Discussions that mention nortriptyline

Back Problems board

Hi, new to this board and have a few questions. I'd probably find the answers in other postings, but just don't have the patience at this moment to look anymore. Can't sit for too long sometimes. Sorry.

I've been diagnosed with several different things: DDD of lower spine, Cervical lordosis (mildly accented), thoracis kyphosis (mild), degenerative joint disease, spinal stenosis, diffuse disk bulging at L4-5, L5-S1, facet joint arthropathy/disease, facet joint arthritis, and chronic sciatica. One of my problems is I don't know what most of this stuff means. My family doctor has also mentioned spondoloysis at one point and said that he hasn't seen it in my age group (38) before.

I'm dissatisfied with the quality of care I'm receiving from family doc so am in the process of changing docs. I think I found one that will take the time to explain things in a way I'll understand them, but am having a hard time coming up with a list of things to ask her. I also go to pain management and have read several things that is making me question my care there. Is that normal? I'm getting all records from other docs together to take with me so she doesn't have to wait on them and am trying to come up with questions to ask her. Previous doc doesn't even want to see me between PM doc appointments and doesn't seem to care if I follow-up or not. Want someone who will follow what is going on and make suggestions or comments if they agree/disagree with what pm doc is doing.

Meds I've tried in the past include: Vicodin, Flexeril, Neurontin, Nortriptyline, Celebrex, Norflex, Vioxx, Skelaxin, Predinsone, Bextra, Darvocet, and Zoloft. Current meds are 5 mg methadone in am & 5 mg methadone in pm as well as lidoderm patches on 12 hrs off 12 hrs. Is it normal to skip right from Darvocet to methadone? Had been on vicodin when seen by neursurgeon family doc sent me to until he said only cancer patients should be on pain meds, so doc reduced me to darvocet. When back into pm, that doc switched me to the methadone. Seems to help somewhat, been on it 6 months now and seem to be going back up on pain scale again. Was 8/9 when started, dropped to 4/5 now about a 6/7. I don't have a clue as to this breakthrough stuff I've been reading about. Do all people go through that? Could that be why I'm going from a 4/5 to a 6/7 on pain scale? Maybe meds not working long enough?

Pain generally hits right in small of back and goes down left leg. Sometimes feel like numb spots here (it's not exactly numb to touch, just not feeling right, can't describe it in a way that docs have really understood yet) and there down the leg and now also having severe pain in tailbone area and a bit of the same leg pain down right leg. Sometimes it goes all the way to my toes, others days it's just to mid thigh.

I've done pt in the past, pm doc won't even let me try it now. Did both regular and water for a while and failed both miserably. Am now being considered for a spinal cord stimulator and need to know what type of questions to ask before placement. Am going to do a 7 day trial (I think that is how long he said, can't remember) before permanent placement if it's successful. PM doc did say that it would help leg pain, but most likely wouldn't help with back pain unless he was lucky enough to get exactly placement of leads to help a bit, but won't help 100% for that. So is it worth the risk to get rid of one and then deal with the other?

A lot of this has been very scary for me and now it's even been suggested that I might have adult ADD so sometimes remembering things is difficult for me (could just be the medication though). I've been struggling with this off and on since my pregnancy for my youngest child (he's 16 now) but got real bad in 1999. Had relief for about 18 months affter 4 ESI's and LASE surgery. To be completely honest, am almost at wit's end just trying to understand what is happening to me. :eek:

Any suggestions or help answering some of my questions would be much appreicated! Thank you.