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Where do you go when you have no happy place?



  • I have been seeing the doc at HSS for about 6 mos or so. A year before that I went through several different doctors including a head of the dept at Mt. Sinai.

    Based on the MRI he gave me the recommendation that an IDET would be the next step but he first hoped the epidural could last a year or so. Since I came back after the second epidural and continued to complain he said why not get involved with the study as you will need it to have the IDET.

    I thought it sounded great to be part of the study and was a needed step. At that time the L5-S1 was not considered to be serious cause the MRI showed little. Before the discogram he told me here is your options

    1) Get the discogram and study and hope it helps out. If 50% reduction in pain that get another injection.

    2) Get the IDET if (1) does not work out.

    3) If no IDET the only option left is fusion but he says the changes for pain levels to go down are not very good at all. So does not advise it at all.

    4) Wait for up to 5 years and 30% of the folks who do not heal in the first year will heal.

    Otherwise just continue with epidurals and PT...

    That is it and I pretty much feel that the only way to have a fusion is like you when I just can not stand for more than a few minutes.

    The other doctor at Mt. Sinai said pretty much the same thing but in a different way. No IDET as a waste of time according to him and definitely no discogram as too invasive and only if will do surgery. I would have not done is not thinking the IDET and blood infusion study.

    In some ways better to know than not know.

  • Every procedure is different for different people. I've never had a discogram, but my doctor told me that the RFTC is often quite difficult for people to tolerate. Especially people (like Straker) who have been living with a fairly high pain level for a length of time just kind of tune out (this makes total sense- if you're living every day with a 6 or 7 out of 10, after a while bumping it up to an 8 or a 9 is just no big deal).

    Which might also tell you where we go when there's no happy place ;) Although, personally, I go to the barn, even if I can't go physically.

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  • I have no idea what you mean...but as I look back at the discogram...I am a bit embarrassed. I could imagine what I looked like from the perspective of all the people in that room. I was squirming in pain while people were looking down recording data. I am sure I was the story of the day. I usually take pride in the amount I can take.

    I only thank God that I have my daughter and wife to give me a reason to keep going and at the same time I ask God why.

    I hope one day to have a happy place...but it sounds like you do have one. My happy place was destroyed 1 1/2 years ago...

  • I think the squirming in pain is normal. I don't think the people sitting there hanging out or falling asleep are the normal people. I can't imagine why you'd having anything to be embarrassed about.

    I am not sure which part was hard to understand, maybe all of it (not uncommon!), but I have horses and the barn is my happy place, so when I need to escape in my mind that's where I am.

    I don't think I "endure." I just don't think I sense pain the way others do anymore, honestly. It's not like a strength thing. My brain is just always being bombarded with signals from so many nerves in my back, and I think it just has turned down the volume altogether.
  • I mean if there is one thing I notice alot here is the number of people with back issues and riding a horse. But yet your happy place is back there again.

    Honestly for me I did luv my cycling and the gym and would luv to one day go back there. My wife today said where do you want to go once the blood heals the back. I laughed but she said you have to be positive.

    Well enough of these pity party posts of mine. Today is almost over and I let myself feel sorry for myself today. I need to get back to making sure my family is taken care of and my companyis doing what it is suppose to. Cause honestly no one cares about my back, they just care about me paying my bills.

    Last call...pity party over. You don't have to leave but you can't stay here.

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  • Well, it's because horseback riding is not a safe sport, but it's a pretty addicting one. We who do it are fairly fanatical, or we wouldn't to it at all, because perching yourself on a 1500 lb prey animal and imagining you're never going to get hurt is rather a fantasy. Yet, those big dark eyes suck you in...

    The crazy thing is to see how many people do it without a helmet!
  • I too, had a pity party the other day, complete with decorations, invitations and food! LOL :)

    It's okay to acknowledge there difficulty of the test! I have yelped involuntarily in pain many times. I waited way too long to have my fusion! At the end I had bone on bone and the nerves were getting caught on the jagged edges of the bone! The pain was unbelievable!

    I had to giggle at your statement re the strength of the people on this site. I am small/petite also, yet the amount of pain I have been through in the past 5 years is undescribeable! You have to move forward right! :)

    Hang in there! We are here for you! And if a fusion is needed, you will know when the time is right! And if you don't recognise it, your doctor or family will!

    Hope today is a better day and I love your wife's positive attitude!
  • Wish I had my wife's hope...

    Hey for you jayhawk...one more round before we close this pity party.

    How did the fusion go?

  • Heya js! I seem to be having my own pity party today....just frustrated at the length of the journey and the inability to speed it up!

    Got an eye opener today at PT with new exercises in which I realized how weak my muscles are. It doesn't seem that way until I try to isolate one.

    The fusion seems to be successful. I had a rocky start but seem to be making progress.

    Terrified at the thought to returning to work. Gonna give it a try mid June.

    We're having a problem with our pump to the pool. Keep getting put off by the repair man, so I've temp. lost that stress reliever.

    Everyone tells ya it's a long recovery, man are they right!

    Hope you're doing well. How are you feeling now? any better?
  • I have to admit the doc was right that I should be fine by Monday. My Anniversary was yesterday and was going to put off the discogram but my wife insisted. I was able to go out for a brunch so it was nice.

    Today though is totally different story as pretty damn good and I think I made a discovery in the process. Ice seems actually to stop working like it did before seems now aggravating the nerve instead of helping. Today no ice and while the left leg was acting up a liitle, no biggie. It could also mean my lower back is just too sensitive. But no real need for meds.

    Talking about pools, a week ago my gym opened its pool and tomorrow I get to go back. All the doctors kept pushing my to do more exercises including weights but they never gave me exact instructions. Just the exercises to do including weight lifitng. I was a pretty good weight lifter and I believe now when they meant weight lifting, they meant like small weights. If you look at my facebook page you can tell that is not my style. I think if I would have just did swimming and some light lifting I would be in a different situation now. So trying that.

    I hear a fusion is a long recovery but you are closer to the end than the beginning. I kind of look at it that way for even myself. Discogram, past that step, now what. Muscle will get real weak quick if you do not use them and I guess is why the docs push for all the PT when you are pre-surgery. You will be fine as being a weight lifter there is an old term called muscle memory. You be surprised how fast that will come back. I think we appreciate it more after we go through an experience like this and will cherish it more afterwards and not take it for granted.

    I have to go back to work sooner than later usually in my case cause my wife just gets sick of having me around the house. She did show me mercy this time but I remember when I broke my ankle years ago she just couldn't wait for me to get out of the house!!


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