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Feel like im alone?

I have been dealing with this severe sciatic nerve pain in my leg for only a month at its worst. Im an outdoorsman, i hunt, fish, hike,camp never stay inside. I have 3 amazing children 9, 5 and 4. Since Dec. 11th ive basically been in the bed. walking kills me, sitting kills me, only laying helps. When I was seeing my Primary DR whom I been seeing since i was 10, im 35 now had no issue giving me whatever pills seemed to work. Been on 10mg percocet every 4 hours, 5mg Valium every 6 hours and gabapanton and naproxen.
Refered me to Ortho surgeon, did mri found herniated disk L5S1, microdisectomy jan 20th. He only has me taking the 10mg oxy every 8 hours and the pain in almost unbearable and stopped my valium. I tried explaining I have low pain tolerance and high tolerance to all meds, he can confirm with my long time Dr im not just a drug seaker. he seems not to care about the pain and its frustrating, and worries me how he will treat me after the surgery. I am lucky that my primary Dr had said once I have surgery and feel that i dont need the meds please come see him so he can taper me off and help with any withdrawls because he is sure dependance has developed.
It kills me not being able to be outdoors. to play with my children whom I love so much. to be in non stop boarder line unbearable pain that the surgeon seems not to care. Missed going to all the Christmas gatherings cause I needed to be in bed. Missed New years Eve celebrating because I was in a MRI machine at 10pm. Surgery is the 20th and my birthday is the 21st, what a way to spend it.
Sorry for the long winded rant, im just so lost and everyone i try to talk to about being in pain and depressed about being laid up just think im whining but they have no idea the true amount of pain i am in

I feel so alone!!!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    many doctors are not going to give a lot of medications, especially narcotics. I dont mean to underestimate your situation, but many people go for months and months with sciatiac problems without much aid in the term of pain medications.

    Problems with L5/S1 are very common. The procedure you are going to have is one of the more less complicated lumbar spinal surgeries, so your outcome should be excellent, assuming you listen to all of your doctors instructions.

    Considered yourself to be on of the more fortunate in the fact that you haven't not had the problem very long and that you will be get relief relatively soon.

    To know more about your surgery Microdisectomy Surgery
    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
  • Hi 29va,

    I just wanted to stop by and say hello! I feel connected to your misery. It sounds like you do feel really alone. I often feel the same. After six years of back hell, I feel run down, and so anxious about everything. It's hard to not let the pain and the loneliness beat you down. If you ever feel like whining, just send me a pm. I'm always house bound, if not swimming, or taking my own meds and seeing surgeons/doctors. I am 35, and it feels like I'm a very broken person now. I hear about women in their 100th year who still hike and climb mountains. Here I am wasting away. If I can be there to listen, let me know. I have to go to spine health for support, because I know no one who suffers with back pain. Anyway, hang in there!
  • Spinelessjellyfish said:
    Hi 29va,

    I just wanted to stop by and say hello! I feel connected to your misery. It sounds like you do feel really alone. I often feel the same. After six years of back hell, I feel run down, and so anxious about everything. It's hard to not let the pain and the loneliness beat you down. If you ever feel like whining, just send me a pm. I'm always house bound, if not swimming, or taking my own meds and seeing surgeons/doctors. I am 35, and it feels like I'm a very broken person now. I hear about women in their 100th year who still hike and climb mountains. Here I am wasting away. If I can be there to listen, let me know. I have to go to spine health for support, because I know no one who suffers with back pain. Anyway, hang in there!
    Thanks so much, its nice knowing in not alone. I cant imagine suffering for 6 years. The pain I have felt for just this month alone has been almost unbearable at a few points. Im praying this surgery Wednesday will take care of things.
    Just as you said, If you ever need to talk im just a PM away since I cant do much now or really after surgery.
    Thank you for relating!
  • AJGormitAAJGormit Posts: 388
    edited 01/16/2016 - 7:50 PM
    Good morning 29va. Welcome to the forum. I have experienced the pain you are suffering and you have my sympathy. I found standing and sitting and getting onto the bed into a comfortable position a complete nightmare. I lived in a three storey house with my teenage son at the time, who needed feeding, so I found myself on many occasions having to squat on the kitchen floor, hanging onto the worktop. This turned into a cat position on the floor, where i found relief for hours sometimes.

    So glad to hear you have secured a surgery date so soon and hope this means no long term numbness or nerve damage. Mine wasn't dealt with quick enough unfortunately. The surgery did get the disc material off the nerve so the severe pain was solved.

    Your birthday present this year is to lose the nerve pain and it's such a good feeling. Meds will help with post surgery pain but it is nothing compared to nerve pain :-). Good luck and keep us posted :-). You will soon be outside walking as this is one thing your surgeon will probably advise
    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015

  • Hey 29va,
    You may be alone in this situation right now I'm terms of not having social support, but hopefully this forum will help you feel more supported!
    It seems as though you are getting the surgery quickly after your injury so hoping you go on to make a full recovery. There is no reason why you won't. The pain you have is real and won't be made easier by knowing other people have had pain for longer, but try to focus on getting through each minute, hour, and day. Dr's are often reluctant to give you stronger and stronger pain meds and it does sound that your Dr is trying to help. I survived on pregablin and paracetamol for a long time before I was given any codeine or oxys. It's a good idea to have a conversation with your dr/hospital about the pain management before the op so you can be prepared. I'm sure it must be difficult in light of the pain you're in, but I found the pain was handled far better after the op in hospital than through my primary care Dr alone.

    People who have never experienced this type of pain often don't understand how awful it can be. Feel free to PM me if you'd like to chat further and have some support. It will really help you through the isolation you're feeling.
    Take care,
  • Winch526WWinch526 Ottawa, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 13
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks to 29va for starting this thread. I started another called "Let's talk about feelings" also in the same category of "depression and coping."  Perhaps you might be interested in joining that discussion.

    I was drawn to two aspects of your initial post. The first is pain medication and the second is how depressing it is to have to sit around with back pain all of the time.

    As I write this, I have taken 11 Percocet tablets today and it's only 1300. Why? I don't know. They certainly take my pain away, but I'm not sure my pain was really bad enough to need that many. They also make me sleepy and make my stomach kind of gross. Last week I was at the gym every day, and twice on Monday and Tuesday. Just doing light cardio and core stability exercises, but still, I was getting quite the workout and I felt great. Today, feeling somewhat high on Percocet, I have no interest in going to the gym at all. I also just feel like eating junk food. You could, in a sense, compare this to smoking. One cigarette and I would have no interest in doing anything healthy for the rest of the day. So why the hell am I taking them? I guess because I like how spaced out they make me feel. That's what narcotics do afterall. The funny thing is, when I run out, I have no desire to report back to my doctor to ask for me. I don't really care if I have them or not. I'm also really concerned about looking like an addict so I try and only ask for them when I'm in pain.  I find every second month or so I get a flare up that requires some better pain relief. About every 3-4 months I get a severe flare up that requires some intense muscle relaxant and narcotic combination. When this happens, narcotics are the ONLY pain medication that helps enough so that I can move around again and eventually stretch enough to start to recover. No amount of anti-inflammatory or nerve blocker will work. So I'm not guilty at all for asking for them. My problem, however, is how fast I go through them once I have them. I just like how they make me feel!! What can I say?? It's true. I've never actually told anyone this before until now. The other problem is that my Doctor, who is a sports medicine doctor, or a physiatrist as they call it, is totally supportive of whatever I need for pain relief. He understands that with back pain there isn't really anything you can except try and stop it from getting worse. He totally understands what flare ups feel like, and gets that if Percocet is the only thing that works, then he'll happily prescribe it to me. But I just wish he wouldn't prescribe me 90 TABLETS AT A TIME!! He thinks I'll just keep them in my cupboard for the next flare up.....lol!  Sorry, if they're there, I'll take them. I always have a pretty decent amount of pain, so why wouldn't I? 

    There are two reasons I'm telling you this. The first is that I have an extremely addictive personality. I'd probably be an alcoholic if I didn't have a job and two kids that need me sober. I've been on and off cigarettes for more than a decade.  So I am trying to write this out honestly to be able to decide if I'm dependant on percocet or not. I think when it's available to me, I definitely am. But if it isn't, I could easily go without it. The second reason I'm telling you this is because I want you to know that there are specific doctors out there who will gladly prescribe what you need. I would suggest that you get yourself a referral to a doctor like a physiatrist that specializes in pain management. You can also probably find a pain clinic somewhere near you as well. I want you to see how easy it is to start having a fairly liberal relationship with narcotic pain medication so that you are cautious, but I also want you to know that it is not all doom and gloom and that there are options out there.

    I want to discuss your comments about being depressed and sitting around doing nothing all the time. I totally understand you! I think in my case, I was so worried that I would hurt myself again, that I began very protective and wouldn't participate in anything remotely physical. However, I started to get really sad about never playing with my kids, or taking part in sports at work, etc. The lack of exercise led to further stress, weight gain, and depression. So I had to make a decision. Either I would sit around, not exercise, eat, and grow more and more unhappy. Or, I would make an attempt to work out lightly, get off the couch and play with my kids, try and eat a little healthier, and run the risk of further injury.  I made the decision to try the second option at the beginning of January after a painful flare up over the Xmas break. Although I'm currently on pain killers because I had a pinch in my lower back last week, I actually feel really good. I could think clearly, I was eating better, and I was in a much better mood. 

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is that happiness is not a switch that you can turn off or on. It's not automatic. People are all wired differently too. I don't think that an injury automatically equals depression or unhappiness. It takes time to get to that point. No one can see it coming either, and it slowly develops after occasional set backs, missed activities, inablity to participate in things, bad news from doctors, etc. I think that sometimes you have to reset yourself, and start incorporating more positive things into your life. It's hard when you feel all alone, but I want you to know that you are no longer all alone. You have all of us here to keep you motivated. In fact, it would be great if you could log on here every single day and tell us about one or two things you did that day that will help you feel better about yourself. If all goes well, you'll get some encouraging words from us, and that will motivate you to try it again tomorrow!!

    I'm not going to say that I'm always happy. I have a long way to go. I find chronic back pain to be really upsetting, especially in the midst of a flare up or spasm.  Especially when I think about being 34, with 2 small kids. If I'm this crippled now, what will I be like when I'm 40? 50? 80?  But thinking about those things is no way to live. I have to keep telling myself that I could hurt myself just getting off the couch to pee, or hurt myself shooting hoops at the "Y", or maybe not hurt myself at all! 

    I hope something in this post helped you. I look forward to hearing more thoughts on the subject.

    Adam from Ottawa

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