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Any advice at all???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi all! I am a 34 yr old single mom of two (5 and 12). Because my son has special needs, I need to be home for him and therefore I stay home and watch other children to make ends meet. In May of 06, I "threw my back out" by simply standing up from a seated position in a car. I had two steroid injections with little help and then slipped and fell in Aug 06 and ended up having a microdiscectomy surgery on L4-L5. I fell again in March 07 and re-herniated the same disc. Although I was in very little pain at the time and no numbness, my Orthopedic Surgeon convinced me to have a second surgery on the same disc in June 07. Upon waking in recovery I had horrible pins and needles in my entire right leg and foot and was reassured it would pass. It did reduce to numbness in my right calf and part of my right foot, but never got better after that. In October 07, I began having pain in the lower back and left leg and foot again. An MRI revealed the L4-L5 disc is herniated yet again and now L5-L6 is bulging. Recently, I began to have bowel and bladder issues and pain in my upper back, shoulders, neck, and left arm so my neurologist sent me for an MRI of the C-Spine and T-Spine. It revealed two more herniations at C5-C6 and C7-T1. She recommended physical therapy. I am at my wits end and now have pain daily. With two children and my line of work it is nearly impossible to get through each day. I just don't know where to turn. Has anyone else had similar issues or can point me inn the right direction. I really don't want to have more surgery, but need a solution. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you...


  • Love your name. I used to try to be a supermom, not now though!

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. You probably have enough stress in your life without having to worry about your health. Does your neurologist understand how much this is affecting your daily life? Physical therapy is normally the first thing that is tried, and usually for a 6 week period. If you have no results during that time, then it seems that the next step is to have epidural steroid injections. but it concerns me that you are having bowel and bladder issues. Are the herniations going into your cord significantly? If your cord signal is being compromised, it could cause those problems.

    Did the doctor prescribe a nerve pain medication like Lyrica, Gabapentin (neurontin), or cymbalta? If your pain is caused from nerves being pressed, it has been my experience that regular pain meds don't touch that pain, but Lyrica or Neurontin typically helps to at least take the edge off. Or at least it is supposed to help.

    If you are not certain of your doctor's suggestions, it wouldn't hurt to get a 2nd opinion. good luck to you, and I hope your neck gets better without surgery.


    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you certainly have alot going on. and you have chronic pain on top of all that. if only there were answers to help you quickly if at all. Cindy has some good ideas. i use 300mg of Lyrica daily and find it very helpful for severe sciatica. it might really be of a benefit to you. good luck and i hope your choices are successful. Jenny :)
  • Is your neurologist aware of the issues with your bowel and bladder? If not I highly suggest you let her know.

    Welcome to Spine Health

  • I hope you find the answers and help you need. "C" is definitely right, one of the most important messages that your doctor needs to know is your B & B functions.

    Do you have anyone to help you out? Some doctors have information on where you can get home help aid.

    Wishing you well.
  • Suprmom99

    We had three young children when I had my accident and as you are the majority carer for all this is difficult role, some of this is defining what you can do and communicating your limitations, what option do you have when you are the one in charge, pacing for me has helped and some of the things we did as a family have had to stop and the role I have has to be maintained in what I con do rather than what I would like.

    I understand and appreciate your concern for future surgery that will in itself impose restrictions with no guarantee for improvement, we all have to find the individual route for us and through trial and error seek to find out what works, it is difficult for me to recommend a specific plan that would suit your needs and we could only tell you what has worked for us, in the vain hope that something will works for you.

    I always start with my medication as this is the opportunity to other elements and finding that optimum range and doing activity places extra pressure on how the medication attempts to cover your pain. I try to stay away from depression and always attempt to move forward however slow that is and time it takes.

    I make small objectives that are a part of the bigger one and proceed in that, while have chronic pain imposition changes the option for a range of activity and achievement and accepting these is never easy or simple, usually based on what we could do previously.

    Be kind to yourself and try to accept these new changes you are doing the best that you can and your children will appreciate your effort although it may seem at this time you think you should be doing more or even faster this is not the case and I know from experience how difficult this all is.

    Doing activity while in pain is difficult be here more people are becoming active and with the right support and help you also can achieve this, you need to break it down into small attainable achievable elements that help you have some success and short term improvement. As single parent your role is one of the most difficult and I salute your effort and endeavour, you will achieve things but it will take time and more importantly patience. My eldest boy is disabled and you are doing a fine job.

    Good luck and keep posting.

  • So sorry to hear your going thru all that, your plate is really full, I use to run a daycare in my home and I was in great shape then so I can't imagine being in pain and trying to do it!!!! I feel you need to contact a NS instead of just using an Orthopedic doctor, I wish you the best of luck hang in there hun!!!

  • I really appreciate all of the support. It isn't often that you find people who have gone through similar situations...for the empathy alone, I am grateful. As far as the Lyrica is concerned, I was prescribed it after the second surgery when the numbness wouldn't go away. However, upon reading the side effects (extreme weight gain, extreme tiredness, psychotic episodes), I thought the numbness seemed to be the lesser of two evils. Now that the pain and then some is back, I wonder if I should give it a go. Can anyone tell me if they have experienced side effects with it? Also, regarding the B&B issues, I did tell the neurologist, and there is mass effect on the spinal cord due to a central herniation at c7-t1. After mentioning that it occasionally doesn't seem present...she dismissed it as being due to the spinal cord compression. She basically said she wants to watch me very closely and to avoid any lifting or twisting....hmmm...I wonder if she has kids???? My 5 yr old wanted to know if I could even lift a piece of paper...good question...lol. I'm thinking of getting a full evaluation at Beth Israel Spine Center in NYC and applying for disability in the meantime...

    Update: I am, due for an evaluation at Beth Israel Spine Center next week. I really hope to find out why these discs Have all herniated. I have never been in an accident. But, there is a family history. My Dad had complete dic replacement at L4-L5 in Sept 07.
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