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Old 11-12-2011, 08:56 AM   #1
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sciactica/ depression

I have been in this damn sciatica pain for over three years. I am so done fighting. The pain management doc said you are depressed. Really? What was your first clue? I started seeing a chronic pain psychologist to cope. When I sit, or try to sleep the pain is so intense. Last night I tried to work out. I cycled for 20 minutes,and walked for another 20 minutes. I had to double my pain meds. Itook methadone, Valium,and muscle relaxant just for sleep. As I start to wake up, the pain comes back. I cry every day to live like this. I don't do all the female exams, because I pray to die then to live like this.
I am a single Mom of two teen age boys. They don't get it. I am not the Mom they deserve. I am a good person. I do a lot for people. I volunteer my time mentoring kids in detention. My passions are gone! I am unable to cycle 25 miles a day. At one time I was training for make a wish to cycle 100 miles a day for three days. Sitting is also hell! I try to sit in church, or the movies,and that is hell! I went back to school to pursue another degree, and can't do it. How much worse can it get? Sorry I am very depressed.
Does anyone else feel this dispair.
thank you

 
The following 6 users give hugs of support to: persevere330
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:19 AM   #2
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Re: sciactica/ depression

I think most people who deal with some type of chronic pain have felt or are feeling like you do now.

What types of specialists have you seen for a diagnosis? What is causing the sciatic pain? What have you tried for it?

I can mention that if you have SI joint issues or piriformis issues, which often cause a sciatic nerve flare, any type of cycling aggravates the sciatic nerves. It creates a "shearing" type of movement through the pelvic area and buttocks that irritates those muscles and nerves. Once they become inflamed, it is very, very difficult to get things to calm down.

But you may have nerve compression above this level, somewhere in your lumbar spine that is causing the sciatic pain.

Last edited by teteri66; 11-12-2011 at 10:23 AM.

 
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:31 PM   #3
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Re: sciactica/ depression

Just sending sympathy. It is hard to live in pain. It is something no one who hasn't been there can fully understand. It can also be hard to go from active to disablitated. I truly saw myself go through the stages of grief when my pain took away my gym time.

I can't fix it. But I can tell you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Over the years, with every health and head battle I've had, I've found some comfort in finding others who understood. Of course, I wouldn't wish the pain on anyone (well, I live in State College PA so maybe Jerry Sandusky right now), but I have a lot of "it is NOT my turn anymore!" moments. And it helps to just know others have fought too. And made it through.

Depression and pain can be a vicious cycle. They both really feed on the other. I am glad you are getting help in the depression fight...it doesn't solve it but hopefully it is beneficial. Not being able to sleep is hard too...it helped me to get Ambien to use when I was in a lot of pain....you don't want to get reliant on it, but sometimes a full nght's sleep can be a huge help.

And also -- just let those teens know they are loved...THAT is more important than any other mommy-hood tasks.

 
Old 11-16-2011, 05:28 AM   #4
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Re: sciactica/ depression

Hello,
Sounds like you have medical background. I had two back surgeries, less than a year apart. According to my second doctor my first doctor was neg. I said to him the reason the doc said I was in this pain was from the residual from his drill. I could tell by his shocked response that something was terribly wrong. He said I would never use a drill on you. He tried to fix me,and I herninated a disc,and have a lot of scar tissue compressing my sciatica nerve. So really there is nothing I can do, but role with the narcotics. Do you have back issues?

 
Old 11-16-2011, 09:52 AM   #5
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Re: sciactica/ depression

[QUOTE=persevere330;4878238]I have been in this damn sciatica pain for over three years. I am so done fighting. The pain management doc said you are depressed. Really? What was your first clue? I started seeing a chronic pain psychologist to cope. When I sit, or try to sleep the pain is so intense. Last night I tried to work out. I cycled for 20 minutes,and walked for another 20 minutes. I had to double my pain meds. Itook methadone, Valium,and muscle relaxant just for sleep. As I start to wake up, the pain comes back. I cry every day to live like this. I don't do all the female exams, because I pray to die then to live like this.
I am a single Mom of two teen age boys. They don't get it. I am not the Mom they deserve. I am a good person. I do a lot for people. I volunteer my time mentoring kids in detention. My passions are gone! I am unable to cycle 25 miles a day. At one time I was training for make a wish to cycle 100 miles a day for three days. Sitting is also hell! I try to sit in church, or the movies,and that is hell! I went back to school to pursue another degree, and can't do it. How much worse can it get? Sorry I am very depressed.
Does anyone else feel this dispair.
thank you[/QUOTE]
Hi, tell us about the pain psychologist and what he did and if it helped. Did he explain the anatomy of pain or what?
James

 
Old 11-16-2011, 01:15 PM   #6
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Re: sciactica/ depression

Obviously, I do not know your particular issues, but I'm willing to bet there is something to be done with your sciatic pain. It's just a matter of hooking up with the right specialist or alternate medicine guy...which can be a great challenge. But I wouldn't recommend giving up until you have explored all your options.

 
Old 11-16-2011, 03:07 PM   #7
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Re: sciactica/ depression

You mean the grieving process?

 
Old 11-17-2011, 08:59 AM   #8
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Re: sciactica/ depression

Are you sure that there is not some mechanical issue that is responsible for irritating the sciatic nerve, or whatever it is that is causing a nerve to be compressed?

I had nerve pain in my hip, buttock and leg, sometimes both legs, for at least 5 years, and numb feet for the better part of ten years and two spine surgeries, before the doctors finally figured out why I still had pain. After the first fusion I was told by several surgeons that nothing more could be done surgically-- that it was maybe as good as it was going to get... and that I should handle it through pain management, by getting a spinal cord stimulator, etc.

Eventually I was able to convince my surgeon that there still was a problem that could be addressed...and sure enough, there was gross instability at one lumbar segment that could not be seen on any imaging. I had a 3 level lumbar fusion and some spinal reconstruction surgery 17 months ago and am almost pain-free.

I just wondered if you felt you had explored all options available to you.

 
Old 11-19-2011, 05:11 AM   #9
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Re: sciactica/ depression

Wow, almost pain free. You must be doing the "happy dance".
I know in my heart if I would of had my sec doc,as my first,and would of had fusion I would be fine. The biggest problem is the scar tissue. It does come back. I was open to a spinal stim, but said I couldn't because of the scar tissue. I am now trying rolphing. Also tried ti chi. I have way too much energy for that, but it is out of my control. Pain psychologist rec it. He actually had fusion when he was in his twenties,and is now in his sixties. He said working out for people like us is like stringing popcorn. Enjoy your almost pain free days

 
Old 11-19-2011, 06:39 AM   #10
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Re: sciactica/ depression

I had the same thing, I know the pain is awfull, I take tramadoll for nerve pain, but I do decompression on my back ,went for PT, If you don not have weakness , they will not do anything except send you to PT, did you have a MRI ? They shy away at surgery at all costs because they just create more problems, Go to a back Dr to get advice ,
Two surgerns told me mother nature, they can also give you a shot which may help with the pain, but give it a chance to heal, It does take a long time, but unless you have a very bad nerve compression and cannot walk, they will just give you pain meds
and PT, but be optimistic , your body will heal, donot be intimitated by pain
good luck
R

 
Old 11-20-2011, 05:03 AM   #11
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Re: sciactica/ depression

Hello,
Yes had an MRI. Scar tissues,and herninated disc compressing the sciatica nerve. Did everthing you said,and now trying rolphing. I take methadone, valium, muscle relaxants, you name it. Don't have surgery if you are starting to feel better. How many people do you know that have been through only one back surgery,and feel better? I have met people two three, and I met someone the other day had thirteen, and still in a lot of pain! Good luck to you too.

 
Old 11-20-2011, 11:38 AM   #12
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Re: sciactica/ depression

I hope I'm not annoying you, but I do understand how difficult it is to live with sciatic pain and how it takes away all quality of life, and I am trying to suggest that you may still have options other than pain management.

Were your two surgeries discectomies? Has surgeon #2 indicated that he would not recommend further surgery.

Scar tissue is a real issue, but it also gets blamed for most pain that a surgeon cannot explain easily. I went through this after my first fusion, when the surgery was successful but my pain and radiculopathy remained the same. I was told that scar tissue was pressing on a nerve, and I needed to accept the situation, that "things" might be as good as it was going to get. Scar tissue forms any time the body has tissue removed, be it a surface skin cut, or a surgery deep inside the body. It is nature's way of filling the vacuum. And there is nothing wrong with scar tissue itself. It is just fibers of collagen, just like what we want in our faces as we age.

The problem comes when the tissue grows in a sporatic way, or where we don't want it to be, like when it wraps itself around a nerve. There is a window of between the 6th and 12th week post surgery when the fibers are forming that there is a chance to affect the direction the fibers are laying down. There are a variety of methods to do this, which I won't go into here, but there are ways to minimize the effect of scar tissue.

When another surgery is performed, the surgeon can cut out most of the tissue and will do this to free up a nerve. There are "new" products that can be laid in around the nerve that help to prevent scar tissue from forming (that may or may not work -- I think the verdict is still out on this one).

I can't help but feel that you have something other than scar tissue that is causing your sciatic pain. Is the bulging disc compressing a nerve?

 
Old 11-21-2011, 04:41 AM   #13
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Re: sciactica/ depression

No, you are not being annoying. You are trying to help,and I appreciate it. I think the surg was a laminectomy,and disce, do not know how to spell them. The first surg removed too much of the facet joint according to my second surg. He wanted to go back in,and do a fusion, but I said no way! His nurse called me,and said have another lami, if that doesn't work then have the nuts,and bolts. I said easy for you to say. After my second surgery, I went for a short walk,and I know that was what caused me to herninate a disc. Doc says to walk because it prevents scar tissue from forming; however, doc doesn't say how far to walk. When my house was on the market, I walked half a block five days after my surgery. Stupid of me! That is what herninated the disc. I beat myself up over that. I know in my heart if my first surg was my second, I would be fine. My first surg said I could still be in pain from residual from his drill. My sec surg said "what I would never use a drill on you"! I didn't care for my first surg, but he had two back surgeries himself,and I thought he could be empathatic, but now way. Oh, also tried the caudal that is suppose to break up the scar tissue. It made the pain so intense afterwards. It didn't help. Also $1000 out of pocket. Enjoy your day

 
Old 11-21-2011, 06:48 AM   #14
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Re: sciactica/ depression

From your description, it sounds like it might be possible to go in, clean out all the scar tissue, clean up the disc that is herniated, and fuse the segment where too much bone was removed during the first surgery. When too much bone is removed, it allows slippage at that segment, which often results in a nerve getting pinched....depending on which level this is, it may be causing all your sciatic pain.

Do you know which area was operated on, perhaps L4-L5 or L5-S1?

Has your new surgeon suggested the possibility of still doing a fusion procedure?

 
Old 11-21-2011, 06:59 AM   #15
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Re: sciactica/ depression

The levels were L4, L5,and S1. Fusion scares me.

 
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