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

Will this never end?

Ha, a post that could be called "just when you think it can't get any worse, it does."

Do you ever get the feeling doctors truly don't know what's wrong with you, that they're mostly guessing? You get a little bit of hope when they recommend a treatment -- event a big treatment like a spinal fusion, but you wonder that, because everything else failed, if that will work.

I just wish the light at the end of the tunnel didn't feel like a moving target.

Does anyone have any tricks, mantras, favorite flavors of ice cream, pastimes, anything that helps take the edge off when you get anxious, despondent?


  • but I have used ice cream recently. I dont have the answer but I wanted to just say hey and lt you know that you have been heard, and not alone in wishing for these things. I am having a crap day myself and when I read that there are so many of us out there searching for a way to cope, it puts things a little bit in perspective. My pool therapist talked to me about hypnotherapy for pain today...maybe that will be it for me....who knows. I know that fusion isnt the end all answer, though I hope every day that I turn out to be one of th
    e success stories. Its a horribly hard, slow, process.
    I said ice cream because last week on one of my worst days...I finally said "screw this, lets get out of here and get ice-cream. It didnt help with my pain, but it helped those around me who suffer this BS with me. So pecan praline worked last week and now my sweet dear man is bringing ice cream in the house all of the time. My kids are in better spirits as I limit the treats!
    I often imaging my leg belongs to someone else...I remove it from my body and place it accross the room....sounds crazy but when Im writhing in pain, it kind of works. I figure if I practice some form of meditation a little bit more, it might work better. Who knows, there are not any definitive answers...that much I know definitively! I wish you well on your journey and I am sorry you are feeling so down. I wish I had an answer for everyone...for just one! Peace Ellen
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    edited 10/09/2012 - 3:37 PM
    Ouija board works. But when it is all said and done, the GOOD medical professionals can pin point things to a tee.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • LA_runner_chickLLA_runner_chick Posts: 91
    edited 10/09/2012 - 7:15 PM
    Oh what we have to go through. I see you are recovering from a big fusion, how is that?

    I admit, my spiritual house has been out of whack for a long time. Dealing with the back issues has made me realize how important it is to tend to this side of yourself. (I just had a friend tell me that because it made me realize I need to get more spiritual, I should consider my back problems a gift. Wow, I wanted to hit her, but her heart was sort of in the right place.)
    I know that your success and happiness in life depends a lot on the resiliency of your spirit, and it determines your outlook -- and that determines everything else. When you've tried so many things that haven't worked, there is a tendency to think NOTHING will work. But if you have that resiliency, instead you think, why the hell not?

    Hang in there yourself. Big hugs and lots of ice cream (but only because you want it, not because you "need" it).

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 118
    Ellen, imagining yourself free of pain is one of the tools recommended to help manage pain. I've been taught to close my eyes and starting at the top of my head, to imagine each specific area relaxing and the pain going away. Sometimes it is helpful and sometimes nothing but I think just the distraction of having to really focus and push everything else out of your thoughts can help.
  • I prefer vanilla ice cream with a piece of chocolate cake and a little whip cream over everything. Just thinking about it is distracting me right now. LOL.

    Gentle hugs to everyone. 8-)
  • My fusion surgery was L3-S1 with most of my pain generators being L3 and L5-S1. They was a huge bulge at L4 with a slight tear so my surgeon decided it was best to fuse me at all 3 levels with the idea that L4 would go rather quickly. Its been hard, but not unbearable. I am fortunate to have a lot of support and family help. The pain is over the top on some days but I have put myself in the mindset, with help from this forum that I must give my body time to heal. This is no picnic. And as everyone says, this is the last resort...because at least for me, being fused at so many levels, I dont have many places to go if this fails. I will NOT fail...that is my mantra. Are you in Los Angeles? I am. If so, where abouts? I hope you have doctors you trust have your best interests at hand! Please stay in touch...I wish you only the best outcoms! Peace Ellen
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • Yes, I am in Los Angeles -- Los Feliz, to be exact! You look familiar, I wonder if we've passed each other in a waiting room (ha).

    I will PM you so we can compare notes -- this all suxxxxx so hard, but it's comforting to know there are people similar to you sharing your trials.
  • Encino! We are close. I have some good and not so good doctors! I do have a family friend, who could not do my surgery due to an insurance conflict but he consulted on my diagnostic tests! I would be happy to give you a referral if you are interested. I am also very happy with the neuro who did my actual surgery! I look forward to your PM!
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • I'd been away from the site for some time until last night when I decided to come here and ask about a med being discontinued. Tonight I'm laying in bed (as usual) having a little one woman pity party, so thought I'd come back and see if anyone was in the chatroom (nope...never is when I look). So thought I'd come to this forum to comiserate with the rest of you, and came across your post here. I used to have a little thing written in marker on my mirror that I would recite to myself all the time (haven't been doing that recently-perhaps I should) that read: Pray, Persist, Believe, Hope (basically the things I should do at all times). Don't know if anything like that would be helpful to anyone else here, but just in case, there it is.

    This week it will be 2yrs since my TLIF L4-5 (followed 3 days later by emergency surgery as I was bleeding into my spinal column, and since he had to open me up wide he also did laminectomies from L2-S1 and scraped out some areas where he said the stenosis looked worse than he'd thought it was...which made me question the whole minimally invasive way in which he'd done the fusion just 3 days prior...). I have to say that I am definitely better off than I was prior to the fusion. I no longer have to walk with a cane all the time, I have regained feeling in my left leg and it no longer drags behind me...it's actually a NORMAL leg again-something I never thought possible! The decrease in pain was noticeable immediately once I'd recovered from the pain of those 2 surgeries and 3 incisions (I have 2 3.5" incisions, one on either side of the spine, and the big'un, 7" right up the middle). My PT that came to my house for my post-op therapy was so impressed with how well I was doing and I was so far ahead of where I was "supposed" to be that my PT was ended earlier than anyone thought it would be. I really thought I was on the way to getting a "normal" life back! Not so...

    About 8mos post-op it was as if I'd hit a wall. The improvement stopped, and I began a backslide. It was more like I was holding my own but the pain was getting worse again-though nowhere near pre-op level, but enough to really make me question things. I was so proud that I had asked to be taken off the extended release med because things were progressing so well, and once I'd been off them awhile suddenly my progress stopped and things began slipping back again. It's disheartening. Now 2yrs out I'm facing the knowledge that at some point I will need further fusion surgery (if I even go through with it again-it was rough) and all of those hopes I'd had that I could finally get back to work and out of the house, etc...it's all gone and now I'm left with inadequate pain control and a situation where the meds that I'm on which work the best of anything else in the past (besides dilaudid which I doubt I could even get if the oxy is such an issue) are all being "cracked down on" or straight up eliminated from even being prescribed by Dr's.

    Anyway-I didn't intend for this post to be a bitch-fest about my issues...I just wanted to express how I'm feeling defeated (which never used to be in my nature) and because I've become so self-isolated over the years, I just feel so alone much of the time. Seeing your post and many of the other posts in this forum helps, even if temporarily, because it reminds my brain that already knows but often forgets, that I'm not alone in this. For that I thank you :-)

    I wish you all the best and hope at least one of us is resting comfortably right now!
  • I wish I had advice that was more practical than philosophical, but the two end up being really intertwined. (yeah, I've been in a really reflective mood for the past two days). Sorry if this sounds like I'm blowing hot air…

    I'm sorry things are bad. You sound like a smart woman who's been through a lot. In addition to everything you're doing, keep on believing and having faith. One of the things that I think a lot of people forget about faith is this: when you need it most is when there aren't answers or proof -- after all, anything can believe in something they see but faith requires something more.

    Have faith that you're getting better. Keep doing things for yourself -- whether it's PT, seeking out another opinion -- knowing that your efforts have meaning and will help you get better. I hate to sound like a bad high school football coach, but the minute you stop having faith is the minute you stop doing things to make yourself better -- and yes, that is when you've lost.

    We're all here for you.
  • Faith....hmmm...its really what it's all about, huh? I think that is what the test is...after so many posts of broken lives and hurting bodies, it comes down to what we have fatih in. Ugh...Im sounding a bit to reflective as well. EMT..keep bitching...as soon as you get it out, it loses it's power...I live in that lesson daily! It's not my day to bitch...my day to listen! Peach Ellen
    3 level fusion L3-S1 July 23, 2012
  • and pretend that the pain feels good , but it doesnt help grrrrrr I go lay down in my bed if I can turn my fan on and dream im on some pretty island somewhere and do deep breathing , and when that fails I cry like a baby until I have a splitting headache to go with the leg and back pain..Hope you feel better..
Sign In or Register to comment.