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Walt's Introduction....

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in New Member Introductions
Please feel free to reply to Walt...Thanks.

I guess I need to start with I don't know where to start. But I will give it a try. Below is my story, which is probably about like most.

Early 1996 Diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease with stenosis, L-5-S1 level was bulging, confirmed by MRI and Discogram. Neurosurgeon suggested fusion, I had it done.

Late 1996 I was diagnosed with my knee being bone on bone, in essence I had no cartilage left of my left knee, diagnosed through an arthoscopic surgery. Went in and had a total knee replacement. Which was just lovely for my back with the gate I had for so long.

Early 1997 I had the L4-L5 level fused, reinforced my CT and mylogram.

Late 1997 started to see a pain management doctor and were put on oxycontin. That was prescribed to me for the remainder of the year at 40 mg 3 times a day.

1998 the neurosurgeon performed an anterior fusion for the L4-S1.

2000 I had arthroscopic surgery on the right knee, it also was bone on bone so the orthopedic surgeon performed a total knee replacement.

2002 I had the L3-L4 diagnosed with stenosis and disc bulging confirmed by CT and mylogram, that level was then fused.

2003-2005 I was recommended to a pain management doctor and was put on the fentanyl patch at 25 mcg every 2 days as well as seeing a pain management psychologist. Gradually I was increased to 100 mcg every 2 days.

Now from 1996 through 2004 I was working thank God that I had a boss that worked with me and also that I had a job that I could tap into the computer system from home and worked from home. I was continuously working as well as fighting the medical issues.

2004 I had to retire because it got to the point that I was in a position that I had to be at work for projects that needed me at the office for. I received a fully favorable decision from Social Security and retired from the place that I worked in June of 2004. Meanwhile my wife had enough, as well and she wanted a separation as well as ending the marriage period.

2005 my body overdosed from the fentanyl patch and ended in the emergency only because my daughter lived with me at the time and found me laying on the floor going into convulsions. I was in ICU for 4 days and then another 2 in a private room.

I fired the pain management doctor and found another and came off fentanyl, went back on oxycontin.
I also sought out my pain management psychologist and went over the losing of my pride, my job that is, as well as my wife.

2006 I could no longer handle my leg constantly burning and the severe back pain and had to go to another surgeon because the neurosurgeon that did all of the other surgeries quit practicing medicine and went to work with a private industry. I was, surprise, surprise diagnosed with stenosis and bulging of the L2-L3 level and was fused in early 2007.

Today I am on MS contin at 15 mg every 6 hrs. My pain level is probably at a 75% level and that is on a good day. In order to sleep I take an Ambian CR 12.5 mg every night. I wake up every morning just wanting to cry with the pain.

That brings me to this site I have tried Cymbalta for the depression, which did absolutely nothing for me, I reflect back on the little tricks the pain management psychologist gave. To no avail, I have crawled into a living hell and do not know what else to do.

I know it seems like a lot of rambling and hope you can make sense of what I wrote, it is kind of how I feel, rambling.

Walt Long
Richmond, VA



  • My name is Amanda, and I would like to welcome you to the site. It sounds as though you have been through a pretty tough time. I am sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. Please feel free to ramble anytime... I find its a great relief to have a place to do so, with so many wonderful and caring people to offer advice and support. I am fairly new to this site as well, but already I feel like I have a whole new group of friends. Friends unlike the ones I already have around me. Friends who actually understand your pain and what you go through on an everyday basis.

    You mentioned that you have taken Cymbalta for depression, with no help. Have you spoken to your doctor about another method? Are you still seeing your pain management psychologist?

    Sometimes it feels like I am the only person in the world who goes through this stuff. I feel as if no one understands. Since coming to this website I have found I am in fact not alone. I just want you to know, that there are people here like you and I who go through this everyday, and they would love to talk to you!!

    Take care Walt, I hope to hear more from you soon!
  • Welcome, this place gives you lots of information from the prospective of the patient and not the doctors. You can learn alot from ppl on here. Theyre great.

    Christina :)
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you will find people here in pain 24/7, have trouble sleeping if at all, feel isolated and alone! alot like you are feeling Walt! and there is usually someone on board 24/7 for those hours when you can't sleep and need a friend or just want to vent. so i hope this gives you some comfort in knowing we are all here holding a hand out to you. please keep us posted on how you are feeling. i have severe sciatica in my left leg and use Lyrica, a medication used for nerve pain. have you tried this? it could be of some benefit to you. well good luck Walt and once again welcome! see you around the forum! Jenny :)
  • Welcome to Spine Health! It reallylooks like you had to travel a bumpy road to find your way here, but your here now non-the-less. Kick back, relax and meet some great people who will do their very best to help in any way they can.

    This place is anything but a living hell. In fact at times you can get so much from others it will blow your mind. Just know that there will always be someone here 24/7/365.

    Take care,

  • So sorry to hear of all of the pain and surgeries that you have endured much less the loss of your job and wife. I totally understand the depression that comes along with a life of chronic pain. I am on Cymbalta and so far it is working OK for me. I have only been on it for about 6 weeks and now at 60 mgs. Have you tried other meds for the depression? There are tons out there and don't stop trying until you find the right one. Glad that you joined us and I look forward to reading your posts.
  • Thank you all for such a warm welcome. :)
  • Hello Walt and welcome to Spine Health.
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