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My husband had a spinal fusion, we are lost and confused

jaci gilljjaci gill Posts: 1
edited 07/15/2013 - 1:28 PM in Recovering from Surgery
My husband is only 30 years old and has had a 2 level spinal fusion on his s1, l4 and l5 vertebrae. it had been over a year and his pain has not gone down. He was diagnosed with DDD when he was 14 yrs old and the doctor told him if he didn't stop working manual labor he would have to have surgery by the time he was 30. there are so many.people who have had various spinal fusion that seem to be getting better, but Aaron isn't getting better. the pain is debilitating. We tried to get in disability so that he didn't have to go back to work but he was denied twice. He recently started back to work as a trim carpenter and he tries to be careful but he comes home in so much pain. now the doctor wants to put him.on morphine. the idea of such a strong pain reliever scares us. We have two young children who wants to have their daddy back. we don't want him drugged up all the time. our quality of life is just going down hill. I don't know what to do next. I'm sure something can be done though


  • 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
  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 07/16/2013 - 3:21 AM
    Sorry about your husband's experience and how you and your family are suffering. I can't speak about morphine as I've only had it short term when I was 9... I had an allergic reaction, so never had it since. I can speak a little about dilaudid and oxycodone, other "powerful" pain killers. I have had to be on oxycodone multiple times in my healing process. The perk was, it was an affective pain medicine for me, the bad was I had to endure the "foggy head" symptoms which I hate. This meant that I would ONLY take it when my husband was home. After my last surgeries I received a script for dilaudid instead of oxycodone. I was surprised and upset. In my head dilaudid was a much "worse" drug. My surgeon just explained that he wanted me to try something different and that the pill form of dilaudid was different than the IV form (how it interacts in the body). I used the very lowest dosages, and I found that the only bad side effect I had was being extra chatty. As a precaution I still ONLY took it when my husband was home, however it didn't give me the foggy head. My point is, don't freak out because its "morphine".... it could really help your husband and might not be nearly as scary as you expect. I also think that for many, the idea of taking stronger meds is scary because if you go down that road, you might never get off of it. That's not necessarily true. Lots of people (including me) have had to take stronger meds for awhile and still came off of them... Of course, there are some that do need them for the rest of their lives, but needing and taking pain meds under the care of a good PM doc is a FAR cry from an illegal drug user and the two shouldn't be confused.

    Another thing your husband shouldn't give up on is physical therapy. I'm sure he did physical therapy already. I speak from so much experience in this department, the right physical therapist at the right time can make a HUGE difference. I've had experiences with PT that made my pain worse, PT that just didn't help, but also PT that made all the difference. Your husband should look into PT again, possibly at a different facility with a different physical therapist. It could give him tons of relief.

    I hope things improve for you and your family. Good luck!
    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.
  • RTgirl2011RRTgirl2011 Posts: 512
    edited 07/16/2013 - 8:31 AM
    Did you have a lawyer when you filed for disability? You shouldn't of given up when you were denied twice. I have had a two level lumbar fusion and now I am on disability. I used a lawyer and was approved on the first try. If you get denied twice you are entitled to take your case before the administrative law judge. He will decide if you are disabled. My advice would be to get a lawyer. Most will not take any money until they win your case and Social Security will only allow them a percentage of your back pay.

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
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