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This is my first post. I am a big hot mess and am having a hard time with it so any advice n how to cope would be wonderful. My pain started in 1994 with a car accident. It was just some sciatic flare ups and neck annoyances for years. It got bad fast in late 2001 and became constant in 2002. I started having injections but it was not enough and I ended up having a laminectomy and fusion in my lower back in 12/2003. That sucked! Surgery helped but since then it has just gone down hill. The surgeon who did my surgery started me on meds and in 2004 I started at a pain clinic. The pain is constant from my neck down (I have disks messed up in my neck too messing with my arms and hands). I also have some osteoarthritis and rheumatoid everywhere (it is funny but the RA makes my elbows hurt the most!). And to top it off my ANA count was really high so they are watching me for lupus. I also have some fibromyalgia. I am on A LOT of meds: 3 pain, 3 arthritis, 4 anxiety and depression. I have run the gamut with all the shots in my neck and back but they are not working anymore so I am considering the procedure where they “burn the nerves”- not sure what is called. I would love some feedback from people who have done it – is it worth it? – how long does it last? Etc.
I am soooo sick of living like this!!!! Before pain I was very active and a gym rat (16% body fat!!) I was always an on the go constantly now I am a couch surfer which is exactly what I NEVER wanted to be. I am only 42 and cannot imagine living like this much longer. I want to be happy again but I don’t know how to anymore or if it is possible. How do you deal with this?


  • Hello, I'm also new here and I'm sure others can offer you much more advice than I. I just wanted to say that I am sorry for all you are dealing with and let you know that you are not alone. I was also very active until my major back issues started. I also have an auto immune condition closely related to RA, was diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome back in college in 1982. Then diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 15 yrs ago. Both conditions cause wide spread pain and muscle spasms, aches etc..but were manageable with exercise and occasional meds as needed. I always had lower back pain, but just attributed it to my underlying conditions....until Nov 2011 when I woke up with unbearable debilitating sciatic pain down my right leg. Went through facet injections which failed to help and spent 8 weeks living in agony on the couch ( couldn't get up the stairs to attempt climbing in to bed) while I waited for an appt with a new Dr at a renowned hospital in Boston. When I finally saw him he immediately sent me for an epidural which worked wonders. I was able to slowly get back to normal activity. Now 2 yrs later and I have had ESIs every 3-5 months to keep the sciatica in check. I have now developed upper thigh pain in the front of my thigh so recently had facet injections at 4 levels..they helped for a few weeks but now the pain is back. My Neuro also suggested we should maybe try a nerve ablation, which I believe is when they burn the nerves. I just recently had an MRI which showed herniations at l4/l5 and l5/s1 , also spondylolithesis at l3/l4 and l4/l5 with osteoarthritis and facet changes throughout. Trying to hold off til after the holidays to call Dr to discuss next step...will see how bad it gets.
    Sorry for the long post, but we have some similarities so I wanted to let you know what had worked for me. I know how desperate I was when I couldn't even move without screaming...felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I hope you find the right Dr(s) to help you get relief and reclaim your life.
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