New here, from Ontario, Canada.......IN PAIN

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Omega3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/28/2009 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello there,
 
I have had back problems for years but as a support worker in the community, I just popped a couple of Ibuprofen or Tylenol and plodded along.  However, last October I went back to Scotland to visit my Dad, who is 85 and the flight was 7 hours long.  During my visit with Dad, my back was painful A LOT and the pain was radiating down my leg. 
 
When the airplane landed, I could hardly walk the length of myself as I was in a terrible condition.  I went to my doctor and he thought perhaps I had a herniated disc.  He sent me for XRay and MRI which showed up herniated disc at L4-L5 and L5-S1, Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Stenosis, Osteoarthritis and generalised osteophytic spurring.  Also noted were two disc tears with disc bulges at L2-L3.  I have been off work since the end of October 2008.
 
I was given Tylenol 3 for pain and an anti-inflammatory.  The Tylenol 3 did not give me any relief and so I ended up taking my own concoction of XS Ibuprofen along with the Tylenol 3 and Robaxicin which are over the counter meds. This helped me somewhat, although as a support worker, I know it isn't good to have all these pills.  But I needed relief.....
 
My own doctor has gone south for the winter and in our practice, another doc gave me Lyrica, which is a nerve pain medication.  He has just started me on this and I am finding a bit more relief than before.  It's amazing when someone really listens to you and tries something different, how good it makes you feel.
 
This Dr also sent me for a Bone scan yesterday and I am waiting for an appt. to see an Orthopedic doctor.  
 
I am just wondering what is causing all the pain??.........family and friends are asking me what exactly it is that is causing the pain because I have heard that many people have herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, etc. and they don't get pain.  Does anyone have the answer for this????  Also, will this pain ever go away on it's own?
 
At this point, the pain has decreased somewhat but I still have difficulty walking to a store.  I am beginning to feel very frustrated and depressed because this is more than 3 months.  Friends are also suggesting Chiropractors and alternative medicines.  I went to a Chiropractor but she suggested that I have ultra sound and she doesn't want to work on my back until the pain has gone.
 
HELP!!!!
 
Thank you

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/28/2009 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Omega3,
Welcome to the chronic pain forum of HW. Sorry you have to be here, but at 3 months you're still in an early stage and the earlier you can address the issue the better. We aren't doctors, but can offer a lot of support and share our experiences, many of which you'll find similar (reading old threads is a great way to learn!).

Any pressure anywhere on a nerve can cause pain. It takes precious little, unfortunately. You point out something that's so very true - structural changes alone don't automatically cause pain. Everyone as we age (I'm nearly 60) has degenerative disk disease, and probably some bulging disks. But not everyone has pain. Why? Probably a million dollar question. Sometimes it's an injury, or a different condition. For me it was a bad fall 4 years ago that added to severe DDD led to serious back/sciatic pain and neuropathic symptoms in both feet. I tried everything and eventually last year had lumbar fusion surgery, which didn't help, so I'm here on the CP forum.

I think you want to have all the results of your tests and then see where that points. Physical therapy is often a good place to start. It also may mean being very careful with your activities so as not to cause further injury. You say you're a support worker, but I'm not sure what that means - do you help others physically? If so, you may need to take some time off of work while this is getting sorted out, but that's for your doctors and other treatment providers to say.

It also helps many people to talk with a therapist who's familiar with chronic pain. Depression is often a part of it for many reasons, and an anti-depressant can also help along with the lyrica. I'd hold off on the chiropractor unless directed by your doctor. Depending on what they do, sometimes they can do harm - and it sounds like the one you went to is aware of that. Ultrasound and massage and such are usually a part of physical therapy, but again, it all depends on what your doctors think is the main cause of the problem. And it could be multiple causes, and it could be difficult to pinpoint precisely.

Hope this helps some! Keep posting and reading!

PaLady

Omega3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/28/2009 3:20 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank you, PaLady, for your kind welcome.

My occupation is called Support Worker in Canada - I assist people with disabilities in the community.  However, at present, I cannot work because of my condition eyes

Yes, I agree with you about some people having pain and others not.  I think I lifted some furniture which aggravated my back.  However, previously when my back was giving me pain, a few days of really watching what I was doing and how I was lifting, was enough to get me on track again.  Obviously not this time!!! sad

I will spend some time going over older threads, as you suggested.  Presently, I am able to do little things around the house but not much.  I cannot walk my dog just now, and I miss our walks so much.  I am just hoping that this will get better in time without surgery.  But if it comes to that, then I will certainly have surgery in the hope that it will stop the pain.

I do find Lyrica helping me more than anything.  I have a follow-up appointment on Friday and the doctor is going to increase the dose.

I am happy to have found a group that helps.

Thank you, 


Omega3


AndreaRN
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 1/28/2009 4:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Omega3 Welcome to our place!!!!!!

Cold outside huh? I am in Minnesota and so tired of winter already. Mostly stay in the house.

Sounds like you might be getting some long overdue help. Please avoid the Chiropractor unless your doctor says okay...(believe he won't with your injury) We are not talking a muscle strain here!!!!

Please do a lot of reading about your type of injury and more than one opinion re possible surgery.

Hope your evening is relaxed and low pain. Andrea
Women who behave don't make History!

C3-4 herniation
C4-5 disectomy & fusion (anterior)
C6-7 & C7-8 L laminectomies (posterior) (need R)
Partial removal of supporting Cervical Posterior Ligament
Constant shoulder pain & tightness.intermittent neck pain
bulged discs at C6-7 & C7-8

Chronic Pain with Vicodin 7.5/325 rx

VIEW IMAGE


kttn251977
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 1/28/2009 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to HW!! Sorry you are not feeling well..... I have several herniated discs, a lot in my lower back & a broken disc, also the pain radiates down both legs. I don't know the difference between American drs and Canadian- but the relief will come. You will learn to ease up on some things. As mentioned above its just kinda a hit & miss on who wins the pain lottery. I began at 20 & I'm 31 now. I am about to go for a pain pump to ease the pain. I have tried everything. Not saying it won't work for you.... I just have a high tolerence to pain meds. There are a lot of things they can do to help. Nerve blocks, cortisone injections- some people have a lot of relief that way. I hve found when it gets unbearable to get in the bathtub (though its murder getting out) there is no weight in water, thats the best thing to ease the pain. I have often considered buying one of those stand-up deals. lol. Welcome again, feel free to chime in. We get a little silly sometimes- but thats the best medicine. These people on here are all friends. New and old. Hope you get well...... - Shannon
RX's: Oxycontin 80mg 2x's daily; Oxycodone 30mg 5xs daily; Zanaflex 4mg 3x's daily; Restoril 15mg 1x; Soma 3x's daily; Lyrica 100mg 3x's daily (pain & fibro.); Phenergan 25mg (as needed); Amitriptyline 25mg 1x (chronic pain); Cymbalta 60mg 2x's daily (pain from fibro); Abilify 5mgs at bedtime (depression); Metoclopram (as needed) & Senokot (as needed).
"The most critical choice you'll ever make is the one you make about what you're going to do with this. The past is over. The future hasn't happened yet. The only time is now."
- Dr. Phil


Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 1/29/2009 4:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I too would like to welcome you to HW. Low back pain is quite a pickle when hurt and can be the worst to try and heal believe me its rough. I hurt myself at work 9 years ago when lifting a patient and she was about to fall. This made me twist and caused two herniated discs(S1-L5. L5-L4) which I had a lamenectomy a month later that did not work. By Dec of 2000 I was back in surgery going through a two level fusion at those two levels. I got excellent results from the surgery and was pleased that I had put this whole thing behind me. But apparently my nightmare had only begun because in 2002 while replanting my strawberries I reinjured my back once more and I was told that L3-L4 had herniated. Apparently it was echoing up my spine one disc at a time! Once more I went in for another fusion and this time I received a good outlook but within 6 months the pain returned to my legs with full force and I returned to my Neurosurgeon to find that the fusion did not take and that one of the screws had come undone. So this time they went in anterior and placed a small plate on the inside of the inside of my spine and redid the rest of the fusion. After the surgery I woke up in recovery unchanged. When I say unchanged I mean just that I still had pain down my legs and nothing had been relieved. After telling my Neuro this he did some further tests.....scratched his head and said "Chronic Pain and Failed Back Syndrome."

Well......here I am. I can't tell you that your pain will get better and I cannot tell you that it won't. What I can tell you is that it sucks that you have to be in pain and that you have my support and my friendship. Feel free to chime in on our late night talks when we don't sleep to well (which for me is every night LOL)......or silliness that seems to be getting worse (hmmmm maybe we should see a doctor about this guys) and our pity parties. I wish there were some Easy Button that I could push to make each of our pain go away but there isn't so each of us deal with it and this forum for me has been the best thing in the world for my pain not only my physical pain from the injury but also my mental pain that I have recently suffered as last week I lost my dad and these wonderful....most special extended family that I have on HW have really helped me to understand that it is alright for me to mourn my dad's loss and to cry for him no matter how long it takes.

Anyway....welcome aboard..the crazy train!


Scarred
HEALTH ISSUES: Herniated discs at S-1-L5, L5-L4, L4-L3. Two level fusion (2000); one level fusion (2002); Revision at L4-L3 (2003). Slight herniation at L2-3 but Neurosurgeons will not operate because of previous failed surgeries. Diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, Permanent Nerve damage and Chronic Pain

Medications:

Kadian, Lexipro, Percocet, Lunista, Topamax and Robaxin.


Lindaloo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 1/29/2009 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh how I love this site. Welcome to the chronic pain forum of Healing Well. You have entered a world of caring and knowledgeable people. PaLady, as usual, has given you excellent advice as well as Andrea.

I too have a back history as well as fibromyalgia and clinical depression. I was a registered nurse working in ICU when my pain hit me many years ago. I went four years trying everything before I succombed to surgery. I was bedridden for two years. By the way, I tried a chiropractor and he made matters one hundred times worse. Don't do that. I echo what the others have said on that subject.

Physical therapy is an excellent place to start if you are up to it. A good therapist can really often help a lot. I know that after my surgery, I was still in pain, but that was because I had lost all the musculature in my stomach from being in bed so long, so I went to the physical therapist three times a week for a year and I am glad to say I have my times when my back "goes out" but with a little rest and heat I go back to normal now.

Having a back problem like you are excperiencing can be so frustrating and depressing. Please keep posting here with us and let us get to know you. Also please consider PaLady's advice to seek a good counselor to help with dealing with the pain.

God bless you and I will keep you in my prayers.

Gentle hugs,

Lindaloo
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.
 
Linda


Omega3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/29/2009 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank you for your welcome posts and replies.  I am taking my time going through all the previous threads and I am enjoying reading everything, and learning too.

I noticed that there is a Koffee Klatch on Wednesdays, too.  Where do I navigate to find out where other goings-on are and when? I went to Calendar but it only had one day per week for Depression. 

Today I wakened up sore and stiff.  Like others I have read about,  after going to the bathroom, I head downstairs to feed my animals (2 cats and a dog)..  Hubby, who is retired, likes to sleep longer but I love this time of day to myself.  It is quiet and I get to take my meds, heat my bag in the microwave, then waken up slowly and check my email.  I was delighted to find a couple of replies this morning.  So thank you. My "bag" is a bag filled with flax seeds which can be heated or put in the freezer.  Applied to my back, I find it very soothing and it takes the kinks out of my back so that I can stand up a bit before I begin the day.  Does anyone else use this or a heating pad or similar? You buy it at the pharmacy or drug store.

This afternoon, I am heading out to the walk-in clinic (because my doctor is in Texas until February).  The clinic is where my doctor works, so I know all the doctors in the practice.  The doctor I am seeing today is called Dr Lee.  He is very good and he was the one who put me on Lyrica which has given me a good sleep.  He wanted to see me again in 10 days, so I am going in the hope that he increases the dose because I am only on 25mg and I know he started me on that to see if I would see a difference and also to see that there were no reactions.

I do like Lyrica.  It has given me a good rest but I do find I dream such vivid dreams with it.  I don't mind that but they are quite strange.

Will let you know what he says.

Omega :o)


Omega3


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/29/2009 12:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Omega,
When I first started using the site I looked at the calendar too, but I don't think that's been very helpful to me (maybe to someone else, I don't know). You can always check the chat room by clicking on it and seeing if anyone is in there. I don't think we have any scheduled chats for CP, at least none I know of. You can also go into any room in the chat (other conditions) and talk, even if it's not the CP room. Most of us relate with chronic illnesses, even though the details are different.

Another suggestion is that the help menu is very useful. And this is a moderated site. Our moderators for Chronic Pain are Lindaloo and Chutz, but you may see other moderators post, too. It's really pretty informal. You can post anywhere that looks interesting. You may not always get relevant replies, but there's no law against it. The forum does have some rules which I think are common sense and worth reading. The founder does like to keep this a family friendsly site, and spam or advertising is prohibited. I find that refreshing! You can e-mail a moderator at any time by clicking on their name and ask a question if you're having any trouble. Or just ask us.

I'm not sure where you saw the koffee klatch. But you can just jump in. Or you can start a thread (topic) of your own koffee klatch. One thing - don't be shy about jumping in on any thread. We get a little sillly (crazy??) from time to time but we're not a closed clique by any means. I think some of our posts right now involve driving around the country in corvettes! LOL Part of the way we all cope. We're going to have to drive to Canada, but I'm going to wait for spring! BTW I can see Canada on a clear day across the nearly frozen Lake Erie! bRRRRR!!!

Let us know how your doctor visit goes. Oh - 25mg lyrica is a very low dose, so hopefully your doctor won't have any trouble slowly increasing it. It's a fairly new drug and I've found a lot of doctors don't know much about dosing. I've been tried on it twice but the dose was never increased enough, IMHO, at least not according to when I read on the lyrica website. I think therapeutic doses they report can go up to 600mg, but that's the high end.

PaLady
p.s. I have a whole stack of those heating "pads" on top of my microwave!! yeah

Post Edited (PAlady) : 1/29/2009 12:24:51 PM (GMT-7)


Omega3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/29/2009 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you PA Lady, I really enjoy this website and all the lovely people on it who are taking the time to answer these questions of mine.

That must be great to look out of the window and see us..........wave to me and I will wave backLOL. Yes, it COLD here today and we just had about a foot of snow overnight........thank goodness we don't have to shovel it. We have great neighbours who look after us that way. My hubby has Parkinson's disease so he is not able to clear our driveway, either.

Bless you, Omega
Omega3


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13469
   Posted 1/29/2009 7:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Omega 3 amd welcome to Healing Well. As you can see from the ladies here we are a really great versatile group of people. We have our common denominator called chronic pain that we can cut up, slice up and dice up and still agree thats it a pain in the butt to deal with so to speak. lol
 
Glad to hear your doctor is trying Lyrica and its giving you some much needed relief. I was on it for neuropathy in my feet and hands for quite awhile and then told the doctor I wanted to go off for awhile. I have a new pain dr on board, so I feel very soon she is going to be putting me back on it. My reason for going off is real simple, I take 16 medications a day and sometimes I go thru these modes where I think I need to elimnate as much medication as possible and practical. Oh yeah, I get bit in the butt every time and end up back on stuff, but its ok, I do w/my drs blessings because she knows this will be short lived with me.lol My 16 meds are not all for pain, lol. I have many other health issues.
 
Yes, I have to agree with the others-stay from he chiropractor. From the looks of your MRI thats the last person you need yanking & popping your back. I am not anti-chiropractic either. I have many friends that are chiropactors. They do serve their purpose very well in medicine, I think if its a muscular problem they can sometimes be very helpful, but disc problems nope. I read that you would be seeing your fill in dr today, did he increase the Lyrica? Dosing is the key with it. How about some phyical therapy, did you get to ask about trying it? If may really help you alot. The more aggressive you get the drs to be with conservative care sometimes in the beginning the better off you are. Oh yes, we call those little bags "body buddies". You can also make then yourself out of rice or corn, anything hard thing like that. I love mine and I also use a moist heating pad. I have a intrathecal pain pump inplanted, so if I have to be really careful with a heating pad.
 
Take care of that back for the time being and avoid alot of activities like running a vacumn, mopping anything thats strenuous to the back. I have a new pain dr on board and I am very excited to see what she can do for me in terms of managing the pain. She claims she can get me to feeling alot better and I am so excited, I feel like a kid turned loose in the candy store,lol. We  will see.
 
Hugs........Susie


Omega3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/30/2009 10:20 PM (GMT -7)   
straydog said...
Hi Omega 3 amd welcome to Healing Well. As you can see from the ladies here we are a really great versatile group of people. We have our common denominator called chronic pain that we can cut up, slice up and dice up and still agree thats it a pain in the butt to deal with so to speak. lol
 
Glad to hear your doctor is trying Lyrica and its giving you some much needed relief. I was on it for neuropathy in my feet and hands for quite awhile and then told the doctor I wanted to go off for awhile. I have a new pain dr on board, so I feel very soon she is going to be putting me back on it. My reason for going off is real simple, I take 16 medications a day and sometimes I go thru these modes where I think I need to elimnate as much medication as possible and practical. Oh yeah, I get bit in the butt every time and end up back on stuff, but its ok, I do w/my drs blessings because she knows this will be short lived with me.lol My 16 meds are not all for pain, lol. I have many other health issues.
 
Yes, I have to agree with the others-stay from he chiropractor. From the looks of your MRI thats the last person you need yanking & popping your back. I am not anti-chiropractic either. I have many friends that are chiropactors. They do serve their purpose very well in medicine, I think if its a muscular problem they can sometimes be very helpful, but disc problems nope. I read that you would be seeing your fill in dr today, did he increase the Lyrica? Dosing is the key with it. How about some phyical therapy, did you get to ask about trying it? If may really help you alot. The more aggressive you get the drs to be with conservative care sometimes in the beginning the better off you are. Oh yes, we call those little bags "body buddies". You can also make then yourself out of rice or corn, anything hard thing like that. I love mine and I also use a moist heating pad. I have a intrathecal pain pump inplanted, so if I have to be really careful with a heating pad.
 
Take care of that back for the time being and avoid alot of activities like running a vacumn, mopping anything thats strenuous to the back. I have a new pain dr on board and I am very excited to see what she can do for me in terms of managing the pain. She claims she can get me to feeling alot better and I am so excited, I feel like a kid turned loose in the candy store,lol. We  will see.
 
Hugs........Susie

Hi Susie, thank you for your reply.  My Dr increased Lyrica to 50mg at night but I feel that this is not enough.  I think I need to go back and see him.  I have to take over the counter painkillers along with Lyrica and also during the day because it doesn't take the pain away. 
I also wonder if I should be walking with a cane? I have not been able to walk round a store since last October.  I am okay sitting for a little while but I sure miss taking a walk with my dog......sigh
Anyway, thank you for all the tips.  I do appreciate it.
Hugs, Margaret

Omega3


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 1/30/2009 11:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Margaret,
Yes, the dose might need to be increased, but also remember lyrica mainy helps with certain types of nerve pain, but you may need other meds along with it. Things are still pretty new for you, but I have to take percocet along with neurontin (neurontin is kind of an older version of lyrica, but cheaper). The neurontin helps the symptoms in my feet - the numbness and tingling, but I need the percocet to help with the deep sciatic pain in my buttock and leg. Everyone is different. Best is to keep telling your doctor what helps, and what your symptoms are. Our moderator, Chutz, has a link to a pain journal which can be useful to keep and take in to your doctor.

Don't know if you should be walking with a cane. I mean my opinion would be it's certainly better than falling, and temporarily better than not walking, but over time that could put your body out of alignment and make things worse. So check with your doctor and/or physical therapist, so that you only need it for a temporary basis (hopefully). I had a cane after my back surgery. Oddly, I still keep it by my bed, but rarely use it.

PaLady

Omega3
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 1/31/2009 5:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you PaLady for the info. You are right about the Lyrica helping pins and needles in my left foot - same here, it has helped tremendously with that but the "deep" sciatic pain in my left buttock and left leg is still awfully sore.

I will check with my doc about more meds for pain when he returns from Texas.

Hugs, Marg
Omega3

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