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Losing ability to cope

Hi, I am new to this forum and signed up as a way to here what others that are going through similar situations have to say and how they might handle certain situations. I will have to say I have been reluctant to post on these kinds of forums because it seems like I am always reading about someone who can't understand why their Dr. wont prescribe the strongest narcotic available and more than enough of it. They usually have a long list of reasons they are in chronic pain and their username is ironically something like 'opiate_king'. Which unfortunately is a huge deterrent for people with real life problems.

I am not going to make my problems sound worse than they are and I know that many people have it so much worse than me. However, I do have a problem that is gradually eating away at my life and while it was first something that I could manage, it is now overcoming me and I am very confused and oddly feel all alone.

I will make a long story short. About 3.5 years ago I injured my back. It started with what I considered common lower back pain. One day my wife & I were out Christmas shopping & I suddenly was paralyzed with intense pain running down my right leg into my foot. The pain was intense. I related it something had done a few weeks prior to hurt my back. The pain was the kind of pain that just never goes away. What little comfort I could find was only found standing or lying down, I couldn't sit for more than a minute or so. I dropped major weight because I couldn't sit down to eat a meal. Our doctor is a good friend of our family and a client of mine. I was put on Oxycodone 7.5/325mg 3 times a day. I also got the steroid injections that did not help at all. My MRI showed bulging & herniated discs and we talked about a surgery I could have. I did not want to rush into a surgery so we decided to ride it out and see what happens. My wife was pregnant with twins and was planning to quit her job when they were born so this wasn't a time that I had many options. My job can be very physically demanding & I had no choice but to bear the pain I was in & move on.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi crick, I have to run at the moment, but I just wanted to welcome you. One thing I might add real quick is to talk to your doctor about adding a nerve pain medication, like Cymbalta, Nuerontin, Lyrica, etc. Those are designed to target nerve pain, just like on the commercials on TV. anyway, Welcome. I'm sure others will be along to welcome you as well.
  • It sounds like you do need surgery. I agree nerve meds im on Gabapentin and it works great . I had ALIFL4L5S1 surgery march 13th.I had same symtoms as you.I know timing is bad because of twins but hopefully you can fit it in .I tried everything and nothing worked.Good luck and I hope you find help here.We help each other out and it makes life a little easier. kathy
    Kathy B
  • First off, welcome to the club nobody wants to join. I can identify w/what you wrote. My primary doctor tried treating me for a while. We did pain meds, injections, and I was going to the chiropractor multiple times a week. I kept going, but it was not only physically hurting me, it was taking a toll on me mentally. I was finally sent to a Pain Clinic. I did not know it, but that is where I found the most relief. The Dr. there was more experienced in issues with the spine than my primary was. I say this because you left me w/the impression that you are still working w/your primary Dr.

    You also did not mention Physical Therapy. I found this to help much more than the Chiropractor. They showed/taught me exercises that I could do on my own in addition to the treatments at the clinic. So this bought me more time.

    The epidural shots at the pain clinic did not help me, in fact the first was so painful that I was actually scared to try the second one. My PM did not suggest anymore since they did not help. Something worth mentioning here is that I have grown to trust my PM. So when he recently (years after his first attempt) told me he wanted to try the injections again, but in another spot, I let him. This time he went lower w/a Caudal injection. Well, I am so glad I let him try because I finally got the relief that I did not before. I now get them as often as possible.

    Another thing I will tell you is I asked to be referred to a Psychologist. I was sent to one that specializes in pain treatment. He got me to try some medication. After the second visit he said that the way I felt was common with Chronic Pain patients and as long as the meds helped to take the full run of them and see if I wanted to continue them or see him again. He was right in that the meds got me through my slump and I was able to stop taking them and cope w/my life.

    This got a bit long. I just wanted to share that w/you in hopes it is helpful. For me it has kinda been a roller coaster ride. I have been up and then down. Another point is with this ride I have found that I have gone around more than once. I'm not sure it gets any easier, except that you know that you have been here and know what helps you and what to expect.

  • i am in the same boat as you crick, except i have only been dealing with this for a little over 2 years. of course a neurosurgeon recommended a microdiscectomy for me, but i have a physical job also, and mostly from what i have read is you will reherniate, then eventually need a fusion down the road. so i have been toughing it out all this time. i do take meds, and do stretches everyday. the worst time for me is the mornings, or if i sit to long, like 20 minutes.
  • Hi, I am also new to this site and this is my first actual post on here. I can relate to what you have said in your post so much as I haven't posted on any site/forum yet as I have been trying to make sure I find the right one- which I hope I have! One of my main aims regarding being on this site is to hopefully be able to start making online friends with people who are in similar situations as myself and building a kind of support network for myself where people can share news, remedies, ideas, etc and be able to talk to people who know exactly what you mean due to going through it themselves so if anyone wants to message me and find out more/share stories I am more than happy for that to happen.

    Hope everyone is having a not-so-bad day today!!
  • JanelleJJanelle Posts: 30
    edited 05/31/2013 - 12:05 PM
    Hi Crick,

    The good news is you have come to the right place. I joined this site only a few months ago and was feeling very much the way you are. Having a back injury seems to have a way of making everyone feel segregated from their regular life and loved ones. I have found being on this site and reading stories from others going through many of the same issues I am very helpful. It has in a way allowed me an outlet for my pain and a place to go and focus on it. It might sound silly but having this outlet has actually helped me get at least a small step closer to being my previous self in my everyday life. Because I have this site and these people I no longer feel the need to focus all my conversations and focus with others in my life on my back issues.

    I also find that no matter what the proposed treatment or medication a Dr offers I am able to come here and find at least one person that has tried it and has shared their experience with it. This doesn't ever seem to really mirror my own experience but it does always help me go into a treatment feeling more confident armed with whatever knowledge I have been able to find on this site.

    I don't have the same type of injury you do as my is thoracic, but I hope that you find some of what you are looking for on here and gain as much as I have.

  • I'm not sure if I'm in the right forum or not first time here. I was born w scoliosis when I was 8 I wore a back brace till I was 11 then the drs said I needed the herrington rod so Had the surgery when I was 11. always had back pain throughout the yrs and it started gotting worse family dr put me on pain meds for a while did no good, then sent me to a pain treatment center where I was put on different meds and had epidural nerve root blocks but nothing was working so I dealt with this for years, then about 3yrs ago my back was gradually getting worse to the point I couldnt work, so saw a orthapedic dr and my only option was to have the rest of my spine fused and I did and it did help with the pain a while then about jan or feb this yr My back goes out and itjust gets so bad the send me to a spine dr and had a mri and ct an all thats when I heard I have 2 herniated discs and the degeneration and on top of all tha I had pain in my lower cheek and down my leg it was sciatica . So they went in and done a nerve root block injection and it has helped but now I have it going down my other leg spent 30min crying the pain is so bad I wish they would kill the nerve or cut my left off the pain is unbearable I cant take this anymore, I'm calling my spine dr first thing in the morning to see what he can do
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