Thanks for the support. I think my problem is that I was so let down that this procedure yesterday didn't do a thing. I am pretty sure I was having nightmares about the procedure and had my hopes really high that they would numb me up and the pain would be gone. Then all I would need is for them to burn off the nerves and my pain would be gone! I was really, really disappointed when I felt nothing after the injections. I wasn't all that nervous about the procedure itself, I have had 17 epidurals so far in about 1 year and this latest one was basically the same thing as far as what I had to go through for the diagnostic. I am quite sore today since they basically did another 6 epidural-like injections yesterday.
I am not sure if I explained this properly. They did 6 injections, 3 on either side of my spine, and it was to numb up the nerves that produce arthritis pain. The effect should have lasted 2 to 4 hours if it worked. I felt as if I could tell they had stuck another 6 needles into my spine but my pain level was unchanged. I knew this meant that I would be in for the Discogram and (potentially) surgery. So I was really, really hoping the pain would end up being arthritis and it was not...
A lot of people have given me advice about surgery. Everyone seems to be split between it either fixing everything or setting you up for a long road of surgery after surgery and as my doctors always tell me, "man, you are only 29. We are going to try everything we can to prevent you from having to go down that road." This procedure yesterday was the last thing they could do to prevent me from having to go down that road...
I do have fear of surgery. My mother broke her hip in '04 and had a less than competent surgeon. He botched the surgery and she has now had a total of 6 surgeries to try and fix what he did to her in the first one. I have seen surgery go badly and I know back surgery for chronic pain can be a crap shoot in the first place. I could go into more detail of the hell I had to help my mother go through due to botched surgery but I can sum it all up by saying when it was at it's worst, she begged me on an hourly basis to kill her. Not a joking around, "oh, just kill me now" type of thing but a begging and pleading type of completely serious, wanting to end the pain that went on for years. She had an infection that was dissolving her pelvis for over 2 years. During that time, no one believed her when she claimed she was in huge amounts of pain and they dismissed her as a drug-seeker. So for quite a long time, while in the worst pain of her life, they would not even give her anything to ease the pain. She is finally over it but I now have an almost phobia-like fear of surgery.
I guess I just felt like I needed to explain that. I am in a great deal of pain w/my back and have been for over 2 years now. My fear is now that I have exhausted all avenues available before surgery, I am now looking at going under the knife. I would like to tell my doctor that since I am off the patch that had messed me up for almost a year, I would like to try and manage it (with meds) as long as I can stand it. He seems pretty intent on getting me off narcotics so I am unsure how he will take that. Like maybe I am just in it for the drugs and will balk when it comes to going under the knife. It is just, at this point, I think I can manage better than I could before and I feel that I would have to be better off trying that over having surgery at this point. I am scared to tell him this for fear that he will think I am a drug seeker and not really in pain. I have had that treatment before...
Oxycontin - 40mg x 8 hours
Vicodin - 5/500mg x 1/2 every 6 hours (as needed)
Amitriptyline (Elavil) - 25mg x 1 to 2 at bedtime
Zolpidem Tartrate (Ambien) - 10mg x 1 at bedtime
Atenolol - 50mg x 1 a day (lunchtime)
Crestor - 10mg x 1 a day (lunchtime)
Niaspan - 500mg x 1 before bedtime (w/a low-fat snack, one hour after an aspirin)
Trilipix DR - 135mg x 1 a day (lunchtime)
Amitiza - 8mcg x 2 a day (when needed; not often)