Join Date: Apr 2004
| | 26/F 12 days post two level discectomy surgery. Warning: Long post
I am 12 days post two level discectomy surgery. I still feel tremendous pain along with a new numb tingling right toes, foot, and leg. Also experiencing muscle pain in both legs. I don’t know what that is about. Here is my story: I had a big move into a new place When i moved in i felt pain, I thought it was my usual flare up where im bed ridden for 2 weeks and then all is well. Not this time, its stayed and kept staying. Was it from the move ? was it from carrying that coffee table over my head? I felt healthy so I did it. As the days went by the pain was intermittent and if I rested I would be able to do my things; bike ride, walk long distances, sit for a certain periods of time etc. But after a week went by, the pain was really not barable, I would endure a lot just to bike ot the store ( I don’t have a car) Well, the pain decided to get worse and worse and noticed it getting that way the more I got stressed by this roommate as well. The combination of having to bike and walk and the stress in my living situation anf finding a job was getting to be very unbarable. Finally, my mom decided it was time for me to see a spine specialist no matter if we had no insurance or not, he had my MRI’s done. The same day, AFTER the MRI's I tripped on a big slab of cement and fell on my back only to wake up the next morning with horrible pain in my leg and hips and back. I showed the specialist my MRI’s and he said I needed surgery but I could TRY an epidural to buy me some waiting time. The epidural was horrible, it seemed to relieve some pain but then it all came rushing back.
My mom is supporting me out of state and barely has anything left . I didn’t know how id get surgery paid for. Well, I called financial aid at the hospitals and other places to no avail and then the spine clinic and asked them their advice and they were really nice, they genuinely cared about my problem and said to tell the dr I was seeing that I wanted to talk to the surgeon on board. And so I did…he told me to wait it out and see if it still bothered me, that maybe I was aggravated by the epidural …I flat out said , I need surgery. He said, well, I think you do, but having no insurance is a problem. I told him about my fall on the sidewalk and he said that hed see any new damage when he went into my back. I told him everything at the point and asked him if he could work with me and I could tell he was uncomfortable but he decided to work with me on the price. It was very generous.
So my surgery was set for about a month from then and they send me home with celebrex and ultracet samples. I went home , took them and they helped minimally . As the days went by the pain got worse and worse and THEN one night my leg started to feel like someone was stabbing twisting and punching it. It was excruciating pain that couldn’t be relieved. I called the spine clinic and cried for something else. They called in vicodin for me and I finally had a painless nights sleep and even the day was nice. I was out of it and very flighty but I didn’t care , the pain was under control for the most part.
Surgery was coming near and I was getting very nervous and excited (as displayed by my many posts on here) I needed the usual tests and much to my freakin luck, the urine culture came back with a high amount of white blood cells, my old UTI was back with a vengeance. They said I needed to be on antibiotics, but they were still doing the surgery. Phew…. So the a couple days before surgery I go back to take care of preadmitting and fees and so on and find out that I had to pay everything up front and there was no arrangement of payments..this made me ******. My mom and I were under the impresson that we could make payments after the surgery. No such luck….the lady told me to try charity and so I did and I cried in the office b/c the lady overseeing my finances told me I wouldn’t qualify and then I remember that a lot of what I had was going to my apartment , but I didn’t have prrof to show that until …I remember the receipt and after I handed her that she said I had a very good chance of getting surgery paid for. She was right, I got it all payed for and now all I had to do was wait.
Finally, the day came and I cryed when they were getting me ready…it’s a scary experience. I just wanted to be put out and be in recovery already. Well, as soon as I went out , I woke up in recovery. Its amazing how a long time can be made so short when you are under anesthesia. I woke up with a great deal of pain,( not as intense as pre –surgery) and new numbness, tingling in toes, foot and right leg. It was kind of scary. When it was time for me to try out walking I couldn’t even stand up at first b/c I couldn’t feel enough of my right leg. The doctor came in to check on me and I asked him why I felt this way and he said it takes time, and its too early tocome to conclusions, he also told me that when he went in , the discs were much worse than what the MRI’s had shown. He said that he really had to go in there bc the disc was hidden by the nerve so he had to have significant contact wirth it in order to get out the herniations. This scared me but I kept telling myself to have good thoughts.
The third day, I was feeling good, barable pain and I could actually walk , with a limp, but I could walk and that made me very happy. I called the doctors assistant and asked him if I could go , he said if the pain was barable and I felt alright I could. So I went, I had to get out of there and it was only supposed to be a one night deal to begin with.
That night at home with a live in nurse assistant hired for the weekend, I developed the worst case of constipation and not only that but I felt like it was there but I couldn’t go. I took prune juice and it only made matters worse. I had to go and was ready to go but my bowels wouldn’t let me. About 10 minutes later o got horrible cramps and felt sick to my stomach…another ten minutes and I was keeled over on the toilet pushing as hard as I could. I begged for help and started crying profusely , I couldn’t take the pain. The nurse bought me magnesium citreate which I downed in a desperate attempt at escaping this hell. It never worked, at this point I was severely nauseated, in a teremdnous amount of pain and couldn’t get out what was right there in a very hard consistency. I was severely impacted and I called 911 . I went away in the ambulance, they gave me two enemas and by the second , it was out and im not trying to be gross but when it was trying to come out for about hour in the ER, I wanted to die. When it finally came out it was about 10 pounds in the bed pan. That is how much BM that was stuck in my rectum and it was hard as rocks. The ER treated me horrible telling me to act my age when I was screaming. One nurse had the audacity to ask me if I learned my lesson of proper hydration ! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I was taking vicodin knowing it was constipating and drinking copiace amounts of water. They sent me home telling me I was empty and I ended up having a nother BM in the cab ride. It was awful and excruciatingly painful, the pain was immeasurable and i wanted to puke so bad.
Well, it turns out that it all happened because I failed to follow pre surgery directions, namely , taking two colace before surgery, BUT they gave me plenty of colace post surgery days and nothing came out. Why did they let me leave if I didn’t have a bowel movement?? I agree its partially my fault but if I had known how important it was to have one, I would have never left and asked for help, even an enema. I think id take 3 barium enemas over that anytime.
So anyway, the reason I mention this is b/c I may have caused trauma to my back that night and to maybe prevent anyone else from having to go through that…take the colace before surgery , no matter how bad your stomach may react to it.
I am still in a great deal of pain and too scared to take vicodin so I just bare it and do minimal activity but try to stay active to get my bowels moving which are still VERY slow and need the help of laxatives which still take a long time to produce anything. I don’t know if the impaction did something to my interior but I cannot have a regular BM and im totally off all narcotics. This is another thing that really scares and concerns me.
Now , I am home and researching ways to start a case against the state construction because I believe that my back is much worse due to the fall I had that day of my MRI’s.
I know there are some of you living with the pain but have you dealt with anything like this in addition to it. How do you cope? I just want to be normal again , this has been an awful month and im just now starting to eat after losing almost 15 pounds before and after surgery. I was too scared to eat after the impaction. I still refuse to take any narcotics for fear of getting that way again. Ive been prescribed medrol and its sitting on my table but im too afraid to try it Not until I can have a significant bowel movement. Does anyone have any advice or similar experiences? Can recovery mean you can be in pain for a long time before you feel any relief or should I just accept that I have permanent nerve damage? I’m 26 and this has made me very depressed, I try not to think that way but I don’t want to live in a world of this much pain at this age. I’m only 26..i keep asking why this happened to me? Why?
Last edited by Abrie25; 08-14-2005 at 04:42 PM.