It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
10 yrs ago I was diagnosed with stenosis, spondy, DDD where the two vert. look like they are close to touching one another, & cysts,all at the L-4, L-5 region. I was so active my whole life, that I typically did 2 (many times 3) activities every single day of either: Hockey, jiu jitsu, karate or weightlifting. I have persevered through about 50 solid injuries, 7 surgeries (none on the spine, so far), but this condition brought me to my knees and has dictated my life since. The Dr's told me I would most certainly need a fusion at some point and I should get it done sooner than later. But, I have been postponing it as long as I can ( mostly out of fear). I have managed my pain with any treatment imaginable, but I have noticed the progression of symptoms & the deterioration of my back over time. I started taking oxycodone which provided immense relief. The first couple of years I took 5mg as needed, not daily - but over time & now at the 10 yr. mark I have been on 10mg 4X's a day for the past four yrs now. In the past couple of yrs, i have finally been forced out of hockey completely, can no longer do martial arts at all, i can still lift weights abridged, but I am a fraction of who I was. Some mornings i can't get out of bed. I have decided to go forward with the fusion as I am losing my mind from the pain, the lack of activity, & the battle of benefiting from the oxy vs the risk they pose. I am able to take my pills sometimes like M&M's. I have developed a high tolerance. My Dr told me going above 40mg can be a slippery slope and has declined prescribing more than this amount. However, I find that many days I need more than 40mg, & take more. Many months I ran out early which was very upsetting on a couple of levels; mild withdrawls, feeling my raw back pain unveiled for a few days etc. I got tired of that cycle & found ways in the past few months to supplement the amount I was prescribed. I have reached a point where some days I take 2-300mg. I have been dependent, addicted and rely on the pills heavily since i started taking them daily which was three years after I started. Sounds nuts to me because I clearly remember when one 5mg pill dissolved my pain. The lowest amount I can take on any given day is 60mg. I never minded acknowledging the addiction (dependency) so long as i was still able to perform at a high level & function well in life. Well, since recently the medication has not enabled me to continue or resume my sports, and since I hate being so dependent on them, I have decided to finally go forward with the operation, which I have been very fearful of, but given the state I am in, it makes more sense to have it than to continue the direction I'm headed in. Truthfully I have no choice. Taking the pills & performing well was acceptable, but now I am taking the pills & am not able to play. It's addiction without benefit & that bothers me. A few weeks back, i ran out of the pills and experienced my first heavy withdrawls since i started taking higher levels of the meds. I am not one to show or complain about pain, stoic-not soft is how my Dr's & friends would describe me. I have on a couple of occasions finished hockey games and jiu jitsu tournaments knowing that what ever just snapped would require surgery the next morning, however nothing could have prepared me for what I went through. It was the single most painful, awful, miserable, gut wrenching day of my life. At one point, realizing how weak I had become (from thrashing around & expelling everything from within) I hadn;t the strength to resist the pain of what was happening, I truly thought for a moment that i may just die from being overwhelmed. I felt myself slipping, & i thought I was headed for a coma and it was the first time in my life I called for an ambulance.I have driven myself to the ER on many occasions with limbs broken or dangling, but this time I could not drive, I could not walk, I could barely dial the 3 digits of 9 1 1 on the phone.I have always had a healthy respect and fear of the medication. Even though I developed tolerance and have been taking the pills foolishly haphazardly, I hadn't lost sight of their potential. At some point I went from vigilance & taking as few doses as i can-to eating them like tic-tacs. But, I got bit very hard this time and have made concerted efforts to reduce my levels especially since i will need the pills to work at their best after my surgery. I never thought something like that would happen to me. In the past I was always focused on the fact that I was taking much more than my Dr was prescribing and was mindful that i did not want to overdose, I never knew withdrawl could be as bad as it was. I hope that when I awake from surgery, I will be one of those that says, what the hell did I wait so long for the have this done.