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

Extreme pain after 4 back spinal fusions considering pain pump as last resort

Blackburn03BBlackburn03 Posts: 4
edited 07/10/2012 - 8:47 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi, this is my first time on this site and need your help and some answers. I am 32 yrs old and have had 4 spinal fusions
With the last one this past sept. 27th. The first one was when I was 13 due to severe Scolosis. I had to have repeated spinal fusions at 15 and 17 due to the fusions never taking and the last one they actually used cadaver bone cause my body kept rejecting my bone for some unknown reason. The past 17 yrs I just lived w/ the pain and told myself this is how my life is and it is not going to slow my down and I did. I refused to take narcotics and did natural pain relief, including stetoidids injections several times, physical therapy, even acupuncture. I did do it and even gave birth to 3 kids, ages 8, 3 and 16 months. Well my third child was a big surprise and that is when my back went downhill fast. The last 3 months I had to be bedridden cause my back could not hold out. My son was born 6 wks premature and I thought ok my back will feel better. Wrong, it continued to get much much worse until July of last yr I was using a walker and had to break down and use narcotics and not Vicodin we are talking 20 mg of OxyContin and that was just to function I had 3 kids to take care of my husband was working and I am a stay-at-home mom, plus the baby is special needs child so he needs constant care. Anyway after searching and searching for a neurosurgeon that would even look at my because of my previous surgies I found on Dr. EDITED at Henery ford hospital in MI. He said I needed surgery now my metal was loose and I needed emergency surgery. I went in Sept 27 for a 8 hour operation. He came out and told my husband I was a ticking time bomb that my back never fused in 17 yrs and the metal had become loose and wrapped around my spinal cord compressing all the nerves and he had no idea how I had done or for 17 years with no pain medication and had 3 kids. Anyway sorry I am rambling, I started my recovery and at first I had instant relief, got off the OxyContin and just took 4 vicodins a day w/ cymbalta and a muscle relaxer. I thought was on my way when my husband got a job in North Dakota in jan. and I was left to basically be a single mom. My surgeion told me he thinks the pain and numbness is worse cause I was doing too much to soon but he knew I had no choice and he is thinking my body is rejecting the metal implants and scar tissue is wrapping around my spinal cord but my back seems to be fusing this time but that means a another future surgery and I don't have the energy nor do I think emotionally I could handle another one knowing it may not fix anything or make the pain worse. So 2 weeks ago I moved to ND from MI to be w/ my husband and I have no idea what I am going to do. The pain is 10 x worse cause i really have no help lifting the kids and we had to get an apartment on the second floor (no choice) so I have to carry everything up the stairs several times a day. I am still taking the Vicodin 7.5 2 tablets 4 x a day and it is doing nothing for the pain. The leg pain and numbness is back worse than ever. I need to do something and have been looking online for options and came across pain pumps. I would like to know if they work is it worth it ( I read how involved it is to put one in) or should I have another surgery to see if it relieves any of the pain but I know I can not live like this my kids deserve better and so do I cause at this rate I can see myself wheelchair bound or bedridden and I am way to young for that. The reason the pain pump sounds like a good option is I can get off these oral pain meds and it sounds like u use way less medication and u do not have the side effects like u do w/ oral narcotics. I hate the feeling of not being clear headed especially trying to take care of all the kids. Sorry to sound desperate I just don't know what to do but I know living like this is not an option. Just a side note I have done the trial w/ the SCS and it did nothing for me due to so much nerve damage plus I could not stand that constant feeling. Any advice will be welcomed thank u so much.

Post edited to remove name of medical professional. by The Spine-Health Moderator Team



  • and welcome to SH. Sorry but I don't have any information for you about the pain pump, but there are some members on here who are going through having one or already have one...hopefully they will chime in here too.
    You have been through so much, and have a lot of responsibility on yourself at the same time with young children. Great that you have found this site. We are here to support you.
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Hi, I dont have a pain pump and never considered one but I do take a opiate patch. It releases medicine 24/7 and I only have to change it once a week which eliminates all the hassle of the pills. The side effects dont completely go away, not for the patch or the pump, b/c its still the same types of medicine but because of the slow delivery method there is a lil less "fogginess" in the head, but its still there ill warn.

    Anyway I dont think a Dr is going to want to jump straight to a painpump for a person relatively new to medication, in chronic use at least. You should see a Dr.(and probably a Pain Management Dr) about all this stuff, they will help provide options for your next steps in treatment.
  • Blackburn03BBlackburn03 Posts: 4
    edited 07/11/2012 - 4:07 AM
    Thanks for your support. My surgeon and I have discussed the pain patch but my father has had one for 10 yrs due to a spine injury and I have seen the side effects that he has experienced first hand. He know is on the strongest one 100 mg I believe or 75 mg and has to take pain pills on top of it just to control his pain cause he has been on it so long his body is used to the patch so it hardly works anymore but he can not get off of it cause the drs tell him the withdraw symptoms could kill him (he is 83 yrs old ) and I have seen what happens to him if my mom forgets to change it every 3 days just going one extra day he starts withdrawal and that is no fun to see him go through. Also legally u are not supposed to drive w/ the patch and I have 3 small kids so I have to get around and w/ the pain pump u can drive I read cause it does not effect u as much as oral or the patch. I am trying to find a dr out here in ND and am having a very hard time finding one and we have awesome insurance that is a PPO so no refferals but in Minot to many people have moved here the past 2 yrs cause of the oil so not enough drs. Plus they have the farm way of thinking if u are not cut wide open suck it up and deal w/ it minus pain meds. I am sure not all of them but the offices I have called so far. Anyway just trying to way my options but when u said about new to pain med I am not new really I have been on opioids for the past 1 and half straight and when I had my 3 back surgies as a teenager I was on them for 4 yrs straight so I pretty know what works and doesn't I choose the past 17 yrs to stay off of them and just take reg Motrin cause I hate the cloudeness I feel when I take them especially OxyContin. I would rather be in horrible pain and not move than have that feeling with that med. Anyway anyone else w/ suggestions or comments please give them to me.
  • Blackburn03BBlackburn03 Posts: 4
    edited 07/11/2012 - 4:11 AM
    Thank you I appreciate the support. I am so glad I found this site cause I feel so alone sometimes unless u do have back problems it is hard for people to understand what u are going through and end up telling me u will be fine or just suck it up and deal w/ it how bad can it really be. So thank u
  • First let me welcome you to Spine Health. I am so very sorry you have been in such pain for so very long. I have had my pain pump for 2 years now and it has saved my life.(the SCS did not work for me either) I have had 2 spinal fusions. One in my C spine and I keep forgetting about it but the one in my lumbar area is what has caused me brutal, brutal pain in my feet and legs. I understand what you are going through.
    With my pain pump I can't even tell that I am on strong opioate and I tend to forget about it. I have Diladuid in my pump and take Oxycodone for BT pain when I need it. The only time I need oral pain meds is when I am having a flare up but even then the pain is not bad at all, nothing like it use to be. I was not in a lot of pain when I had my permanent implant. I did stay a week with a sister because I live alone but I could have managed very well on my own.
    In the Pain Management section there is a thread about my pain pump implant that I started 2 years ago. You may want to check it out but I must warn you it is very long(about 4 or 5 pages and over 200 comments) to read the whole thing would take forever. I would just skim thrru it and read only the answers to a comment or question that may be of an interest to you.
    My pain pump has given me my life back. Now that it has scared in good I can do anything I want to do.
    The only way anyone will take my pump away from me is to cut it out of my dead body!!
    I am sending you a PM with information that may help you. Please feel free to PM me anytime. I will be happy to answer any question you may ask.
    Best of luck.
    Patsy W
  • Hey, sorry to hear about your troubles. I have very different problems and a scs, not a pump, but talk to people at my pm who are doing very well with them. Please, please be careful. I know you have responsibilities and don't want to feel limited, but you have to live in the body you have. That you made it so many years without limitations is impressive, but there is nothing wrong with having an imperfect body. I ended up close to death because I didn't want to be seen as a sick person who took drugs. Stupid me. I made things a lot worse by ignoring them. Even if you get your pain under control your back is still going to be fragile. There are many things I can't do and I've has to accept those limitations and make a good life within those limits. Does your husband fully understand your difficulties? If you minimize them he may not. My partner doesn't much like my circumstances but he knows there are many things I can't do and we find other ways to get by. Together.

    I'm sure there are ground floor apartments in ND if stairs are difficult for you. People in wheelchairs manage to raise small children, too. I have had times in my life where I felt I had no choices, but I was wrong. I made accommodations and the people around me adjusted their expectations and life is still good. Not the same, no, but your back is never going to be the same, either.

    Please give all possibilities consideration when talking with your doctors. I've been on opioids for many years and they have made my life much better, if not perfect. They haven't all had the same side effects. I've had to change drugs and dosages many times to stay functional. Fentanyl patches are well worth trying if your doctor thinks they are appropriate. I'm sorry your father is in such pain. People in really bad pain do sometimes use up their options. Most people using patches do it themselves so are not very likely to forget for long. Withdrawal symptoms and increasing pain have always been good reminders for me. I wish I only had to change a patch every three days instead of taking so many pills. As for driving, that's an issue with most pain meds if you read the warnings on the boxes. If my meds are at the right level I am not excessively sedated or euphoric and would feel safe driving. I don't for other reasons. Even a scs is supposed to be off when driving. I don't know what pump users do. I hope you find a good solution for your pain. Got my fingers crossed.
  • I have the Butrans patch and can still drive fine and its completely legal. Its not as strong as the fentynal but I believe the rules are the same for that patch as well. I believe with any opiate meds you will have that "cloudiness" feeling and IMO morphine gives me the most of that side effect. Anyway I wish you the best of luck and hopefully some relief:)
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I had the trial done for the pump and I can tell you that while I in recovery I cried due to the first time in 10 years I was pain free. If your thinking of getting the pump Pat helped me tremendously with all mu questions and concerns. Good luck
  • Blackburn03BBlackburn03 Posts: 4
    edited 07/14/2012 - 2:12 AM
    Thank u all for all the comments and support. Pat I am going to PM u later for some more info. Just wanted to give u all an little update. My husband is taking the day off today and he in insisting he take me to Bismarck to the hospital to see if they can at least refill my pain meds till I can get into a dr out here in Minot. I have tried all week to get into a primary dr and have had absolutely no luck every single dr is filled u for new patients till at least sept. and then their offices pretty much told me they will not refill or prescribe narcotics they would refer me to the pain clinic and when I called there the first available appt is dec 1 st. I know it has to do w/ the oil boom that is why we are out here but I have never been made to feel like all as I am is a junkie looking to score a high. I even have all my paperwork and MRI from my neurosurgon in MI stating I needed to continue pain meds. So I am officially out of them today so my husband said we are going somewhere away from Minot to get u help. Everyone I have talked to around this town unless u cut off your hand they refuse giving pain meds and I have heard that from multiple people in town here. I never imagined it would be this diffucult. I even had a lady from urgent care tell me u will live through the withdrawals and to get over it. I am sure my 16 month old and 3 yr old will understand mommys sick and in pain. Not anyway please wish me luck and if I have to fly back to MI I will.
  • Oh my goodness....Yes I wish you the best luck ever!! I really hope you find someone who will refill your pain meds for you.
    I am the same as being out because my oral pain meds no longer work for me and my PCP will not change them or raise my dosage for me. I have tried to see every Doctor here in the small town I live in but no one will see me because I have chronic pain.!!! Finding a Doctor who will treat chronic pain is impossible!! It's all because of drug addicts that we are having this problem.
    Please do keep is updated.
    Patsy W
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.