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Where am I and how did I get here, things were so good before.

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Comments

  • Sorry you're feeling so rough after seeing the Surgeon and you need to have surgery soon. ((Gentle hugs.)) 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
  • How are things going for you? Did you decide to get another opinion? I'm hoping you've found something to lift your spirits.

    Linda
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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  • I am sure that many man tears have been shed by people on this forum. I'm a women and I think I've cried more in the past few month's than blocks of years prior. I just feel so overwhelmed and hurt so bad sometimes there is nothing else to do but cry.

    Let us know how your second opinion goes. Maybe you'll be able to think a little clearer after you hear what he/she has to say.

    Hope your doing ok...
  • Went to the bone doctor, EDITED last week who left me hanging, saying there's nothing else he can do for me. This was a doctor I considered my friend and were on a first name basis. I've brought him fruit trees that I've grown from seed here. I'd see him outside of the office like at Home Depot. I'd be telling him how to grow things so the animals wouldn't eat them. Now I can't even after several call find out why he's dropping me and can't even make an appointment to see him to talk to him and find out if this is because of the 40% cuts from Medicare. He had fliers out saying he was going to drop everyone if they didn't stop the cuts. This is a doctor I've been seeing for almost ten years and he won't even tell me why he can't see me anymore just that he can't do anything for me anymore.

    I did get a course of Methyl Prednisolone, some thing like Prednisone which cleared up the pinched nerve problem almost over night. I had called Dr. EDITED's office a week earlier to see about getting prednisone because this has worked twice before when I had a pinched nerve. Having a pinched nerve is very painful and there's nothing you can do, doesn't matter how much pain pills you take they don't work. You can't do anything. Walking is almost imposable, grabbing at things to hold as your walking around the house. Having to lift your leg to get it over the edge of the tub or into the car to go off to the doctors. I don't really go anywhere any more. I don't mind being here because it's such a beautiful place even thought the weeds are three feet tall now after so much rain.

    When I get into my chair to work at the computer the only thing that moves is my fingers because it's to painful to do anything else. I don't look left or right because it moves my body over my hips where my spine connects. My spine bends even a little sending me gasping for air or crying out in pain. You feel like your going to pass-out because of the pain.

    I've never taken so many pain pills before to be able to just walk, get in the car and go some where. I've had to cut shopping at the store to where the pain gets so great and I hanging on the cart make it to the checkout. The women there all know me and help me which is nice about a small town.

    This last two pinched nerves came out at L3 so I was told. It's so hard to remember that long ago due to the amount of pain I've gone through, even though it was just over the past three months. Now that the prednisone stopped the pain from the nerve at L3 I can feel the sciatic nerve pain in my left legs which was always there just that the other pain was so great I couldn't feel it. It's not bad but it's not good. My lower leg and foot are in a bit of pain and it grips me at every minor movement, they stimulates the nerve pain.

    I've taken two courses of prednisone and got a cortisone shot to help the pinched nerve at L3. The Dr. EDITED had a hard time getting the needle through the area he wanted and had to move a level lower. I was good for almost a month when I started having pain and hunching over. I'd lean back and try to get my spine lined back up, thinking I'm standing-up straight I looked in the mirror to see me still hunched over but not as bad as I was. The only thing I can think I did was to use the weed whacker on the road to cut down the weeds. The next day the pain started as I got out of bed. I saw the pain management doctor about this time and he saw me hunched over walking so slow taking tiny steps because I couldn't lift my feet. He prescribed more morphine and a few more Norco to help me get through the day. Looking back I don't thing the pain from L3 was cleared up after the cortisone shot just that it felt so much better. Having such a drop in pain your feeling it's a miracle. I know I've drop drinking coffee as much as I used to because it was so painful to walk to the kitchen maybe 20 feet away. I've noticed that walking from where I'm sitting here at the computer to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and back my screen saver had gone through it's 10 minutes and the monitor had turned off. I'm a lot better this week after taking prednisone of 5 days. The blister pack has the days laid out and you take 6 small pills the first day which you wonder how could that do anything but it does. The next day I was feeling so much better taking the next 5 pills was a pleasure to take seeing what took place over night. I'm still finding myself grabbing the arm rests of the chair and lifting my body. I was doing that on the kitchen counter also and letting my body hang loose. For a few minutes it takes the weight off everything. I've tried it before taking any pain pills and it was so painful I couldn't do it. I had to wait until the pain pills started to work before I could try lifting myself. I've just walked to the kitchen and ground some coffee and got the coffee maker started without holding on to anything. :-) Doesn't sound like much but for me right now it's amazing. I'm still shaking a bit but that seems more internal but I do notice my fingers shaking a little.

    I need to have major surgery on my back. The surgery was described to me as a two day operation. The first day they would go in through the front taking parts out to get to the spine. They would take all the broken disc material and start putting in hardware. When that's done they put the parts all back in and sew me up on the front. The next day they would go in through the back and put in more hardware. This all would straighten my spine out to a normal curve and space out the vertebrae. This is the simple part of the repair because it's now going to be a year of recovery. What that takes and how I'll be left I don't know but that's what really scares me because of the harsh place I live. I just don't know if I'll be able to do any walking to make it to the bathroom or to get something to eat. I've fixed the lights so they all work from a remote but there's so much more that I might have to fix. Last weekend feeling somewhat good I needed to get the weeds cut down so I could walk to my car from the house. The weeds go from the walkway down a mild slope to the road. I put my normal back brace on and added a weight lifter belt at the top of the brace and a elastic corset around the bottom to keep my hips from moving or I should say my spine from moving over my hips. Little did I know how it was going to compress my intestines and how it would compress anything inside them. The next day I started sweating and ran to the bathroom. I really had to go and because of some of the nerve damage from the first two surgeries I'm sort of numb in some areas. I can't tell what's going on. I have to press down so hard to urinate, never thought that would be stimulating and give me an erection but it does me. Then brushing my teeth makes me feel like urinating, so does kissing but I don't have to worry about that anymore since I'm divorced. An hour later after passing a pound cake which I'm sure was stuck because of the size, I get up and have to change in to dry cloths because of the sweating. I have been taking vegetable stool softeners but ran out. Thoughts of having a hemorrhage because veins were sticking out because of my struggle during this hour. Thought of Elvis, did he die this way pounding out out and blow a gasket. I really thought I wasn't going to make it through this. I'm watching myself now to make sure I go every day or every other day. It's so easy to let that go because you don't want to get up or move from where you are.

    I'm still rather concerned about recovering from surgery and it's going into the hottest part of the year. This how is old and late afternoon it's real hot inside and needs to be opened up. Then if the fall the temperature range is so dramatic going from highs of 80's to 30's at night. Going toward winter which every day is a surprise. Will it rain or snow. Will the power and phone go out again like last year. I was somewhat lucky last year being between pinched nerves and able to make it to a phone and call the power and phone companies and tell them wear the lines were down the first day after it snowed. That was the scariest first 24 hours. I'm not so scared of the wildlife but having a 200 foot tall tree fall and crush the house, that's rather common here. When the power company was out the night before they came down the lines from the north but stopped before they got here where the lines were down. Walking to the gate to let the power company trucks in was so killer. Deep wet snow that stuck to everything. Trees drooping over and breaking not knowing if your walking under them and one would break off, it's remind me of being in a old gold mine and not touching the walls where the mine would cave in. I should be out cutting up the broken trees laying around before winter but that's out. I still hear people cutting trees up every weekend. Want firewood, it's going cheap since there's so much. So, recovering has me scared about what I have to deal with outside besides having to deal with my body being out of action for a year. They need to bolt me together from my sacrum S1 to the first vertebrae above the lumbar section. So when I stand from then on I wouldn't be able to bend. I tried posting a picture of my spine last time I had a cortisone shot but it highlighted every thing I wrote and became a link. I have my last MRI from 2008 and would like to post some of those photos but going to have to work at that. Well, the days almost over, it's 4 PM and it took me from this morning to get here to type. I'm afraid of moving and doing anything where I'd cause a pinched nerve again because it takes so long to get into see a doctor. Why Dr. EDITED doesn't like to prescribe prednisone when he knows it's going to solve the pain problem, it's being used as a anti-inflammatory. So many times the thought of running to the hospital has run through my mind but what kept me from going is the pain to get there.

    So, I',m lost, paralyzed with fear.

    Bob

    Standards agreement and posting rules.
    Naming specific institution or doctor names is not permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.
    Edited by Authority Member Cath111. 6/11/2010

  • I know how you feel. In August of 2008, I was cut off from my doctor. Nothing to do with insurance (not directly anyway) but just that they have a policy of not operating on anyone who needs more than two levels worked on. I had three blown discs and they said there was nothing they could do for me. I called every neuro and orthopedic surgeon in my area, and none of them would see me. I was a mess -- emotionally and physically. Fortunately, there is a teaching hospital a few hours from me and I eventually found a surgeon there who could help me. The drive there was excruciating -- I had to stop every half hour or so to get out and walk and stretch because I was in so much pain from driving. The first day I had an appointment with him, I met a woman in the hallway who was walking with a cane. She told me when she first came there, she'd been in a wheelchair for about a year and was in immense pain. She thought the world of my surgeon, so I decided to put my faith in him. I was supposed to have just one surgery, but I ended up with two -- the first from the back, the second (four days later because I had lost too much blood during the first) from the front to put in the spacers where my discs used to be.

    Yes, it will be at least a year of recovery for you. However, you seem like a strong person. I'm kind of a tough old broad, but sometimes I can be a wimp. I live alone and I managed to do just fine by myself. I made myself some meals and put them in the freezer before I went to the hospital. I had lots of canned soup in case I couldn't cook anything. I lived most of my life on the couch, because it was easier to get up and down from there, and I was close to the bathroom and the kitchen. It's a rough road, but I think it may be your only chance at feeling better. If you do nothing, you won't be improving your situation.

    Just make sure you find a really good, trustworthy surgeon with a good reputation. We're not really allowed to discuss doctors on this site, so you'll need to do some research on your own.

    You can do it. Don't let life pass you by with all this pain.

    Linda
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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  • Last week before I took the prednisone I was really hurting, hardly able to walk, sit, stand, putting weight on my spine. Dr. EDITED had just left me hanging something he's never done before. Chris seemed like he was meeting a person that he hated for year but we have always talked and joked around, so I didn't understand Dr. EDITED's actions. I can't believe how fast the prednisone had worked, it took about 5 days, the full course of taking the pills when I was feeling good, I didn't even feel like I needed pain pills I felt that good. I still was a prisoner in my own mind though. I didn't want to do anything fearing I'd hurt myself and the pain would return. I couldn't think, my mind was locked up in fear. How am I going to handle a year of recovery. What will I be able to do, could I stand, could I eat and how could I eat, how will I get things outside of the house. Who will help me, I don't know anyone here, not really, except my forest friends and although they would like to help they couldn't, not like Buddy did when I was going through "Hep C" treatment. I've been laying around sleeping, even forcing myself to sleep because I didn't want to face the day. I've had the window shades pulled close keeping the inside a nice evening shade of dark. The last couple days I've forced myself to start doing little things. When your mind is locked up with massive depression, that's the only thing I could think it was. That's why I wanted to do anything I could where I didn't have to move much but get something accomplished. I've been on my hands and knees rolling up and bagging cable, picking up little things that are out of place, washing dishes and did laundry the last three days, just three loads and the hamper wasn't even full. I had to break the depression cycle. I've been here before and the only way I know how to break this is facing my fears head on. I made phone calls and got appointments next week with two doctors, the pain management doctor and my GP. I don't know how long it took me to pick up the phone but it seemed like days. I've gotten on the computer and looked up a couple hospitals that do back surgery that I've heard of before and also looked at ones I haven't heard of. I'm going to have to keep it in the area as best I can and it looks like it might be 50 plus miles away, something hard for me to do since ten miles is about my limit. Today I took a slow walk around the house, something I haven't done is so long. I sat outside with a few of my deer friends and big birds, the little birds came out too, they feel safe here even if I'm outside. There's a couple families of blue jays that will cry out seeing me knowing that when they do there's seeds on the picnic table or some places else I put seeds for them. There's one jay with a hurt wing that has been coming around for a couple years who come flying in and hopping around. Sitting there I felt so good outside, my mind was a blank, I need to let go of thought so I can think again. I can't rent space in my mind thinking the worst even if it will be but that's in the future and not now and I can't do anything about that yet. I'm down to a minimal amount of pain right now and have been only taking a pill in the morning and one in the evening, I think that's enough to keep me from going through with drawls. My hips hurt while I walk and my steps are small. I took pictures on my walk around the house which mad me feel good. When I'm taking pictures of the small flowers and plants I question why they are here, why do they grow like this, are other plants needed to be in the same area to help these plants grow. I've noticed that many plants seem to grow together and I've been studying them since I've moved here. From working with the apple trees and other fruit trees to little tiny plants on the ground where you need to get on your knees to see. I've been collecting seeds from everywhere around the county and bringing them here to see if I can get them to grow. While I'm doing this it seems my mind is so focused on them I'm not thinking how bad off I am, whether I need surgery, and even my pain level seems to go down. I was one the porch with five of my skunks and one albino raccoon and my pain level was down to nothing. My little friends are walking around me and coming up to me, each one in it's different way but I'm sure it's their way of greeting me. I think part of my fears was loosing my forest friends something I've worked so hard to get them to trust me. I probably should have been doing that with humans but there's a different kind of trust I've seen with the creatures, that's something I haven't been able to describe in a few word or say it's this way. I've been a good "Human" photographer and could read a persons face so well and tell them what they were thinking of and what was causing them problems. I could see it in their eyes, the way they smiled and now I'm seeing the wildlife the same way, I see it when they smile and can tell when they are happy. I can't wait to see Momma Deer's babies when they get older. They will be smiling and so full of life. Everything around them is new and worth exploring. Me, I'm old but still try to see life as new like through the babies eyes. You see the details you have missed the years before. I like living here and I don't want to leave and hope that surgery won't make me have to leave because it is a harsh environment here. For now I'm going to live for today and not project the future because it isn't here and I can only change what is now.

    Smiles
    Bob

    Standards agreement and posting rules.
    Naming specific institution or doctor names is not permitted in the Spine-Health.com forums.
    Edited by Authority Member Cath111. 6/11/2010

  • Deleted - Duplicate post
  • I've just check with the list here ant the top of the list was, "Sutter Neuroscience Medical Group: Spine Center." It's not all that far from me about 50 miles one way but after reading about the group it looks like the right place to go. I've made a easy problem hard with worry, projecting the future, fear, depression, everything my mind wanted to wander off to present the fear in me. I don't like driving because it's hard on me but seeing the pictures of the doctors faces gave me encuragement. You need to trust the doctors that are going to work on you, that trust is that extra bit of help you need to make things work.

    Bob
  • I thought I was doing pretty good since I took the prednisone last week. I've been feeling OK for the most part for around a week. Whether it was doing laundry which I had to force myself to get up to do or my simple walk around the house yesterday, I have been treating my body, spine, body parts, what ever you want to call it with kid gloves. Well, that sounds nice, what does it mean, "Kid Gloves?" I've heard that so many times over the years and I think I'm using it properly in the sentence. Wonder where you would look up slang quotes?

    So the pain in my hip has started again. I was sweeping the porch when it started a few minutes ago. I don't know if I can lay down on the heating pad? Maybe ice it down? I have these gel packs from shipping that I keep frozen and ready to use. It's also a large mass of solid cold so the temperature of the freezer stays more constant. Just like keeping a couple gallons of water in the regular part of the fridge helps keep that area a constant temperature and keeps the compressor from coming on every time you open the door.

    I was feeling so good last night, I was cleaning up the kitchen, washing dishes, pots and pans, things I've been putting off during my last episode. I even baked a cake, German Chocolate Cake which still needs to be frosted, something I was going to do today. Well, that might be out, I can feel that drain on my head where it feels like I could drop because of the building pain. That muscle in my right side of my cheek and the hip joint are hurting. The muscle is tight like a knot, it did that last night too. I rubbed it and it loosened up and didn't feel like it was cramping. I'm also feeling pain at the fold of where my leg bends on the front to my body, I guess it would be called the groin area. I feel like it's a heat rush but I'm not sweating. My upper leg is really burning. I have two pack of ice on my back right now, might have to pack my whole hip area.

    I just can't believe it how I went from feeling so good yesterday, I was actually very cheerful coming from the depression last week where I was so lost. I had hope yesterday. It was just to good to be true. I wanted to beat the depression that was coming on before I couldn't get out of that dark hole I was falling into.

    I don't think it was my walk yesterday because I was walking so slow and just taking photos of flowers and plants. I took over 600 pictures, I saw the counter but it was just in passing. I was so careful not to stress myself. The other day when I started forcing myself to do things, to be active even if it was slow, I had to do something to feel I accomplished something. I was sitting at the computer last night doing some writing and editing photos, checked my "facebook" account since I was getting what turns out to be spam because they sent it to the wrong email address from what I had on my account. Why I have those type of services that I don't use and don't know anyone because I'm not going to go through the list of people begging them to be my friend. I know I have three network or social group accounts but I don't remember what name I used, what email I used or any of the passwords. I should close them because I was going crazy setting that thing up last night. There are page after page of security questions, who can see me, my photos, my profile, my friends. I guess that six degrees of separation just got closer. So, sitting last night here listening to the TV, taking a glance at it as I'm going to the kitchen for something to drink.

    Speaking of drinking, I'm real glade that I'm sober not that I could afford a expensive drinking habit right now but that wouldn't do my mind any good. I could see how you could really slip into a deep depression by drinking, the pain and all the meds your on. I could see how a person thinking dark thoughts might take action if they were drinking. It's hard enough doing this sober, don't need another problem hanging on my back.

    Well, I can feel the meds I took a bit ago when I came limping in. It's not taking care of the pain totally. I'm still real tense trying to hold myself up and in place here.

    Miss Big-Bird came on the porch getting spilled grain that's on the porch. Hens tend to look sad to me. The male birds have a lot of emotions that they display. I'm always amazed when they come walking up behind me and I'm doing something like gardening. They will stand there watching me work as long as I don't turn around and look at them. If I do turn around I'll keep looking down, that's fine with them and they don't get scared.

    Between the packs of ice and my meds I'm feeling less pain. I don't know if it will go away or will I send the evening in the hospital ER. I've thought about going to the hospital but I'm a guy, I'm going to tough it out, right? Some of my friends that I write to that aren't close to here said, "Go to the ER, they have to do something." Well, I'll keep you posted on the pain over the weekend.

    Bob


    Sorry Cath111 for using names, looks cool being censored.
  • No apologies necessary, just glad I could please you with my censorship. Sorry, just doin' my job.

    Love your posts, keep 'em coming.

    Cath
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