Hello!, I have been told, prior to SCS implant, patients should have an MRI. This should be just prior to the surgery, to make sure the vertebral spaces are adequate for the proceedure. A surgeon at a world famous hospital, paralyzed a patient who had inadequate vertebral space for the leads. Was told this by the surgeon who did my SCS implant. I have not had the same horror story problems, I have heard some people discuss. My only issue is: the darn expensive thing just does not help. Wish I had never given it a try. Told it works great for some people. I wonder how severe their pain is, since it seems to make my pain worse with severe pain. Any clues anyone?View Thread
Dear Tim, Oh, that awful number crunching, which those of us who are dealing with chronic pain, know all too well. Funny how the numbers always seem to hit in the red.
I have been so worried about you. You scared me, since you work so hard, along with b.j. to give good direction to many people on this site. You seem to check in frequently, offering good info and when you are absent from the site, my imagination goes in many directions.
The more info you offer, the more I shake my head. You were injured due to an error made by your brother-in-law? Oh! I can't even respond to that issue. Your grace in this whole situation is amazing. Question: Were you helping him at his house, or was he helping you at your house?
I am going through the same issue at my home. Six weeks ago, my husband came to me with his plan. I have no family, no money, in the basement financially and few friends. When I say I was completely bedridden for 7 years, I was not an exaggerator on those facts. After over 20 years of disability and as you age, you loose so much and have lost many connections. It is not a result of being someone who cannot get along with others, but a symptom of the extent of disability.
You are very kind, saying many positive things about all the members of your family. I feel differently about my situation. Looked at low income housing and I can't afford the rent. Would not have the money to eat. After years of having four cars, one a Viper and one a Porsche(neither I was ever allowed to drive), we have one car. Over 110,000 miles, bad brakes and a cracked windshield. Could not count on this to get me to the doctor ect.
Hope your situation gets better or is better than mine. Take care. April-Rose9View Thread
Hello!, You are on a boatload of meds. You should check out pain specialists in your area with good reviews from family, friends and online. Check which medical school they attended, their specialty and Board Certification. Make sure the online reviews relate to patients with serious chronic pain and the willingness to spend time hearing about your pain and getting your meds in order.
You are on a very low dose of Neurontin. Ask if the dose can be increased, since you can take up to 3600mg/day. I belive this is the max dosage.
Another question! Do you have back pain or SI joint pain? I have some suggestions for SI joint pain and there may be others who have ideas to help your back and get you some relief, and some sleep.
You are entitled to disability. You have a documented car accident, the medical documentation of surgery x2 and chronic pain. Since you are young, this may take time. The disability should be retroactive, so apply now, appeal each and every time you are denied and do this within the time frame. Look for a good disability attorney who will answer your phone calls, return calls in a timely manner and spend years, if necessary, to work on your behalf.
How many attorneys have you had appointments with and what case law have they cited with regards to the car accident. I think it is crazy that the rental car company is not responsible for the lack of security which lead to the theft of lethal company property.
Try to remember the pain will get better. I have dealt with chronic pain for a very long time. The loneliness, isolation, sleep deprivation and peple not understand has been a part of my life for a long time. You never know which day will be the day, where you feel better or have an appointment with someone who will make your situation better and you will be heading in a better direction with your health.
Hello, Thank you for explaining the complexity of your situation. Excuse me if I question a few things which may have previously been stated in your posts.
Which level did you have your surgery? Was this a single or 2 car MVA? If 2 car, were you able to receive a settlement from both insurance companies?
You seem to be very intelligent, I just wondered about a couple of these issues. You have to excuse me, because I am in pain and forget many things which have already been discussed in a post.
Your Mother is correct, ASA is a very cheap wonder drug, but too much can lead to hearing loss, cause clotting issues and since drugs are metabolized in the liver and excreated through the kidneys you do not want to stress organs with medications which have little efficacy.
You do not say the dosage of the medication. Norco has never worked for me. The dosage of your neurontin(generic) could possibly be increased or you could change medications. A small dose of methadone worked for me and it is an inexpensive medication. Many of us at this site have had positive and negative experiences with steriod injections.
The financial aspect of your situation does complicate things for you. I am unaware of treatment options for you, which could be paid for by another party. Perhaps one of the monitors would have some good suggestions for you.
I along with many others at this site, understand the problems you have described in trying to deal with severe chronic pain. I have been in so much pain, bedridden, unable to turn myself in bed, unable to watch TV, flip through a magazine or speak on the phone. I understand trying to cope with the pain.
If you could give a bit more info about the level of the surgery, perhaps others on the site could come up with some ideas to help you get some relief until your financial situation changes. I once went two years without treatment because of financial difficulties. I was homebound, my husband sold my car because I never felt good enough to go anywhere.
File for disability on your own, if you have not already done so. Appeal within the deadline. As previously mentioned, I was young when I was injured and that does make getting disability difficult, because they do not want to pay for an extended period of time. I was fortunate and found a wonderful attorney who took my case and worked like crazy on my behalf.
Keep in touch. The monitors and others may have some good ideas for you. Sorry, I wish I could be of help to you.
Dear Tim, This is very exciting! I am not surprised to hear you are highly regarded and they are making an effort to keep you with the company. The numbers are always important, but you know my situation and trying to go back to your profession in this economy is ...(you know the story). but, I am excited about the possibility of options in your future.
I know you have pushed, pushed, pushed yourself for far too many years. I hope something happens to make the decision easy for you and your family.
Hello!--I agree with Tim(TRS1960) about getting a second opinion. A second opinion may shed some light on the surgery you had, your progress and another course of treatment with your medications.
I get the feeling you may be a little skeptical of your current surgeon. You refered to someone as an "assistant". I recommend patients ask staff members what their title is and there roll at the office. Someone has frightened you and they may have limited or no medical training.
Maybe, a change of medication or an increase may help at this time. You do not say how much neurontin you are taking and an increase may bring you some relief while you heal post op. Bone growth occurs slowly. You listed 9.24.13 as your surgery date. Do you mean last September? You are only six months out.
I say the same thing to everyone due to my own poor experience with surgical intervention. Having more surgery does not always make you better. In my case, it made me much worse and cannot be undone. Try to get as many answers as possible. Seek a physician from the largest teaching hospital in your area. Try consevative measures while you are waiting for union of the fusion. Despite the MRI report, you may not be having pain from all or non of the discs discussed in the radiology report. Besides, a radiologist, spine surgeon and neurologist will all read your MRI differently. The fifty shades of grey--medicine style. Discography could possibly answer the question about the source of your pain.
If you have just filed for disability, make sure you appeal if you are turned down for benefits. You do not give your age, or the level of your anterior fusion. It is difficult to comment without having the complete picture.
Emotional support is so important when you are facing surgery, recovery from surgery, chronic pain, legal issues with disability, financial stress and the isolation and depression which comes with the whole mess. This site can be invaluable to people seeking information and emotional support.
Good luck, I hope you get some answers and some relief very soon. April-Rose9View Thread
Dear Dan, In response to your post concerning the extreme pain you are experiencing, due to the T-9 and T-10 fractures and your other medical issue with Crohn's disease, I wanted to just send a note your way. First, I am so sorry to hear what you are experiencing at your young age.
Many of us understand the depression, fear and isolation which accompanies severe pain. Sometimes, we all wonder if the pain will ever get better and will we turn the corner with improved health.
You do not say what your physician has told you to expect in terms of the outcome of the fractures, the steroids and the relationship to your diagnosis of Crohn's disease. While you have youth on your side, the healing time is prolonged due to your other medical/medication complication. What is the expected time period for the fractures to heal? Getting further information from your physician can sometimes help to alleviate some of the stress of an illness. Bring a list of questions when you go to your next appointment, so you can get your questions answered before your doc does the famous "backward walk out of the doorway". I swear, this is the first thing they learn on the first day of medical school.
You do not mention anything about pain medications. To get your pain under control and to be able to sleep would help a great deal with the fear and depression. Is your physician aware of the extent of your pain? Don't worry about making noise when you are in severe pain. Do you have a relative who can step up and be a strong advocate for you? Sometimes, it takes someone to voice observations concerning the severity of your pain and the limits on your activities of daily living.
There have been so many young people who have left info on this site this past week. It is truly heartbreaking to hear their stories and to hear your story. I can tell you sleep would help. Have you tried a heating pad? I don't mean to ask stupid questions, but sometimes we all miss an obvious, simple palliative measure. Check into pain medication or a change in medication. If you hit a roadblock, request a consult to a pain management clinic. Many worry about the addictive issue of opioids, but your pain may not require that course of treatment. Clearly, your pain is not acceptably managed at this point and that is unacceptable care.
Keep in touch with people who are understanding of your current medical situation. Despite the pain, due the best you can to not isolate yourself due to your current homebound situation. Try to remind yourself that this is a temporary situation. Many of us understand the loneliness and isolation you are experiencing. I was bedridden for a long time and often wondered if the pain would ever end. While my situation is different, I do understand the pain and the emotions which accompany chronic pain. Reach out to the people at this site. There are many kind people here, who will send good information and emotional support your way.
Remember, the muscle spams are only due to the nerve irritation. While they hurt, it is only a symptom. Our good old muscles cannot work without our good old nerves. Just try to move slowly, and ask for assistance if needed. Sometimes, the walker is not enough support.
As always, I am very long winded and did not send much in the way of information. I wanted to say hello and let you know I do have an understanding of the emotions you are experiencing.
Dear L1-S5 post surgery issues, I can completely identify with your story. I was a bit older at age 32yrs. old when I was injured and know it is a painful, frustrating and scary time to be young and in chronic pain.
Depending on where you live, I would recommend you see a physician at the largest teaching hospital in your area. First see a spine specialist. A neuro doc and an ortho spine specialist will interpret your situation differently. I personally would go the neuro route first and if you hit a roadblock with this appointment, next visit should be to the ortho spine specialist.
There are two different approaches for pain clinics. Some provide nerve blocks and some provide opioids for pain relief. I had three surgeries in three years and it only made me much much worse. I always caution people to think seriously about further surgery and try conservative measures as a first form of treatment. Of course, surgery can be a medical necessity and cannot be avoided in some cases.
Also, when you see further physicians, listen very closely to the words they chose. I am a little,( just a little) suspicious of your story, in that I wonder if there was something other than the incisional closure post op infection. The medical community can be very tight lipped if a problem has occured as the result of surgery. If something did go wrong surgically, you will have just one year or less to file a claim against the surgeon. I am not an attorney, but this was info from a family friend(attorney).
Speaking of time. If you have filed for disability, check with a disability attorney immediately, if you do not have one and make sure you file an appeal within the specific time frame or you will potentially loose out on benefits for that period. I did not file with an attorney, did not appeal and lost out on 25K in benefits. I had received poor advise from my mother (an HR director).
I have forgotten some of your story, so forgive me if I have written some things that do not make sense. Have you been on something for nerve pain. Neurontin(may be spelled incorrectly) a non narcotic for nerve pain can be helpful. Originally it was used as an anti seizure medication. Due to your other medical diagnosis, I am not sure if this would be contraindicated, but I would request a script for this as a starting point. You need something for pain relief while you are waiting to get in to see a physician.
In the meantime, try heat on your back. Some people say ice, but that only makes my back worse. I have had many heating pads over the years, far too many to count and this can be a pallative short term measure.
Good luck. I have had many long periods where I wondered if I would ever feel better. Many of us at this site completely understand and are a source of emotinal support. There are monitors of this site, who check this page very often and they can be a great source of information in all areas of back injuries, complications and treatment options for those posting.
Dear Tim. You have so much medical documentation, the recent high BP with the increased pain from working each day and I am sure you have the most recent BP from the short disruption in work. Hopefully, you have proof of a decreased BP while at home for a couple of weeks.
I have and old friend who went through the same thing with an insurance company. He was an ER physician and his BP went frighteningly high at work and decided to collect on his disability insurance in his early fifties. Lost track of him and not sure what the outcome of his case was, but his attorney seemed to feel positive about his chances in court.
You read alot, so I am sure you have seen the NIH study concerning pain and the statistics on decresed life span. If I rememer correctly, it is about 10 years with serious chronic pain. Of course, on bad days, weeks months and years, that statistic of a shorter life can look good to many of us in great pain. Don't quote me and you probably know far more about the subject and the data included in these types of reports.
All I know is, disability insurance is very costly. Hope things get better. I feel like we are always saying this to each other and everyone else on this site. Thank God for hope.