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Sick of all the meds, and the back pain- want to find a permanent solution w/o the drugs

Started by Chris P on 03/03/2011 6:47pm

This will be long winded, I'm sorry for that- but I'm hoping to find some answers to the many questions I have. I was injured @ my job back in 06- what started out as sprains/strains has now turned into a complete nightmare for me. The end result is,
MRI Lumbar Issues :Findings
L2- L3, L3-L4, L4-L5: Minimally bulging disc. No spinal stenosis or foraminal narrowing.
L3-L4,L4-L5: Minor ligamentous hypertrophy facet arthropathy.
L5-S1: In the interval, there has been near total spontaneous reduction of previously noted mild left parsacentral disc protrusion herniation. Minor residual . Accentuated by minor retrolisthesis. Focal signal is now present at the posterior disc space. Mild ligamentous hypertrophy facet arthropathy. Impression:
1. Near total spontaneous reduction of previously noted mild left paracentral disc protrusion herniation L5-S1 with inferior migration with minor residual. Development of subtle tear posterior annulus L5-S1.
2. Minor degenerative change again noted elsewhere lower thorasic lumbar spine. No mass effect or displacement of neural structure.
3. Slight loss of lordosis, minor scoliosis. Minor retrolisthesis L5 an S1 unchanged.
4. Minor wedged configuration to T 12 again noted most likely congenital less likely prior trauma.
5. With the exception of interval change L5-S1 no other interval changes noted.

This was done on 8/31/10- I had a Caudal Injection ( 2ND ) done on 6/18/10- at the time of the procedure something went wrong- the doc double injected me - claiming that his syringes were malfunctioning- I've been in severe pain daily since - "yet according to the new MRI @ L5-S1 - I'm better. It took till Feb 2011 for the Dr. to see me again(personally) - for 6 consecutive months I saw his NP. He is of course not admitting to any wrong doing, saying that I'm blaming him for the pain- well I guess I might be, SINCE THE CONSTANT PAIN STARTED THE DAY OF MY LAST INJECTION!!!!! (and lets include the fact that ,no where in his notes is there any mention of malfunctioning syringes) He is far more concerned with covering his own b#$t, than finding out what happened and possibly finding a way for me to be relieved of this miserable pain. My Neuro doc says that the next step is a discogram with a poss fusion to follow ( not looking forward to that).
I have constant pain in my lower back, numbness and tingling in both of my legs and feet. Shooting pains, ( like electrical shocks ) in my feet , that run up my legs and wake me in the middle of the night. A feeling of bugs crawling all over me- I feel a warm sensation in my lower back for no apparent reason. I use a cane most days, because my left leg/knee buckles on me without warning- just a sharp/shooting pain, and then I'm riding the stairs down on my tail end. This has happened to many times now, so I was prescribed a new walking device so that I may possibly help to catch myself if need be. I ice my back 5 + times a day- I take pain meds and muscle relaxers 4 times a day, and apply pain patches 3 a day. I do daily stretching, and Chiro and PT , with no relief at all.

My EMG Lower extremities findings are- Chronic bilateral L5-S1 radiculopathy.

I'm hoping that someone on this site has experienced some of the same, and could possibly give me some suggestions.
Thanks for reading my post- many pain free days wished to all of you .

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8 Responses

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Hi Chris,
Yes,i feel for you ,almost exact scenario,work place injury June 2009,i have done everything you can possibly try in the last year and a half and i am now proceeding to a lumbar fusion inL5-S1 three weeks from today.Today my leg almost gave out on me while walking my dog.I am or i should say i was a very active and fit person,and i am so ready to try and somewhat get my life back on track.
You may want to look into getting a surgical consult,as the longer you wait you could end up with permanent nerve damage in your leg.Best wishes,i will let you know how my surgery goes.
Blessings,
Nurse Nancy in pain

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I AM WEENING MYSELF RIGHT NOW OFF OF 8YRS OF LORITAB THAT STARTED W MY UPPER BACK PAIN FROM HAVING 42DD AND THE STRESS OF BEING A BLACKJACK DEALER BENDING OVER 300 TIMES AN HOUR, BUT OF COURSE THEY ONLY WORK FOR SO LONG TILL U NEED STRONGER, AND THATS WHEN THE SERIOUS STRESS STARTS TO SET IN,THEN HOW LONG BEFORE WE R ON THE STRONGEST SHIT THEY HAVE AND STILL NO RELIEF,I WISH TO GOOD I HAD MADE UP MY MIND TO GET HEALTHYTHEN AND IN SHAPE WHILE I STILL HAD SOME ENERGY TO BE ABLE TO MAKE DINNER AND NOT BE A ZOMBIE MOPing AROUND HOUSE.MY house in PAINand i havent really done anything to better myself so i KEEP GETTING WORSE DDD AND DIABETES HIGH CHOLESTRAL BLOOD PRESSURE ZANEX AMBIEN 2 DIFFERENT MUSCLE RELAXERS DEPRESSION MEDS ASMA INHALER THEN MY KIDNEYS STARTED FAILING CAUSE I WASNT DOING ANYTHING POSSITIVE FOR MYSELF JUST SEEMED TO SPEND MY LIFE AT THE PHARMACYS DRS TREARMENTS CHROPRACTORSD ACCUPUNSURE PHYSICALLY THERAPY, THEN TO EMERGENCY ROOM CAUSE PILLS WERENT WORKING, GOT ON OPANA(A NEW DRUG THAT WORKS LIKE A CHARM BUT COSTS 700$ for 60 pills and percocets for breakthrew, then it went to morphine and roxys, worked good but i was completly retarded and lathargic, went to best back surgon in vegas ready for surgery, i couldnt mope around crying all day,well he tells me that long term opiate use will actully start to turn on u and make pain worse,something about depleted nerve ending and dopamine receptors and my disc and upper back didnt warrent surgery, he says he sees 5 patients a day with my same prob...so im at my whitts end. lost job because couldnt stand up for longer than half hour and callin out, now no ins, i cant even go to rehab, cause all my savings r going to meds and feeding my kid, and i think how in fuck even if i went to rehab i still have to deal w pain, so i moped and cryed and tryed to remember when took this pill or that,and all i could think about wasi going to b a homeless zombie detoxing in sum back alley, with my kid dumpster diving. i finally said enough is enough im to young to sit in my room junked out on meds noding off. so i dragged my ass up and went to library and got motivational books and healing the body easy yoga tapes,and just did a little everyday but still on meds, it was the hardest shit ever but i made myself and read the book ;the secret; i went to gnc and told lady i need mayjor healing vitamins,so she went around gettin all the stuff and i happened to c this book called prescription 4 nutritional healing-4th edition by phyllis balch, the lady said its her bible for good health, holly crap, ive been reading it and i actually c the lite..i believe i can do it. what tends to happen is we have a tramatic experience or sadness depression,stress and our immune systems start to break down and then the illness start, or we eat like shit dont exercise and it breaks down, then we get sicker and more hopeless, when what we should b doing is mega vitamins healthy food and stay as possitive as u can, cause once u rid ur body of some toxins and keep thinking i can make myself fit and strong,and everyday im ridding one more poison out of me and u mite not b completly pain free,just try ur best to ween a bit.just get the book and read it, u will b shocked at how just building back up ur ammune system with herbal and healthy eating ur body will start to heal itself, and say that throughout the day, my body will heal itself. one day at a time. i know all the abuse i did to my body,living like a rockstar,drinking partyin not eating healthy in my 20s, when i would get sick or pain my body couldnt repair it self properly, and it just spirlered from there, till everything hurt. we can always make things better, i know it sucks and u cant imagine not having ur pills, but slowly u can get alittlt better then a little better, i keep reminding myself of my last 3 surgeries and 3 or 4 emergency room visits in the last year and how evenin the intravenis heavy stuff was barley working,and all the lovely drama arguing w pharmacists and nurses, then having to kiss ur doctor but, as u have panic attacks hes going to cut u off, all that stress is just breaking ur body and spirit down worse, i wish u luck, and i hope u buy that book and read it, and wish me luck, im down to 3 tabs a day w a zanax and ambien for sleep and my shit hurts but it passes, keep thinking possitive..

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To Nancy,
Hi again, - thanks for your advise- I will be calling a few Ortho-Docs today. I thought only Neuro ones did the back -we learn so much with this site and the feedback we all get from one another. Just got a letter from my attorney- WC is looking to settle ( no $ mentioned ). I think fighting to keep the case open is my best option. That way I would hopefully have my medical paid by them in the future. Still not sure though which way to go with all of this. You know they have us in the palm of their hands- we're so confused and sick/tired of the pain we feel daily- looking for a way for it to end- there is never an easy answer .... is there :) . Wishing the best to you for your upcoming surgery- with a positive attitude like yours, that will make all the difference in the world for a successful outcome.Good luck to you my friend- will keep you in my prayers.
Chris

To mybodyishealing,
Thanks so much for reading and responding to my post. I totally know where your coming from. In the beginning of all of this, I was the patient that said NO-to any kind of painkillers( for the reason of not wanting to become addicted to them). Well unfortunately for me, and many like myself- we have become addicted to them. I've tried to skip a dose here or there, not a good outcome for me. I was on Oxycotin for some time ( but they totally messed with head ) so I stopped taking them. The meds I take now don't even last 2-3 hrs ( should be every 6 hrs ). My body is in need of them, mentally and physically. I can't take anti-inflammatory drugs, as they kill my stomach almost immediately. I'm looking into possible surgery at this point- and weighing all the options ( which is totally overwhelming to say the least). I have found this site to be very informative- I know more now in one month here - than in 4 + yrs going to countless drs.

Right now, financially I'm having a hard time- so going to a health store and purchasing the things I need -is out of the question. I've been out of work now for 2 1/2 years- and have two children home with me yet (their needs come before me - to point ) so money is beyond tight. I have read the book "The Secret" it's unbelievable - and so very true. I think it's awesome that you are taking charge of your life- getting rid of the toxins- exercising - just getting you back to YOU. It's totally messed up, that so many of us are in this boat. It's not just our fault, the Dr.s play a big part in it. They give drugs out to mask the pain in the beginning, and then blame us for the fact that we need stronger ones. If they would just listen from the word go (to us)- I believe that we would not be in such bad shape and in need of narcotics as we are. As so many have said here- we will always have some degree of pain- for the rest of our lives. It is a viscous cycle, that we have been thrown into- and we have to find what works for us. I know personally, that this is putting a wrench into my entire life. I can no longer go without the meds, or the ice/heat. or resting at odd times of the day- the countless sleepless nights in severe pain- my social life is non-existent at this point.
I have been making little changes to my lifestyle, ones that won't cost $ , as I don't have any LOL. I realize that it didn't happen over night ( the severity of my injuries ) and it will take some time to get back to a somewhat normal life. It's just like a trial and error thing- what will work for me- finding it is the hardest part. I haven't given up yet, nor will I. As soon as some funds become available to me, I will look into the " Prescription 4 nutritional healing -4th edition " book you mentioned.
Thanks again for your input, I do appreciate it. I wish you the best , keep the positive attitude and you will definitely succeed. Please keep in touch, would love to hear how your doing
God Bless
Chris

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muscle relaxers never helped me. I quit the pain meds that made me sleep all the time. The less you do th more it hurts. Work on the muscle strenthening excercises and keep moving. If you stop moving, you'll never get out of bed again. I have been dealing with this my entire life. Muscle relaxers keep the muscles to lax to help support the spine. If you are having spasms they will go away as you build the muscles. It took me 4 years to quit whining and chuck the medication. I haven't had any thing stronger than ibuprofen since 1996. I have only missed a week and a half of work for my degenerative disc disease since 1996. The pain is there and only gets wors if I don't keep moving. I caqqn only sit in certain chairs. I can not do sit done job. I have to stay physically active and it works.

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Hi, i just read your inquiry. I too have many back issues. I have hernioated discs, degenerative disc desease, stenosis, spondylothesis, scoliosis. You name it i have tried it. I have been suffering for 15 years. No surgery. no medication,. Please, before you make any decisions please look at these 2 web sites. In a few months i will be having out patient laser spine surgery. web sites - wwwlaser-spine.com and laser spine institue.com.

God Bless.

miss muffin

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Hi jacy01,

Thanks for reading my post. It seems you have found something that works for you, that is wonderful. I agree with you on the" keep moving " that is the best advise for anyone. I listened to the docs, when they said to take it easy, so your body can heal. Now I suffer daily for it. I do move as much as possible- I do pt exercises ( @ home ), and some core strengthening, and Chiro 3 x a wk. But where I'm at right now, I can't stop taking my meds- as this action will freeze up my neck and back ( also bringing on severe muscle spasms in my head ). And then it takes about a week to get moving again- with the meds. The pain is unbearable, without meds. I can't take Ibuprofen - or anything like that, as it kills my stomach instantly ( I will only take them if nothing else works-to relieve the swelling, which will in turn relieve some pain- but the gut rot it causes will last for a week or more with only one dose). Is there an anti-inflammatory that won't cause gut rot ? It's really hard trying to understand all of this, my lumbar MRI shows improvement, yet I still have the old pain, and now a new pain( it feels like the injection area is swollen - all the time-very painful. For the past 3 days I haven't been able to do much, my back is out- same old pain...... but it's better ? This feeling has been with me for years, the legs issues are probably nerve related and permanent - the disc pain I have ... I shouldn't have because the MRI said it is healed. Something is wrong, and until I figure it out- I'm doomed to feel like this. Good days few, and Bad day rule. Thanks again for your response, I will continue to move as much as I can, and keep strengthening my core muscles. I do so hope some of what I'm doing will eventually help my pain.
Many pain free days wished to you
Chris

Hi missmuffin,
Thanks for the web site, I will check this out today. What exactly are you having done at the Laser Center?
Best wishes to you for your surgery .
Chris

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Hi Chris,
How are you?I read your last post and i am right there with you,i refuse to take Motrin.Remember every person on this site is unique in the aspect of their pain,injuries,what has worked and what doesn't work,so don't feel bad that you may have to do something different then some one else.I remained active (and taking my pain meds,minimal but i did take them) clear until surgery day which was March 25th.There is a great pay off in that,here i am 10 days post op L5-s1 lumbar fusion and i think i am doing well,i am up and about,i have been able to do my own showers.climb the stairs and walk pretty well without the use of the walker they sent me home with.Trust God in what the next step is for you,also the nerve pain in legs is reversible,the pain i had in my right leg and weakness is way better since the surgery.I am remaining positive and trusting God for a healing and i will do the same for you.
Take Care,
Nurse Nancy

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Hi Nurse Nancy,

I'm so very happy to hear how well you're doing- you go girl :) In a couple months you will be where you so deserve to be- keep the faith, as I know this is what drives you - Thank you for thinking of me, I will let you know what I find out - trying to get into the NEW PM doc ASAP- as my doc feels that I may have an infection internally( at the injection site) .....I know - we're all grasping straws here- but at least he's trying to find an answer for me. I have had so much pain in my lower back for the past 6-7 days- I could hardly walk- severe muscle spasms again.yet.... lets not forget my back is supposedly better ( I think NOT ) Feeling better day by day :) - Keep up the great work my friend- you're almost there !!!!! Will keep you in my prayers also -
Have a great week !!!
Chris

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