I have had a bad back for several years - since I was about 11 years of age. On and off I have seen my doc about this back pain and he said that everyone gets a bad back every once in a while.
Fast forward to 4 years ago - I had to see my doc on a monthly basis for my back pain - again he said it was normal. Had several other health issues - one resulting in an emergency hysterectomy at the age of 29. Again I had to see doc about the pain, couldn't see my usual doc so saw a locum - he looked at my previous history and was shocked I hadn't been sent for a scan/x-ray of some kind.
Well he got me seen very quickly - I have osteoporosis (brought on by menopause at age 32)and I have prolapsed disc L5/S1. Am now on morphine 100mg 3 times a day, plus oramorph, then Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Gabapentin and was on Amytriptlyne but doc stopped that when he put me on Gabapentin. Even though this is a strong combination of pain killers it still doesn't help with the pain.
I have recently been signed off work for 2 months as I'm a care assistant in a nursing home with 30 residents. I cannot walk without a walking stick (think you guys call it a cane over in the USA, I'm in the UK), I cannot be in the car for longer than 20mins at a time - I need to get out and stretch my legs, as the pain is so bad, can't feel my legs so I trip over on nothing (people think its comical or that I'm drunk - I'm t-total due to meds, and plus lager/beer gives me a migraine).
I used to be very active - loved walking the dog, playing badminton 4 times a week, swimming etc but I struggle to swim, well I struggle to get on the costume to begin with as I can't bend easily.
Sorry for the long post - doc has referred me to the spinal surgical team - see them on 24th June. Have spoken to the surgeon on the phone, he said a fusion would be the way to go - I'm ok with this but now I'm wondering about recovery time and what the recovery process is - ie when to walk, drive etc.
hi,sorry to know it, Do you know: Only 2% back pain patients need surgery!!
First of all,It is important to stress that the decision to undergo a fusion procedure for low back pain is entirely the patientâs decision and you needs to carefully weigh the risks and possible complications along with the potential benefits of surgery.
Secondary,have you tried enough alternative med for your back pain relief?Have not found sufficient pain relief from extensive?Very clear diagnosis?
Thirdly,the surgery creates the conditions for the spine to be able to fuse and the fusion is a process that will set up over a 3 to 6 month (and up to 18 month) period of time following the spinal fusion surgery ,normal walk will take long time....
well, If there are no complications, you can get back to your daily activities in several weeks. It is likely that you can drive a car after 10 weeks. You may still want to avoid severe physical activities.
3 neck surgeries, 3 failures (screws broke!) due to the fact that surgeons dismissed another doctors dianosis of Dystonia, a rare and weird movement disorder, because my symptoms are atypical. condition basically twisted surgeries apart. We are talking serious pain here! Surgeons tell you surgery cause that is all they know. (1) Having been on narcotics for 4 years, my advise is to get off of them ASAP- they really mess up your digestion/elimination among other things. (2) Switch from gabapentin to its new form Lyrica, major improvement in terms of pain man. (3) See a Psychiatrist, it is amazing what some of the anti-depressants can do to help with pain (Cymbalta and remeron is the combo I take). (4) A good Chiro who uses heat & heavy electrical stim followed by ultrasound offers relief. (5) I also get trigger point injections (phenol/botox blend NOT steroids) for the Dystonia every 3 months.
Thanks for the replies, they have been really helpful, nice to talk to people that understand your pain.
I have seen several docs and am now getting listened to finally - one doc told me that it was normal not to be able to feel my feet!
The pain relief isn't really giving me much comfort, GP wont change the Gabapentin, says here is no need to!
I feel lazy not being at work, but I have to alternate my position every 15 mins or so from standing, sitting or laying down - not conducive to being a care assistant.
Had a meeting with spinal team yesterday, they told me its worse than they first thought so they want me to undergo more tests, they noticed I also have a prolapsed disc in my neck - hence neck and shoulder pain and weakness. So another scan and series of tests to see if I have MS etc.
Then this morning had a call from the doctors saying doc wanted to see me about my diabetes - news to me but hey why not add something else to this cauldron of ailments - that and doc thinks I should see a specailist about my bowels - hes fainally worked out people go to the loo more frequwntly than once every 6 weeks - no wonder I look pregnant and it hurts!
Sorry this post is negative, too many bad nights sleep starting to get to me. - Got to smile, crying doesn't help
Gee. I am so sorry you are having such a hard time. What part of the country are you in? it does sound like you have a very sophisticated team of docs. You mentioned bowel issues-- could this be from the narcotics? It sounds like you are just taking so many meds.
I wish I could offer you something encouraging, but am not sure what to say. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you.
NO, I disagree with your doctor. Back pain should not be ignorned because it is "normal". It is your body's way of letting you know something is not right. It greatly disturbs me that your doctor is using the excuse of "normal" to push you aside. He/she is not listening to you and trying to help you. PLEASE forget that doctor and go forward with a doctor who does listen to you and is concerned about you. NOOOOOooo it is NOT normal for you not to feel your feet. That is a critical sign that you may have a pinched nerve. That needs to be attended to or as my spinal surgeon told me abuot my leg pain and tingling sensation in my lower leg "if the problem is not addressed you may end up in a wheelchair". I am not saying that is your situation, but it is NOT normal, and it will require the attention of a qualified spinal doctor.
I am not a doctor, however, you DO NEED to have an MRI, and x-rays so that the doctor can better understand what may be causing the pain.
Danni, I shudder when pain meds are mentioned, especially morphine. It and others are very addictive. AND they only cover up the pain, they do NOTHING to take care of the cause of the pain. DO let your doctor know that the pain killers are not working.
I am very glad that you are now in the care of doctors who DO CARE about you. That is a VERY postive sign.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. May you have a restful sleep tonight.