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no meds working,waiting surgery

My husband has 4 herniated disc , osteoporosis, and degenerative disc disease. He currently looks like a upside down question mark. He's awaiting surgery. He is currently in so much pain. This has been going on for two weeks. He's bed ridden in cannot sleep over 15 minutes at a time. Most of time screaming. He's on fentanyl and oxytocin. It's not even touch the pain. He's doctor suggested to go yo ER and ask if he go on morafen drip. Went there, that was a joke. As he was crawling around on his hands and knees screaming. No help there. Any suggestions????
Jill Hesse


  • and I can relate .I have poorly managed pain NOT down to my doctor its down to me being on oxycontin for ten years ,only 2 nights ago I almost ;;lost it ;;with pain I have hammered my painkillers and had to contact my doctor for some more ,I have just finally been diagnosed with intractable pain from arachnoiditis and cauda equina syndrome all from a car crash and 3 surgeries I am now on my own and left to fight the pain as best as I can SO I KNOW HOW YOUR HUSBAND FEELS are you in the uk?? if so go back to your doctors and tell him/her the truth about his pain and they will up his meds . going to the ER for a morphine drip will only help temporarily a few hours after he comes off it the pain will come back ,as for what do you do THIS IS MY QUESTION TO MY CONSULTANT his answer was I am sorry tony ..but you will be in pain for the rest of your life it sound like your husband is in a similar position ...I normally would have mentioned about TENS heat cold acupuncture but I bet your past that by the sounds of things ..intractable pain is hard to diagnose [that actual cause of it ] that is ..but it sound like he has it .people don't realise just how ..there are not words to describe this kind of non terminal pain .and my heart goes out to you ..I cope by taking loads of pain killers and resting in my recliner and I HATE IT .but I can't do much more because pain will stop me physically .start by going to the doctors and getting his pain killers sorted then take it from there maybe a fusion ,to prevent further degeneration please note this wont stop any existing pain from damaged nerves ..its a nightmare and unfortunately I have first hand knowledge of it I hope things get sorted
    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
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    are not going to eliminate serious pain. They have never been intended to do so. The purpose is to provide you with a level of pain that you can manage. People living in chronic pain for years never escape the reigns of pain. At times it may be more severe than other times. For many their normal pain level is a 4.

    Your husband's upcoming surgery should reduce some of the pain level he is experiencing today. Forget about the osteoporosis and degenerative disc disease, that has become so common and for most its totally managed with approved exercise programs and OTC NSAIDS. The herniated discs, do you know if they are pressing on any nerve roots? People can go a long time with herniated discs as long as they are not impinging nerves.

    When is his surgery?

    Meanwhile, has his doctor prescribed any other type of medications? Like I started, throwing pain medications at the problem is not the answer. Posture, sleeping environment, ice/heat, etc all can help influence the level of pain and make things more comfortable.
    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'm sorry to hear of your husband's misery. Has he tried applying ice to his back?

    Best wishes with his surgery!
  • I'm so sorry. I know what your husband is going through, I really do. I've only had that level of pain from nerves. Does your husband have a nerve med & a muscle relaxor? Narcotics alone aren't going to get his pain down to a manageable level at this point. It's only by combining meds that I get the best benefits from them. I would suggest trying a change in narcotics, often that helps more than an increase if tolerance has become an issue but please remember if surgery is only a few weeks away building a level of morphine in his system is only going to make it harder to manage his pain after surgery.

    Remember to discuss his narcotic tolerance before surgery & ask what they have planned post surgery.

    Sometimes I need 'rescue care' because of crippling flares. Never underestimate the rotating ice & heat, when pains really bad. Does he have a prescription cream? I have a Ketamine cream that really helps. Even OTC creams can help a little. Can your husband hobble around the house a little? I know it seems impossible but it does help me to move just a little when things are really bad, laying in bed makes things worse. Hobble to the lounge if he can...a change of scenery does help. Does he have a sleeping pill, natural or prescription? get him to research something, anything on the computer..taking your mind off of the pain, any distraction is the best thing for me.

    I'm so terribly sorry. It must be so hard for both of you. I find watching a loved one in pain even harder than tolerating it myself. I hope you don't have to wait too long for surgery. It sounds like her really needs to get those nerves released. I wish I knew a magical solution that would take his pain away but at this point it's about trying all the little things just to get some rest.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • If he's having a severe back pain flare often a round of steroids would help reduce my pain. I've had similar crippling back pain flares that have lasted a few weeks at a time. Maybe something to ask his Dr about.

    I do feel for you both.
    Progressive DDD
    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
  • Well we finally have a date with a surgeon, August 8th! However, I'm afraid this is only the pre surgery appointment.
    The answer to your questions. Yes, he has been diagnosed with nerve root damage. He does walk a few steps with a cane to the rest room. He has tried ice and heat, it does help aliitle. The tens unit, no relief. We are going on 3weeks. I guess he's some what tolerating the pain. At least no more screaming. But still sleepless nights. He doesn't want to take anything to sleep, cause if he doesn't move aliitle every 30 minutes, he becomes to stiff. We are meeting with a case worker from the insurance company. Kind of like liaison between the insurance company and the doctors. Other bad news-we live in rural hawaii. We've got to fly to see any specialist our have any surgery.
    He has new concerns.
    -His left testicle is extremely sore and achy.
    -Any type of touch on certain areas of his leg will send him screaming. Example: wrinkle in sheet.
    -Not sure if this is due to his back. But for the last year, he's been losing 5 pounds a month.(never fails, no matter how much he eats) he's 6ft tall. And now weighs 130 pound. Last year here weighed 185 pounds.
    Any advise is greatly appreciated.
    Jill Hesse
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 07/21/2014 - 5:11 AM
    When was his last physical? Loosing weight consistently every month for over a year is not without a reason, especially if he is eating.
    And the pain in his testicle may or may not be related to what is going on with his spine, so a visit with a urologist would be a good idea as well.
  • I know what it's like to be afraid to sleep but he really needs to get some rest. Sleep deprivation makes my pain levels sky rocket! When I was suffering from extreme nerve pain I slept on a fuzzy soft blanket..the kind of fabric they make baby blankets from. I couldn't stand the sheet on-top either, I'd make a little 'tent' over my legs using pillows either side to hold the sheets up. Please try everything you can to get him to sleep.

    Does he take a nerve med? Gabapentin? Lcochrans suggestion of a steroid pack is a good one...they've given me some relief from really bad pain flares in the past.

    With that level of nerve impingement August 8th can't get here soon enough!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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