Hi. I am new to chat rooms so please be patient with my technological clumsiness. I had an extruded (herniated) disc at L5/S1 since May. I moved heavy furniture without help, and then went on a trip where I carried heavy luggage around. I also thought I could deny my pain and "walk it out". My GP sent me to PT without getting an MRI first, and the PT's wrong exercises further herniated my disc so that I was in excruciating pain down my sciatic nerve and I couldn't sit. By the end of June I couldn't stand it any more and got an MRI that revealed a large extrusion (2 cm, 1.5cm, etc--NOT in mm) at L5/S1. I had 3 epidural steroid shots that didn't help much AND I had reactions to the injections. I tried appropriate PT and Hydrotherapy at this point to no avail. I went back to work and my 47 minute commute at the end of August, sitting on ice all the way and breaking up my commute to get out of the car while weeping with pain. I did as much conservative treatment as I could because I fear surgery. I gave up and saw a neurosurgeon and scheduled a discectomy/limited laminectomy for Oct. 3rd. I was told that the surgery would relieve my nerve pain down my leg and eventually help with the numbness and stop the spreading to my other leg. He advised me to take 3-4 weeks off from work and said this was outpatient-- I would be out of hospital within 24 hours.
I had the surgery and he said it was a success, but that my nerve had been completely strangled with extruded disc material, normal arthritis, etc. and he freed the nerve. I was admitted overnight and the next morning I walked around the floor several times with a OT and felt alright, though in pain. However, after I signed my discharge papers and they removed my IV, my pain began to escalate. I had to urinate (my bladder was still not right) on the very low toilet in my room. I had to call the nurse because my pain got very bad. It is now a different pain-PAIN in my pelvis, hip bones, thigh bones, and different soft tissue areas--plus the incision site. The new bone pain is like being skewered with metal skewers from many different angles. The nurse did nothing to help the pain (I had taken a Roxicodone before this happened that didn't work) and the pain continued to escalate, I had trouble breathing, my blood pressure went up, and then I started having the worst chest pain (elephant on my center sternum bone) I have ever had in my life. A"Rapid response" team was called in and they took nearly 3 hours to get a new IV line in after blowing out all my veins because no one had a small (like a 22) needle. I ended up getting a chest Xray and EKG which showed some slight abnormalities. Noone has explained exactly what type of pain attack I had. They finally got some morphine into me and since then, I have had horrible new bone pain.
I was discharged in absolute agony, but I knew I would be safer at home as the nurses did not want to give me any pain medicine (including Advil!) and their computers kept crashing on the floor. I had to beg to get an OT to come visit me at home and have not slept more than 5 1/2 hours a night since surgery. I called my surgeon's nurses to ask for help treating the pain. I have a lot of drug allergies/adverse reactions. Nothing helped. I also called the on-call neuro. at the hospital during intense pain episodes at night. I gave up and went to my GP Friday and started new treatments--increasing the Vicodin (with a lower Tylenol load), and adding Celebrex for bone pain and Valium at night to get me to stay asleep and not wake crying in pain. The past 2 nights I have slept better than I have since surgery so I hope this lasts.
Has anyone else ever 1) Had a bad reaction to lumbar surgery 2) Suffered uncontrollable new bone pain following this type of surgery? 3) Have an educated guess about WHEN I might be able to go back to work?
I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions. I do ice down and walk on the 1st floor of my house a lot.