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Past the Limit of Pain Meds/Pain Management Practice w/ Lumbar Pain

solarsoulsssolarsouls Posts: 8
edited 07/14/2014 - 10:23 AM in Chronic Pain
I am a long term Chronic Pain sufferer, with five artificial Joints and others failing "as I click" due to severe degenerative arthritic process. I’ve just had my first Spinal Procedure a successful C3/C4 Fusion (just a week ago), from which I am having good healing process with. The symptoms there at Shoulder level of electrical shocks, and others elsewhere are “seemingly at least”, being alleviated (which is great news)!
For instance, I had lost the ability to raise my arms, button shirts, put on a shirt over my head, or feel my fingers or thumbs).
Much of the sensation are back in my hands and fingers, arms are doing better The Spinal Stenosis Fusion w/plate and scrws shoud be the solution for that level, and seems to have relieved the troublesome symptoms, for the most part.

Now back to Chronic Pain?

I am about where I was symptomatically, (with severe Chronic Pain affecting my life many hours every day) as I was before the "spinal stenosis".

That was not a good place!

I was, and now again I am again "desperately" trying to manage "unmanagable pain" in the low back every day!
The pain is far beyond what my very conservative "Pain Management Doc" can understand of course.
How could he, or she, or anyone of them possibly, understand the overwhelming and incomprehensible effect of such chronic Pain, without having actually experienced it for themselves?
I know many of you can, and do! How though, can that “understanding” be conveyed, or can it?
I know I did not understand it, before I had experienced it myself, no matter how I tried (when my own Father's pain) was so very serious he wanted to end his life! Thankfully, Father he did not have to endure it that way, for too long!
For my own pain presently and for years now, I am anf have been "Past the Limit of what very strong Pain Meds/Pain Management Practice can ever prescribe or administer (on a monthly prescription basis). All of this caused by severe case of Degenerative Arthritic Disease of the Lower Spine, of which Docs have told me is the worst they have seen in a many my age 61, or any they have tried to work with, and CT-Scans, X-rays, MRIs, of the past and more recent all confirming these conclusions .
What else can be done?
I do not want more Meds... I do not even want the Meds I have today, or the Chemical Dependency (addiction) which the Fentenyl Patches and Percocet have induced in nearly 8 years of Prescriptions that were all meant to help, and did.
I am in ”so desperate a condition” and long have been, that I have considered other means of "ending the Pain" which I will not discuss here (except in personal massages). I am not in imminent danger!
No not try to rescue me, please! I am well-connected to support, thanks and know how to utilize it..
Does anyone know of procedures that work beyond the "already tried" Injections of the Spine, or the "already tried" Nerve Ablations?
I have heard of Nerve Stimulator Surgical Procedures, Pain Pumps (which 'Ive heard less that good reviews of)!
What else is "out there" anyone, that may have helped you or others? What else might also be "helpful” in alleviating my Severe Chronic Pain (for the conditions described)? I am “all ears, and open-minded”!
I do not want, nor do I need “more Meds”, I am sick and tired of them, (as we all are)! I would be happy to be free of them forever, but not by suicide! I want to Live, “pain free” as much as is possible, like everyone else! I have too much to live for, and will not hurt my loved ones, the way I know suicide does!
Solarsoul (AKA Dennis Sowell)


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    there is never a limit to what a complete pain management plan can do for a person.

    There are so many of us here that have been living in chronic pain for 10,15,20,25 or more years. You learn to do what you have to do to live with it. I doubt there is a chronic pain patient who will say that its pain medications that get them through the day. We all know, at best narcotics is just one of many types of medications in our arsenal.

    I have sort of the reverse of your situation. From age 28 until 50, I had all my spinal surgeries, 4 lumbar, 3 cervical, with 2 thoracic just sitting there waiting, but I aint biting.

    Then around 55, I started with osteoarthritis and it has been progressively been getting worse. The arthritis in the spine just compounds the stenosis, but the arthritis's major targets have been my joints. I have had 2 complete shoulder replacements with implants, 2 complete hip replacements with implants and 1 knee heading in the direction. I always thought you couldn't slow down spinal issues.. I've learned you can, but with arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis, there is no cure and no confirmed way to slow it down.

    I dont want to sound cold, but the statements doctor use about "You have a spine of a 90 year old, you have the worst spine I've seen,etc" all is pretty dramatic. When we have problems, spinal or arthritis they are going to impact our bodies and how it looks. A good friend of my who is a surgeon tells me when he heres that, it reminds him of what the spine of a 90 year can look like. It can be GREAT! The age, the number of years is not really that important, its the condition and what has happened.

    Back to medications, With my situation, I could easily have 90mg of Oxycontin 10 times a day along with strong patches, and I think I wouldnt feel the pain.. Probably wouldnt feel anything else either or be able to think. So that is not the answer.
    Years ago, I realized that to manage pain, you needed more, but not more narcotics. That made me create my thread The Blend which discusses all the ingredients into pain control.

    Talk all of this over with your doctor. Perhaps a SCS (Spinal Cord Stimulator) is right for you. For many it isnt, but it never hurts to ask.

    I know I will be in some level of pain the rest of my life. Sometimes more severe than other times. Thats ok, I will learn how to deal with it when it comes. I've spent a good part of 35+ years with pain to figure out the things that help and those that do not do any good. If anything, I've come away with maintaining a positive approach and outlook is key. When you know you are going to do ok, you will. When you give up, well, then everything will start to look dark and gloomy.
    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 with Dilauro...have you looked at a spinal cord stimulator. It seems to be a real hit and miss from patient to patient, but it's worth looking into if there's a possibility it could help you. Basically the stimulator leads are placed in your back along the nerve route, the pulses from the SCS interupt the signal of pain traveling to your brain, introducing a tingling feeling instead of pain. Might just be worth a try. I'm sorry you have to live in such pain, I know it's miserable and I'm not sure I could handle it. Good luck and keep looking.
  • Is surgery at the lumbar level not an option for you? I had my fusion at L5/S1 and it was successful. It's not for everyone, and you will never be pain free. But I wondered.
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