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How do you cope with severe lumbar spinal stenosis?

ButtercupfieldBButtercupfield Posts: 7
edited 01/23/2013 - 1:26 AM in Spinal Stenosis
How frustrating! For some reason Spine Heath gobbled up my letter to the forum! So here is a shorter version.

Need to know how you all cope with severe lumbar spinal stenosis? How do you manage to hang clothes on a hanger and put it on the pole? Cook? Walk up and down stairs? Sit? Please share with me your tricks for daily living. My stenosis is very advanced. I've lost 85% of my mobility. Have urinary and fecal incontinence. Had 2 spinal injections that didn't work. On Naproxen E for over 20 years. Lyrica for a year. Tried Celexa and then Cymbalta, but had to stop because of severe diarrhea. I live alone and am 64 years old with severe osteoarthritis in all my body.

Thank you!


  • I went to a lecture at a local hospital given by a local neurosurgeon. He said there is a procedure to relieve spinal stenosis. Have you looked into something that might help you. I am not a big advocate of surgical intervention, but it sounds as though your life is so terribly impacted by your condition that you might consider all avenues to help yourself. You don't say where you live, etc. I do all my research on the internet. Also, a good teaching hospital in your area is a good start.
    Good luck in finding some solutions to your condition.
  • Thanks for your reply Joan. Yes, I have been offered surgery, but haven't heard of enough success stories to convince me. Seems like a long recovery, not living at home, and several trips back for more surgeries due to the initial surgery or because of further damage. Don't want to spend the years I have left in surgery or recovering from surgeries not that successful. My family doctor agrees.

    I live in Québec and I too have searched everywhere on the net for support groups, alternatives, reserarch (not much happening there).

    Thanks for your suggestion.
  • I sent you a PM
    Take Care.
  • Hi Buttercup:
    I am 66 years old and recently injured myself in a fall. I too am looking at all avenues beside surgery. Some of the symptoms you describe seem to be so life altering. What does your PM suggest as to ways to cope with your symptoms. Are the symptoms getting worse. I live in fear of my symptoms getting worse, and how I'll handle it if they do. I know that for me I don't want to be physically handicapped if I can help it. Let me know how you progress. I also don't know if the procedures for Spinal Stenosis help. I was on a cruise with my husband and one of the fellow passengers had an injection that seemed to help his very much. He was really pleased with how much mobility he had regained. Unfortunately, I don't remember what injection he had because at the time I didn't think I suffered from spinal stenosis so I didn't zero in on his treatment. Hope we both find help.
  • Hello Joan,

    My doctor has me on different medications, trying to control the neuropathic pain in buttocks and legs. I've tried physio, have had 2 injections between the L4 and L5 but only the Lyrica seems to have made a difference. The Cymbalta was very good but eventually caused violent diarrhea so stopped it. I am waiting to see what other course he'll suggest. There is the Pain Clinic, but was told they choose narcotics for pain control. Not a permanent thing though as body gets used to them and they no longer have any effect.

    I think that for many people, the symptoms never go to the extreme. Mine did. It's very difficult, especially living alone, as no one can take care of the garbage for me, or clean out the litter box, for instance. Or take my rolllator down the stairs while I come down holding on to to the ramp and the cane in the other hand.

    I try not to think about tomorrow. I need all my mind to deal with the situaton, If I start worrying about things, I have no energy left to figure out how to pick up the dang pencil that rolled out of arm's reach...:) ! (If you get what I mean) But I came here because I thought perhaps someone had come up with a good idea for different things that are almost impossible for me such as hanging up clothes.

    All the best and don't think about things worsening. Just savour everything you can do, and pray for inner strength.
  • CornhuskerCCornhusker Posts: 3
    edited 05/05/2013 - 7:34 AM
    I freeze the stinky portion of the garbage; that way I can have garbage emptied less often and pay a teenager in area to take it out. Could you find someone to move your bed downstairs, maybe get rid of other furniture to make room? How about getting another rollator, in U.S. called a walker. Thrift stores have them at times; do you have someone who could look for you? Could you do smaller loads of laundry and use a drying rack or towel holders to drape them over? I sit down to use dustmop but that also hurts; I'm hoping for coping suggestions from physical therapist.
  • Mimi719MMimi719 Posts: 21
    edited 05/17/2013 - 11:45 AM
    Buttercup, honey, you have been dealing with pain way too long! Why not have the surgery? I am 45 years old with many symptoms of stenosis for over a year, but doc has yet to find the cause. It's very frustrating. I was so active to now live, most of the day, in my recliner. I have also put on 25 lbs. Depressing! I am seeing a pych and love her. If my problem could just be found and fixed, I wouldn't be so depressed. Pain is horrible and has totally changed my quality of life. If surgery is what it takes to recover and be well again...I am so ready for it! Best to both you and others who have posted.
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