I have had back problems for about 16 years now and am seeing a doctor that works with my wife. I like him and truly think he is a good doctor.
I have disc protrusions from T-3 through T-7, 4 levels of problems. I might not have written that right, but it is 4 seperate disc issues with both spinal cord and nerve impingement issues. My doctor said that it is very rare to have these problems in the regions they are located, and that surgery really wouldnt be something I would want to pursue.
I am currently taking Lortab 7.5/500 6 times daily. I also have Soma but rarely take it as it really doesnt help unless am having muscle spasms. The pain is really god aweful to the point where I cant sit still and am constantly trying to stretch my spine or pop it. Sometimes my legs will give out while walking, my arms go numb if the arent being used in a very short period of time, and my back will lock up if I do something very simple but in the wrong way. Something as easy as closing a door can cause me to lock up if its done just right. Thats just an example of how easily it can happen.
I took physical therapy, went to chiropractor weekly, used a tens unit, and took multiple different types of medication about 16 years ago and continued to do so for about 3 years before my insurance ran out. Then for about 12 years I would just occasionally get medication to deal with the pain as I didnt have insurance. But, about a year ago I had to say enough with trying to deal with it without medication when I leterally couldnt function because of the pain. I think a small fender bender made my old injuries a lot worse than they previously were. Thats when I started going to the doctor I am seeing now. I was too young to really know what my previous diagnosis' were. All I knew was that my back, hips, and neck were messed up from a car wreck and I did what the doctor told me to do.
Now I'm to the point where I am never comfortable no matter what I am doing. The pain and tension is so overcoming that it is on my mind constantly. Its to the point where I am literally never clear headed just because of the pain. The medication does help take the edge off but that is it. He started me off on 3 Lortab 7.5/day and am now up to 6/day in a years time. If I take two at a time there really isnt a difference in the pain relief I get so I dont even waste them since I dont want to run out early. A couple of months ago I had an appendectomy, passed a kidney stone, and discovered that I have diverticulosis all in the same day. I ran out of medication early that month but luckily got an early refill. I just dont know what to do at all!
My questions are:
1. Are there any others with this diagnosis that are reading this, and what do you do to cope with the problems? Both medication and just everyday routines?
2. Have any of you had surgery for this diagnosis? If so would you do it again if could go back in time?
3. If medication works for you could you tell me how long you have been on it and what you took prior to what is working?
4. Should I continue to see my current doctor or go to a pain management specialist?
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! My doctor just makes it out like it is so rare that I really hope someone else can share what this is like. I know everyones body is different but would still be nice to hear from someone else that shares this problem.