fact of life for me.My 88 year old grandmother gets around better than I do.The only thing stopping her is a corn on her foot LOL God Bless my Grandmaw!!!!! We walked into a restaurant together on mom's day and she looked at me and said " It's like the crippled leading the crippled" I had to laugh cause we were both hobbling arm in arm behind everyone else LOL I do at least find humor in some of the things that happen to me on a daily basis. ;-)I realized today that having a 150 pound rottweiler comes in handy when you can't get up from a kneeling postion on the floor LOL He's my baby!!!! He stands there and lets me push on him to get up. He guards me, goes everywhere I go, even to the bathroom. He even knows when I'm depressed and jumps on my bed when I'm crying and cuddles with me.
    I'm sitting here looking at 10 bottles of meds, all useless, and I have to wonder if there actually is a medicine out there that will work for my pain.
    Still praying for a miracle :-)
  • Rhonda,

    Glad you were able to find them. It was on this site that I found out about those letters. My hubby had always been very supportive, but the letters actually helped him to be able to explain why I could or couldn't do 'said activity' one day. The other thing that helped me (my family is really my husbands side - I don't talk with my side) is we had a family reunion, and I was amazed how many "spineys" are in this family! It was almost funny to see it...

    My sister (3 years my senior) has always been her mothers daughter - self centered, and only *she* is important. The only way we talk is if I call her. After my fifth nerve surgery, and not even an email to see how I faired, I gave up all contact. I have no time for someone (cough - family) who can't even take time to see how your sister is after spine surgery. Blah! (G)

    Maybe when your sisters read those letters, their attitudes will come around. As for friends, I've found that since *I* am the one that knows what days I can do things or not, I keep up with them with the knowledge "lunch, dinner" etc., offers will be short notice. My true friends have no problem with that, and understand. :)

    Please let us know if it gets better with your hubby. As for intimacy, you may have to experiment to see what can work for both of you. Some have described "side by side" so there isn't much stress on your spine; doggy style - again less stress on your spine, and too then if you have a pool...(G) You get the idea. I can tell you are keeping your "never give up" attitude. That is a great support stilt for strength. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I am so sorry you haven't been able to talk to your family about all this. When you need them the most they aren't there for you.It's sad when family members can't or won't deal with a disability. My own son does that to me. Only time he calls me is when he needs something.My first surgery, after spending 4 days in the hospital, he expected me to stop by his new apartment ,walk up a flight of stairs to see how good he and his girlfriend are living.But in my son's defense, he's one of those that can't deal with seeing me in pain.He was present at the birth of his little sister and thought I was dying!!He was also there at my surgery, where upon waking the first thing I did was cough, can you say OOOOUUUUUCCCCHHHHHHH!!!! I screamed and cried while a nurse shoved a pillow at me telling me to hug it LOL My son and his friend(my adopted son) ran out of the room cause they couldn't handle it. Maybe some of your family members just can't handle it either?? I'm glad you have your husband and his family though. This is tough enough without having to go through it alone.I barely know you and I love and respect you :-) You have taken time out of your life to help me deal with my problems which is more than most of my real life friends have ever done. I hope one day we can celebrate a miracle together whether in this life or the next. Who knows?

    Oh ,by the way , I wish I had a pool wink wink.LOL My hubby and I will figure it out one day.At least I know he won't leave me between now and then!!!!

    All the best to you my friend :-) Praying for a miracle for all of us!!! :-)
  • Rhonda,

    I just had a dysfunctional family such that it was (is) a whole lot more healthy to stay away from vs trying to make them learn what family and support means. I'm glad I grew up and succeeded in spite of them. They haven't changed either in almost 50 years... (G)

    Your son is funny. I don't know what it is about some men with needles or better yet, blood! Me? I'm great with blood and gore if it isn't mine! (G)

    I love my hubbies (mine of course too) family. I won't call them "The Walton's" or "The Cleavers", but I will say the love and care they share with either other is deep and genuine. My brother (4.3 years my senior) reacted much like I did except he is living a nomadic life. If anyone finds him, the next day he is gone. He took the crappy upbringing harder than I did I guess. He's a spiney (broke his neck as a young teen), so I do think of him and how he's fairing. The rest, nope not in my mental picture anymore.

    I'm very happy that we are able to share and help each other. I've met a few from this site, and others I talk voice. A spiney is just another friend you haven't met as far as I can see it! *HUGZ*

    Our friends mean well in the beginning, but when they find they can't help (physically), or fix us, they back off as most normal people are uncomfortable around people who are disabled, chronically ill or worse. In some ways I can't blame them. Family we don't chose, but friends we do, as do they. I gladly and happily accepted your buddy request.

    Bowing in respect ...very happy to be able to call you a friend as well Rhonda!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • MRI Cervical and Tspine 5/25/2011
    Mild dorsal thoracic kyphosis

    Moderate degen changes involve the intervertebral disc spaces between T6-T7 and T9-T10 with disc space narrowing, right lateral bridging osteophytes, and disc dessication. Broad-based moderate size central disc herniation T7-T8 which deforms the anterior cord.

    Advanced DDD with posterior vertebral osteophytes and concentric disc herniation C5-C6 with mild deformity of left anterior cord. Advanced DDD C4-C5 and C6-C7
    Paravertebral cyst on T5 vertebral body

    Broad-based central disc herniation T7-T8 with deformity of the anterior cord.
    Multilevel DDD T6-T7 through T9-T10
    Moderate cervical spondylosis with concentric disc herniation C5-C6 with mild deformity of the cord
    Paravertebral cyst right anterolateral margin of the T5 vertebral body

    All I know is I left the hospital in tears, barely able to walk because I was in so much pain from laying on the MRI machine.My hips,low back and mid-back were killing me.
    MRI results don't look much different from MRI 3/26/10 but I am having WAY MORE PAIN and I don't understand it.NS visit June 13th. Will have to wait and see what he says, which is driving me crazy cause I wanna know NOW!!!!LOL
  • Rhonda,

    So sorry you were hurting so bad after the MRI. I don't do to good anymore when they try to leave me laying flat - pillows under my legs help, but still sore when all said and done.

    Maybe the increase in pain goes to the length of time you've had the hernias, spurs and such? I know the way my body seems to react to various sized interruptions in my spine, so I know I would be hurting with your results. Just over 2 weeks to your appointment. Hang in there, we're with ya! Gentle *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Have you ever seen your MRI scans? I've looked at them and researched them so much I pretty much know what I'm looking at. Some things still confuse me and I will be asking my doc about them when I go. But if you have a facebook page, I posted a few pics of the scan on mine.There is NOTHING about my scan that looks normal from neck to tailbone LOL If you're interested, look me up on facebook by my email Eazysvixen@yahoo.com.
  • On all my imaging tests I leave with the (use to be films) CD's in hand. Like you, I've gotten pretty good at knowing what's going on in there.

    Unfortunately not on Face Book. Due to my prior career, rather picky what sites I log into or join. I just use PhotoBucket for storing my pictures, images etc. It's free too of course. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi all...
    I am new here. Not new to back pain. I am so sorry to read your stories. My faith too has been my hope.

    I was rear-ended Feb 2010. I have injuries cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. Like you all, I've done ALL conservative therapies as well as injections. Cervical and lumbar are more quiet now but still flare.

    I wanted to say that I traveled to NYC Med Ctr for the thoracic discectomy so that the docs WOULDN'T have to come through the side or front and break ribs, deflate lungs, and put me in ICU. It was endoscopic through the back (tho the incision looks lgr than I expected). I am 4 mos post-op now. The disc was pressing the cord causing nausea and rib pain. The nausea is gone, but I must say that the rib pain (while it does not completely wrap around in a band all the way around) is worse. I came on here looking for advice about radio frequency ablation. I've tried numerous meds since the surgery. I can't find any to work. I am glad I did the surgery to get rid of the nausea. It was needful, but it did NOT FIX me. I've read that this procedure burns the nerves and that thoracic nerves are the most successful. Is that true for anyone out here??? Did it bring relief? I've also read that the pain from the procedure can last up to 3 weeks. Is that true? Does it numb the nerve for the 6mos?

    54 yr old female RN (pediatric - love my job but working limited hrs d/t back injuries) I was active and also a swimmer. Sherry
  • Hi Sherry,and welcome to the site. I'm sorry to see yet another human being having to suffer through this. I wouldn't wish this pain on my worst enemy.

    I had the radio frequency ablation on my lumbar and neck. I experienced added pain for about a week but unfortunately it did not work on either one of them. I was told I would be pain free for up to one year depending upon how fast I heal. THEY LIED!! I never got any benefit from it, so I must heal REALLY QUICKLY! LOL Not even a decrease in my pain. They haven't performed one on my thoracic because the other two didn't work, and my pain doc said they never have good results from thoracic RFA's or steroid injections.Of course that didn't stop them from doing the steroid injections last month when I injured myself worse by picking up a 2 gallon bucket of water(Big DUH on my part!) and something popped inside my back.I have had rib, sternum and severe stabbing pains under shoulder blades ever since. Needless to say I haven't been able to do much since then,at least the pain doc tried. I'm just a hard case I guess.I seem to be an enigma to them LOL They weren't able to decrease or stop any of my pain so I am now waiting for appointment with NS to see what steps to take next.
    I do want to add that I live in Greeneville, Tennessee and I'm beginning to wonder if any of our doctor's know what they are doing. LOL I am on my 3rd NS and I seem to keep getting worse.I pray you fare better than me in this endeavor for a cure.
    Will keep you in my prayers :-) Still waiting on a miracle :-)
  • The only reason I post them on Facebook is to TRY to show my family members WHY I hurt all the time. Still trying to get some of them to understand. Older sis told me yesterday, " You need to make changes in your diet!! There has to be a way to reverse the DDD!" LOL I just took a deep breath and tried to explain it to her again. SO, I posted pics of my spine with pics of "Normal" MRI scans so they can compare them. She still won't get it LOL I know she's trying to help, to give me hope,but WOW it's irritating sometimes.My father told me unless they can GUARANTEE surgery will work, He wouldn't let them do it.This is the man who was going to cash in his 401k and buy a smaller house with no stairs for me till I told him NO!!! He's so worried about me.
    I see it in his eyes every time he looks at me and I just wanna crawl up into his lap like I did when I was little and hug him.My mom is the only one who just listens. She doesn't give advice cause she doesn't know what to say or do besides pray her big, wonderful heart out. She was amazed with the scan and was glad to finally see what's wrong with me LOL

    ANYWAY,You may be right about the added pain(from other post) It has been 3 years since all this started and they haven't really done anything besides shots and pills. Stuff has to be getting more irritated by the minute in there LOL

    Still praying for a miracle :-)
  • Dear (vixen...I forgot if you gave your first name...but I am glad to see your pic - beautiful)...

    We can look GREAT on the outside and hurt like crazy on the inside! My son is getting married Aug 27 in Springfield MO (we live in NY) and I am giving his fiancee a shower next weekend. Also we are giving them a party here in NY Dec 3 in addition to the rehearsal. SO... I have much. I am working in the midst of this but at reduced hrs with limitations.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with me. Like you, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy either. (Jesus wouldn't be pleased with that either). You've been at it a bit longer. Mine stemmed from an accident Feb '10.

    I read that thoracic RFA is the MOST successful. Interesting. I read that cervical and lumbar RFA do poorly and can have motor malfunction afterwards. Thoracic dermatomes are mostly sensory. I spoke with my surgeon from NYU Med Ctr this am (after calling and emailing for 2 wks I had 5 mins of his time). He says my nerves may be damaged and not respond to RFA but they may and it could break the pain cycle. I fall into the 10% of his surgery patients needing this after surgery. It was the only thing he offered. Said pain docs could offer some kind of spinal stimulators. I've not read too much about them.

    I think he is a good surgeon. I talked with one of his patients before my surgery who sounds so much like you! If you send me a private message with your email address I could pass it onto Lori. She was so nice and has had many discs just herniate for no reason. She has had several surgeries with this surgeon. She was very willing to talk to me. She is on FB too. So you could message from there too. She understands what you are going through... That is a big part of this isn't it?

    I'm sorry you are misunderstood. I am too. I have fibromyalgia on top of it all. My PCP told me not to have the surgery because he's never seen any fibro pt get ANY help from back surgery. I did get rid of the year long nausea. For even that I am grateful.

    I have a husband and five (mostly grown kids, 26, 24, boys and 21, 19, ~16 girls) to take care of. They ALL live with me in our small 4 level house! The college loan payback is the reason. All have jobs but the 16 yr old.

    I'm not sure what I'll do with this pain issue. I am dealing with emotional issues and marital ones too. It has just been hard. Read Psalm 142 today. It encouraged me so much. I journal A LOT. That helps me to vent without bleeding all over everyone. If you send me a private message with your full name, we could connect
    through FB. That is what Lori and I have done. It will be great to have another friend who "gets it." ha ha.

    Take care...
  • Nodding, I can understand (and see) your frustration especially with your sister. What I've found helpful is I send those family that I want to understand "links" via email to look at. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words is so true, or (lol) a web page!

    I think sometimes that part of the problem is everyone is a 'back pain expert', and don't realize that back pain isn't always the standard muscle "ouch I overdid" back pain. So with that, they can't grasp it.

    I guess you'll never have surgery per your dad! Just playing with ya a little bit. Unfortunately, no surgery for any body part can be guaranteed as you know. But I do understand the wonderful heart your dad is showing for you, same for your mom. They definitely sound like "keepers" to me!!

    As for pain levels and such. I am more and more of the belief that even if nothing changes, the longer the period of time it maintains, the pain increases. Or I don't know, maybe I get so irritated at it, the mood makes it hurt more? Rainy season is starting down here, so now every time the afternoon thunderstorms get cooking, it makes me cook! (G)

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

  • Have you read Psalm 6 verse 2? :-)

  • Yes I have! I still hold out for a miracle and from the sounds of it you are too! I am not sure how to attach a picture or a summary at the end of a post. It seems ridiculous to keep rewriting it. I have too many to list.

    Surgery only on the worst one so far and after that I don't know that I'd do any more anyway. ha ha. I am very grateful for the nausea ending (caused by the cord compression). I wish the rib pain would lessen and am still looking for ways for that to happen.

    I am considering thoracic T9-T10 RFA (radio freq ablation). I am out here looking for anyone who had success with that on a thoracic level. I've read it is not too successful for cervical or lumbar levels (too much motor involvement). I am wondering if we only hear about the failed ones is because those folks are still out here looking and the ones that are successful are getting on with life! Like we would LIKE to be doing!

    For now...I'll wait. Sherry

  • Sherry,
    From what I remember (!) click on 'my account' at the top of the page, and then click on edit. Then you can type in details that will be shown on all your posts.

    Hope that you have a comfortable day.

    >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • This has become part of my nightly prayer :-)
  • I too have these problems...I have a Spinal cord stimulator in my right hip that sends stem to both my legs and lower back (lumbar L3 and down)...I fell in December and after waiting to see if all my pain would go away (muscle spasm or something)they didn't go away, so when I went for my every three month med refill at CC pain mangmt, I told them what had happened and the pain is umberable. I too, can't cook anymore without holding onto the sink, wearing a back brace and a couple pain meds.. I can't clean, and I too now am using a cane at work to get around. Dr. Mekhail sent me for a CATSCAN (thoracic) due to the pain wrapped around my right ribs... I also went into the clinic's mychart and ordered the cd xrays and report and they sent it to my home. It says I have C5-6 spinal cord impression and T7-8, 8-9,disk herniation with cord problems and 10-11-12 buldged disc's. Now... I've getting pain in upper thighs going to my knees and my left baby toes are going numb. I feel like a game of dominos.. and my discs are falling and damaging each other everyday. Now the pain in my r.rib has gone to my abdomen and now wrapping to the left rib too. The pain in my upper back is unbearable by noon, and now I have this pain in the small of my back and it has a little lump to the right of it. Don't know what disc that is, He only did a CT on Cerv and Thoracic. I've had one ESI and going today for my second. The first only lasted 4 days and that was only about 40-50% (two of the days) and 20% the other two.This really _ucks!.. I thought my pain days were over when had my l5 replaced with artificial disc. All my thoracic discs have spurs too. I appreciated this forum to let me vent. No body knows how much pain your in unless you experience it for yourself.
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