Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

YAN (Yet Another Newbie) Introduction :)

CertifriedCCertifried Posts: 91
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello, and thank you for this site. I read the FAQ's and new member posts, so wanted to introduce myself properly.

first - this: "Anyone that comes close to a number 8 should be heading out to the ER." in the new member FAQ is priceless. I always have to explain "my scale" when a doctor asks me my pain level. I'll say 7, and they'll say well that's not bad. Yeah, well, if a 9 or 10 on a scale is supposed to mean I've already called 911, 8 is a "getting a ride to the ER", then 7 is pretty bad!

And to my intro: 42 y.o. male with 10 years as an Army 'leg'. I started to have back pain in the Army, and the doctors (of course) prescribed the typical "ranger candy" (800mg big orange Motrin pills). After several years of that, with increasing dosages and some a gram+ of aspirin for good measure, I blew 3 holes (ulcers) in my duodenum. I bled. A lot. I figured it was time to see a specialist and, after 1 doc I didn't like, found my savior.

Long story short(ish), I started with facet joint arthritis in my lumbar (L3/L4). This has progressed to arthritis in, basically, the entire L and SI joints. Throw in a random herniation to T7/T8, T12, L1 spread through the years, annular tear, narrowing of something-I-can't-remember-without-the-MRI-report, my whole lower back hates me. Occasionally the rest of it too. My pain management doctor and, now, my primary care have been absolutely amazing for me.

Past meds: all of the oxy/hydro morphone/codone combinations, but most make me sick. Tramadol, neurontin, elavil. 50mcg/hr Fentanyl trans-dermal patch.

Current meds: percocet 5/325 for BT, 25mcg/hr Fentanyl patch. (mirapex ER for RLS, prevacid for GERD)

Procedures: Multiple RFAs (radio frequency nerve ablation, or rhizotomy, or RF neurotomy, or whatever you want to call it). At first, it was just the L4/L5 RFA, then he had to go down in to the SI. Recently (1/18/12 and 2/2/12) I had the lumbar RFA for the 3rd time. I get about 9 months of relief from these. I don't even know how many nerve blocks I've had, but they were limited efficacy and very short in duration. My doctor only uses them for the occasional herniations now.

I've had such amazing luck with the physical symptoms of my pain. Unfortunately, I haven't sought emotional help for it. My docs are great, but they just don't know what the pain is like. They listen, and sympathize, but can't empathize. So, I'm reaching out for some support. I'm not depressed (pretty sure of this), but the pain is depressing. Does that make any sense? I'm also very fortunate that they work with me, make me feel a part of the team. I think that's why it has taken so long to reach out. Over the past 2 years, however, the herniations increased in frequency and the arthritis has started to affect other joints. So, here I am. Hi :)


  • Hi and welcome :H

    Ya .... I always like "what is your pain level today?" to which I reply the usual "about 8". And then the "...and how many migraines have you have this month?" How about one BIG one! Though my issues are cervical, pain is pain. Doesn't matter where it is. It just plain hurts.

    Anyway, just wanted to jump in and same welcome aboard and hope you find as much escape from the reality of pain as I have on this site. Lots of nice people who know what your are experiencing. Good info elsewhere too. Take Care and Keep in Touch.

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • Welcome. Pain for sure can bring us in to another level of being, You are in the right place here for we all suffer with this pain and it can get the best of us at times,

    This pain can drain the life out of the strongest person when its 24/7.

    Thats why we vent our frustration here on the forum because anywhere else, who dont have it dont want to hear about it,

    Again welcome and hope you find the suport you need here, And did i mention we have the best looking woman on this site,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Thanks, Alex. That's 100% on, everything you say. I definitely feel this is the right place to be. I appreciate the welcome.

  • You are really good to have maintained your positive attitude. Pain and depression sort of feed each other, so if you find yourself slipping toward a "dark place" it is ok to get professional help, especially if you find someone who addresses those with chronic pain.

    I have benefited from being on this site for about a year now, especially since I had a cervical surgery in May and low back in January.

    Good thoughts going your way!
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Thanks, KarenD, I appreciate it.

    I wouldn't really call it a "positive attitude", being I'm really a tiring skeptic. I also consider myself a "realist", as opposed to an optimist (or pessimist). It's not so much of a positive attitude as it is just accepting that I can't entirely control the pain. I do what I can, look for what else I can do, admit I could do more.

    Some of the things that I can do: stay on top the doctors, go for my RFAs when the pain is out of control, take my meds when (and only when) I'm hurting. Be honest with my doctor, and myself.

    I'm always trying to learn more too, joining groups like this, try to learn more about it pain (and share with others what I learn). I try to understand what my doctor is doing too, this has made me feel like I'm on my own medical staff. That helps me a lot, so I feel proactive instead of feeling hopeless.

    I try to be more than honest, admitting things like "I should exercise more", "PT helped some, but I don't keep up with it". Hard to admit those things, especially when I know those things can really help. I don't think they have a major impact, but even a 5% improvement can make the difference between a OK day and a bad day. (Today's bad, so this is really on my mind right now).

    Oh, most of my posts are tl;dr, sorry.

  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Welcome to the group! Glad you found us but sorry your here. You will find with this group you can vent, cry, laugh and finally feel as if you found someone who understands.
Sign In or Register to comment.