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24 and in Pain

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Old 11-19-2007, 09:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Outer Banks NC
Posts: 3
CoalTrain8321 HB User
24 and in Pain

Hi I'm Josh And I live on the Outer banks of N.C.
I Know this aint the Back Pain Board but I found this Site earlier today and have read most of the postings so it seem. i know you all, So i hope you don't mind me posting here.

I am 24 and have been working since i was 13 mainly in construction. but for the past 2.5 years my lower back has been hurting very badly. I had and MRI done on it and went to see a Neurosurgeon(Bad Speller) He didn't go over the Mri with me he made me do the song and dance bend, strech. he spent maybe a total of 5 min. with me then said he was sending me to get an eipaderl I just had 2nd shot Wed and It just wore off today the first one only lasted until the numbness wore off about 5 or 6 hours. the nero. said it was non sergical.

When I first went to the Urgent Care They gave me Hydrcodone7.5 the first script was for 30 then they gave me 100 till my nero appt. (its hard for my wife and I to get off on the same day) When i went to the nero. he gave me hydrocodone 5-500 all scripts were 1/2 4to6 hours has needed for pain till I was able to see the PM.

The qestion is that i'm 24 and right now no one knows whats going on with my back and I don't want to take RXs the rest of my life any ideas about what I need to do My next appt. with the nero. is on moday the 26 but he didn't seem to care about me and I had to ask him for something for the pain. he's like one of the DR. you all talked about in Bad exprence(i'm telling you I read allmost all of the postings today)

So I hope I can join your Family Please Help If you need more Info just ask.


Last edited by HBMod07; 11-20-2007 at 06:41 AM. Reason: Please read the Posting rules at the top of the forum, you may not direct posts to specific members

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Old 11-19-2007, 11:49 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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madhatter HB User
Re: 24 and in Pain

The doc. should have explained what he saw on your M.R.I's.Obviously he saw something to say you need an epidural shot.On your next appointment,simply ask him what he saw,and there should of been an M.R.I report.Ask him to go over the report with you.And if your doc. said there was nothing in the M.R.I,ask him why then the epidural? You say you do construction,heavy lifting,constant bending etc. that opens the door to many things that could be wrong,a bulging disc,pulled muscle,slip disc,pinched nerve.You mentioned its the lower back[maybe L4-L5 disc area] also could be D.D.D [degenerative disc disease] which believe it or not so many people have.Some that have it,the pain isn't that bad,and with some,the pain is excruciating.

Last edited by HBMod07; 11-20-2007 at 06:38 AM. Reason: title edit

Old 11-20-2007, 02:01 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Outer Banks NC
Posts: 3
CoalTrain8321 HB User
Re: 24 and in Pain

Hi Mahatter

I haven't worked conctuction for about 2 years now. Have been Manager of a auto parts store. I thought the pain would go away after I took an easy job. but it kept getting whose. my primary DR said he saw som degentive in the lower back and slight buling disk but the nero said nothing to me about any of this.

And the nero put me on meds that was not as strong as what my primary gave and i was on that for about month and a half then my nero gave less stranth but the same doses. The neo has been giving me Hydrocodone 5-500 a 4 day supply at a time and tilling me it has to last a week. so to make it last a week i would have to wait longer between doses and 5-500 dosen't do as much as the 7.5 that I was on.

When my 4 day supply ran out on day 5 I called told I was which they told me to do than they told me that I had to wait two more day before than can give to the doc because I had to have 7 days then it took two more days for them to call it in because it take up to 48 hour for them to do there thing. lets just say they were a long 4 days. I am afraid if I ask to up the dose he will think I'm drug seeking and just cut me off cold turcky. My Nero is in Norfolk VA witch is about a two hour drive from where I live.(Closest Nero that took my ins.) If I wanted just the drugs I can go right down the street and get what ever I want. for less than the gas to get to norfolk.

Sorry fo Ranting I just don't think the nero wants to help me since he siad it was non sergical. My wife thought the samething about the doc, she said he was rude. Should I ask him to send me to a PM?


Last edited by HBMod07; 11-20-2007 at 06:38 AM. Reason: title edit

Old 11-20-2007, 03:42 AM   #4
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Re: 24 and in Pain

Hi Coal Train, Fortunately you are allowed to post the name of your doc and I'm curious as to who you saw.

The first thing you have to do is take docs off the pedestal. Once you see them more eye to eye, you won't drive 3 hours spend a couple hundred bucks and walk out without an answer. Sorry if that sounds blunt, but I was your age once too, and I that's pretty much what weare tought or lead to believe, Docs have the answers and and we shouldn't question them. I'm sure that works just fine in the narcecistic world of medecine where a docs ego thrives when he doesn't have to explain his opinion and that's all your getting, one docs opinion.

However the bottom line is, medecine is called a practice for a reason, because they don't know the answer, They know what to look for, they will certainly have their opinion, they can use a medical model for months and months of treatment but it doesn't make them right. If a doc orders an Epidural, ask how is this going to help, if he gives you a a vauge answer like it will reduce swelling and make you feel better, ask him what is so swollen you need to stick steroids into my spinal cord. There isn't an answer, they shouldn't be willing to share unles they simply don't know.

Despite age differences betwen you and a 50 year old doc, you still know when someone is BSing you and isn't giving you an answer either for some reaon or because they don't know. You really have to change the way you see docs and demand answers to all your questions. It helps to write them down as I'm sure you came up with at east 20 legit questions that you want the answer to on the way home.

Docs work off a medical model. A medical model predicts and sugests a course of action when a patient present X, Y and Z complaints. 80% OF patients that go to the doc complaining of low back pain will get better without any major intervention. Epidurals and PT are pretty standard, so are anti inflamatories, muscle reaxers and mild pain meds, and it works for 80% of the people, so 100% get to try them.
Don't take offense that the docs doesn't seem to understand the severity of things. If an MRI showed a shreaded discs leaking blobs of disc goo up and down the spinal canal I think the doc would have been a little more agressive as far as further testing. Even if it apreared you need surgery by an MRI, Without the neuro deficiencies, like foot drop,loss of reflexes, loss of muscle mass, bowel or bladder control. They aren't going to treat this like an emergency untill you have symptoms taside frompain that seem to a doc like something needs to be done before a window of opportunityty closes to make a surgeical corection. A surgeon can handle getting your through the basic medical model just as easily as a PM doc, In fact before the days of PM docs, that was the surgeons job. Now he can focus only on those that need surgery thanks to PM. Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes PM's actuyally prevent a possible cure by doping people up past the point of being able to corect a problem. There is no one size fits all answer..

It is a trial and error process bu the further away you get from the point of injury, the less you start fitting into that medical model they rely so heavily on the closer your getting to an actual answer. There is no way to avoid those hoops everyone jumps through. If your don't do the PT or epidurals, the doc won't take your pain seruiously. Personally if someone said to stick a Banana in my ars and hop on one leg for 72 seconds every 1/2 hour while singing the star spamgled banner, I would have done it if there was the slightest chance of relieving pain and avoiding surgery.

To give you an idea of how they rely on medical models to map and plan treatment. Simply knowing it, allows me to treat 80% of those patients that present low back pain to their doc. It's pretty scarry I'm capable of treating 80% of the patients that report low backpain to their doc, but they are simply using a tried and true tested method of getting you passed this flair and over the hump. Surgery is something you do when nothing else workls, when everything else fails. Perhaps I differ from others in that I think a potential cure from surgery outweighs the negative aspects of being dependnet on a doc and opiates the rest of my life, but at least I know I tried everything ever asked.

I think surgery is worth a shot if you have neuro defects they think they can fix before a patient is sent off to PM to be put on opiates the rest of their life. Fortunately not all PM docs use opiates and there are dozens of techniques you can try and use and I still use the ones that worked even after 14 years and 3 failed fusions later.

Some things you learn or try won't work, some things you learn and try have the potential to work given the right circumstances,,but everything you try is just a docs opinion of what he thinks will work. It does take you step by step away from the medical model where docs actually have to use their brain and start using less common diagnostics, like meylograms, discograms, emg's and other tests more specific to finding nerve/cord compressions rather than wide angle views like Xrays and MRI's. Not that any show pain. But the more you try, the the more serious they will take you.

Someone desperate for pain relief will do a discogram or meylogram. Someone that just wants pain meds will shop PM docs untill they find one that shares the same opinion they believe. Why bother with a discogram if a patient has already decided they want meds instead of surgery. A cure is a cure, I don't vcare how big the bottle of meds is, there isn't a cure at the bottom. The miconception that opiates are virtually harmless as long as you only take them for pain makes excepting someone has developed a problem when they are only taking what their doc prescribed. People do forget about the first 10 docs they sayw that said opiates would be a terrible way to go, but rely on that one docs opinion that sayid opiates are OK as long as the pain is real.

I would hardly call opiates harmeless, but they are a tool available and when the benefit outweighs the negative aspects and you can live with knowing this is your only option, it's a much easier pill to swallow , so to speak.

Anyway, It's 5am, I just got back from the second sleep study where I used a CPAP machine. It's been 8 years since I slept more than 3 hours straight and last night was even worse. I may have to except that with 12 screws, 8 rods and 3 failed back surgeries, I should be greatful for 3 hours of escape in the form of sleep.

I'll write more when I'm not whacky from another night in a sleep lab but I would like to know what other symptoms besides back pain you have. When did this start, accident injury, etc. 6 weeks into a flair and not getting relief, idoesn't really through the model out the window to the docs, your just taking a little longer than normal. It's actually impressive you had an MRI in the first few months of an injury uless you were brought by ambulance following an MVA and had no feeling or sensation from the waste down. I know nobody wants to be compared to anyone else, but it's human nature. The doc sees you, listens to you complain, and thinks about the guy he saw that day that will never walk again and can't help but realize how lucky you are and how likely stats are that you will be fine. The neuro symptoms are the ones that make the doc pay attn and think your not one of the 80% that are part of the medical model. Leg pain? Foot drop? Sexual dysfunction, loss of reflexes, bowel and bladder cntrol, etc. All those are the symptoms that inmdicate your not one of the 80% that will get better regardless of the treatment they offer. Regardless of what's happened so far, here is no reason to think you will be in pain the rest of your life and need pain meds the rest f your life. They make things more tolerable, but doping up so you don't have to take time off work isn't the best course of action and one that few docs will share that opinion.

Try not to catastophize and think worst case scenario. You may be fine after a few weeks of PT and learning exactly what muscles you need to strengthen to suport a healthy spine. Have you heard of Pilates, people in hollywood are paying hundreds of bucks an hour to have a pilates trainer come to their house and teach them some excercises. Pilates is simply core strengthening and balance, the acxact sam thing that everyone with a bad back goes through at PT. But you can't charge quite as muich if it doesn't have a trendy and fashionable name aside from excercise.

Just some general advice, don't ever walk out of a docs office not understanding what he believes is wrong and how anything he recomends is going to help. It is his job to explain himslef although docs got away with not explaining their methods and motives for decades. The net levels the playing fieled. He can't through a DX at you that you can't look up and then question how he came up with that. Don't be arrogant or denmanding, but anyone that claims to be in enough pain to need prescription pain meds, should want some answers, not just a script. Those happy to stay ignorant as long as they get a script, aren't behaving the way someone with pain they describe as life altering, a 10+ and effecting the quality of their life, are setting off red flags in the docs mind and that ends up in your permanant record and follows you for every other doc to see that one docs doubts regarding the severity of your condition or injury.
Good luck, Dave

Last edited by HBMod07; 11-20-2007 at 06:39 AM. Reason: title edit

Old 11-20-2007, 04:19 AM   #5
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: western us
Posts: 7,266
ms_west HB User
Re: 24 and in Pain

Hi, I would take all of your test results and see another neurosurgeon or spinal surgeon (orthopedic doctor who has an additional 2 years of fellowship in spine surgery) for another opinion. Don't ever take one surgeons opinion as gospel. Several of us spinneys have had the same thing happen and have seen multiple doctors before getting an adequate diagnosis.

You might want to post on the back board of this forum for some advice as well.

I would also call back the GP that you saw and explain the situation to him, ask for recommendations, and how to handle the pain meds. He might be willing to perscribe them or recommend a pm doctor.

Good luck and please keep us posted. We care!!

Last edited by HBMod07; 11-20-2007 at 06:39 AM. Reason: title edit

Old 11-20-2007, 05:19 AM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Outer Banks NC
Posts: 3
CoalTrain8321 HB User
Re: 24 and in Pain


I had an EMG I go for the results on monday (26th) and I did some X-rays done with me in deffernt postion, also we will go over them on monday. the pain seems to move from my back down my left hip upper back leg.

I have had the pain for 2.5 year but only sought treatment past 4 months when the pain got unbarable. (My wife made go) I don't like going to Doc. I guess you can call it a phobea. I do want to fix my back. I can't imagen how you feel Shoreline, but I haven't slept more than 3-4 hours a night. The pain meds help but they only work for about an hour and the doc won't change anything till he sees me.

The pain just started I don't remeber any falls, accindent. it just slowly progressed to the piont were it started affecting my life I'm just getting over being 20 and bullitprooflol. When ever I hurt in the past I just kept it to my self because growing up my dad didn't want to hear about it if I wasn't dieing. I have been married for 3 years and I'm just know starting to open up to my wife when I hurt who I love very much and has helped me through this.

Is there Anything I need to ask my Dr about the EMG. What other qustion should I ask the Dr?

Thanks I'm sorry this is so long but I want you all to know the facts so you can give the right advise


Last edited by CoalTrain8321; 11-25-2007 at 12:02 PM. Reason: title edit

Old 11-20-2007, 06:35 AM   #7
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Re: 24 and in Pain

I am just kind of wondering why you were actually referred to a neurosurgeon and not an orthosurgeon,in the low back area,unless there is a pretty strong indication of actual cord compromise,generally they would refer you to the ortho.just seems kind of big thing here,you CAN obtain your own copy of your own MRI report,and all medical records from any doc you see.i do this all the time just so i can stay on top of all my crap.but you DO really need to see that huge thing i have found over the past six years and 16 various MRIs done on different areas and seeing different specialists,is that not all docs will actually tell you everything that is even IN your own report.i have had some very crucial info never told to me that was in my reports,more than one time with a couple of different docs.its kind of sick actually in some just have the right to this info.that doc should have gone over your report with you not only mentioned a few highlights and not actually explain your current this point you really have noidea of what really IS your biggest issue since he never actually told you.just call the place where you had that MRI done and they can obtain it for you.its all very easily accomplished by phone.just tell them you need a copy and they will send you out a form to sign and send back.then they will send it in the can also obtain all of your own medical records this way too from ANY doc that has ever laid hands on you.getting your medical records from your docs just gives you a much clearer idea of just what that doc is thinking about your overall condition.just some helpful tidbits of info that will help you navigate thru this.i wish you luck,but get that report,K?marcia
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

Last edited by HBMod07; 11-20-2007 at 06:40 AM. Reason: title edit

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