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Here we go again

Well, after my ACDF C5,6,7 (which I had thought 4,5,6) ten years ago, and my L5-S1 cage a cpl years ago, and my SCS six months ago, I've come full circle. I was trying to get off the narcotics and weaned down to two 5/325 Percocet a day when I realized my pain was still real and spreading.
No more mris allowed but a cat scan reveals neural foraminal narrowing due to spurs at every C except 3/4. This explains my numbness in the hands index and pointer fingers. Mainly the spur or scar tissue on C7 is attributed to that. Looks like epidural and increase again on the Percocet to at least 7.5/3/day. That seems to be where I was last manageable.
I am so depressed over this stuff. I can't believe its back and once again, no surgical fix.....pain mgmt only. I'm in a very dark place to perfectly honest and the final exit plan seems like a real option. I spent some time researching this and it isn't hat hard to do but preparing others is the hard part. I just can't stand being on the dope and I can't stand being in the pain either. No win here. When I was ten days into the wean down to only two, I stated throwing p and losing weight. Couldn't keep stuff in me and lost appetite too. If it weren't for a visit from a friend unexpectedly on Tuesday I wouldn't be in pain right now.
The SCS has not been as effective as it was initially either. It is still helping some, thankfully.

Yesterday I had to have an injection in my hand for trigger finger too. Second one in that joint and the last one allowed. Surgery is next. God knows I need a working trigger finger! Just kidding, that's too messy.

It just seems that I am destined to hurt no matter what and I'm just losing the drive to fight anymore. It's a very lonely dark place. My condolences to all of you in this space as well.


  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 03/18/2014 - 2:08 AM
    Spine is such an up and down journey - the pain is relentless and no-one understands it until they've had it. It's ok to be down - you'd be pretty stupid not to feel depressed sometimes.

    I take meds for pain relief, muscle relaxants and amitryptaline for sleep. Once my pain is under control I feel much better. I finally got some answers that I thought I'd never get. I couldn't believe it so I have pain free days sometimes. It's worth waiting and trying different things.

    Maybe you could try some different pain meds. Percocet is oxycodone so maybe switch to MSContin. Methadone works for some people as well. I hated it, but my step dad has cancer and they put him on low dose methadone through the skin and ha has no pain at all and his dose is a fifth of what it was before. I hope you are taking muscle relaxants as well. If not get some or your muscles cuase so much pain and opiaites didn't work for me until they put muscle relaxants in the mix.

    Ages ago Kiki for those of you who remember had a chiropractor give her NUCCA treatments which she said really helped. Her C spine was really bad as well. The chiropractors who do this are very gentle and she said she was getting relief after years of pain.

    You can search for her posts. So maybe there is something else that can work for you. I was in a similar situation - nothing to look forward to but a life of pain. Finally someone realised what had happened and gave me some relief. I couldn't believe it - so maybe a miracle will happen like it did for me.

    If you are at the planning stage you have to call someone to come over. I know it's hard to ask for help but please call your family or a friend and tell them you've had enough. If not call one of the suicide hotlines. They should be available 24/7.

    Sometimes it helps to talk to someone you don't know. Keep blogging and let it out. If I was in the States I'd come over for a visit.

    You really do need to get your pain under control and maybe find a pain killer that suits you better. Maybe a pain pump would make you feel different and you can get away with less medications.

    So you still have some options left. Just please call someone - I'd come over so your friends or one of your family should want to as well. I know you're a guy and guys don't like to be weak but it isn't weakness - it's the pain and the never ending ups and downs that go with it.

    Call anyone. Please do it.

  • Thanks for your comments. I am taking lot ram, back often, and Percocet as I have been for 3-4 years begrudgingly. As a recovering addict, it is a tightrope walk to take meds at all. I couldn't take methadone or suboxone as I hear he withdrawal is brutal.
    No, I'm stuck on what I'm taking now and I don't like it.
    I've had thoughts of exit before, we all have I bet, but I spent the day researching tried and true high success rates as I do jot want to end u p vegetative.
    I just need to resolve how best to let those left deal with it. I'm almost at peace with it myself.
    Tired of the battle is the best way to describe it.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 03/18/2014 - 10:37 AM
    This is the best I can do. Please at least call one of these numbers. I also researched a great web site in the US for suicide a while ago. Can't remember what it's called but I was feeling pretty down and it made me laugh. This is a link to one of the sites.


    The web site was great reading as it was people experiences with suicide for those who had pulled through. Research it and it might make you feel a bit up like it did to me. If not call one of the numbers below.

    Suicide Help Resources

    Suicide Hotline Numbers
    USA: 1-800-784-2433
    UK : 08457 90 90 90
    ROI: 1850 60 90 90

    Suicide Hotline Numbers for Canada (URL Link)

    What is your plan? How prepared are you? How soon are you thinking of doing this?

    Look I can't counsel you over the net to be honest. You need to talk to someone over there. I know the pain is really bad now or you wouldn't be thinking of it I know you probably don't give a xxxx at the moment but you are worthwhile to people who learn from your posts here, You helped a lot of people because you tell it like it is.

    For heavens sake you kicked drugs on your own so you are a really strong person to do that. Not many people can. You could tell your whole story and I think it would make a great book. Have you ever thought of writing about it. Not many people have the guts to come off street drugs and a lot of people don't succeed in ever giving up. So by virtue of that, you have so much experience and knowledge you could give other people to help them kick their habit.

    Over here they look for recovering addicts to go and give lectures in schools to tell the kids what it's really like.

    When the pain hits me like that I distract myself with a good movie at least for a while. Do you have a video.
    Can you go and get a movie that'll make you feel good?

    Methadone withdrawals aren't that bad - I've done it once - it's just the last bit that you have to go slowly. Lots of the meds we take have side effects of suicidal thoughts. Have you checked the interaction checker on drugs.com to see if your meds could be responsible?

    I have to go to sleep now 'cause I'm exhausted and in pain. Remember I'm in the land of Australia. Tomorrow I have to get up early to see my step father (more like my real father than my real father was) in hospital and dying of cancer. It's been a full moon here so maybe you have one there too. It really does effect the way you think. So at least drink some water.

    Please get the other side of the story of suicide - you have helped people and are amazing - not many people have the guts to come out and say I am an ex addict.

    Post edited to remove inappropriate language by Liz spine-health moderator

  • Sadly too many of us know what you're going through. When the darkness overwhelms us we look to anything to stop the relentless pain. You say "preparing others is the hard part" please do, please reach out & discuss this with your family & loved ones. My big brother (only sibling) took his own life & I sincerely wish he'd talked it through with me, not so I could of dissuaded him but for me to have that final connection to hold onto. You've been through so much. I understand where you are, it's a cold & desperately lonely place. I hope you fight & carry on for selfish reasons, you still have so much to give. Please talk to us & your family, none of us should go through this alone.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • We all have down days but suicide is not the answer! Talk to your dr about how you are feeling; there are many antidepressants that can possibly help with the pain as well as your feelings of suicide. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose'
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • Michael_BMichael_B Posts: 23
    edited 03/18/2014 - 10:34 AM
    Post edited for inappropriate comment..Liz spine-health moderator
  • Hi Volvo hope you are ok this morning, my time. I woke up early, was worried if you are ok. Please just check in if even if it's by PM.

    For anyone who wants to help here are the steps when a person is thinking of suicide. This only works if you are with the person and none of us are professionals but this is a list of actions to take if you are not a professional.

    Review Risk Risk alert Contract Safeplan

    Are you having thoughts of suicide - yes - SUICIDE Keep safe
    Safety contact
    Safe/no use of alcohol - drugs
    Link to resources

    Current suicide plan
    How? How prepared? How soon? Yes PREPARED Disable the suicide plan

    Do you have pain that is unbearable at times? Yes DESPERATE Ease the pain

    Do you feel you have few, or any resources? Yes ALONE Link to resources

    Prior suicidal behaviour
    Have you attempted suicide before? Yes FAMILIAR Protect against danger
    Support past survival skills
    Mental Health
    Are you receiving or
    have you received mental health care? Yes VUNERABLE Link to health worker.

    You should make a safety contract with the person they will not do anything until they have spoken to someone else. You should not leave them alone.

    I have used this technique and it works BUT you need to be there. I know this isn't a suicide site but there are so many people who come here when they have had enough of the pain and just want it to stop. I guess most of us have been at the suicide stage due to pain at one stage or another.

    I know this technique works - I have used it quite a few times before - as long as the person gets through the tough part and know what to do they should be ok.

    So 64pVolvo please don't act until you have spoken to someone. I'm too far away to see that you promise. Please call the hotlines or get someone over, a friend, family anyone.

    I know you don't think this feeling will pass but it will. Please Pm me to tell me u r ok.

  • I have not been dealing as long as you have, only 3 years, but I have already had many thoughts as you,but I have an awesome loving mother who is 89 and I could not make her go through that emotional pain. What we sometimes forget is the pain that our loved ones feel over feeling unable to give us some relief. That emotional turmoil that they go through is impossible to understand until you have had to deal with it. I have a stepson, you might as well call him son because of the love and investment I have put into him. He had a very difficult time during his teen years because he was troubled by the push pull he felt between his mother's side of the family and his dad. He started using drugs when he was 13 and by the time he was 17 he was arrested,charged and imprisoned for possession of oxycotin, Xanax and marijuana, as well as burglary, using a false identity with a pawn broker, and dealing in stolen goods. This made us all so sad, frustrated, hopeless, confused and angry. He is out now, but we continue to be afraid that he will go back to drugs. We know that we have no control over what he does but it plagues us every day.
    The reason I am telling you this is because you can never prepare those who love you for what you are planning. They already feel helpless and sad, angry and anxious because they cannot cure you.If you hurt yourself, they will never be able to release the guilt and frustration, the anger and self hatred because they were not good enough to prevent this. My father died when I was 14. He had heart disease and at 44 was very frustrated and angry that he had to change his life. After he died, we found cigarettes and alcohol hidden in the house. I was so angry that he didn't love me enough to follow doctors orders so he could remain with me. It has taken me a lifetime to get over this feeling of abandonment and low self esteem that his actions left me with. I am 58 years old and I am still not sure that I am over it.
    One of my friends lost her husband to suicide 10 years ago. He shot himself in their house and was planning to take her with him, (she woke up and there was a gun next to her on the bedside table.). I watched what she went through over the last ten years. This year she finally told me that on the one year anniversary, she had planned to take her own life as well. A friend took her out that afternoon and she met someone else that she started dating and married last year. You never ever know what can happen tomorrow. That is why you cannot give up. We are not psychics. We also have no right to dump our pain o. Others and leaving it with them and not be there to deal with the fallout. The people who love you will feel pain that is much more than your physical pain and will never be forgotten even if it lessens over the years. You cannot prepare them or make it okay to commit suicide. You CAN deal with this, you just don't want to. I understand. What you cannot and should not do is escape at the expense of everyone who loves you. You don't know what will happen next week. They are doing research all the time. I know that right know I. The town I live I they are doing trials on a drug that works as well as narcotics,but has no addictive qualities and no tolerance build up. I also know that they are currently working on stem cell research that grows nerves in spinal cord injuries. You do not know what the future holds. Remember that Serenity Prayer and take one day at a time. I will pray for you.
  • I'm here. I have talked to two key people and let them know of the depth of my despair. I've struggled with the recovery from dope day by day at times and I'm still in that spot with this recovery as well. I've decided to let the med change kick in and make certain that my thinking is clear before I take a permanent solution to what I pray is a temporary problem in my head.
    No promises but for now I'm stepping back from the edge and ill keep passing the open windows.
    Sorry for the scare. Irony is that I think I remember saying those words to someone else in an earlier thread when they were in my spot.
    It's always different when it comes to MY pain as opposed to others'.

    Thanks guys/gals
  • Many of us are worried about you. Glad too, that you found a couple of people you could talk to. Keep talking, that's going to help you get through this. Sending you prayers & a big hug.
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • All of us, if we haven't felt it yet we will. This is the place were we are safe to let it all hang out and someone will respond. remeber one day at a time. God doesn't promise us tomorrow, but he does promise that he will be there if we call on him. Sometimes he chooses to speak through us.
  • Still passing the open windows. I've reached out loosely to a professional that knows me and my history well. I haven't shared the planning part for fear of putting him in a legal spot but I'm feeling better as the time passes.
    Thanks for the concern.
  • Good to hear you are feeling a bit more positive. It could easily be the new meds as well. Guess you know now the people who matter to you - the ones you have called - have said you really matter to them as well. I know sometimes it doesn't ever feel like it will pass. Can you get the professional to give you a plan if you feel like this again.

    I have a friend with severe clinical depression and her pysh gave her a list of things to do to help. When she was really bad she would pull out the list, even at my place, no matter who else was there, and work through it. I think one of the actions was to write down how she felt. Then to put in a distraction plan or doing something plan. It was funny sometimes as she'd come over to me for help then ignore me and do the list. So I'd just keep doing what I was doing anyway. She used it a lot. She keeps herself really busy so she hasn't got time to contemplate, which is difficult with spine pain, but I know the plan worked for her when she was in a really bad way.
  • Depression sucks, I've been there. You know the expression one day at a time? Well sometimes it's one minute at a time. We are all here for you, please keep checking in. Also, feel free to PM me anytime if you want to talk one on one
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • Tonight was one of those one minute at a time nights. Had a decent day, just dealt with pain and came home. My husband asked how I was and before I could say anything, he told me I was in a lot of pain. Regardless I worked hard to make dinner and treat him with special care. While we were watching TV he was trying to make a competition out of the show and my meds wore of and I snapped at him and quickly apologized. Later on he said something about how he missed the old me and wished I could be sweeter. That hurt because I had worked so hard to make dinner and push the pain aside.it really bothered me that he focused on the one verbal blast. I was very upset and told him he was being unfair. Then he said he understood I was having a bad day, but I didn't need to be abusive! Well that tore all harmony out the window and an all out screaming crying hysterical fight ensued. He said something about how I needed to be sweeter because he couldn't take much more. I told him that he was lucky that I was as sweet as I was and if it got to be too tough, he could leave. And I left the room.that led to total depressive evening and I can't sleep. I really did try to be sweet and the fact that he was criticizing me just made it worse.arrrg!
  • Oh, how I have been there! My husband is a saint, & we have young kids that he has had to do way more than his 50%. However, there are times when he loses all patience, & I don't blame him. Pain makes anybody cranky, & I think pain meds can too. After I had c-sections & was on Vicodin, everything & everyone got on my nerves, I especially couldn't take people talking loud. I think too, as hard as our spouses try, they don't understand how much effort it takes to do do something as simple as make dinner, & them not realizing that makes us feel unappreciated. This is a typical "women are from Venus, men are from mars" thing. A husband may take the wife's car to be washed, thinking he's doing something really sweet for us, & when we don't gush thank you, their feelings get hurt. For us, suffering major pain to do even the smallest things sometimes, we get our feelings hurt when they don't acknowledge all the effort it took. Well, tomorrow is another day. Hopefully it will be better for you than today.
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • For sure. Because I have taught children with behavior issues, i know all about positive reinforcement. When my husband started doing things for me years ago, I began to shape his behavior by giving him the gush even though things were not really that big a deal. For example if he put the dishes in the dishwasher after he used them, I gushed like crazy even if I had to redo them when he wasn't around. Slowly I would make suggestions that he could take or leave but I always gave him a reason. Now he does many wonderful things to help me and when I don't feel like cooking he makes grilled cheese for himself and me if. I want it.
    We both went to Dr.'s , me to my PM and he went our internist because he has been having migraines. After I asked him how it went, he didn't want to tell me because he didn't want to stress me out since I had enough to deal with. So he is back to his sweet self. And I reinforced that behavior with hugs and a head massage. I think it will be a good weekend.
  • I like that term, "gusher", it's cute:)

    I have suffered from migraines off & on for ages, matter of fact, had a whopper of one this morning. As far as drugs go, I have found imitrex to be the best drug. It is not a narcotic, & does not knock you out & leave you unable to function like so many other drugs. If my neck & shoulders are really tight, I find taking a flexiril helps too.

    Has he had them for long? Does he know what causes them? I stared getting them in my early 20's & it would be so bad I would be sick to my stomach, & had to lie in a dark room. I've never known exactly what caused them, but I've always suspected back/neck being out was likely at least part of the cause. I bet a lot of Spiney's get migraines because of that. Anyway, hope your hubby feels better.
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • I have had them most of my life too, but he has not had as many or as often. Mine were largely caused or correlated to a bad night of interrupted sleep. It occurred more before I got a CPAP machine. He has had them on and off for the last 5 years and seem to be a side effect of allergies which make it sound like sinus headaches, but he has the nausea, light and sound sensitivity. I take Relpax and it is expensive. But so effective. If I could have something as effective for pain, I would have a different username! Anyway, our internist told him if he took the Relpax and it worked she wants to do a CAT scan and that has him very nervous and scared for me. He is afraid of what will happen to me if he isn't around to take care of me. Now I have to be very nurturing to him so he feels safe.
  • I see you are online. How are you doing?
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
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