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Shout out for Shoreline: Question for you my friend.

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Old 01-24-2005, 10:07 AM   #1
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Question Shout out for Shoreline: Question for you my friend.

Shore, you seem to be very experienced in back injuries's all my ailaments (back injury plus some).

Herniated discs at L3-4 and L4-5, Annular tear L4-5, Foraminal stenosis in the lumbar spine, Cervical spine spondylosis, cervical disc bulging at C-6-7 and bilateral Foramminal stenosis at C6-7 resulting in Cervical Radiculopathy,osteo arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Ca***l tunnel syndrome, Bursitis, Chostocondritis. (I still can't figure the little stars) I guess I'll call it "Messed Up Hand Syndrome from now on!

I was dx via MRI with my back injuries in 2002. My question for you is at my last rheumy trip (she treats my FM) I told her that I could no longer raise my legs more than a couple inches while either standing or sitting, and that I now had to walk shuffling my feet. (boy are there a lot of things to trip over by walking that way!) Anywho, she's always pushing for surgery on my back as well as my hands for the CSyndrome, but my bank account says no, and frankly I am afraid to have the surgery before my upcoming disability appeal (second one) incase the judge decides that after having surgery I'll be "all better" and I doubt I'd win my case based on my other conditions. I definately want to have the surgery. But getting back to my question: My rheumy told me that she believes there is now permanent damage to my back that most likely will not be totally fixed with surgery. Since now I can't lower or raise myself onto the exam table without something to pull or push myself with. ( you should see me try to get out of bed LOL ) I didn't ask her exactly what would cause the permanent damage cuz I forgot. She had given me an injection for the bursitis in my right hip and just dx'd the Chosto.
She told me that the pain I feel radiating from my right groin down to my knee was caused from the bursitis, but the pain I feel in the front of my shin is caused from my back.

I know that my back condition has definately worsened, I can tell since my mobility is extremely more limited than it was since I first had my MRI in 2002. She also said that there was no reason to do another MRI until I was ready for surgery, that way they would know exactly what new problems they had to deal with.

One more thing. Over the years, probably since about 8 years back, I remember my back "going out" on me every now and then. I'd do something simple like walk at an incline up a hill, open a window, whathaveyou, and my back would wrench for a few days. I'm wondering now if that wasn't just the beginning of what finally put me out of work as well as delete me entirely from the world of the mobile! LOL

Any thoughts you have, (or anyone else) would be appreciated.

I hope you and all else reading my post are doing well,

P.S. I've learned a new sleeping technique for all of you out there who experience a painful nights sleep. I have ordered a "traction" pillow that cradles my neck, it's a little hard right under where your neck arches but it does keep your head still and in place while you are sleeping. The pillow has a "V" form in it where you lay your head,there is a spot on either side of the "V" where you can lay your head incase you're one of the lucky ones who can change positions while you sleep, AND I found those "squosh" pillows, the ones with the micro beads in them and the spandex covering, to work good if you shove a small one, either the square or the roll, under the small of your back while first dosing off to sleep. You have to kind of "wiggle" on the pillow to make it squish down flatter and I ususally wake up later and remove it. But it does seem to help my lower back from being so sore when I wake in the morning. I have a memory foam bed, but I think the poor thing has a permanent indentation in it from me being in the bed so much!
Just thought I'd share a couple of my "home" remedies".

Last edited by tkgoodspirit; 01-24-2005 at 10:20 AM.

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Old 01-25-2005, 08:37 AM   #2
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Re: Shout out for Shoreline: Question for you my friend.

Hi Tk, Personally when the rheumy saw you couldn't lft your legs he/she should have sent you to an ortho. A doc can medcicate a patient for so long that simply manageing pain and miss the window of oportunity to fix a problem. OR not medicate you and leave you bved ridden and miss the same wndow, whichever way it ocurs, the end reslt is the same. To me walking seems to be the mosr important thing at the moment, but may not be the most painful apart of your body. I don't know how they could seperate the symptoms of Fibro from the symptoms of cervical and lumbar problems.

I wold suggest makng a n apt for a consolt know with a NS or an Ortho does nothing but spines. IF you have clasivc footdrop, where you can't raise your toes and stumble over them, if you have lost reflexes in your feet and knees, You may have done damge to the nerves that may or may not be reversable. Pthsese nerves can regenerate and grow nce the intrpment or whatever may be impinging them has been removed.

I can imagine the physical shape your in given the amount of horizontal time, I know what it did to me and the only way back is really through aqua therapy. Even without a single problem if you tried to resume a normal life, you wouldn't be strong enough.

Any gains you can make prior to surgery will only help, however you don't want to burn all your PT benefitsds up prior to surgery when you have to have them post op. I can't believe this doc just let you lay there that long. Argggghhh. I understand you waiting for disablity, there are other factrors involved, do you have insrance, are you covered under your spouses, if single and no income you would qualify for state medicaid and disabilkity benefits. It's never a good time to have surgery whe the outcome is questionable. Even when you think things are simple and have the vacation time and disability beni's, They only cover so much time. There is never a good time for spinal surgery.

Yes, it would be great to get your award and back pay and be in a position where money wasn't a constant concern. But if you have medical benefits of some kind, I would Say NOW is the time to consider surgery , befre your bed ridden forever. Get several opinions if you can, Ask questions like why is your aproach beter than doc "A", there is nothing wrong in asking a doc why and what his logic is. I wouldn't be surprised if they set you up for aqua therapy now just to get some strength back prior to being imobile for anther 3 months with a brace on.

The cervicel problems can be addressed later, but unless your willing to go the wheelchair route rather than take a chance at surgery, I would say, now is the time when you can't wait any longer. Damage is being done, may be permananet or may be muscle wasting and simple loss of strength. That's why you need a consult. The reflexes are imnportant, the foot drop test is important. But people don't only have MRI's to guide the surgeon. They have them to track the progress of a problem all the time as well as for simple diagnostics. If it's been years , any doc will want a fresh one, wether your a candidate for surgery or not. You need to know what's going on.
When will you be ready for surgery? I hate to be sarcastic, but if you wait till you can't wiggle you toes or your completely numb through an entire dermatome, the damage will be done.

Are you in Canada where they only have a handful of MRI machines? I'm sorry, no offense to our canadian friends, But at one point, one of our smallest states, "Massachuesettes" had more MRI machines than the entire country up north. Obviously things have improved since then, because they couldn't be much worse.

But get an MRI and see a couple surgeons and talk to them about reconditioning prior to surgery.

What meds are you presently on and what good are they doing if they simply managed the pain to the point of all you can do is lay in bed? I know it makes it tolerable to lay in bed like that but it's no way to live, especially if things can be fixed or there was a window that things could have been fixed. Find a doc that will at least try and IF you see 3 docs and 2 say NO, and one says yes, I would want another yes out of another surgeon. Some docs will operate regardless of the possible benefit. BUt the condition your presently in puts you at higher risk for a poor outcome.

Even if you can join a club or rec center, most have water aerobic programs you can join. I was the only 30 year old guy in a group of 60+ year old women, It's hard, It's emabarassing, some are there for different reasons, but You have to get moving and at this point you need to be in water, you can't stand for 30 minutes or move from one piece of equipment to another for 30 minutes, But in water, the weight is relieved from your spine, you can float, you can excercise, you can stretch.

You have to get moving or you may never get moving. I know that's no way to live because I've been there for 9 months and then it took another 6 to get the bed out of my den because laying down was still the only thing to truely relieve my pain.

Please gets some consults and try to get moving, your rheumy has delayed things long enough with bad advice, I don't know what sign she/he was waiting for, when you start wetting the bed?
Talk with ya more soon.

Old 01-27-2005, 12:10 PM   #3
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Re: Shout out for Shoreline: Question for you my friend.

Thanks for your reply Shore;

You always have good information, and I appreciate it so much when you share your knowledge. You actually help me be more prepared whenever I have an appt with a doc who is treating me.

No, I am not in Canada. I live on the gulf coast of Alabama. I think if I request and MRI from my GP he'll order me one. He wants to do one since my dx with bursitis in my right hip. He's a good guy, I've had him as a GP since 1997. I'm not letting go of him any time soon. Now my rheumy on the other hand is a different story. I just can't see her anymore. There is another doc in the rhematology dept who specializes in musculoskeletal diseases and conditions, so I may try to get in to see him. I have also heard he was pretty nice from a woman I met at my pharmacy. He may be better to deal with me.

As for the therapy, you are right. My pain doc even just recently suggested this to me for the bursitis as well as the Fibro. As for my back, I'm sure it wouldn't do any harm. I'm just a wee bit concerned as to what exactly is going on back there. Have I ruined my back by being stubborn and waiting it out? I have done the water therapy before, back in 2002 when I was first dx and it was nice. I was like you, everyone else there was silver haired seniors, which is okay, I'll be one soon! LOL but I know what you mean about being the youngest one in the pool! One poor man was so tall, he had to be in the deepest end, and even then the water only barely hit his chest.

Anyway, thanks again for your wealth of information, and your care. It's nice to feel like someone is "looking out" for you. My hope is that you are also being "looked out" for, you deserve it.

Hugs to you my friend,

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