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Sleep Disorders Message Board

Sleep Disorders Board Index

No Change,
I feel your pain. Not sleeping AND being in pain at the same time is a cruel joke by whomever is running the show. Ya I know about Valium. Valium is xanax's big brother.
Where xanax is very fast acting and lasts about 3-4 hours, Valium take longer to get going and it lasts longer (longer half life). Bottom line is they both have sedative properties but they can be terribly addicting.

Clonazepam is another benzodiazepine like xanax (Alprazolam) and Valium (Diazepam). Clonanepam is brand name Klonopin and its really an anticonvulsant and muscle relaxer that also has sleep inducing properties. It works for some. A gal that I dated before I met my Wife had Restless Leg Syndrome and mild insomnia and that is what she took. I worked great for her. Not for me.

As far as my medical history, its long but I will try to keep it short.
In High School I was involved in a freak accident where, during a kickoff, the kicker shanked the ball and instead of going far back to one of the return guys it came straight at me. I was way up front and my job was to block. I caught the ball and looked around and realized I was toast. There was nobody close enough to block the whole other team that was sprinting down the feild like rabid wolves. They figured if the hit me hard enough I would cough up the ball and fumble it. I took two steps and tried to just go to the ground but I was too late. As far as I know, at least three of their biggest guys hit me at the same time and one hit me right in the head. I had my head down as if I was looking at the ground. So when he hit me it compressed my neck really bad and gave me a horrible concussion. I was knocked out cold but held onto the ball ;-). This was a 1/10000 type deal so its no reason to ban HS Football. Plus, I was the one who put my head down wrong. Anyway, after that I couldn't play the last 3 games of the season and was in a neck brace. I was occassionally having numbness in my elbow and fingers but within a few months it went away.

Fast forward to my Junior year in College. I was working part time at a John Deere tractor dealership and shop so I could put myself through Chico State. I was on the steam rack where we pull big tractors up and steam clean them with pressurized 220* steam/water via this big wand similar to the ones you see and a DIY car wash. I was standing on top of a tractor, straddling the seat while I cleaned the top of the motor. I went to move but I didn't realize that when I got up there, the parking brake handle had somehow gone up my pant leg. I lost my balance because I was expecting my leg to move and it didn't and I started to fall. I tossed the steam wand in the other direction I was falling and then fell 6 ft onto and concrete slab with about 6" of mud and grease on it. The mud wad actually a saving grace because it softened the blow. I landed on my right hip/butt and my head bounced off the muddy concrete and knew right away that something was wrong. I could move everything but I could not get up. Within a minute or two someone noticed the steam just blowing in one direction and came and found me. Bottom line, I herniated 3 disks in my lumbar spine and got another whopper of a concussion. My neck was tight but I didn't know problems had already started there. 4 months later I had two seperate "lumbar laminectomies". I had three very bulging disks and lucky that none of them ruptured. Fortunately I had kept my work out regiment going and I was running 5-7 miles 3x a week. If I had been out of shape the Dr said I would have ruptured at least one. Two were definitely pushing on the nerve roots going out of the right side of my spine and into my legs which cause terrible stabing pains in my right leg and right butt cheek. I had two surgeries because the nimrod Dr. I had then (this was 1992/1993) was terrible. While he was operating on my, even though the plan was to shave the offending parts of the disk of at two levels he said that he inspected both by eye (and head mounted scope) and one looked fine. The MRI said otherwise. So the idiot only did one disk. After I healed, what do you know, I still had the same problems!! He tried Physical Therapy and all kinds off meds and it just didnt respond so 8 months after the 1st surgery we are back on the table doing the 2nd. Back then the didn't use arthroscopic techniques for the spine yet. At least not where I lived. I was 23 with a 9" Frankenstein scar on my low back. After it healed an I did extensive PT I got back to about 85-90% I couldn't run anymore so my workouts had to be adjusted and sometimes it would still flair up so I stopped working out religiously. I finished college and had plans to go to Law School but (I hate to get political) Mr Raygun as part of his tax cuts for the rich, he cut the Social Security Survivors Benefits that I was getting because my Mother died when I was 14 and my dad was a low life drunk. So I was supposed to get that money as long as I stayed in college up to age 24. It was like $350 month which was a lot in then (college 1986-95). Surgeries put me on the 9 year plan. Point is that the money I thought I was going to get forced my to work more hours which hurt my grades and that forced me to start taking out Pell Grants. After I got my B.A. in Political Science I did some real soul searching about going to law school. I had good grades but not UC Berkely Holt Law School. I was looking at smaller/cheaper schools and just couldnt justify owing $150k by the time I was done. I already owed $13k which seamed like a mountain to me. At this time (1995) my back and neck were pretty good.

I ended up getting a job in finance. Great job but bad for the back. Flying a desk in terrible for a 6'5' guy with a bad back. Ergonomics were all wrong with the chair and cubical. Anyway, I started having flair ups that would force me to use my vacation on.

I managed to stay out of trouble until 2003. I was driving down a busy road where I live now and some lady came flying out of and Burger King Drive Thru (she made an illegal turn) and she nailed me in the passanger side front corner of my 1 year old Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer. I was going 35 mph and they estimated she hit 20mph in the short distance she traveled. Anyway, the seat belt grabbed me pretty hard and my neck snapped forward. Wasn't fast enough for the airbags to deploy. While my baby was in the shop I had a rental and I was out of town visiting two brothers and a nephew who just had turned 21. We took him out for his 1st legal beer and had dinner. I was following one of my brothers to his house as I was staying with you. We were in the middle of a torrential rain storm and I could barely see out of this car I had only driven a day or so. I knew the road like the back of my least I thought I did. A stupid but strange sequence of events took place. While driving my cell phone went off and I knew it was my wife calling to say goodnight. I reached for the phone and accidentally pushed it onto the floor. I have long arms so I look at the road and knew we were on a long straight country Highway and I could see my brothers tail lights way up in front of me. I reached down to the floor of this sedan and grabbed my phone and on the way up BAM! I ran right into the rear end of my brother. They had just put in a new stop sign a week prior and he had waited for me to catch up. I was in the most awkward position when I hit him. Because of the rain I was going about 45. Airbag didn't go off even though they are supposed to at 35mph collision. I snapped the seat belt in half and hit the stearing wheel. This is the crucial part and its hard to explain in just text. Because I was shifted to the right with my right arm extended out I hit the steering wheel with my left side of my chest and my right shoulder and arm kept going. The force nearly dislocated my shoulder. What it did do is bring to light that old neck injury from football and falling off the tractor. My right arm went numb and I felt like I had a knife cramed in between my spine and my right shoulder blade in a muscle group called the rhomboids. Excessive PT and lots of morphine did nothing. I lived in misery for several months. I had an MRI of my neck done and it showed severe narrowing of the space where the nerve root comes out of the spine and through the vertebrae and off into the neck and arms. That is what lead to the two level neck fusion. While recovering from that I was living a very sedentary lifestyle and was very depressed. I was making very very good money as a regional manager for a wholesale mortgage company. That was over and right at the height of the market. This sedentary depressed lifestyle led me to eating too much and I gained 50lbs. The extra weight around the mid section made my previous lumbar problems worse. An MRI showed 3 deteriorating disk that we dessicated (completely dried out). They were worthless and needed to come out fast. That led to a 11 hour long triple level lumbar fusion. I also had my shoulder scoped by Dr. Eric Heiden (if you ever watched Olympic Speed Skating you know who he is). He had the nerve to tell me after the surgery that he "didn't think there was anything in there to clean out but at least it gave him time to practice." I about punched him but my arm hurt so bad. I also had a hernia repaired and a pilonidal cyst removed from my tailbone. I had this very fibrous cyst that had corkscrewed from my tailbone to (there in no other way to put it) the base of my butt crack. You know plumber butt crack, lol. Oh man that hurt. He had to cut all this tissue out and then pack it with strips of gauze and I had to heal from the inside out. That cyst was a nightmare. I couldn't sit down for 3 weeks before the surgery and two after.

So thats the short of it. A 20 year span of some really bad luck, some stupid mistakes.....oh, I also found out that somewhere in the last 10 years my body pretty much stopped producing testosterone. So now I am on Hormone Replacement Therapy. My hands hurt from tryping. Hopefully reading this made you sleepy. Its 3am and I got to try and sleep.....see ya.

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