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Losing hope with Pain - Options

I've been a member here for about 5 years. I am a 23 year medically retired Army Veteran. I have had 17 surgeries related to my back and neck following an injury in Iraq in my helicopter back in 2004. I was medically retired in 2009.

The VA is not an option for me - there is not enough space to tell about my woes there.

I have a C2-3 fusion as well as L3-S1. I have had a DCS implant - since removed due to slippage and pain. I have been on every drug you can think of. I am currently on Hydromorphine and Hydrocodone and Oxcarbazapine right now that keeps me barely sane with pain managment. I have done cortisone, etc. Facet Joint, RFA - and there is no relief.

I have done acupuncture and cupping, feldenkrais, yoga, etc.

I am miserable. I have researched the stem cell treatment in colorado. The Mayo clinic won't accept me, noone seems to be able to help.

The only thing that really helps with the pain is the hard hard drugs - but I am in a stupor and that is not how I want to spend my life.

I am turning to the group for help.


  • Hi. I've never heard of Oxcarbazapine. I did a quick search, is it a seizure med that works on nerve pain & anxiety? Have you tried any of the nerve meds, Cymbalta, Lyrica, Gabapentin etc. or a muscle relaxer? (I take Baclofen) I also use topical creams, prescription Ketamine cream (ketamine & lidocaine to numb & a variety of nerve, muscle meds) & airomatherapy massage oils.

    I researched & had a consult for the stem cell treatments in Texas. They were recommending a series of injections into some of my discs. I'm not going ahead with it. What do you think?

    I'm sorry I'm not being much help. I will have a think & come back to this later. You seem to of tried the usual so far. When we're your last diagnostic tests & surgical consults?
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • We understand how frustrating it can be, trying to find something that is going to be the magic answer to alleviating our pain......but there is no magic answer. It takes time, lots of it in some cases to find the right combination of medications, the right type, the right dosages, and then combine them with over the counter modalities, excercise, swimming yoga, pilates, physical therapy , aqua therapy, injections and other procedures combined that offer the best level of control for most of us.
    One or the other usually doesn't work , medications alone , or physical therapy alone, or procedures alone......Who are you seeing for pain management? Have you considered a large medical facility near your home? Sometimes, going to a large medical center offers things that you may not have in rural areas.
  • Thanks for the replies - let me clear up some things. I'm definately not new to all the issues.

    EnglishGirl - I have tried Cymbalta, Lyrica, Gabapentin and muscle relaxers.I have used topical creams (Ketamine, Lidocaine). I've been on Morphine and Fentanyl patches. They work - but I am a grey zombie on those.

    I have done massage therapy, acupuncture, cupping - etc.

    I have been in physical therapy and pain management consistently since my first operations in 2004/2005.

    It is to the point where I'm asking if anyone has had a fusion removed (if that's even possible) and discs/vertebra replaced?

    It's a lot more complicated than the words on this message - I do appreciate the replies - I'm just in a bad place right now pain wise and just want something/combination that will allow me to have a little relief :)
  • I have never heard of either procedure being an option. Have you considered a spinal cord stimulator or possibly a pain pump?
  • Sandi - I have had a DCS (Dorsal Column Stimulator) already. It was in for almost three years until the leads shifted and the actual "box" began to hurt a lot - so it was removed.

    I have had the pain pump as well, however, it made me basically a couch potatoe - even after they tried adjusting the dosage down.

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