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  • newbie with broken harrington rods!

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    Old 03-28-2014, 04:50 AM   #1
    grandmawwifemom's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Posts: 5
    grandmawwifemom HB User
    newbie with broken harrington rods!

    oh my gosh you do not know how I feel right now...reading that others have experienced what I am going through.
    its a great feeling actually
    (which I desperately needed as the past 4 months
    of my life has been 80% pain and the other 20% frustration)

    I was in a car wreck when I was 18 (I am now 53).
    I had to have surgery for a broken back and something
    was wrong with my pelvic bone but I
    forget exactly what it was/is because when I was 18,
    I simply didn't care about all the titles.

    After being in the hospital for 3 weeks - wearing a body cast and brace
    for a combined total of 6 months
    (Which was a good thing because
    they believed I would be in the brace and cast for closer to 9 months)
    I was fine.

    Cut to 1998-99.
    I had the EXACT same symptoms as another poster!
    This is why I am so happy!

    because she is going thru the same things
    but my gosh is it great to finally
    read that someone, somewhere has gone thru the exact
    (almost exact) same things as I have.

    I mean right down to the pain in the buttocks.
    That is sometimes the worst part.

    Out of the total blue, I had pain going down my left side ....
    the leg felt like there was a muscle running from my hip area to my ankle/foot area...that muscle felt like it was only 2 inches long BUT was being stretched out to 3 feet ... It would burn, ache and burn some more. My butt check felt like someone had placed a hot poker in it and forgot about it...leaving it there to torment me. It especially hurt when I would lay on that side.

    I felt like my hips simply could not carry the upper portion of my body. I guess technical terms would be that my hip area felt "weak". And the entire span of my hip area from the left to the right, hurt. That pain was an ache with occasional stabbing.

    Of course, I went to the dr. My GP.
    1st course of action - muscle relaxers & physical therapy.
    After six weeks - that didn't help.
    (Oh and btw I was a waitress/bartender at the time
    and was still working thru this)

    After that 6 weeks - she poked certain areas of my body ... and within moments, diagnosed with me with (what was THEN a very uncommon ailment) Fibromyalgia. I had never heard of it at the time so I thought - because of the pain I was feeling, I was a goner. I asked her "am I going to die or be in a wheelchair?" (I loved my doctor at that time and here is one of the reasons why) She said no, but there will be times you will probably wish for both.

    She gave me pain meds, muscles relaxers, Celebrex and some sort of anti depressant (the name slips me right now...forgetfulness is normal for me but it will come to me, eventually...maybe even as I'm writing this - but if it doesn't, I'll be back and maybe then I'll remember the .......I REMEMBER!)
    (Now back to the story)

    and she told me that I probably needed to either find another career or apply for disability. I did neither but worked in pain. Thank heavens, I only worked part time so I powered thru it. Sometimes by the end of my 4 to 6 hour shift - I could barely walk to my car. I would cry on the drive home.

    Cut to several months after my 1st visit to the GP.

    Hubby comes home, I am mopping and crying hysterically.
    Imagine his thoughts
    I was in pain - for almost several straight months, day and night,
    unless I took one of the pain meds - which at that time, I was fighting.
    I didn't want to be on several medications a day! I was only in my 30's.
    Being a bartender...well it just "tainted" my view on anything that altered your mind.
    I'd stand behind the bar and see men and women come into the establishment...
    they had manners, proudly wore their wedding ring(s), were soft spoken and polite ...
    after a few hours of drinking - they use curse words I'd never heard before
    some of the patrons would literally ask me to take care of their wedding rings until closing time, and they now spoke like we were standing in front of the stage while an Aerosmith concert blared in front of us
    of course NOT everyone was like this...
    and if you can't tell by now ...
    I can be a little surly, teasing, humorous...
    although sometimes I am the only one who
    thinks something I say is funny ...
    anywho -
    I just never did get into drugs & alcohol -

    So when I had to go on the meds
    number 1, even though I had great insurance - I didn't want to spend my money on meds ... and number 2 I don't like to be out of control...
    But as the dr. then pointed out

    (I was blessed that I could tell my doctor then,
    that same shoe, purse, spending my money story)
    she pointed out - that what I HAD to do ...
    either take the meds or lay on the couch in pain.

    I had kids, dogs, a hubby & a house...and bills.
    I picked the meds.

    So the hubby sees me mopping & crying.

    He demands we go to the local urgent care.
    They take xrays (which none had been taken by this point ...
    but I don't know why)
    my doctor at that time was fully capable ...
    I trust her totally and wish she was still around but
    she moved to another state with her doctor hubby...
    when those xrays were developed - the attending doctor was shocked to see those rods scattered all over my back/spine area! LOL I have to admit, my hubby & I were shocked too. It literally looks like the old game of pick up sticks in my back.

    The screws seemed to have moved up from the original placement and the rods
    - were no longer side by side ...
    they had moved downward and had inches between them.

    When my GP viewed the Xrays,
    I wasn't there - but she called me at work and
    said I needed to see an orthopedic surgeon immediately.

    MY GP at that time knew where I worked as she would come in for lunch & dinner occasionally - she said "you really need to take off of work until you see the orthopedic dr."

    I said is it that bad? And she honestly replied with "I don't know"

    I didn't take off at first but the pain was increasing OR perhaps I was just getting more annoyed or perhaps - my head got know what I mean? Maybe in my head, I was feeling more pain because of my literally seeing those rods in a place they shouldn't be.

    I am totally honest in saying .. I am suggestive.
    I have a friend who does hypnosis - for years she wanted to hypnotize me ...
    I would say "oh no I don't think I can be hypnotized..."
    BUT actually truth be told - I was nervous/scared about it! LOL

    I was worried what if she hypnotized me and
    I stayed in that state the rest of my life or something?!?!
    Also - remember ... I like control! LOL

    Anyway - my friend didn't get past the first 2 seconds
    of that meditation talk and I was GONE! LOL

    So yes - I am very suggestive - when I read the symptoms on new medication
    within moments, I begin to have them
    So I constantly wonder if I am making things worse?

    I have been in pain management & chiropractic treatment with the same doctors for the past 8 years. Before that - I was in and out of treatment with different doctors ...
    When I walked into the practice where I currently go - I could barely stretch my arm out because something was wrong with my shoulder area. I also was seeing an orthopedic doctor who was talking about surgery for my wrist because of carpal tunnel -
    guess what? After treatment with the chiropractor ... I have absolutely NO Carpal tunnel.

    Up until the past 4(ish) months - my level 10 pain typically stays between
    2 and on a really bad day a (VERY) occasional 7.

    But once again, out of nowhere
    my pain has been peaking to 9.99 on the 1 to 10 scale... again
    (and this new pain has been happening right in the
    center of my neck - at the bottom of my head -
    as you get ready to change from neck to top of the back)

    I've had a S something nerve block --- didn't help.
    I've had an epidural --- helped for about 2 weeks and here is something weird (maybe not so weird) but I swear, I could feel the moment it stopped working. My pain had went down from that 9.99 to a 5 to 7ish ... more 5 than 7's ...
    I was standing at the sink doing dishes with moderate/minor pain (a 4ish)
    and then ... BAMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!
    it was like something broke ... came out of nowhere...
    and I had to go sit down ...
    the pain was back

    After that is when the doc did my nerve block S thing
    (I can't remember the numbers of the S thing - but I think it was an S1?)
    I could be wrong. Again my memory isn't what it used to be.

    Anyway - here is my thing now ...
    What now?
    I reallllllly do not want to up my medication...
    I definitely do not want to change my medication ...
    I have problems with medication - (I'm totally open to this could be in my head .. but even if it is, the symptoms & problems are there) and frankly ... I know things can play out in your head because of nervousness, etc etc ... but I tend to believe I'm pretty smart...I'm fairly practical ... and where I know the mind can do certain things - I really do not think anything is "in my mind".

    I do NOT want to be ill.
    I do NOT want to have chronic pain.
    I am NOT looking for attention (as I read so much about chronic pain, fibro, back pain etc etc back in the beginning of my problems) I know sometimes the medical field thinks chronic pain patients are looking for attention. Believe me, if I want attention, I'd do it in a positive manner!

    Get rid of my pain and watch me.
    If I want attention...I'll cook a meal that will light your fire
    I'll run my own company ...
    I'll climb a tree...fence....with my grandkids ...

    I'm sorry to say this but until I suffered with chronic pain of my own
    I was probably a little unsympathetic ...

    YES I admit it - when someone would say "Oh my back hurts"
    I'd roll my eyes and think "I have rods in my back buddy...take a Tylenol!"
    My mom had headaches & when I heard "I have a headache"
    I'd think (and sometimes as I got older I even said it out loud)
    you ARE a headache ...

    I know - horrible.
    I totally get that now that I am 53 ...
    but at 20-30 and even 40 (by then I had the chronic pain but I was only a few years in...I don't think I was as bitter and jaded as I am now)

    I forgot to mention this -
    (I have so much to share sorry this is so long)
    After seeing several various practitioners during that first year that we had found out about the rods slipping - it was unanimous ... that having surgery was not an option. Now when I said this to one of the doctors he looked at me a bit odd and maybe I heard wrong or something - but I remember one of the practitioners saying that scar tissue had grown around the hardware and to cut thru that tissue is like cutting thru a rock. It could cause me to be paralyzed if the surgery didn't go well. I even went to the surgeon who did the surgery when I was 18! (Which by the way, I loved him too) I feel like he was a great surgeon. In fact, he showed me this "halo" (his words not mine) and I think he said that was the scar tissue.

    Long story ....
    ...long ....
    And why I am here sharing ...
    I don't know what to do next.

    I wonder what others are doing
    and have done with a case of slipped/broken Harrington rods.

    I guess I want to hear what you all go thru as well.
    Its just so darn nice to know this extreme off the chart pain - ISN'T in my head.
    I don't want to be a whiner - a complainer ...
    but the pain is horrible again.

    Most days, I deal because I know things could be worse.

    I had my best friend battle breast cancer and buddy - what she had to go thru
    certainly had my little emotions in check!

    I remind myself constantly,
    that I do have moments,
    sometimes even connected hours where
    I can do things and get some things done.

    But I have to admit, this constant pain is taking a toll on me.
    I can see it under my eyes ... I can feel my blood pressure going up.
    (Is that really possible?
    I swear, I think I can tell when my blood pressure is high due to extended pain)
    (I don't have high blood pressure otherwise)

    For the first time ever - back when the pain first started to get bad again -
    I was throwing up because of the pain being so bad.
    I'd wake up in the middle of the night and within minutes
    here it comes ...
    At first I thought it was the flu ...
    but it wasn't.

    I also (also for the first time)
    had panic attacks ... they have left (thank heavens)
    but wow - that is weird! I've heard people mention having panic/anxiety attacks thru the years and once again, there was that unsympathetic nature in me ... I would think Okay but they only last for 20 to 30 minutes?)

    Well - karma really is...what they say it is, isn't it?
    Cause that is a horribleeeeeeeeeeee feeling.
    And I hope anyone who has them - finds relief somehow from them.

    My mom used to say if you don't will feel.
    Well I definitely understand the meaning of that phrase these days ...

    With that, I guess I'll just leave my little story here.

    And also with all of my joking and nervous humor aside ...
    my unsympathetic days HAVE passed...
    when I hear someone say they lost a single hair from their head -
    I can feel my heart drop ... and I feel their pain.

    if nothing else, thru my experience I have learned
    empathy, sympathy, and compassion for others.

    And with that... I say -
    I hope everyone here finds ...
    if not a cure ...
    then at least ...

    Ongoing, never ending ... relief.

    God Bless ...
    I plan on really telling my Dr how bad I've been hurting.
    I tend to downsize the pain ...
    I didn't in the beginning ... but after being looked at
    like I was lying or being put thru horrendous testing ...
    I learned to just kind of shut up some...

    I've had so many different scans and tests...
    mri's out the yingyang --
    those one tests where they put the needles under your skin
    and it sends out a little electrical charge ? (I forget the name...e something)
    and my favorite - the myelogram (oh boy I hated that one)
    I've just learned to shut up...
    but I can't take the increase in pain anymore...
    okay once again - God bless and be well.

    Last edited by Administrator; 11-28-2014 at 11:43 PM.

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