Wow, you've had a tough road so early in life. One thing, in time, you'll be a stronger person for having lived through such trauma and your compassion towards others will be increased. Some people go through life with blinders and people who have had trauma have a better connection to living in the moment and enjoying small pleasures. It's probably not so much consoling now, but hang on to the though that surviving this experience will make you stronger.
I think it's good to take a look at, if you haven't already, alternatives before deciding on surgery. If you see an orthopedic surgeon, that's all that's in his bag of tricks, like seeing a pain management doctor, one will leave with a prescript
ion. Effective non-surgical treatments in addition to pain medications are chiropractic care, physical therapy and supplements to help repair and rebuild your discs. After such a fall, your spine is likely out of line, and the narrow spaces will cause your discs to become damaged, your nerves to become pinched. I had a problem in my lower back, and seeing a chiro for 6 months fixed me up. Your problem is serious, so I would get the best chiro to give you a prognosis, as surgery may be the only answer. A poster called spinal soldier recently gave me a link to a chronic pain doctor, his guide was extremely helpful in explaining medications and the psychology of pain. Here's his site http://foresttennant.com/pain_management_patient_self_help.html.
It's normal to get depressed being in such pain. You'll be able to apply your education better once you've found a solution, be it alternative therapy or surgery. Keep the faith as it does take time, and you have many years of working left. (to try to get a perspective, you have 35 more years of working, if you spend the next two years getting better, what will be the impact long term?) Keeping a pain journal may help you get through the days.
Also, amitriptyline is an anti-depressant. The medical community has found anti-depressants have an effect on nerve pain. It's also known that they stop working for some people (a lot of people actually). You'll want to ask for a narcotic which will help you sleep and at the same time relieve pain. I use the Fentanyl patch, and it works great. I've read the patch is often prescribed for people with your severe back pain. I'm not a doctor so it's best to ask that question to your specialist. Other advice.... focus on doing stuff to calm the nervous system, like not drinking coffee after lunch, not eating excitotoxins like msg and aspartame (diet pop), and eating well.
Here's a site for alternative ideas,
Post Edited (Sue123) : 1/13/2012 3:44:27 PM (GMT-7)