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not sure if I ever said hello

Hi all fellow pain sufferers.
My name is Judy and I turned 50 2 wks ago between 2 lots of back surgery.
Started 2011 in July when a car in front of skidded on a wet greasy road, pouring rain at night, hit a street lamp pole which promptly fell across the top of the windscreen of our car. In the split second before I had leaned forward to put the street atlas off my knee onto the floor - we were in a strange city away for the weekend. So I was unsupported and my back suffered a sever jolt from the impact down onto the car and then a jolt the other way as the pole slid over the roof off the boot of the car landed on the road and bounced up hitting under the car.
My husband was ok as he was sitting with his back against the seat and hands on the steering wheel. His parents in the back were asleep so their backs also relaxed and supported.
The pain started right away but I declined ambulance paramedic attention as I thought it was such a 'slight' accident I cojldn't have possibly hurt myself. If only I had known then what was to happen.
The next morning I blamed my acute back pain on just the jolt pain and a horrible hotel mattress. Home on the ferry overnight so I blamed the pain on my back feeling bruised nad the pitching/rolling of the boat and then the 3 hour drive home.
A month later I was in hospital with pneumonia and asthma as a result of the accident. My left leg numbness and tingling was put down to the heavy load of steroids and asthma medication. 10 days later I was home and 6 wks later I was back in with the same thing.
I'll post this now and continue before I lose battery life
Judy 50
microdisectomy L5/S1 February 13 2012
PLIF L5/S1 January 31 2014; TLIF L5/S1 February 4 2014; 3rd surgery revision of screws L5/S1 February 4 2014


  • So that brings us up to Christmas 2011 and my pain was explained by wrapping up all the christmas presents for 2 families as my dad was unable to wrap any. Then after New Years Eve it was a beek of squatting and picking up broken glass of the gravel driveway from a NYE party that got out of hand. By my birthday February 3, 2012 I had seen 2 drs, first one put me on panadeine forte and voltaren for sciatica, 4 days later my usual GP sent me for a CT scan and her follow up said I had a bulging dic at L5/S1 and the L3/4 L4/5 were slightly bulging the opposite direction. Dr said I may need surgery at some stage but for now would increase my meds to endone and celebrex. That was a Thursday. Friday was my birthday, Sunday I was so sore I stayed in bed until lunchtime. Went to have coffee in the lounge room
    With a visitor, got up 45 minutes later and was so pain struck I couldn't move after the first step and my left leg would not move or weight bear. Ambulance ride to A&E, diagnosis nerve compression. Sent to a ward and upped to morphine as weel. MRI on Monday morning and neurosurgeon appeared at my bed 6pm. Didn't even introduce himself, his opening words were what were you doing 6 mths ago. My husband and I looked at each other and worked out the dates, described the accident and he said yep, thay's what did it, put in a travel insurance claim. He said the L5/S1 disc had ruptured 6 mths ago and they cojld by how calcified the disc contents were, how they were compressing the nerve and I would need surgery - microdisectmy - a week later on February 13 I had my surgery. My 2nd grandson was born the next day and I couldn't hold and see him properly on the 15th when they called into my hospital on the wqy home from her hospital.
    2 weeks later I was home and felt ok so as I felt better each day I did more each day. Big mistake not following post surgery physio plan and list of what not to do.
    Early 2013 I felt great ever since about March/April 2012 so thought nothing of it when my left foot underneath on the pad under my little toe felt weird and like it was swollen numb yet very sore. Thought maybe I had kicked my little toe against something and fractured it. Finally went to my GP who said it was most likely a bump and RSI as I generally wear nothing at all on my feet unless I go out shopping. July 2013 saw my neurosurgeon for 18mth post op review and sign me off.
    Just as we were leaving his rooms my foot twinged and I remarked about it. He asked how long it been odd and then sent me for x-rays, CT, MRI and when the results came in I got a call fro his receptionist saying he had booked me in for a Nerve Path Study which was tiny electric shocks measured along the different nerves in both legs. Done over 2 daays, right leg some of the shocks were quite painful. Expecting the same pain the next day I thought it was just less painful as I knew what to expect. However he told me there was significant nerve damage to my left leg and sent me back to my neurkosurgeon.
    Are you bored yet? Though I may as well write it all down in one spot for the first time.
    So neurosurgeon sent me off for a MRI of the nerves from thoracic level all the wqy down to my knees. He said he could find no reason for the results as he could find no cause and the compressed nerve from the disc damage should not show in the results as that nerve would indicate different results.
    So he siad I had 2 options. 1) nerve blocks and pain therapy or 2) a PLIF. In October after much thought and research we decided I'd have the PLIF and try to salvage any healing possible from the nerve.
    BTW the MRI etc had show3d that the remnants of the disc had calcified and aslo moved into the space from the microdisectomy and once again compressing the S1 nerve. But as I no longer had much disc left the two edges of bone were rubbing together and affecting the nerves to my right leg as well.
    So January 30 this year I was admitted to hospital for a PLIF on January 31. I had had a wonderful surprise 50th birthday party the Saturday before :)
    Friday morning I woke hungry from fasting but happy to see the end in reach. 11am taken to theatre, 8pm finally made it to ICU. CT the next day showed I would need more surgery :( My S1 is somewhat thinner than expected and the screws were jutting out the other side to much to even consider leaving them. February 3, still in ICU on a morphine drip, nurses banded together and got me a birthday cake and all sang happy birthday to me.
    Feb 4 - Tuesday, 5pm went into theate for a 20 minute op to revise and replace the screws. Neurosurgeon in the end used the smallest of the pedicle screw that are normall used in lumbar back surgery. Off to recovery and then he decided to do a quick CT just to make sure - not good :( back into theatre for round 2 of surgery that night. He used the smallest screws he has ever had to use. I made it back to ICU around midnight after 5 hrs surgery.
    next day he told me that in 15 years of neurosurgery he has NEVER had to use screws that tiny. I asked if I had osteoporosis or something wrong with the bone but he said no, the bone was perfectly healthy just very thin. 3.16 instead of 5 not sure if meant mm's or cm's.so my post op notes are PLIF and TLIF. I did wonder up until 3 days ago why was the top of my pelvis so sore on the right side next to the S2 - chips of bone for the none graft. Ouch.
    February 12 I convinced the nurses, drs and physio I wanted to go home. They were expexting me to stay at least another week in hospital and then 2 weeks in a rehab facility. I had come off the morphine drip 2 days post op, remaining drips out 3 days post op, drains out 3days post op and 3 days the next postop, catheter finally out 3 1/2 days post op and sutures out the morning I went home. 10 days post-op.
    So here I am now, February 15, 2 years after my first back surgery.
    On Endone, Tramadol and Lyrica but almost run out of endone. Can't get into my dr until 3pm Tuesday and I will have run out before then :( The nerve pain in both legs is driving Me insane and just can't get comfortable.
    I overdid the walking yesterday so today I have to take it a bit easier.
    So, if you have read through to the end of my novel, thank you. If anyone has gone through anything even remotely the same I'd love to hear from you.
    Judy 50
    microdisectomy L5/S1 February 13 2012
    PLIF L5/S1 January 31 2014; TLIF L5/S1 February 4 2014; 3rd surgery revision of screws L5/S1 February 4 2014
  • AngelicdragonAAngelicdragon Posts: 16
    edited 02/14/2014 - 11:39 AM
    Oh I was not able to claim travel accident surgery as we were in aother state, with my car registered for our state. They argued as to who was liable and then decided that as I had not gone to hospital after the accident and that later MRIs showed early signs of osteoarthritis so they reckoned they could not catagorically say the accident was the cause and my surgeon wouldn't put on paper what he has said at my bedside so.... no leg to stand on - literally - lol
    It is still within 5 years of the accident so I may look up one of those no win/no pay lawyers and ask their opinion.
    Judy 50
    microdisectomy L5/S1 February 13 2012
    PLIF L5/S1 January 31 2014; TLIF L5/S1 February 4 2014; 3rd surgery revision of screws L5/S1 February 4 2014
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  • I read your "novel" lol. I am sorry you have had this awful journey. I am also 50 and never thought I would be this miserable this young. No one knows what we go through with this crazy pain in the legs and feet. Mine is in both feet and creeping up my legs. I hope you get some relief, and if you find a cure let us ALL know!! You sound like you have a good sense of humor so I think I can say this without offending you-- You can tell everyone that your spinal injury was from a Pole dancing..
    ACD&F c5/6; Lumbar DDD and bilat neuropathy..
  • ABurningPain, I think that is important too, have a sense of humour. I may just use the Pole Dancing reason. I hadn't even thought of that.
    I must admit I feel better every day. My GP has changed all my pain meds so I am on oxycodin slow release and tramal slow release and then endone for break through pain. This new mix works really well and I am just about pain free. The only thing stopping me doing more each day is my family lol. They only want whats best for me though and it is really nice to be so loved and cared for.
    I can walk more each day AND walk better as in gait, posture, speed. I would however like to be able to sleep through the night. My 9 yr old son has been an absolute PITA the last few nights. He has ADHD and autism disorder and it looks like his body has grown used to catapres as a sleep remedy and has grown out of it. My husband was in a car accident back in 1995 and the drs were amazed he didn't die the night of the accident. He has been left with crushed feet/nerves and his broken pelvis now seems to be becoming arthritic and constricting his S1 nerve and becoming sciatic. So of a night once he takes his support boots off his feet are agony so he doesn't like getting up to deal with our son so I have been doing it the last few nights. I get a lot of walking exercise at night as our hallway alone is 20metres long never mind walking around the kitchen and bedrooms.... hey it's all walking which is good.... right??
    Judy 50
    microdisectomy L5/S1 February 13 2012
    PLIF L5/S1 January 31 2014; TLIF L5/S1 February 4 2014; 3rd surgery revision of screws L5/S1 February 4 2014
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