Hi I am 45 an was rear ended at 16 and had minor issues from that accident as years went by. I was rear ended in 2006 and have had ongoing pain that keeps getting worse. At that time I went through 7 different dignostic joint injections with no relief. I was sent to two neurosurgeons one suggested a surgery where the disc us shaved allowiing more opening if that didn't work than a fusion. The other Surgeon suggested the first surgery and then a disc replacement. I was being treated with medication the whole time and did all alternative treatments which included PT, Chiropractic, Accupuncture, and massage. I put off surgery because there was no guaantee it would help. All the MRI showed was a bulging disc. In 2010 my husband and I separated and it was a very long,3 yrs, divorce and lost insurance through him. I thought once the divorce was over and my stress level was down I may feel better. I didn't. I have continually gotten worse. The last MRI showed the bulging disc was normal but I have spinal stenosis in c5-7. My diagnosis is that and degenerative disc disease and fibeomyalgia. I take muscle relaxers and tramadol,ibeprofen and prescribed 30 percocet a month. I use to have 90 but my new DR doesn't want to prescribe more because people abuse it which is so frustrating because I am very responsible with my meds. I was prescribed Lyrica which I gained weight on amd does make me feel as though I am on drugs. I went to the same surgeons and the first one said go straight to fusion. My mother came to the appt with me in Seattle . I was very glad because he said we could schedule it in a month but would need to see a physiatrist first to go through insurance hoops. When I got the medical report it said nothing about surgery but to try the pain management clinic in Bellingham to see if steroid injections work. The chart note was not done for two weeks after my appt and I was curious if he forgot me or saw I had molina insurance. I was glad my mom was with or I would have thought I was crazy. The second doctor said originally he said disc replacement in 08 but has since found it has either not helped or made pain worse. He said not clear with cervical what will help and suggested alternative amd pain management clinic for injections. I went to that after going through hoops such as more PT and them had to appeal the denials etc. Finally had the initial injection and I felt great day two and three. I still felt a burning nerve on right side but could bend over and turn neck without throbbing etc. It stopped working and has been over a month. They suggest a second one and waiting for insurance apprival. In the mean time I have had a headache every day for past two weeks,which before just the neck pain and super tight upper back with occasional headache. My neck pain has been extreme.. I can take three percocet and hardly touches it. I am so sad, not depressed, but sad and frustrated . I am hurting so bad and I don't know what to do and where to get help. My quality of life is horrible right now and spend most of the day in bed due to pain. Pain is worse during the morning. I use ice and heat and my bed has baseballs,tennis balls etc in it the pressure helps. The first surgeon aftee he corrected his chart note amd said if injection didn't work then come back for surgery. I need help and any ideas I so so appreciate. I have a master's degree and am a therapist bit unable to work. It's so bad my 14 yr old or 15 yr old will want to plan to have friends over for the upcoming weekend and I am like let's see how I feel. This isn't ne. I want me back so bad..I am desperate and can see how chronic pain people turn to alcohol or illegal drugs if not treated. I don't use illegal drugs but I understand why. I am desperate and I. Sorry for such a long text here. Thank you for taking the time to read. Sincerely Leslie
Dealing with chronic pain is never easy. But at this point, I would want to understand the situation about any surgery. From what you wrote, it does not seem like the surgeon feels like surgery is an immediate option. If that is the case, then you would want to understand the rationale behind that. There are always pro's and con's in having spinal surgery. Having someone just say because it won't help is not a valid answer. There needs to be a reason why. You need to get an answer to that. If you are not getting answers, then perhaps it may be time to seek a second opinion. Many times having a second or third pair of eyes review all your diagnostic reports, images and doing their own clinical examination could identify something more concrete.
Most doctors are not going to continue to provide a prescription of narcotic medications on a monthly basis unless there is a definite need. Pain medication is never the answer to managing pain. There are so many modules that are involved. Take a look at The Blend .. Those are ideas and concepts that work for many people.
-- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator 10/29/15