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Old 04-22-2003, 04:16 PM   #1
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Location: NY
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John Se HB User
Question How does back pain affect your life?

I am just curious how everyones back pain is affecting their life. For me a couple of things are always on my mind. First I am afraid that I may always be in pain. Two I feel like it affects my relationship with my girlfriend because I am always in agony. Sometime I almost wish that I could avoid lovemaking because I am afraid of hurting myself. I don't even let her cuddle up to me at night because I think that the weight of her leg when she lays it across my stomach may further injure me. I spend all day researching treatments for herniated disk trying to find an answer to how I can get better without surgery. I really hate this condition and feel like I got dealt a raw deal. Please share your feelings.

------------------[list=a] [*] 27 years old computer programmer[*] April 1996 - Bulging L4/L5 disk from car accident.[*] October 2002 - Low back pain and pain in left leg.[*] October 2002 - See chiropractor with minimal relief.[*] November 2002 - MRI shows L4/L5 moderate disk herniation (left and center)[*] January 2003 - Try PT for a couple of weeks some relief until chiropractor visit.[*] February 2003 - Chiropractor does traction, resulting in first instance of numbness in foot.[*] Late February 2003 and still going - New Physical Therapist, not much relief yet...[*] March 2003 - Very light pain in right leg in addition to left, EMG suggests nerve damage/irritaion in both legs.[*] March 2003 - Second MRI shows L4/L5 moderate disk herniation (left and center), slightly larger[*] April 3, 2003 - Epidural Injection, slight pain relief, more tingling in left leg and right.[*] April 17, 2003 - Going for second epidural injection.[*]April 22,2003 - Feeling some relief, started doing exersices from the McKenzie book.[/list=a]

 
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Old 04-22-2003, 04:17 PM   #2
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One other thing, It makes me sick to my stomach when people who have not gone through this say " Well try to keep your mind off of it", as if it was all in my head.

 
Old 04-22-2003, 04:29 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: southern, Maine
Posts: 126
hawks066 HB User
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John.. You said it all. That is exactly how I was feeling before surgery, especially after the first one failed on me.. Depression really set in on me after the second one. I was getting cold chills, and going #2 all day long cause I was soooo nervous about everything.
I don't let my daughter jump on my lap very often, and when my wife lays on me a little bit, I kind of turn her off me. I am back to love making after a 3.5 month abscence. I really wasn't rushing it, and honestly wasn't in the mood for it, which isn't like me!
Herniated disc's are such a horrible thing. It affects out whole life. Especially lower back disc's. It alters every preception in life and does so much damage emotionally. Sometimes I wish I had an upper back problem, because atleast my legs wouldn't be the spot of the pain. Legs let us walk. Arms are very useful also, but i'd rather not be able to use an arm, then a leg!
I go back to regular/pretty physical work in 2 weeks. I am really feeling good. These last few days have been awesome. I've been feeling like 90 %. I don't feel normal, but I think most of it is from tightness of all my muscles.
It's a long road to recovery from a back problem. Very low. I've been suffering since August, and tried all conservative treatment before I went under the knife. How long have you been suffering? Have you tried all conservative care? Sooner or later when all else fails, surgery is the option of choice. It gives people hope of being normal again. I am glad I went ahead with it, I am so much better now then before surgery. But as you have read, back surgery isn't fun.

 
Old 04-22-2003, 05:16 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Concord, CA, USA
Posts: 676
successtory HB User
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Hi John Se,

Haven't had the pleasure of meeting you yet. Hawk, I know. Let me give you a few a little insight from a peer. I too, was a computer-nerd...Database Administrator (w/oracle, sybase, informix & SQL7) at a HOT and rising dot.com star (when they were hot and rising). I was also fast becoming an Application Designer too...we couldn't do enough. I can honestly say my weekly average of computer time was 4-6 hrs. sitting for round 1, less than a 1/2 hour break and back to another 4-6 hours for round 2--then I went home and FTP'd till the cows came home and did it again and again and again....I was responsible for their mission-critical databases, a very very bizeeeee lady. I was to be promoted the very next month (now I can taste that 6-figure salary!) and then WHAM! It all goes to dust. Inverted hernia caused intense white-lightening hot pain shooting down right leg and back up to bounce around the torso causing multiple muscle spasms (ever see a turtle on it's back?-hehe).

I'm sure you can fill in the rest...I don't work there any more. It's a woker's comp (w/c) thing, yet I was still "laid off". They know they messed up and have taken responsibility. But now I'm ruined. I worked my arse off to get where I was because I don't have that little piece of paper most companies want to see when they pay someone my salary. I had experience. GOOD stuff. I am COMPLETELY RESTRICTED from using a keyboard as my way of employment now. Welll isn't that special?

So I did.....I made it special. I am now training to be an Acupressurist. I can still utilize my 8 years of DBA training and my 14 years of sales and marketing (before being a DBA) to very good use in my new line of work. hehe

How does it affect your life, you ask? Completely and irreversibly. I lost my job, my home, and my father that year--not a good year for me. In the following year I had surgery, discovered my power within, and began my search for life anew. I was lucky though. I have a wonderful family, great friends...an all-around terrific support system.

One of my friends once told me... "your callname really suits you, you really ARE a successtory. Not just because of your successful operation...but because it describes your whole life."

I hope you find your freedom too, John. Life on the other side....it really IS better. You just have to approach it like you do the computer. Sitting without 5 minute breaks every hour is basically impossible in our line of work. YOU will have to retrain yourself too (if you really want to continue in your career) to think of your back. Ergonomically correct. Can you say that? hehe Make sure the company can!

Good luck to you. My son is hounding me right now so gotta go. I may have a few tips for you. Say...do a search on 'TIPS' and you'll get a whole bunch of stuff I've said to other spineys to help them in their pain.

Catch ya later.




------------------
successtory
Oct 2000: Repetitive Stress Injury-Inverted Hernia
Feb 2001: MRI. Shows only slight bulge at L4-L5
Dec 2001: Discogram/CT scan shows Inverted Hernia at L5-S1. L4-L5 & L5-S1 ruptured in all 4 quadrants. Unable to walk.
Feb 2002: IDET, Nucleoplasty, Intra-Discal Injections
Sept 2002: Rated in the top 10% for successful patients. Retraining for new career.

 
Old 04-22-2003, 05:43 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 226
Bcorica HB User
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Hi John Se

I know exactly how you feel! The pain that I have consumes my thoughts every second of the day. I too spend most of my days researching and hoping that I can find something that will make me feel better.

My life has changed drastically since my work injury. I am very irritable and frustrated but mostly depressed. As far as my sex life, what a joke. I was very sexually active but, not anymore. I am not sure if it is from the pain, depression or the pain medication but I know things are not the same. Thank God my husband has been supportive, but I know it bothers him. I know that my friends and family are sick of hearing my complaints, but I feel the need to talk about it.

I have 2 herniated discs or tears at L4-L5 and L5-S1. I have pain in my back, hip, groin, buttocks and then the pain radiates down the front and back of my left leg and into my foot. I have had a series of 3 epidurals, and the first 3 series helped my leg pain but not the back. After 4 months, I was back in pain. I recently had a transtorial epidural and with that procedure, my doctor was able to do both discs. I thought that I would get relief from this if anything...how wrong I was. I am still in pain as if it was never done.

Tomorrow is my two week check up after the epidural to see the Ortho surgeon. The surgeon told me that if the epidural didn't work, that surgery would be my only option. I use to say to friends of mine, who had or needed back surgery, that I would never let a doctor cut me. Well needless to say..I changed my mind! I want my life back and I want things to go back to normal. I am in constant pain, and now addicted to the pain medication. Will this ever end?

So John, as you can see..I know how you feel. I hope that things get better for you and you get the answers that you are searching for. Keep your chin up if you can.

I will keep you in my thoughts and say a prayer for you. No one should have to live the way that we do..its not fair!

Keep your chin up,
~Brenda [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]
__________________
May 2002: Injured at work
June 2002: Had MRI
June 2002: Had ESI's
July 2002: EMG
Feb 2003: Prolotherapy
March 2003: Discogram, Showed left posterolateral radial tear @ L4-L5 and more diffuse annular tear @ L5-S1.
April 2003: Transforamital Injection
May 2003: Intra-Discal Injection, Finally got some relief from the hip, groin, butt and leg pain. This injection worked the best!
May 2003: Second Opinion, Doctor Suggested Disc Replacement as my only option.
May 2003: Postponed Nucleoplasty
June 2003: Went to Psychiatrist for depression.
July 2003 - Present: Trying to take one day at a time, and learning to adapt to a new way of life.

 
Old 04-22-2003, 05:56 PM   #6
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Location: southern, Maine
Posts: 126
hawks066 HB User
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I hear you SuccessStory!!! I have been working my *** of for this company and was finally getting ahead. I do physical work alot of the time, while sometimes I don't do much. I bust my ***, and committ more then anyone in my line of work, and look where I land. I was always there for my supervisor, my concience always was on me telling me to do everything perfectly and right! Well... My whole outlook on my work will now change I think. We'll see. Why is it that the people that are busting there ***, trying to make a living for there family, always get bad news?
Well.. Luckily I didn't get kicked to the curb and the company has taken care of me. I've been on light duty probably like 4 months and out a total of 6 months from my regular job. They've treated me very good, and WC has been good too.
I go back to regular work starting May 5th. I feel good, and I feel i'll be right back into, but more carefully.
Take Care

 
Old 04-22-2003, 07:52 PM   #7
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Location: Titusville, NJ
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HNPatL4L5 HB User
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I still can't get over my sister calling me self-absorbed and my beloved telling that I spent all day long feeling sorry for myself. I was completely absorbed in the problem that was making me a cripple: I was trying to figure out how to make it back to a normal life. Tons of research (on the web and on the phone), self examination (what makes the symptoms worse, has there been a change in the last month, etc).

My coworkers kept comparing my agony to their own (minor) back troubles, telling me to just take it easy for a few weeks and my problems would go away. When people told me I seemed a bit better, I read it as impatience (even as a threat that they would abandon me or punish me in some way if I did not get better soon).

I was glad when my surgeon called me "tough" and told me I had the season record for size of herniation. My beloved was there when he said it. My coworkers told me after surgery that I had successfully concealed my pain from them. (I didn't hide it; they ignored it.)
__________________
HNP at L4-5 late Sept 2002
3 months PT and Ibuprofen
Reherniation late Feb 2003
Nerve block mid March 2003
Microdiscectomy 4 April 2003
3 months PT (trunk stabilization)
Walk 4 miles daily from now on.

 
Old 04-22-2003, 08:24 PM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 226
Bcorica HB User
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Hi HNP

Oh my gosh..I can totaly relate to everything you stated, but that last part of your post was so sad that it almost brought tears to my eyes. (Maybe because I feel like I am being ignored) You are a fighter and don't let anyone tell you anything different!

Brenda [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]
__________________
May 2002: Injured at work
June 2002: Had MRI
June 2002: Had ESI's
July 2002: EMG
Feb 2003: Prolotherapy
March 2003: Discogram, Showed left posterolateral radial tear @ L4-L5 and more diffuse annular tear @ L5-S1.
April 2003: Transforamital Injection
May 2003: Intra-Discal Injection, Finally got some relief from the hip, groin, butt and leg pain. This injection worked the best!
May 2003: Second Opinion, Doctor Suggested Disc Replacement as my only option.
May 2003: Postponed Nucleoplasty
June 2003: Went to Psychiatrist for depression.
July 2003 - Present: Trying to take one day at a time, and learning to adapt to a new way of life.

 
Old 04-23-2003, 01:11 AM   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 11
Wilson Hew HB User
Post

People having back pain is soreness all the time. We feel that we can't do this and that!!! It will make our back more pain. Family, working and sexual life is no more fun.

Recently, I am so sad to hear about from my employer that they wanted to sack me due to I delayed and unfinished my project in time.

I am software engineer who is sitting 8 to 9 hours all the day working in the office. Thinking of the logic of the program, coding it. The life of working as a software engineer is not easy... we have to think.. think.. think... no matter in the office, at home, washroom, eating, dreaming, all the time is thinking of the logic of the program.

They said, if I can't finish my project, I shall stay and do OT. Gosh...! I can't sit without bed rest...

They did not care about my soreness of my back pain. I had prolapsed disc at L4-L5, and L5-S1 and had done the surgery one year ago. I still have the painful of my hamstring. I can't go for any PT anymore, it charges me so high... and some more, they are not experience, and not care of my soreness. They simply give ineffective methods or exercises.

I am unemploy early in May soon.... sigh.. what can I say.. back pain person.. can't sit all the day long...

Regards,
Wilson


------------------
Prolapsed disc at L4-L5, L5-S1
Discectomy on 30/04/2002
Right hamstring and muscle pains
Cervical nerves pain
Thoracic spine stiffness
__________________
Prolapsed disc at L4-L5, L5-S1
Discectomy on 30/04/2002
Right hamstring and muscle pains
Cervical nerves pain
Thoracic spine stiffness

 
Old 04-23-2003, 05:46 AM   #10
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Location: PA United States
Posts: 403
ChristinaD HB User
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Hi John, (and everyone else)
I feel your pain and anxiety!
I feel like this whole thing has ruined my life, as a matter of fact, I know it has.
I spend most of my day researching on the web ways to "fix" my problem and finding things that I may have since my doctor doesn't seem interested in finding the source of my major problem.
I am very upset at the whole thing. I am your age and terrified of the future. I was due to get married in June. I post poned it due to this back problem for fear I would have a terrible wedding and honeymoon.
Sex? I try to avoid that totally! I know that my fiancee is so frusterated, heck I wouldn't be surprised if he left me. He is very understanding but lets face it, this is such a burden on everything!
I have always loved life and still do. I am just at a point to where I am so upset because my quality of life SUCKS! I just want to be able to be my old self.
I know what you mean by cuddling, that is out of the question for me too. I feel like my fiancee deserves better than this,(I know he does). I just am at a loss and searching for answers. I feel terrible for the annoyance that I cause.
So, I do understand what you are going through.
Hang in there, you'll be better soon. Surgery for a herniated disc is not all that riskful and your chances for a full recovery are very great.
My situation remains a little more complicated. I still remain optimistic and pray that some day I'll feel well again.
God Bless and Good Luck to You!
Christina

------------------
1993: T1 to L1 fusion due to scoliosis
2000: Tore and ruptured L4 L5 & L5 S1-it finally got better after about a year. Did really well for about a year.
June 2002: Had a relapse and tore disc again. It is going on a year and my disc pain has subsided now I am faced with facet joint and bone problems restricting my movement.
Not sure what is next!
Still waiting to go into remission again but I think the damage is done!!
Current doctor say to wait it out.
Going for second opinion in July.
__________________
27 years old
1993: T1 to L1 fusion due to scoliosis at age 17
2000: Tore and ruptured L4 L5 & L5 S1-it finally got better after about a year. Did really well for about a year.
June 2002: Had a relapse and tore/ruptured disc again.
Now I'm 14 months into it and the pain is still there.
Can't deal with it anymore so I'm having a discectomy in Sept. Hoping and praying that it takes care of my problems!!

 
Old 04-23-2003, 05:49 AM   #11
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Posts: 15
John Se HB User
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I am so depressed right now. I don't know if it is the epidurals or what. These last couple of weeks my girlfriend and I have been discussing wether or not we should stay living together (because of other reasons), but last night she is like "so what do you want to do", and I feel like there is pressure on me to be this exciting boyfriend and I can't right now. I feel like I should just be miserable by myself. The thing that sucks is that I herniated this disk about two months after we started going out. And even though I wasn't in this much agony back then, I have been "careful" with everything I do since we met.

------------------[list=a] [*] 27 years old computer programmer[*] April 1996 - Bulging L4/L5 disk from car accident.[*] October 2002 - Low back pain and pain in left leg.[*] October 2002 - See chiropractor with minimal relief.[*] November 2002 - MRI shows L4/L5 moderate disk herniation (left and center)[*] January 2003 - Try PT for a couple of weeks some relief until chiropractor visit.[*] February 2003 - Chiropractor does traction, resulting in first instance of numbness in foot.[*] Late February 2003 and still going - New Physical Therapist, not much relief yet...[*] March 2003 - Very light pain in right leg in addition to left, EMG suggests nerve damage/irritaion in both legs.[*] March 2003 - Second MRI shows L4/L5 moderate disk herniation (left and center), slightly larger[*] April 3, 2003 - Epidural Injection, slight pain relief, more tingling in left leg and right.[*] April 17, 2003 - Going for second epidural injection.[*]April 22,2003 - Feeling some relief, started doing exersices from the McKenzie book.[/list=a]

 
Old 04-23-2003, 06:06 AM   #12
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Location: ontario
Posts: 476
out2lunch HB User
Post

I just wanted to say that I understand exactly what all of you are saying! I think this is the story for all CP'ers! It affects every aspect of our lives!! I used to be a fun loving, full of life person. Now I feel as though I'm not living anymore, I only exist!!

------------------
your friend, out2lunch

 
Old 04-23-2003, 06:18 AM   #13
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Posts: 65
NucleoGirl HB User
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John -

I serious doubt your girlfriend expects you to be Mr. Exciting (right now anyway!) - I'm sure she understands and is frustrated because she can do little to help you. I also worry that my husband is beginning to hate me because of my back pain and the strain it puts on both of us, but I'll deal with that later :> - one crisis at a time.

The thing I hate the most about this (I am 9 weeks post Nucleoplasty and still can't sit for more than 45 mins.) is that I am always thinking about my body. How I long for those days when I went about my business and only thought about it if I stubbed my toe or something. I now feel that I am trapped inside it. It's like I am always in my head instead of in the world, you know?

Anyway, I have hopes and I want all of you to have them too. I am turning 46 today and the urge to pity myself is strong (waah), BUT let us remember that the 70 and 80 year olds out there deal with this kind of pain and more everyday. If they can do it so can we! Besides medicine is making all sorts of new discoveries AND there are always pain meds :>

Another thought, John - if your herniation is only moderate, perhaps you are a candidate for Nucleoplasty - it's not a picnic, but it is not as invasive as some procedures.

L.

 
Old 04-23-2003, 06:31 AM   #14
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Posts: 15
John Se HB User
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Thanks. Happy Birthday!

I know that there are 80 year olds out there in a lot of pain, but they are 80. I am 27 and if I have to be in pain for the rest of my life then I would rather not live. At least thats how I feel sometimes.

You mentioned the nucleoplasty. I am not so sure that I have a contained herniateion because the MRI report says that there is a small extruded component. Anyway, did the procedure work for you. How long is the recovery period?




------------------[list=a] [*] 27 years old computer programmer[*] April 1996 - Bulging L4/L5 disk from car accident.[*] October 2002 - Low back pain and pain in left leg.[*] October 2002 - See chiropractor with minimal relief.[*] November 2002 - MRI shows L4/L5 moderate disk herniation (left and center)[*] January 2003 - Try PT for a couple of weeks some relief until chiropractor visit.[*] February 2003 - Chiropractor does traction, resulting in first instance of numbness in foot.[*] Late February 2003 and still going - New Physical Therapist, not much relief yet...[*] March 2003 - Very light pain in right leg in addition to left, EMG suggests nerve damage/irritaion in both legs.[*] March 2003 - Second MRI shows L4/L5 moderate disk herniation (left and center), slightly larger[*] April 3, 2003 - Epidural Injection, slight pain relief, more tingling in left leg and right.[*] April 17, 2003 - Going for second epidural injection.[*]April 22,2003 - Feeling some relief, started doing exersices from the McKenzie book.[/list=a]

 
Old 04-23-2003, 07:13 AM   #15
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Location: waterford,pa,usa
Posts: 89
cnasandy38 HB User
Wink

hello.......as to your question.....my back has cost me my job...i worked at hospital 4 years as nursing assistant loved my job, had good pay, benefits...then one nite my legs went weak on me i asked to go home, the next day i was in drs. office in bad spasms, week later put on medical leave,i didnt make out an injury report...didnt think that i did anything to cause me to feel weak...thought it was that i wasnt feeling well....well i learned a lesson...make a report no matter what...this was dec 27th 01..i recieve no pay from work...i was part time so i didnt get no disability...or nothing from them..i tried to go back to see if i could handle the walking and patient care couldnt do it...i applied for ss. april 02..was denied 1st time, appealed..went to hearing in front of judge, he said i had to wait 4-5 months for answer..that was dec 10th 02..what the heck takes so long!!!!!my back has caused alot of my marriage problems....no body wants to be around me...my hubby blames me for him losing his business,cause i didnt help him!!!well, i couldnt sit at the desk and do paper work or run his errands, cause my back bothered me so much,,,he said i should of been able to do those things grrrrr!!!hes constantly out drinking so im here with my 2 kids, by our selfs....so when he comes home after being out i hear (you made me lose my business) constantly putting me down...im sorry i didnt ask for my back to fall apart...(i had 3 level postier fusion feb 14th 03 with screws)...i pray ss comes thru for me cause im so out of here!!!!i can see how people get depressed....no one feels what you feel unless youve been there!! sorry i went on, guess i needed to vent....good luck to you!!!! sandy

 
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