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 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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Workers Compensation is a joke on the injured worker.

               I got hurt at work awhile ago. Hurt my back, reported as I was supposed to. They made me wait the whole weekend to see the nurse on Monday who had a scheduled day off. So I went to their quack , who put me on light duty and sent me to a surgeon. Surgeon didnt listen to a word I said, he put me in Physical and aqua therapy. 3 weeks later we scheduled my surgery. My boss had to call the quack doctor to get me out of work. I was also falling from day 1, no one wrote it down.

                    I had my surgery felt better for about a week. I started feeling really bad again, they sent more for more therapy. It didnt work. Never the less I had a spinal stimulator trial, had it implanted and taken out in a 8 week period. It beat the hell out of me. All the while I was falling and no one wrote it down.

                I was on alot of medicine which didnt really help. As we were looking for different treatments the insurance company would deny medicine and treatment. I wouldnt get a check for 2 or 3 weeks at a time. It hasnt changed, I have a well respected lawyer and the insurance company keeps giving me a hard time. I had a surgery canceled because of the pending outcome of an IRE. Which should have had zero effect on me having surgery.

                  I recently had a 2 level fusion and 2 disks replaced, I am still hurting. The pain is sometimes worse than before the surgery. After gaining a stipulation to get the surgery, insurance company said they would pay in court, but are now denying payment. When I said to my lawyer that I felt like the insurance company can do what they want, he said they are paying you right.

             I just feel that this is another thing stacked against the common man. The odds are so stacked in favor of companies it is ridiculus. Not only am in constant pain, depression, but I get my check and bills screwed up because they send my check whenever. I am in bad shape and will be for life and they offered me a nickel and dime to settle. My medicals bills will cost them more. But I guess as long as the companies are taken care of, it is ok.

              

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Chronic Pain & the person you become.

             I have 6 surgeries on my back since 2009, I walk with a cane & have to wear a brace on my right leg so I dont fall. I am 39 years old. I am on workers compensation, which sucks, they pay you when they want, they refuse to pay for things you need & you are treated like a leper. We were told I would get a settlement of $80,000, because you only get paid for 10 years, I have been on comp for 6. But that is for another day.

          Before I got hurt I enjoyed excersizing. I would lift weights, hit the heavy bag & run on my eliptical. I liked going for walks with my kids, I enjoyed playing outside with them. I liked to run, would even jump on the rare occasion. I have been robbed of all this. I cant run or jump, cant lift weights or hit a heavy bag & I havent picked up my youngest daughter in almost 5 years. These are things I will never do again. I can walk, but not far or long.

         The true effects are mental. Being in pain, not a little but alot, really makes you question everything. I question my sanity because at times I dont want to live. Only because I cant take being in pain anymore. I am no longer the man I was, I now have to rely on others to help me. I have a difficult time putting on my shoes & socks. Sometimes it is difficult to get my pants & underwear on. These are things I have been doing since I was a kid. The self doubt alone is crippling. Knowing that you cant do things because your body betrayed you is horrible.

        I know there are people worse off, but I am not them. Some days I question how long I can live like this. If I could get 1 hour without pain it would really help. I know I am not alone but I am not happy with who I am. How can I then make new friends?

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