A story of hope for those with chronic pain

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 10/25/2011 9:49 PM (GMT -6)   
My father had to retire at 55 due to chronic pain from scoliosis. That he made it to 55 was itself astounding.

He had a few years after that where he was still able to keep modestly active and my parents would spend the winters in Florida.

But since about 2000, his pain came to overwhelm his life. He couldn't make it down to Florida any longer and my parents sold their condo there. He was in too much pain to go out for a meal, to the mall, or really go anywhere. Within a few more years, he was bedridden except for short meals and trips to the bathroom.

Until very recently, he was on 90mg of oxycontin per day, 4mg of ativan, remeron, and various other medications. He almost died of pneumonia a few years ago and about three weeks ago, he was taken to the ER due to a serious infection.

He spent about two weeks in the hospital, during which he had surgery to reduce his prostate (which was also needed, but that was not why he was originally taken to the ER). During the two weeks, he was in a hospital bed, lying on his back, given some powerful antibiotics, and reduced pain meds (they had to wean him down for surgery).

Somehow, after the surgery, his back pain was simply gone. He has now been home for a week and he is slowly being weaned off all his pain meds. He simply has no more back pain and his only scoliosis related pain is from sitting, when his ribs are hitting his ilium. Otherwise, he is outright pain-free.

He is now going for walks, eating a lot (he was down to 110lbs) and is mentally alive again.
Somehow, after decades of severe pain, it just went away.

I've heard about Ketamine induced comas being used to "reboot" the brain so that it doesn't experience the pain input as pain. Maybe the general anesthetic did something like that? Maybe the progressive spinal degeneration had for a long time been pressing on a nerve and it progressed just a bit more to release that trapped nerve? We don't know. But I thought I would share this story.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg daily, breakthrough - hydrocodone 10-15mg, or oxycodone 5-7.5mg. .25-.5mg ativan as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25393
   Posted 10/25/2011 9:59 PM (GMT -6)   
That is an amazing story about your father. And to be released from all those years of pain, just like that. The human body is a complex thing, and as much as we live in an age of advanced medical procedures, drugs, and research, there isn't always a logical answer to why one suffers a certain way, in particular, chronic pain.

I am thankful to hear that he is getting this relief, without the needs of all the former meds. You may never know a full medical answer to this recovery, but the results are just as satisfying either way.

Good luck to both you and your father, I hope he continues to do so well in the future.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06, 2/11 1.24, 4/11 3.81, 6/11 5.8
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/10

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 10/25/2011 10:12 PM (GMT -6)   
2 other possibilities are:

1. His pain may have been opiod induced since he was on them for so long. Not saying his original pain was not real, only that after a time that pain resolved itself but the continued use of opiods may have started creating pain on its own.

2. He has had prostate issues for a long time, probably unknown by anyone and that was causing a lot of pain and once he had the surgery whatever pressure his prostate was putting on nerves or whatever went away.

While the reason for this is certainly fascinating and fun to speculate on it pales immeasurably to the fact that he is no longer in pain.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 10/26/2011 12:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for sharing Cogito!

I think we all hope for a miracle of sorts like this! I'm certainly happy for anyone who does not have to endure pain on a 24/7 basis.

As I read the story of your father, it reminded me of my own circumstances, and even the med's almost matched mine. I too, have an enlarged prostate, but at this time not having much luck with the med's prescribed for it, nor am I having any luck with back pain relief. I get so darned mad at trying to explain what type of pain I'm in to other people, and why I need my med's.

Right now, I have a bad ear infection, and will see my Dr today for it. At the moment, I can feel the pressure of fluid behind the eardrum, and it has not gotten too painful yet. I just want to get in before I get there! Seems that I'm just not having much luck at anything lately, and feel awful. Maybe things will settle down a bit here soon for me.

I do!... "Thank You" for this story of hope you have shared though!

Take care,

SE wink
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Weekly Quote!

"Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together"

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 10/26/2011 7:05:45 AM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9242
   Posted 10/26/2011 12:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for posting your wonderful story. We hear so many goofy stories in emails or on the web about some 'miracle' that happened "to a guy who lives in "fill in the state of your choice". lol... But the fact that this happened to your father is proof in my mind that there is still a reason to believe in true miracles. What a blessing for you and your family.

Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Fibromyalgia, IDDM. UC, , Osteoarthritis slowly meandering around everywhere
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny..." ~Isaac Asimov

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 10/26/2011 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
We're all hoping it lasts. But even if it doesn't, it is giving my father (and mother) an amazing break from the daily hardships.

One more conjecture, my brother proposed: in the days leading to his going to the ER, he was showing (increased) signs of dementia (not knowing where he was, etc.). So, they thought the infection went to his brain. That may be causally relevant for perhaps the infection did something that altered his pain response.

If things change, or new information comes along, I'll update.
C4-T4 Scoliosis (disk degeneration, stenosis, narrowed neuroforamen, bone spurs), RT hip and SI joint damage from car accident. Also, pectus excavatum, supraventricular tacycardia and mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
Current meds: Ultram ER 300mg daily, breakthrough - hydrocodone 10-15mg, or oxycodone 5-7.5mg. .25-.5mg ativan as needed for sleep, Verapamil 240mg SR (for tachycardia). [/gray

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/28/2011 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
AWSOME story Congrats to you and your dad. Chronic pain sux and I wish more people understood what we that have it are going through

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 11/1/2011 1:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I do believe God works in mysterious ways.....to include using the resources around us to answer our needs.

Its possible that he was experiencing hyper-anglesia from the high dose of opioids, however for that level of pain (IMO) I wouldn't think that was the main cause, perhaps a contributor.

Perhaps something additional that was adding to the pain was resolved by the antibiotics?

Perhaps the ketamine reset his body's own natural endorphin producing process?

It could be a combination of reasons and for such a dramatic pain drop there probably is more than one reason.

I hope the resolve continues for him ;)
MRI revealed disc bulge and test injections revealed RA. Radio Freq procedures helped for months, but pain is up and im having the procedure done again. Currently on 75 mgs of Nucynta (tapentadol - A MOR + NRI) 2 to 3 time per day and Soma 350 as needed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 11/5/2011 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all for the kind replies.

I phoned my parents this afternoon... and my mother said that I just "caught them dancing to Ella Fitzgerald"! Amazing!

My father has gained 10lbs in 3 weeks, is going for walks with my mother outside their condo, and is up and about through the day, looking for things to do.... after 10 years in bed, in the dark, completely shut down from the world!
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