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My intro. .hoping for some hope

hello everyone. My name is Chris and over the last year I have become closely associated with what has become a governing factor in my life, chronic pain.I almost don't know what to do anymore. I feel so depressed at timesand find myself being driven to despair more and more. Though I try to remain positive, when I think about how my life has been affected and most probably will be affected in the future I just become filled with such sadness and Disney did I often think in the futureI might end up being a suicide. I'm not on the brain but I have been on several occasions. I'm just finding it its very hard to deal with what's happening in my life and how it's going to affect me from here on out. A future full of chronic pain, doctors, and medicines it's just not what I want for my life, not what I want for anyone's life, and I seriously wonder if I'll make it through and how on earth will I ever deal with this. I really try to pick myself up and try to avoid feeling sorry for myself because I know this won't make anything better but its very hard sometimes to keep your chin up.

Due to a lifetime of hard work and an accident or two here and there I have been an acquaintance of semi chronic pain for about 5 years and it was only until last year after a horse riding accident then I began to have to see a doctor for chronic pain. About 6 months ago it got so bad that I found myself crying at work calm a crying at home,and begin to find it impossible to sleep more than a couple of hours a night. That's a lot of you know its very hardto put your game face on and have to work through pain like this and be a productive person and hold down a job and be there for your friends and family. My biggest fear now is it the pain will get worse my condition will deteriorate and I will be changed from an independent person with a job and Allies into someones dependent on doctors and medications and being able to even provide for myself. I simply don't know what I will do if this happensand right now at this moment just thinking about it has me in tears. I don't want to have to rely on anyone much less the government and I do not like having to take medications on a daily basis or have any more surgeries. I feel betrayed by my body into a certain extent. I used to have kind of a low opinion of chronic pain sufferers and of people that had been relegated so having to go to pain management but I've just learned that I may have to go this route and I'm just not dealing with that prospect very well sometimes I just think it would be easier to die and not have to worry about any of this.

As I stated 6 months ago my pain became exponentially worsemy general practitioner basically didn't know what to do with me anymore as the pain was getting worse and when I began to stay fit the medicines were not working he referred me to a neurosurgeon where I was told that I had a form of spina bifida. He also told me I had some sort of genetic thing going on where was mine was not completely covered in my tailbone area ny tailbone did not fuse is it normally does in those people. Maybe this is the definition of the form of spina bifida that he said I had. So we begin physical therapy as he told me he had never seen anybody with this condition before and that unless I was at the point where I could not walk anymore he would not recommend surgery. It was during this 4 week. That I went to physical therapy in begin feeling a lot better that, from one day to the next, I experience real pain as I never had felt before. I woke up one day with what felt like I had a broken arm, sore muscles, & a broken hand. All of this was accompanied biting laying in my hand and on the back of my hand as well as an intense burning sensation and also the feeling that my hand and fingers were so swollen they were about to pop. I saw the doctor about this and MRI and xrays confirm that my c4, c5, and c6 discs were obliterated and I needed the fusion surgery I've had the fusion surgery and 6 weeks post op a lot of the pain is gone but the numbness tingling and burning in my left hand are still there. The doctor says this may go away in timeor that it might very well be permanent.last week my apartment complex management notified me that there was a unit infested with bedbugs in my building and I was forced out of the apartment for a day so they could fumigate and as I don't have many friends or much family close by I had to finally take the opportunity to do some laundry. Not much though as I'm still recovering and I don't want to overdo. Well it turns out that day I could not enter my house again for quite some time I literally had to spend 12 hours out of the apartment. So when I was done with the laundry and returned I found that I had to sit in my car very uncomfortably for close to 6 hours, long pass the point at which I should have been laying down. After that the pain in my arm and hands flared up considerably. I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow but I have a good feeling that somehow I managed to screw up my surgery and the bone graft, or whatever you call them, I have been damaged or that the fusing process has been disturbed and now I'm facing another surgery. I very well may be more to find myself as I'm not sure of this and I'll find out tomorrow. So that's depressing me as well.

Just the prospect that I may need to go to a pain management Dr is completely depressing I have this sinking feeling in my gut that some of this pain is going to be residual and permanent. Even though I say the majority of the discomfort and pain that I'm usually felt is gone after surgery what remains quite intolerable even with medication. The doctor has me taking 12 percocet today as well as too low dose of oxycontin. Even at this dose, which seems like a high dose to me, I'm barely kept of the verge of tears and still can't use my arm comfortably. I've been babying it to a certain extent but grasping things with my hand is really uncomfortable and hurt, even though I know that it's just nerve pain and its not real pain so to speak its still hurts so bad. I'm just torn up about this and I'm such an independent person and so used to doing for myself that I cannot imagine how I'm going to pull myself out of this depression.

I know my case may not be as severe as some of you guys, but I've tried to educate myself by reading your post and just knowing that similar experiences to yours might lie in my future fills me with such Dredd that I don't know what to do. I'd like to apologize for the typographical errors in this post but I am using voice recognition software. To me I don't understand why I couldn't take something a little stronger, something that I could take a left off because it seems to me this many tablets a day is a lot of medicine for my body to have to process and metabolize and it seems that it's putting a lot of mileage on my liver and kidneys, when surely there's something out there that I could take a little less so that might do just as well. I'm starting to think that there's nothing that's going to take it all away, and the fact that it is nerve pain makes it doubly hard to control I think. I'm not thrilled at the prospect of having to take medications long term and I absolutely hate hate having to take them. In the past I've been treated kind of badly by my general practitioner and buy an ER doctor wants when I had to go few months ago. My friend noticed it quicker than I did and she was quite offended that's how I was treated. I was in such pain I really didn't notice it until a few weeks later. And it kind of dawned on me that what my friend said was right. Its just a depressing and bleak outlook I don't know maybe I'm naive but I thoughtsurely somebody here would understand.

On another note I received a call from my job saying that my 8 weeks of job protected leave was up and that they would extend that for another month but after that they might be forced to terminate me. I've been working for this company for years and I know how desperate they are to have good people work for them. I can't imagine why personnel would take this dance with me when I've been a model employee and can't imagine that they would fire me over the possibility that they might have to wait 2 more weeks for me to be released for work it's so depressing, if I lose that I lose my crummy insurance then what will I do? How will I pay rent, I just don't know what I'm going to do. It seems to me the set would be some sort of wrongful termination how is it possible that they can do that? When I have works my butt off for this company and my hard work there which is quite physical, has undoubtedly contributed to the deterioration of my back and cervical spine. My only way of hope in this work arena is that I have some friends very high up in this company then I might get favors from but even that I can't depend on and there is a limit to what these friends might be able to do. All of this was stated to me by the personnel director and when I actually get down and talk to my direct supervisor and the facility manager I may actually get a favorable outcome but it wouldn't surprise meif they took a hard line with me. It would just be Murphy's Law, right? I'll close now and I appreciate virtual space I needed to vent. I'm depressed, despairing, and sad, the only thing that helps is to have my little dogs here lick my hurt hand. For some reason or warm little town just feels so good on my heart burning palm and she's quite happy to do it for 10 minutes straight. Good night all


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 04/17/2014 - 11:44 PM

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi,

    I get it. Pain is a scary thing. It has me playing the what if game way too much. Like you, I try to be positive, but you are right, it's hard to do. I don't know if this will help your concerns, but going to a pain mange,met doctor was great for me. I wanted tests, and answers, and the pain management doctor was the one that finally listened to me, believed I was in pain. I have been told that I have a case unlike any other doctors have seen- wish they had kept that to themselves.
    Good luck to you, keep posting and getting all your feelings out.
    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
  • I'm sorry for what you are going through, and most of us can understand the great difficulties in dealing with nerve pain.....there are several medications that can help and you may find that if you go on one, that you are able to reduce the opiates part of the medications you are on. Lyrica is one nerve pain medication, there is also gabapentin, cymbalta, topamax and several others. The thing with the nerve pain medications is that you must go up slowly in dose and do the same in reverse when you are stopping them. They do however work well at managing the nerve related pain.
    Recovery from spine surgery is not easy and depression is common. An anti depressant might be helpful during this time as well and some of them are used to manage nerve pain and you may find one of those to be more helpful for both conditions.
    Being referred to pain management is not such a bad thing, many people have been referred and find themselves back working, living their lives only at a modified level and that is part and parcel of having spine problems. We need to make adjustments in how we do things, but it is difficult in the beginning trying to figure out how to do that.......it's a journey, not a destination, so take things one step at at time and we'll be here to help you along the way.
  • Hi Chris, I am also new to this forum. I recently posted about feeling isolated. I have struggled with this rollercoaster (chronic pain) that you want to get off of. It's hard not to feel down at times. I'm so sorry that you are going through all of this. Nerve pain is such an awful pain. I had an accident and went to a local doctor for 6 years. He basically specialized in rehab for people with spine issues. I loved him but like you, my pain progressed. My doctor finally recommended I go to a pain management clinic. I didn't want to go. My doctor knew me. But my doctor had done all that he could for me. The pain management clinic is a different world. They know the ups and downs. They want you to feel comfortable. No one has ever been confused by what I describe or acted like I wasn't in pain. I've learned so much about my condition,and what to expect for the future. And knowledge is power. I've had nerve pain down my leg for 6 yrs. This doctor switched my meds until we landed on lyrica. It's softened that unbearable pain. I hope that a pain management doctor will help. I was so pleasantly surprised. And know that we are all here to listen.
    Fall in 2007- broken spine. Spinal fusion T10-L1. 2nd fusion L4-S1.failed back syndrome
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