2 spinal fusions and still have no life.

I had my first spinal fusion L4-L5-S1 in 2004. It was I think the worst experience I have ever had, I developed infection within the first 3 day's and 7 weeks later and 3 different kinds of antibiotics it finally cleared. I developed chronic depression and anxiety because of the pain and loss of ability to work or garden, the day to day tasks were a burden. Then in about 2015 I had developed an unstable area on the opposite side of my spine so went to see another NS whom I thought would be really good. He told me that sooner or later that would need to be stabilized hence my 2nd spinal fusion and the removal of rods and screws from my 1st fusion. I now feel worse than before, the pain just does not go away and I have no life anymore. Most of you will probably feel as bad as I do and I so so feel for you all. There is no movement in my back, showering and toileting are so debilitating I am at a loss of what to do anymore. I have always been a keen gardener and on the go all the time. I worked all my life until my injury. Enough is enough and I'm about done. My insurance company is giving me a hard time with not wanting to pay for me to have specialist care, they don't want to pay for home help it's just like they have wiped me off the books. I know life goes on but really I wonder how much can a person put up with before they go over the edge. I have been on so many different strong pain meds but after a time they were not working at all and I was not willing to go higher doses so I weaned myself off them and now am looking for something else that may work on my pain. Well that's my story hope I didn't bore you guys and I sure hope you can get some relief from your pain. Thinking of you and your journey's.


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 3,491
    edited 07/23/2019 - 1:08 PM
    hello heaven bound !
    i am curious, what kind of doctor are you working with..who prescribes your pain meds?..pcp?..or pain management doctor?
    it is not unusual to be referred to pain management doctor for pain that continues post op.

    it is so difficult to understand, esp with your spine's  history, why insurance co would be adverse to specialists working with you.
    but different insurance companies can be so varied in their coverage.
    you mentioned care to receive help in your home.
    have you tried talking with a social worker, as there may be resourses available to you?
    there are social workers that are sometimes available through your local hospital and/or near your home/county.

    you said you worked all your life before injury. are you presently on disability?

    it is not easy to be suffering in pain, dealing with how to find proper treatment, and remain strong advocate for yourself. but you must!
    you know your pain, and it may be that you have just not yet met the doctor who understands it.

    while waiting for responses from members with shared experiences, search may be helpful to you, upper right on page.
    for any of your concerns, you may be led to current or older discussions. you may be led to medical side.
    the main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on, also. very informative!

      Welcome to Veritas Health Forumplease click on link for helpful information!
  • Hi Savage, I have been through everything for the Pain, there are a lot of meds I can't take, they either make me really sick or react with my antidepressants. I have been through all sorts of PT treatment, water excersises, they were even going to put a wire into my spine but I cannot think what that was called, all this was with my first fusion. This time around I sort of gave up but over the last few weeks and the way I'm feeling will go back to my GP about the pain meds. As for the insurance company who have paid for my operations but because I suffer such bad depression I see a psychiatrist (private) and have done since just after my first fusion the insurance company are not liking having to pay for him. I don't know what they are coming at but I have sent them an email and if I get no response shall ring them, if that doesn't work I will have to go and see my solicitor. I have been on disability pension for a long time. Thank you for your input and I will be doing those things you suggested. I'm not young anymore so it would be great to be able to do some of the things I used to do.  :)
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  • SharreeSharree OklahomaPosts: 19
    Hello Heaven bond
     I'm so sorry your hurting! I was just laying here with a ice pack waiting for my pain pill to kick in when I read your story. 
    Wishing everymoment that I did not need anything but so thankful I have something to take. I honestly don't know how you do it because chronic  pain is very depressing. So, I'm able to have a New normal with the help of pain pills, ice, heat and I have to take it easy most of the time. After my surgery L4-L5 with cage I'm not were I want to be but I'm 30 ish percent better than before and I'll take it. I love to garden but now I do more sitting & enjoying the outside I'm just not able to do anything more or it flares. I just wanted to encourage you like Savage to seek help from another Dr. they're different ways they can help.  T
  • mlsmmls MarylandPosts: 81
    Hi, I'm new to posting here, but I'm not new to chronic pain. I can relate to a lot of your post. I had spinal fusion C5-7 in 2005 after I ruptured a disc and was losing neurological function in my arm and was in excruciating pain. But after the surgery, I was still in pain. It wasn't the same nerve pain I was having, but still horrible and debilitating. It completely changed my life (I had been a competitive gymnast through college and was always active until I ruptured the disc when I was 40 years old). Suddenly I couldn't do anything.

    Turns out either the surgery or the excruciating pain I was in for a month before the surgery triggered chronic myofascial pain syndrome, which wasn't diagnosed until 9 months after I had been in such terribly debilitating pain. It's like my body (neck) was stuck protectively bracing against further pain.  I'm not saying this is what you have specifically, but what I've learned is that different kinds of chronic pain can be triggered by various traumas, including surgery, or even past emotional traumas. (Please don't be offended that I'm bringing up emotional stuff. As a scientist myself, it took me a while, but I learned the hard way that emotions and trauma can be real components of chronic pain).

    Anyway, my surgery was also a nightmare and I know the struggles with insurance companies (I can't tell you how much I loathe them and how they've made my life so miserable--both medical insurance and disability insurance companies). And I've had well-meaning doctors who had no clue what was really wrong with me and who gave me useless meds, not long-lasting shots, and ordered ineffective PT.

    For me I found an incredible amount of pain relief after learning about the mindbody connection through reading books like those by Dr. John Sarno and by getting myofascial release therapy (from therapists trained in the John F. Barnes approach). It was after two years of great suffering that I finally took this route and finally got a significant amount of pain relief. I still deal with chronic, daily pain, but it is FAR less than it was in the first two years (and then for another year when I was later rear-ended in my car and had my pain spike up again).

    I'm still working on healing, but not by way of pills, shots, and traditional PT that didn't help. Instead by slowing down and listening to my body, I discovered that my body was holding years of tension, fear and other emotions that was (and to some degree still is) keeping my body locked in chronic pain. I hope you don't think I'm some crazy person. I might have thought so at the beginning of my pain journey. But now, 11.5 years since I first ruptured the disc in my neck, and after trying everything the doctors prescribed, I finally found some relief and I want to share my journey of healing so maybe it can help someone else.

    I truly feel for you, as I've been there. But know that there is a way out of the misery! I can now do many more things, even if I'm not quite back to where I was before all this happened. At least I'm no longer borderline suicidal and I can do many things (just not all in one day). (If you're interested, I recently created a website with my story and
    journey of healing from chronic pain:. Please note that I get absolutely no money from this website. It's purely to provide support to other pain sufferers.)

    Good luck to you!!

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