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Frustrated & just need to vent. My apologies

RatSquadRRatSquad Posts: 114
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Depression and Coping
I was compelled to medically retire from law enforcement this year after loosing all strength in my right leg; and being unable to walk the rest of the day while at work without the aide of a cane. I was told it was for safety reasons, which I fully understand.

Now to get medical retirement, I need to provide ALL medical records to the board from two years prior to my initial injury in 2001, until I am (hopefully) approved for medical retirement. Which could take a year or more. Add to that dealing with social security disability and financial concerns.

Now my pain management doc has me on percoset, which I absolutely hate. Sure it minimizes the pain, but the side effects I could do without. He also wants to place a spinal cord stimulator in my back which would hopefully get me off the pain meds, which I would be thankful for.

My surgeon however is against the stimulator as he can "fix" the retrolithesis when the time comes. Problem is, no one knows when that will be. I am already at 4mm at L5-S1, with my L4-L5 beginning to ooze out more of its innards. And with the facets deteriorating (according to my latest MRI) it might be sooner than later.

Add to that not working or being able to do anything close to what I used to do, such as mountain climbing, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and other outdoor activities. It gets rather frustrating to say the least.

I guess the most difficult part is, getting motivated to do much of anything. Even the things I am still able to do, like amateur radio.

Sorry for the rant and thanks for reading, but frustration has set in and my lovely bride of 22 years deserves a break. I know I will pick myself up and move on because that is what I do.

View my history for all the gory details.


  • I know the words "hang in there" probably sound cheap, but I do mean it with all sincerity. You've come this far, you can make it further. I think your surgeon is right on the money as far as holding off on an SCS. With instability and things still progressing from bad to worse, no sense trying to chase it down with an implant that will hinder future efforts to monitor your spine's condition. If you are managing with just Percocet, then it is quite a huge leap from that to an SCS.

    I thought I was going to have to give up on so many things that I love, until I watched my niece who has Cerebral Palsy ride a horse and learn to walk at the age of 10 after crawling for the first 9.5 years of her life. Her body was so twisted and tight, if it were an adult I'm certain they'd be scream day and night. Not my niece, she knows she wants to be just a normal kid and that motivates her. She motivates me.

    I constantly tell my husband how much I love him and appreciate him! I know he needs to hear it, he has been through so much with me!

    So hang in there. It may not get better, but it will most certainly get different!

  • I just want to say I had the PLIF l4-s1 for retro grade 4, l5/s1. l4 was not as bad. I chose to add it in bc my NS said it was only a matter of time before that would need to be added in. It was a brutal recovery, but it was an excellent choice for me. I wish the rest of my spine was so good. After about 10 year of intense low back pain and 17 months of acute sciatic problems it was fine.

    Your ns is smart.

    Then if you need the SCS later add it in. It is a last resort as I understand it. You are a surgical candidate so when you are ready you will know.

    I myself am getting ready for a thoracic SCS trial. I am sick of pain meeds too.

    Good luck,

  • Every time I get frustrated I always remember that no matter how bad I am, there is always someone with more problems than me. It just sometimes takes a while to remember it :)

    And yes Julie, I don't think the SCS is the right thing to do at this time. I hope the thorasic SCS trial works for you, and you can start to get some relief.

    "C" - I am glad to hear your niece has done so well overcoming that obstacle. I am constantly amazed at how resilient children can be. My four year old grand daughter suffered with a very low white blood cell count for close to a year. We did a lot of praying that she did not have luekemia. But she has overcome and can now be a "normal" child, without the nasty "L" word :)

    Wishing everyone a pain-free day.

    View my history for all the gory details.
  • I'm sorry for what you're having to deal with, but am happy that you're one of those that looks at the glass as half full as much as you can. It's normal to have those down days, but I know you'll get through this and with a loving wife, good attitude and good surgeon, things will be easier.

    It's a good thing to hold off on the SCS until they can take care of the underlying problems. I'm hoping that your medical leave comes quickly and you can mentally rest easier. It's difficult to be left in limbo financially and hope you can make it through until you're approved.

    My father used to say that if everyone had to take all their problems and throw them in a pile and then pick out some to take out, most likely you'd take out your own again. It's not always comforting to know there are others with worse problems, but it can be motivating.

    I'm sure you'll get to the place where you'll be able to enjoy some activities again, even if they're just simple hobbies that are not hard on your body.

    Take care of yourself and take it a day at a time. I'm wishing you all the best.

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