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pain pumps

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi! I am new to spine-health. I have had 9 back surgeries, ranging from a laminectomy, to being fused from S-1 to L-3. I was trampled by 12 300lb. hogs back in 8-2000 and it's been one surgery after another. Now my neurosurgeon wants to put in a pain pump. Just wondered if there was anyone out there that has any opinions on a pain pump. I am in a great deal of pain and don't know what to do. I have thought about ending my pain permentently but I have to much to live for in a loving wife and 3 wonderful children. I am 43 years old and the only thing I know how to do is be a hog farmer but my NS told me if I keep on farming I will be in a wheelchair within 5 years. Please help me! It's comforting to know there is people out there just like me. Thanks!


  • I wish I could offer splendid advice but I know zilch about pain pumps...sorry.

    What I did want to say is sorry about you situation. I am very glad you realize that the other way is not the way to go. Yes my friend, you need to stick around and be a dad to those kids and a husband to the missus...they love and need you......don't think that stuff.....please remember that the pain meds cause depression....I am not an expert and I don't mean to sound insulting or anything...but you likely have depression going on......maybe go see someone about that.

    Did your fusion not take...was the surgery not successful? You say you are fused.....maybe it is the hardware causing problems....has your surgeon discussed why you are still in pain?

    I am fused but I have hardware pain....not nearly as bad as what I reckon you have.....but I plan to take the hardware out if the Ins Co approves it.

    Remember to come here as often as possible and talk things through with people. You will get a wealth of info and also sympathy. You can rant and rave your heart out.....I came here over a year ago before my surgery and it really helped me get through it....big time. I only show a few posts because the website reset recently and I changed my screen name as I was tired of the old one. Trust me this place is very important to a persons recovery and state of mind.

    Since the injury happened on the job...are you eligible for work comp on this. If so you might be eligible for vocational retraining. They pay up to $10,000 and also pay for books, computers etc...in California anyway. Maybe you could get some assistance at the farm and do a little more finger pointing and less manual labor....and in the mean time do an online course or go to a community college and study something you could do as a side thing for more income.

    I was a master motorcycle mechanic for over 23 years...a job I did while I chased a career in music. I was in my 40's when I decided I had to get up off my a$$ and get a real career going and I went into Film and Television and within 2 years I was making respectable money and now it is pretty good.....with no college education I am able to make around 90K plus a year and have great benefits. I only mention that so as to be inspirational, not to toot my horn......if I can do it so can anyone. I was about 45 when I changed careers. I know a bunch of guys, ex-musicians who after struggling in music made late in life career changes and are doing splendidly. Some in real estate, one in personal injury law, a pyscologist, computer dudes......you name it.

    It is never too late to make a change. Hey, if a bunch of ex long hair guitar playing hippy dudes can do it, anyone can..LOL!!!

    Hang in there.
  • I only mention that so as to be inspirational, not to toot my horn......if I can do it so can anyone.

    You have every right to toot your own horn and should be damn proud of what you have accomplished! I for one am inspired.


    People like you show that this can be done and that a good life can be forged even under difficult circumstances. You have done well and serve as an example for all of us.

    Cheers, Mate
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  • Thanks for the encouraging words L-Dogg. My last surgery was on 5-1-2008 to repair broken rods from a defective medtronics device put in on 7-5-2007. Yes, the device had a recall notice sent to me by certified mail in 1-2008 that it might break. Of course mine was broke on both sides so had to have another fusion which probably isn't completely healed yet but am getting very frustrated because I have a crop of corn and soybeans to harvest in a little over a month and don't know if I can do it. I farm with my dad but he is having triple bypass surgery on 8-19 so he will be of no help to me. So I'm going to have to go back to work rather I'm ready or not. Afraid I am going to do more damage if I go back to work.
  • Hi there, I am from Nebraska and grew up on a dairy farm we also had wheat, corn, and milo crops. I know how much work goes into running a farm and harvesting crops. I am so sorry that you suffered so much pain from your injury. I know how you feel, I too have been struggling with feelings of suicide, but please don't do anything. Your family would be devastated. Are you taking anything for depression. Because chronic pain and depression go hand in hand. My husband has a co-worker who has recently had a pain pump put in. I think it is really helping him. Take care.
  • Hi Pig Farmer,
    What a rough trot (pun intended) but hopefully it made you smile. :D
    Seriously, you really had had a difficult time and I so wish I could click my fingers and make it better for you.

    What I can do is share with you what I have learned during my journey with my back.
    Firstly- You have to come first! Really difficult to do but if we dont make ourselves no 1 then we cant do anything for anyone else in the long run.
    You said your Dad needs to have surgery so this means you have to harvest(?) but no it doesn't. It means that someone has to do it but that doesn't mean it has to be you.
    It may mean that you have to employ someone - even an apprentice, but it doesn't HAVE to be you.

    Next is that this is a wonderful opportunity for change. Did you just cringe like most of us? :O
    Often when something like this happens to us we get so wrapped up in how we are going to cope, support our families etc that we dont really look at the opportunity for change.
    I know you said you only know pig farming but there are a lot of skills involved in that which can be used in other fields.
    L-Dogg mentioned that if it was a work related injury then you can be paid to be re-trained in another field.

    So open your mind and your heart and start thinking about other things that you would like to do. Forget about the how and why just focus on the what at the moment.

    Continuing what you are doing is not worth the risk of ending up in a wheelchair before you are 50. :O So make the change now when you can.
    You can also see a vocational guidance counceller who can assist you in looking at options that would be open to you.
    Most importantly of all, Change can be a good and exciting thing when you embrace it. You said you have kids so you could make it a family thing, a real change for you all.

    Blessings Sara

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  • Oooops - sorry I forgot to mention that I dont know anything about pain pumps. only the hospital ones and I'm sure this is different.
    Have you tried the slow release pain killers. I find them good.
    Hope you get an answer.

  • My husband was offered a pain pump before his microdiscectomy surgery. He ended up in the ER with severe pain and was hurried into surgery before the pain pump became a reality.

    I do worry about you going against dr.'s orders to get your crop in. Is one crop worth the rest of your life in pain? Is there no community/friends that can get your crop in?

    My dad is a farmer and has had 3 back surgeries himself. I for one and VERY grateful that he did as the Dr. ordered and stayed put until he was healed. He currently has a S1-L4 fusion with screws and rods that is 10 years old. He still has the intrumentation in there and is doing very well. He needs 2 knee replacements this winter, but his back only aches - he doesn't have to look down to see if his leg is coming with him anymore. Much more success than his Dr. thought possible.

    My brothers weren't old enough to help out when my dad had his surgery. My uncles aren't farmers. My dad had to lease his land out. He kept partial crop as payment to feed the horses and the guy who did the work got part of the crop too.

    My dad went to work for the government afterwards, he did get a different career. Now he is retired and is back to farming, doing what he loves.

    He and I agree that keeping in shape and following the Dr.'s orders have been the best thing for us in our recovery.
  • Thanks for the replies and words of encouragement. Yes I am on 3 different anti-depressants. The first two since my injury in 2000 when I was also hospitalized for deppression because my wife caught me with a gun in my hands. The pain consumes most of my thoughts and days, but my family keeps me going! Because I am self-employed I can't draw worker's comp or anything like that. Just seen my ns today and he just said see ya in three months, keep on the oxycontin, didn't care if I was in severe pain or not just give it time. Getting frustrated because my legs keep giving out on me and I just fall. Right leg is numb most of the time and has no reflexes in it. Sorry for venting but I've just about had all I can handle. Thanks!
  • Maybe it is time to seek the advice of another surgeon. That seems strange that he is not more sympathetic to your pain...actually not really because some of these guys have a bedside manner that flat sucks!!!

    My dad used to teach for Dale Carnegie in addition to his own career. He would tell the story of an American POW who was eventually released after being in a Vietnamese POW camp for years and years. On his return to the USA and after he was released from debriefing etc had one thing he wanted to do immediately...play a round of golf. He was an avid golfer before he was captured and had a good handicap. So his friends picked him up and off they went and he played an amazing game and was either right on or very close to his handicap he had when he was playing a lot before his capture.

    His friends were amazed....." how is it possible after being imprisoned under terrible conditions for so many years, the torture, the improper diet etc etc that you can play such a great game" To this he replied that every day of his life while in prison, he played a perfect 18 holes in his head to keep his sanity and give him something to live for.

    My dad used to teach about the power of positive thing and consciously creating your circumstances....visualizing what you want...seeing it in your mind and holding it there. You must try to boot out the negative and destructive thoughts and see a positive outcome for yourself.....hold on to that.

    In the meantime do as much legwork as you can.

    Coming here and talking to others is a fantastic start.....you will interact with others who are in a similar boat and by doing this you are engaging in research...knowledge is power....keep it up PF.....I hope I don't sound trite and contrived.....it is important though.

    It sucks about dad and all, I hope his bypass goes great.....do what you have to do but be careful and try not tweak yourself....you really ought to not stress your back but I can see how you have to harvest also....tough spot......no help available for the real physical work?

    Also .......this crap is not supposed to fail and cause misery, the hardware.......do you expect any kind of compensation from the manufacturer......should you get an attorney?

    Just a thought.

    Good luck, all the best to your fathers upcoming surgery.
  • All I can say is I am so sorry for all your suffering. I wish I could help you. I wish I could give you a hug. I know how it feels when it seems that no one understand the pain or cares. You mentioned your surgeon putting in a pain pump. Is this still a possibility? I don't know anything about pain pumps, but I think you maybe you should seriously consider it. It may bring you so much relief because the drug will go directly into your blood stream (at least I think that's how it works) instead of a pill that you have to swallow that goes thru your digestive system. And, I think the pain medicine would be stronger. I have also heard people talk about some kind of patch they wear on their skin that puts medicine into their system. Please keep us posted. Have you been to a pain clinic? I have not been to one yet, but if I don't get relief soon that will be my next step. Please take care of yourself. Hope
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