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Where to go from here, Scared



  • Hello everyone, sorry it been awhile I have been busy and waiting to find out what is going on. Well here it is MRI showed No tumors yaaa. Nerve test showed slight damage in left leg. He change my med to cymbalta, and Oxycontin and is keeping me on topamax because I went off of it in October because I was tried of feeling stupid and forgetful, however had to migraines in with 3 weeks of each other that landed me in the hospital from dehydrate from vomiting so much. I had the injecting that had the Meningitis scare I was fine it help for about 2 maybe 3 weeks I felt like my old self most of the time. but it did not last long. I seen Dr. last week and he wants to do a Lumbar-fusion, told me to think about over the holidays and we will discuss it on my next appoint on Jan 9th. If anyone has had this please give me some feed back Thank you. Oh pain level is back , it the holiday season and we are in full swing and I work in retail, don't know how much more I can take...
    shiela diodati
  • Welcome to the fusion club, Sheila. Lol.

    Lots of good stories, you will find.

    Lots of articles and videos on website too.
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  • My journey began with the words "You have DDD in two discs, this injury will end your career in the Army"

    Thus began a year long process of the following:

    Facet joint injections - did nothing but give me a migraine for two weeks
    Physical Therapy - they stuck me on the "stretcher" to try and spread my joints back out - 2 minutes on the machine and we had to stop as my left leg went dead.
    More injections - again no help
    Pain meds - Ultram and Salsalate - pain and swelling, this was a stop gap until I had my surgery consult.
    Discogram - to determine how many were bad and causing pain - I would not wish this test on my worst HURT

    Then came the words "We are going to screw everything back there together" This was in 1999 in Mar of that year I went through a multi-level fusion surgery from L4-S1.

    9 months of recovery as I was stubborn in the not smoking and it slowed things down, let me tell you wearing that damn body brace in the NC summer is no fun. My recovery consisted of walking, thats all.

    After the recovery was over I had 7 great years of pain free living where I played sports, worked out and lead an active healthy life.

    I was 27 at the time of my Surgery, I am not sure were the "You are to young" is coming from. Pain is pain no matter what your age.

    It DOES work. Just ask a lot of questions and go into things with a positive outlook and you will be fine.

    Fusion L4-S1, T8-T9 herniation.
  • jerseygirl, before you jump into surgery or anything drastic, i wonder if you've explored the home page of this site especially the section on degenerative disc disease , and this article dealing with deciding on surgery . the last one is 4 pages, be sure to read all of them and visit the links throughout the article. they helped me so much to understand what was happening, my options, etc. that, and a very good pain management doctor. i think she's the greatest person in the world!

    surgery is not all it's proclaimed to be. yes, you will see success stories on the forum, but fusion and disc replacement surgeries are not 100%, not even close. so please, put a lot of thought into that decision. get educated here and go over it with your doctor. my doctor was surprised at how much i knew before i even saw her. if you do opt for surgery, be prepared for a very long recovery and therapy period. it won't be a piece of cake.

    do apply for social security disability. no guarantee either that you will be approved on your first try, if you're not, appeal, appeal, appeal. i was approved on my first application and i am very thankful for that. today i get by with steroid shots, lots of rest, pain management. i'm delaying surgery as long as possible. the odds just aren't good enough for me to have surgery.

    i wish you lots of luck and will be thinking of you. keep us posted!


  • Thank you everyone and I will check out these sites . As of right now I am leaning more to not getting it, I just don't think I am ready. However I don't know how much more long hour shifts I can do. after 6 hours I am pushing myself so much I am in tears when I get home. My body can handle about 4 hours and it is telling me then it has had enough lol. I am in school to get my associates degree in criminal justice I would like to become a probation officer. I hoping that is something I can do. Only if I was able to get disability until then but since I work now I don't think I can. I feel as if I am do more damage to body ever day by working the way I do, but I have no other choice in today economy. Thank you again for your support.
    shiela diodati
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  • I was searching the web for information about spinal fusion and came across this forum. Your thread title of scared...caught my eye. As I look at where your story began and the timeline for all of it, and truly we have identical stories!!! I am a 41 year old with a family. I have had back pain for a long time. I finally gave into it about 2years ago. Went to doctor, she told me she sees many young mothers and basically it is from carrying kids/carseats, etc. sent me to physical therapy. Thought it helped a little , but over the next year it progressively got worse. Went to our local convenient care one day because it was REALLY bad and the doctor actually did an X-ray and found there was something physically wrong. He sent me back to my original doctor who, from the X-rays ordered an MRI. According to my MRI, basically my L4 and L5 have ruptured and i have degenerstive disc disease causing severe stenosis to those nerves. They also found arthritis in those joints. I had been on 5/325 hydro codone to manage the pain, but when I called for a refill the doctor told me I need to come in for the shots. I had three within 2 months. Two were done low and the third was higher. None provided any relief. She referred me to a surgeon who recommended fusion surgery. I was then referred to my local pain clinic for a discogram. When I got there I talked to the pain doctor about other options . He put me on Butrans and Cymbalta...I ended up in the ER because of side effects. I went back to the pain doctor and he will only prescribe the hydro codone again 7.5/325. This worked for a week. To the point I felt so good I was going to start working out again. After a week, it quit working. I called the pain clinic to see if they can adjust my meds. Because I reacted to the other meds they won't give me any other med besides the hydro codone. But per my original surgeon, if this med doesn't work I need to have surgery. I am really nervous that it won't work, or will make me worse! I too am physically struggling ! My kids play sports and sitting watching their events is excruciating! I can guarantee that I won't be able to hardly get out of bed the next day . It hurts to sit too long, it hurts to stand too long. Some mornings I can't hardly make it into the next room to sit in a chair let alone stand to take a shower or brush my teeth. It usually gets better as the day goes on, but I am always in some sort of pain. My hubby wants to go on vacation, but the thought of walking long distances worries me...because I may be able to slowly walk, but I know the next day will be torcher! So....any insight about fusion surgery would be great! I am leaning towards surgery...I can't keep living like this!!! I miss kickboxing and hiking with my family . I feel so unstable on my feet. I feel like I am too young for this:(
  • Hello everyone, I made a post on a different page forgetting about this page so I wanted to update everyone here who has been so nice to me. I went to my regularly family doc (12-28-12)and he put me on light duty I am not to unload truck at all and I am to only work 4 hours shifts. On the 9th of Jan I went to the Pm doc and some how I was knock out of the system, they think it was because I was there on the 6 of DEC when I was in all the pain from my sciatica, anyway. they squeeze me in with another NP and he switch my med from Oxycontin to methadone. I told him I could not afford my med it was to expensive. I also told him that the gabapentin they put me on(12-6-12) I was not able to take 3 times a day because it made me loopy he said it was ok to take what ever I could handle as long as it was helping. I told him it was a little but my leg still goes numb and tingles but is not as bad.. the nerve pain how ever was so bad that it was driving me crazy and making me very depress. I was reduce on work hours . I feel that the Oxycontin is not helping with the pain like it should and plus I cant afford it. so he did switch me. Good news I feel almost human.. the methadone has let up on the nerve pain. still have tingle in feet and hands put the electric feeling and sore to touch is almost gone alone with the burning sensation. I don't feel stoned and tried right now. I still have pain in my lower, middle, back and in my neck. but I do feel a little better on this med.. I know it only been 3 days I know what can happen in the next week or so. the new can were off. however I hope not because this medicine is so cheap. it cost as much as a big bottle of Advil..I also am going for a MRI on my back as soon as the insurance company approves IT.. as for seeing the other doc's. just waiting to get this MRI and then I will get that appointment.... Thanks again for listen. sorry if I am rambling but so much information and I suck at writing...
    shiela diodati
  • DaveFusionDDaveFusion Posts: 476
    edited 01/11/2013 - 3:50 PM
    Jerseygirl: so pleased you aware relatively pain free and able to function now. All the best for the MRI and docs consult.
  • I have just read all of your posts here and I am not surprised they changed you to Methadone... I was on Methadone for 10 years and I thought it literally saved me physically and mentally...Until I had to stop taking it....then it was the worst... They had me on 120 mg. a day along with Oxycodone 30 mg. 5 times a day....then I had to change PM docs... I wouldn't wish that pain on my worst enemy... Try to stay at a low level please...Methadone is a whole other animal... it stays in your fat and gets in your bones and it will rot your teeth...never try to get off of it without help...It is a great pain reliever....but the side effects are bad... I was sweating so bad at night and during the day that I was miserable... and I was also nodding off all the time. That's one of the reasons my new PM Dr. wouldn't put me back on it... and even taking Percocet 10's it took me 3 months to get through the withdrawals... just be careful.... Rhonda
  • Hello everyone, I don't have much new yet except i have been off of work since the 26 of Jan. I had another MRI and all the said is that I have gotten worse from the last one. I am methadone because it cheaper, he took me of gapabestine and up the Tampax I am still waiting on my appointment from Cleveland clinic hopefully I will here something this week. I have been in rehab which I found out I have one leg shorter then another. But Friday he worked me to hared and I was up all last night and in so much pain I cried half the night. I slept off and on today and did a little bit of school work and now I can't sleep and I am in so much pain still. I can;t wait for them to tell me what is wrong. I have new symptoms. middle back and I get the shakes I have lost weight no appetite, and hot flashes. This has been all before he took me off the gabs med so it not that. I am getting more depressed as the days go by. However I will keep everyone posted. Oh I am holding of on the RFA until I see Cleveland clinic...OK for now.
    shiela diodati
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