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Microdiscectomy 2012; woke up paralyzed from knees down.

edited 03/11/2015 - 9:26 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello I am new to this forum, and am currently struggling with pain management. I had a microdiscectomy L4-L5 in 2012, woke up paralyzed with no feeling from my knees down. I was in a wheelchair for 2 months, and was sent to a rehabilitation hospital where, by the grace of God, I re-learned how to walk again. For that I am extremely grateful. Unfortunately I was left with permanent nerve damage, neuropathy, primarily in my right foot and calf.
I have since had nerve conduction studies, EMG's, MRI's, physical therapy & acupuncture. I have tried numerous meds such as lyrica, cymbalta, gabapentin, amitriptyline, and others to try and help with the neuropathy, all of which have provided no relief.I also currently have a herniated disc, L5-S1, and after living with the worsening pain from the neuropathy I sought help from 2 different neurosurgeons, and as absurdly as it sounds, was willing to go under the knife again if it meant decreasing my current neuropathy pain because I lay in bed awake at night in so much pain I cry and have actually pled with doctors to just cut my foot off...yes, it's honestly that bad.
However, I was informed that the chances of me becoming permanently paralyzed were too high for me to endure another spine surgery. I was then referred to a pain specialist in attempts to control my pain, since the doctors dont feel I have any other options...which is where I am today. As much as I never wanted to have another spine surgery, I also never imagined a lifetime of being dependent on pain meds.
I suffer from severe depression, ptsd, social anxiety, and I could go on and on...but the reason I joined this forum is to get some feedback about side effects of oxycontin and the fentanyl patch, as Iam debating switching back to fentanyl after trying oxycontin for 2 months and not having much relief. I don't feel my current pain specialist is doing much in helping me make informed decesions, and I am very frustrated with the lack of support.
I was originally put on vicodin and morphine, and found out im allergic to both, or do not tolerate. They then put me on the fentanyl patch along with percocet for break thru pain. In December of 2014, I was having terrible sweating constantly, my blood pressure (which im on meds for), was a lot higher than normal also. I was convinced it was all side effects of the patch, so my doctor just switched me to oxycontin, and dilated for break thru pain. Since medicaid wouldnt cover both fentanyl and oxycontin, she told me I had to just stop using the patch cold turkey. Worst week of my life...I felt like I was dying...heck I was in so much pain, I wanted to die. I went to see my dr again and she looked at me like i was crazy, saying we put you on an equal dose of oxycontin, so you should be fine. It was like she thought I was just seeking drugs...which is far from the truth. I hate being on any pain medication, I am so discouraged and feel so hopeless, and I would do anything to not have to take any pain meds at all.
Anyway I have been on oxycontin and dilated for 2 months, and have gotten hardly any sleep at night because it is not coming close to taking the edge off enough for me to sleep thru the pain.
So now Im considering going back on the fentanyl patch, because at least then I could sleep. I just dont know what else to do, and im terrified of going thru withdrawal if i have to stop taking the oxycontin cold turkey.
Any help, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated...im at my wits end.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

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