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Embarrassing effect of lbp/sciatica/medication - any clues guys??

SueDSSueD Posts: 545
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:42 AM in Lower Back Pain
I'm seeing my doc soon, but wondered if anyone has experienced these particular problems - although they're very embarrassing (but because you don't know me personally, I feel able to share this with you guys!).

It feels so selfish of me to talk only about myself, but I really would like some feedback, if you can?

I've had a horrible week with 'shaky, heavy' legs, pins and needle-type feelings and I am now getting pain from my right buttock down into my foot (this started late last night and has kept me awake for most of last night). The only comfortable place is laying on the sofa with my right leg bent. I had sciatica about 5 years ago, so I'm wondering if this is the start of another 'flare up' or something?

Also, the pain in my lower back is much worse this week. I've worked through it all, but this morning at work, it all got just a little too much. I left work early as I couldn't seem to function with the back/leg pain - and the extra morphine I'm having to take is making my head feel all over the place. I managed to drive home safely thank G-d.

I'm feeling extremely tired with a 'funny' head - also, if I'm honest I'm probably a little depressed (as lots of things are going on personally) and try hard not to let my back rule my life. Ha! it so does really!!!! I can't do anything without first wondering if it will adversely affect my back pain and therefore might not enable me to go to work, so I don't do it at all - that's the story of my life. I live to work as keeping my job is very important as I only started in January and have now had two days off! Which I think is bad).

My other physical problem this week is that at night time only I have found it extremely difficult to pass water (I'm a female by the way - so no prostrate problems, ha!). It's taken on average about half an hour to feel 'emptyish'.

However, during the day I can't seem to stop - and what I mean by that is that I'll pass water, normally. Then, about half an hour later I'll need to go again. This has happened TWELVE times from early this morning and I just don't think it's normal, do you? Have any of you had similar problems, if so, and you feel happy to share then I'd be interested to hear from you.

I've had lbp for nearly 5 years now - I've had ALL the conservative treatments and recently had a discogram which was positive on two levels. I'll know in a couple of weeks whether a two level fusion is on the cards (this is what the surgeon is recommending, but I've yet to say yes or no). It's a difficult decision to make because I could lose my job over this - but then, I suppose I could lose it anyway with the time off I'm having. I did put on the application form that I considered myself to be disabled (even though it went very much against the grain to actually say it) and never had to have a medical appointment before they offered me the job - I only had to fill in an occupational health questionnaire, which they accepted. I don't believe in lying, so all information was correct anyway. Sorry, I'm digressing.....(did I say my head 'was a shed'?).

I have DDD, scar tissue from two previous discectomies, right foraminal stenosis (whatever that is) and facet joint osteo arthritis. My surgeon has indicated that a 2 level PLIF (posterior lumbar interbody fusion) would hopefully conquer all 3 problems. He and his team seem quite confident about this and I have 100 per cent faith in them (after at least 3 other consultants over the years have more or less said there's nothing more that can be done). This would be on the National Health Service in the UK.

Does anyone think my 'waterworks' problem is anything to do with my back? Or the morphine (I have weekly patches AND extra liquid solution as/when)?

I'll post back on this same thread what the doctor advises, but just wanted to find out if anyone else has had similar difficulties? It's probably quite unrelated - who knows.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!


  • Hi Sue,
    Nice to 'meet' you. I am Molly, a 41 year old woman who has annular tears in L4-L5 and L5-S1, which requires a multi level fusion to fix, which I'm putting off as long as I can.
    I don't think your problem is embarrassing at all. In fact, I came here today because I wanted to check up on my post from last night. I had posted that I am having some waterworks problems too---but what is happening for me is that I am having a hard time getting the pee started. Even when I am relaxed and at home all alone. You know how in public places your bladder can suddenly become VERY shy and you just can't go? Well, sometimes, especially in the evenings, it's like that for me. And then once I get the pee started, it locks up, stops, starts, stops, starts, ugh, it's like what is going on? I was posting about it, asking if anyone thought it had anything to do with the Lortabs I've been taking every day now for at least 4 years straight....
    I know if you LOSE control of you bladder and bowels that it can be because the equine nerve bundle down in the lumbar region is being pressed upon, but believe me, from what I've read, if this happened to you you'd know it and it requires immediate surgery. I'm not trying to scare you!
    But it sounds like you are definitely having a bulging disc problem. Especially with that pain running down one leg. You've dealt with this before, right? Say, have you changed your diet perhaps? When I went on the South Beach Diet (lost 68 lbs in only 6 months!!) I pee'd a LOT because when your body is using it's own fat for fuel it takes a lot of water to break it down, which gets released as pee. So maybe it is something in your diet? Have you changed medicines maybe?
    Hope you get to feeling better!
  • Thanks alot for your post. The bit where you mention about 'start, stop' etc. is EXACTLY like me at night only. However, it's the different way with me during the day - very odd.

    Luckily for me, I actually got to see my doctor earlier today and he said it could be either:

    . systemic infection (for daytime water problem)
    . nerve related (to my lumbar region - probably explaining the back/leg pain)
    . stress (for all the symptoms)
    . food related (daytime water problem)
    . the Morphine medication (for nightime water problem) which I've been taking for months now.

    There are so many variables that he feels a urine and blood test are warranted, which I've booked for next Tuesday.

    This forum is excellent, don't you agree? It's just nice to know I'm not totally cracking up and that perhaps my symptoms aren't all that unusual. I smiled when you talked about public places and feeling 'shy' when having a wee, ha! That's so typical of us ladies.

    By the way, I have been on a 'slimming world' diet for nearly two years now and have lost five and a half stones - this was the last thing I could do to try and help myself with my back problem. However, it has not made any difference. Quite the contrary actually. I'm 52 now and up till five years ago would have said I felt more like 17 again, but not now. Ha! I think my 85 year old dad is healthier than me at present! Bless him.

    Between you and me - I have found out tonight that I received my 'monthly', which is really annoying because for the whole of this year so far, it hasn't arrived and I was elated because it's been regular as clockwork for more decades than I care to remember! I wondered if it was my age, or because I'd lost so much weight, or the medication or all three and low and behold it came tonight - how rude!! It probably explains now why I've been feeling pretty rough these past few days I suppose.

    Thank goodness it's the weekend, and hopefully I'll be fighting fit by Monday to return to work.

    It's lovely to talk to you also, Molly, and hope you can make a decision about your multi-level fusion soon. I know just how you feel about that - my problems are at the same two levels as yours.

    I'd welcome you to 'PM' me (as I've seen people say on this forum) - but to be honest, I'm such a technophobe, that I wouldn't even know how to do this or how to access a 'pm' if someone tried!!!

    You take care of yourself, wherever you are in the world??? I'm in South Yorkshire, UK.

    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
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  • Hi SueD, I also have severe back pain, I have been unable to work for the past 2 yrs, and sad to say I myself had to finally say I cant take it anymore, I also have sacroliliac joint pain, hip pain right side, and mid=low back paing every day is a struggle. I also have frequent trips to the bathroom, I also am a female, I think from the time I get up to about mid afternoon I must go like every fifteen to 20 minutes. I get so irritated. I am unable to take narcotic medicines due to stomach problems, I tried pain patches lidoder, n another one which made me itch like crazy n didnt help, I just started ryzolt 100 mg for two weeks does nothing, today my doctor moved me to 200mg hope to at least get some relief, Ortho surgeon said surgery wont improve quality of my life, and if did surgery might be worse off. After already having posterior fusion, and rods, I really didnt want another one but life is very painfull. So I definitly knw what you are feeling. Good Luck
  • Thanks for your thoughts, you guys. I think right now my best best it to lost that weight again! And I know I can do it It's just a matter of getting rid of all the sugar and carbs in the house and get ready cook cook, cook, cook, a lot.

    I appreciate your comments, thanks so much. Yes, it IS wonderful to come here and talk about these things.
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