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Help the Pain
Jayne4694 posted:
I have back pain. I had 2 disks removed and I have another disk that keeps bulging out. Dr's know about this, but all they do is give me pain meds that really don't touch the pain because life goes on. I can't sit for long periods of time and I'm a secretary. I can't stand in one place for more than 5 minutes with out having to sway myself from one side to the other. I try to walk for exercise but I can't go more than 10-15 minutes because my back hurts so bad that I have all I can do to get back home.

My neck has 3 disks out of place, and severe arthritis in the neck. One disk is pressing on a nerve that goes down my shoulder and down my arm into my hand. I have numbness in my hand on and off. I have severe pain in my elbow and forearm along with pain going into my hand. My right hand that is which is amy domanent hand.

I was told yesterday that they beliveve that I have a Double crush of the deep radial nerve. He said they can try shots in my elbow or go straight to surgery but that will be the surgeon's decision.

I have to go for a nerve test on my arm to find out where exactly the nerve is crushed then decide what needs to be done.

I have to go for a spine MRI to get a better picture of the disks, to which I have degenerate disk disease.

The pain is so bad that I take 3600mg of nerve pain medicine a day. It makes me tired. Not tired enough to sleep but mellow's me out. I don't know if that's good because I suffer from depression and it adds to that.

I am a work o holic. I always feel I have to be at work and feel bad when I have to go to the Dr's and have to take the day off. But my husband always says you are a number there you can always be replaced. He's right everybody can be replaced, but I don't want to be that one. I've been told from many people with everything I have going on that I would be able to get disability. I don't want that. I'm not giving in to that. I just suffer with the pain.

Bottom line is I have so many health problems from head to toe and suffering from depression and anxiety. I think about death so much that sometimes I want it to be real.

davedsel57 responded:

I am sorry you are experience all this pain and health problems. I fully understand and empathize because I have been managing moderate to severe chronic pain for over 30 years. Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my whole story. I was able to keep working until two years ago. I contracted an attorney and applied for Social Security Disability (SSD) and was approved in two months.

It sounds like you are seeing the right doctors and will be having the appropriate diagnostic testing. Just be sure to get several opinions before having surgery. Statistics show that spinal surgery is only 50% effective for relieving pain and 80% effective for improving functionality. I have never had surgery as I have been told that I am beyond the help of any available spinal procedure.

I also fully understand your emotional situation. Please be sure to keep the lines of communication open with your husband, family members and trusted friends. Consider seeing a professional for help if needed. I know how hard this is emotionally, but you can learn to maintain a positive attitude despite your pain.

I've read other posts from you on this exchange stating you do not feel you are getting the support you need. That could be because this is a member-created exchange and does not get a lot of activity. You could try the WebMD Back Pain Community ( ) and/or the WebMD Pain Management Community ( ). Both of these exchanges have a Health Expert that occasionally reply to posts.

I wanted to post and encourage you to do your best to keep as active as possible, keep doing your research and keep a positive attitude.
- Blessings, Dave
lakenderesi responded:
Hi Jayne -
I am so sorry you have all these health problems, and depression and anxiety always seem to go hand in hand with severe pain. I know, as I am a car accident victim from what seemed like a "miracle" - I was rear-ended and my car was totalled, but I seemed to walk away unharmed. That is, until the shock wore off after 24 hours, and I started to have extreme shoulder and back pain. I am not afraid of surgery, but have been told that the recommended surgery - spinal fusion - has a low rate of success, and many people come out of it worse than before surgery. And so life goes on with the narcotics, antidepressents, and anti-anxiety meds. Who really wants to live like that long term? I don't, but at least the meds help me get out of bed. I am lucky to have a doctor who understands I am not and don't want to be a drug addict.
"Davedsel57" is right - you need to try to have support and communication. Another alternative to online, is to attend "live" meetings of disabled people/groups that are organized in your community. If you are able, it can be better to see and hear people like yourself that can share. I know it is difficult and you can really feel alone - I had so-called friends and family who just didn't want to be bothered with me anymore (and I am not a complainer or seeking help all the time) - my doctor said this is quite common, unfortunately. My prayers and my heart goes out to you, as you try to find your way on this difficult road.

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