I am here, watching the boards but I tend not to log-in unless I see a "bad" post, one that hurts the sites integrity. I have been dealing with SS disability the last month and a half or so, and just have not felt like doing anything after meeting with them. They always have a reason that we can't submit something the day I am there, and then ask me to go get a release form from my Dr for my records. Heck, it would have been nice to know that seemingly everyone I have ever seen needs to have a signed release (even though their site says that the workers there will assist in obtaining the needed forms). I was forced into this after the DDD resulted in retrolesthesis in my L5/S1 area. I went from just being in pain to a flipping shell of myself it seems like. Hope all the other members are still here. I'll be on more, I just haven't had the energy to be on or do anything lately.
I'm sorry things have been so difficult for you lately.
The stupid release forms required for everything are enough to drive us all insane these days.
Hope things get better.
I have the exact problem.. I think higher.
I would love to see the forum with more life..we all have been getting older and decrepit ;)...hope all are good enough.
Amen brother. Seems funny, in a sadistic way, how even a couple of years seems to put on 5 years worth of age. I kind of feel like I'm living in dog years- the past two years have seemed as though my back aged more than it did when I was in my mid 20s. Now I get to deal with retrolesthesis and all kinds of fun words I had to look up in order to understand.
Thanks for the kind words, Sandi. Ive gotten to the point where I don't expect anything to happen at each appointment. I didn't want to file in the first place, but pain management doctor told me I should file now because he plans on doing some sort of real surgery, not just injections and removing fragments via fluoroscopy, soon. So there's that to look forward to, lol. Ahh, where would we all be without pain? I just try not to complain and enjoy the time I do have on Earth. (BTW: I don't have a terminal illness, just trying to believe that every day is a "gift", pfft.)
Getting old stinks.
After my first two spine surgeries, I thought that was it....now two levels up are toppling off one another to the front, and the bottom is going backward...despite everything, I still try to find a reason to be grateful for another day.
Wishing you good luck, skilled hands and a speedy ,complete recovery.
Did you by any chance have a fusion surgery, or the kind that they put the steel rods to make a bracket, so to speak, for your spine? When I was first starting in pain management, I begged for a surgery to get rid of the pain because the pain meds they had me on lasted about three hours. After the third hour, it became a clock watching game. Not because I wanted to feel the pain meds, but because I wanted to quit hurting. The doctors, all three of them that I saw, said absolutely not to me for a surgery because of the tendency of the vertebrae above and below to give out. That was 14 years ago, and science hasn't progressed enough to give any of us above a 50% chance of success. Those are pretty crummy odds.
Two so far (first two were fusion with rods and screws at L3-4), and they are telling me I now need a third, extensive revision and extended fusion L2-S1 or 2.
While it is true that levels above or below can also wind up in need of surgery of some sort, a large part of that is the condition of the discs above and below, and how severe any dessication may be.
A part of the problem for me is that the rods and screws do not allow for lordosis ( natural curving) in the spine.
Fusion takes two normally moving segments in the spine, and creates one longer bone segment. Depending on the levels involved, some levels of the lumbar spine have far more movement than another, L5-S1 for example , sits between your pelvis, so flexion, extension are it's primary movement. Above L5, L1-4, rotation, along with flexion and extension are effected and restricted more by fusing any of those segments, and because of that, you may find the increased risks of other disc issues occurring more often.
Instability of the spine segment is the reason for fusion, most often, and if there is slippage of one vertebra over or behind another, fusion may be the only option to prevent further damage.
Not to have surgery , spine surgeons? Or were they other types of doctors?
I have mixed feelings about surgery, in large part because some cases absolutely do require surgery, and many others are rushed into, far too quickly.
If it's been 14 years since you were last evaluated, I would strongly suggest at least two consults and definately updated imaging to see what is actually going on, before making any decisions .
The thing that anyone considering spine surgery really needs to do is lots of research into any recommendations and any spine surgeon worth his salt is not going to recommend surgery unless all other options have been exhausted.
I am going to say this out of experience, and from working in the health care field. Dr's do not like it when PT's come in and tell them the exact hours that something is working, or not working, and what you think you need, or don't need. We know our bodies, but when Dr's think that all your doing is watching the clock, then they start to think that no matter what they give you, you probably won't get good relief. I would only trust my Crohnic Pain treatment to a Dr that deals in Crohnic Pain Management. You would not go see a dentist, for a heart attack. Not all PM dr's are great, but most know the ins and outs, and what is the best course of action for your treament. GP dr's are general Dr's, and most are not trained in dealing with Crohnic, severe pain. Not that they can't treat you, but they are not extensively trained in this field. They don't treat Pt's like us everyday. Some people don't like PM dr's because they require stricture rules, and more advanced treatments, but thats there field. They want to get you moving as best as possible, and as others said, they are moving away from treating your pain level, and more about treating your activity level.
People are actually getting cut off meds, if Pt's tell them every apt that their pain is at high levels, becasue after awhile they think that therapy with medications do not work for you, so it is not appropriate for your care. Not that your pain isn't real, but it will be much worse if your dr cuts you off because they think that you will not get better from using strong meds, especially one like Fentenyl. That drug is the top of the order of strong meds, so try and focus on getting moving as much as possible, and less on watching the clock, because I know from experience, that can be painful.
I have been a long time member and still look in on the boards and was saddened to see how slow they had become, but anyroad I haven't posted in a long time bc I have been getting my head straight or trying to lol and am now in a much less 'foggy' state, but currently going thru difficulties with having been on 4mg Xanax for years and then being told by my PM on 2 Nov that by my next appt, 4 Jan, that I must be off of the Xanax bc of new regulations that will not allow him to prescribe methadone or any pk, I think, to anyone taking a benzodiazepine. Well, I'm down to 1.5mg/ day and just now really starting to experience insomnia and other fun stuff, although I must say I cannot wait for the day I take my last Benzo and then get thru the post acute wd symptoms, bc I have grown to hate these meds, benzos, and wanted out for years but the type person I am I don't make changes until I am forced. Take care all