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Sick and Tired of all the Pain...

Started by Dana A on 11/01/2010 12:23pm

I had three level lumbar fusion the end of March 2009, I woke up with a whole lot more going on then before surgery. I awoke to a "different" kind of numbness in my left leg and foot, a "different" kind of pain in my back. I was injured on the job in 2004 and workers comp screwed me around so much and would do nothing to help me. I injured L-3,L-4,L-5,S-1 and also my neck (my neck has never been treated... maybe it is a good thing.) My Pain Management Doctor finally stood up for me, and the end result I received what I thought was going to be the "miracle" surgery. I no longer have the job (a deputy) that I held when I was injured, because I am not physically capable of doing the job. I took a huge cut in pay, and still do good to make it the whole 40 hours a week. I can no longer do the things I enjoyed prior to the injury. I can't stand for more than a few minutes. I can't walk for long distances, and sitting kills me. I have to rely on family and close friends far more than I would like (such as putting on socks and shoes). I have a new pain management doctor who was also great until I went through spinal cord stimulator trial which was horrible. I told the doctor that I did not want the permanent stimulator and things have changed. During the trial, not only did I not get the relief that they thought I would, I also had increased pain. After the trial, I still have the increased pain. I am on 50mcg duragesic, 10/500 vicodin, trazadone for sleep at night, nsaid, and now baclofin, one might would think that with all of this I wouldn't feel much of anything, and yet I hurt all the time. Since the trial, not only do I hurt at the original site, but I now hurt above it. I have just spent a week and a half in the bed because I under no circumstances could do anything else. The most embarrassing thing is urinating on myself (thank God this has only happened at home, none the less still embarrassing). I can only wear shower shoes with thick socks or tennis shoes with nothing but mesh on top because of the pain and sensitivity in my foot. I have a constant pain and pressure in my left buttock area Is it just me For something that was supposed to help, sure caused a lot of lost sleep, "different" pain, aggrivation, heartache, hurt, and just plain being misrable. I am sorry for the ramble, I am just looking for some support, I know that I am not the only one with pain here. I know that everyone here understands.

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Dana:

I was in bed on my Kindle and since I had never gotten on the Internet using it I decided to try it on Spine Universe. I knew the minute I saw your post I had to respond. So I got out of bed and here I am on my laptop!

The pain you describe is exactly what I am experiencing. I have at least three bad discs. Unlike a lot of people on this site it's because years ago I had radiation after removal of a spinal cord tumor at T10-12. I can only wear tennis shoes without socks. Socks just kill my foot. I have the numbness in my buttocks and going down into my legs, and then into my right foot -- the left was numb upon having surgery to remove the tumor. The orthopedic surgeon I talked to isn't real keen about operating on me since I have no x-rays (other than the ones he took) of my spine. Just MRIs from the last ten years. He told me he didn't want to make me worse. My questions is: Can it get much worse? And as for the bladder problem, I have that and also have had a couple of "accidents." It's all so much fun, huh? I am on a muscle relaxer and hydrocodone which honestly don't seem to do much good.
Oh, the other crappy thing is I have osteoporosis. So I have an appointment to see an endocrinologist for that on Thursday and then another appointment in December with this orthopedic surgeon, who I know is good. He works at a teaching hospital here in Houston and is highly thought of. I just feel like at this point, as I said, how much worse could I feel. I know the recuperation is what, about three months? I don't work anyway so that at least wouldn't be an issue.

I feel like I'm at a crossroads. If I continue to deteriorate at the rate I'm going, I won't be able to walk in a few months. However, If I get the surgery and it stabilizes me, if nothing else at least I'll be able to keep walking -- even if at some point I have to use a walker.

Sorry I'm rambling, as I said I was in bed but felt compelled to write.

Please write back and let me know more about yourself. Our conditions -- or at least our symptoms -- sound alike.

Pam

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Hi Pam!
It does sound as though many of our symptoms are the same. When I had surgery last year, the ortho said that I would be out of work six to eight weeks, I was out almost eight months. Even when I went back to work, I wasn't ready. The ortho told my husband and family, that the complete recoop time was twelve months or more. Like you I am afraid that I am not going to be able to walk soon. I am considering getting a cane on my own just to help me get around and maybe take some of the "stress" of walking off. I don't know. I am just so confused and too young to feel this way. I have to fight every day and I am just so tired of the fight. I have great support with family, friends and co-workers, but... they aren't the ones having to fight what seems like a losing battle. I really thought that I was finished fighting and that all was going to settle down, boy was I wrong. I have said for a long time that people should try to walk in my shoes. I think that you have to experience what we go through to understand it. At any rate.
I have found that I can only wear diabetic type socks with little elastic in them but lots of cushioning. I have two small yorkies and it hurts for them to even sniff my foot (I know it sounds crazy doesn't it?). It doesn't seem to affect my leg as bad as it does my foot to my ankle, however; it as progressed to the entire leg and foot rather just the outside. Of course all the other problems as well. I forgot to mention that I have the arthritis thing going too because I didn't have surgery to correct the problem sooner. Gosh as I type this our symptoms are sounding more and more alike

I am sorry that your issues come from a surgery. I can only imagine what that must be like. I know that you are in pain I just don't that I would be in a huge rush to have surgery to correct it. As I look back, I so wish that I would not have had surgery. I don't think that the results would have been any different. If anything, I think that maybe the surgery made things a little more advanced as far as the injury itself. I don't know it is just my opinion... Now I am just rambling. I am just so glad to FINALLY have someone who understands.

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Dana:

Thanks for your prompt response!

If you would like to e-mail me, please feel free at phowell@swbell.net.

I ended up staying up last night after I posted. I slept on the couch. Sometimes I just can't seem to get comfortable. I'm sure you know what that's all about!

Hope you have a good day and experience some relief.

Pam

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Dana: I totally understand what you're going through, and I feel for you. My lumbar fusion (L5-S1) when I was 36 (12 yrs. ago) was a complete success, but in '04, I injured myself (not at work, unfortunately), & broke a vertebra (T-9) as well as caused 3 herniated discs in my neck. I didn't know it then, but I have degenerative disc disease, low bone mass (which makes me NOT a candidate for spinal fusion) and osteoporosis. For the last 6 yrs., I've lived with more pain than ever, my quality of life is HELL, and I'm just glad that 3 of my 4 kids are grown & gone. I'm depressed from chronic pain and I'm apprehensive about ALL surgical choices, as we ALL know that they're NOT miracles! The fact that AFTER your surgery, you're having so many other problems really is disheartening! Like you, I went through all kinds of 'therapies' and spent all of 2007, 3-5 times a week on a state-of-the-art machine to decompress the herniations in my neck - IT HURT MORE THAN IT HELPED! I've had the shots, too - NONE of which worked for more than a week! I had to quit work in '06 and FINALLY filed for Social Security Disability in '08 (I got it in Aug. '09). It depresses me that I'm NOT the woman I used to be, I can't clean my home or do laundry, etc. It took me years to get used to my physical limitations, and I've also spent way too many days in bed! I did buy a sleep number bed last year, so at least I can be in bed a long time without getting stiff or more sore. I understand & sympathize with you so much! The pain meds I take are Tylenol #4, 4x a day, flexoril, twice a day and xanax 3x a day (2 at bedtime, so I can sleep - I'm a notorious insomniac). They help take a little of the 'edge' off, but certainly NEVER get rid of all the pain. I've always been afraid to try anything stronger, as I still have a 14 yr. old son at home AND I don't want to be "out of it" on meds. So, basically, I do NOTHING! And when I do get the 'itch' to accomplish something around the house, I pay for it for days! I pay a woman to clean my house every 2 weeks (but naturally, no one can do it as well as I used to). I've had to somehow get used to seeing that the floors need to be vaccuumed, the bathrooms cleaned, etc. God knows it doesn't STAY clean for 2 weeks! Frankly, I don't think I'll EVER get used to ANY OF THAT, but, I don't have a choice! My husband & son help alot, thank God! But, I'm not sure I'll ever get over 'the guilt' I feel about NOT being able to 'be what I was'.....Chronic pain definitely causes serious depression (especially with women) and I want you to KNOW that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! The one thing I've done is alot of research, so I can make informative decisions regarding surgeries, like spinal fusion, artificial discs and endoscopic laser discotomy - NONE OF WHICH I'M PREPARED FOR RIGHT NOW! I'm simply too afraid! When I had my fusion surgery in '98, I didn't even think twice about it! I had 4 kids at home, and I couldn't even walk or sit or even stand up straight. I trusted my surgeon and that particular surgery was successful. But as I'm much older now (pushing 49), and with all my 'new' problems, the decision for ANY type of surgery is very difficult. In '08, I went to see my surgeon, who would've LOVED to put 3 artificial discs in my neck. Well, why wouldn't he, right? He's a surgeon and they're ALL arrogant and WANT to do surgery! When I asked him how many he'd done, he said, "a few"!!! Can you imagine??? As if I'm gonne just go in & let him make me his latest guinea pig! He also mentioned the risks, 1 in 3000 chance of total paralysis! And, if they're not pIaced perfectly, that would mean MORE surgery to correct the placement! I walked out of there in tears! I'd rather live with pain & be somewhat mobile, than ANY of those risk factors! My new doc would like to do the endoscopic laser discotomy (on all 3 cervical discs), but all that does is 'zap' the parts of the discs that are herniated (& pressing on the nerves, supposedly causing all the pain). He claims he's done thousands, but what happens when those remaining discs deteriorate more??? MORE SURGERY, THAT'S WHAT! And having DDD, just makes me feel like I'm looking at a lifetime of more surgeries! Ugh...it is sad and I'm so afraid of the risks, so I live with the pain & the physical limitations. Some future, huh? I'm so sorry you're suffering so much and that your surgery only made everything worse! But, obviously you are doing your research, since you're here at Spine Universe, so that's VERY GOOD! It is also good to hear from others in similar situations. Support definitely helps at least the mental/emotional aspect of chronic physical pain situations, AND sometimes you get some very good advice to research further. "misery loves company", right? I, for one, definitely feel for you & hope you find some relief somehow. Good luck to you, and God Bless!

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p.s. Hi, Pam! I didn't see your posts and thought that poor Dana had no responses since she first posted, and I too, felt compelled to reply! OK, Ladies...looks like we're in this together! See Dana, misery DOES love company! Having family support is wonderful, but sometimes it IS better to talk to others who are 'in the same boat' as we all are. Time for me to go stretch out on my bed - been sittin' on this computer for over an hour and NOW, I'm hurtin' alot! Take care, Ladies and God Bless!

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Dana-
I can only tell you I am going through the same problemMy case is all work related and yet I was told to file for Social Security and I was approved, but Worker's Comp is paying for nothing but the medication. They force you to take this little settlement and drown you of your assets so they don't have to pay for nothing-It's a wonder they give us anything for pain and if I didn't work for over 30yrs-I would not have nothing to live off of. How is it you were lucky enough to have a company hire you? or are you still working for the same company you got hurt at. ?
I tried to stay employeed at the company I got hurt at and because I was put on light duty, they would not hire me back-so they terminated me, but yet the laws say they cannot fire someone if given light duty-the company waited forever to put in my papers for my regular insurance to carry on and the company got by with this-
I had an attorney that took on third of my settlement and did nothing to stand up for me and keep in mind I was force to take this and I only took it because I had reopening rights and they graded me as being only 23%, if I did not take this they were going to do nothing they said-so what choice do we have?
I just want to say I have had the back surgeries, the injections-the therapy- and I have been promised over and over that this will be the perfect solution for you and yet I am still suffering everyday and I have had the Dorsal Stimulator put in and I thought that would be the miracle because the trial one went so well and that was one of the biggest mistakes, so good luck and know there is other's beside you-that is what keeps me strong.
I try hard to keep active at home, get involved with Vocational Rehabilitation to find me work. I just think they should go after these Work Comp. Insurance Companies to do their part.
Just keep a good outlook and listen to your doctor and if you don't trust them, then find someone else-they have plenty of them.

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I am so glad to know that I am not the only one in this position. I have great support from my husband and parents, but at the same time, I know that they don't understand. I feel guilty most of the time because of my pain and the fact that I too am not the woman that I used to be. I recently had a new CT scan and was told that I have more damage to the original injury as well as four new ruptured discs. I go Tuesday for a new start on injections but I know that they don't work. I went to the surgeon last week, with no real surprise, he wasn't at all sympathetic. I am now on even more meds and the surgeon now wants me to consider getting a pain pump. I don't know much about them, so I am very hesitant, yet when I am able to work, all I can do is go straight home and get in bed with my heating pad, take medicines, and hope that the pain will reside (of course it doesn't). I have even told my husband recently that maybe he should find someone that will be better for him, a whole person not me the broken one. I have found that recently, I am staying more depressed than usual. I don't know what is going on with that.

I am still employed with the same employer; but, I was out of work for about a year a half because they re-wrote the light duty policy. They came back and placed me with a different department with a HUGE pay cut and I couldn't turn it down or I would lose the w/c benefits. I so far have refused to settle, because 1 because of the small amount. 2. I think that they should take care of my situation for the rest of my life. I can't afford to pay for all of the meds that I take on my own, nor any future procedures. They are asking more frequently now about settling. I just think that I didn't ask for this to happen. I was/am a loyal employee. By george, they should be loyal to me. I know that would only happen in a perfect world right? Heck when I am out for a W/C related appointment or procedure, I have to fight tooth and nail just to get them to pay. I have often said that had it not been w/c related I think things would have worked out better.

Today so far is a decent day with the pain, I don't know how long it will last. When I do have good days, I also tend to over do it and then pay for it for days/weeks. What I would not give to be "normal' again...

Thank you ladies for responding and sharing with me. Misery so does love company, and I am glad that I have you to share this with.

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Ladies:

After reading your posts, I do think women have it a little worse than men (not to negate their pain, too). Women are supposed to be the nurturing ones, the problem solvers, the shoulder to cry on. With all of us, that's completely changed. Instead, we look to our families to nurture, to solve problems, to go to when we are down. It's all out of whack! Some of you mentioned feeling guilty. I, too, have guilt. I feel like I'm not the wife I should be to my husband, or the grandma I should be to my grandkids. Sometimes when I'm really down, I think I must have done something in my life to deserve this, but then I try to give myself positive messages (per my psychologist) and tell myself that I have a great husband, wonderful grandkids, and considering everything, a pretty darn good life.

On another note, I am not going to have surgery. My surgeon says that though I have some deteriorating discs, my problem stems from the radiation I had in the 80's. That symptoms can show up way down the line, which they did in my case. He says I could have a successful fusion, but that doesn't mean any of the pain would be diminished. He said when "things go bad, they go very bad." He referred me to a physiatrist (sports medicine m.d.) who gave me some new meds, and said that swimming would be great exercise for me. Not relishing the idea of sticking this 56 year old rear end in a bathing suit, I still signed up at our Community Center, and swam on Tuesday. I'm going to try to do it twice a week. I was proud of myself just for going!

I hope you all have a good (and mild or no pain) weekend!

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I feel for, do I ever, and I am sorry for what you're going through. Mine is a different story, but still full of physical pain. A week and a half ago, I ruptured a disc in my lumbar area while I was doing a bit of shoveling. I am a normally healthy and fit 51 year old who felt and looked 15 years younger, until this happened. A pain so intense in my lower back developed that night, I swear childbirth was less painful. My son had to help me in and out of bed and back and forth to the bathroom that night and I had to pee standing up! Since my injury I have visited my chiro 6 times and its a teeny less painful. It still is agonizing to get in and out of my vehicle or drive it. sitting is out of the question (I have to stand at my computer at work) and I am obsessed with this and any way of finding pain relief. I alternate from Extra Strength Motrin to X-Strength Robaxacet to Voltaren Emugel, as well as icing on on for 20 minutes, off for 40 throughout the day when I am home. My chiro uses electro stimulation for 10 minutes on #18, massage around my lower back and spine, some type of 'magic wand' as I like to call it where she rolls this over my disc area for a few minutes, followed by spinal manipulation, or spinal alignment...having my back cracked on boyh sides. She told meI should start feeling more relief within the next two weeks but by then my chiro benefits at work will run out and I will have to pay out of pocket. I am SERIOUSLY considering acupuncture...alot of people have told me this WORKS!!! Benefits will pay for this as well, up to a certain amount so I think I'm going to explore this option...what have I got to lose. Please, give acupuncture a try, you owe it to yourself!! Good luck with everything, I wish you well :-)

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Wow, Workman's Comp is ridiculous! I can't believe how they're screwing you guys out of what you've paid into all those years! That's just sad...AND WRONG! Disability doesn't even come close to what any of us were making when we worked! Ugh... I feel for you guys who are back to work on 'light duty', though. That's gotta be tough to even have to get up & go to work at all! Hell, I was freaking out for a year before my daughter's wedding (May '09), just knowing I may not feel well that day AND all the hugging - MAN, THAT HURTS! But I couldn't very well tell ANYONE NOT to hug me! I got through it, but it was a very tough day. I used to love to dance & couldn't even dance at my own child's wedding! AND, our son & his wife blessed us with our 1st granddaughter in Sept. '09 - and I couldn't ever hold her for long, let alone babysit. At least now, she's toddling and the 'beauty' of being a grandparent is being able to hand them back to their parents! lol THAT, I don't feel so guilty about. I love her up, but don't have to do anything strenuous as I never have her alone. When we do babysit for a few hours (not often at all), my hubby, our li'l guy & I 'tag team' with her, but she's really easy to watch, Thank God! But it is true that our family dynamic has changed drastically, and we all know how tough that is on us women especially. Poor Dana! Your hubby obviously understands & accepts the "in sickness & in health" vow, & it hurts my heart to think you'd give him 'permission' to find someone new! You know you don't want that & I'm sure he doesn't either! But, that is the GUILT we women do live with. (It's ironic how I can give advice to one woman when I know darn well, I felt the same thing some years ago). I spent 5 years with a psychiatrist, trying different anti-depressants (Zoloft, Paxil, etc.), but felt that they weren't really helping me. In fact, I think those just made me MORE depressed! But, this is why we're here! To be able to help eachother understand & ACCEPT our disabilities, so that we can still feel some happiness & accomplishment for the remainder of our time here on earth. And it IS easier to talk to eachother. I've never been a whiner, so I don't complain to my family much about the pain - especially since it's been going on for so many years. Jeez! If I did, I'd be whining 24-7 & we ALL know they don't want to hear it all the time. THEY KNOW! They can see it, but they feel helpless. And would you believe, THAT makes me feel guilty, too! But they are ALL understanding & supportive. At least here, we can whine to eachother! lol
Hang in there, Nebraska! Hope you eventually get a BIG settlement! Pam, so you're not gonna have the surgery after all, huh? And Peach, I'm sorry about your recent injury. You sure did a number on your body! I once threw my back out just taking clothes out of the dryer! Hope you get some relief soon. Accupuncture is the one thing I have yet to try, and I'm definitely thinking about it! Take care, everyone.

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What I want to know because I have only been dealing with this for 6years is why we can get total disability from Social Security and yet get nothing from Workers Compansation? I know after working for some 35years I deserve my benefits, but I am still pissed off that someone doesn't step in and make the guy pay that made me lift those 50lbs every night to stock his cooler even when he knew that I had a hernation and slipped disk, the worker's comp. doctor knew this and still released me to full duty, because he seen me bend down to tie my shoe. When a company does this and the doctor they should pay for the damage now because they wanted me to be full duty because they knew if they put me on light duty they would have to pay benefits because the company said they we're not light duty. I really get tired of companies changing from full duty to light duty when ever they feel like it to suit their needs. What should be done with this? I was paid 23% in 2007 and then my case got worse and I had to fight to have my case reopened , now they are paying for the medical, why is it they are not paying the cash benfits out-if I did not work all those years I would be getting nothing to pay my bills with-the President should step in and make sure these companies are not swindling us out of what is rightfully ours. This company went so far as to SELF TERMAITE me as said I did this-so now that looks bad on my record. If someone has any good advice-pleae respond Thanks

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Hi Dana,

I'm sorry to hear of the pain you have on a daily basis- I know all to well how you must feel. I have been looking online for some answers to my questions- and luckily I found this site. I injured myself at work in 06- and have had more injuries since to the initial injury over the past 4 years. I've read some of the responses to yours and truly can relate to all of you . My initial injuries weren't bad, but due to lack of treatment and waiting for Comp. to approve things I'm totally messed up . I have 6 herniated disc's in my neck and 2 in my lower back. I've been in Chiropractic treatment for appx. 3 years- 3 times a week, and recently started PT for both sites about 3 months ago ( which seems to be making it worse ) . I live on Hydrocone 10/5, and Flexeril 10 - 4 times a day each, they only take the edge off the pain for about an hour for each dose. I've been to Pain Management- had two Caudal injections- the last one left me with severe lower back pain daily ( I never am without that pain ) . Trying to explain that to someone that hasn't experienced it , they just don't understand. I lost my job back in 09 - tried going to College- but the pain from sitting in the class all day was unbearable and the meds made it extremely hard to retain any information. The depression that seems to grab a hold of you, when you can't even put your finger on one thing that might help- is completely exhausting. I'm sick of the meds, and pain- and the Dr.'s visits that seem to never end- and also never truly help out. Now I'm told that my next step in a Discogram with a fusion to follow- with only a 60 % chance of some pain relief- this is not a solution for me ( maybe for the Dr. ) I tried the Caudal injections at the Dr. advice- and that turned out worse- I know something went wrong in the procedure (as I was given and antibiotic ....just in case - because he had to double inject me .... he said that the syringes where defective ! ) But when I said something to his PA on my follow up - it wasn't even recorded in that procedure.So who do you trust ??? I hope you have better luck finding a happy medium with your pain- It's my hope that maybe this site will help us all out in some way - just having others out there that are in pain as well- people that you can relate too- it helps a bit. We are all here for the same reason- to find and answer- something that will help us better cope with the situation that we have to live with. Hope the New Year brings you some form of comfort in your everyday life :)

Keep your chin up,
Chris P

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Hey All! I have sort of been out of the loop for the last few days, I had to go Tuesday for yet another spinal injection. Yipee! I am so tired of being poked and prodded and of course, NOTHING works. With the worker's comp laws here in GA, if the doctor tells you, that he wants you to have a procedure done, you have to have it or W/C completely stops paying. Needless to say I am jumping through hoops again.... and the pain is killing me. I too cannot believe all that worker's comp is allowed to do to people. They are there simply to protect the employers and not the employees. The employees get physically injured and then mentally injured through the long duration of bull that we are put through. My original injury was in December of 2004, then I was injured again at work in April of 06 (at work) when a chair that had been "made" from two broken chairs threw me out and I landed on my back again... Being injured in 2004 I went until 2009 before worker's comp would allow surgery. I have days that I would give anything for my employer to allow me to go out on Workers Comp again so that I could get disability. I hate spending my days in bed after I get off of work because I am in so much pain that I can't do anything else. Does anyone know how to get started for disability? I am ready to try anything....

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i am new to this site, and i have been thru most of th same things and surgeries, with back and then having a doctor scope both knees and I could not walk well for months. I had a car accident, not my fault 2 months after a successful back surgery. And finally 2 years later i got a good recommendation to a orthopedic doctor and he did a surgery again on the right knee. I did well for a few years. Pain never has gone away. Always know your surgeons history before you do anything. I have have severe neuropathic pain in my feet, where my pain level is I cannot tell you off the charts somewhere. My doctors have been very helpful and supportive, finding the right ones was a plus. My neuro-doc is very good and doesn't want to do surgery unless necessary. I 've been thru several pain management doctors. I have a new one.They seem to get it and also know my doctors. They want to try a neurostimulator, I am thinking about it; I have positive feedback with my physical therapists. I use to ski, mountain climb, hike, bike everything, and I had to stop working we all have these stories. I get slammed from my family for not enduring the pain and being on any kind of pain pills but I also have taken more when then prescribed.. My doctor is trying to help me find a way to get my mind off the pain and that a pill is going to make it that much better. I take a lot less now and have taken all the drugs that should work , all the injections. I got really afraid when the pain went down into both feet and my right arm, numbness, I really got afraid I won't be able to walk again. But I am and I try to the best I can. My husband is good with me and it is hard to explain what hurts today? he trys and is helpful, i want to help myself. I finally slept more the last month even though I have had more stress from pain and outside things going on in my life. Sleep helps a lot. That is one of my biggest enemies. Well I guess I will jump off this site for now...Don't let the pain get the best of you, it usually get me anyway, but I have been doing things like even for a few moments, or minutes, an hour I make it. I am challenging my pain. maybe this doesn't make much sense. I feel like you all feel, and I am scared and want to live in the moment before my life is gone by.
(Excuse my spelling I was typing my feelings not sure what to say, I need spell checker on my previous post. I guess i am not used to put things so out in the open.)

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Dana:

As far as applying for disability, you can begin the process online or call the Social Security Administration. I believe they count six months from the day you stopped working to begin your benefits. But you need at least one doctor to say that you are disabled and unable to work. They send you paperwork that you need to fill out and they get your medical records together. They then make a determination and if they deny you, you need to appeal it. At that point, you should get a Social Security Disability attorney to represent you. If they deny you again, I believe there is one more appeals process you can go through.

Hope this helps. I got disability on the first go round but it was like 10 years ago so some of the details are fuzzy.

Pam

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Dana,

Not sure where you're from, but in NYS , we can apply online or call your local SS office and set up an interview, you don't even have to go there- they can do a phone interview. But most people are denied here on the first shot- then you get a Lawyer ( hopefully someone that you have references from ) - Most , from what I understand don't charge much-there is a set charge in our state through the SSA- if you get nothing , neither do they. There might be a small fee that you have to pay out of pocket, that would be for the charges Dr.'s give to copy and send your Medical info out. - non-refundable ( like 50.00 ). I just started mine, I have been out of work for 2 + years, and now I have nothing to fall back on- the money is gone... not that there was much to begin with LOL. . If I were you , I would call first , and get the ball rolling- while you wait for your interview- gather all your info - All Dr.'s Names and addresses+ Phone numbers (when and why you saw them- the outcome of the visit. When I did mine in mid December 2010- it took them 2 weeks to deny me- they never even called my Dr.s - but I needed all that info for the interview, and the appeal paperwork that I just received. List all the Dr.'s that you've seen- anything that might help your case - and choice a friend that knows you inside and out to be someone that they contact to help your case also. Hope this helps a bit. Good Luck
Chris

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Thanks Chris for the information.
So I have been out of circulation again. In bed for the last week, Yay for me.. Not... Last Tuesday, while at work, I was walking to my office and my leg decided to give out completely. Yep you guessed it, I fell. Oh my I hurt so bad immediately I was so nauseated, well words can't express the pain. Although no one actually witnessed the incident, I was found on the floor by a co-worker who alerted everyone in the office. My boss wasn't in and I wasn't going to put any thing down on paper I was afraid of getting in trouble (I don't know why it isn't like I said hey today would be a nice day to fall). I did say something so I now have a w/c claim to go with my w/c claim. I am still concerned of any sort of retalliation that they may decide to put me through. I don't know I have been one wreck since last week. I have been in the bed because I could not sit under any circumstance. At the same time I have been so concerned about losing my job. Yet again I really don't know why after the way I have been treated for all of these years. I came into work this morning and my boss had been on my computer last week and left the page that he was working on up. It was interviews questions for my position. He said that he was looking for something else, but sure didn't help my paranoia. Not too long ago, I got a call from personnel just wanting to check on me... ok so now my paranoia is continuing to feed and grow off of their ugh whatever... Again I don't know why I am so worried after the way I have been treated.... but I am. I go from talking about getting disability to this, I think it is because I am afraid of what will happen to me if I am out of work again physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially.

Oh the results were.... I went to a different doctor on the panel because it was a new injury... xrays were taken of back and knee (I did one bang up job on it too) and was told to double up on my meds, (now I am running short, will be out before I can have them filled) and sent to aquatic therapy 2 to 3 time a week for 4 to 6 weeks. and this is my story, my luck.... ugh.....

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WOW, Dana! I'm sure I'd be feeling the same 'paranoia' as you are (& clearly you have reason to). If your boss was looking for something else (or whatever), why was he on YOUR computer, I wonder??? I would take that as a 'message', too! UGH! It's really sad that you've worked there for so long, and STILL they're treating you that way! I'm really sorry to hear about this most recent injury - as if you needed anything MORE to happen to you, & ADDITIONAL PAIN! But, these things happen! It's not as if you did it on purpose! (perhaps what the boss is thinking.....). I hope you get Disability right away! I worked to the point where I was way overdue to quit, then spent 2 yrs. seeing my neurosurgeon, on that decompression machine 3-4 times a week for 8 mos., & getting cortisone shots, etc.... USING OUR OWN INSURANCE, & no income on my part! Finally, after those 2 years, I applied for Disability & it took me a year & a half to get it! BUT, when I did get it, I got 2 big lump-sum checks (1 for me, 1 for my son), that were retroactive from 1 year BEFORE I'd first applied. I don't know how we made it all that time without my income, but when it came, it was a blessing! We not only got 'caught up' on our bills, but had enough to put in the bank as "cushion". I didn't run to the government first, but I wish I had since they didn't go back as far as when I first stopped working. My injury didn't happen at work, so no w/c. Guess I'm just saying, apply asap (if you haven't already). At least that'll cover your worries about the money.....As far as having to stay home....it's no picnic, but I'm grateful I don't have to try to hold down a job anymore. By the time I left work, I'd been calling off so much, had already cut my hours long before, & simply could NOT do it anymore! The ONLY reason I wasn't fired was because I worked for a friend who was super understanding. I worked in Downtown, Chicago (I live in the 'burbs) & had to commute every day! I was learning my limitations for 2 years after my injury, before I KNEW I couldn't do it anymore. Sounds to me like you're at that point NOW! Let the SOB fire you & collect Unemployment 'till you get your Disability! lol Although, it might be illegal for him to fire you.....I don't know.....But, if it is, then he's purposely making you a nervous wreck - how mean is that??? Whatever happens, I sure hope you start taking it a li'l easier, & not putting yourself in any positions that will hurt you worse! I learned THAT the hard way! Take care!!! Hope you start feeling somewhat better soon, & try not to run out of your meds - THAT WOULD SUCK! Keep in touch about what's up at work, too, ok???

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Hi Pam 6622
I hope you see this. I didn't realize you are in Houston. Do yourself a Huge favor and check into Dr. Kushwaha he is the best Orthopedic Surgeon in Houston. Every Orthopedic Surgeon in Houston know's who he is and he is the best. Do some research on him and you will see. He's one of the Top in the Country.
I hope you catch this note, if he can't get you better no one can.

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Dana
Keep really good notes and records of everything from Dr.s appts to time off work. Get copy's of all your Medical records. and don't trust the Dr. they send you too. They always sided with Social Security and didn't even want to talk to you. They denied me and I went ahead and got a Attny that would take it on a pay only if you win deal. If they take your case you will probably be approved. They know which ones to take. I had to go before a Judge a day after my second Surgery on my neck to make 4 fusions, and had a Surgery scheduled for my lower back Fusions that they were doing from the front and back. Even the State appt Employment lady said no one would hire me, I woouldn't be able to do any kind of work, and the Judge couldn't believe it actually had to go to court. He ordered them to pay me from 3 months after being off work from the first injury. Social Security will want the same paperwork filled out at least 3-4 times so keep copys of what you send. I think they try to cross reference for differences. They are pricks, sorry can't think of a good word for them. Stay on it and don't give up. They want you too give up. Good luck but it takes a little over a year. So hang in there and get what you deserve.

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I too have had multiple pain issues. I have had multiple diagnosis' such as: Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Spinal Disc and Bone Disease, Spinal Adhesive Arachnoiditis , Cervical Spondylosis with Myelopathy, Fibromyalgia and probably a few more that I can't even think of. I have been also diagnosed with Chronic Pain from all of the above and what the doctors call "Failed Back Surgery". I don 't honestly believe that any of the surgeries I have had (6 on lumbar and 3 cervical) because with each one the pain had diminished in the areas that were involved. Even though it was short lived I don't think of them as failed. I am on 400 mgs of MS Contin every 12 hours for the pain (since 2000), Baclofen for the spasms and Lyrica for the nerve pain. I have a powerchair , a scooter, a walker and cane all of which I use at different times depending on the level of pain at the time. I cannot bend down or reach to pick up anything because my shoulders have so much spasm I drop things. I get nerve jerks so violent sometimes I throw whatever is in my hand at the time (usually a cup with some sort of liquid). Sleeping is almost non existent in a restful pattern. I am lucky if I 2 hours without interruption from the pain. I haven't had a social life in years due to the frequent bouts of urination without knowing it and making grunting noises from the pain and spasms. I can describe the pain to a tee..first it feels like some one stuck my big toe on my right leg into a 220 volt outlet and turned on the power, placed a fire log under my leg from my ankle up to my groin, stuck an ice pick into my right hip socket and twisted it and then stuck me into a can cruncher from my waist down to my feet. Constipation is another issue, fear of going to the bathroom because straining causes more pain which in turn causes more spasms which cause more pain...and it just keeps going.. Then there's the sleep walking, and the nodding off on the toilet or at the kitchen counter or in the desk chair that I put my head down on the desk, counter top or rest it in my hands that I end up falling out of the chair or off the toilet or fall backwards from the counter. I fell in July from falling backwards from the counter and broke my arm. I didn't even feel it break I was in such a twilight stupor. I have fallen off the toilet and hit my head so hard I heard it crack and saw stars. I have hit my bottom so hard I bruised my entire buttocks from hip to hip. I have jammed my shoulders to now it feels like the rods are going to explode out of me. What makes this all worse is that this is constant, it never stops, the pain is continuous, non-stop, forever! Then there is the main issue of how it is effecting the quality of my life. My children avoid me, I have lost friends and family because they can't stand to see me in such pain let alone understand it all. Like I said before, I have no social life. I can't clean my home like I like it, I can't cook like I used to once do because I can't stand at the stove or counter that long without ending up bent over trying to relieve the pressure which is causing the pain. It's a vicious circle of issues. What makes it all worse is that I live alone and my In-Home Supportive Care Services were just discontinued because the evaluated me and saw that I live alone and have all the tools I need to assist me that I have what they called "no limitations that warrant the need for services". They however, didn't have me stand up for even a minute to see how long it takes before I go down, they didn't have me try to reach for something to see me drop it from my muscles spasms, they didn't have me try to reach to the other side of my body with my left arm (the one that was broken) to see if my wrist would bend or twist enough to reach my armpit or the back of my head, they didn't see me sleepwalk. I could go on like you said, "ramble"...the list is non-stop of limitations, issues and concerns for the quality of life and to be recognized as such without being scrutinized because of the meds...I don't want to take pills or be in a "stupor". I had the test dose for the Infusion Pump and it worked but they started high on the dosage which caused an overdose reaction and instead of rescheduling to test again they instead put me out to pasture without a prescription renewal for anything for the pain stating "I was not a candidate". Candidate for what? All I wanted was the pump and it worked, the nurse even saw the pain lines in my face melt and relax but then I started scratching my skin off..that's when they said I wasn't a candidate, but what I was was being overdosed. Since then I have been on the MS Contin and now and addict to it. If I don't get the MS Contin into my system within 2 hours after the 12 hours since the last dose I go into the DT's. That is the most unpleasant feeling of all. I have had problems getting my meds refilled because of the clinic's many doctors that don't know my situation and deny the refill request, which also causes the problem at the pharmacy because the insurance has to approve it every month and if the clinic is delayed in getting it to me for whatever reason the later it is getting it to the pharmacy and onto the insurance until sometimes even 5 days. Since it is a triplicate it has to be a paper rx, it cannot be faxed or called in, another delay. When the DT's start, it is first a runny nose begins then chills and diarrhea and low grade fever then the cramps and vomiting and then remember, the pain is most present because there is nothing in my system to stop it. It isn't a pretty picture. I detest it. I detest it even more having to be addicted. I am 56 years old, I don't do street drugs, but with the delays I have had it almost seems like I should just so I don't have to go through this. Getting street drugs seems like it would be a lot easier than getting my rx from the clinic. So I could keep on telling you the same things you are telling me, it is almost like we are identical in our situation with PAIN. All I want is for it to stop....how about you?

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I was feeeling depressed because of the pain and I found this site while researching DDD. I am experiencing similar things with everybody except hhoyt. I would like to address her but it seems that I have to respond to Dana first. Anyway..after bi-lateral knee replacement, ankle fusion, carpal tunnel in both hands, shoulder impingement, neuropthy from the knees down and DDD I have always told people that no matter how bad you think you have it, there is always somebody worse. Well I have found that person who is the worst and that is hhoyt. I can't express how bad I feel for you. You make me feel fortunate. I never take the time to write like this but I felt compelled to respond to you. There are several things I do to deal l with IT but that would be to long and winded. I can help you with one thing. Constipation. Taking the pain meds dulls the natural muscle contractions to signal a bm. So I eat lettuce every night. In a salad. It helps me. I wish I could do more for you. God bless.

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Hi All! Just wanted to check in and let you all know what the few weeks has been like for me. The pain has been unreal! I went to my regularly scheduled appointment with pain management after the latest fall and... drum roll please... he decided that I needed to see a neurologist to be checked for MS. I had a lot of other issues going on like seizure like jerks, severe sweating and some other things. That was on Tuesday, I got in with the neurologist on Thursday of that same week. More on this in a few. In the mean time, I had to follow up with the doctor from the new fall that Wednesday and was told to stop the aquatic therapy that in fact it may be doing more damage. He then wanted me scheduled for a new MRI with and without contrast. I go for that next Friday. Workers Comp has once again done their little dance upon my nerves. UGH! At any rate I went the following day to the neurolgist and after tests (in office) was told that I in fact do not have MS. I have a long relationship with this doctor and really trust him, I know crazy right. At any rate the symptoms that I have are from a combination of the RSD in my left leg and my Migraines.... Oh joy... By the way, not only is my back in a major flare, but the RSD is horrendous. The RSD, I developed after surgery as well as all of the other glorious issues that I now have. But I am thankful that I don't have MS. I am so very irritated that this pain management scared me with a verbal diagnoisis! There were no tests ran for him to form this opinion. So not only was I scared because of the issues, but I then became worried and scared because of a wrong diagnosis. I have liked this pain management doctor since the first time I met him because of how honest and trustworthy he seemed to be, I am now second guessing my opinion of him. Maybe I should go back to the old one to get better care. My old Pain Management Doctor went to the ends of the earth for me and helped me to fight workers comp and the employer like you wouldn't believe. I thought this one was too, at least I did until now. He did say that he wasn't going to do any more injections, because they just don't seem to work... well duh ya think? I asked him about getting a pain pump so that maybe I could get off of some of the oral meds that I am on... (Percocet, Baclofen, Trazodone, Nsaids, mobic, cymbalta, Duragesic, umm I know that there is something that I am forgetting). He said no that they didn't really have good results with them. So I guess I am forever on the Meds and hoping for the best.

And these are the days of my life... and might I add, I am not too crazy about it. Hope everyone else is doing well...

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Dana:

So sorry you feeling bad:(

I think you should check out some other pain management doctors. For every doctor that will say no to the pain pump, there's probably two that will say it will help you. I, myself, am waiting for when the meds don't work as well and then it's probably the pain pump for me.

Good luck and take care.

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I am very Sorry also HHoyt to here of your pain and trouble.

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Hhoyt please try being detoxed from the meds and you may also try a pain pump. I have a pain pump and they still had me on all the Narcotics. after being detoxed from the Norcotics my pain actually dropped down to where its uncomfortable but I can handle it. The Narcotics actually keep raising the pain level and crippling you more. If you could just give yourself one week. My pump has Morphine in it. The stimulators and sometimes diluidid will cause all of the itching. I don't know of anyone who's tried the stimulator without excessive itching.

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Hi everyone,

Wow, I can see my stuff is light compared to a lot of you. I have a mild R shoulder imp, and a herniated L5/S1 disc that is lying right on my spine, joy joy. Anyway, I am seeing an ortho for my shoulder and a spine surgeon for my disc. My ortho is one of the best in NM. He told me not to ever let an ortho touch my back, that's why there are spine surgeons and neurologists. I know everyone's insurance is different, but if you can avoid the ortho touching your back, then you might avoid some complications in the future.

MF1989

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Hey Everyone!

It's been a while since I have even logged on here. My most recent trip to Pain Management, was the usual... just keep me doped up and look forward to more and more falls. At some point, he wants to try some type of radiation treatment? This doesn't sound all that pleasant to me. I think that I may just skip that one. My RSD and Fibro are in a major flare. Not to mention the awful shoulder and neck pain. I guess I am just too full of complaints these days. I was so hoping that the warmer weather would help me. Looks like I am not so lucky. On the bright side, I have a new nephew and another on the way in May. So I do have some positive right now. It makes a difference, at least I have something to help with this negative Nelly thing.

Hope all is well with all of you.

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Hi Dana
I think the radiation idea is something I wouldn't do at all, I can't see radiation making your back or anything else better. I would get a second opinion from another Dr.Hopefully a Nuerologist. I have a pain pump with Morphine and a muscle relaxer in it and its a world of difference. I think if you would at least try the test for the pain pump you would see a major diffference and decide to go for it. Mine is finally up to speed and the only medicine I take now is Gabapentin, Cymbalta for depression, Protonix for my Barretts esophagus and no pain meds at all. not even a B.C. powder anymore. I was hurting so bad before the pump that even with the pain meds I couldn't do anything. now I am outside alot cause I never was before the pump and can do things again like going to the malll or something. I can't go for long without getting tired but to be out of pain is wonnderful. Theres still a little pain but its manageable. dont know if I'll ever be completely out of pain but I dont need the pain meds so thats a Major improvement.
Good luck on whatever helps you, I hate to hear of you being in pain. I have been there so I understand where others who haven't don't. I'm still crippled but the pain pump really is a life saver.

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Thank You Joey! Sorry it has taken a bit to get back to ya. I have been experiencing a lot of set backs for the last couple of weeks. I am attempting to get back in with my original Pain Management doctor. With hopes that he will be able to assist... I am glad that the pain pump is working for you.

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