Chronic pain and how it affects your life.

          4 and half years ago I hurt my back at work. I had herniated a disk a l4-l5-l5-s1. I was of course in terrible pain, was falling and had radiculapathy down my right leg. I had a lamenectomy and microdiscectomy. I felt better for about a week and all the pain returned. I had a spinal stimulatir trial, had it implanted and taken back out in a 6 week period. 10 weeks later I had a spinal decompression. About 6 months ago I had a 2 level fusion with 2 disks replaced. I have had the steroid shots in the spine and trigger point injections. I have done about 3 years of physical therapy and aqua therapy.

                 I have constant pain in my back that radiates into my butte cheeks and down the right leg. My hips feel like they are deteriorating. I get burning, throbbing, pins and needles and sharp pains all through my right leg. Sometimes it is in the left leg. I get muscle spasms quite frequently in my back and there is not a moment of the day that I am not in pain.

               I fall constantly and am unable to do any of the things a person my age should do. I can’t put on my own socks or shoes and have trouble with some parts of showering. Even wiping after a bm is difficult. I can’t stand for long periods, walk for long periods or even sit for long periods.

           The worst part is the depression. At times it is suffocating.  Between being in constant pain, not being able to function properly and the workers Comp insurance it gets very difficult to get up every day. Some days I cry, I am not sure I can continue living like this. It is these moments I know I need helpbut I lost my health insurance. I just hope that something good happens so this depression will let up.

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Aqua Therapy day 9.

               All the same excersizes with even more pain. I don’t feel as if I am making any progress. It feels like a waste of time. I do everything tie therapists say and it hurts as I am doing it, it hurts even worse when I get out.

               My surgeon told me that this was going to hurt. He said I would not feel any relief from it. It was just to get the muscles moving and to keep the nerve from getting stuck in place. I don’t understand that, but it us what the therapist said could possibly happen. At the end of each session I go home and relax, sit down until it hurts and move until it hurts. It only seems to exascerbate the problem.

                  I realize it us going to be a long healing process, but I feel worse now than I did before the surgery. I am still falling between 5 and 15 times a day. The right leg just gives out and I hit the ground, I believe they call it a drop knee. That was supposed to stop happening. I an waiting on a new brace that will lock when I put my foot down and unlock when I bend the knee. It should eliminate the falling.

              No person should have to live like this. The pain at times is debilitating. It is constant pain in the back, the leg, right leg mostly, hips, butte cheeks, foot and it gets really bad in the toes sometimes. It severely limits what I am able to do, my family has to put on my shoes and socks. I am only 38 years old, this is not a life I am looking forward to.

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Aqua Therapy day 6.

                If anyone tries to convince you that the more you go to therapy the better you feel, please dont believe them. I realize that I am recovering from a major sugery, I know it will be a long process. I am doing the same excersizes with a couple additions. I know the therapists are doing their best to help me.

               I am about 4 months removed from a 2 level fusion and 2 disk replacement surgery. It is a big surgery and in my area the therapists said they dont see many people who disk replacements, no less with a fusion. The doctor says that I am right where a person who has experienced chronic pain for several years should be. I feel as though the surgery was a failure, all of my symptoms are either worse or the same.

               I was told that this surgery would stop me from getting worse. I feel worse now. I understand back surgeries are fickle, some work, some dont. I have had 3 major surgeries and 3 minor ones in the last 4 years. After the fusion I do not think there is anything else they can do to that area of my back. The doctor said the scar tissue was wrapped around my nerve so bad he couldnt touch it. That is why I keep falling and also the nerve damage.

           Along with going to aqua therapy my doctor slowly took me off the nerve inhibitor. That probably has something to do with the pain. But the aqua therapy is making me hurt badly. I feel like I am falling apart , mentally and physically. I am not sure what to do. If I stop going to therapy how will that effect my workers comp case. I just cant live like this anymore.

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First day of Aqua Therapy.

               I had a 2 level fusion and 2 disk replacement in November. I wore a back brace until Feb. 15. I have been having muscle spasms, leg pain is severe and the back, butt cheeks and hips are really hurting. So 4 and half months later I am starting Aqua Therapy. They say it should be less painful than regular physical therapy.

             I started today at 830. The water is a wonderful 92° and it is an olympic sized pool. There are 3 therapists in the pool and 1 in the office. There is a lifeguard and her assistant. Because I fall alot they have me in wheelchair from the door to the changing room and then to the pool.

             Once in the pool you walk 2 laps back and forth forward, backward and sidestepping. After that you go to leg stretching excersizes, followed by some trunk excersizes and finished up with upper body/abdominal excersizes. It is low impact and because of my condition it is very minimal. Then the therapist normally will float you, followed by 1 lap each back and forth. In between you stand in front of a jet to get some relief.

                It was very painful. I struggled through most of it, there was maybe 1 or 2 excersizes that were relatively pain free. Even trying to float was bad, as soon as I laid back I started getting very severe muscle spasms. For the rest of the day I have been in very severe pain, at times bad enough to cry out. I didnt think it was going to be easy but this is ridiculus.

            When I went for the surgery it was have it or keep getting worse. I feel worse now. I am told I am where I should be for someone who has been experiencing chronic pain for some years. Well 1 day down a whole bunch more pain to ho.

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