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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 1/13/2010 11:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all. First off, sorry I haven't been on in awhile. Life has been crazy, to say the least. Monday my dad and I trekked up to Mayo. They put me on the Flector patch, and off the heavier meds I was on. At this point I haven't noticed that the Flector has any effect at all, but I'm trying to be patient and give it a few days!

After talking with the Mayo guys, my PT, my family, my boyfriend and my professors, I've decided to take this semester off of school. I still fly out there on the 23rd to pick up my stuff, and we're not quite sure how I'm actually going to get back home again, as I'm not up for a three day drive! I'm pretty disappointed, and part of me is still really tempted to just bully through and do it anyway, but then I remember how awful the end of last semester was. If you recall, I had a pretty negative reaction from my parents when I first brought up this idea. My mom is still not sold on it, but I think my dad has a little better understanding. After seeing me curl up in a little ball and cry after trying to catch a falling carton of oatmeal, I think he has a better idea of what is going on. I talked with my program director today, and we'll do a reading course from home, and they are going to give me a fellowship to cover the cost. It sounds like they're going to do everything in their power to make sure I graduate on time. I'm pretty blown away by how cooperative they've been. In other good news, I called my landlord today and explained the situation to him. I live in a house with two other girls, and the original agreement on the house was that a certain amount had to come to him each month, no matter how many people were in the house (we were supposed to have 4 originally). I was really worried that if I left he would charge them for my share, and was worried about affording the pretty hefty rent with no financial aid or income. Well, first thing he suggested was releasing me from the rent without penalty to me or my roommates. I was pretty blown away, to say the least!

I hope everyone is doing well!!

Pain Issue: Sub-scapular bursitis, scapular dyskinesia, nerve damage down left arm, shoulder and neck
Treatment: PT, Tens Unit, Tramadol, Flector Patches and a semester off of school!

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” - Lance Armstrong

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 1/13/2010 11:30 PM (GMT -6)   
It sounds like you are finally getting some relief and that the rest of the things that you were worried about are finally coming together. I'm happy to read your update and hope that things continue on this uphill turn you've taken.
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.
Avascular necrosis of left wrist- maybe hips too

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 1/14/2010 6:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Jenna, I'm glad to hear that you've made a decision on which direction you want to take. I know it was giving you alot of stress & anxiety. Let your body get some much needed rest then hopefully you can get back at it in the Spring.

Can't really give you much incite as far as the flector patch goes but I have had pain relief from tramadol in the past. They also make an extended release of this called Ultram ER. There is no generic for it though and can be costly.

Take care and try to rest!
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 1/14/2010 8:35 AM (GMT -6)   

I'm so happy for you! I'm sure that was not an easy decision to make, but it sounds like the right one. That's fantastic that your school is so supportive.

Hopefully the new meds will start helping once they have a few days to get into your system. It was good to hear from you. Keep us posted.


Screaming Eagle
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 1/14/2010 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
     Hello Jenna! Sounds like things are going to be ok for you...and with your parents..that can have aneffect on your mental state. I'm glad to see that your father is supporting you on this...and I suspect your mother will finally come around on it too. Keep your chin up...and take care of yourself first. Let us all know what happens in the comming days in your life. I'm really struggling here myself...even to post something...but I'm pushing on as best as I can.

Stella Marie
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 601
   Posted 1/14/2010 2:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Well it sounds like inspite of all of your pain and discomfort, you have created a well organized plan for yourself. It sounds like the facualty, your landlord, and friends are all trying to make the semester sabatical an easy transition for you. Parents are allows worried that if their children have to come home for any reason, they might not ever return. I know my daughter had to take a semester off to regroup, she was sufferring from depression. It was the best thing she could a done. I was not to sure at the time. Maybe this summer you can take a local course - something simple to get out of the way and then you will be back in the saddle this fall.

I hope this new patch brings you the relief you are looking for. Stay strong.

Stella Marie

Moderator for Chronic Pain and Epilepsy

Rare neurodegenerative /movement disorder called “Multiple System Atrophy”.  Mobility issues,, neuropathic pain,  spasticity, myoclonus, central apnea, collagenous colitis, joint and body pain, swallowing and respitory  involvement,  Implants: intrathecal pump & neurostimulator.  Extra features: O2 & wheelchair.



Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 1/15/2010 10:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, all of you, for the wonderful notes and support. Its been a rough couple of days physically and emotionally, but your words have helped. I am still not seeing any relief from the Flector patch, so I'm going to call my family practice doctor later today to see if she can help at all. I also get to call all of the people holding my student loans to see if they will allow me to deffer them again for medical leave, since I have every intention of going back to school this fall and can't work right now to make money to pay them off! That's probably one of the biggest stresses right now. I'm also worrying about this summer. One of the requirements of my grad program is a summer internship. One of the reasons I went straight into graduate school after college was that my dream internship is for graduate students. Its with the United Nations World Heritage program. I have no idea if I'd actually get it, but it has been a dream of mine for years. My mom called me yesterday to tell me that she doesn't think I'll be well enough by this summer to do an internship full-time, much less one that would take me outside of the US. So at this point its looking like a decision between A) graduating on time, with my classmates and getting to get married when Nate and I had actually planned, or B) do my dream internship and spend an extra semester at school, so I can do the internship the summer in between. Who knows!

Thanks again, everyone. It means a lot to see your comments!

Pain Issue: Sub-scapular bursitis, scapular dyskinesia, nerve damage down left arm, shoulder and neck
Treatment: PT, Tens Unit, Tramadol, Flector Patches and a semester off of school!

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” - Lance Armstrong

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