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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi all. I don't know where to begin.

Let me summarize my medical background:

-- 1988 traction for bulging discs; lumbar;
-- 1994 lumbar surgery for herniated discs;
-- 1995 cervical surgery for stenosis;
-- 1997 lumbar surgery "flatback syndrome" Harrington Rods;
-- 2000 cervical surgery for "kyphosis" Harrington Rods cervical/thoracic region. What should have been a 1 day surgery of 6-8 hours was a 2 day surgery for a total of 12 hours;
-- 2003 sugery to left leg for blood clot;
-- 2006 Spinal Cord Stimulator Implanted;
-- 2007 Surgery for pancreatic cancer; tail of pancreas and spleen removed;
-- 2011 Spinal Cord Stimulator Removed.

Other healths issues:

-- Diabetic;
-- Absent left Kidney -- congenital condition;
-- Kidney disease of right kidney

Other issues:

-- EMG done showed severe arthritis of the cervical & lumbar spine; severe arthritis; & peripheral neuropathy, severe numbness of the left leg from knee down to foot; now the neuropathy has spread to the right leg;
-- MRI show Myelomalacia of ther cervical spine with stenosis/narrowing at C6/7 levels
-- Symptoms: Pain level various from tolerable at time to severe. I get severe neck pain; radiating pain to shoulders; difficulty sitting; standing or walking for any length of time; times I get a feeling that my spine is being crushed; like my spine is in a vice and it just gets tighter and tighter. Difficulty getting out bed or standing up from seated position
-- I try to go to the gym for some help. I have done pool therapy, exercises to help build up the upper back; neck & arm area; I do the treadmill at times to for cardiovascular. But the issue I have is first I have balance issues so I do hold on to the sides to balance myself. But lately even when I hang on I have to stop because I feel issues with my arms.
-- My neurosurgeon has noted neurologcal deficits in my arms from the myelomalacia. I feel the weakness in my arms. Holding my gym bag which is light takes a lot out of me. I know I am getting weaker and weaker as the days and weaks go by. The pain level seems to be occurring more frequently and in intensity as well.
-- my surgeon is afraid to do surgery on the cervical spine because partially of the surgeries already done to the neck; and because of my diabetes and kidney issue I am at increased risk for problems. But his biggest concern on more surgery is that to reach the area that is the problem he said it would be a nightmare. He would have to go thru the sternum to reach the area.

I am currently on Hydrocodone 7.5 and 750 mg acetemenophin. I can take 1 1/2 tablets 4 times a day maximum. And Tizanidine 2 mg 3x'x per day.
Sometimes the medication makes me extremely tired and lightheaded. Sometimes it does take the edge off but I still have major problems.
At times it feels like I am screaming on the inside because of the pain. I find I can do less and less as each day goes by. Like the treadmill i used to be able do 1/2 on the treadmill. I would do 10-15 minutes then go back and do more. The other day it was a struggle to do 4 minutes.

I am in the process of getting my records over to a pain management doctor for evaluation to see what else can be done. I am limited on medications because of the kidney issues. I can not take NSAID because of the kidney disease. So I am limited on what I can take and what might work. Also with diabetes my understanding is that some medications may affect my blood sugar.

I am totally frustrated. I feel that my nerve problems are getting worse and worse. I don't know if there is anything that they can do to stop it at this point. If surgery cant be done, then what. I was told exercise but that isn't helping. They cant bring back the nerves that have already been severly damaged. What will happen to me if nothing can be done in a year or two years down the right.

I feel totally helpless. I did speak to a pain doctor, while the spine was not his field he is the one that referred me over to the other pain doctor that I am getting my records transferred over to. One thought was the morphine pump for pain. He did mention other drugs some I have been on already such as neurontin which didnt help. I was on Baclofen but had trouble breathing while taking it

I feel like I am running out of hope and time. I am 59 years old. I have not worked since January of 2003 and on SSDI. I know I can't work again.

Where do I go from here? I desparately need help!!!!! I am so scared that my condition is worsening and I live alone.

I feel so alone. Does any have any suggestions? I know the people in here will understand me, the pain the frustrations.

Sorry that this was a long post. thanks for listening.


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