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pain without relief what to do

lloyd1271llloyd1271 Posts: 7
edited 11/20/2013 - 12:43 PM in Chronic Pain
I have been living with chronic pain for over 18 years now and have just about given up on trying to find relief. About 3 years ago I went in for a lumbar spinal fusion and it didn't take my bone was to soft according to my doctor. The screws that had been put in basically stripped themselves out and just rattled around in my back. I then went in for another revision to take the old hardware out and put in a larger set of screws. Again the screws began working themselves out. I then went in for a third surgery where this time they went through the back removed the screws, and the rods to see that I didn't have enough bone to put in any larger screws. So they turned me over and went in through my front and ended up put screws and rods and a cage around my spine to hold everything together. I went through all in hopes of getting just some relief from my pain. In the end I still feel the same no relief. Each day if sleep when I wake up I hate it. The same issues the same feeling of being hopeless and helpless. I try to talk to what few friends I have left about how I feel and what should do. Just wanting some friendly advice or just hoping that maybe my brain would focus and I could find some clarity on what to do.
I've been seeing this pain management doctor for the past 7 months and he has been suggesting a spinal stimulator. Last month I finally decided to give it a try so tomorrow I go in to have one installed for a trial run for the next week. I don't want to get my hopes up and find out that this like so many other things that I have tried is a failure to. I got my hopes when I had my spinal fusion and was let down three times with that. I have tried a tens unit and that was just about hopeless. I've tried physical therapy for more years than I really want to admit. I've tried acupuncture and herbal treatments and each time with no effect. Now I'm trying this I scared I'm worried and I am at the end of my rope. If this fails I don't know what to do. I can't keep this up much longer, mentally it is draining on me.
If anybody out there has any advice or suggestions I am willing to hear them. I am just tried and don't know what else to do. Each day feels like forever. Being in pain is exhausting both physically and mentally. I thought that over time I would be able to handle it or deal with it, but to be honest after 18 years it is starting to take its toll on me. So I am open to suggestions at this point. I am tired of taking pills and using hot packs. I just want to go from a 9-10 pain level down to say a 5-6 pain level.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Ron DiLauro


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • has info on SCS
    http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/back-surgery/spinal-cord-stimulation-chronic-pain and I think some people have commented on it in the pain management forum
    if nothing else is working it may be worth the trial
  • I just got it done today and so far my lower back is not liking it but it does help with the nerve pain in the leg somewhat. I also have to say that it makes my legs have that feeling they get when after they fall asleep the tingling sensation they get when they start to wake up.
  • doesn't like to be messed with. I think it goes into defense mood and tenses up when I first have something done. It takes a couple days for me to realize any benefits to any procedure. Hopefully you will get some relief soon
  • Laila66LLaila66 Posts: 3
    edited 11/22/2013 - 5:05 PM
    Dear friend,
    I'm new here. I was breaking down tonight, feeling exactly as you do. Losing my sanity and will to live after ten years of severe, debilitating agony. The strong meds don't help, and most people don't understand. I've lost everything. The only reason I don't end it all is because I couldn't do that to my beloved dog, or to the three people on this planet that care. I was misdiagnosed (dismissed, told I had mental problems) when this started at age 28. Turned out I had a hemangioma in T9.

    I am desperate, and I am sorry to post a response that offers zero help to you when you are suffering so much. Please know you are not alone. I've punched walls my with puny, ineffective fists, cut my palms with steak knife, undergone numerous surgeries, tried mostly everything to distract my mind from this crushing, evil pain that has a life of its own, determined to suck out the soul of my being.

    I'd been long out of tears. I hate waking up. I am terrified of sleep because the violent, distressing nightmares of pain and PTSD haunt me to no end.

    Please. Someone, anyone, I am sorry for not being able to handle this night tonight, but I deperately need to vent.

    What do you do when it hurts so much you wish for death?

  • I've been having severe back/leg/foot pain for two years. I won't go into detail because you can read about it on my page. I have vowed that I will do everything under the sun to avoid a fusion so I've been continuing with my meds since my micro/laminectomy in June. I started aqua therapy 3 weeks ago with very little relief but have decided I will do a minimum of 6 weeks like the dr recommended. A friend of mine swears by acupuncture so I made an appointment with the dr she sees. I am not kidding you that I think this woman is a miracle worker. I've only had two treatments but I can feel my toes for the first time in two years. Don't get me wrong I'm far from "cured" but this is the best I've felt in longer than I can remember.

    Don't give up on yourself and always know that there are plenty of us here who understand what you're going through and know its real pain.
    Herniation of l5 S1 l4 , DDD , microdisectomy in June 2013 and re herniation in September
    Cervical herniation at C5-7 Jan 2014 with impingement of spinal cord. 2 level cervical fusion Feb. 2014 and 2 level lumbar fusion in April 2014
  • I had my spinal stimulator installed Thursday morning and now it's Saturday and to be honest my leg doesn't have that burning feel to it which is nice for a change. The back on the other hand no change to that. I really can't complain though not feeling like my leg is on fire is a nice change of pace. still have some shooting pain but I'm going to have a little hope that it subsides. All in all I'm glad to have given this a run. Down side small infection where they put the leads in running a temp. and having some discharge from where the leads go into the back. Still taking the antibiotics and Tylenol for the fever. So I hope that this passes.
  • Hello, I wanted to say thanks for writing your post. Knowing you are out there in such distress touches me deeply. I am 67-
    U can read my history of 30+ years with chronic pain if u want...just click on my screen name and voila. I hope u r feeling slightly improved than when you wrote the post. I am able to get meds from my primary cars doc. It sounds like u r at a loss for what to do now. This spine forum is filled with ideas ( from sniff insecne to have surgery ) but also a lot of support...I don't kno if it really helps to read the support people give here, but I think it does. Why we r living these lives of chronic pain while others are mowing lawns, walking on the beach ? For sure it's not fair. I care about u and I hoped u will post again or pm( private message me). Hang in there. Do u live with other peeps? I live with hubby ( let's say he tries I think ) and a little dog who is my constant shadow . Nice to meet u. Alsmom
  • I am glad you are finding a bit more relief. I shooting pain every so often not sure what causes it because most of my pain is upper back/neck, but sometime it feels like I am getting zapped with a tazer in between scapular area- lower half. Too bad about the infection, hope they keep on top of it. You don't need any more issues, none of us do.
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