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what to do

Hello evreyone, I am new to this so i will explain my story. I am 42 married with 2 children, i was in construction, back in 1997 i injured my back while working 2-3mm buldge, and did the physical therapy, and all your routine stretches etc. I would get the feeling about once a year, where you get the knot in your back and you just know your back is going to out. So i would go to acupunture and do cupping, this worked really well for about 14 years or so. I played ice hockey once a week golfed etc, without any issues.. In Aug 2012 while at work i started getting numbness in my right leg but my back really was not troubling me like normal, so i kept working for about 3 weeks. Then on a weekened here at home my son went to spray me with the hose, and i fell down trying to get out of the way. So i go to my PCP, and get an MRI and he tells me i need emergency surgery due to a 9mm herniation at l5 S1 I am at risk of losing bowel and urinary control. OK! My wife and i seek out 3 different surgeons, Neuro,& Ortho, So we schedule an app to see a local Complex spine surgeon, he tells me i need to get into surgery right away, if i do not want any permanent nerve damage. He tells me i need a Micro Diskcetomy, and i should be back to work in about 2-3 weeks. OK! So we set it up for a Sat to check into the ER to avoid further delay for ins approval, to run blood work etc... Surgery was 4 hours long. Went home stayed downstairs really painful he said no stairs or excessive movements for about a week or so. OK! 1 week goes by still could not move very well almost passed out to make it to my bedroom upstairs. I call his office and let them know how much pain i was still feeling and was told it was normal.OK! My wife is changing the bandage 2xdaily because of leakage, been like that since i was home, office said it was all normal.OK! Finally developed a fever and could not move pain in both legs,called the Dr's office they said if it is still leaking in the AM to come in. I go in he sees the saturated bandage, pushes around on it to extract the fluid, said i have a infection of the skin it is Seroma, gives me Keflex (Antibiotic) and say's follow up in a week.OK! Well i did not make it to a week, i was ambulenced out of my home 3 day's after the office visit, MRI showed grapefruit size sac of CSF, with disc re herniation, the fluid had destroyed like Moses parting the red sea all of my lower back muscles. I had meningitis and was going Septic. We had asked for a second opinion, and was transported to a different hospital, their i underwent a Dural repair, Re do of the surgical procedures from the first guy, and then an interbody expandable cage with pedicle screw's for spinal stability. I now suffer with 65% L5 nerve damage in my right leg, wear an AFO 100% Atrophy due to drop foot, cannot ambulate very far without the use of a cane. I get MRI's done evrey 3 months. and the symptoms are affecting my left leg have been for some time. Last month i was told i had Arachnoiditis.I did pool therapy for a year, i have been on pain management for a year, and worked my way off all these Opioids rather quickly. Currently doing wet cupping thru accupuncture,I am currently on 10 mg of OxycodoneHCL in the am 10mg at night, Oxycodone/Acetomenophene,5/325,3x daily for BT 40mg Prozac 1x daily15mgMeloxicam1xdailyand a heartburn pill 1x daily. I have noticed i been taking the breakthru med 4 maybe 5 a day to keep up with my family, knowing a little about Opiods and your body's response to them when you take them for a long time i got scared at set up an appt with the pain Dr. He told me i am pretty much out of options that i need a spinal stimulator. Kinda do not want any more surgery if you know what i mean, so i asked him if i could do the patch system, and he said ethically i cannot continue to be your Dr unless you try the stimulator.So i have an appt with my PCP to see if i can continue with the 10HCL in the am and pm, but get the same medication, but in quicker release for during the day..

Sorry for the book, but Drs always have the same thing to say anyway, they created this situation and now i want it fixed.

Whatever you guys can suggest would be great, It really isn't fair to my family..




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

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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
  • First, I am sorry for the complications you are dealing with from the first surgery. Hopefully , in time, things may improve with the nerve damage, but there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of when it comes to dealing with pain medication.
    The Oxycontin is a long acting opiate, meaning it is to be taken twice a day as prescribed by your physician.......the immediate release or short acting medications are not meant to be taken every day or every time you have pain that is not controlled by the long acting medications.
    Long acting medications are used to treat your every day pain levels. The use of breakthrough medications are meant to be used when the pain levels escalate substantially over your base levels of pain but after you have tried other methods to deal with the pain, including resting, ice, heat , topical creams and ointments available over the counter ........if none of those methods work, and the pain is more than you can handle, then consider taking some of the breakthrough medications. Taking them on any kind of regular basis, whether it is once a day or three times a day, only increases the amount of opiates that your body quickly acclimates to having in your blood stream and before you know it, you have not only made it so that your tolerance levels have increased, but now you have no rescue medications for those times when you really do need it.......taking more than you are allotted per day is automatically grounds for dismissal from any doctor.....running out early is automatic dismissal and makes it that much more difficult for you to find any doctor who will prescribe pain medications in the future for you......
    I am including a link at the bottom of my post that you may find helpful.......
  • Sandi,

    Thank you for the Link, I have been on these medications since 2012, after 4 procedures to get to where i am @ today.
    I was on 120mg of Oxycontin 40mg of Cymbalta,15mg of meloxicam( Mobic) 10 mg of Diazepam & 60mg of oxycodone all @ once daily. I titrated down to 10mg OxycodoneHCL 2x a day 15mg Mobic1x a day & 5/325 oxycodone in 6 months. This is what i am currently on along with Voltaren 4x a day,i have 2 tense units and use a product called Light Relief. My concern is that i am aware of the opioid dangers and realized that i was taking BT meds more times during the day when i wanted to keep up with my family. I knew that it is not good to do so that is why i set up the appt with my PM. He stated that my regiment is no longer working,and i needed a spinal stimulator. I do not want anymore surgery as this is a invasive procedure, do not let them fool you, and with this implant i would still be on opioids, as he stated i will more than likley never be completelyoff of opioid medications. This is why i asked him about the Transdermal therapy system.What is the point of risking the dangers of a 5th procedure when i will still need to be on daily opioids.So my PCP is working with me now and we are going to try Butrans, I will be starting tommorrow as it takes about 3 days to start working,& lasts 7 day's per treatment. I am really hoping this will be to my benefit as their is no cure for Adhesive Arachnoiditis aka FBSS.

    I will keep you posted,

    Kindest Regards,

  • I went down the road to the doctors wanting to implant a scs unit too, and while I did go talk to the doctor and the rep from the company, I ultimately decided it was not for me.
    I was told that I also have AA in my spine, as well as some other issues at various levels , so I understand being at a crossroads and trying to get to the minimal amount of meds to get through the day. Congratulations by the way, on lowering your doses so significantly.....that's a great thing when we are able to do that, because it gives us more options down the road as we age....
    Good luck with the change to butrans. I hope that it works out well for you.
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