L5 injury from the Army

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ptsdsoldier
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/15/2010 8:04 AM (GMT -7)   
It has been 3 years since I was injured while on a ruck march in the Army, I dove to the ground with a 40 lbs ruck sack on and felt immense pain in my left knee which shot down to my foot. I could not walk I was transported to the Army hospital they said yeah there is swelling in there but you need to come back in the morning. I went back they xrayed it and said there was nothing they could do at that time I was then sent to a civilian doctor that said it was a back issue not a knee issue with is what the Army wrote up. The Army released me saying it was not their fault it was a knee problem that was the injury. I am now at the VA 3 YEARS LATER, they are treating me with Vicoden and Muscle relaxers which have started to interfere with my civilian job. I can't sit or stand for any length of time without my left leg going numb and serious pain in my hip and back. There are times I can't even walk across a parking lot. The VA doctor ordered an xray with shows chronic injury to L5 and bone spurs in T-12 to L1. So now I am at risk of loosing my job, because I have to miss so much time from work to go to appointments and because I so medicated all the time. I guess the point is will physical therapy help or is this just more wasted time while I get worse as time goes by. I am very frustrated, I was diagnosed with PTSD which now I am being told all the pain meds are a depressant which it seems like I am fighting against myself.. I would really like to find some relief.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 9/15/2010 3:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi PT and welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. I am sorry that you have such problems going on but very glad you have found this forum. At least by coming here you know you are not alone. Sometimes just knowing you are not alone with CP can go a long way.

What you have described by the military drs is not surprising in the least. Anyone I know of that has had any kind of care with them probably would have done better if they had gone to their local vet. I had a very bad experience with them myself and nearly lost my daughter when she was 11 years old. But that is a different story. It is very possible to have leg pain as you did and it actually be coming from the back but the military drs were not smart enough back then to check your back. I do not know if there is a way to reopen anything with the Army or not. We do have a member here that is retired from the air force and I have emailed him and asked him to come by and read your post. He may be able to help here I don't know.

Depending on the size of your company that you work for you can put in for FMLA and it will help protect your job. I believe the employer must have 50 employees in order to qualify for FMLA and they give up 13 weeks of unpaid time that can be used for drs appts, or if the dr took you off of work for some days. Your human resource dept where you work can help you with this.

No one here is a dr so we really cannot tell you what will or will not work for you. Many times a good physical therapist can do a lot to help a patient. Most drs always start off with conservative care meaning medications and sometimes PT. With what you have showing up on a plain film xray I would request the dr run an MRI on your back. This type of xray will show much more than any plain film and it is much more definitive in helping give a correct diagnosis too. So please talk to the VA dr about scheduling this for you its really important.

Anyway, I wanted to welcome you aboard and hopefully sometime this evening WhiteBeard will pop on and tell you hello. He is the person I was speaking of that is retired from the air force. Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.

Susie

ptsdsoldier
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/15/2010 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you very much for the welcome.. At first I was able to deal with all the appointments and all but now I risking loosing everything because work has been more than accommodating to date but not sure how much more they can take due to the fact they keep changing my meds for pain and PTSD and some days I am even unbearable to myself let alone to my co-workers. That is if I wake up on time. In the 17 years I was in the military I can count 2 times that I was ever late, and now it seems that I have become that person that I could not understand why they make is so hard to make it to work on time.. I will copy and paste a post that I posted in the VA forum explaining more for Whitebeard.. Again thank you very much for your response..


I am so over whelmed and confused by what to expect during all this.. I don't even know where to start. I was on active duty with the Army combat vet, and went to the National Guard I was a team leader for military funerals on ADSW (active Duty Special Work) I was place on different orders to attend a school.. While at the school on a ruck march I dove to the ground felt a pop or something in my knee I got up and collapsed to the ground they took me to the hospital I had and still have sever pain in my leg this was 3 years ago. They said they could not identify the problem but they medically discharged me from the school. Since I was on profile I could not go back on Active duty orders with the National Guard. I then was seen by a civilian doctor. He determined it was not a knee issue but it was a back problem. I could not work nor was I compensated by the Military other than they took care of the doctor bills. They stopped all authorizations because it was a back injury and the military said since the LOD (Line of Duty) stated that it was a knee issue they could not do anything for my back. I was being treated by the VA for PTSD and went to them for help, they are working the problem still to this day. Because of hearing loss, back pain/Leg Pain, and PTSD I am having a terrible time holding down a job. I don't know what to do I turned in my VA paperwork for compensation I believe is what it is called but I have no one that knows any answers about what I can do in the mean time.. I am in hopes that someone on here will read this and give me some sort of advice I am at the end I can't take anymore and I hate being a human test subject for all these pills. I wish they could just find one that works so I can return to some what of a normal life. Thank you and if I left out any important information that you might need in helping find a solution I will more than happy to answer any and all questions..

Also to add they just discharged me from the National Guard as a Grey Area retiree.. Since they had no answers for my back but claim it was not service connected.

Scouts Out

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 9/15/2010 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   
PT have you told the drs that are treating you at the VA about the civilian dr relating this all to your original fall? Do you remember when you first saw the civilian dr and he related the back to the original fall? Do you by chance have a medical report from him stating this? Sorry for the questions.

I do know instances wherein veterans have been able to go back thru the VA for disability benefits and win their cases. Please keep checking in here at the forum as WhiteBeard is having some bad medical issues himself and he pops in & out of here. Lots of times he can't type much because of problems with his hands and arms but he will answer this as soon as he can. You most likely will have to hire an atty to do this and have him/her handle it on a contingency basis where you pay no money upfront. I can see them hanging their hat on knee injury. How long after the fall was it before your back started giving you problems?

Take care.

Susie

antbuggey
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 594
   Posted 9/15/2010 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi PT....welcome to our family but I am sorry for the reasons you needed to seek us out! This is a wonderful place to be......if you have to suffer with CP, you should have people who care and understand! I to suffer with back problems and it affects so much more then just my back!!! Also, my husbands cousin and a very good friend of ours traced some stuff back and the VA took responsibility and now both of them have disability through the VA. I am not sure if I am wording that right but you probably know what I mean! For example....the friend has diabetes and served 2 tours in Vietnam...well....his diabetes is linked to agent orange in Vietnam. I know this is different....but they will take responsibility! Back injuries cause a lot of problems and do not always show up as a back problem at first! Just hang in there and hopefully in the end the VA will handle things! By the way.....Thank you for what you have done for our country! Take care of you!

Beckey
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

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3609
   Posted 9/15/2010 10:43 PM (GMT -7)   
ptsdsoldier
 
Boy the miltary is still up to its old tricks! Have you tried to contact Amvets  they are usually pretty good at helping vets get their proper disability, there is also a  excellent web site that you might find helpful it is  call   vawatchdog.org Also have you tried to contact that civilian doctor that you went to that said it was your back, and do you have a copy of the doctors notes from that visit?   You know this typical military BS! I know it was after I retired and went through the VA I got disability and then Amvets got it increased for me. I am currently at 60%.  As far as your appointments with the VA and keeping you job, it seems that you should have some kind of job protection. that is a real difficult area.  I know it can be frustrating and the VA is not the fastest working organization in the world, but definitely keep on them, also have you considered contacting your local senator or congressman, that usually alway puts a fire under some ones toes and gets things moving. It might definitely be something to consider!
 
I really am sorry that you got treated this way, but hopefully this can get straighten out!  I will try and do some checking to see if I can come up with something that might be of more help to you! I am glad you found this forum though, I think you might really like it!
 
Hang in there, and I to want to Welcome you to Healing Well Chronic Pain  Forum!!!  I do think you will find that there are some of the finest and most caring and compassionate folks that you will find any where  on the internet right here on this forum!
 
White Beard
 
 
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

ptsdsoldier
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/15/2010 11:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your response, it at least helps me feel like I am not alone in this issue. And by the sounds of it I am by far not the only one living in pain. To answer the questions posed above. I have been back to the civilian doctor but because of him only seeing a couple times he could not say weather or not it was military related. But of course my response is I have been in since I was 17 and I was a normal healthy young soldier. But a few overseas deployments and and in my early career half assing safety, I am now along with it all going deaf so that is something to look forward to as well. I had a medical review board they wrote up no being around any noise over 85 decibels and no physical activities. They all admit it is my back and for them to take the blame that is a different story. The VA office had me fill out all the paperwork for my VA claim but it is like the blind leading the blind no one really has straight answers and it seems as though they just want to push you through. I like my doctor at the VA but he has not listened to me once since I have been in there. For some reason blessed or cursed I was given an extremely high tollerance to pain and pain killers. I recently had my gallbladder removed and when I had my first attack they had to give me the maximum dose of morphine that they could give. I was still fully functioning. And in pain. The next attack they figured that they would up it to Diladed (sp) and they had to give me almost the maximum dose allowed as well again still functioning walking talking and everything. When they removed the gallbladder they changed all my meds, PSTD meds which never worked but I took them to humor my doctor. But they gave me a pill form of dilated (sp) and a different PTSD med. They worked wonderfully I was out of all pain I was feeling almost back to myself. Then when I was discharged ( yes now it is normally a 1 day operation but I had massive internal bleeding) they took me off all them but the dilated they gave enough to last till I got to my doctor, he told me he would not allow me to take it and it is too powerful of a med for someone with back pain. And put me on hydrocoden I told him they do nothing and he said take more, so I take 3 every 4 hours along with methocarbonal and a anti inflamatory I can not stand, sit or walk for any length of time. And these pills do nothing for me. For PTSD we have been through about 4 different pills and they all do nothing combat the night terrors and the anger and rage that I feel on a day to say basis. I have custody of my daughter who is 3 so I have to work but thank god I have the most amazing mother in the world she helps me a lot. I have done physical therapy in the past when this first happened but now they want me to go back and they wont set up an MRI till I do that for a couple months and continue to pop vic, and muscle relaxer like they are candy in the meantime. I have not slept good in about 9 years and I am looking for relief from all this.

And on a side note when I explained to the doctor that the dilated helped he said I bet it did but we reserve that for terminal cancer patients. I guess my thinking if one pill helps why take 6.. But I guess they have their reasons.

Whitebeard no sir I have not heard of Amvets. But I will look them up online and see. I am going through my local office and it is a VFW rep that assists with the paper work.

I did get a mental health appointment finally, the first one I went to they wanted group therapy then the following one the young lady talked to me for about 20 minutes said Oh My God and started tearing up, and left the room that didn't make me feel any better that is for sure. And now they finally made me a new appointment but it is not till the 22nd of October. Not the speed of light that is for sure.

I do thank everyone for your writing back it is very much appreciated and I look forward to corresponding with you all. It is nice to feel related to which is something that I am not used to. I think until now the best person that I have been able to relate to is my 3 year old daughter..

chronic pain 10\10
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/16/2010 2:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi mate I was in the Aussie Army and hurt my back and that caused severe problems with my L leg and bladder. My leg has severe pain and weakness which causes me to fall over causing more pain in the back. A Physiotherapist damaged my back by putting me on a traction machine and it malfunctioned and over stretched my back then she took the velcro straps of causing my back to snap back damaging 3 disks, damaged spinal cord, bladder dysfunction and erectile dysfunction and the Military Doctors recommended that it was all in my mind.

I feel for you mate and hope you can keep your job. I can't work which is extremely frustrating as this has been going on for 7 years sitting at home not being able to go anywhere.

Take care and good luck

grainofsalt
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 9/16/2010 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
PTSD Soldier,

You have to get away from the VA for real medical treatment and ONLY let them evaluate you for disability percentages and "mandatory" procedures. If you can avoid it PLEASE do not use the VA for any real medical procedures or treatment. They are not to be trusted! I have been there/done that.

I had a very similiar experience to yours. I had a rapelling accident that messed up my back. To add insult to injury would be the 4 years of 12 mile ruck marches (Fort Campbell, ofcourse). When I got off AD in 2005, I had some mild to moderate pain issues but they seemed to go away in a few months. I went on a deployment with my National Guard unit to Kosovo in 2006, as since November 2006, I've had major back issues within the sciatica region. The military did provide 2 epidurals and lots of Darvocet and Ibu 800, but the pain would only go away for a few weeks after the epidurals and then magically return. When I came home off the deployment, I decided to goto the VA because I didn't have a job yet. Well at first they treated me with tylenol #3 but huge issues came about when I requested refills. I was accused by the VA of being an addict. As a matter of fact the head of the pain management clinic told me not to come back to pain management as I was FAKING my injury to get medication and that I had a serious mental health condition. TO THIS DAY I am listed as a drug addict by the VA and cannot received controlled medications from them! They refused to do an MRI and pain management refused to review documentation I had from Kosovo proving that I had went through Physical Therapy.

For the next almost 2 years, I had conflicting thoughts and eventually I thought to myself "Ok, this has got to be atleast partly in my head". Even after having an outstanding A+ top of the line, open access/pro plus Cigna 90 percent coverage plan, I was affraid to seek medical treatment. I feared being labeled a faker, an addict, being judged, ect. It was only after I had extreme pain and my girlfriend convinced me that I would goto an urgent care center for temporal relief. However, in April of this year, I Finally went to a doctor and had him reffer me to the Spine Center for pain management. It was part of a hospital system and the staff was very professional, friendly, and caring. The doctor IMMIEDIATELY order an MRI, which revealed that I did have a real injury. He even told me "James, the good news and bad news is that its not in your head". He immediately put me on real pain medication (Nucynta/tapentadol which is a medication with the relative strength of oxycodone but with less sedation side effects), and called my insurance to have it pre approved, as the 474 dollar a month script was now a 20 dollar co-pay. My cost for seeing him is 14 bucks a visit. I'm finally getting reasonable pain relief!! I also got a portable TENS unit, back brace, and if I have an urgent swelling like I did 2 days ago, they will call in a script for steroidal anti inflamatories. And to think, I could have had this if only I had never trusted the VA. You can't trust government healthcare PERIOD!

I'm sorry as this is a highly highly emotional topic for me, so PTSDsoldier, you have my absolute full sympathies on this one. I hope you have a way to get civilian health care, and I will be praying for you sir.
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)

grainofsalt
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 9/16/2010 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
PS- I also suffer from Night Terrors.....I've had them since 18. They have improved with age, and I only take a low dose of klonopin to treat them. My doctor that has me on the klonopin said it was very safe and effective for night terrors and he was right, although it does have some not so nice side effects for the first month of use. DO NOT let the VA treat you for night terrors either PTSD soldier, as they told me "benzos are bad drugs, we need to treat you with anti physcotics". Well knowing that I have ADD, they should have figured out that theres a good chance I'm dopamine deficient and that AP drugs block dopamine release. I had some insane episodes at night on that medication with extremely horrid night terrors, worse than the ones I had on Ambien!

Let me stop now, sorry, again this is an absolutely livid subject with me. As a government contractor (my current job), I really shouldn't bad mouth an government agency but wow, the VA can ***********************. Thanks for listening.
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)

ptsdsoldier
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/16/2010 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
What I have gotten is stuck between a rock and a hard place. I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2002. They tried different meds that didn't really help I was still a horrible sleeper and have a lot of anger and emotional issues. So I stayed in the Army since the civilian world employers didn't seem to understand my issues. So far with my sleep issues I have been on Tramadol for pain and PTSD, then they put me on Tramadol and Prazosin (sp), I was taken off both when my gallbladder became bad and was given Vicoden which does not work at all. I mean it is great for diarrhea I get stopped up. But pain management is not what it does for me. Then during my hospital stay I was given dilated and some PTSD meds because the nurses couldn't handle my aggression. Which worked I had minimal pain and I felt alive. Then I came home and seen my dr 2 weeks later and he changed me to Hydrocodone even when I said hey vicoden does not work he still gave it to me with metropenol (muscle relaxer) Which that makes me even angrier and my girlfriend is not enjoying it and is about to tell me good luck in life. She said she is scared of me when I am on those pills. I have told my dr and he said well since the Anitriptolin for PTSD was not working to up my muscle relaxers before bed. I have told him over and over to give me the same thing I had in the hospital but since I am not dying then he said he wants to keep it small and work up there and that it is only reserved for terminal patients.

Here is where the rock and hard place comes in.. My job offers insurance but it is health savings plan with a high deductible. And since I was on Tri-care and I am using the VA I can not use the insurance savings plan. So I am at the point in my life when I have destroyed a lot of relationships and I don't want to continue like this I like my job I like the people here but even at times I get so enraged I can not concentrate and work productively. So I am sure that will not last very long..

grainofsalt
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 9/16/2010 3:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Don't give up PTSD. I've been at some very bad points in my life and managed to bounce back from them, but it took a lot of time, patience, and being with the right friends, right doctors, and personal faith. You have to believe that things will get better and that its going to take time. A door will open. I didn't believe it would happen for me, but it did, and I'm talking about more then just medical issues, I'm also reffering to relationship wise.

I hope my rant on the VA did not bring you down, but I wanted to let you know that you are far far from alone on that issue and that uncaring doctors is a common practice in government medical facilities.

Can you set up an agreement to stop using the VA with your jobs insurance provider and then enroll during their next open enrollment perhaps? It might take some time before you can get in, but I am hoping they can work with you on this one.
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)

chronic pain 10\10
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/16/2010 6:16 PM (GMT -7)   
As mentioned in the messages that you have been getting, stay away from the VA as far as medical treatment. They are the one's paying the bills and they only want to spend a small amount on your  treatment so if there is a cure out there and it is expensive they wont tell you. That is how the Australian VA work. Listen and read everything that you are being told here mate, some of it may b*****t but you will eventually know the trueth from the crap. I wish I had the same information to read when I was deciding to put the nuero stimulator in, the out come may have been different than it is now.
Taake care.

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 9/18/2010 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   
hello soldier, first let me say i greatly appreciate your service for our country, i thank the good Lord for people that volunteer to protect us and it disgust me that your medical treatment from the VA sucks so much. i am not an expert on this but i have had more than one friend who has fought them and got full disability income. you should not have to worry about losing your job over this. it seems the VA has a very limited and narrow selections of pain meds. they use, MS contin [generic], metadone, vicoden [generic], percocet [generic]. the funny thing is i have noticed they only use one doses of any given medicine, such as morphine ER 30mg or vicoden 5/500 or percocet 5/325. whatever generic med is cheapest at the time is what they buy in bulk. underthebus touched on dilaudid is often use in the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain as either the sole med or as a breakthrough med if your already on a long- acting baseline drug. for the doctor it is only used in terminal cases because it's too strong didn't mention to you the hydrocodone you have breaks down to hydromorphone [dilaudid]. the drawback of chronic vicoden use is the acetominaphen which strains your liver and if one of your PTSD meds has liver toxcity it compounds. that is a good way to mention it to the doctor. as far as your medications making you groggy there are many things that can help[the problem VA doctors sometimes can't or won't] the medication provigil promotes wakefullness and may help your night terror occurances. provigil is taken once in the morning so you are more active physically and mentally hence your brain goes through better sleep patterns. the provigil can also be a adjvant to pain meds because of it's action on dopamine and norepinepirine. more than likely the VA will not perscribe it because to the best of my knowledge ther is no generic yet [modafinil]. wellbutrin [bupropion] you may already have experience with dealing with PTSD is a stimulant of the NDRI class. it is used off-label to promote wakefullness and alertness when opioid pain meds. cause drowsiness. the med the VA may be the happiest with due to the cost is dextroamphetamine salts mixture [adderall] or staight dextroamphetamine [dexedrine] which promote wakefullness and alertness and it's used all the time with chronic pain patients treated with opioids. it can improve sleep quality if taken first thing in the morning because your ready to crash at the end of your more productive and active day. i see hear they gave you tramadol [do you mean trazadone?] and prazosin for PTSD. first off all prazosin a anti-hypertensive of the alpha-adernergic blocker class has very little evidence that it helps PTSD and at that it's a off-label use. i also see they have you on amitriptyline for PTSD/sleep. this is a old med not that it's not a good one but taken into account your grogginess it's not ideal. I have been through pharmacology colledge by the way; i don't have my degree yet but lots of first hand exp.. i didn't want you to think i was just some person giving info about these chemicals. if it is tramadol they are giving you it has bad interactions to the PTSD meds they may be giving you. for night terrors the med grainosfalt mentioned klonopin [clonazepam] is one of the best choices but you could have morning drowsiness because it has a very long half life. trazadone a anti-depressant is great for night terrors and is used for PTSD. your case seems to not be coordinated very well. if you would like give a list of your current meds and why they are perscribed. and by the way physical therapy might be risky until you get your back MRIed, you need a definate diagnosis.
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: OxyContin 60mg 2x, Dilaudid 8mgs [brand] 4x p.r.n. brk., Phenergan 25mg 3x prn nausea, Lyrica 75mg 2x,Adderall 20mgs 1x A.M., Soma 350 mg 3X, Relafen 1000mg 1x, Klonopin 1mg H.S. or prn anxiety Supplements: CO-Q10 100mg, Vitamin D 2000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, GABA 750mg

ptsdsoldier
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/18/2010 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Spinal thank you very much for that break down I do appreciate it and there is a lot of great knowledge that you put in there thank you.. Here is the current meds as of now in 2 months I am sure that it will change.. It has changed so much over the past year I almost can't keep up. :

Hydrocodone 5/500mg- 2 every 6 hours For Pain
Methocarbona 750mgl- 1 every 6 hours 2 at bedtime For Pain/ Muscle relaxer
Trazadone 50mg- 1 at bed For nightmares
Diclofenac 75mg- 1 twice a day Anti-inflammatory
Prazosin 5mg- 2 at bedtime PTSD Nightmares

Spinal I was on Tramadol when I first started along with Naproxen and Prozosin. Then with my gallbladder they put me on dilaudid and that really helped with my back too.. And in the hospital because they could not calm me down they put me on strong anti depressant I think it started with an A.. But when I left they gave me enough dilaudid to get through till I seen my dr. That is when he took me off dilaudid and put me on the Hydrocodone, and is trying to find a PTSD med that works.. Because along with not being able to sleep a full night without waking up the whole house.. I have a lot of anger issues which makes it impossible to hold down a job or any type of relationship.. But that is the list of what I am taking now..

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 9/18/2010 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   
so from what i gather the off-label use of prazosin [minipress] for nightmares/night terrors is not working. with trazadone i think for your situation they should go to 100-150mg, 50 is about the bottom of the dose range. when trazadone is used for strictly sleep it's dosed low but as a anti-depressant they will go to 400mg or more in divided doses, i think it would be a good part of your sleep cocktail but at least 100mg. your sleep is probably interupted by pain because the pain treatment your getting is not acceptable. first of all you are getting 4000mg-4grams of APAP-acetaminiphen per 24 hours and that is the liver toxic level. short term use of acetaminaphen the top limit is 4000mg-4grams/24 hours, for chronic use it is 2600mg-2.6grams/24hrs.. that is poor perscribing even from a bad doctor. they do make a 10/325 hydrocodone/APAP but that is still not ideal according to the WHO [world health organization] pain treatment pyramid. you should google that and see how it applies to you. for them to tell you dilaudid is reserved for dying people is a lie, if that works for you, they should give you access to it. it does not have the dependency profile of oxycodone or morphine but even so that is not something to worry about. pain patients should not fear addicition or dependency or tolerance when it comes to the treatment of chronic pain. on to the methacarbamol 750mg /6hrs. and 1500mg bedtime. methacarbamol or "robaxin" one of the 2-3 oldests skeletal muscle relaxants. some advantages are; it does not interact with other medications much, it does not cause much sedation and it is relatively safe. severe muscle spasms or muscle pain does not get much help from it until the dose is 1000-1500mg/6hrs.. it is considered a entry level muscle relaxer. taking into account your sleep issues and your pain: soma [carisoprodol], baclofen, zanaflex [tizanidine], or maybe flexiril [cyclobenzaprine] are indicated for a couple reasons;soma, zanaflex, and flexiril are used off-label for sleep anyway and soma when it's in it's active form; "meprobamate" is a barbiturate drug that would be a anxiolytic to you and calm some of your stress. now the diclofenac; it is a potent anti-inflammatory but unless you have a cast-iron stomach lining it is probably the most degredating to the mucus stomach lining. that is why Phizer [i think] came out with a drug called Arthotec with is a combo drug with either 50mg or 75mg of diclofenac sodium and200mcg of misoprostol which is a drug specifically for the chronic use of NSAIDS [anti-inflammatories] it protects the stomach lining. the brand name drug Arthotec is expensivive but you can purchase the two seperatly in generic and take them both together and get the same effect; but it would have been so much trouble for the doctor you have to tell you that. i know it is rough dealing with the VA especially with pain issues but i have gone as a patient advocate with a couple of my friends to the VA in Hampton VA and was able to get them ironned out some. if you would like i can try to get you a plan of action put together so they can do right by you and have better quality of life. i don't want to get down on the VA to bad becaused they are way understaffed for the amount of veterans and they do not have enough specialists doctors for you to be getting your treatment plan solely managed by them. i bet most of the time you see a P.A. or a nurse and no M.D. at all?
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: OxyContin 60mg 2x, Dilaudid 8mgs [brand] 4x p.r.n. brk., Phenergan 25mg 3x prn nausea, Lyrica 75mg 2x,Adderall 20mgs 1x A.M., Soma 350 mg 3X, Relafen 1000mg 1x, Klonopin 1mg H.S. or prn anxiety Supplements: CO-Q10 100mg, Vitamin D 2000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, GABA 750mg

ptsdsoldier
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/18/2010 10:31 PM (GMT -7)   
That is a lot of great info for sure.. I really appreciate it. I was beginning to think the pain must be in my head because even at the recommended doses it is still unbearable at best.. And nothing that they have given me has offered any type of relief. But I will check out all that you have shown me and if it is no bother any pain med advice or at least what has worked for you or anything would be great thank you again. I hope that you are having a good weekend..

spinal soldier
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 9/19/2010 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
ok, now i have looked over all your symptoms. you have a yet undiagnosed lumbar spine problem starting at T12 down to L5 and whatever might be inbetween. you have sleep-disturbances/insomnia and night-terrors and PTSD related anger. these things are connected in many ways and improving one part would most likely make you feel better overall. first off you need a MRI of your lumbar spine. until then you request nicely to the stupid VA health providers better treatment of your symptoms. you might be able to kill two birds with one stone: buprenorphine is a semi-sythetic opiate. it is used to detox people from heroin or oxycontin or vicoden, any kind of opioid dependency. it's also used as matinence for addicts. the reason it was developed was not for detox it is for pain. 0.3mg equals 10mg of morphine. the unique thing is it has been studied as a anti-depressant and for certain axeity disorders. that is one thought to consider. the other opioid that has been studied; and found to be very sucessful for anxiety disorders and depression and real good for pain is OXYMORPHONE sold under the brand name OPANA and OPANA ER. i would ask about this and prefer it over buprenorphine. next your PTSD and it's related problems.if anger and rage is a component, carbamazepine in the brand name tegretol or Carbatrol ER is highly effective; and it also is a mood stabilizer. so when you use a mood stabilizer you want to make sure you don't stabilize a bad mood, so you add in a mood elevator/anti-depressant. for the first try [sometimes it takes experimenting] wellbutrin [bupropion] is a good med that also promotes daytime wakefullness. wellbutrin also has no sexual disfunction side effects like most other anti-depressants. effexor would be my second try [venlafexine]. it may even help your pain because it's closest relative is tramadol. then for sleep time a couple of good options come to mind: a long-acting benzodiazepine to sedate you and reduce anxiety would be better than something like ambien or lunesta. the number one is flurazepam [Dalmane] it's been out forever and it's cheap so the VA might not complain much. Klonopin [clonazepam] is also a long-acting benzo that is on the cheaper side, and it is commonly used for night terrors. night terrors occur in stage 4 of sleep when your not supposed to be dreaming. Gabitril is a anti-convulsant med used for enhancing stage 4 sleep. it's ok to use a cocktail of medications for sleep: flurazepam 15-30mg, gabitril 2-12mg, zanaflex [tizanadine] 4-8mg, trazadone 50-100mg, clonidine 0.1mg [zanaflex is a derivative of clonidine],amitriptyline 10-30mg ect.. i am not saying take all these but iron out a good combo with your doctor. if you go to them with this type of info they will have to start to pay attention. i have much more info to give you but i'm getting tired and i need a break. i did want to mention if they will put you on OPANA ER for pain [it is a true steady time release drug] then they can give you dilaudid or roxicodone IM for breaktrough pain and then you will have eliminated all the acetaminophen. and you may not need the diclofenac [voltearn] which is so harsh on the stomach lining. and they could switch weak methocarbamol to carisoprodol [soma] or baclofen. talk to ya in a bit, i'm going for a massage appt.
L4,L5,S1 bilateral Laminectomies, Foraminotomies 2002
L4-S1 PLIF with instumentation 2008,

current Rx: OxyContin 60mg 2x, Dilaudid 8mgs [brand] 4x p.r.n. brk., Phenergan 25mg 3x prn nausea, Lyrica 75mg 2x,Adderall 20mgs 1x A.M., Soma 350 mg 3X, Relafen 1000mg 1x, Klonopin 1mg H.S. or prn anxiety Supplements: CO-Q10 100mg, Vitamin D 2000IU, Fish-Oil1000mg EFA, B-Complex50 3x/day, GABA 750mg

ptsdsoldier
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/20/2010 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much the words can't even express enough how much I appreciate you sharing your knowledge. I will research all these and bring it up to my Dr. he is not one for listening much tho. So far I tell him one thing we discuss a plan then all seems to go well then at the end of the appointment it turns into something that we discussed that didn't work. But I think with what you have given me I will go in knowledgeable and maybe he will listen. My girlfriend appreciates the fact that I am working on finding a solution and not just a band aid our relationship is extremely strained because of my issues and the VA taking their time and limiting the options that are available.. I hope to some day be able to help others in this forum. Right now I have limited knowledge and feel like I keep talking about myself and I know that others are in the same situation and worse. But believe me I am reading everything that I can and hope to help others like those that have assisted me. You all are very much appreciated in my world..
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