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chronic pain and depression

as i have read some of the numerous posts from people, there seems to be one common theme, depression. my pain doctor has a psychologist in his office and this guy works in concert with my pain doctor to treat depression in chronic pain patients. there are also meds that can help with depression. remember it is not the pain that causes depression, it is the circumstances with pain that causes it. for example the inability to work, or do family things, or loss of friends and on and on.for people who have problems coping with chronic pain i would suggest making an appointment with a chronic pain psychologist. he works specifically with chronic pain and depression and he also can dispense meds that can help with depression. one still will have chronic pain but along with the psycologist and the meds, depression can be easier to deal with. so ask your doctors or pain doctors for a referral to a chronic pain psychologist. it can not hurt and maybe your inability to cope will be less of a problem
jon
I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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Comments

  • All too often, our ability to cope with the pressures of family, work and health issues can become overwhelming, especially when dealing with a definative change in how we expected our lives to turn out.......working with a trained psychologist who can help us come to terms with our lives as they are currently, and help to develop coping mechanisms, can also add yet another tool to the toolbox of treating chronic pain and can increase our overall effectiveness of managing our new lives.
  • There is such a stigma attached to mental health in our countries. I think that stops a lot of people from getting the help they really need. When my PM suggested making an appointment with his psychologist my gut reaction was anger "I'm in pain, not crazy!" (of course I thought this, I didn't say it out loud) but as soon as I met with her I realized that chronic pain psychologists have so much more to offer.

    I've always concentrated on alternative methods to control my pain & she was an expert. We discussed the hardest physical things for me to deal with & developed mental exercises to help me cope. I admit I do look like a crazy lady, playing my imaginary piano when I'm sat in the car school queue but that's better than crying & trying not to throw-up from the pain! She was educated in so many 'tricks' not just the usual visualization & meditation, to handle my pain.

    I only had a couple of appointments with her & they were covered by my insurance, unlike many alternative treatments. PM docs often don't have the time or training to really discuss everything we're dealing with. The clinic psychologist communicated with my PM & I could feel a positive change in our relationship after my appointments. If this service is offered I'd highly recommend giving it a try. As Sandi says, we can "add another tool to our toolbox of dealing with chronic pain"..that's always a good thing :-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I think this could be useful for ANYONE in pain, depressed or not. Anything to help with mind and body could be very beneficial. I'm glad this discussion was brought up.
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • apparently i never considered myself for a candidate for depression. i don't feel depressed over chronic pain and considering, i am pretty happy person. my gp was the one who suggested the meds and for me to contact my pain guy. she said people who are depressed sometimes don't feel that way and considering the changes from pain i might be a candidate. anyway she said a lot of the meds for depression actually help chronic pain and to talk to my pain guy about them.personally even though she says i might be a candidate until i feel depressed i might stay away. one reason is that i don't want any more meds than i am on now. for me, it is the less the better. i think too many meds might make things worse for me at least. i try to keep things simple.
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • what you talking about is reactive depression ,I myself suffer with it as do many on here ...but probably aren't aware of it ,,like you i also suffer with long term pain and its effects and its the effects that can be as bad as the pain .i have a friend a very high flying young lady that worked in finance .she was very attractive very articulate and then BANG !! from out of the blue a STROKE !! at 28 ..this is a non smoker and mild drinker and a keep fit thin girl .then rheumatoid arthritis then BANG another 2 strokes .BANG when the high end job .along with the home /car/husband .....he decided don't to do the in sickness bit !! and left her in hospital ..alone ..scared ...as she was a friend of my ex wife and not mine i only heard this second hand and incorrectly i thought she had passed away .....one day about three years ago i took my dog to the park and to my amazement ran in to this girl .shes alive !! ..we both stopped and our dogs ran after each other ...i was stunned and we just hugged and then came the tears ! from both of us ....we are good friends now and always stay in touch .BUT illness has taken its toll on her big time ..she has lost her looks and due to the strokes her personality .when i am having a bad day i always think of her and wonder how does she manage to live on her own ..the truth is she is not coping with life and i just hope that it doesn't end badly ..anyway that her
    now on to me
    the other week i was having a check up at the hospital {nothing to do with my back} and the consultant who i have known for many years and knows my complex history ..just asked ..one question .....he said how are you ??? that's all

    and that's all it took to make me break down in his office i was having a bad day anyway but i did not realise just how small my world has become ..i spend up to 20 hours a day on my own in a dark room {i keep the curtains closed as the light hurts my eyes ..it always has done ..even as a child ..every photo i am wearing shades ..}i watch tv and sometimes come on the laptop for a bit but my wife works full time and due to my illness and lack of mobility i don't spend much time with her at night or weekends as i can't keep up with her .so we do our own thing .we even have independent electrical adjustable beds ..again due to my health ...so no social no sex life no walking the dog no swimming just pain and tv ..i am 47 when i think of how full my life was only 17 years ago and only 7 years ago i could still get about a lot more ,,,,,the thing is ..healthy people don't want you in there lives .most employees don't want you and in my case i have had to turn down a dream job again due to health ..it was working with the guy that trained me to be an electrician .he wanted me to be the go to guy for his jobs he wanted me to order the kit and deliver it on site and keep the stores sorted and help out on installations ....it was stuff like CCTV at the time i thought about it but declined because i was not the guy that he once knew and i knew ..{at the time } there would days when i would let him down } and i would not want that ..in the end i am glad that i did as my health is now so bad ..so reactive depression ..yes i have it and its very bad ..but different from the depression that people suffer with that tend to commit suicide .{i am not saying that people like us don't do that but they may also be suffering with the other depression too ..i know about this ..first hand as two family member have committed suicide one a young man age 18 and one an older man 71 ..both out of the blue ..but on reverse analysis the clues were there on both men ...very sad
    even on bad days i always think about reason to keep going on ..my wife//my ex wife and daughter .are all good reasons for living despite the pain and hell that we go through every day and night .i don't want out ..i want to be my old self ..but i know that i will only get worse .and i need to keep adjusting to compensate for the grim reality that is reactive depretion
    that is hard for anyone ..
    tony{UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • thanks tony
    i think a resolution of my so called depression will be when i retire in june. as you are aware of if you have read my posts in the past are the issues with respect to work. HR has my back and a list of accommodations and has warned my administrators not to make an issue out of my back or meds. she has been very good here but it took me some time to complain and to lodge a complaint. before, all of my troubles with administrators started after my back surgery and when i had multiple surgeries, that is when the fit hit the shan. admin did not want to hear about it,talk about it or deal with it. in fact a fellow teacher started rumors that i had my last fusion because i wanted to get out of being evaluated, never mind that my disc broke and that is another story. so long story short, no more school, no more books no more teachers dirty looks. too bad because i love to teach and work with kids and the kids for the most part like me. it is just the teachers that i have issues with. so retiring will get rid of one source of depression. and when i start to sub, i don't have to go to my school only, i can go to different schools and levels and also different districts.
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045
    Like Peanut butter and Jelly.

    I believe there are two distinct phases of Chronic Pain and Depression

    When you first experience chronic pain
    There are so many things going around in your head. You start to think that you can not longer provide for a family or establish a relationship. You start to dwell on horror stories about all the things that you will no longer be able to do.
    You feel that you cant go out with your friends anymore, you feel you are going to become isolated.

    All of those feelings can be described as forms of depression and if left unchecked can led ti deeper depression

    Long time Chronic Pain sufferers
    Yes, they have learned how to deal with this, learned about disappointments along the way. Many have also developed a positive attitude towards the future and will do what ever it takes to do what they want to do. But in the deep night, perhaps lying in bed, darker thoughts surface. Almost like a hopeless purpose, you know you can't change what was, and you are getting tired of getting up every day having pain, then just repeating this every day.

    In either situation, when depression starts to take a stronger hold, its time to seek professional help. Trouble is, many folks in these situations can not recognize that they are in a depressed state.

    Our family and/or friends need to help us here.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I have a lifetime of chronic pain, but I denied my limitations and stayed very active; which brought me to the condition today. Now I am forced to accept limitations that I didn't imagine. Coming to that realization that my body was breaking down was depressing, but I didn't know I was depressed until my doctor suggested a pain and anti-depressant med. It didn't do much for the pain, but I felt much better about my attitude towards the pain and my life.

    I was in military service for 21 years even though I found out at 15 (1986) I had a deformity in L4-L5 after seeing a Chiropractor and being referred to a Specialist (most likely Orthopedic). I had times when I was too sore to do PT, especially in the last few years. I retired in '13 due to too many and too serious spine issues. In 2003, I started the route of PM with my first sciatica problems. I tried surgery in late 2004, had a CSF leak, then a repair surgery. In 2011, I tried PM again with less success. In late 2011, my arm got weak and I was surprised to have a neck problem also, so I ended up getting fused at C5-C7 last year. In 2013, my leg got weak and I found out I have permanent nerve damage in both legs. So, now I can't walk far and I limp with lots of pain! So, now I walk funny and my 4 kids have a limited
    Dad.

    I am doing everything I can now. Acupuncture, meds, and planning a SCS implant. These all give me hope along with my religion. I think if there is no hope, that is when you feel lost.
    Murraytscan@yahoo.com
    L4-L5 fused at birth (congenital malformity). L-5-S1 bulge/degeneration, L3-L4 bulge/degeneration. Permanent nerve damage L5-S1 and L3-L4. Fused C5-C7.
  • what is the difference between can not recognize depression and won't recognize it. like i said i might be in denial but i really don't feel that i am depressed. but i am not sure if the meds make me kind of flat lined emotionally or is it depression. my emotional level like i said is flat lined and i believe that long term usage of oxy and or xr narcotics make one that way. i know some anti depression meds make people flat lined also. so is flat line emotion depression or just the result of my 13 years of being on oxy? work makes me depressed as i wrote in the above post so i guess i will see on that magic day in june.
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Sometimes I wake crying. I can't catch hold of my dreams long enough to know why. I wake silently in the darkness, take my meds & curl down under the covers. I breath deeply, work on relaxing my body, exorcising the pain but the shadowy voice quietly cries "I can't do this, not again", deep down in the darkness I wish I were dead, I yearn for the peace, sweet nothingness, release from the eternal pain. This is my time to silently weep.

    Then the chaos of the day starts. My son is genetically incapable of quietly closing a door (he gets it from his father!) it slams & his little elephant feet thunder down the stairs..he creeps in & whispers to the duvet "can I snuggle in?". I wipe my eyes before pulling the covers back & cuddling him close. It's still agony, but it's my sweet pain. He lays in my arms for moments before his mind starts spinning with all the anticipated excitement of the day & the night is officially over!

    I know its stupid but I used to resent those who are bed ridden. I was angry because no matter how much crippling pain my body was experiencing I still had to drag myself out into the world because of my kids. I dont have a support system to call on, I have no choice. Now I realize what a blessing it is. Forcing myself to keep moving, the endless demands of being a mother & all that entails leaves me with no choice but it also leaves me with no time to dwell on the thoughts of my morning self. I think I've spent so long faking being happy for my family that it's become real more often than not. I truly feel for those who aren't constantly bombarded with distraction. For me it's vitally important to fill as much of my time with manageable activities as I can.

    I took Cymbalta for a couple of years. I remember in the beginning saying that it didn't help with my pain but it did work on my mood. Like others, I reached a point where I felt I was taking too many medications & made the choice to streamline. With my docs help I slowly titrated off of Cymbalta & only then did I realize the emotional fog I'd been living in. Don't get me wrong, it was a great med at the time but I'd moved out of the situational depression I'd been experiencing & it was no longer needed & I wasn't aware of the negative effects it was having on me until I stopped. I titrated very slowly & felt no negative side-effects. If in the future I find myself depressed (or a loved one tells me I am..sometimes we don't see these things in ourselves) I would happily take it again.

    Some others medications have had the side-effect of depression. Savella was terrible, as I titrated up I spent a couple of weeks constantly crying. I'd read others accounts of starting this med & knew this experience was shared by others..it passed as did several other unpleasant effects. I'm not trying to dissuade others from trying these meds..quite the opposite, they can be extremely helpful particularly in managing nerve pain but we should all be aware of the possibility.

    Depression can be deadly. Often we don't know that we are suffering with that 'sickness' & as Ron says we need to rely on those close to us to recognize the signs. I always tell my husband when I'm starting a new medication so he can pay particularly close attention for the warning signs. My brother took his own life. We are a very close family but none of us imagined for moment that it could happen. There's no shame or weakness in asking for help. It's a curse that accompanies chronic pain & we should all be very aware of the deadly consequences of allowing it to fester untreated.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • That post above from Jon wasn't there when I hit 'save'. Yes "Flat Lined emotionally" is a great way to describe how I felt whilst taking Cymbalta (& some other pain/nerve meds). It did help tremendously in banishing 'those thoughts', the sick & tired of me & my pointless, intolerable life thoughts.

    The Morphine family of drugs also make me feel 'flat lined'. I'm much more emotionally alive when I'm on the smallest dose of the Oxy meds that help me to function. For me the answer has been to rely more heavily on alternative treatments. I've found that higher doses & more medications turn me into the 'walking dead' physically & emotionally. It took me a very long time to get the balance right. I don't want to feel my pain but I need to feel every other aspect of my life..I've got the second bit handled! ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I just wish my surgeon would tell me that my nerve pain may never resolve ( there is evidence to support this), so I can start a pain management program and move forward. I prefer the realistic, straight forward approach. False hope only makes things worse. I'm ready for the point of acceptance. I still have hope that I will get back to some normal yet modified activities ( I am not new to pain, but it has worsened over the past year). I'm hoping he will refer me elsewhere so I can take the proper steps to get the pain under control. That will help lessen my frustration.
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • Lcochran4 said:
    I just wish my surgeon would tell me that my nerve pain may never resolve ( there is evidence to support this), so I can start a pain management program and move forward. I prefer the realistic, straight forward approach. False hope only makes things worse. I'm ready for the point of acceptance. I still have hope that I will get back to some normal yet modified activities ( I am not new to pain, but it has worsened over the past year). I'm hoping he will refer me elsewhere so I can take the proper steps to get the pain under control. That will help lessen my frustration.
    That is basically what happened to me in JAN this year. I did an EMG/NCT a couple of years ago and they said I was ok. I moved to a new state and found another doctor who did a lot of testing, including nerves, and told me (in JAN) that he could make my back look good, but the nerve damage suggests it will not do me good at this point. So, he referred me to PM and the have suggested SCS. So, I have a plan thankfully. I hope you got some straight answers also.

    BTW, the drug I was referring to was Cymbalta. I was flat before it, not after.
    Murraytscan@yahoo.com
    L4-L5 fused at birth (congenital malformity). L-5-S1 bulge/degeneration, L3-L4 bulge/degeneration. Permanent nerve damage L5-S1 and L3-L4. Fused C5-C7.
  • Thanks. I'm glad you have a plan, that is the goal of my appointment tomorrow.
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • Chronic pain and depression go together like beans and cornbread, ham and eggs, Horn and Hardart, etc. Chronic painers aren't necessarily clinically depressed, but we all, to some extent, suffer from depression.

    CP (or any chronic disease) is a loss for most health human beings. Depression is a part of the grieving process.

    Pain medications depress the central nervous system.

    Living with pain daily, hourly, minute by minute is a psychological stressor that causes depression.

    Have I convinced you, yet?

    Medication can help. In fact, studies show that SSNI type antidepressants are marginally effective in neuropathic pain (while SSRIs are not.) Remember, pain reduction happens one point at a time.

    I've always felt that trying medication was worth the risk, especially if it can help CP.

    And your friendly local pain psychologist is there to help with depression and many other issues related to chronic pain. I happen to believe that if you don't have a relationship with a pain psychologist, you're only seeking half the treatment available for your condition.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045
    as always, a very delicate, driving and meaningful post. You have a knack of putting so many emotions into your posts.
    You have a lot of insight into all of this. Sometimes, we understand that when you have been dealing with it so long, you develop more insight.. But, I know we all wish, it wouldn't have gotten to that point and we could be free as birds. But it aint so, so we learn to live with it and move forward ALL the time.

    English Girl, thanks again for your post
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Hi all,

    New to the forum after trying to discuss my pain with friends and family. Seems to be a theme with everyone that you just can't really understand what chronic pain is like to deal with unless you have it yourself. People get bored with me trying to stretch my back out mid conversation or popping pills when out for lunch. It's really getting me down now, even the closest people to me aren't interested.

    I'm 23 and have had back pain for approx 10 years now, taking painkillers for as long as I can remember. In the last year it has gotten so bad that I am having to take time off work, be doped up on really strong painkillers and also say no to a lot of things my friends ask me to do (cinema, long walks, trips).

    In all this time I have never had any diagnosis, or even interest, from doctors. I've seen several over the years due to moving around and I think that has been detrimental to getting the help I need. I've been to a physio who told me the pain was in my head and to try swimming, an x-ray which had no results. I started going to a chiropractor out of desperation and found that really really helped with the pain and they even managed to tell me they suspected nerve damage after my right foot did not respond to reflex tests. However a diagnosis or cause of this nerve damage wasn't something they could give me.

    I had to stop going to the chiropractor because it is too expensive for me to afford right now. I went back to the doctor about a month ago and she couldn't have got me out the door fast enough telling me to exercise (arrrghhhh!). But I was so upset and angry that I went back the next week to a different doctor who was visiting from another practise. I couldn't stop myself crying as I told him about the pain and that at 23 I expected them to want to get to the bottom of it a bit more.

    He immediately arranged for an MRI and prescribed naproxen (never had before) and 30mg cocodamol (which I am really not good on but he said to use for extreme days).

    So now, I am finally on my way to finding out what may be causing all this pain and associated depression at being unable to do what normal 23 year olds do! I've had my MRI but now find myself awaiting results with a very strange feeling: I want something to be wrong. Imagine after all this time if the MRI doesn't show anything? What will happen then? Will I just be ignored again?

    Has anyone else felt this way about results of a scan? It seems ridiculous to be hoping something bad shows. But at least then it can be treated.
    Kirsty - 23 - Chronic and undiagnosed back pain
  • http://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-spine-health-how-get-started


    Yes, I'm sure that many of us have been there, waiting for test results and hoping that something finally shows why you are in pain......the reality of back pain is that the majority of all human beings will, at some point or another in their lives be faced with back pain. The majority of them will have it resolve on it's own, with or without any medical intervention on our parts.....those are the lucky ones.
    There are others, who once the pain flares does not go away, no matter how long we wait it out and we visit the doctor expecting a solution. There are so many areas of the spine, and it effects every single muscle, tendon, ligament, sensation that we experience as human beings, so figuring out what may be causing the pain we are experiencing is challenging.
    The standard of care is to try the least invasive methods first, ie, rest, excercise, stretching, physical therapy , chiropractor, and other non invasive modalities to see if any of them are beneficial first, before moving on to the next steps.....this might help you understand the process of being treated for ongoing back pain....it is the same set of steps, no matter your age, or location in the world......

    http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/chronic-pain/chronic-pain-treatment-step-step
    As frustrating as it is, it is important to find out what is causing the pain, before you start treatment for it......xrays check for fractures or tumors, as well as alignment of the spine but can reveal little else as to the conditions of the soft tissues of the spine....so if nothing shows up on xray, then more extensive testing might be ordered.
    http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/diagnostic-tests/getting-accurate-back-pain-diagnosis
    Usually back pain flares subside within a few weeks to a few months in most cases......for those of us that it does not resolve, we need to consult with a board certified spine surgeon, either ortho or neuro but a spine surgeon. This does NOT mean that surgery is on the agenda, but they are best equipped to help you find the cause of the pain you are experiencing and come up with a treatment plan.
    http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spine-anatomy
    http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/chronic-pain/chronic-pain-coping-techniques-pain-management
  • I find it appalling that you've had back pain & been on pain killers since you were 13 & no Dr took the time to figure out what's going on? That's awful, having to go through your teenage years like that!

    I've with "unknown" with several other medical conditions not related to my back, & yes, you wish for something, anything to show up, because how do you treat the "unknown?". So you are not alone in your feelings. Keep us posted when you get your results.
    We can't always control the cards we are dealt in life, but we can control how we play the hand
  • fletcher memorial home !,{a little pink Floyd reference there for the uninitiated }.English girl {are you from the uk?} and as ron says you do write a darn good post .I can relate to your opening gambit re lay in bed in agony thinking ..I can't do this again .I have found the last 2 and a bit years so very hard not just realizing the physical limitations imparted on me but the mental suffocation as one part of my brain says yes do it the my body says ok then the other part of my brain says ..I told you so {when I am in agony after trying to do the simplest of things } its very difficult to cope when your on the top end of the pain meds and even they don't take the [pain away ..I am lucky if I can go from a staggering 9.9 to an 8 on a good day.i don't know about you guys but sleeping is hell even in a super comfy expensive whistles and bells bed {maybe if I removed the whistles and bells?? !} ...
    all I know is when I go to bed I will wake in horrible pain about 2 hours later my lower back /right leg and foot will be feeling like its having a heart attack the pain is a 10 +...this is what is slowly driving me into a dark place .there are posts on this thread where the author has said that they won't let pain defeat them or words to that effect .but I am PAST that I had that bold determination too but now I just can not do stuff without pain stopping me and that puts the fear of ?? in to me ..its very disheartening to cope with the hell of intractable pain day after day ..its only been just over two years since my last operation and life post ALIF has been a total test ..I have not recovered I am weak physically .I have never wanted to give up but the last two years I have not cared if that day would be my last day .that's how down the relentless pain and incapacitation has got me the total exclusion no social life no sex life just getting from one end of the day to the other ..what for ?? in 17 years I have gone from a hard working electrical engineer /slim /fit and considered good looking by others happy person to an overweight glass half empty out of work {unable to due to poor health} losing my looks !! in pain all the time person ..its not fair .its cruel ///
    anyway guys lets have some high hopes and shine on !
    tony{UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • No 'final solution can be applied' here! I was going to say Thank You Tony but it's more than a little tragic to thank someone for sharing the barely surmountable morning 'To be or not to be' lamentation! Let's stick with the cheery.. Yes! Huge Floyd fan. My grandad was my best friend growing up & he was an uneducated, working class Roger Waters if you know what I mean? He shared the heart ache without the poetry to share but was the most gentle compassionate man I've ever known. I was born & raised in & around South London but live in Dallas, Texas now. I remember you posting that your daughter lives on one of the islands so you know what it's like to have an expanse of water (& crippling pain) keeping you from your loved ones. It sucks doesn't it? Sorry, I don't have the eloquence to even start to describe that kind of pain today.

    I don't share your nightmare of intractable pain, my heart truly goes out to you. My body can't handle pain. I've been poked & prodded too many times throughout my life & no longer have the energy to try to put a name to my reaction to unmanaged pain. I share the 'heart attack' feeling as my vitals soar but fortunately I pass out, my bodies way of protecting me. I fight dwelling on the sweet relief of nothingness so I suppose I'm one of those who "will not be defeated"..if you bang that drum long enough it does become the rhythm of your life. It has for me, sometimes, anyway..I've filled my life with enough distractions & loose myself in the beauty as often as I can. I think that's the best we can do sometimes. I share your isolation but my 'prison' is filled with the joy & laughter of my babies & that intoxication is the best pain management. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
    Shine on you crazy diamond.
    Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
    come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,045
    becomes known! Even if it isnt the greatest of news, at least you have a diagnosis and from here on in, action plans can be put in place to help with your condition.

    But when all the rest results come back negative , and you would be amazed at how many do, that can lead to a different set of problems. You know you are not crazy, its not in your heard, but the tests seem to indicate its in my head. One of the quickest paths to depression.

    You should be prepared for something like this. No all diagnostic tests will show the root problem. Many times, its one diagnostic test after another, combined with some conservative treatments is what is necessary to identify the problem.

    Only the flat out clear cut serious cases show up with diagnostic testing. Even if you tests come back negative and you are told you should NOT be in the amount of pain you are in. The question I would have for the medical field would be
    Ok, but then what is causing my condition? Why arent test showing anything and is there additional steps we can take to sort this out?
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • i just read an article in a magazine that was researching the placebo effect and chronic pain and due to reasons that are compliicated that i won't go into, it was found that people who have chronic pain due so because a part of the pain receptor in their brain will think they are in pain when they are not or not in the amount of pain they think, the article stated that people who are in pain and who think about it all of the time will have worse pain than they really do. it has to do with the pain receptors people who keep busy or don't think about pain will have their brain reduce the amount of pain felt. so if one keeps busy or does not think about it. ones brain will reduce the amount of pain felt. it also has to do with the placebo affect where one is given a fake med and thinks it is a pain reducer when in fact it is not. so the more we think about pain and not keep busy, the more pain we feel. so once again keeping busy and not lying in bed and being depressed is the worse thing one can do for pain according to the research done.
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • aaron
    actually they picked out chronic pain patients and people without chronic pain. and they gave the same test to all. the research on the areas of the brain have been known for some time and also the placebo affects. they were also trying to see what if any effect some of this would have on the areas of the brain that affects pain. i had the impression that there was no agenda involved at all. there was no see i told you that people with pain would............nothing like that just a follow up with research.
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • by the way there were no electrodes or electricity involved like frankenstein. when i had it done i remember walking through my town and the people running after me with pitchforks and throwing rocks. when i got back i did notice my head become a square shape and my skin turned green. also my wife has a head of hair with a big grey part going up about 2 ft off the top of her head. besides that my brain is ok i thunk
    jon zzzzzap
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • terror8396 said:
    the article stated that people who are in pain and who think about it all of the time will have worse pain than they really do. it has to do with the pain receptors people who keep busy or don't think about pain will have their brain reduce the amount of pain felt. so if one keeps busy or does not think about it. ones brain will reduce the amount of pain felt.
    jon

    I have to agree. While working, I was able to deal with the pain better, now that I have been out of work since December, I am in more pain and very depressed. In 2008 I could barely walk 5 ft because of weakness/numbness in the legs. My pcp told me not to lift anything heavier than my bath towel and I did my best to follow that. I was very lucky to get a new patient that needed supervision and not help with ADLs as a CNA for a home care company. I built up to being able to walk a mile, my dog was happy. Funny thing though, I could ride a bike with my dog to walk him even with the weakness. I had the same amount of pain. For me keeping busy is better mentally. Now that I am not working, my headaches/ migraines, lower back and now upper back hurt more. I am slowly losing my ability to walk again, I can walk and stand for 10 minutes or so, some days more, some days less. My right hand and last two fingers a numb, should pains and at 48 I don't see it getting better for long unless I can get back to being able to move about more normally.
  • Hey Jon,
    Did the article talk about the effects of taking narcotics for chronic pain? I've looked at some studies about pain, and it also talks about how narcotics trick the brain into thinking it has more pain then there actually is. I've wondered if this has added to the pain I am in.
    I agree that keeping busy helps with depression, and also the pain...at least until I get home. Then the pain is intense, which starts the thought that my pain is making it hard to do things, which gets my depression up. Then, I also become anxious about future plans. How bad will the pain be next time, things of that sort. It's a vicious cycle.
    Englishgirl, you have put my thoughts into understandable words. I can't count the times I have that awful, soul crushing dread...I can't do this again. But somehow, I always get though it when that thought creeps in...and you do too. :)
    2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
    2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
    2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
    2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak
  • no the article was just about how certain areas of the brain affect the placebo affect and there was no mention of meds
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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