Discussions that mention vicodin

Hernia board

I am very new to this forum-type support but I have no support anywhere else at this point for my problem. I am a 20 year old female with a herniated disk and the sciatic pain gets worse every day. Let me give you a brief history of my problem. I remember the first onset of pain happened in October of 2002. I remember cooking dinner and was just hit with horrible back pain that caused me to stop making dinner and just hunch over on a chair. For the two years after that, I was getting more bouts of back pain, not sure why but I guess it made some sense considering I had moved about three times coast to coast. I still am not quite sure what has caused it. Once I became established work wise on the West coast, I went to the doctor to see what they thought about it. In the beginning, I kept getting the run around. I was told that I just needed to take motrin, then aleve, then naproxen and when those didnt' work I began physical therpy in June of this year. I had done three months of that with no relief. After that I was referred to a physical medicine doc that just shoved my face with narcotics. I didn't like that at the time because I always felt that taking pills for pain only mask a problem. But, him being the doctor, I complied. I took Vicodin and Oxycodone in the beginning. Just recently I got off of Methadone (a recommendation of the PM&R guy) and I tell you I am never getting on that stuff again. At least while being on Vicodin, I could drive. This stuff knocked me out, which is bad then because I'm just sleeping letting the problem get worse. The reason for the methadone was because Vicodin and Methadone began to not work anymore. Meanwhile, I started getting more symptoms with regard to my legs, my left leg seems to be a lot weaker. So, with all this going on, I'm finally referred to have an MRI. This was done this September. That revealed an annular tear as well as that disk being herniated (according to the doc). So, okay, I know what I've got now. I've done endless reading of my problem and are along the same path that many people probably reading this have gone through. Well, I confronted my doctor about the possibility of being referred to a neuosurgeon. I've read about the options they have for this sort of thing and wanted to know what a neurosurgeon would offer me. I had to go through the grievance process just to see a neuro because my PM&R doc said I couldn't see one because going through pain management is the next step, neurosurgeons are the last step when pain management doesn't work. I ended up getting to see a neurosurgeon. They just referred me to anyone. The guy said there are absolutely no surgical procedures that can fix what I've got (herniated disk). He actually recommended acupuncture. We did several tests (ie straight leg raise, gait, poking my legs w/ a pin). When he poked me with a pin I told him my left leg doesn't feel as prominent as my right. His reasoning for this is that his hands are so old that he can't press with the same pressure each time. What a quack...this just happened two days after my injection. (Nov 29) I had my first epidural steroid injection. I was very open minded about the procedure, however, the next morning when I woke up, the muscular pain from the needle had gone away however the leg pain and back pain was there. The pain has been worse since then. Today has been the worse day of them all. :o I just don't know what to do. I feel as though I'm being pushed aside or something. I'm tempted to have a second opinion on this because with as much pain as I'm in, and as young as i am in, there has to be some sort of compromise. I'm willing to deal with a little pain if it gets rid of most of then pain. I've dealt with that for two years now and each day it gets worse. Currently, every time I take a shower my left big toe is numb and both calves are throbbing. The biggest sciatic pain goes through my hips, butt, and just town to the hamstring side of my left leg. I just don't know what to do from this point. I left a message for the pain clinic to let them know I didn't have any relief from the injection but that I was willing to do another injection if they recommended one. I'm just lost at this point. My fiance is away for the military and he has had two fusions (lower back and neck) and he's usually here to help me with this, but for the next many months, I'm alone in this and just don't know what step to take. I'm rather fixated on getting a microdiscectomy. The reason why I would even prefer surgery is because before they came out with all these new techniques, herniated disks were treated with fusions and later they came up with the microdiscectomy. I don't see why they can't do that to me today. I've done everything they told me to do. I've got all the little exercises down (though they made my symptoms much worse), i've got ice packs, hot packs, and a back brace. I'm disinclined to use that brace until I really have to because I've read that it makes your back weaker because it doesn't allow your back and abdominals to support the back. The pain is VERY unbearable. I can't do ANYTHING for long periods of time. Can't sit for long periods of time (and my job requires that I do being as i am a legal assistant), can't walk for long times, can't stand for long times, it's just terrible. I shouldn't have to go through this at my age. Am I being unreasonable in wanting surgery? Thus far, everything else has failed, and I'm not about to start acupuncture. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. -Anita