On 12/6/93, while as an employee of California State Disability, and out visiting disabled folks, I was rearended at nearly 50 mph by an elderly gentleman not paying attention while at a T intersection getting ready to pull into traffic, with my left hand on the steering wheel, leaning forward and twisted to the right. I immediately felt pain in my thoracic spine. I ended up with 3 Thoracic herniated discs, causing stenosis and with alternating levels torsing my spine at one level left to right, next level, right to left and then following level back again. A year later, after a discogram which was controversial at the time, I chose the lesser of the 2 surgeries and had a thoracic discectomy at t 7-8, leaving the other discs alone.
Neurosurgeon drilled through the pedicle in the back and sucked out the disc material from the worst disc as opposed to going in through the front,
opening me up with a rib spreader, taking out my organs and doing a tri-level fusion with 35 percent morbidity rate on the table. Had 2nd thoracic surgery a month later as the incision
opened up and had to be re-cut and re-stitched. In 2007 finally had a Rhizotomy (burning of the nerves at 4 levels bilaterally in the thoracic spine. Also have 2 herniated discs in cervical c 6-7, and c7-8, the latter also causing stenosis and pressing on the exiting c-7 nerve root with a positive EMG for nerve damage in my left shoulder/arm. In 2009 I had 2 major surgeries on my ankle
open reduction internal fixation with multiple titanium wires pulling my ankle back together from a severe break that left my foot dangling at 180 degrees opposite my original position, and ligament rupture once they got in there to fix the ankle.
Now I've just suffered 2 broken ribs, a/c shoulder jt injury and adhesive capsulitis,as well as bone and muscle bruises again on my left side. further, from the original injury, the thoracic pain on the left also extends around the chest wall and ribs with chronic spasming all the way to the front part of my chest. I am a mess. Fortunately, I had a sedentary job, and lived on pain meds the last 17+ years in order to keep my job and support my family. I've now been forced out on medical retirement, and have filed for such from CalPers state retirement system, and anticipating resolution from my leaving as of 05/04/11 to know within 30 days or so if it will be approved. I have 3 doctors, an FP, PM&R doc, & pain Mgmt PhD.who have all certified me permanently disabled.
I haven't worked full time since 06/10, but did return to work 11/29/10-05/03/11 part time until the pain got so increasingly bad, I couldn't keep even the part time schedule the last 4 months of my part time work attempt. All the descript
ions I've read on this forum apply, my kids have all grown and gone (I'm only 51, but feel 75 most of the time with range of motion and pain restrictions) became physically dependent upon pain meds, my family after 2 years didn't want to hear about
my pain any longer. I've lost all my friends, had to discontinue a very athletic existance both on my own and in raising 3 boys.
I have seriously thought about
just giving up. I can't because of my relief reasons, and because I am a coward to do so, but I can finally understand after all these years how someone could check out because they can't get any relief physically, or mentally for that matter, and there is just no quality of life.
My State disbility ran out, and due to working part time, I'm precluded from filing for Social Security Disability until 5 months after my last physical day of work, even though it was on a part time schedule for 5 months after being off completely for 6 months prior to that, and now my attorney states I needed to wait 5 months after my last day of work to file for SSDI. Any suggestions as a rule of thumb to shorten the Social Security DI application, and alleged 2 disqualifications I will automatically receive to reduce my addtional waiting time so I don't have to wait another 6-12 months after I apply on 10/05/11?
Also, I have tried everything, and I mean EVERYTHING including heat, ice, nsaids & narcotics,from vicodin all the way to fetenyl patches to get relief. They finally put me on suboxone, and then I blew out the ankle and had to go back on the narcotics, and I'm just not getting the relief I need. I take morphine now, and percocet for breakthrough pain. They won't prescribe soma's, although that was about
the only muscle relaxant that helped me to sleep,consequently I only average 2-3 hours of cat naps per night, and was constantly crashing at work, from sheer exhaustion from sometimes going 2-3 days without sleep at all. Any and all suggestions for sleep assistance, pain relief and regarding Social Security Disability will be appreciated.
Be Nice- I'm a newbie on the site, today's my first day, though I am far from a newbie in knowledge due to my position (20 years as a paralegal for State Disability Insurance for the State of California which trained us medically, as well as in my med legal field) and due to my chronic pain longevity, which will be 18 years on 12/06/11. Thanks all, sorry if I rambled on :) (edited for easier reading) Thanks! SE
Post Edited By Moderator (Screaming Eagle) : 9/11/2011 2:37:42 AM (GMT-6)