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Need Help for my Husband with DDD

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,000
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello, I'm new this site. My husband has been diagnosed with DDD about 7 years ago. His L4 and L5 disks are almost gone and his L3 is on its way. He has seen several doctors and two surgeons and neither one recommends surgery due to his young age (30) and the potential of the 3d disk deteriorating. He has had a disco gram had and lots of epidurals that no longer work. Right now his pain is being treated by narcotics (morphine) and other pills that make him loopy (in a drunken state). Thing seem to be getting significantly worse for the past year. Right now we are going through a tough time right now and he seems to be medicated all the time (which makes me very angry because he's completely out of it). There is no little to any intimacy in our marriage, partly due to the pills and his pain. I'm not sure what to do and at my wits end. I can't ask him to stop taking the pills because it gives him a little relief from his back pain but on the other side of it, I want my husband back and miss him. He and I argue about little stuff because I get so frustrated when he is on his pills. He doesn't understand why I get so angry and I can't begin to understand or comprehend the pain he endures every day. I have a hard time expressing my feeling to anyone because people don’t understand the situlation and may accuse him that he may have an addiction to the meds. There are days I wonder myself if he may have an addiction. He lost his job about 2 months ago (due to company cut backs) and is currently not working but taking care of our 2 year old son. The other day he asked me what I thought about him going on full disability due to the constant pain he is in and his inability to find a job. I have serious doubt about that due to how young he is and how much more life he has ahead of him. He is so tired of doctors poking and prodding him, I hate to try anymore doctors. I partly wonder if he depressed from hurting so much and the lack of job. I’d appreciate any help or words of advice any one has.


  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. your husband may be over medicated if he is sleeping all the time. I) i take morphine as well and lead a fairly normal life as far as that goes. i am sure many others on the site do as well. his system should be adjusting to the meds and he should be able to be up and about. <:P is he in any type of exercise program or pt? talking to your doctor about the meds could make for a big change in your lives. having him awake some of the day would help you a bit i imagine. yes, he is in pain but there is still life out there. =)) there is also the SCS. i don't know much about it but it does offer great pain relief for many members. i hope this helps you some. becomming bedridden, sleeping and taking pain pills is not a healthy way to approach the pain problem. :T there are so many other conservative treatments still to try. good luck!! please feel free to drop by whenever you feel the need to chat!! we are here for you as well. Jenny :)
  • I would keep looking for a Doctor to do his surgery. I can't understand them saying too young for surgery when he's too young to be bedridden. Is he on something for depression? Most people with chronic pain are on antidepressants and one, amitriptyline helps with nerve pain for me. I know it's hard for you to understand chronic pain and my husband can't deal with mine hardly. When I walk in the room he leaves and I know it's because I always moan. I hope things turn around for you and you can get your hubby back. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • I'm sorry about the problems you and your husband are having. He may have to apply for disability because of his pain. The DDD is very painful and it's almost bone on bone and that's not good.
    I understand the pain that he's in. I myself have severe DDD and among other problems. I am in my thirties and have undergone 2 back surgeries (decompression and 2 level fusion L4-S1) for herniated discs on L4-S1, severe DDD, retroslisthesis-vertebral slippage, recurrent herniations, facet arthropathy, nerve impingements, and I have a benign tumor. The chronic pain I have is disabling and relentless.
    This affects every aspect of your husband's life. He is probably feeling down because of being let go and that's understandable. Please realize that he is struggling with this pain, and I know it's very hard on caretakers. Chronic pain is hard to deal with, because people expect for it to go away, or get better, but sometimes it doesn't.
    I am on Fentanyl patches, which is a very strong painkiller. It doesn't make me groggy or loopy. My mind is very clear. I also take Norco, muscle relaxers, Cymbalta for nerve pain, and motrin. Even with all this, I still have pain. The morphine allows for the pain to be bearable, but it won't take it all away. Maybe your husband can try something else that is more effective, but he certainly needs medication to function. When you take pain pills to function and control the pain, you are not an addict. Addicts take them just to get high. The possibility of addiction in a chronic pain patient is very low according to studies.
    This is a very difficult time for the both of you, and I hope things work out. He needs to continue to be under the care of a pain specialist and I hope he gets relief for his pain.
  • I am so sorry that you are dealing with all of these issues at such a young age. I wonder if your husband may be able to try another med that does not make him so loopy? I am on methadone and never feel drugged from it but it is just enough to take the edge off of my pain so that I can function. Depression does normally go hand in hand with chronic pain. Maybe you could suggest to him that he mention this to his doc? There are lots of meds out there that help with depression. Cymbalta works great for a lot of people because it helps with depression and also with pain. He does not want to let the depression get too bad before seeking treatment. It is much easier to treat in the initial phase. Maybe the lack of labido is not just because of the meds. Stress and depression can play a big part of it. Please try and be patient and supportive of him. I know that it is hard to understand the effects of chronic pain if you have never suffered with it. Just imagine somebody stepping on your hand with all of there weight. Now imagine that nobody can figure out how to get this person off of your hand and your only option is to take pain meds that somewhat dull the pain. I think that is a good analogy of what chronic pain feels like. You have come to a great place for understanding and support. Please feel free to vent here anytime that you need to.
  • I am in a simular situation as your husband. I'm 36 with severe DDD in my lumbar region along with various bulges and an annular tear. I am always in pain, some days more than others and I am taking flexeril, extended release morphine and prosac. With this combination I can function fairly well, I run my own business, and can schedule my days around my pain most of the time. My business is struggling due to my health, but for the most part I think I will make it through.

    I can work on the morphine, it took a week or so for my body to adjust, but when I need to take the flexeril I know I need to go home and rest for a couple of hours. The prosac has been one of the biggest help out of all this, it allows me to talk and think about issues without breaking down all the time. It keeps my mood steady and I am able to be in the moment. I do fairly well with my family, the pain is the biggest problem with that.

    Sorry I dont have time to write more right now, but feel free to send me a private message anytime, or just respond here. To me it sounds like you need to go to the pain management doc with your husband and have your observations and questions addressed as well as his. Counciling might be in order also, these things can get away from you.

    take care, Mitch
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  • My wife and I had been married almost 28 years when I had my last surgery (L4-S1 fusion) in November of '07 and I've been in pain ever since. It's very hard to explain just what that means, but every day some part of my brain is doing nothing but saying,"OUCH!". Some days it's a small part and I can function, some days I swear the pain is so great I can't locate the source. The pain no longer resides in me, I become part of the pain. It's extremely hard to fix a problem if you don't realize the problem exists. I lost my job, and am on Social Security Disability. I'm 47 and have worked since I was 9. I use a Fentanyl patch, Lyrica, and Cymbalta daily. I take Lortab, Flexeril, Tramadol as needed (daily). Until doc put me on the antidepressant Cymbalta I didn't know there was a problem. I never new just how bad it was for my wife because I was always 'loaded'. The Cymbalta has allowed me to take a more subjective look at my own behavior. We are no longer considering divorce. I hope your husband will do what ever is necessary to regain the ability to communicate. Without communication there can be no compromise. Encourage your husband to write a list of what he wants, and take it with him to the doctor (or accompany him yourself). If the doc won't talk to him, find another. There are lots of doctors. Best of luck!


    "experience is what you get when you don't get what you want."
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