Discussions that mention ativan

Back Problems board

I am looking for hope. I am a man of 64 years, and have experienced periodic back pain for years, but in each case the problem and pain were short lived (A week mamimum), then I would not have another problem for, sometimes, a year.This all began to change about two years ago. I began to have periodic moderate pain in my lower right back, buttock, and entire leg. I experienced this only while lying on my back in bed. As this became more frequent I decided it would be a good idea to stop lying on my back in bed. This solved the problem for about 2-3 weeks, after which, I began to get the same pain whether I was standing or sitting and the level of pain was becoming much more severe. Finally, 16 months ago, I had an MRI of my lower back and the results are as follows. I'm going to quote what the doctor wrote, because I don't know how to describe the impession otherwise.
1. Bilateral lateral recess and neural foraminal narrowing at L5-S1 level due to degenerative changes.
2. L4-5 spinal stenosis and bilateral lateral recess narrowing due to facet degenerative changes and ligamentum flavum hypertrophy.
3. Small broad based posterior bulge at the L3-L4 level.
As a result of the MRI my HMO approved sending me to a Pain Clinic where I was given a series of Translaminar Epidural Steroid Injections, on three occasions, within a month. These injections worked extremely wellreducing my pain. Some days I forgot all about my back. I thought that I had found my lifetime magical cure. Six months later the injections were not quite as effective. My third series of injections, which I finished 3 weeks ago, gave me no relief at all. Now my pain is extremely severe and I have it every day.If I am lucky, I wake up with mild to moderate pain and I have 2-5 hours before it becomes severe. Once the severe pain starts it does not deminish until I've had some sleep many hours later.
This constant severe pain is havin a negitive effecton both my physical and mental health. My normally positive state of mind is being severly tested. I am also losing weight at an alarming rate. I am nearly six feet tall and have dropped from my optimum weight of 170 lbs. down to 139 lbs. I have been trying to eat a large breakfast because once my pain becomes severe I lose my appetite. Just for the record, I have another chronic pain condition known as Chronic Orchalgia. It causes moderate-severe pain in my right testical. Two surgeries and the removal of nerves between the testical and abdomen, failed to eliminate any of the related pain. So I am stuck with that pain for life and can accept it. I only bring up this testecular pain problem because when my back-leg pain is severe, my testicular pain is increased dramatically. They are both nerve related pain so it's understandable.
My current medications are Vicodin (4) and Ativan (4). The Vicodin no longer does anything to ease my pain. It is as if I took nothing. The Atavin still helps me to relax at bedtime, so I am able to get past the pain and sleep (sometimes).
I went to see my primary doctor 3 days ago and broke down in his office. I told him I could no longer tolorate the level of pain I was experiencing and that I was seriously concerned about my weight loss and that I was getting to the point of feeling absolutely hopeless. He told me not to give up hope, wrote a Prescription for Vicodin/Ativan and told me to come back in a month. I left his office totally depressed and feeling hopeless.
Being introduced to this web site by my friend Alan (thanks pal) is I believe a real blessing. I have read a number of postings from people with simular problems and have learned a little about possible solutions (some temporary).
I would be very grateful to hear from some some of you who have had or are having simular problems as I. Please give me yor thoughts and /or recommendations regarding possible means of relief. Medications, Injections, Surgery or what ever. Let me know what has and hasn't helped you.
I am at the end of my rope and am desperate to find some hope. Right now you folks reading this are my hope.

Sincerely, Gregory