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In need of Advice

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in New Member Introductions

I have no idea what I should do. I have been having back problems for the last 19 months. I've seen so many different doctors and they've all had different ideas. I've gone through 20 different types of Injections, 4 physical therapist, 4 MRI's, X-rays, bone scans. Everything. I have been seeing a pain management Dr. and what he has told me is that in L4 and L5 I have a partial herniated disc and it is dried up and torn. He is trying to help me control the pain but I don't think he understands how severe it is. I lay in bed all the time. I work 3-4 hours a day and then I am in bed the rest of the time. My lower back, butt and legs hurt all the time. Even when I do nothing so when I walk or try to go up steps or sit for long periods I feel like I am going to pass out. I have tried to tell him that the pain meds do not help very much but he says he wont give me a higher dose or anything else because of my age. Which is ridiculous because pain is pain. What does age have to do with it. So last week he sent me to a surgeon and what he says is that surgery is my next option but he doesn't want to do it. From what I understood it is because where my disc is out it isn't hitting any nerves. The surgeon said that there are many surgeons out there that do this type of surgery so I need to go and get a 2nd or 3rd opinion. So that's what I am doing. Does everyone have to fight so hard to get their back problems solved? Is going on disability an option for me since working is such and struggle and if it is how do I bring it up to my doctor? It's so depressing to keep fighting and fighting to get this taken care of. I want to get back to life. I can't handle being in bed all the time. Please send your ideas and stories to me. It would greatly be appreciated.



  • Kari,
    I am sorry you are having such a difficult time communicating your feelings to your Doctors.
    As a Nurse for 30 years (retired) I can only encourage you to do just that...communicate.
    You have to make sure your pain management Doc. knows how painful it is..just the way you have described it in this forum. You have to almost be dramatic in your explanation of your situation & very detailed. I am curious when you describe that both legs are involved. Usually with L4,5 you would experience pain with the left leg but maybe I didn't understand you.
    As far as asking for disability you just ask. Which ever Dr. you have a good relationship with or have seen the most for this problem, who understands, (after you have communicated properly)
    discuss this option with him or her.After paper work is filed you will then have to to be seen by a group of other Dr's. to make the final decision.
    I know it can be very frustating but just hang in there & change Doc's & communicate everything to them. Good Luck
  • Welcome :H

    A lot of people do have to fight pretty hard to find the best and proper treatment when it comes to our health care..unfortunately.It's always sad to me whenever I hear of another young one with back problems,but of course pain does not discriminate,and anyone can have health issues.It's not reserved for the aged..just expected for them.

    What type of disability are you thinking about..workers,permanent?Anyone can file for SSD-there is no need to hesitate if you think that you might be considered.It's not illegal to try,and if you are denied,well,you can always appeal...and even try again later on down the road.

    I have been on disability since April 1996.I'm 48 yrs old,and pain is no stranger to me.

    Again,welcome to S~H,and please keep us posted ☺
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  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. there seems to always be some kind of struggle we are facing from getting our meds to proper medical care.. ~X( if you can no longer work, it is definitely time to apply. :? it takes alot of time and that may catch up with you!! you can start online now!! good luck and i hope you feel better soon! :D Jenny :)
  • Hi Kari.
    I know how you are feeling. I had to see numerous doctors until I found one who said that he could help me. I would suggest to your doctor that he send you for a test called a DISCOGRAPHY. This test is done as an outpatient and it helps to determine which discs in your low back are the cause of your pain. I have had this test and it was very helpful in pinpointing where the pain is from, which allowed my doctor to only operate on the damaged discs and not have to guess which disc was the problem. I would also suggest that any opinion that you get be from a doctor that is fellowship trained in the spine, as his knowledge will be greater than that of a regular orthopedic doctor.
    You can read my history of back fusion succes in the newbee section.
    Good luck and I am sure you will find very useful information on this site.

    spinal fusion L3 to L5 S1
    with agile rods at L2-3.
  • hi keri, there are many barriers to adequate pain control including 1. the physician's inadequate assessment of the pain, 2. the patient's inadequate reporting of the pain, and 3. the physician's reluctance to prescribe pain medications. your situation sounds as if it could be a combination of all of three. i agree with kslaught that there is no age limit to pain control. the next time you talk to your doctor, speak to him in a language he understands by using words like "suffering" and "misery". if you don't get the pain control you need, keep looking! look for a palliative care physician in your area.
    besides narcs, what other types of pain control have you tried?
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  • How are things going?

    You mentioned going to many different Drs,and that you see a PM Dr.I see that you have been given advice to find a new Dr.,but I'd like to advise you otherwise.Before you do that,I think trying to get the PM that you already have in your employ to understand the severity of your pain would be in your best interests.Since he is treating you and you said,"trying to control the pain." If you emphasize how you feel to him,and then you see that he is not going to give you the help you need-that would be a time to ask for a referral from him.

    How long have you been with this PM? Often it takes time to build up a Dr/patient relationship,where trust can grow and develope ..the Dr gets to know you and understand you pain levels before we get the proper treatment.Changing Drs (esp.PM Drs-or any Dr to treat us for pain) can be viewed in the medical profession as negative,and not in our best interests.

    Of course,if you aren't getting treated at all then...that's a different story.

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