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Old 08-17-2004, 02:59 AM   #1
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baberre HB User
Driving my family insane.

Hi my name is Erika. Well last year i got hurt at work, and found out that I have an 8 1/2 mm.disk in my L5. I have done the shots,treatment everything but surgery. Last week the Dr. told me that surgery is the only solution. I have been so angry because I'm only 29 and I feel broken. I am very independant and now I have become dependant.I can't even do simple things like wash dishes or go to the movies with my famliy because I am always in pain. Latley I have been loseing my balance too. I have been so fusterated I feel that now it has affected my relationship with everyone around me. I just don't want to hurt anymore. I'm also wondering if 8 1/2mm. is real serious. Sorry for the sob story just looking for people who can relate. Thank you and peace one love.

Last edited by baberre; 08-17-2004 at 03:21 AM.

 
Old 08-17-2004, 04:13 AM   #2
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Re: Driving my family insane.

Sorry about the bad news erika. Even though you're probably petrified of having surgery, maybe that's the only way to take care of the situation. Get a 2nd opinion if you don't feel comfortable with that decision.
I don't know anything about back problems but in the 44 yrs. of my life, I've heard night mare of stories referring to back problems.
soooooo many people are afflicted with back problems. It doesn't seem to me that the medical proffesionals have a clear cut answer to the multiple problems. they usually prescribe some form of drug. then I hear the patient becomes addicted to it.
I am now suffering with a form of back pain myself. My biggest fear is beginning to happen. I'm waiting to see if it'll go away. My mother was hunched over and bent where she couldn't even stand straight. she progressivly got worst as she was aging. all my freinds used to say" what's wrong with your mom"
her knees bent inwards to support the back problem. she was always in pain, and never went to the dr.for it. so she suffered. she fell down and broke her hip about 8 or more yrs.ago. when the surgeon was finished pinning it, he came into the waiting room and chewed me out. I always thought she just had arthritis. he told me she had some form of bone disease. To this day I don't know the name of this disease and I"m scared I might be at the beginning of this torturous and debilitating bone disease. it's crippling. My fear is stopping me from going. I hear that you are frightened too.
but you want to do normal things again, don't you?
Especially that you're sooo young. take care of it ASAP. so there's no permanent damage. Keep us updated. I'm wishing the best for you. Good luck.
Lintek

 
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:44 AM   #3
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Re: Driving my family insane.

None of my scans give the measurements of the herniations, so I'm sorry but can't help you there!!
I definitely suggest getting another opinion about surgery, as it should only be the LAST resort!!
I'd also suggest not shouldering the weight of how you're affecting those around you!! This has affect ALL OF YOU!!! Look at how this has affected YOUR life, and worry about that! The others can take care of themselves!!
I used to do the same thing, feeling like an imposition and problem for those around me, but learned that I was seeing a huge problem where there was none!!
I miss doing all the things I used to do too, but try not to think about them! It's only opening the door to the pit, when we do that!! We have to learn to keep the words "used to" out of our vocabulary, inorder to survive this life of Constant Pain!!
Like you, I've tried everything but surgery to no avail, but surgery's not even an option for me!! Though if it was, I'm not so sure I'd take it LOL!! I've heard so many stories (good and bad) about having surgery, so the dr would have to give me 100% chance of being pain free for me to do it!! No dr in the world will give you those odds LOL! That doesn't mean you shouldn't, but I'd definitely be sure before I went ahead, there's no turning back once it's done!!!

Lintek, I'd suggest that you surf the net, and look up info on SEDS!! I have a close friend that sounds like your mom, and that's what she has!! Although, she's very short in stature, and I don't know if you or your mom are?? If so, there's a very good chance!!
Anyway, look it up and see if the symptoms run true for you or your mom!! If your mom does have SEDS, there's a very good chance you do too, as it's hereditary!! I'm not all that sure what the full name is but I'll give it a try, don't mind the spelling mistakes LOL, as I'm going to try and just sound it out ok? Spondylo Epipysfeil Dysplasia Syndrome. Or you could just ask your dr if they think your situation could be SEDS!! Guess that would probably be easier LOL!!
Either way, just knowing is half the battle!! Here in Canada, not too many people/drs know about SEDS, as it's a RARE bone disease!! I pray that this isn't your situation, as it's not an easy one to deal with!!

Believe me when I say, I pray that there's good answers out there for you both! Keep intouch with us ok, and let us know what you find out/deside! ((HUGS)) and take care!!

 
Old 08-17-2004, 12:38 PM   #4
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Re: Driving my family insane.

As far as the size of the herniation, I am 22, and one of my discs is herniated 7 mm. My understanding was that it was protruding that much, and thus pinching or pressuring a nerve. In my situation, the doctors said we should go non-surgical, but that at some point (hopefully many years down the road) surgery may be necessary.

I am doing ok with some PT/exercise and being very careful. That's not to say that I'm back to normal. There is still some pain, but it's manageable right now, and I am working full time. Everyone is different, and perhaps you do need surgery, but 8.5 is not that much bigger a herniation than 7 mm, so while you may need surgery, I don't think the size of the herniation is extreme.

 
Old 08-17-2004, 01:28 PM   #5
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Re: Driving my family insane.

Hi Erika,

Boy can I relate. I was 25 when I first messed up my back and went to Boston to see a specialist. He told me to come back in ten years when I couldn't walk, and he'd do a fusion to fix me. I recall how betrayed and horrified I felt that my body did this to me when I was so young. Luckily I was married and didn't have to work. I don't know what I would have done if my husband hadn't been smart enough to run two small corporations and I didn't have to be worried about a paycheck.

I know how I was scared to death and had no one to explain it to me and that I was broken. Again, I was lucky to have an understanding husband and a nice Primary care doctor who explained to me what was going on, and that eventually I'd have to have something done to fix me. I'm now at that point where I'm going to have to be fixed.

But try not to be too scared. We're all here for you. This is a smart bunch of people and they will not only help you, but care about you too.

Stormy

 
Old 08-17-2004, 04:57 PM   #6
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Re: Driving my family insane.

I was in my 20s when I started having serious back trouble. I put off surgery for a long time but eventually the damage went from very painful to absolutely catastrophic. Mine ended up with paralysis from about the waist down. After 7 months of in-hospital rehab and a year of outpatient rehab I did recover. Not fully, but enough to walk and stuff. I'll never be the same but it is better than a wheelchair.

Anyway, after recovery I was amazed at exactly how much pain I had been in for all those years. It was like a fog was lifted. I deeply regret not taking my pain seriously before the catastrophic episode (caused by negligent doctors by the way). Being relatively pain free was a small price to pay for the surgery. You will feel better, and be a much better person to be around. I was positively foul during my "painful period". Frankly I hated what I had become. I regret so much wasting those several years of my life by not fixing the problem.

My advice is to get the surgery(get a second opinion first) and get on with your life. Life is far too short to live it suffering in pain.

 
Old 08-17-2004, 05:11 PM   #7
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Re: Driving my family insane.

Please, get at least one more opinion. Surgery is the very last thing you want to do. All conservative methods should be tried, included PT. If the protrusion is not pinching any nerves and you are not experiencing any weakness or numbness of your legs, then PT might, along with pain management, allow you to go for years without needing surgery. I would explore all options, leaving back surgery as last.

Good luck.

Carol
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Old 08-17-2004, 11:39 PM   #8
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Re: Driving my family insane.

[QUOTE=erikaevilbabe]Hi my name is Erika. Well last year i got hurt at work, and found out that I have an 8 1/2 mm.disk in my L5. I have done the shots,treatment everything but surgery. Last week the Dr. told me that surgery is the only solution. I have been so angry because I'm only 29 and I feel broken. I am very independant and now I have become dependant.I can't even do simple things like wash dishes or go to the movies with my famliy because I am always in pain. Latley I have been loseing my balance too. I have been so fusterated I feel that now it has affected my relationship with everyone around me. I just don't want to hurt anymore. I'm also wondering if 8 1/2mm. is real serious. Sorry for the sob story just looking for people who can relate. Thank you and peace one love. [/QUOTE]

What does that mean that you have a 8 1/2 mm disc in your L5? Herniation, bulge, tear? Your doctor told you that because he is frustated that you are still in pain and the conservative methods didn't help. There are more alternatives if you look outside the box. Medical doctors are not the only choice. You say that you did the shots, treatment, did you do PT, walk everyday, stretches, accupunture, manipulations. Did they do a discogram, EMG? This is your back. You need to get all of the input and opinions that you can get before jumping into surgery.

Get a copy of your MRI report and take it around to spine centers, a Neurologist, a physiatrist, see about Prolotherapy. Forget the shots. They are just a diagnostic tool. The discogram sounds really painful, but you sound like you are already in pain.

 
Old 08-18-2004, 12:06 AM   #9
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Re: Driving my family insane.

Erika,
I just had fusion surgery 4 weeks ago and am very glad that I did. I wanted my life back, and didn't want to wait until I was completely broken before opting for surgery. I am 44 and have a 6 yo daughter.

I had anterior/posterior interbody fusion from L4 to S1 with cadaever bone instead of cages and 6 screws and 2 rods holding it all together. I am getting better and stronger everyday. There are alot of people here who always rail against surgery, and I'm all for exploring all options, which I did. But surgery can be a good solution.

As for your family...being a caregiver is hard, and it's hard to watch the ones you love suffer in pain. They've been there for you, I'm assuming it's your parents, and they will always be. That's what we parents are for .
It's nice that you worry about their feelings and don't want to take advantage of them. If you opt for surgery, I'm sure they'll be there to support you. It might be a quicker recovery than you think.

Good luck, and do get a second opinion.
Take Care,
Julie
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Old 08-18-2004, 07:17 AM   #10
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Talking Re: Driving my family insane.

Erika
My name is Joan,I have had 3 failed back surgeries.I can understand where you are coming from.I feel like I have driven my family crazy also.But it is not our fault.The pain is so unbearable,like I tell my husband if you could spend one day in my body,then you could understand how I feel.You feel like you no longer have a life.I am getting ready to go through another surgery.We are going to put the morphine pump in.They say it helps alot,so I am going to see if it helps.If you need to talk feel free to respond. [ [I]removed[/I] ] We all need someone to talk to at times.

Last edited by moderator2; 08-18-2004 at 06:48 PM. Reason: please carefully review the posting rules: no off board contact information is allowed to be posted. Thank you!

 
Old 08-21-2004, 06:14 AM   #11
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baberre HB User
Re: Driving my family insane.

Thank you all for all those kind words. I needed to hear them. I hope everything goes well for you and everyone else who is suffering from this pain. I know its not the end of the world I am still here and will be tommorow. Peace one love

 
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