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    Old 04-28-2005, 07:17 PM   #1
    Katina128
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    Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    I injured my back on 2-20-05 and have been in pain since then. It started out feeling like a muscle sprain, but soon started feeling like the sciatic/leg pain I'd had in 1998 for which I had an epidural. So, off to the drs, and he prescribed celebrex and skellaxin (no pain meds at all, though). So, I took that, along with alleve or motrin for a few weeks with no luck. It was then hurting more than before. I woke up one morning and was unable to move without being in excruciating pain. I called my husband to take me to the er. They did nothing but drug me and sent me back to my pcp. I begged for an MRI (and some pain meds finally), and they conceded. I had that done on 4-1-05. Reports showed disc problems, and I was sent to a neurosurgeon, whom I finally saw yesterday. I have a herniated disc at L4-5, with the one below it bulging. My surgeon said that pt and chiro would likely not work for me, but said I could try the epidural again, or opt for surgery. I chose the epidural, which I'll have on 5-4-05. So, I'm still taking celebrex and vicodin for the pain. Is there any other drugs that have proven to be more effective for my constant 24/7 back and right leg pain? I'm a work at home mother to 2 boys ages 20 months and 4 yrs. It is really hard to function some days. I'm only 32, so I'm really saddened that I'm in such a bad shape at such a young age. Any advice for me? Any words of wisdom? I called today to see if they do sedation for the injection and my nurse said they don't. Well, I want it. Should I demand it? TIA and I am so sorry to have company on this board. This back pain stuff is debilitating.

     
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    Old 04-28-2005, 07:31 PM   #2
    vickic
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    When I had my esi, I did not have sedation and it honestly wasn't needed. The most I felt was a little pressure in my back. If I had to have another esi, I would do it without sedation. Good luck to you.

     
    Old 04-28-2005, 07:52 PM   #3
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    I am sorry to hear of your recent problems. Take heart, there are people here who are younger than you and have adapted. We all know how hard it is and you will find these boards to be invaluble.

    With that said, there are a lot of other drugs that you can try for pain ( ie oxy, pain patch etc) however although it is hard to it is much better to take this process slowly. You do not want to jump into hard core narcotics right off the bat, you should try everything in progression and hope that you find something lower on the ladder before you get to the hard stuff. I would also recommend that you 1) do everything you can before consenting to surgery, there really is a lot out there to try and a lot of it works for a lot of people, surgery is not 100% and is very very difficult to recover from 2) get a second oppinion, also try to get into a pain doc, they can stream line a lot of the test that you will ultimately face (disco, injections).
    The best advice that I can give you at this early stage (other than get a second opinion frm a spine surgeon) is start working on yourself emotionally. Go get books on the subject ( I highly recommend why bad things happen to good people) and start to come to terms with your injury and how it is affecting your life. In my experince the emotinal turmoile is just as debilitating as the pain, eventually they will get the pain under control however you are the one that has to deal with your emotions.

    I wish you the best of luck, and remember we are all here for you.

    Peach

     
    Old 04-28-2005, 08:47 PM   #4
    Katina128
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    Thanks for the replies. I'm not ready to jump to surgery yet, anyway, and am hoping the esi works. The last time I had one done, they didn't use fluroscopy. I doubt they will this time, either, as it's the same hospital. Is it necessary? I am guessing no since it worked the last time. I'm really hoping for some kind of sedation. I had an epidural when I birthed my son in '03 and it was horrible. I don't know if the anesthesiologist was bad, or what, but it hurt worse than the labor itself. I begged her to just let me lay back and push the baby out at that point because it wasn't going to hurt any worse than the pain she was causing me. I was ready to push when I got the epi, btw. So, I guess I'm a little gunshy.

     
    Old 04-28-2005, 11:02 PM   #5
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    hi sry that u r here on this board,but glad to meet u
    i would demand somthing with a esi too i have had 4 and they are not fun and ur back already hurts.be careful and mindful of ur back care.learn all u can.as far as meds i still take only vicoden and i am 4 months post-op.my surgery failed. but i dont want to increse any med til its a must.the vicoden only takes the edge off but its best i feel not to be so medicated that i am numb.it is very hard but i am adjusting to this monster in my back.

    best wishes:tracer

     
    Old 04-29-2005, 01:42 AM   #6
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    Welcome Katina

    are you still on a muscle relaxer?

    as for having sedation for the ESI, I strongly reccomend you get it. Just because doc that your scheduled to have it done with doesn't do it you can find one who does.

    along with a muscle relaxer, the regimen of meds your on is basically the norm. If your in more pain than these meds manage, by all means discuss this with your Dr. Have you tried ice? I VERY often have to use it and you can find nice cheap small thingeee's to place in your freezer and use.

    sorry your having back problems at such a young age, I can only imagine how difficult this must be. Luckily my kids were grown when mine began.

    glad you've found this board
    and I wish you well
    BW

     
    Old 04-29-2005, 07:36 AM   #7
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tracer
    hi sry that u r here on this board,but glad to meet u
    i would demand somthing with a esi too i have had 4 and they are not fun and ur back already hurts.be careful and mindful of ur back care.learn all u can.as far as meds i still take only vicoden and i am 4 months post-op.my surgery failed. but i dont want to increse any med til its a must.the vicoden only takes the edge off but its best i feel not to be so medicated that i am numb.it is very hard but i am adjusting to this monster in my back.

    best wishes:tracer
    Bless your heart! I am sorry your surgery failed. That's awful. I called around and no one does sedation with the esi, but the nurse at my surgeon's office said she could call me in some valium. So, I guess that's what I will do. I just need something, yk?

     
    Old 04-29-2005, 07:39 AM   #8
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BionicWitch
    Welcome Katina

    are you still on a muscle relaxer?

    as for having sedation for the ESI, I strongly reccomend you get it. Just because doc that your scheduled to have it done with doesn't do it you can find one who does.

    along with a muscle relaxer, the regimen of meds your on is basically the norm. If your in more pain than these meds manage, by all means discuss this with your Dr. Have you tried ice? I VERY often have to use it and you can find nice cheap small thingeee's to place in your freezer and use.

    sorry your having back problems at such a young age, I can only imagine how difficult this must be. Luckily my kids were grown when mine began.

    glad you've found this board
    and I wish you well
    BW
    i am not on any muscle relaxers now. I just took them when I felt spasms and now it's all nerve pain. I called my drs office and she said no one around here does the esi with sedation.The most they will do is call me in some vallium. So, I guess that's my only option. I have done ice some, and it does help somewhat. Thanks for the support. I'm sorry you're here, too.

     
    Old 04-29-2005, 09:13 AM   #9
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    Katina,

    Flurooscopy is "standard" for epidural injections. If your provider is not using fluoroscopy then you should request it. This makes me worry that he is not a well trained pm specialist. When you have disc bulges/herniations determining that the solution of anesthetic and corticosteroid reaches the possibly inflammed nerve roots is absolutely mandatory. This cannot be determined by a blind epidural injection. Studies have been done that show that a high percentage of what doctors thought were "successful" epidural injections were not actually in the epidural space or the medication did not reach the target level. This chance is reduced greatly by the use of fluoroscopy.

    I know that blind ESI's can work for some but it is not the accepted standard.

    Ask for the fluoro or a new doc is my opinion

    Good Luck

     
    Old 04-29-2005, 09:42 AM   #10
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    Oh,thanks for that info. I doubt they'll be using it, only because it's being done at a surgery center by an anesthesiologist, and if they don't do sedation, they probably don't do fluroscopy. I'll have to call and find out. I bet they're sick of me already. LOL

     
    Old 04-29-2005, 09:46 AM   #11
    et318
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    I wouldn't have it done without fluoro, but that is just my opinion. Is your doc a board certified pain specialist? I would worry that they have a regular anesthesiologist with no additional training in spine doing your epidural. That would be unfortunate as you would not be receiving the best possible chance at improvement. I have spoken to so many people who failed to get relief from epidurals and when I ask what their doctor's credentials were they aren't sure.

    Many regular anesthesiologists try to dabble in performing epidurals. However, their technique is very limited and I believe this is why so many patients don't get as much benefit as they could have.

     
    Old 04-29-2005, 09:57 AM   #12
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    I agree, get someone who is trained in ESI, I wasen't sedated, and it wasen't that bad, they used fluroscopy as well. It was actually kinda fun to watch! I'm only 28 and have had back pain for 10 months now, I'm getting married in 5 months, so I understand your frustration at not being able to do the things you used to. Instead of working out to lose some weight for the wedding, I've been putting it on, which is so very depressing!
    I am currently waiting to see a surgeon, in the meantime I'm going to massage therapy, which helps relieve all the tension I have, it also lets my mind relax which can effect your back pain too!
    I wish you lots of luck, and these boards are my best friend, especially when my fiance doesn't understand..take care and best of luck!

     
    Old 04-29-2005, 10:30 AM   #13
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by et318
    I wouldn't have it done without fluoro, but that is just my opinion. Is your doc a board certified pain specialist? I would worry that they have a regular anesthesiologist with no additional training in spine doing your epidural. That would be unfortunate as you would not be receiving the best possible chance at improvement. I have spoken to so many people who failed to get relief from epidurals and when I ask what their doctor's credentials were they aren't sure.

    Many regular anesthesiologists try to dabble in performing epidurals. However, their technique is very limited and I believe this is why so many patients don't get as much benefit as they could have.
    As far as I know, he is just a neurosurgeon, not a pain specialist. The local anesthesia group at the surgery center will be doing it, for now. I just don't think my area is well versed in the newer technology, really.

     
    Old 04-29-2005, 11:25 AM   #14
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Katina128
    I injured my back on 2-20-05 and have been in pain since then. It started out feeling like a muscle sprain, but soon started feeling like the sciatic/leg pain I'd had in 1998 for which I had an epidural. So, off to the drs, and he prescribed celebrex and skellaxin (no pain meds at all, though). So, I took that, along with alleve or motrin for a few weeks with no luck. It was then hurting more than before. I woke up one morning and was unable to move without being in excruciating pain. I called my husband to take me to the er. They did nothing but drug me and sent me back to my pcp. I begged for an MRI (and some pain meds finally), and they conceded. I had that done on 4-1-05. Reports showed disc problems, and I was sent to a neurosurgeon, whom I finally saw yesterday. I have a herniated disc at L4-5, with the one below it bulging. My surgeon said that pt and chiro would likely not work for me, but said I could try the epidural again, or opt for surgery. I chose the epidural, which I'll have on 5-4-05. So, I'm still taking celebrex and vicodin for the pain. Is there any other drugs that have proven to be more effective for my constant 24/7 back and right leg pain? I'm a work at home mother to 2 boys ages 20 months and 4 yrs. It is really hard to function some days. I'm only 32, so I'm really saddened that I'm in such a bad shape at such a young age. Any advice for me? Any words of wisdom? I called today to see if they do sedation for the injection and my nurse said they don't. Well, I want it. Should I demand it? TIA and I am so sorry to have company on this board. This back pain stuff is debilitating.

    I have been away for a week or so, so have not had time for imput. I am the one who always jumps in with the * just say no to ESI's*.

    Unless they are going to use a flouroscopy, do NOT let them touch your back with a needle. I would not let them do it anyway, but it helps some people. Since you know that it is a disc, I don't see why they are doing it as they usually use the ESI as a diagnostic tool. They could just as easily give you oral steroids, but then, they would not make the same kind of money with that method.

    They are going in blind w/o the flouroscopy. Who does that? You might want to take the time to read the on line publication, The Burton Report, before you let them touch you with a needle in your spinal area. Ask to read the inserts that come with the shots. They were never meant to be used in the spinal area. There are consequences that far outweigh the temp relief that some find with the shots.

    I hope that you find alternative relief and a second opinion. Surgery should always be your LAST option.


     
    Old 04-29-2005, 12:34 PM   #15
    et318
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    Re: Newbie here, with a herniated disc

    Katina,

    please be very careful in reviewing the Burton Report. Dr. Burton means well but has definitely adopted some "way out there" ideas. There is a post on here today that gives a little more insight into this issue.

    Good Luck!

    Ed

     
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