I agree with all the other responses so far. I have had 8 back surgeries and 6 of them have been within the last 8 years. Your last surgery is still pretty recent. Usually it takes up to about one year for all the healing to be truly realized from a spine surgery. Some faster than one year but this is usually sufficient time. 2 surgeries in such a short period of time is pretty unusual. I'm wondering if the second surgery was a result of getting hurt at therapy while recovering from the first surgery? This happened to me.
There are a lot of things that your continued pain can be. Inflammation is probably the biggest cause. Remember that after any surgery the muscle tissue is damaged by cutting through it and the scar tissue that replaces it does not allow for the same blood flow that is critical for healing. Depending on how long your nerve was being compressed, you may have developed scarring on the nerve which is a permanent condition. I have a spinal stimulator to help with my permanent nerve pain in my right leg.
The biggest advice I can give you is research everything, make sure you keep a notebook and track your daily events and pain complaints. This will help you develop a pattern of what may be causing you additional discomfort. I'm not familiar with your current meds but again I would ask to be referred to a pain management Dr. as they have more tools and expertise in this area. I have been with the same pain Dr. for almost 14 years. The most important thing is keeping a positive attitude. I suffer with pain every single second of every day and it fluctuates very easily with the rise of simple activity. But it could always be worse and I have changed my hobbies and activities to include more sedentary things. Somebody put a quote on here some time ago "you must let go of the life we knew to make room for the one that awaits us"~Unknown.View Thread
I'm in IL and had a Boston Scientific spinal stimulator placed in Jan 2010 and yes I had to have a psych evaluation prior. I was told this is an industry standard. Because you already have one though, this sounds redundant.
Why have a trial if you have had positive results for the last 8 years? Are you switching companies for a specific reason?View Thread
I have had 8 back surgeries total. 2 fusions. I have L2-3 to L5S1 fused. I have spinal stimulator for leg pain and I lost my hearing in right ear during 1st fusion in 2006. I now have extreme Tinnitus in deaf ear. But I am doing fantastic. I have adjusted my daily activity to include getting my small children on the bus. Then I go for a walk with my new Rottweiler service puppy. I do some reading, light house work and get ready for my kids to return home. I now coach wrestling (I was a collegiate wrestler- best thing ever) for my kids and do only the things that do not cause too much pain. This means I had to give up Construction Management which I did for last 20 years. I collect SSD and I am writing a motivational book to help people like you. I gained 80 lbs at my worst and now lost 60 of those. Life will get better if that is what you want. Surround yourself with positive people. It has taken me long time to come to terms with my limitations but I am here, alive and now instead of skydiving to get a thrill, my kids smiling after a wrestling match means so much more to me. You must let go of the life you knew to embrace the one that awaits you. If you need surgery, get the surgery. Every day do something that will make you feel even a touch better. Over time, hopefully you will feel well enough that you wont even remember the really bad days today.View Thread
I lost my hearing in my right ear during a lumbar fusion surgery in 2006. The loss of hearing has been replaced with tinnitus. The tinnitus is 24/7 and with 3 children under 10 yrs old can get pretty intense. The louder my environment around me, the louder my tinnitus gets. Recently my PD lowered my med's at the same time I tried working for the first time in almost 7 years. I have been off since Dec 2005 with a work related fall. I struggled and struggled.my neurosurgeon placed me on restricted ours from 40 per week to 20 per week. I never did work more than 26 hours in one week. I was a field superintendent for a small gen contractor. Even with the lowered hours I struggled. I spent most of my time at home on ice packs. Every weekend i could not do much because i had to rest up for the work day on Monday. Every month I asked my PD to change my pain med. every month she would say " I really like this med due to it is easier on your body". When I explained to her that my tinnitus would get so bad in the later afternoon and night due to the increased pain levels that it would make me extremely irritable. My children didn't want to be around me because the slightest things could set me off into a rage. Never physically violent but I had a very hard time controlling my temper. Tinnitus is extremely difficult for people to understand and I get that. When I explained this to my PD she said "I don't see the relationship between pain and tinnitus". I responded by telling her "that is the problem". Unless you have tinnitus, you have no idea the negative effects it could have. The slightest stress and anxiety increases the tinnitus. The best way I have to explain it is, imagine being in a forest filled with secatas. Now take the millions of secatas and place them in a jar and put your head in the jar. I came up with this analogy because we had the secatas out in spring of 2007, only months after getting tinnitus. There is no escaping it. I have tried many treatments for my tinnitus but nothing has worked to any great degree. My PD finally switched me from Nucynta to Dilauded. This has worked much better and now that my employment has been terminated, I have been able to manage my pain and my tinnitus much better. My temper has been more manageable, my pain is much more manageable and I don't spend most of my free time laying on ice packs. I can function around the house much better. Now I don't miss my kids sporting events, before I couldn't make them.
If anyone out there has pain and tinnitus, please share with me how you manage the 2.
To everyone with chronic pain or tinnitus or both- i wish you all relief!View Thread
If you are a regular visitor I won't bore you with my full story. Ive typed it too many times. I'll give you the condensed version for the new readers.
History: I'm 45 years old. I've had 8 back surgeries. 5 in the past 6 years. Had a scs placed in 2010. Had numerous injections, ablations and have tried so many different medicines I can't even count. I lost my hearing in my right ear during my first lumbar fusion in 2006 and have consistent extreme tinnitus. I was couch/bed ridden for almost 5 years (actually 4 yrs 11 months-but who's counting?). I had 2 head surgeries to place a BAHA device for my hearing. This is all work related and every time my pain Dr or Neurosurgeon proposes something, it ends up in court. Ive had 5 or 6 arbitrations and every time the judge has found in my teams favor. The latest is a cochlear implant for my tinnitus. The insurance is appealing and I'm told this could take up to a couple of years.
Conclusion: I am now on a pain medicine that is working tremendously for me- Dilaudid 2mg 6x's per day. My tinnitus is still a huge problem but I believe I may be adapting (I still don't sleep well at all but is somewhat improving). My stimulator works good I just need to manage my activity throughout the day very carefully. I take a cooler with me with ice packs in it wherever I go. This really helps. I returned to work in May after 7 yrs off but I'm not sure how long this can last. My surgeon restricted me to 20 hrs per week. I'm a superintendent for a small general contractor and 20 hrs is difficult to manage a project. I do receive SSDI but would much rather stay employed. I have come to a point where I have accepted the hand that has been dealt to me (much thanks to this sites help). I have learned my abilities (I refuse to say disabilities- too negative a label) and more importantly have accepted them. I was once extremely active, golfing 4-5 times per week, hiking, fishing, wrestled in college, loved a hard workout, mountain biked and enjoyed everything outdoors. Itis amazing what the human spirit can adapt to. Although my activities are less physical, they are no less enjoyable. I now enjoy walking my neighborhood, making my kids breakfast and lunches, seeing them off and home from school, coaching my kids sports teams, and most of all, taking some of the load of my beautiful, wonderful, patient, adorable, fantastic, generous wife.
My suggestions to everyone in pain: find what works for you and do it 110%. Find what doesn't work for you and erase it from your thoughts. Take time to pursue your relief but don't let it consume you. Learn to enjoy the more simple things in life. Watching my kids triumph or fail at a sporting event really doesn't concern me, me being there to see their smile afterward- priceless!
Question: when do you know enough is enough. I think I just recently found the answer.
God speed to everyone in pain.View Thread
I could not agree more with Annette. I have had 8 back surgeries. Annette is probably tired of reading my story, sorry Annette. Each and every time I have had surgery I had different lengths of time with relief. My latest surgery was a third fused vertabrae at L2-3. I now have from that level to L5S1 fused. I was couch ridden before that surgery. Within a year I have gone back to work (I am limited to 20 hrs per week), I coach Soccer, girls softball and wrestling. I have learned to adapt my life to more simple pleasures. I lost almost 5 years on my couch so now a simple smile on my childrens face is so much more satisfying to me because I am there to see it. You do have time. With any surgery you must go into it with measured expectations. Trust your surgeon. This means do some research on him/her. Ask any and all questions you have. Do not ever feel you are bothering him/her or wasting their time. If they give you that impression. run from the office (or walk fast, running is probably out of the question). Whatever YOU choose to do in concert with your Dr., make sure you are comfortable and confident in your decision. I am so glad I went forward with my 8th surgery. I can now do light grocery shopping, make lunches for my wife and kids, do light house cleaning and generally take a load off of my wife and give her a well deserved break. This is much different from my days as a collegiate wrestler, hiker, golfer, mountain bike rider, fisherman, etc... But most importantly, my new life is no less rewarding to me- just different. Best of luck to all. Remeber" the only bad question is the one not asked", a college professor of mine. at my worst I was on 180mg of Oxycontin, 8mg of Dilaudid, 60mg of Cymbalta, 300mg Lyrica, 4 mg Lunesta and a couple more I cant recall. Remember, everyone is different and it took a long time for me to get to these medicine levels. I'm glad to be out of the FOG of pills.View Thread
I was taking Nucynta for the last few months and I didn't have reactions as yours but I didn't get the reliefe I was looking for either. My dr switched me to Dilaudid 2mg last Saturday and I am now feeling better than I have in a long time.
Your dr should be returning your calls, or at leat nurse or someone from her office. Next visit, bring in the unused pills and ask that you try something new. Whenever I try a new med I make an appointment for 1 week away. This is in case it doesn't work I know when I can get it switched. If it does work I cancel the appt.
Different people react differently to different med's and it certainly sounds like your reactions to Nucynta may have been more withdrawal.
Are you on social security? With SS you can get Medicaid. You will most likely need an attorney for the filing because they deny everyone until you get in front of a judge. Of course if you can work at something then you will not qualify.
Best of luck to you. And I agree with the others. No matter how bad the pain is,DO NOT TAKE OTHER PEOPLE'S MED'S. You can be compounding your troubles. You can't get to a pain clinic from jail!View Thread
Sorry I hit submit accidentally- (from previous paragraph) recommended. Bring someone with you to your appointments and I always prepare questions to ask prior to my appointment. Write them down because if you're like me, you can start to lose focus with all the medical terminology in regard to surgery. With that said, make sure your dr can explain to you in street language. I pretend that I need to explain the surgery to my young children after dr discusses it with me. This helps me prepare questions. I always bring my wife on appointments that explain a surgery or procedure. Make sure you research whatever surgery is being recommended. Ask your surgeon for their results of successful surgeries of the same type. Don't be afraid to ask your dr anything. A college professor once told me "the worst question is the one not asked". Good luck and I hoped I helpedView Thread