New to forum - Nerve pain caused by scar tissue, need suggestions on coping and things to try?

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Michelle K
New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/2/2008 4:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi I'm new to the forum...
Brief history on me. I'm a 27 year old female. Last year I had a bulging disc in my L5 vertebrae caused by a personal trainer who was pushing me a little too hard (I think). And after a few steroid injections that did not work, I had part of the disc shaved off in surgery.
Surgery was successful in May 2007, but in October 2007, back pain returned again. Steroid injections, hypertonic saline solution injections, we burned the nerve endings with four epidural needles, and used a TENS unit. Tried anti-inflammatories, oral steroids Medrol, Decadron), nerve pain meds (Lyrica, Topamax), muscle relaxers (Soma), and narcotics (Norco, Opana ER, Oxycodone)...
The procedures did not help. The Soma helps a little, the Norco helps a little, but I hate narcotics and the mental fog bothers me, so I want to fix the issue - the nerve pain. I start Neurontin tonight and I hope it works.
My new pain management doctor wants me to try a neurostimulator? Does anyone have personal experience about it? I've read the pamplet and watched the DVD and of course it all sound "good", but I don't know how you live with it.
Is acupuncture worth looking into?
I'm willing to look into anything at this point.
I am seeing a psychologist to control the depression. I'm at a point where I can't even sit up for longer than an hour. Standing and walking are excrutiatingly painful. I'm isolating myself from friends, I'm frustrated. My original pain management doctor dropped me because he couldn't help me anymore and he didn't even tell me he was dropping me. He just referred me to a new doctor. How do you "mentally deal with the pain"? I don't understand how to "keep your chin up". That's difficult for me. I know that dealing with this for 9 months is just the beginning, but I could use some newbie help! :) Thanks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/2/2008 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Michelle,
Welcome to the HW forum, although I'm sad you have to be here, especially at such a young age. I've had many of the procedures you have, except I had a double lumbar fusion last Sept. which didn't work as far as eliminating the nerve pain down my legs and feet.

I'm glad you're seeing a psychologist, and hopefully someone who understands chronic pain. Yes, there are lots of losses and things to grieve, and this is a wonderful place to help with all that. I don't know if you'll be able to fix the issue; sadly, once most of this back stuff starts, I don't think it goes away, but there's always hope, and we are all watchful of new meds, etc.

There is some info. on recent threads here about the stimulator; some people have good results, but others, not. If I could afford acpuncture I would definitely try it before having something implanted. Does a TENS or other external stimulator help? That one of the first things to try. I have what's called an Intraferential stimulator at home, which is similar to a TENS. Got it through my physical therapist. It helps, but it's not a cure. Neither is acupuncture, but I've heard it can help manage pain for some people very well.

Just be sure to investigate things thorougly - especially any invasive procedures. I think too many docs may want to do these things so they don't have to deal with managing meds. long term. Is that why your pain management doc dropped you? It's important to know why he dropped you, so future docs won't think it's because you were abusing meds or something like that. But he may be that hte procedures he does haven't worked for you; a lot of pain management docs in my area only do the high tech stuff and don't prescribe drugs. Reading through many of these posts will tell you the struggles you may face. BUT they wiil also tell you that you're not alone. There's wonderful support here. Stay with us.

Don't know if this helps, but I wanted to welcome you.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9152
   Posted 7/2/2008 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Michelle,

And welcome to our family! I'm so sorry you're suffering and especially since you're so young. I've been living with chronic pain for 6-7 years and for many here it's been much longer than that. You can survive it but it's not easy.

Educate yourself as much as possible...PALady has very wise suggestions. You will have to be your own advocate as you've already found out. Be very honest about any and everything you do and take because some doctors looks at all of us as drug seekers.

But the news is not all bad. There are good treatments for pain and also ways to combat the grogginess from medications. I am on pain meds but also take Provigil to help me be more awake and alert. Here...take my hand (extending hand) and we'll help show you the way.

Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 7/3/2008 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to Healing Well. We are so glad you are here.

First of all, I am not unfamiliar with chronic pain. Years ago I had a herniation of the L4/L5 disc and I first went through chymopapain injection. This helped for about six months. Then the pain returned. Mind you I had been laid up with excruciating pain for two years prior to that with no help in sight. Then after the pain returned after the injection, I finally agreed to surgery. The scar tissue that had built up was amazing. I also had spinal stenosis and a narrow foramin that the sciatic nerve had to pass through. So, I was in bad shape. Needless to say, I was happy after the surgery helped somewhat. I was in pain afterwards though. The muscles in my abdomen were weak from those years of being in bed, so I went to physical therapy for one year following the surgery. I still have pain from time to time from my back, but now mostly from my fibromyalgia.

The reason I told you my story is to show you that all is not lost. That just when it seems the darkest, you can find hope and that your pain may be resolved eventually. Could you have built up scar tissue causing the pain?? Could you have other factors not showing up on the mri's or the myleograms?? I did!.

I honestly feel for you. I know what it is like to be so young and in so much pain. I went to countless doctors too. I finally found one that was renowned and was in Miami, so I went to him and he performed my surgery. Don't give up your search for THE doctor. I will earnestly pray for you that you find relief and soon. God bless you Michelle.

Gentle Hugs,

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.

Michelle K
New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/6/2008 4:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry, I edited the post earlier and realized I took out a vital part of the post. Scar tissue built up in late October 2007 and that's what was and is causing the pain now.

My general practitioner told me that the pain management doctor probably dropped me because since he was no longer performing procdedures on me, he didn't want to deal with the maintenance of prescriptions, so he dropped me since he referred me out to a new doctor. He *should* have referred me to my general doctor for 'scripts instead of just dropping me.

I appreciate all of your responses. The Neurontin seems like maybe it might be helping? It seems psychological.. and it could just be the pain meds talking :) but I will definitely keep everyone posted!
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