hello, im new here

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/14/2012 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
little about me, im 22 years old and have had back pain since the age of 8. 3 years ago i was hit by a car. it was a friend and truly an accident, so no law suit(seems everyone is so sue happy these days) but my pain has gotten much worse after that. i have a bulging disk at l5+l6 and another (possibly herniated) in my neck, not sure of location. during my last doctors visit i was told i now have arthritis in my back. im a heavy machinist and having many problems doing my job recently. i have tried many different painkillers and the only one that doesnt make me feel sick are 5-325 percocet. these arent always enough for the pain. ive gone through physical therapy and have had a set of epidural steroid injections. ive read a few topics on this board and im glad im not alone. i have a few questions though.

1>how young were you when your pain started?
2>ive been looking into getting a can to help me walk, will this help my situation?
3>how have you personally gotten over the fact that you will wake up in pain every day for the rest of your life?

thank you all for taking the time to read this, and thanks in advance for any advise you can give

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 2/14/2012 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Wisco...

Welcome to the board.... I'm sorry to hear of your pain issues, especially being so young. :(

In answer to your questions:

1) I was about 19 when I first had health issues, but I got better. I had some pain issues through my 20's (migraines) but my chronic pain issues that I currently have didn't begin until I was 30. I'm now 38.

2) I don't use a cane, so perhaps others that do can speak to this... that being said, I think if it works, it works. Off/on, when I've been @ my worst, I've had to use a wheelchair.

3) Gotten over the fact? Yes and no. It's a process, I think. I have accepted that I will most likely have chronic pain for the rest of my life, given my diagnosis. I also have long-term health issues. I'm a completely different person than I used to be - and, for the most part, I've accepted it. But, I'm also many years into my journey - and it took awhile. Also, even though I've accepted what is - that doesn't mean there are not days that I want to tear my hair out, lol. Or that the debilitating pain doesn't get me down (many of us here also suffer from depression...).

So, those are my answers!

Re: your situation... do you have a good relationship w/ your doctor? I hope so. You said the percocets aren't enough for your pain and that you've tried other meds. Have you ever tried a long-acting medication (like morphine, etc)? Muscle relaxers (this helps my pain, along w/ the narcotics)? Did the epidurals help you? Just trying to brainstorm for you!

Anyway, glad you are here... and look forward to getting to know you better. --Tina

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/14/2012 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
my pain is worse now than usual because of the whole its 16 degrees outside thing. i dont really ever leave my house exept for shopping/work. i dont move around a whole lot at work, and i dont hink they would appreciate me using a cane. mainly just for shopping, im to abarrased to ask for the power carts at wal-mart and i dont think they would let me use them anyway. i use a push cart as a walker usually, leaning on the handle, but having to bend over to do so, kinda negates the purpose. my doctor is great, listens and tries to help. if i take more than the 5mg percocet, i cant do my job efectivley as i am a precision machinist and have to be very alert.ive taken muscle relaxers with no effect whatsoever and never tried any morphine or other long lapse medication, the steriod injections helped on the first shot, the second shot flipped it 180degrees and made it worse than ever, and the final shot brought me back to where i started.
as for the depression, i dont really hang out with friends, but my fiancee is here always encouraging me. i do admit that i cry alot and feel very crippled, im angry that this is my life now, im angry that im only 22 years old and its happening. and im terrifiied of it getting any worse. i can still stand on my feet, even when it hurts, but thats just because im stubborn as an ox.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 2/14/2012 11:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wisco, and welcome to HW. I'm sorry too to hear about your problems. It's hard being young and in so much pain.

1/ I've had problems since breaking my leg as a 5 year old. Most of my current issues started when I injured my knee at 14 and developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome that has since spread body wide and thrown out almost every complication in the book. I'm now 27.

2/ I use mainly a wheelchair, so I can't say much about whether a cane would help either. If you do get one though, rather than buy 'off the shelf', can I suggest that you talk to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist? They've been invaluable to be both with crutches and in starting to organise a new wheelchair for me... they can assess how you walk, whether there is something particularly good that will support you and improve your gait, what will be easiest on your hands and arms, and so on.

3/ No, I don't think so. I still cry over the fact that I'm never likely to hold down a job, even though I studied for five years and graduated vet school, that I'll always be at least semi-reliant on someone because the disease has left me crippled and unless there are huge medical advances there is no cure - nor even any new treatments. That as things stand at the moment, a good day for me is 7/10 pain and my life is my computer because I am housebound, often in bed. This isn't a life, not really :(

Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

Full body CRPS with spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bursitis, CTS, osteoporosis, multiple compression fx, disc bulges.

Oxycodone ER/IR, Topamax, Mobic, Somac, Cipramil, Midodrine, Vit D & C, SCS, baclofen/bupivacaine pump

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/15/2012 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
thank you both for your replies. I couldn't imagine dealing with the problems a lot of people on here have. i feel like my pain is trivial at best. everyone tells me that individuals feel pain differently, but i feel that is mostly BS to get me to feel better about it. i wish i could offer any advise to you, but having recently realized how screwed we all are, I'm in no position to offer sound advice.

on a side note, a few days ago i hopped about 6-8 inches down onto concrete at work and felt a huge pain spike from my neck to my toes, then couldn't feel my legs for about 30 seconds. it made me quite nauseous. anyone else ever have this happen?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 2/15/2012 12:02 AM (GMT -6)   

One of the moderators here (Screaming Eagle/SE) is out for a bit due to his pain... but he wanted me to pass on that he is also a heavy machinist (he works on a 3-spindle 5 axis machine - whatever the heck that means, lol). He's been dealing w/ chronic pain for a long time while also working full-time...so you might want to chat w/ him when he returns.

A few more things in response to what you said -

-- I do the same thing w/ the push carts (use them for support). But, if you think a cane would help you - then use it by all means.

--I'm glad you have a good doctor; that's half the battle sometimes. I understand that you need to be alert w/ your job.. and the whole medication thing.

--I'm glad, too, that you have a supportive fiancee.... I'm sorry for all the emotions you are going through. You are right... you ARE too young... it's unfair... and I know how scary it is when you don't know what tomorrow is going to look like. So many of us have gone through - or are going through - these very same things. That's why I spend time here on the board... because it helps me to know that others here understand.

Hang in there, hon.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/15/2012 12:12 AM (GMT -6)   
thanks for the referal :) maybee he can give me a few pointers on how to make work easier. i am the main income for our houshold right now as all of her money goes toward her schooling. and i cannot afford to lose my job because i cant keep up

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 2/15/2012 12:18 AM (GMT -6)   

I know that Michael (SE) would love to do that for you (give you some ideas for making work easier) when he's back on his feet. He's a great guy who's been through a lot and is always trying to help others.

Ok, I gotta go collapse in bed! Good night.... Glad you are here, though! :) --Tina

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15848
   Posted 2/15/2012 3:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wisco and welcome to the chronic pain forum. I am glad that you found us but very sorry you have to be here. It just stinks to see someone your age struggling with something like CP when you should be out living your life and doing things young people do. However, pain does not discriminate with age.

My back pain started when I was 19 yrs old and I am now 58. But back then it was just episodes of it coming and going not constant like now. The last 15 years have been the constant steady problem. I have a pain pump and and a wonderful PM dr that has really been a tremendous help with my pump. She is very experienced with pumps and the medications and dosages used in them. If a pump dr does not have this then the pump will be a failure.

Learning how to live with CP and accepting a new way to do things is the only way I think we can move on. We grieve for things we have lost whether its loss of a job, income, friends or whatever. I found a wonderful psychologist that helped me through a lot this mess.

Depression and chronic pain go hand in hand. Don't let your depression get out of control, talk to your dr about it. It takes a very strong person to live like we do.

I have balance issues and walk with a cane. If you decide to buy one get it from a medical supply place so they can measure you correctly with the cane. Stay as active as you can possibly can too.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on here and tell you welcome aboard, take care...Susie
Moderator-Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 2/15/2012 3:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wisco, I wanted to pop in and welcome you aboard. I'm glad you found us but sorry you are suffering so much and at such a young age.
I have been suffering with continuous severe headaches for twelve years and it's not an easy journey. Just when i think I have accepted that this is the way it will be, I fall down again. It's a tough battle, one I cannot escape for even ten minutes. I have lost my dream job due to this chronic pain.
I hope you can find some answers for your pain or something that will help. I believe you still have many options that you have not tried yet.

Hang in there and keep posting. As Tina said, once Michael gets back here he will be able to help you out with many suggestions. He is a hard worker and suffering terribly with back pain.


Heather Lynn
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 283
   Posted 2/16/2012 12:56 AM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to the chronic pain forum, you will find lots of good support here.

I was 20 when I first had chronic upper and mid back pain. I suffered with that for 7 years before it was mostly fixed with surgery. But all that chronic pain caused "central sensitization", and now I have fibromyalgia, and pain in my lower back that is from my SI joint, but made worse by the fibromyalgia.

I wanted to chime in on the cane issue. I debated this for about a year before I finally took the plunge and bought one, and I am so glad I did. Issues with both my hips and my back make walking difficult for me sometimes, and the cane has eased some of that. It gives me a bit more endurance, and a bit more confidence that if I walk a half mile in one direction, I won't be stranded there unable to walk the half mile back.

Acceptance is a process for me, and I'm honestly not sure where I am with it. At one point I felt like I had accepted things because I had realized my pain was always there whether I was active or not, so I chose to be active. Now I am struggling again because now activity does make my pain worse, and I need to learn to pace myself and learn to cope all over again.

I agree with what others have said about not letting the depression get out of control - the depression is one of the most treatable aspects of chronic pain. In addition to meds, cognitive-behavioral therapy is very effective for both depression and learning to cope with chronic pain. Both have been a big help to me in this journey.
Fibromyalgia, low back pain/SI joint dysfunction, anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea, endometriosis, asthma

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 2/16/2012 12:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wisco

Welcome to the site. I`m so sorry to hear about your pain. You are in the right place for support.

Have you seen a pain specialist? I found that was the best thing I did to help my situation. Do most medications make you nauseous? Have you tried anti-nausea medication?

I`m sorry about the problems at your job.If you need any help let me know, I don`t know if I can do much but have had some experience dealing with employers and my condition. I worked in one place and was honest with them about everything and they were ok until I was taking diazepam and had bad side effects and started making mistakes, then they completely changed their attitude about supporting me, they started hassling me about sick leave even though they`d previously said they understood. It was a catch 22, either I didn`t take the medication and then had to call in sick or leave early because of pain or I`d make mistakes. After that I did temporary jobs as I didn`t want to have to go through explaining myself to another employer all the time. Then one of the temp jobs became a full time job and they were incredibly understandable, I took so much sick leave but they supported me the whole time.

I have had chronic pain since I was 23, I`m 28 now. I had a particularly hard time coping when I was looking for a medication or treatment that would work but during this time I came to terms with the fact that there was no cure. As the pain was so bad I just wanted to find a treatment that would help so I could live as normal a life as possible. After four years I got put on a combination of oxycontin and immediate release oxycodone which finally gave me some relief and it is still working. It`s hard sometimes to convince other people I`ve accepted things though - I had to go to a specialist recently who was very insistent I change medications and do all these sorts of tests to keep searching for a cure, (basically she didn`t approve of the medication) and I said I don`t have any desire to change anything or keep looking as I`ve found what`s working and don`t want to go back to what it was like before. Thankfully my doctor agrees with me.

I agree with Tina on this, I have accepted it but it doesn`t mean I don`t have awful days when I feel I can`t go on or I don`t wish it was different. I guess now I`m in a better routine where if I have an awful pain day I won`t make myself try to do too many things, I`ll just stay in bed and watch TV, but I try to think of it like it`s not a bad thing to be in bed watching TV - where possible of course, it doesn`t always work and of course there`s many times when the pain is so bad I can`t distract myself. I try to take it day by day but it`s still very hard.

Anyway take care. Love Di xx

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 2/16/2012 1:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Sorry to hear of your pain....It really is difficult when you are younger and all of a sudden pain moves from being acute...to chronic...As mentioned...it takes a huge emotional toll at any age...but especially those who are younger when life should be more carefree and just getting started...

The one thing I would really caution about using a cane. Is actually getting one prescribed by a Dr. so that it is the right height and you can actually be taught how to use it properly...

It's like children's car seats....Over 75% of the people do not use them properly....(I know as I used to be a Firefighter/EMT for 10 years and we did the "get your car seat checked out" days and people were shocked at this...Same with not using booster seats or properly wearing seat belts...

Anyways...(sorry for the tangent)..LOL....But the same is with a cane....people can actually make themselves worse by changing your stride and changing the way your spine is aligned.

My mom is just now going through PT for her osteoarthritis in her knee...They switched her from a cane to a walker....(and no...not the old folks ugly ones that have tennis balls attatched to them..lol)....But we got the one at Sam's club that has these awesome 4 wheels to go anywhere, breaks, as well as for you to sit on when resting...

This way...while rehabilitating...it's perfect for her height and so she is perfectly aligned with her spine and feels much more secure against falling, (this is a biggie) which then has her walking further and for longer periods of time...

The key is talking this over with a Dr. and seeing which is best and for how long you should use it...

Others have asked good questions about what type of Dr. you are seeing? When is the last time you had an MRI of your back and neck? And what type of treatments have they done already....Injections, traction, PT, etc? Is surgery an option to help?

Spine issues can unfortunately be a long battle...but on the other side...there are many that actually have treatments or surgery and are doing wonderfully years and years down the road...

Keep in mind that as great as our site here is....anything online is going to be the percentage of people where things did not work out well....So it can seem "scary" when being diagnosed with herniated discs as all you read are people who have chronic pain....The rest of those people are out living their lives and don't post online...

So just take it all one step, one day at a time...Starting with a reputable, Board Certified Orthopedic or Neurosurgeon and go from there....

Welcome to the boards...
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Oct 2006

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/18/2012 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   
sorry for the delay in getting back to you guys, thank you for all your storys and advice. to answer some questions that were asked, i have been to a pain management doctor and he explained that my pain is from nerve roots being pinched by my vertebra and i went through a set of injections with no relief. i was prescribed a tens unit and it made things worse. physical therapy made my legs better for a while but the exercises were painful and i couldn't do them anymore after 6 months or so. my main doctor was a sports injury specialist and he has been great and tells me not to give up. he is trying everything before we go into surgery because he thinks the surgery will could fix the problem but not the pain.

Post Edited (wisco22) : 2/18/2012 7:39:23 PM (GMT-7)

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