Its been a couple of years since I last posted. So I will start from the beginning. My name is Matt and in 1985 while climbing in the Tetons I had a bit of a fall. I was 22yrs old at the time. After being airlifted out and waking up 6hrs later, I learned that I had broken my lower back. Also at the time I couldn't feel anything below the waste. I had compress fractures at S1,L5,L4, and compressed fractured the facet joint at L3,L2 plus herniated every disc from S1 thru L1. The good news was that the spinal cord was not severed. But because of the facet fracture there was alot of pressure. After 3 surgerys and 3mos in the hospital, within the next year after lots of PT I was able to walk again with a cane. At that time I was fused with alot of hardware from S1 thru L2. I have however never regained full use of my bowel or bladder functions and in fact has gotten worse.
Every year up until 1998 I had the maximum number of epidural and facet injects to help control the pain. I also have been on somekind of RXed pain management. In '98 I had my 4th and final surgery on my spine in which due to the DDD, and DFD they had to put cages at L2 and L1 along with fusing L2 thru T12 w/hardware. At that time I was Dxed with stage 2 Adhesive Arachnoiditis.
When I went to give my own blood for that last surgery in '98 I was Dxed with HepB and HepC. The next year I was I thought successfully treated w/Interferon along with some antivirals basically chemo. Then a couple of years ago I learned that my viral loads had gone way up again. I was at that time put on the new stuff called Rebatron, basicaly the same stuff just not as hard on the side effects. I was in the middle of that year long treatment when I was Dxed w/Testicular cancer. After 4 surgeys and chemo plus finishing my treatment for the Hep, my viral load is undectable. I'm also cancer free so far.
Due to everything my body has been thru, it has taken it's toll on my heart. I have some major problems there. But due to my diet and 5 heart meds it is under control. This last winter I did however come down with a nasty case of pnmonia. After 2 weeks in the hospital we got it licked.
Now on w/my pain management. My Dr believes after seeing my last back scans that I have progressed to stage 3 Adhesive Arachnoiditis. My pain management regimen includes 2 sessions dailey of ice and heat PT. 1/2 hr ice, 1/1hr moist heat. I swim every day. I live 2 blocks from the local indoor pool. In SE Idaho there is no outdoor pools except for hot tubs of which we have one. I also walk everyday as far as I can. On good days w/the aid of 2 canes however most of the time I use a walker. I use My Tens unit thru out the day. I put it on in the AM and it comes off at bedtime. I have also become very good at mind diversion and guided imagery. Now for the meds. I'm on 180mgs of methadone, 16mgs Dilaudid PRN or Oxyfast 20mgs prn, depending on my pain level, 900mgs Lyrica, 400mgs Celebrex, 120mgs Cymbalta, 60 mgs Baclofen, 50mgs Predinizone for 10 days every 3 months, Lidoderm patchs prn, MSM, and 30mgs AdderallXR to offset the drowsiness. I'm on for a grand total of 18 Rxed meds right now
My pain level never gets below a 5 on my best days. Usually it hovers in the 6ish area. I have to say that I love this life. Everyday that I wake up no matter how bad the pain gets I'm grateful. I love my family and friends and have learned to find the smallest of things in life beautiful. Don't get me wrong, there are times when things get bleak and dark. Thankfully they never last longer than a few moments. I know that at 45yrs old that I'm in my twilight. I guess that after 23yrs of pain and facing the depths of dispair and beating it back time and time again, I have learned that getting to the other side of bleak and utter darkness there is joy and wonderment. It does get easier every time.
This has been my journey. I hope that my story can be of help to others here. I look forward to shareing and helping each other to the orther side. I am grateful to this board. I have learned that just by shareing w/each other everytime is of a great relief. I look forward to meeting all of your here.
My troubles pale in comparison to what you have been through. Your positive attitude is remarkable considering the health issues and level of pain you are living with on a constant basis. I commend you for never giving up, and seeing that the relationships you have with those you love (and love you) are worth living for. It's the same motivation I have on days when my pain and other issues get me down.
I am relatively new to this forum, but have already found helpful information and lots of support. Somehow it helps to know that there are many others who live with chronic pain and continue to fight for some quality in their lives.
I pray that you have many more good days than bad, and continue to find joy and wonderment in your life! Please post often, especially when you are feeling down. You'll find lots of great people who will help to get you through!