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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Thank you so much for your reply! I guess you would probably know as much as anyone the pain I'm having. I can't imagine it getting much worse and me being able to put up with it. I'm very discouraged since we don't have insurance. I wouldn't be able to afford to have back surgery and if that's the solution to my problem, I'm thinking I might have to live to ever-increasing pain the rest of my life. I don't see an answer unless by some fluke of luck my husband would get insurance some year. Since we aren't real young (I'm 51 and he's 55), I don't know if that will ever happen or not since employers aren't real keen on hiring older people, not around here anyway. At this point with as much pain as I have and after reading what you said, I'd be more inclined to have surgery (if I could) than I was before. For some reason the doctor said at the free clinic that "we'd" want to avoid surgery at my age (I still can't imagine why he thinks I'm too young??!!). I said to my husband that the doc must want me to suffer until I'm 70 or 80 and I might get to have a back with little pain for a very short time before I croak. Sheesh. I have an orthopedic consult with another doctor next month, which I don't know what will come of that since I don't see that I can do much anyway because of our finances.

Are you taking any pain pills right now? I assume that you have pain in your back. I probably might as well not even take anything because I don't even know if the Neurontin is helping at all, and all those other ones didn't do anything either. It's very discouraging. I've been waiting for almost half a year to get this appointment with the orthopedic doctor for next week. I don't see why it takes so long to get in.

Could you explain to me just what L5-S1 means? I don't know what the letters and numbers mean when referring to a back problem. I wish I could feel like I could ask the doctor I've seen a few times for this, but it's always so rushed in there.

So are you saying that they usually operate on a person whose disc fragment is only 3-4" instead of waiting until it gets bigger? I wonder if those people are already in enough pain that they think they have to have surgery then. I wonder how they'd feel if they'd be you or me? :O Here I thought maybe I was being a big baby feeling like crying sometimes but when after reading my MRI report and reading what you said about my fragment being large, I know there actually is a problem.

Even if I would someday be able to have this fragment removed, could it grow back? I guess there's always a chance of getting another one anywhere, isn't there? I know that you said you had another fragment 7 years ago. Oh, to feel an immediate relief of pain would be so wonderful! I've had back problems for quite awhile but it wasn't until the past few years that I've noticed this particular pain, only it wasn't so bad then. Have you ever felt like jumping off a bridge to end your pain? :(

What causes these back problems? I thought it was probably because I'm getting older, but I read about people much younger than me having back problems. Did you have any kind of a trauma to your back at all that would have caused any back problems?

I had pain running down my one leg a few months ago and then down the other leg. I was like that for a month or so. I had trouble walking because of it hurting so bad. The doctor said I probably had a herniated disc. Does my report indicate that? I don't understand all of these terms and maybe something on the report means the same thing as a herniated disc.

I wish I'd have mentioned to my doctor that I also get shoulder blade pain a lot but I don't think I did. Even though I have it a lot, my lower back pain is so bad that I just forgot to mention that other pain. I hope the MRI checked my entire back and not just the lower part in case something would be wrong somewhere else. I'm sure they wouldn't send me for another MRI if the first one wasn't set up to check my entire back.

What is disc degeneration and space narrowing? I think that at least one of these means that my discs are becoming closer because of losing the cushioning between them. Is that right? Is there anything that can be done about that or not?

Ya know, it's funny that you should mention my bladder! I'm amazed that my back problem and that could be related! The doctor didn't ask me about that. I don't have any bladder spasms like you do. I urinate frequently but when I do it's not a lot, but yet I can feel shortly after that that I have to go again, especially close to bedtime. When I saw a urologist a few years ago because of this problem he widened my tubes because that works for some people, but it didn't work for me. I've been saying to doctors that I feel that there's something blocking my urine flow or doing something to keep it from coming out because I get the feeling that I have more in there than what will come out. When I went to the urologist for the very first time, I visited the restroom in that building right before I walked into his office and I was seen within five minutes. He put a catheter in me and got a lot out of me. Now, you would think that there would have hardly been any since I had just gone to the restroom, so I was amazed that there was that much! Maybe I shouldn't do it but I strain sometimes when I'm trying to urinate because I feel like there's more in there. I manage to get a little more out, not much. Like my back problem, this other problem is very frustrating. I'm so glad that you mentioned that.

I don't have to pay for the orthopedic appointment, however the arrangement is made between them and the free clinic. I want an honest, non-biased answer to my questions, so I'm not going in there saying right away that I can't afford an operation. I want to see if that's actually what the doctor would recommend or not without hearing that from me. I don't want it to sway him in one direction or the other. I guess I will have to tell the doctor sometime during the appointment that I wouldn't be able to get the surgery if that's what is recommended, but then I don't know what would happen from there. I have no idea what these surgeries cost and don't know if the hospital and doctor would be willing to take monthly payments but with what we'd be able to pay them, I can imagine with medical costs not being cheap, it would probably take us eons to pay it off. I don't know if there's any special program that the hospital would have to cover the costs (or partially cover) of a surgery. It sure would be nice. If only the doctor I used to see had looked into my back problems further rather than me having an x-ray done in his office and then saying nothing was wrong with my back. I have had depression and with having to deal with the back pain, I've become even more depressed despite being on an anti-depressant. I wish I had an answer. I just don't think I will be able to put up with this much longer. Thank you for your replies. I hope you have as much success with your surgery this time as you did before.


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