Something ODD is happening...

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Retired Mom
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Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 8/6/2010 5:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello HW Family,
I'm almost hesitant to make this post for fear that I will jink this change, but I have had something ODD happen and I'm not sure what to make of it.  Basically, I have been having pain so bad again that my back felt almost like it did just after fusion surgery.  I've spent my nights crying and my days in the recliner for the most part.  I honestly have felt sick and in horrible pain for so many months that I can't remember feeling better after surgery except for a brief period.  Looking back, I was much better at about a year after surgery and then started to decline again horribly.
Anyway, I started making tons of Dr apts to find out what was wrong.....every test in the book....but nothing but inflamation and a few other small things showed.  Then, out of the blue, my big toes (both) swole up and turned purple and burst through the ends of the toes (gross!) to the Dr I went and cultures were done....the results were too many bacteria to culture and I had already been put on high doses of antibiotics, so my feet are healing (as is my UTI. diagnosed that day ...which I have NEVER had before). 
Now to the ODD thing....I've been taking this antibiotic for a little over a week at very high doses and my back pain has dropped from a 10  to almost nothing.  It's dropped sort of in degrees corelating with the reduction in the abcesses in my toes.  Even my hand pain is almost gone today....I don't know what to make of it.
I mentioned it yesterday to the PCP and asked her if it was possible that I had gotten some infection in my back that was being cleared up by the antibiotics and she looked stunned and said that would be really, really bad.  Then she ordered MRI's of my spine from top to bottom and gave me additional antibiotics to take so that I can continue them for a while and clear all of the infection.  The MRI's are to be done on the 16th.  I would "assume" that any infection would be gone by then and they will show if there is anything still going on with the spine, but I don't know if they would see scar tissue from infection if it had been there....or any left if it is still there.
Either way, the pain is so much better that I forget to take my pain meds....which is a wonderful feeling by the way.  I can only pray that it stays this way!!!!  I don't want to get my hopes up too much.  I still have so many other issues with the fibro and the other medical conditions, but to have my back pain go from insane with tears rolling down my face a week ago to being able for someone to touch it now and being able to get up and down from a chair or walk more than a few steps is almost too good to be true.   The back x-rays, by the way, showed nothing at all.  It's just ODD. 
Retired Mom

Monty's Mom
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Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 664
   Posted 8/6/2010 8:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Retired Mom!

I am so glad to hear that your pain has lessened, and will be praying for you that it continues to improve and stay that way! I never had back surgery, but had something similar after my hysterectomy. I had a massive staph infection behind the incision which caused it to be red, inflamed, and feel like they had just cut me open. After weeks of antibiotics it only worsened and eventually stretched to the point you could see into the incision. After surgery to clear out all the infected tissues and PICC line antibiotics it improved greatly. X-rays aren't always effective to see pockets of fluid or infection. Ultrasounds, MRI or CT scans are the best for showing abscesses or fluid pockets (was radiology tech aide and scheduler for 9 years!)

My point is hang in there dear. Those antibiotics will make you feel much better soon and hopefully this surgery was a success and will bring you lasting pain relief! Keep your MRI appointment too, because it may show any inflammation left from infection or also any remaining pockets of fluid that would help them determine if you need to continue the antibiotics for a longer period of time.

I am so happy for you!
Monty's Mom
Pelvic adhesive disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, SI joint pain, 7 pelvic surgeries for pain, ovarian cysts, and adhesions.

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 8/6/2010 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello Retiredmom! Well. it sounds like you have had a tuff time of it. So sorry to hear this, but it is wonderful that the pain is almost gone. I have heard of cases, where the hardware used for the fusion can cause infection. Privey had this, and they had to remove it, as it was the source of the infection.

I know quite well the feeling of getting worse to the point of alarming well into the recovery, and then out of the clear blue, one would swear that your healed all in one day. I too, am cautious about this, and wonder if it is temporary for myself.

Lets keep positive together, and hope that it last.

I see that you have many other health issues to deal with as well. When you have a good day like that, it kinda makes you forget about the other issues. You just want to share it with everyone, and can bring tears to your eyes as well.

We are wishing the best for you, but please be careful and do keep checking on the infection issue. We don't want any of those little buggers lurking around in you're body.

Please! Please! keep us updated on your progress, as this information is more important that you know to those who may be facing simular surgery's

I must have been stopped a million times while out and about. People would see my back brace, and stop me and ask about my back problems. There are alot of people suffering back problems, but too scared to have something done for it, or are dealing with a quack of a Dr who will not treat them for pain with correct med's

Take care! It was so nice to visit with you again!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 8/6/2010 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey RetiredMom , Thats wonderful !!! Just awesome ! Who cares why , sometimes things happen and we don't know why , there isn't always an answer for everything . But maybe your prayers were answered about your back pain , whatever you were doing continue it ! Maybe don't be so focused on why , just enjoy ! And its sounds like you are , I'm very happy for you , I hope it lasts forever and your other challengesease up too . Enjoy my friend !!!!! Mikel
HIV+. meds - epzicom, Kaletra . oxycontin as needed , indothemiacin . Awaiting hip replacement surgery .

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 8/6/2010 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   


   Dear Retired,

     Good morning *hugg* It is so good to hear from you. I hope today is shaping up to be a low pain day as well? You have been in very intense severe painf for a long time and it is high time you got a much deserved break!

    I am sorry to hear about your toes. I hope the dmamage isnt permanant. It must be rather awfull from the sound of things. Hopefully, the antibiotic will help out with all the problems you have been experiencing. Please let us know when you hear back from the MRI results. You are always in our prayers here. Stay strong!


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

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 8/6/2010 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi RetiredMom, nice to meet you. I'm sorry to hear you've been having so much trouble lately, but I'm glad to hear the antibiotics are working and that you are getting a break from the pain. I wish you well with your upcoming MRI, etc.
Scoliosis fusion w/rods - 1992; herniated disc - 1996; partial removal of rods - 1997; microdiscectomy - 1997; sudden increase in pain - 2008; since 2008 I've tried the following non-pharmaceutical treatments: physical therapy, aquatic therapy, TENS, acupuncture, trigger point injections, selective nerve root blocks; other diagnoses: depression, anxiety, add; current medications: tramadol, lyrica, baclofen, vicodin, welbutrin, ativan, ritalin

Retired Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 8/6/2010 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys....I'm in for half the day with half the meds and still working on cleaning my house. Naturally the back is sore from the extra effort, but no where near as sore as before.

I appreaciate so much the support and information you have given me. THANK YOU ALL!


You have me very interested in this possibility. I will definitely keep the appointment for the MRI's. Thank Goodness I have met my maximum out of pocket expenses for the year, so these should be done without costs!!!!'s about time for good luck. Anyway, I never had a drain of any kind after surgery, so I'm a little surprised about what you were saying. I'm thinking so hard about the possibility of finding the problem. My rods/screws hurt me alot. I don't want any surgery, but I wouldn't be opposed to having them removed if necessary. I'm definitely going to mention this to the tech doing the MRI's on the 16th so that they can really look close in that area too.


I'm so glad you are still feeling better! I hope you have turned the corner on yours and are going to be up and dancing again soon!

I found the same thing as you when I was wearing my brace and still today. People will stop you and almost beg for information on who you saw, how you feel, what the procedure was like and whatever they can get. It's not a "how are you" where they don't want to know, it's a "please give me information so that I know what to do next" kind of thing.


You are so kind to keep giving encouragement with all of the challenges you have been (and still are) facing. I so hope your surgery goes well and that you are able to live a full and pain free life soon!

Monty's Mom,

I really appreciate the imput! I'm happy you have joined our HW family. This is one great group of people and I know you will fit in so well here. I hope you also find answers soon!

And finally Dani,

You are such an inspiration to me and I alway appreciate you taking the time to give your insight. You're conditions are so severe, yet you find the strength to help others when they need it. Hopefully the toes will completely heal. They look much better, but my concern is why this happened in the first place. Of course, if it is the answer to what has been going on then it is a blessing. I often find that I don't know why things happen at the time, but they were meant to happen for a reason.

Each of you is so special to me and I honestly apreciate you all. I don't express it as much as I should when I am in a high pain period, but you all matter so much to me now.

If I have missed anyone, it was because you were posting at the same time as I was and I didn't see the post. I don't want anyone to think I left them out of my thank you.
Sorry were posting at the same time so I updated this.  Thank you and it's very nice to meet you!
Retired Mom

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 8/6/2010 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   


    Oh! Retiredmom!...How could you! :)

......and I thought "they liked me! They really liked me!" (Sally Fields) :)

You are so right about asking all the questions, and really not careing about me!

Of course I saw right through it and said "Your going to die" ...NOT! :)

I always helped them understand what could take place and let them know they had options.

Always encouraged them, in a positive light! I hate to see anyone worry and in pain at the same time.

Take care my friend, and I hope it brought a giggle to your face! :)


"Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 663
   Posted 8/6/2010 2:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow Retiredmom, that is wonderful news! How wierd that everything seems to be getting better (I'm I am actually really happy to hear good news from you. It's about time you start getting a break and feeling a little better...enjoy it! Please continue to keep us updated. Take care.
Gentle Hugs,
Fibromyalgia, Chronic daily headaches, Migraine disorder (with and without aura), Graves Disease, GERD, High blood pressure, Depression and Anxiety
Oxycontin, Lopressor, Lexapro, Omeprazole, Valium as needed, Promethazine as needed for nausea from migraines

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 8/6/2010 7:00 PM (GMT -6)   
That sounds so wierd as if there was an infection in your back all along, were you running temperatures or anything? Its quite wonderful that you're getting less pain, I have my fingers crossed that the anti biotics are a miracle cure but like Michael said, enjoy it while you can just incase it doesn't last.
Wallow in the moment so to speak.
My very best wishes, golitho

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 8/6/2010 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi RM,

Yuck! Those abscesses sound nasty & painful! BUT it is fantastic to hear that they lead you to find an unexpected therapy for your pain. I don't know why it is helping, but I sure hope that it continues to do so! Hopefully the MRI will provide some more answers. Enjoy your less-pain-days.

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