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staying sane in a world of pain

Started by MariaBP on 08/06/2017 1:49am

Hi all. First time, long time.
Let me say that I have read this forum often and it has certainly both help and added to frustration that I'm far from alone.
I have DDS. Had lumbar fusion of S1-L5 in Feb. At this point, I haven't fused and my new consultant says I'm not going to. The graft cage was too small and the graft has been fully absorbed by me. Im not a smoker.
My L5.L4 has degenerated further as has my L4-L3. Going for a discography on the 16th aug. I was ok after the first month of surgery. Just discomfort which was a blissful change from constant sciatica and lumbar pain from before. then sciatica came back and brought with it numbness and tingling in my left leg as well as periodic spasms in my pelvic region. Not fun to say the least. Pain management doesn't even make a dent, I'm prescribed dihydrocodeine. Im also had epidural cortisone to no avail.
I'm going to have revision surgery PLIF and ALIF for my L5-L4 and possibly L4-L3 in September using the Spinal Kinetics replacement discs. Anyone have any experience with these discs or have both ALIP and PLIF at the same time? I never really felt that I was ever properly ready for physiotherapy even though I tried. Any advice on physiotherapy when to start and what pain to safely push thru? I'm so scared to push thru agony, but has that held me back?
How do you all keep sane? I used to have a life before. Now even the ability for even smallest of tasks is determined by how I feel that day. My constant companion phrase 'aaaaaawwww my back...'. That's who I am now, my back decided my day and I have to keep from going nuts being seconded to the house, the house and nothing but the house where I can't even do any cleaning... forget working. How do you keep your mind active and happy? My partner is fortunately amazing. My back doesn't just affect me, we are both encumbered by my back. 'We' have a bad back. Crappy. There is only so many box sets and movies and news I can consume. Thinking of doing some online course or something. Just to keep sane. How do you guys manage?
And sleeping,... that elusive leprechaun. Does anyone recommend a lumbar pillow? I also to boot, have a flat back.
Thank you for an opportunity to vent.

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1 Response


Hello, MariaBP--thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. We are so sorry to read about your struggle with back pain.

It sounds like you've tried many treatments related to physical pain (surgery, injections, medications, PT)--have you tried anything to address the mental and emotional aspects of your pain? You may find our Mental and Emotional Therapy Center of interest: ( Depression is Connected to Back Pain ). On the left side of the page, you'll see links that take you to deeper information on these treatments.

Staying active is also so important to your overall well-being, but that is much easier said than done when you're in debilitating pain. Have you considered hydrotherapy? ( Spine Surgery Recovery - The Benefits of Hydrotherapy ). If your treating physicians give you the green light, getting in the pool may be a soothing and conditioning exercise that you might really enjoy.

Lastly--and we know you mentioned how supportive your partner is--but we'd like to share this to remind you that you are not alone: ( How to Support a Loved One With Chronic Spine-related Pain ).

You may not ever eliminate your pain, but we wholeheartedly believe there are treatments are out there to reduce it so it's not a barrier between you and the things you want to do. We are rooting for you and wishing you the very best!