Have spinal stenosis. Have had it for years and at 53 yrs of age my back finally gave out. Laminectomy L2, L3, L4. Got some relief for about six months on minimal pain meds but always had nagging issues. Pain days started to slowly worsen. Go back to ortho, he takes x-rays and says I might be having arthritis issues.
There are no coincidences (far as I'm concerned). I told ortho I'd had mild osteoarthritis issues that Advil would take care of. Take Advil along with 5-325 hydro couple times a day. Fast forward a good 6 months and pain levels have doubled. Go back to ortho and he refers me to pain mgt. Date around late 2014.
Go to pain mgt, now on 10-325, pain continues to increase and get morphine tabs 2x/day. Tolerable now but still 24hr pain. In the interim I started having having rashes on my elbows and knees. The itching was driving me crazy. Literally. While at Walmart one day I get the bright idea to hit the pharmacist up and have her give my elbows a look see. "Oh, looks like psoriasis." Told me to get some otc paste, wipe some on and and rub it in vigorously. Man the itch relief I got was unbelievable. It lasted about 60 seconds.
Being a super sleuth ninja I start poking around the internet and discover that there is a thing called psoriatic arthritis. Aha! I found the culprit! Rashes start to go away.....
Three years later...back pain through the roof, full blown psoriatic arthritis. Ask doc to change from hydro since I'd been taking it regularly (4+ years). Nope. Won't change it oh and by the way, why don't we stick one of those spinal stimulators in your back? Maybe later I say. Doc says we're no longer going to prescribe the morphine (3x 30mg now). Why I ask. Because you don't need it. Belbuca. 150mg x 2 per day. What if it doesn't work doc? It will, don't worry. As I check out, the lady hands me an appointment card and a copy of a referral to a rehab center. What's this
Belbuca does nothing so I read the instructions. You're supposed to affix Discovered recently that it's an antagonist. Night sweats, eyeballs rolling around wildly in my head, etc. Call doc, says too bad oh and did you get that sheet? Yes, call them. I'm not calling them. I'm seeing a pain mgt doc.
How's about we stick one of those stimulators in your back? At this point I'm in a lot of pain and cave in. Have the stimulator inserted (NEVER and I mean NEVER have any surgery on a Friday that coincides with the doc office closing. NEVER) Come out of anesthesia and my right knee hurts. It's akin to having my leg chopped off (not really but it hurt). Nurses are a bit worried. With furrowed brows they nervously say it'll be ok. By the way, where is the doc? Probably at dinner with wife and kids. Sweet. No sleep for a couple of days. Previous calls to doc.... if this is an emergency please hang up and dial 911. If it's not, please hold for the next available agent. Your wait time will be approximately 48 hours. Our office is closed at this time......
Monday. How much does it hurt he asks. Plenty. I haven't slept in a couple days. Yeah, that's not good make an appointment to come in and I'll see what I can do he says. I say maybe you should jerk this thing out of my back. Click.
I immediately hobble to truck, breaking land speed records I arrive on two wheels almost hitting the disabled parking lot sign. I hobble in. Need to see doc please. I have a bum knee. Well he's doing procedures right now. You'll have to make an appointment. If you don't call him up here I'm going to do a procedure on you. Doc comes out and says that was quick. I'll have to give my scheduler a raise. Not really I say.
Face down on a table I hear doc say that he's going to jerk some wires around and to tell him if it hurts more or less. STOP I holler. WHAT he screams. Does it hurt more or less? It doesn't hurt at all doc (I'm trying to get up and dance a jig)! Really? Yeah doc, leave that wire right there. You sure? Yes. I can jerk them around a little more.. That's what I get paid to do. Jerk. Gets paid to be a jerk. How apropos. Nope I say, leaver alone.
Now that the stimulator is working (not crippling me much) I go back to the ortho. How ya been? Good to see you. Have you done something to your hair? No. Why? Because you're bent over and I thought you wanted me to look at your pate. Noooo.....I'm here to see you about my spine. That's what I'm here for. At your service. So you don't notice anything different I ask. Your hairdo looks nice. DOC! I'm bent over at the waist. Can't you see that? Weeeellllll, I wasn't going to say anything but since you've broached the subject your belly done lopped over your belt. Do you have Dunlop's Disease? NO I DON'T. I did notice you're not quite as tall.....
Two weeks later I'm again down. This time the ortho decided he didn't want me looking like I was getting ready to chase chickens. Does the slice, unscrews the hardware, breaks a couple of bones, grind the arthritis out, drills additional holes then fills them with screws to anchor the rods.
How are you feeling? HURTING! That sucks I gave you a big dose of dilaudid.
Now for the fun part. At home. Having tennis ball withdrawal. Horrible. Do we have any tennis balls I ask my wife. No and even if we did you wouldn't be using them. Damn it. Then I remember a kid down the street was using his tennis ball gun awhile back and shooting our rooftop (true, happened several times, I thought it was a pair of fat squirrels using it for a trampoline. I'm almost deaf so that's why that happened. How many balls do you need screams the wife. TWO I scream back. She brings them over and I try rubbing them together (like smart people do except with ball bearings and when in deep thought). Well it didn't work. All the IV fluids and water I'd been drinking for the last week decided to flow south. I leap to my feet, grab the walker and go trampling down the hall. Front wheels spinning about the speed my eyeballs accelerated to. Rear sticks thumping and squeaking to beat the band.
Relief! Oh boy was I relieved, I'd figured out what to do with the fuzzy orbs. Cut a hole in them and put them on the two rear sticks of my trampling tool! Felt like a genius. No. Really.
I'm getting better, thankful that the 220V shocks I felt in my legs are gone. No more ice pick stabs to the glutes, thighs or calves. Now the pain is concentrated in one general area. Progress. Oh, speaking of which, I started feeling like I a had a tennis racket glued to my lower back. I'm now three inches taller. The ortho won't recognize me.
MORAL OF THE STORY
Well there really isn't one. Just thought you might enjoy hearing about my pain management experience. Which reminds me I have to call the back doc back (say that 3x real fast)
Ring, ring, ring, ring......If this is an emergency please hang up and dial 911, if not please hold and and an agent will be with you shortly. Your wait time will be 48 hours.........