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Arachnoiditis Message Board
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:27 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 5
awiipip1 HB User
Exclamation pain meds and facet injections

I am 45 and healthy. I weigh 143 and I don't do recreational drugs and I don't drink or smoke.
I get migraines and panic attacks from the above mentioned so I don't bother!

I have 2 herniated discs and 5 worn out in my lower back and a herniated disc in my neck that has caused extensive nerve damage and have had 3 epidural steroid injections and it has helped but if triggered, it will flare up so I try my best to stay away from the triggers.

I have had chronic pain for over 20 years and I just started getting medicinal help 4 or 5 years ago. Other than that I just dealt with it and on the pain scale of 1 - 10 I am at a 6 to 7 most days and with the med's it may, I say may drop to if at 7 a 6. If I wake up at a 7 it is very difficult to get it to drop.
My dr. started me off with Vicodin 5/500. Take 1 to 2 every 4 hours.
That was my Ortho dr.
As years have passed I have been sent to other dr.s for mri's and neurologists.
They wanted me to try not eating wheat to see if maybe I was allergic to it and that was the cause of some of the pain.
I have MRI's to show that it is what it is!
I am not depressed. They wanted me to see a pain therapist so I did and she told me, "Face it. You can't do the things you used to be able to do and just get other people to do things for you so it won't bring up your pain level."
I was so depressed after that and I was really confused as to why I was so sad.
I was on vacation which sucked and I am laying by the pool talking to my friend about how I felt and then it hit me! Someone as vibrant as me and willing, you don't tell them they have to give up!
I fired her.
I want to let you know I did not doctor shop.
I had some real odd balls for doctors.
One put me on morphine with the Vicodin! I was so sick and had suicidal thoughts.
Then he put me on methadone and Vicodin! Again, so sick. I couldn't function and my dad was diagnosed with leukemia and was in the hospital and I had to travel to see him and I had to lay down in the back of the car the whole ride because I was so dizzy and sick.
I fired him and my NP got me a D.O.
He put me on Ultram and Vicodin. Oh my gosh! This was a full year from hell. My extremities were numb and cold and my heart was racing and it felt as though my skin was going to crawl off my body.
I fired him.
My pharmacist in the meantime had seen the ongoing struggle I have been going through all these years with dr's and balancing my med's.
She told me about a place that was really good and they really listen to their patients.
So I made the appt.
Let me add that in 5 years the Vicodin went up slightly to 10 mg 2 x a day.
The place I am going to now and have been for over a year has worked ok so far.
I am taking 7.5/325 2 four times a day but the pain is still very prominent.
I walk 4 to 5 times a week and about 30 miles a week. It's a workout not a leisure walk.
I need to so this for my own sanity and it helps keep my anxiety down and I am not on anti depressants!
I meet with my Dr. every 3 months as required by federal law and they have mentioned facet injections.
My neurosurgeon and I had lengthy talks about what could be done and what would and wouldn't be helpful.
She told me because I have been in pain for so long that there was a very slim chance that any type of injection would work. Whether it be cortisone, steroid, facet injections, etc...
I am told that there is no pressure to give them an answer but the last 3 visits they keep bringing it up and I told them I did not think I would want to have it done giving what I have been told by other dr.s and the thought of me possibly being in more pain than I was frankly scares me a lot.
I am very concerned that if I did this it would cause more harm than good.
I am also afraid of it opening a door I am not willing to walk through.
Meaning if I am in more pain than I am in now, I couldn't even imagine that!
I see bad things happening. I do my research on this stuff and I need to for a piece of mind and then I read something about Arachnoiditis if anyone has this done!
I have been made aware that there are no surgeries for me and I keep myself active no matter what. I don't sit around waiting for the pills. I live life!
I would love to be able to continue with what I am taking but have something for breakthrough but I am afraid to ask.
I use Motrin, exercise, stretching, icing, heating and when anyone can, massage.
I don't want to live behind my eyelids...I just want to drop my pain level to a 4 and I know with a simple tweak of breakthrough pain med's it can be achieved.

 
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:20 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 372
kera4 HB User
Re: pain meds and facet injections

Hi! I know how frustrating it is to figure out what is the best treatment course...I have a bad disc at L5/S1, and bad arthritis in the facet joints (L3-L5), and pain in sacroliliac joint. I have had the facet injections, and they helped me, which led to RFA (radio frequency ablation) or nerve burning of the facet joint pain nerves. Can your doctor see inflammation in the facet joints on an MRI? In my experience, this is the reason the docs will recommend facet injections. The injections also help your doctor pinpoint the source of your pain-if you get pain relief from facet injections, a good deal of your pain is coming from there. If not, they will look more at the discs, and perhaps do an ESI injection near the disc. I would recommend at least trying the injections once-now that I am on the nerve burning, it is a great pain management tool for me-it lasts 8 months at a time. And, I only need to take Ultram as a pain med. I know what you mean about some of the pain meds, some of them make me quite nauseous. Good luck to you! Take care, Kera4

 
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