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26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long post

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Old 08-17-2005, 07:05 PM   #1
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26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. 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 wondering why this happened ...i know im not the only one and im trying to keep a good outlook but man is it hard.

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Old 08-17-2005, 07:14 PM   #2
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Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long post

Sounds like your first step would be to get some counseling to help with the depression and fear of eating. Worry about the suing later.

Old 08-17-2005, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long post

I have had the same problem with constipation. I have been waiting 13 months for w/c to approve my surgery so I'm taking percocet neurontin and was on oxycontin the whole time. I had the same problems with the impactions and so on. I take pericolace every day. I started out at 2 a day and increased until I was going on a regular basis. At first I was going only once a week. Now I go once a day. I went thru giving myself enemias my doctor told me pericolace and it works. When I was taking 60mg of oxycontin and 50mg of percocet a day I needed 3-4 pericolace a day. now I stopped taking the oxycontin because it didn't help for the nerve pain and neurontin is helping the nerve pain to a point. I still get to where the pain is so bad I have to scream. So go try the pericolace CVS has their brand on sale this week for 7.99. a great price. and as far as the lawsuit just be prepared for more stress than you have ver had to deal with in your whole life. I'm fighting w/c now for 13 months. I wish I had never told anyone at work I got hurt and had just called in sick and used my own insurance because I would be back at work by now. They are driving me crazy. They have had me thinking about killing myself because of the stress they have put me thru. I have stopped paying me and I'm about homeless. I have no money no food and I can't use my personal health insurance because if anything is done as far as my back and neck my w/c case will be over. This really sucks. I just hope my lawyer is doing what is best for me and not what is best for his pocket. Like I told him I don't want any money I just want my surgery and my life back... Good luck and I hope you feel better soon. I had back surgery 10 years ago and I remember it took about 6 months before the nerves started getting back to normal. If you have any questions just let me know.
Also drink lots and lots of water. I drink at least 12 liters of water a day.

Old 08-17-2005, 07:57 PM   #4
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Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long post

I've graduated to eating again and taking metamucil now... i just need more advice pertaining to the other things. Depression is from the pain and im working on it.

Old 08-17-2005, 07:59 PM   #5
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Wink Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long post

i would have to say pray. i will be praying for you. just pray. i wouldnt even think about a law suit unless you think that would really help. i think it would just add more stress to your already stressed out life. god bless, and hang in tough~ bhsire

Old 08-18-2005, 05:25 AM   #6
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Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long post

sounds to me that you have hit the panic mode. It can take up to one year for the nerves to heal from surgery. Physical therapy may help, which your Dr. will prescribe for you. Constipation is one of the many side effects of pain medications. Eat lots of fiber, and stool softeners. Drink plenty of water. Do bot bend, twist, or lift anyhing heavy. Relax. Have you tried masage therapy(get Dr.s okay to have this done)? It will help the other muscles relax and help you to heal. Being stressed can set you back in the means of healing. I have been where you are, and unfortunately, the surgery must be redone, and a fusion is necessary. My disks reherniated. When you lay down, try propping a pillow under your knees to relieve the pressure on the back. Be patient. It does get better. Don't concern yourself over the lawsuit right now, focus on getting well.

Old 09-08-2011, 06:54 AM   #7
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Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long

I was blocked up because of medication taking Kadian(morphine), percocet, and lyrica. Still take it everyday because of the pain. But what helps me is plenty of water and metamucil, it works worders. Keeps you regular, try taking it without taking pain meds, then when you are comfortable with it in your system take the pain meds. Eat foods high in fiber and healthy foods. Can splurge every now and then. Just keep it to a minimum. I hope this helps. I have been taking meds for 10 months now since surgery and now looking at another possible surgery for herniation of same disc L5-S1. Got to hope for the best. Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to message me.

Old 02-22-2012, 09:54 AM   #8
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Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long

Hi all,
I've just been reading your posts. I'm now 15 days post-op after having a L4/5 PLIF fusion with instrumentation, straightening of a severe Spondylolisthesis, and a patial discectomy at L5/S1.

I've got a bit of nerve pain down my left leg, but am so delighted to be able to walk upright again, after 4 years of gtting about doubled over and in so much pain.

I just wanted to say, I feel so lucky to be living in the UK. I don't know how you US citizens manage with your awful health insurance situation! I feel so sorry for those of you who can't afford health insurance. I'm just a civil servant here, and could never afford to pay for private insurance. So our national health service is just fantastic. Here, those of us who are employed pay a small percentage of our salaries every month, and all our health needs, including complex surgery, lifelong medication, physiotherapy etc, is covered. Anyone who is unlucky enough to be unemployed has no need to worry about the cost of being ill either, as they're covered too. Unemployment is growing everywhere in the preent climate, and a lot of people with back problems simply can't work any more. I think it must be awful to be told you need surgery, but can't have it because you have no insurance!

The only encouraging thing is that president Obama seems to be trying to sort this mess out, and

Old 02-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long

I am 9 weeks post op and still have nerve problems but take neurontin which helps a lot. Also I was told to walk at leasr 15 to 20 min twice a day...walking helps the discs heal. Drink water and take lax. If you take narcotics. Be patient...,I am trying to be!!

Old 09-02-2012, 07:51 AM   #10
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Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long

In 1993 I had a discecotomy by a top notch surgeon with years of experience. My pain was 10 on a scale of 10 afterwards. Much worse then before surgery. It took 3 months before it improved to a 3 or so, another 6 to be gone. Take your fiber every day, drink lots of water (don't forget to do that) and do take some pain meds, but take it easy as in no lifting, bending, twisting!! If your doctor injured the nerve it will likely heal but it takes time. Staying healthy will help speed your recovery.

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:45 AM   #11
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Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long

I am sorry for all your problems but you are not alone.
Constipation is every day problem for most of those who take pain medication. If you can live without them - good for you. Until you have a choice to take or not, you are OK, believe me.
It not a case for many of us. For me personally day starts from Miralax and ends with Miralax. During the day, I take stool softeners (3-4 at the time) 3 times a day. I drink tons of water, I mean about 20 16oz of water every single day. I bought live bacteria on top of eating Greek yogurt with live bacteria in it. And some days on top of everything i take Milk of Magnesia.

Problem with it, I am on Long Acting opiates and BT opiates, so I have to maneuver not to take meds at least 2 hr after the bowel problem medications. Very important.

When I had my second spinal fusion, I developed heart failure and pneumonia 30 min in recovery room. With all this I stayed in the hospital for 3 weeks and went home not having bowel movements for the whole time.
When i came home, sick as a dog with so much pain, I had to see a surgeon for the problem to be resolved. Can you imagine surgery on top of huge spinal surgery and pneumonia on top? Well, we all have to do what we have to do. You are lucky girl that your problem resolved by taking laxatives. I know it was hard for you; being in pain and push is not fun, but believe me it could be worse. :-)

I don't know nothing about suing; never done it. You may get more help by talking to your lawyer, here we are not capable to help you with it.

Regarding your pain: if you can live today without opiates, try everything else and if you somewhat OK - be it. Don't think being on opiates resolves all your problems. I am on strong doses of opiates not but choice and trust me if I could stop them, I would do that in a heart bit. This adds more problems to my life health wise and worries. But with condition I am in this is not possible therefore I do the best I can.

You have to stop worrying so much, take good care of your health first, than you worry about suing and other stuff. You one lucky girl that you didn't have to pay for your surgery, most of us paying up to our noses so on top of pain we have to worry how to pay not only insurance premiums but for Dr's bills on top of it. You have a lot of good things going for you, you have good mommy who is there for you when you need her. Now just relax a little and try to smile more, it helps to heal.
Honestly, when they we had classes before my surgery where they taught us how to get up from bed after surgery, what yes and what no to the T, they told us to smile more, helps our healing.

Wishing you well on your recovery. Good things coming your way...

Old 09-02-2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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Re: REPOST: 26/F post microdiscectomy, need advice on suing and other. Warning: Long

Where is the original poster in this 7 year old thread? I hope she is doing ok now.

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