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Pain increasing and I'm suffering

Started by Mandalynn2001 on 07/24/2017 11:51am

I have had intermittent back pain for about 14 years now. Starting at the age of 19 and working as a hotel housekeeper. At 20 years old I had an episode that caused me to go to the hospital by ambulance because I had bent over and was unable to get up due to a sharp persistent excruciating pain. My physician at the time eventually sent me for an MRI to find I had a ruptured disc at L5. Following this over the past 14 years I have had to participate in physical therapy intermittently to maintain a functional level and maintain pain control. Last March (2016) I started to again have a decline in my functionality and increased pain in my low back. I participated in chiropractic and physical therapy with traction. Neither was successful and my pain began to increase but accompanied this time with severe pain, numbness, and tingling in both legs traveling down to my feet.
My primary finally had an MRI done after my suffering increased over 6 months. MRI revealed 2 herniated discs (L4/L5 and L5/S1) one with a tear and spinal stenosis. He referred me to a pain specialist who did a one time caudal approach cortisone injection and also referred me to a neurosurgeon.
The neurosurgeon had me do another 6 weeks of physical therapy which was not effective. He no longer wanted me to see the pain specialist. I was taken off work for 12 weeks and then returned to work with a 30lb weight restriction. During this time the constant pain did decrease on a daily basis with intermittent episodes of severe pain. Numbness and tingling to both my feet continues. He repeated the mri to find there had not been any change. After which he referred me to a neurophysiologist. He didn't want to pursue surgery because neurologically the complications were not severe enough.
After waiting another 6 weeks I was seen by this new dr.. She advised me that injections would be best treatment with more physical therapy. She prescribed meloxicam which caused me severe abdominal upset. And also had me increase the elavil I was taking (prescribed for my insomnia sure to being a night shift worker). The increase in the elavil only caused me to have increased depression and anxiety. After 3 more weeks i had my 1st injections which were so extremely painful I cried for 45 minutes after and could barely move for 2 days.
I received no relief and have been living with extreme pain for the past 4 weeks. The pain is worse now than when I went in for the injections. I only have Motrin and Baclofen for relief. I use ice and heat regularly. I have good and bad days but recently they have been all bad days or even worse days.
I'm 33 and have a 9 year old child. I'm a nurse. I feel like my life is being stolen from me. I can't walk, stand, sit, or lay down for any extended time. Some days it takes me hours to get out of bed because the pain is so bad. I feel defeated. I'm overwhelmed with copays for Dr visits. I miss work often because of the pain and generally unable to perform my job abilities.
I am so lost in what i should do. I want to feel better. I can't enjoy many of the activities I used to enjoy because of the pain or the fear that those activities will cause me to be in excruciating pain. I have to force myself to go to work in hopes that my co-workers will be good about helping me with any patient that needs to be moved in bed and god forbid a code and performing CPR.
Where do I go from here? I have used up all the fmla available and am at risk of losing my job. I don't even have any strong pain relievers for my bad days. I take everything I have Motrin, Tylenol, Baclofen..ice heat... rest ... icy hot... massage... and I lay there and cry... like a baby. People don't understand that just waking up and getting out of bed is a challenge. That my pain is excruciating. Because this country is finally recognizing the opioid crisis I can't get anything for my pain.
Any advice anyone can hand me would be so graciously accepted. Please help me with a course of treatment to try... I will try anything.

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4 Responses


Hi, Mandalynn2001--thank you for sharing your story with us. We are so sorry to read about all you've endured over the past 14 years. We can't imagine the pain you must deal with on a day-to-day basis.

We hesitate to recommend additional drug therapy but want to ask: Have you talked to your doctor about getting back on an antidepressant? You don't have to be depressed to get benefits from antidepressants, though having spine pain as long as you have can certainly take an emotional toll. Antidepressants can help people not only better cope with pain, but these drugs have also been found to interfere with pain messages in the brain, which lowers your perception of pain. You can read about them more here: ( Drugs and Medications for Chronic Neck and Back Pain ).

With pain as complex as yours, it's important to think outside the box. Finding exercises that help you feel good both mentally and physically are so important ( Exercise and Chronic Pain ), and talking to your doctor about a psychologist referral may be a healthy option ( Psychologists Help Chronic Pain Patients ).

We often focus entirely on the physical elements of pain, but the emotional and mental side are just as important. Sometimes, we can't eliminate physical pain, but when we focus on improving our emotional and mental health, somehow the physical pain becomes easier to manage. We hope this information is helpful and encouraging to you, and we wish you the very best in finding pain management that helps you regain the quality of life you very much deserve.


Hi Hun,

I realise that this must be a really rubbish time for you. Pain can be soul sucking, life destroying and down right punishing. Unfortunately most people will never appreciate the extent of your suffering, unless they of course have had similar experiences.

I was a hospital doctor, until the fateful morning when a drunken driver smashed his LGV into me. I suffered with multiple lower back injuries including pelvic fracture and SI joint dysfunction. They told me I was lucky to be alive - it didn't feel very lucky with the constant severe pain I was in.

That was 8 years ago, I would love to turn a new leaf and say I'm great back at work, happy recovery blah blah blah. I lost my job, the hospital didn't want a sick medic on their team. I didn't want to ruin days out, events for family and friends so I stopped going out. Stopped socialising. I developed an eating disorder, which was perpetuated by the pain and PTSD. I stay in bed for long hours now, with pain, general exhaustion and depression.

I am working on getting better. I use the threadmill for 30-40 minutes a day daily, I do yoga and back exercises twice daily and traction for 10-15 minutes a day. I shall start swimming next week to help increase exercise.

As someone who continues to suffer from severe pain can I make a few suggestions.
Yoga is brilliant.
Gently walking
Exercises in the pool
Make sure you are on the right painkillers and have breakthrough meds
Lose weight if you need to
Hold having anymore babies
Get a tens machine use it daily.
Make sure your on antidepressants - it will help with your mood, anxiety and frustration.

Don't expect people to understand your suffering. People seldom do.
I felt your pain and replied in kind.

I pray that you feel better. Stay strong, don't let it win.
Best wishes


I recommend this book to you. It really helped me with my pain.

Relief is in the stretch
Cure back pain with yoga
By Loren fishman


In just had another back fusion do to pain, swelling and numbness down both legs. I am 2 weeks. Post surgery. I was in a bus accident 9-2006 had to go through 5 back surgeries which I got better from until this last buldging disc. But here is some information I hope thats helpful for future surgeries
Hello I saw This Post and wanted to share wirh anyone still 8n back pain over a year and a half. If your doctor has said your fusion is healed and you are still in alot of pain 8n your back or hips, preventing you from walking, sitting, laying down, and you dont feel better. You need to ask your surgon to remove the screws from surgery. I went through 5 yeats of back pain after fusion was done, because the screws were poking me every time I would walk, sit, lay down, no one told me I could and should have the screws removed. But after leaening I could have them out, I saw the dr. in 11-2013 and right away the side pain was gone, the back pain was still there but that because of the surgery, but little by little I got better and 5-2015 took a train trip up to Yosemite and began walking a mile every day in 4-2017. I had my life back no back brace, walker, wheelchair. Nothing. I am still on pain meds 3 times a day, smaller dosage and still tapering off, I was on high dosages of pain medication before screws were removed, but once removed went totally off oxycotin,over 1/2 the amount of Dilaudid and methadone. I hope this helps someone in pain sees this, and get the screws removed so they too will be pain free. I wish someone ekse would have posted this when I was in pain. Feel free to message me for more info. @ hope92020@gmail.com Travi Foster 8-2017