Grainofsalt Please Read!

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Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 8/29/2010 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Grainofsalt!

I have read a few of your post, and can see that you are and will be a wonderful asset here on the HW forums. You wrote a wonderful reply to Monty's Mom...and very well thought out.

I have searched in vain for your first post here on the forums, but just can't seem to find it. You must have come in under the radar! :) Anyway, I wanted to welcome you here, and I look forward to reading your post.

It is always refreshing to read a reply that one has taken the time to offer their wisdom in a positive way.

Again...Thank You for your reply to Monty's Mom ......Keep up the good work young man! :)

Your friend,


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 856
   Posted 8/29/2010 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, welcome Grainofsalt!!!!!!!!!!!!



Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 8/29/2010 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both very much for the welcome Flower and Screaming Eagle. :)

I did kind of slip in under the radar, but it takes me a bit to get comfortable, and now I am starting to feel more comfortable posting here and sharing my experience and knowledge with others.

I enjoy helping others with their situations, as I understand how lonely it can get; and I feel that as someone who has faith, that helping others is something I should be doing. Even though most of us have 1 or 2 friends in a similiar situation, I also know a lot of my friends can only try to understand what I go through. I also know that being younger (30), that having multiple conditions can really create problems as we want to live our life to the fullest (not to say its an age thing by any means, just that 20-40 years old is when people are most active). I know others have probably felt what I am going to say: "this must be all in my head". I think acceptance is one of the hardest things to deal with, and its something I still struggle with. I do have a career as a government contractor, and before that I was ex military. I have a wonderful and caring girlfriend, and friends that care. I have faith in God and I do think I am blessed. The acceptance challenge comes in when it comes to admitting my conditions while still knowing that I have a sucessful life. I want to think "this is all just temporary", but I know in time that my conditions could get worse, and that this could have a more significant impact on my life. Knowing that I will possibly be on medications for the rest of my life, and that the surgery (though very minimally invasive) coming up on september 8th is possibly just the first of many more to come.

As a formality that I should have done (instead of slipping in under the radar, hehe), I will give a background on myself, which I'm sure that many of you will relate to.

As a child, I grew up with ADHD, so I was constantly medicated throughout school. Ofcourse I kept wanting to come off the Ritalin, and whenever I did, my grades dropped, so I stayed on it pretty regularly until about 9th grade. At that point I refused to be on it anymore. Nowdays, I do have Adult ADD and this was a bit hard to accept, since I'm not hyper active like I was as a kid, but I still have concentration and memory issues. I'm on a very low dose of Adderall (7.5 mgs as needed) currently, and I stopped taking my medication a few times out of disgust of not wanting to be on it. However, it really helps a lot, even at a low dose, and I've finally accepted that its a neccessary evil in my life.

I don't have them as frequently, but I have a condition called "adult night terrors". This thankfully has improved with time, and a low dose of klonopin (0.5 mgs) near bedtime helps, but dose not cure the condition. Honestly, the best medication for this disorder is actually getting enough sleep, however with a busy life schedule, this can be hard to accomplish. There are childhood events that resulted in my adult night terrors, for which I've went to counciling for. I do believe that one day, this condition will completely go away.

The above 2 conditions only have a limited effect on my life and I'm not too happy about taking medication for them, but others around me become affected if I don't take my medications (for example, my girlfriend will have to deal with more frequent night terrors), so they have been main stays.

The 3rd condition is the one that really has taken the most life from me: Chronic Pain. I had a rappeling accident in 2001 in which I sustained what I thought to be a minor back injury as I recovered quickly. However, with military life, you constantly put stress on your bosy so sometimes something minor turns into something major. In 2006 while I was deployed to Kosovo, I started experiencing low end moderate back pain on a constant basis. I was placed on a physical training routine and given anti inflamatories and a mild pain reliever, tramadol. As time went on, the pain was consistantly reaching the moderate severe range, and on a few occasions it crept into the severe pain level. I tried to keep the pain managed with low stregnth pain medication (darvocet, tramadol, and latter on hydrocodone) and I went to physical therapy 2 to 3 times a week. I was still in extreme pain a lot though and often I would come to my barracks in tears at the end of the day. Eventually, an MRI was done, and it did discover a herniated and bulging disc, but it did not appear that any nerves were affected by the bulge. One accident, I ended up running into the anetheiologist who could tell I was in pain and we ended up talking. He set up for me to receive 2 epidural injections. After the second injection, I was in significantly less pain for about 5 weeks. After I got home from the deployment and returned to National Gaurd weekend status, I was determined to get my pain under control now that I wasn't in a deployed stressful enviroment. For a short time I was still covered under tricare, so I was being seen at Walter Reed for a short time. That soon ran out and I had just gotten a job, for which the pay wasn't that great and not really enough for health insurance.

Enter The VA. The Veterans Adminstration is the worst medical organization in the world. After being evaluated by them I was called a liar and told that the pain was "all in my head". I was a victim of PTSD and I needed to be on anti physcotic medications. Needless to say they put me on risperone (they believed the night terrors and chronic pain were connected, and that I was delusional due to the PTSD). Well the medication had an extremely bad reaction. Having ADD, I already likely had atleast mild dopamine deficiencies (I didn't realize that was part of the suspected cause of ADD at the time) and risperone decreases the levels of dopamine produced in the body. Now like an idiot, I latched on to the VA doctor's words and the risperone caused pre sleep halucinations, extreme anxiety attacks, a feeling of hopelessness, and caused some exceptionally bad night terrors. I finally convinced the VA to reffer me to ortho. There, they "tried" to set me up with an epidural injection, but my appointment kept being moved, changed, or cnacelled by the VA and it never happened. Furthermore, when the ortho doctor reffered me to pain management, the pain management clinic reviewed my records and refused to even see me. The lead doctor of the pain management clinic was absolutely heartless! She actually called me to tell me that I was a liar, a fake, and that I only wanted drugs so that I could abuse them. She said she seen me walk "just fine" and she said I need to go back to mental health because all my issues were immaginary and in my head. I cried so darn hard, because it hurt so bad to hear those words. Slowly I started believing that it might all be in my head. As time went on, I was starting to have periods of reduced pain, which made me think that atleast 50 percent of it was in my head.

Finally, I landed a great job, and went under a very good health care insurance plan called Cigna Pro Plus open Access. However, my experience with the VA had terrified me to a point that when my pain levels were too much to manage, I would just goto an urgent care clinic, and they would prescribe me 20 Vicodins, or 30 Demerols, or 15 Darvocet, essentially a short supply of medication to manage pain for about 1 week. However around Jan of this year, my pain levels became less managable and to the same point they were when I was deployed. I finally got a refferal to pain management, specifically a spine center. Well my first visit there I was very worried. I kept telling myself "I don't belong here". Well I was very relieved after speaking with my doctor, as he believed that the condition was real, and he set me up for another MRI. He also prescribed me Nucynta at a 120 count, which worked better for my pain than the usual vicodin that was given to me at urgent care. Well I got the MRI done and it was discovered that my bulging disc was shriveled up and badly dehydrated, with the bulging material "TOUCHING the nerves". Finally the first genuine reason of why I was in pain. I was given 3 sets of epidurals and they did help me, although only temporarily. It was then speculated I might also have Athritis. They did test injections with a Lidocaine like medication and it provided significant temporary pain relief. Futhermore, during one of the test injections, a jolting feeling of electricity went into my knee, which indicated possible joint inflamation. With that being discovered, I am now set up for a radio frequency nuerotomy to "burn off" select nerve endings in hopes of stopping the pain signal. If sucessful, it could reduce my pain significantly for about a year. The medication Nucynta has also proved to be a huge help in controlling the pain. Unfortunately, the medication does have strong side effects when taken at the maximum dose of 150mgs, but it does kill the even severe pain at that dosage. at the 50 to 100 mg dosage, the side effects are minimal but with my pain venturing into the severe category more often, I'm finding that I regretably have to use the 150 mg dosage and just kind of sit there and take the side effects. This medication works better for me than oxycodone or hydrocodone, so its not in my best interest to switch, not to mention this medication builds tolerance and dependancy slower, not to mention its less addictive (as proven by its undesirable effects at higher doses).

So where I stand right now is hoping that this minimally invasive surgical procedure will be the next success in my pain management. I already feel the hardest part of my battle has been fought and won.....finding a good and caring PM doctor that specializes in spine/nerve pain, and that my insurance covers both the medications and doctors visits.

I hope this gives a little background on me. Perhaps it explains some of my extensive knowledge of medication, and I really do hope I can help others when they have concerns about medications they take. Hopefully by sharing my trials I can let others know they aren't alone :)
MRI revealed a bulging disc w/gel lost at L5 and showed the bulge touching nerves, causing sciatica. Diagnosed w/ Arthritis which is responsible for joint inflamation pain. Treatment: Nucynta 50-150 mgs every 6 hours (schedule II narcotic, Mu Opoid agonist and NE reuptake inhibitor), Celebrex 100 mgs, Klonopin .5, Epidurals, Radio Freq nuerotomy (sept 8th, 2010)

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 8/29/2010 9:44 PM (GMT -6)   
WOW! That has to be one of the most extensive background introductions I have ever read! smilewinkgrin

Like I said, you're going to fit in just fine here! wink

While you and I have different stories and backgrounds, we do share a common thought......

Re:"I enjoy helping others with their situations, as I understand how lonely it can get; and I feel that as someone who has faith, that helping others is something I should be doing."

It is a pleasure to meet you Grainofsalt, and I look forward to seeing more of you here.

your new friend,

SE wink

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 8/29/2010 8:50:36 PM (GMT-6)

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 8/29/2010 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   


   Dear Grain,

      Hey there! I am dani    :-)   and it is very nice to meet you.  Thank you so much for giving us this oppertunity to know you better. I am sorry you had to endure through so much.. but am very relieved that you are finally getting the help you so desperatly needed. I think we all have points in our histories where we are dismissed, rediculed and belittled. I had a rather long 6-8mo time frame where my stubborn self didnt want to seek help, then when I finally reached otu for help met a doctor who laffed at me and sent me on my way....  he apologized a few months later... He is lucky I had alot on my mind that day or I would have told him just where he could  blush you get the idea.

     I look forward to you joining us here in our little support group family. I am so glad you came to find us.


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 8/30/2010 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your reply to my post. Those words arent adequate, but I think you understand.
I too have found faith in God and still struggle with resolving my 30-year-old self with the life long issues we all face. Faith helps, and friendships help just as much.
Welcome to the forum! Thank you for your service to our country, and I apologize for the terrible way the VA treated you. That is an unfortunate aspect of our country that I don't believe many have been able to bring themselves to see. We as a country do not treat our veterans as well as we should, and very few people are aware that it must be changed. I also had been treated as a drug-seeker and strictly mental health issue patient, but am glad that many of us on here have found caring, supportive medical professionals to help us have a better quality of life.
It is nice to meet you. Thank you again for helping me. I hope you have had a good weekend with low pain levels!
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. George Bernard Shaw

Pelvic adhesive disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, SI joint pain, 7 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, adhesions, and a kidney stone! Wait, future medial transcriptionist I must say ureteral calculus!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 8/30/2010 2:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Dani and Mindy,

Thank you for welcoming me to the community, and I think SE is right, I do think I will fit in comfortably to this online home :)

Dani, the not seeking help part (more importantly the long term help I am now getting) might still be going on today if not for my girlfriend. She felt that I was making my issues to be less than what they really were. Its not so much that I felt the issues were of low importance so much (though I was drifting towards that mindframe a bit and she picked up on it), its that I felt like I could handle "a little pain". I think the fact that I felt atleast part of it was in my mind was what helped to solidify this feeling.

Now I do think a part of how pain is preceived is in the mind, but no matter how your mind preceives it, it doesn't change the fact that pain hurts.

So yes I am very glad I made the decision to become a regular patient at the spine center. Complementary theraputic things like recieving a TENS unit also told me that this was going to be comprehensive care. My level of activity and outgoingness started to increase after I began treatment. There have really only been 2 letdowns. The first is that the Epidurals (especially the 3rd series of shots) really helped out a lot with the pain. Unfortunately, its effectiveness lasted roughly 2 weeks and I had expected something closer to 2 months. It was still good to have my pain go from constant to intermittent though for an extended period of time. My one other let down was that my protocol for breakthrough pain was to take a 3rd pill of Nucynta. Now it really does work great in urgent cases, as 150 mgs will bring a level 8 or 9 pain down to a level 2 in about 1 hour. The letdown comes in the form of severe side effects. At 2 pills the side effects are on the higher end of mild, very tolerable and still less than that of some narcotics. At 150 mgs, the side effects seem to tripple, and become tolerable and still worth the pain relief, but it definately limits what I can do and my coherency, ability to speak well, causes strong sedation, and a mild effect on breathing (nothing serious there but noticable). It however also causes mild halucinations (feeling of being watched out of your eye corner, faint voices, actual closed eye halucinations.) Still again its well worth the price of pain relief. I shouldn't complain, as I do know many breakthrough pain meds have strong side effects.

I do use some home remedies as well. One is walking, stretching, and more walking. For SA arthritis (and I think for some of the other RA related types), its activities like sitting for 30 minutes, or standing still that cause the most pain. A simple 5 minute walk can often be the extremely helpful and in itself a pain medicine. The sad thing is my drive to work is 75 minutes, and I work in a govy office as a contractor on night shift (which is where I am at now). The workload is often moderately light, but with 12 hour shifts, theres still a lot of sitting. I try to make a habbit of intentionally going for a quick walk, or atleast stretching in place. My girlfriend also gives me massages on the inflamed sections of my back. It hurts in a way that feels good, and usually about 20 to 30 minutes afterwards, I feel a little better.

To Mindy,

I do believe the VA will improve in time, but its going to be a slow process. Walter Reed made drastic improvements, but it was only after a federal investigation revealed serious issues within. Maybe thats what the VA needs, and I think they will eventually get whats coming to them. An investigation that will prompt better care of our veterans. It really used to sadden me to see so many disabled vets there.....and it also made me wonder "how many of those vets are in wheel chairs or using canes because the VA hasn't taken proper care of their needs over the years."

Pain Care Policy Act of 2009 (H.R.756), was the latest stride in trying to increase awareness of chronic pain treatment as a priority in this country and its only a matter of time before the under treatment of pain is viewed as malpractice.
MRI revealed a bulging disc w/gel lost at L5 and showed the bulge touching nerves, causing sciatica. Diagnosed w/ Arthritis which is responsible for joint inflamation pain. Treatment: Nucynta 50-150 mgs every 6 hours (schedule II narcotic, Mu Opoid agonist and NE reuptake inhibitor), Celebrex 100 mgs, Klonopin .5, Epidurals, Radio Freq nuerotomy (sept 8th, 2010)

Retired Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 8/30/2010 6:54 AM (GMT -6)   
It's so nice to meet you!

I'm very glad you joined our HW family and that you were willing to share your life with us. I too am a spine person with some MH (PTSD,CPS,OCPD,Anxiety Disorder, Depression) issues. It changes your life.

I look forward to talking to you again soon!
Retired Mom

Monty's Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 8/30/2010 6:57 AM (GMT -6)   
God bless the people that made the Pain Care Policy Act. I pray that is passes quickly, because it could make strides in care for all of us and many others to come. I am glad to hear that the VA is getting better in the treatment of vets. Still my heart goes out to all that have come before. Have a good day grainofsalt.

Pete trips again!
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 8/30/2010 7:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Holy Smokes! Hey there G. O. S. welcome to our Fam's! I don't have much time to write now but just wanted to introduce myself and say how great it is that you found us! This is without doubt the Greatest forum you will ever find for peeps w/ C.P.!!!!
I've been crazy busy moving (way too long a story) and out of the loop here lately and haven't had a chance to meet alot of the newbee's but when I saw my buddy S.E. writing to you and read your intro, I just had to write! I too have a bad lower back w/ ruptured, buldging and deteriating discs, stinosis and aurth. as well as a boat load of other problems caused by my idiotic youth.
Again, welcome> like S.C. said, you will fit right in here!
Big Man Hugs Comin atcha!!
When I was young & stupid I broke almost every bone in my body and I'm paying a heavy price now but I'm still here and so glad to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men, both are in the Navy. I'm so proud! My biggest health problem>> I'm a certified Luny~Tune!!

Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 8/30/2010 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh Holy Smokes G.O.S.!.....I forgot top tell you about our little buddy Petey! He is one Cool dude! Makes us laugh all the time!

Make sure you read his post or replies whenever he is on here...and grab a bowl of popcorn...cause its going to take you a while smilewinkgrin

I told you this place was magical....with support! :)

Take care!



Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 594
   Posted 8/30/2010 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Grainofsalt,

Welcome to our family! I am so sorry that you had the need to find us but you are definitely in the right place! Also, thank you for your service to our country! I to suffered what I thought was a minor back injury 3 1/2 years ago and it has turned into a nightmare! I now have stenosis from L3 - S1 with nerve impingement and a few other things going on too! I am also sorry you have had to deal with the medical people who look at everyone with CP as drug seekers! I think all of us have been there a time or two! Anyway, I am not feeling very good but I wanted to welcome you and I am sure we will talk more later!

Take care of you!
Spinal Stenosis L3/L4, L4/L5 & L5/S1 with Nerve Impingement, Fibromyalgia, TMJ, GERD, Severe Depression, VERY Large Cyst Right Ovary causing mild twisting, Small Cysts Left Ovary & 3 Large Cysts Uterus and Possible RA

Medications - MS-Contin, Cymbalta, Famotidine and currently Prednisone

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2022
   Posted 8/30/2010 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Grainofsalt,
I wanted to extend my welcome to you as well. You are going to love it here.
My name is Suzane and I suffer from constant severe headaches. I have been thru it all it seems with no answers to my problem. So I take it one day at a time and pray a lot!!! You will find the members here are just wonderful! I can't say enough about them. This is always the first place I come to every day!! What is your real name and where do you live? I am in Ottawa, Ontario.
Welcome aboard.
One day at a time!!


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 8/30/2010 6:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you everyone for the care and support. I already like this forum a lot and feel warmly welcomed and accepted. I am glad I found it and I am beginning to see how being part of a support community (and family) really does make an impact and help. I really like how you all take the time to help each other out. If you look on line, so many forums are just filled with people that have angry and negative intentions, so HW is definately a breathe of fresh air. I think positive support goes a long way, and so many of you are very well educated about your conditions. I'm very impressed by the amount of knowledge you all have not only about your conditions , but also about the medical field in general. So many people don't keep themselves informed or bother doing the research.

Suzane, my first name is James and I am from Maryland, which I live about 20 minutes northeast of Baltimore City.

BTW- some of you will probably see me post from time to time in other HW forums. My own conditions has caused me to not only research my own conditions, but the conditions that others suffer from, so hopefully I can be of help here and withiin HW. :)
MRI revealed a bulging disc w/gel lost at L5 and showed the bulge touching nerves, causing sciatica. Diagnosed w/ Arthritis which is responsible for joint inflamation pain. Treatment: Nucynta 50-150 mgs every 6 hours (schedule II narcotic, Mu Opoid agonist and NE reuptake inhibitor), Celebrex 100 mgs, Klonopin .5, Epidurals, Radio Freq nuerotomy (sept 8th, 2010)
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