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Can't Handle this Anymore!!!! Stupid Pinched Sciatic Nerve!

MoondanceMMoondance Posts: 2

In 2010 and 2011, I had a few short bouts of what appeared to be pinched sciatic nerve pain. They would go away on their own a few weeks after they started and so I didn't really think anything of it.

At the end of November 2011, it came back. I thought, "no worries, give it a few weeks, it will go away." By mid January, when it hadn't gone away, I made a doctors appointment. The doctors I had wouldn't do ANYTHING for me, they just fobbed me off. Mind you, by this point, it wasn't just a mild pain in my lower back, butt and right thigh, it had gotten worse to the point that I was physically unable to sit upright. Driving is torture and every time I do try to drive, I get pins and needles in my foot to the point I can't feel my foot, so I don't even know how hard I'm pushing on the pedal!!!!

So I changed doctors, but I wasn't able to get into the new doctor until mid-February.

He sent me for spinal X-ray and CT scan.

Came back with whats apparently a "textbook case" of pinched sciatic nerve.

He put me on both Celebrex 200mg and Lyrica 50mg.

With Celebrex once a day, taken with food and Lyrica twice a day.

Well, weeks later, I have to say, neither drug appears to be helping much.

I've pretty much been unable to do much of anything. To even be on the computer, I have to use a laptop and sit the laptop on my stomach whilst I'm laying either flat on my back, or on my left side. I'm looking for work, have had several job interviews, but when they see how much physical pain I'm in, not even able to sit in the chair without squirming in pain and then having to jump up and walk around, or lay on the floor, obviously, they pass me over. They can't have a person on the job who can't even sit in a chair!!!!

The Celebrex does provide SOME relief... but even when taken on a daily basis, it still takes a good 3-4 hours after I've taken it, for it to even reduce the pain. The pain is never completely gone.

The doctor says the point of the drugs isn't to help get rid of the pain, but to help me function. Function?? How am I supposed to function properly with pain??? Every waking minute, I have pain. My sleep has been reduced to the few hours a day that the Celebrex is sort of working and the pain is reduced. But once the pain begins to kick back in, I have to get up, because laying down makes the muscles on either side of my back start to hurt! So its painful either way I go!!!!

There was a point where I didn't have my Celebrex (it was left at a friends house who was a 3 hours drive away, so I didn't want to go racing back there to get it understandably, since driving IS so damn painful). I only had the Lyrica and I took it as I was told to, but it still did absolutely nothing for me.

I went five days without the Celebrex and then was offered a day's work doing photography for the local Pony Club.

I took it because I needed it.

7 hours of walking around taking pictures, not that big a deal I thought, it was just WALKING carrying a lightweight camera.

The next day, I was forced to spend the entire day laying down. As soon as I got up and tried to walk around, my legs would start shaking, the pain would be tearing intensely up my right leg and I'd almost fall down.

So I spent the day half on my back, half on my side, trying occasionally to walk, since all the laying down was making the muscles on either side of my back go into spasm.

That night, it was agony, nothing I did was helping. I couldn't lay down, but I couldn't stand up. At one point, I tried to walk to the top of our driveway, which is about 100 metres. I got all the way there and felt sick!

I got halfway back and my legs gave out on me and I fell down onto the concrete. I had a lot of trouble trying to get back up, every part of me was shaking, it was like the worlds worst exertion, I was panting, near to hyperventilating. Had to get help from a neighbour who saw me, to get back into my house.

I tried to contact my doctor but couldn't get an appointment for another week.

I wound up ringing my friend, asking her to please bring me my Celebrex. She did the 3 hour drive immediately.

I wound up taking a triple dose of the stuff, not even asking the doctor first if it was okay, and then passed out.

Now every day since then, my day consists of waking up in pain... taking the Celebrex... spending more hours in pain until it kicks in.... then finally able to do things, but nothing even remotely actively physical.... before having to lay down again because I'm in pain again!!!

In the mornings, the most I can last with the pain is up to five minutes. I try to do my chores, but 5 minutes in, I'm panting, in pain, and have to go crash land on the couch and lay down for awhile.

I'm only 30 years old!!!! I'm trying to have a child with my partner, but if this back pain is this bad now, how the hell am I supposed to pull off being pregnant and a mother??

The doctor hasn't even suggested surgery as an option, he just keeps giving me Celebrex. Despite me telling him its not really doing that great a job!

Having this pain ALL THE TIME is giving me depression, making me irritable and bitchy.... my family and friends are beginning to hate me because I'm just constantly giving them attitude. I don't mean to, but I'm just so over being in this pain and they don't seem to understand it or even try to be sympathetic. Its like they think I'm faking it!

I want to be working, to be earning money, to be out in the world and I can't even do that!

How do you cope with this sort of thing??

Because I really don't think I am coping with it at all.



  • I strongly urge you to ask your doctor to put you on Neurontin/Gabapentin.

    I have had off/on sciatica for 2 or 3 years. In my opinion and judging by the relief I am getting from this medication, this is the only medication you need.

    As you probably know, sciatic pain is nerve pain. Neurontin/Gabapentin is intended to relieve nerve pain.

    Good luck.
  • >:D< hiya moondance,
    First off Welcome to spine health. Glad you found this great site but sorry your having issues.
    Pain can take over all parts of our brains, emotional, physical, depression.
    I personally try to do a goal list. Yes you have to come to grips with what you can't do any longer.

    If you have not gotten any relief from meds, or treatment then you need to discuss all of this with the doctor you are seeing. Maybe good idea to go get another opinion.

    I certainly can't recommend meds to you as I am not in the medical field. Even having tried so many different kinds, nobody is the same.
    So no medication is going to help a person the same as another person.
    Please search around the forums, there are many ppl that have different treatments that have worked for them. Such as exercises, and a lot great tips to help you get thru the chores.

    I hope you can find a doctor to help you deal with your pain.
    Like I said I am not in medical field but i can say for me doing some mild exercise in water helps keep me active. Along with core exercises.
    It would be best to get another doc opinion, before taking dbl medication.

    tc >:D<
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • sciatic pain is horrible! Please return to your Dr and he/she won't help you - switch.

    I am so sorry you are going through this :hug:

    I know how bad you feel. When I had my sciatic pain I actually asked my Dr to send me to a surgeon who would 1. cut the nerve and kill it or 2. cut off my leg. I was 100% serious. The pain was ready to drive me insane.

    A lot of people have found some level of temp relief by heat or ice. Some swear by heat others ice and others have to switch back and forth. I found my best relief (before I got the right meds) was soaking in the tub. I "lived" in my tub :)

    Please keep us updated how you are doing. I will be sure to check back to see if you updated.

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • The Lyrica he originally gave me was intended to relieve nerve pain too, but did nothing... :(

    Feeling so broken at the moment, nothing is working, just wish it could be over, am so depressed. Just want to sleep and sleep and sleep.

    And yeah. I keep asking my doctor if he can please just chop off the leg, coz then I won't have the leg to feel pain in it, ha! He just ignores that.
    I have an appointment with him tomorrow where I am going to demand something more than this damn Celebrex. Its not doing its job.
    I want to be able to SLEEP, work, ride my horse, do my chores... not spend 5 minutes on my feet and then have to scream at people to get out of the way while I try to reach the couch or the bed before my leg turns to jelly and I collapse.
    I mean, I'm unemployed. I breed chickens and pet rats as a kind of supplementary income. On days when the cages need cleaning, its 5 minutes of cage cleaning.... lay down for 20... 5 more minutes of cage cleaning.... lay down for 20....
    and anytime I need to drive anywhere, I will question a hundred times over... Do I REALLY need to go to where I'm going?

    Because of being unemployed, the government makes me have weekly visits with whats called a "job network", where they're supposed to help me find work. I have to drive a half hour away, for what usually winds up a 5 minute appointment, before driving another half hour home again!! Its completely insane, so the entire day leading up to when I have to leave the house, I spend anxious and crying, because I know how much its going to hurt!!!
    And usually when I get home, I half about fall out of the car and just wind up laying there.

    I've been told about stretches I'm supposed to be doing, but they cause more pain.
  • I don't mean to sound bossy ;) But I would not say it quite like that to your Dr. I would leave out the horses and other activities considered non-necessary.

    Many Drs tend to look at "fixing" you to the degree of being able to do needed activities.

    Please let me know how your appt goes :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I am not a doc, but I've had significantly less shooting/burning pain in my hips, butt and legs with Cymbalta. I do take what I was told is the maximum dose, which is 60mg twice a day. But I can tell you when I miss it I do regret it.

    Previous to taking Cymbalta I had an L4-S1 fusion and STILL have leg pain. In fact I almost think it is worse now.

    I'm definitely a proponent of exhausting all options before opting for surgery. I tried everything but a shaman lol...j/k...sort of.

    Has your doctor suggested injections? They could also provide some level of relief.

    I am so sorry you're going through this. It's difficult at times and I strongly suggest you lean on friends, family, etc. to help you through this because it's just not possible to go it alone.

    I am never pain free, but until I get get a spinal stim implant the Cymbalta (and, admittedly, 15 mg Norco up to 4 times a day) is definitely the way to go for me.

    Hang in there hon :)

  • Surgery is not always the best option but you should probably be seeing a pain specialist by now and do the injections and then might have the posibility with pt for the compression to get beter, Sometimes the meds alone are not enough to get rid of the inflammation without shots to help it,

    If the injections dont work after 3 injections in most cases then pain dr might refer you back to a spine specialist to be considered for surgery if needed,

    I was not lucky enough for injections to work things out and surgery made me much worse then i ever was, But injections i know work for some with pt because i took my mom when she had stenosis compression on a nerve and 3 injections got her back walking and pt finaly saved her from having surgery and she has been back to her old mean bat self from that day on!

    Spine is very complicated and many risk with any surgery as many are aware of this and it can be a very long process to find the best solution to see if it will get beter on its own or with some help with medications and injections and pt,

    This is the reason dr,s dont jump in to surgery unless they see its a must and all other conservative treatments have been used up, It can be a long painfull process we all know this who have been dealing with this for years,

    If surgery fails it gets even worse for many of us, You have to be a 100% sure dr is doing the right surgery and very hard to be sure without seeing more then 1 dr to confirm thats the best option,

    Its also hard to make the right decisions many times while in pain because you just want the pain to stop,

    Pain specialists work with the other dr,s most of the time and tell them there findings of nerve block tests and or discogram and such to help locate the problem to confirm it and if there treatment dont help after a while they usualy refer you to dr who needs to look at surgery options once they no longer can help just with medications,

    Best of luck and hang in there,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I have 2 bulging disks at L4/L5 and L5/S1 which causes me a great deal of pain on my left side. I am currently seeing a PM who is wonderful. We are trying out the injections and so far I have had good results, although they do not last very long. The facet joint ones seem to last longer than those directly into the nerves.
    Next month I get another facet joint injection at the beginning of the month and at the end the 1st of 2 RFA's. I am hopeful these will give me longer pain relief.
    I take oxycodone for other pains and a muscle relaxer at night. At my next appt I am going to see if we can add a nerve medication in the mix. I am currently taking Cymbalta for depression so it only a low dose of 90mg. Does great for my depression, does nothing for my nerve pain.
    Lyrica is a good nerve medication and worked great for me, but had side effects that I couldn't deal with.
    I know the feeling of wanting to chop off your leg just to get some relief. I want a robotic spine that never breaks down or goes through wear and tear!

    I hope you find a doctor who can provide you with some relief soon. It is miserable to live life in pain.

  • ~X( My sciatica pain started about 15 years ago. It used to occur a few times a year and lasted between 1 to 3 months of crippling pain. This time started 8 months ago and it has not left yet.
    I can't sit, can't lay down, it hurts to walk. if I lay down I have to get up in slow motion so not to get a worst pain.

    I am separated thank God and don't have to do the sex thing otherwise I would be screaming in pain throughout. Can't work because the pain is 24-7. People around me don't understand the horrible pain we are under so I don't even complain.

    I have tried just about everything from exercises, prescription drugs, OTC stuff. I cannot even start a new relationship because how do you explain that you CAN NOT DO ANYTHING because of the stupid nerve.

    You want me to work? Ha!
    You want me to have sex? Ha!
    You want me to go see a movie & suffer in pain for 2 hours? Ha!
    You want to go to a restaurant and eat out? Ha
    I can go on forever, so a relationship is out of the question!
    A job is out of the question.

    Having a normal life is out of the question.
    I have to sit sideways, sleep sideways or flat straight.
    I feel for all sciatica sufferers, nobody else knows the misery of a life we have.

    I ask people if they've ever gotten burned and/or had a severe toothache. I say the burning pain is like that of getting your skin burned and the throbbing pain is also like a severe toothache in a very large area.

    If I turn a certain way I experience excruciating pain almost worse than the constant pain I always have. The hardest is getting up from lying down and lying back down. I have to very gingerly ease myself into and out of bed. And when I am up and moving I have to be very careful not to "disturb" the nerve.
    In mid butt cheek it felt like something was torn inside and always ached, any time I had to roll over, get up from a chair or sit down in a chair it was horrendous, like pulling and tearing,had to yell out just about every time. Always got electirc shock when getting up and sometimes during walking.
    Surgery is out because of no insurance.

    I have to take 5 pills 250 mg each of Ibuprofen and 1 500 mg of acetaminophen every 3 hours in order to do some chores around the house. It lessens the pain a bit but it only lasts for 3 hours. I go through thousands of pills every months. So I am screwing up my liver in order to lessen the pain??? I panic when my Ibuprofen bottle has a couple of hundred pills left.

    I am so sick of it!
    What to do? I keep reading the threads hoping that someone will discover a miracle cure!

    I AM IN PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Nothing seems to help I have been on pain meds morphine percocet etc neourontin lyica etc etc. Back pains have went to my butt thighs thighs knees and Bicepsts cant seem to sit or stand live with it everyday not copeing very well Muy Present doc says he needs more proof i THINK FIVE YEARS OR MORE YEARS AND GETTING WORSE IS LONG ENOUGH i CANT LIVE WITH THIS PAIN MUCH LONGER STARTED NEW sPINE dOC GOING FOR YET ANOTHER mri AND EXAYS> i DONT' HAVE A LIFE BEYOUND THESE FOUR WALLS i AM BITCHY ALL THE TIME IT HAS TAKEN OVER ME .
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