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    Old 12-08-2003, 11:05 AM   #31
    mokita
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Tennisnut....

    hoping that you're feeling better, and - if not...that you have appt to discuss better pain control, at least for the time being. Sleep is our restorative time. If you're not getting that....it will escalate into some bad times.

    Good luck...

    Karen

    ps.....Chamomille? Thanks for the laugh!

     
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    Old 12-08-2003, 02:46 PM   #32
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Ms. T... You got to take it more easy (girl, walk less). And have a frank talk with your pain med specialist. You sound pretty hard core - just reading your post makes my back hurt - get yourself something. You've got buy time to let this high tech IDET procedure settle down...

    Another story. This surgery was '97. I'm a surfer, as well as a tennis player. I had lived through shoulder discomfort for quite awhile but it was starting to have a new manifestation. I'd be asleep, roll over and suddenly it felt like my shoulder was going to dislocate. Needless to say, this was startling and it was happening pretty frequently. Well - off to the sports doc, who said my shoulder was subluxating (wants to dislocate, but not quite there) and I'd better see a specialist. Surgical specialist confirmed malady and proscribed <duh> surgery. Not a fan, I said I'd try to lift around it (a dance done for about 3 mo's); then he asked me to picture my shoulder dislocating in storm surge surf. How smart would I feel then?; and, anyhow, we've got this brand new procedure where a thermal probe is inserted into the glenoid labrium to seal the tear... The beginnings of your IDET remedy.

    The surgery went fine - for awhile. At about six months I hit a rough passage. My shoulder was tight and strong; it just hurt. Doc was flummoxed. I did the athlete stuff I wanted to but my shoulder was always ringing. Eventually it faded, but it took a long time (at least a year). I kind of thought this shoulder tightening would be like, I dunno, dentistry. It wasn't. Now? My shoulder's in pretty good shape. It's my back and pelvis :-). Funny thing was, when I went for the pelvic surgery, I had a doc prepping me ask lot's of questions about prior surgeries. Had good stories ready about my bravery during ACL recovery and all she really wanted to know about was the shoulder business. I can hear her now - "Really - how'd that work out for you?" - I was kind of gritting my teeth.

    Grab your pain med's guy/gal by the lapels and get yourself some relief.

    Oh yeah - in the new paradigm realm - I'm a Rancillio maniac, get my espresso especially roasted in St. Louis, and, yes,will cop to being a very fussy coffee customer. And I don't drink anywhere near as much coffee as I used to. Can't manage pain and coffee (unless I'm drugged). Through the rugged periods caffeine just has to go. Post pelvic surgery don't think I had a cup for about four months (7 mo's now and still a little leery; it can initiate a sobering cycle when coupled with the right agitators)...


    ~waves



    [QUOTE=tennisnut]
    Enjoying the wisdom and the wit proffered . My massage therapist recommended that I try chamomille instead of narcotic analgesics. Now [I]that[/I], I found very funny.
    --tnut[/QUOTE]

    Last edited by waves2ya; 12-08-2003 at 02:50 PM.

     
    Old 12-08-2003, 08:56 PM   #33
    tennisnut
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Hey there Lumbar Jocks and assorted compatriots,

    After another sleepless night , I called the doctor’s office this morning and got an appointment for late in the afternoon. The doctor prescribed methadone, explaining that it will be more effective because it is longer acting (which also makes it less habit forming). Have to say that it felt odd to walk away with a prescription for a drug mainly given to heroin addicts. But I don’t really care anymore-whatever it takes. I took the script (a triplicate) to the pharmacy feeling upbeat that I might finally get some rest. They called me later saying there was a problem with the prescription – the doctor had forgotten to sign it! Now it’s 5:30pm and the doctor’s office is closed. ARGH! The answering service tells me that there is no after-hours help re. pharmacy issues and that my only option is to go to the ER if I am in pain. And this is the service provided by a [I]Pain Management [/I] Clinic!

    Waves – Your story about toughing out your nearly-dislocated-hanging-on-by-a-thread shoulder hit home. Here’s a personal vignette in the same genre. I blew out my knee during a practice session with a ball machine. I was tired at the end of a workout and decided to work on overheads (a brilliant move given that this is probably the most physically demanding shot). Leapt up to strike a ball a bit too far behind me and landed on only my left leg. The knee gave way, excruciating pain to follow. I sat on the court thinking, “Wow, I don’t think I can stand up.” After about 30 minutes, the pain subsided enough that I managed to hobble off the court, dragging my ball machine. I went home and did the old RICE routine, figuring I had sprained my knee. I knew squat about the anatomy of the knee. After about 3-4 weeks, the swelling was gone and the knee felt normal to me, so I went back to playing tennis and soccer. Over the next year, I had 5 instances in which my knee just seemed to dislocate for no reason. I would fall to the ground, hobble on home, and then ice. After the fifth time this happened, it finally dawned on me, “you know, I don’t think this is normal.” I went to an orthopod and after a 1-minute exam he says, “Have you had a major knee injury?” “Uh, no,” I reply (having now forgotten about the original injury). “Yes you have,” says the orthopod. I think hard and it finally comes to me, “Well, I think I may have hurt it about a year ago.” After the MRI and surgery, the doctor tells me that I had a complex meniscus tear in addition to the ACL tear. He could only repair part of the meniscus and had to cut away 1/3 of my medial meniscus. Sadly, he said that he probably could have saved the entire meniscus if I had seen him immediately after the injury, but it was too late and I would most certainly have early arthritis in that knee.

    Unlike you, I had no qualms about taking pain killers for my knee, especially right before physical therapy (physical torture, more like it). Why am a hesitant now? Maybe it’s because I am fretting that I will never get better and off these meds. I am starting to see them as my destiny rather than a means to an end. I really need to stop with the dire predictions about my future and just concentrate on getting more comfortable in the present. After all, it’s all we have. I certainly think that it will be far easier to “go deep,” as Prof SM puts it, when my mind is less cluttered with pain. It’s hard to smile while gritting your teeth.

    -tnut

     
    Old 12-08-2003, 09:52 PM   #34
    standingman
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    T'nut--Sorry to hear your latest episode in search of relief; my sympathies and best wishes. Keep the faith; you'll find that comfortable center before long, I feel confident.

    I have no jock stories on the scale of you lumbarheroes. But, as I posted on another thread, for me the "magic kingdom" was golf. I was a five-bucket a day guy on the practice range. And never a twinge of discomfort afterward. But once things started to go.... my last round, I was literally getting down and doing stretches between each shot. Still, it never occurred to me that what I was feeling.............could lead to this.

    Also this bit of magic. A month of so before the floor dropped out, I shot two holes-in-one in the same round. According to Golf Digest, the odds against that are about 64 million to one (don't ask me how they figured that out). In any event, got on front page of sports section, etc.--my one and only time. And then......zappo. Clearly, the golf gods got their revenge. Those aces are nice memories, but I'd easily trade them for a chance to shank around the old course with no score at all.

    Wistful sigh................

    Standingman

     
    Old 12-09-2003, 04:37 PM   #35
    tennisnut
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Happy to report that I finally "scored" the methadone. I say "scored" because (and I know it is not my imagination) the pharmacy employees give you that look, that bit of 'tude that says your desperation must mean that you are a drug-seeking junkie. Honestly, it makes you just want to shake them but you just walk away shaking your head. Now that I am a chronic pain patient, I see that I could have no conception of what it means to be in chronic pain without having been there myself. Yet, the judgement you encounter is astounding. Certainly others have written more eloquently than I on this subject.

    I took a 5mg pill at 1pm and waited. Started to feel a little "wierd," kind of shaky inside and tingly, but not in a pleasant way. After 2 hours I felt no pain relief, but that unpleasant buzzing was going strong. I took another 5mg pill per the doctor's instructions and am waiting to see what happens. I do feel as if something strong is coarsing through me, yet my back continues to feel like it is being squeezed in a vise. Sometimes the body just needs to get used to a drug so maybe that's what will happen. Still, it's worrying that such a strong narcotic is doing nothing for my pain (although the percoset they gave me after the IDET worked really well). I can't see getting to sleep with this buzzing, I actually feel more wired than sedated. What an odd sensation. Deep breath....stop thinking about this for a while.

    Prof SM - I know the golf fanatics on this board must be duly impressed with your magical day on the links. What a great memory! I can't bear to drive by the courts and watch fellow hackers out for a hit on a beautiful day. It is too sad. Now that it is winter and raining makes this recovery period a bit easier. Still, I share in the wistful sigh...

    I'm a tired but I'm a wired (sung to music)...T'nut

     
    Old 12-10-2003, 08:31 AM   #36
    standingman
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Dear T'nut-I hope you had a somewhat better night, but I am interested in any report. It's not only ourselves who wish things could "get better overnight." But we all understand (too well!) the timeframes we're dealing with.

    Regarding our beloved sports, when I finally took my clubs out of my trunk--about two months after "crash"--was the first time I really broke down. That is now a very long time ago, and I don't think they'll ever go back. Even if I were otherwise doing quite well, I wouldn't risk it. The golf swing is all based on torquing one's spine.

    Still, I've been able to enjoy it at least a bit vicariously. I wasn't a great player myself, but I had the good luck to play with some of the best in our area. This past summer, I walked the course with some of them and served as their "psychological caddy." Given the fact that they could actually execute the shot we both imagined, there was some vicarious buzz in being part of the game that way. (One of "my boys" came in second in the city championship.) Of course, had they muffed the shots, it wouldn't have worked. Needed _that_ much "virtual reality."

    Golf may be more forgiving, if not on the spine, of human frailty. In a way, that's what it's about. Just you and the big old course, going around and around with no particular purpose than going around and around. It was it's utter pointlessness that was, for me, one of the best things about it--I directed my major striving elsewhere. So it's terrible to lose--probably the third most important thing in my life--after work and friends/family--but some of the spirit lingers.

    Power to you,

    Standingman

     
    Old 12-10-2003, 10:05 AM   #37
    tennisnut
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Well, have to say last night was...interesting. Still felt like I was in hypermanic mode even as I was completely exhausted from sleep deprivation. My mind was racing from the methadone but I think I dozed off and on. Called the doctor this morning and reported on my experience. He said that it was too soon to tell if the methadone was going to give pain relief - I hadn't yet hit a therapeutic level. But he wanted me to back off the dosage and said my system was sensitive to the medication. So I'll continue to use it today and then tomorrow we will re-evaluate. At least the clinic was finally responsive to my needs for once.

    Standingman: I know what you mean about making choices. When I first started down this path, what I really wanted to know from the docs was if I would play tennis again and how soon. The farther down the road I got and the more disabled, my goals certainly changed. Now all I want is some semblence of a "normal" life that would include the ability to keep my body in decent shape, sit for a few hours without pain, and tussle on the floor with my little nieces and nephews. When I recovered from my knee injury, I also made some choices even though the knee reconstruction was a success. I gave up playing soccer and stopped with the black diamond ski runs. I decided that I loved playing tennis the most and so would continue with that. I think that I would try playing tennis again, if my body is well enough to withstand rigorous physical therapy and the doctor thinks that there is little risk. But that's way down the road and may very well not become a choice unless I end up having to go the ADR route.

    When I think back about my approach to tennis, I wince at all the times I got down on myself for errors, left the court feeling dismayed about poor play. I was so damn competitive that, many times, I was my own worst enemy. But I recognized this and struggled hard to have a more "zen" approach and enjoy the moment. I was just getting the hang of this when the disc started screaming. If I ever get back to playing again, I can't imagine that I will be the same fierce competitor. But I surely will be one happy gal.

    Thanks to everyone for the well wishes, sympathy, humor, and thoughts about the paradigm shifts. It really does help

    --tennisnut

     
    Old 12-10-2003, 10:11 AM   #38
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Btw - gotta hand it to you with that 'hole in one - twice' story. Pretty impressive... I've played my fair share, started in high school and so grooved a pretty sweet stroke. But I could never afford the time required to get good; I already had one hobby where I spent hours out of touch doing nothing and thinking it a great day. Tough to be a surfer and a golfer (and work and have a family)...

    [QUOTE=standingman]
    Regarding our beloved sports, when I finally took my clubs out of my trunk--about two months after "crash"--was the first time I really broke down. That is now a very long time ago, and I don't think they'll ever go back. Even if I were otherwise doing quite well, I wouldn't risk it. The golf swing is all based on torquing one's spine. [/QUOTE]

    Seems to be quite a number of golfers on the usenet who discuss and try to work around DDD & disk/back issues... Check out rec.sport.golf... What precipitated your "crash", if I may ask? Just a DDD grind down...?

    And tennisnut - hope you are doing a little better today... I wasn't the biggest fan of morphine when I had it provided post pelvic surgery. Pain mgmt seemed predicated on sensory distraction by turning the buzz up as loud as possible. Wrecked havoc on my belly. Oxy/Perc was that better of the two for me as well...


    ~waves

     
    Old 12-10-2003, 10:19 PM   #39
    standingman
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    T'nut--Thinking of you; hope the rest will come as it can.

    Re: "zen," I guess that was easier for me with golf. More than half the time, I didn't keep score at all. But that's one of the great things you can do with golf, but not with tennis--unless you just volley all day, which would be a bit tedious! Following the little white ball (usually three at a time when I played alone) kept me more than interested enough. And yet, even then, I felt there was a transiency to it. I remember the stillness just at sunset, one of those perfect summer nights (which probably means more in Michigan than in California!), and hitting a sweet shot. "This is perfect," I used to think. "I wonder how long it can last." I guess
    that's not so "zen" after all!

    Waves--as a "senior tour" guy (I'm 55), my DDD is not really that bad. I think it was the (im)Perfect Storm: Whatever DDD grind down, as you say; plus a congenitally narrower than ideal spinal canal; plus what turned out to be a significant bulge at 2/3, in all directions. I think golf both helped and hurt. The abdominal strengthening and flexibility it facilitated were probabably a plus. But the twisting wasn't. I was also a carry-my-clubs guy, all eighteen holes. Even a pull cart seemed to take away from the "experience." That may have been part of it too. Also, I had hernia surgery shortly before all this started, and I think that may have led me to get just out of shape enough that some of my abdominal "corset" was no longer as protective as it had been. I'll probably never really know.

    Onward Lumbar Jocks, junior, middle, and senior!

    Standingman

    Last edited by standingman; 12-10-2003 at 10:21 PM.

     
    Old 12-11-2003, 04:26 PM   #40
    tennisnut
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Hey y'all,

    Spirits are much improved after finally sleeping soundly last night. I cut down on the methadone and felt good during the day but then had to take some vicodin at night on top of the methadone to get enough pain relief to fall asleep. I called the pain clinic and told them the methadone still wasn't cutting it in terms of pain management. They want me to stay on in until Monday and explained that I still haven't reached a therapeutic blood level yet. But they also want me to try to slowly increase the amount of methadone I'm taking since I'm now at such a low dose. I'll go ahead and play this game but seems to me that this is just not the best drug for me. I'm feeling a nap coming on...gotta lot of sleep to catch up on. Later...

    --tennisnut

     
    Old 12-11-2003, 06:39 PM   #41
    standingman
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    T'nut--Cheers on a better night; may the beat go on!

    Had a dream the other night that I think was triggered by some of our posts back and forth. I was at a golf club and aware that I had a "back problem." Still, I decided it would probably be OK to go to the driving range and hit a few balls. All this was very blase in the dream. I sit down to put on my golf shoes, and I'm in a kind of screened in porch. A guy comes in who I realize, in the dream, is a doctor. (Not one that I've actually seen.) It's clear that the situation seems to him to be of concern. We end up meeting at a long table, with other docs, a nurse, and some others. The idea is that this is my "team," and we're going to sort through my case.

    Here's my summary of the dream.

    Bad news: I don't get to the driving range.
    Good news: I'm able to sit at the table.

    Standingman

     
    Old 12-14-2003, 01:03 PM   #42
    Pippin
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    Thumbs up Re: Post-IDET Report

    [QUOTE=standingman]
    Unable to travel, for the past year and a half I've walked around parts my neighborhood almost every day. I know _everyone_ better than the letter carrier, and how they're all doing. Also, I'm lucky to live near a river, old fields, and some woods, so there's plenty of nature to see. And it's always different; each season brings a new perspective. There is much I would have never noticed if I hadn't been slowed in this way. In lieu of going "wide," I've ended up going "deep." Either way, I've seen what I would not have seen otherwise, which, I guess, is what "travel" really means.
    [/QUOTE]

    Dear S-Man and T-Nut and Waves and others on this thread:

    I want to thank you. Your exchanges on the "aha" moments, the paradigm shifts, taking notes, and the meaning of travel have sparked the beginning of an attitude change for me. The concept of going deep, especially, seems to have hit the right note in my pain-numbed brain. Ever since reading this thread, your thoughts have come back to me at odd moments, and I've repeated a number of them to friends. This is all good tonic and positive philosophy for an aching body and depressed psyche.

    The philosophy of dealing with pain may, indeed, be the stuff of another thread, but I want to thank you here for getting it started. And, in return, I hope to present you with the drafts of possible logos for DDD U (I'm a graphic designer and editor). Not right away; there are a number of paying projects on my desk that get first priority. But soon.

    With respect for your wisdom and
    in commiseration with your pain,

    Pippin

     
    Old 12-14-2003, 08:22 PM   #43
    standingman
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Pippin--Thanks for the kind thoughts and very glad our reflections have been of use to you, as they have been to me as well. Please let us know more about how you're doing. And maybe we do need to start another thread on this "philosophic" dimension.

    Also thanks for the logo possibility. Not sure what a lumbar jock would look like (the first image that came to mind was a couple of vertebrae wearing an athletic supporter.....but, again, there is room on the drawing board)......When you have time. (It does occur to me that the "positions" on the team could be designated by level. As in, "playing L4, and batting third, is...." etc..

    T'nut and waves--how you be? I'm going in tomorrow for a diagnostic nerve block (started a thread about it) to see how much of my problems really are consistent with L3, whatever else may be going on. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Best to all,

    Standingman

     
    Old 12-14-2003, 08:35 PM   #44
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    S-man,
    Hope you get good results tomorrow with your nerve block but remember what I said about my situation with mine in the other thread. "Where is the pipe plugged?" It's a long pipe!
    Good Luck,
    Larry
    __________________
    1990-Myelogram=L4-5 LAMINECTOMY.1998-Myelogram,Discogram,CTscan=L 4-5 FUSION w/BAK cages. 2002-Prolotherapy injections. 2003-April-MRI Lumbar spine=DDD,bulges,arthritis,low disc height,Physical Therapy.2003-May-MRI Thorasic spine=Two herniations displacing nerve roots.2003-July-Nerve blocks/epidurals; 2003-August-L5/S1 FORAMENOTOMY.2003-October-Lumbar Discogram=2003-December-L5/S1 FUSION w/BMP/LT cages. 2004-Jan-Pain much worse than before surgery. CTscan & L1/L2 nerve block & Myelogram.

     
    Old 12-15-2003, 10:36 AM   #45
    standingman
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    Re: Post-IDET Report

    Thanks for the word, Larry. Yes, I very much had your experience in mind, and I did some additional reading about selective nerve blocks which talk about some of the same kinds of ambiguities.

    In any event, it is now about two hours post procedure. I would say I feel better than "normal" but
    not completely pain free, so there may be that much more ambiguity on top of ambiguity.

    Look forward to hearing how other Lumbar Jocks are doing.

    Standingman

     
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