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Losing Hope, need advice

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Old 08-18-2007, 05:03 PM   #1
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Abrie25 HB User
Unhappy Losing Hope, need advice

I am a 28 yr old female and right now i am sufferinga deep depression from the back pain i have to endure. My future seems horrible.

In 2005 i had a discectomy for my two levels of severely deviated, stenosis and bulging discs. I went to the spine clinic crying in horrible pain and they had to lie me down flat on my back. They scheduled me fro surgery after the steroidal injection didnt work. After that discectomy, i had another one, b/c it popped right back out , the surgeon had me sign a contract that said i woudl let him do a fusion if needed. He decided against it.

The surgery helped , recovery was horrible (i know its not supposed to be but it was and i got dehydrated among other things) and first i couldnt feel ly leg , i head learn how to walk again, but i slowly got feeling back in it. After a few months i started to feel myself again , it felt like a miracle, the pain didnt go away completely but much of it was gone. I could live. I was ecstatic. i rode my bike , took long walks , but i was careful.

Skip a yr or so and im feeling teh pain again but not unbarable, anything is better than what i went through.

Skip to April 25 of 07 , i move to a diff town , buy a bike and get hit by a car a wk later , i flip and land on the cement, head first. My back got worse, the persons insurance covered physical therapy, a neuro, and just now, a steroidal injection. I am supposed to get a settlement but i could care less right now. i would trade all teh money for a new back. I'm crying as i write this...i now have neck pain shoulder pain, both legs down to my ankles hurt ona constant basis, i just had steroidal injection that didnt help and seems to have made it worse. It has been two days though. I am hurting just sitting here, but i have my legs propped up on a chair to ease the pain.

I am confused, the physical therapist didnt help , he said to work out , strangthen my back and leg muscles. I am out of shape but it hurts to workout , i try but it is painful as hell. i am going to try to swim late at night, maybe that will help. I am not working nor goingt o school , i am just wasting the days away until i dont know, i try so hard to snap out of it but the pain is horrible at times. What confuses me the most is that a lot of the pain resides on my hips and sides of the upperback, then it skips to my legs and foot but i think the steriods may have helped leg and foot pain. My hips are still so painful.

Could it be bursitis ? How do i get checked for it? My physical therapist checked me with some movements and asked me where my pain was and said that i didnt have it. Should i get a second opinion? Do i need an MRI or catscan ? How do they know if you have a hip issue?

I am so fed up with all the fighthing. My pain has made me more anxiety ridden , miserable, nervous, depressed , lethargic and unmotivated. I miss feeling again , i feel apathetic some days at most, or extremely sad, helpless....I'm a fighter but i just dont want to do it anymore bc nothing is going anywhere, there is no progress. Hwo can i live like this ?

My disc is bulging out again , on the MRI there is no splace b/w discs l4-l5 s1 and i have a severe amount of scar tissue from the orther surgeries. I was tgold my only choice is a fusion but have been advised against it by several doctors. One, the neuro, saidthat it is my only choice if pain pills do not help. I cant even afford the surgery and insurance says anything to do with this area of my back is ezxcluded from coverage, its considered a pre-existing condition.

I think about how young i truly am in the grand scheme of things, i ll never be able to have kids or do many fun things. Ill never meet anyone who will put up with me. ill never get married , i ll never be happy again.

i dont know what to do anymore. how does one live with this kind of pain?

Last edited by Mod-S4; 12-31-2011 at 10:11 AM.

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Old 08-18-2007, 05:40 PM   #2
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Re: Losing Hope, need advice

Losing hope, I am here for you. Please, please do me a favor and pick up the phone and call a family member or a friend and tell them you need help. Go to the ER and tell them exactly what you have just written. It sounds like your pain is way out of control and you are depressed which would be perfectly understandable. If you don't have insurance, please know that a hospital can not turn you away.

Please don't sit and suffer or do anything to harm yourself. I DO CARE!!

Old 08-18-2007, 06:57 PM   #3
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Re: Losing Hope, need advice

It is bad but not ER bad yet, plus the ER only gives me a shot in the butt and sends me home. It does nothing, ive sat in the ER for 8 hours at a time several times to only come out with that.

I am not on the vurge of hurting myself, just that i feel like i want to. I dont plan to do anything, i plan to fight it but came for support.

Old 08-18-2007, 07:08 PM   #4
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ms_west HB User
Re: Losing Hope, need advice

I am glad that you don't have any plans to hurt yourself. I could not tell my your posting.

I am so sorry that you are in this much pain. I agree it does become old and wears you down after awhile.

Have you had an MRI done since the accident?

Old 08-18-2007, 07:39 PM   #5
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Re: Losing Hope, need advice

yeahm i had all that done. It showed a small diff from after my surgery compared to after the accident. i feel the diff in pain more than anything.

I'm just trying to get more tips/advice on where to go from here. I'm so sick of leaving the office completely bewildered by what doctors tell me.

Old 08-18-2007, 08:19 PM   #6
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Jack24 HB User
Re: Losing Hope, need advice

One thing I would do is get a mean lawyer and sic him on the insurance company. If you are speaking about your own personal health insurance, then they might have a case with the pre-existing condition thing but I don't think they can use this after a car wreck. It is kind of like blaming someone in a wheelchair for getting run over because he could not get across the road fast enough.

Also I've been where you are with the depression and what helps the most is to live in day-tight compartments, i.e. one day at a time. This keeps the flood of a possible missed future out of your mind.

I had a friend whose wife was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. She had, and took care of two beautiful kids.

Old 08-19-2007, 02:20 AM   #7
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Re: Losing Hope, need advice


I am sorry to hear you are going through such a rough time!!

I has 9 months of basically living and sleeping in a recliner chair and feeling so depressed as i used to work with horses and i just couldnt adjust to not being able to do anything.
I just didnt see me going back to work or ever riding again!

Just literally one day i decided enough was enough and there was no way i was going tolive like this an feel sorry for myself any longer.

I went back to work with the horses doing VERY light duties which although it hurt i owrked there for 8 months and have only just had to give it upagain due to the chronic pain.
I found i was crying for no reason and down all the time because the pain was so unbearable.
My doc was great. She put me on an anti-depressant which has worked wonders.
I try not be be a pill popper and have cut down on my meds myself but the Prozac i always take.

Being in the Uk i dont know the procedure you have to go through to get somehelp but depression goes hand in hand with chronic pain.

I hope you get some help an feel better soon.

Old 08-19-2007, 05:10 AM   #8
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yvette777 HB User
Re: Losing Hope, need advice

Also besides pursuing ofcourse help to fix the problems and help with the pain, please consider anti-depressants. My surgeon told me that anyone living in chronic pain should be on one. Last december I was very depressed, I don't mean a little bummed out, I mean seriuosly depressed, I went to my family doctor and asked for cymbalta, and it has done wonders.

Best of luck, hang in there, and don't quit fighting for the help you need. hugs.

Old 08-19-2007, 09:04 AM   #9
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Re: Losing Hope, need advice

You also might consider taking a friend or family member with you to your appts just to listen or even ask questions in case you become overwhelmed and confused.

Old 08-19-2007, 09:23 AM   #10
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Re: Losing Hope, need advice

I am so sorry that being so young you have to experience all this pain and suffering. Depression... did you go and see the Doctor about your problem? Many people may say "I am depressed" and many "spineys" are depressed, but not always suicidal thoughts are involved.
Would be a good idea for you to talk to a certified physocologist about it; seems to me that due to pain your state of mind is all over. Talking to someone will help you to sort things out, sometimes it helps a lot.
Swimming is good; besides is not hard on your back, it's very relaxing and it can be very helpful to you.
About fusion: this is has to be yours and your Dr decision; hard to give any advice not knowing what is exactly wrong with your back. Meanwile people here are right: take a family member with you and go talk to a lawyer. You don't know how this accident may affect your future health and how much it may cost you. You mentioned that this is not important to you, but, sweet heart, this is life...
Best of wishes to you; come here to talk, we are all here for you.

Old 08-19-2007, 10:20 AM   #11
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Re: Losing Hope, need advice

Hi ambrie...please don't lose hope; you don't need to. There are doctors out there who can help you. Look for a neurosurgeon, or an orthopedic spine specialist (in my opinion, they're the best) who has a fellowship. These orthos do not do other surgeries, only the spine and have intensive training. I have found them to be more sympathetic. Regardless of which you see, you want a dr. who will listen to you and HEAR you.

Your symptoms require a new MRI to see what's going on. Having 2 discectomies at the same level could very well have left your spine unstable; you could have nerves being pinched because there isn't enough disc left to protect them. So...a new doctor and a new MRI are the first steps to take. Do not agree to surgery immediately though...get a second sure it is necessary and that there isn't anything else to help you. PT is an option but only if it doesn't cause more pain; injections can help as well if they are well placed under fluoroscopy.

I really hope you will consider all the advise you have been given and take the lst step in getting control of your medical care. It's your back, your life, and up to you to see to it that you get the best care possible. Sign nothing giving medical release from the ins. company as you don't know yet what the future might hold. That is vitally important; keep them on the hook for all medical bills.

I wish you the best in everything.

2 lami's, 3 fusions
bone spur removal
cerv. fusion, 1 level
morphine pump

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Old 08-19-2007, 11:51 AM   #12
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kiwi5010 HB User
Re: Losing Hope, need advice

I want to agree with what was just said. Don't underestimate the value of a second opinion and even a third if possible. I've had Dr's who even recomend a 2nd opinion..Sometimes they will just have a new idea or different advice or see something that was missed.

Old 08-19-2007, 02:17 PM   #13
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Re: Losing Hope, need advice

Hi Abrie. I know the feelings you are expressing as MOST of us on here do. I injured my first disc at age 18 in an auto accident. It was in 1979, I had no insurance and they didnt have the sophisticated imaging they have today to identify disc issues. I suffered for so many years with that injury (15+ years) and then it just quite causing me problems.

I blew out l4/l5 over 4 years ago lifting heavy furniture. My life came to a halt! and life dramatically changed and was barely able walk after 3 years.

It sounds like you definitely need surgery as a way to help ease your pain. Its normal and healthy to feel and think the way you have, but once expressed you must find a meaningful way to deal with it, put in aside and FIGHT for your right to be well. You have to fight for you and never give up that fight.

There truly are better days ahead as bleak as it may seem today. There is always tomorrow and the possibilty that day will be the day that you begin to get relief from your bondage of pain. And surgery 'could' be that for you. It was for me. My ONLY choice was surgery and I only had a 50/50 chance of success with my fusion. I got lucky. I am 85% or more improved!

When you hurt, you can't workout. That's why it's important to couple with proper pain medication with with the proper therapy. Pre or Post Op. Same thing. PAIN IS the cause and effect.

Please.. look to pull on the strength you said you have, only get tougher about it even. Get your MRI's, reports and get another opinion, and start looking at your options of trying to get relief from the pain.

Let me tell you, I had a nest egg that I blew trying unconventional non-surgical ways to get my back well. Nothing worked. So.. the next was to try surgery. The thought terrified me, but what terrified me more was NOT TRYING this as a resource to end my pain and suffering. The surgery was worth the risk to me. My pain level was so high for so long.. I just had to try.

I am so glad I did. I am not pain free, but let me tell you.. darn near! And I woke up from that surgery and once I was coherent, I could immediately tell my pre-surgery pain was GONE!

I do not advocate surgery to anyone unless it's a last resort.

I concur.. you need to consult with a personal injury (aka "tort") attorney to discuss this insurance issues. And personally, I would not be settling on anything right now until you have consulted with an attorney. There are many different resources insurance wise, both the person that hit you and also your own that can be utilized, but you need an attorney help you work through those.

As to a pre-existing condition.. you have me perplexed on that. Do you have personal insurance that you using and obtained in which you had a break in health insurance coverage for more than 60 days (and you had continuous health coverage for a period of 18 months)? If not, law prohibits insurances from exclusions of pre-existing conditions and must be covered under the same parameters of an illness under the guidelines of the plan.

If your back issues is a direct result of the auto accident and the other party was at fault.. their insurance should be paying for your personal injury bills, to begin with.

I am glad you found this board. It's an excellent resource for you to talk with real everyday people that completely understand what you are feeling and have experience to share what they know to help each other.

Abrie, I also urge you to seek some counseling, with a chronic pain psych to help you understand a bit better what you are going through right now and help you learn to work with those feelings in a more positive way and give you techniques to help you move beyond this wall you feel you've hit.

A positive thought can truly move mountains.
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

Old 08-19-2007, 03:45 PM   #14
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Re: Losing Hope, need advice

abrie, I have read the other posts & they are more knowlegable then I when it comes to surgery, I do agree get more opinions, as far as your PT saying what you do or don't have in your hips how would they know when no testing was done? Pain is a terrable thing to handle on your own, I am on my 6 doctor for help & I am dertermined to do everything I can, even I have days I feel to tired or overwhelmed. try to learn to meditate, yea I used to say be for real with this pain, well at times I have to do it & it allows me to at least feel alittle more in control, what have you got to loose by trying, my sister is in pain everyday of her life has been since she has been in her 20s she is now almost 60, days where she could not pick her head up, said it was to painful to cry, she looks for the good, maybe just the sunshining, or just to talk to someone she loves. As far as you will never find someone to love or get married, oh yes you will, just wait & see, there is someone for everyone. When you meet that someone they will love you through it all, we all put up with things from the ones we love if not pain then something else, that is love, don't cheat yourself of that, or the lucky person who will come along. Everyone here understands & cares more then you know. Listen to us all, we are here for each other & here for you. We have walked & walk in your shoes. you are worthy so reach out & allow someone to help you. The people on this board are wise & have given you good advice. One day at a time, sweetie, take it one day at a time. Good things will come. you will see. Let us all know you are ok, please Sammy

Old 08-22-2007, 04:59 PM   #15
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Re: Losing Hope, need advice

Thank you all so much for your informative and caring feedback. As of right this second, after my first injection into my lumbar area on my right side through has not changed anything, and when i had it i felt it get worse which i was told will happen alot before it gets better. I had this done on August 16th at 10 am so i doubt it will kick in this late. I have the option through the girls car insurance to get two more shots. I dont know if i told you, but i do have a lawyer and she said recently that since the films and nerve study on my nerves didnt show any change in my pre-existing condition, she cannot go by pain level. This leaves me feeling at a complete loss. she said if i get anything through settlement, it will be minimal, this is what she hypothesizes once all my records and treatment are sent in. i was told by the neuro surgeon i see through the law firm...that pain can be enough proof that my pre-existing condition was aggrivated by the accident. I felt teh pain worsen right after i was hit, but unfortunately i have no way to prove it got worse. The films and nerves show no change. This depresses me more, as what are my options for future help?

When the doctor was administering the injection, he mentioned that i had A LOT of scarred tissue from the previous surgeries and that i may get spinal tap from the injection, but i was lucky and didnt get it. I asked him if a lot of the pain could be caused by my tissues or bursitis and he said with teh ammount of scarred tissue i have it coudl all be pain from that , BUT that my discs on l-4 l-5 s-1 have absolutely no space between them and that can be a pain factor. i am lost and confused. I am going to get the next shots b/c the insurance company is covering it or im getting it reimbursed through my tiny settlement. Looks as though i may be left with medical bills from my insurance company as whatever they dont cover i get to pay. I'm scared whatever settlement iget will be taken away for whatever im getting now.

As of today, my leg is killing me all the way down to my toes and my pt topld me before he let me go that exercises is most important to strengthen my back but that has made it worse just from doing the treadmill and squats. Should i quit all exercise all together besides swimming ??? I am gaining a lot of weight the way i am living.

I was also just offered a job in ttranscription, what i have studied for in the past and i am kind of forced to get a job. Hwo will i function doing this sitting in a chair for eight hours? I cant turn it down, but i honestly dont knwo how im going to do it. I have to make money , what i have saved up is dwinidling , i am out of state and my mother is helping me with costs, but she is also saying its time to come home so she can help me but i cant do that , i know things will become REALLY depressing so im exhausting my options. Maybe this agency will give me part time hours if i request it and tell them my situation or maybe it woudl be stupid to tell them anything is wrong with my back. Sll i know is i need a job ad havent been able to find one where i can just sit, standing is even more painful after about 10 min.

I am going to have the shots and go back to the neuro and talk to him about my options. I'm really trying to keep it together. Right now i am just in an extroidinarty ammount of pain, but i ignore it sitting here typing bc i know its what i need to learn how to do. I need to go lie down with a warm compress.

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