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Getting tired of this

I see my PM on 7/3 thank the Lord. My medications have darn near stopped working and every day for the past week, I've come home from work (sometime at lunch time) to lay down just to let my back relax and go to my "happy place" mentally. Pain was so bad last week at work one of my co-workers came in my office to find me sobbing bent over my chair just trying to stretch my muscles to get some type of relief. Talk about embarrassing.

I honest to God don't know what can be done at this point. Other than except the fact that I am going to live the rest my life on drugs, have side effects and always have to say no to my kids when they ask me to do things that cause me to be active. Fun times at 47 years old. I wish I never had the damn surgery six years ago.

Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2


  • Can I make a suggestion? How about using a TENs unit for when you are at work? I know that it might not help the pain levels much but it might help with the muscle spasms and pain and that in itself for me was huge.....the other thing that might help more is to combine two different muscle relaxers. I use both zanaflex and baclofen in combination, and get far more relief from the muscular pain using them together than I ever did using just one......I take zanaflex 6 mg/tid and baclofen 15 mg/tid and together it helps, doesn't relieve all of it but does take on a bunch of it and that allows me more time being active than I have had previously.
  • calleryblossomccalleryblossom Posts: 4
    edited 06/30/2013 - 6:08 AM
    I'm only 38 and am in the same boat as you. It's tough that you have to deal with this at work too. I prefer to suffer in the privacy of my own home. Though, I'm sure working would be nice for my self esteem.
    I don't know about your doc, but mine doesn't mind seeing me a bit early if I'm having issues. Can you see them sooner? Maybe an adjustment/change in meds is in order.
    Have you talked to them about a pain pump? Sounds like you would benefit greatly.
    I'm really sorry you're having a bad time. If I get ahold of that magic wand I've been praying for, I'll let you know.
    One more thing, do you have a tens unit? It makes for a decent pain distraction at times. I have this one: *** edited to remove link***
  • Sandi - I have a tens unit. It works ok, but when I have a flare up like this weeks has been, sticking my finger in a socket wouldn't help! I do rely on it when I know I'm going to be sitting for a while or doing some extended walking. I flew to Orlando a few weeks ago and decided not to wear it (thank goodness!) TSA about anally probed me over the back brace I was wearing. Can't imagine what they would have done seeing wires running to my back from the controller unit!

    Callaryblossom - Thanks for the combination idea. I might ask my doctor about it Wednesday. I call in any time have a flare up like this, but all they do is give me oral steroids to take. It the past, they have helped some, but I sure internally, my body is taking a beating from it. I have discussed pain pumps with them. They indicated they prefer to put those in folks that aren't real active due to the potential for movement. I'm about to the point of saying screw it and put one in me though. My PM doctor and APRN's are very good, his office staff sucks though. I know they see people in pain all day and are probably cynical about it to others now, but they really have some attitudes. I have one staff member I like to deal with since we've gotten to know each other from being a patient there monthly for the past 6 years.

    As far as working, I have an awesome employer. They know my issues and let me adjust my day as needed. I am filing for disability retirement from being an EMT, but they are going to allow me to work administratively. That doesn't affect my ability to get the disability retirement, although I cant practice as an EMT any longer after I get it. That's ok for me...America needs to go on a diet! Everyone on this site would be amazed at the number of emergency service workers and hospital staff that go out because of back injuries lifting people. I can tell you it's not from poor techniques, but more over the funky positions you find yourself in tying to lift.

    Here it is Sunday morning and I've been out of bed for an hour and I am already having considerable spasms and pain. Looks like a fun day ahead of me.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • My husband and daughter both are emt's and you are right, it is the funky positions , narrow staircases and railings, that contribute in a huge way to the back problems ems/police/fire/ nurses all have to contend with.
    I hope that the idea of using two different muscle relaxers helps some, and your doctors are willing to do it, and coupled with using the TENS on really bad days, it might be enough to give you some more relief.
  • Sorry about the flare up. I have cried many times at work in pain and it is very humiliating. I hope you get your disability solved soon. Glad you are able to work administratively for now. And TSA is use to TENS units FYI, at least that's been my experience.... as well as bone stimulators. I wouldn't go without it.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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