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What to do?

I was diagnose with DDD when I was 16 years old. I had my first discetomy(not even sure if I spelled that right) when I was 17, my second one when I was 18 (although it was 1 week away from my 19th). I am currently 22 going on 23 in a little bit and I have had another huge what I like to call a 'flare up.' It started in the middle of June. I have been on medical leave from work since. In the mean time, I tried physical therapy (which made it 10x worse), numorous medications (relieves some pain but not very much), have had 2 of the epidural injections (the 1st lasted a total of 2 days and the 2nd one about a week and a half). The sad thing is, my surgeon that I have had since I was 16 gave up on me in July and referred me to his pain management doctor (my pain management doctor is the one who tried everything) and now my pain management doctor is referring me to another surgeon for a second opinion on doing a third surgery.There were a few things that my pain management doctor told me that really just made me feel like a hopeless case. He said: You are going to be in pain for the rest of your life. I'm not going to put you on disability because you are just too young. I would just quit your job and become a secretary. Considering that I can't sit comfortably for more than 30 mins, how am I going to become a secretary? I love my job (I'm a cashier - I know it doesn't sound like fun, but it really is. It also pays my bills. which oh yeah I forgot to mention, I'm on unpaid medical leave). That's my story. I'm just unsure about the possibility of having a third surgery and being 22 years old. I have met a few older people who have DDD but they have only had 1 surgery. Are there any other ways to be semi-pain free? I feel like I have been doing all of this trial and error stuff that isn't working and is becoming very expensive on me when I don't have any income coming in anymore. So, what should I do?


  • Sounds like youre in a heck of a spot, but I do not like how the doctors are kind of putting you down. They know depression goes hand in hand with chronic pain. Thanks for the encouragement, doc! You have been dealing with this for a long time already. I would suggest bringing new doctors in with a fresh approach.

    Keep your head up! Nobodys gonna do it for you.

    Good Luck
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • Thanks! My pain managment doc referred me to someone else for a second opinion, however my appt isnt until sept 17. I'm trying to stay positive but it is really hard when your docs are telling you otherwise and are passing you along from one doc to the next..
  • Just another reason this is a great forum, so many similar people/problems to relate to!

    I know I went through the steps of chiro and pain mngmt. When I was referred to a surgeon, I had to wait 3 weeks to see him and when I finally did his assistant came in and told me they wanted me to do PT & oral steroids. Really??!! The constant worsening pain and the fact that I already did ESI's and you guys wanna send me back to step 1??? Yeah Right!

    Thankfully I found another surgeon to see me right away and now my surgery is set up ( just 10 days away )

    That obv dosent mean thats what you need, just my story. But you have to find docs that are willing to listen, understand, and help. Its a shame that so many dont.

    Keep looking, I know it sucks. But you WILL find someone, there are some really good docs out there too!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • MPrice89MMPrice89 Posts: 4
    edited 08/27/2012 - 8:15 AM
    I had origionally thought that I had a great doctor. He had been my doctor for 6 years and performed both of my surgeries. Oh well. I am new to the forum and I am glad that I have joined. Not many people understand the pain we go through and its nice to vent and get feedback from people who know and understand. Like I said, Im only 22 years old and my friends dont understand annd tend to get mad at me when I dont feel like doing some of the things they do.
  • Thank you so much! I'm going to give this new doctor a try and see what happens. I go see him on the 17th so I have about 3 weeks of nothing to do but wait. Is having a 3rd surgery in the same spot (L1-S1) such a good idea?
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