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My sciatica and other lower back pain is getting unbearable
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An_189536 posted:
I saw a pain management doctor for the past 2 years and stopped in January 2010 when he gave me about half a dozen cortisone injections so I could attend an important function. 2 mos. later I wound up dizzy and weak and fell on top of brick pavers. My knees were fine but a week after that I felt awful weaker than ever, dizzy, walking into things, tripping on things, couldn't think properly at all and so I went into the hospital via the ER for a lot of blood/urine testing. Turns out I had adrenal insufficiency from all those cortisone shots, and my cortisol was very low. After spending 4 days in the hospital the endo prescribed 10mg of hydrocortisone each morning and I started a new antidepressant with another doctor and felt well for weeks.

Then the last blood tests came in, and my cortisol is normal but on the low side, so the endo lowered my dose from 10mg to 5mg each morning. Then my anxiety and depression seemed to get worse with everything going on in my life (a whole lot of stressful things) and I called him and he said I could take 10mg of the HC again for 7 days and then o back to the 5mg until I see him next month.

Well when I switched just for 2 days back to the 10mg of the HC, I had the worst headaches for the full two days and went back to the 5mg and voila, no more headaches.

I am about ready to go into a local hospital for psychological evaluation of all my problems (just for women) for about a week since I feel there is nothing to fulfill me in my life. All I do is worry about all my family members and am getting close to no support from my husband. On my worst day this past Sunday, I could not stop crying for all my pain, and all he did was yell at me to go to the ER,or yell at me about other things, demanding "what do you want me to do?"

After being married 36 years I would think he could think of something worthwhile to make me feel better, but he spent hours trying to fix a printer I picked up at a garage sale cheap but our son told me it would never be able to be fixed since it was a piece of junk. So I took the printer and slammed it down on the concrete floor feeling good about it.

Any advice for me...I am in the midst of getting my parents into a nursing home, onto Medicaid (maybe some day before they pass), giving support to another relative in desperate need of my support, and I feel like a total piece of nothing. I have no pleasure in my life, and now my husband wants to work 4 more hours per week to make more money when he already comes home around 11:30pm every night.

Help!
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bj1208 responded:
Hi Anon_27417 -

sorry it has taken so long to get back to you - but I think a lot of the members may have read and re-read your post not knowing exactly what to say - you have posted this on the chronic pain support group but will try to help you as much as possible.

One thing - you may want to talk to you primary care physician about everything that is going on - let him/her know who the endo doc is that you are seeing and what goes on with the meds - and the psychiatrist too and the meds that you are on -

have your primary doc review all the meds and to a cross reference to see how well they interact with each other and if there could be a problem with them. I would also have your primary care physician refer you to a new/different pain management doc - there is something just not right about the pain management doc u saw giving shots in those types of doses - All doctors that you see must be made aware of ALL the meds you are taking - this way they can make sure that your meds are working properly and they don't interact with each other causing problems.

Once this is done then I would put everything else you are doing on FULL STOP -

1) Your parents - are there any other members that can take over on this - brothers or sisters?

2) Your relative that you are giving support to - Isn't there some other relative that can take over on this?

YOU NEED 'YOU' TIME - SO LOOK BACK AND REMEMBER WHAT MADE YOU HAPPY; I.E., PLANTING FLOWERS, READING SOWING, KNITTING ETC., GET BACK INTO IT.

You need to work on yourself and your marriage and your child(ren) as it seems your depression is driving them away and your anger is getting in the way too.

You do need to find a support group for depression - you need to be able to talk to someone about the problems going on in your life. i'm sure on the WEBMD site there is a site for depression where you can discuss your problems more in dept with those members. You do need to get help as soon as possible so that you can get back on the road to recovery.

take care - let us know what happens with your primary care appt -Joy~~
 
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An_189537 responded:
Hi,
I'm so sorry for all you're going thru right now.

What helps me is to take all my burdens & hurts to the Lord and pour them all out at His feet & really 'rest' in His presence. Reading the Psalms, which is in the old testament portion of the Bible is very comforting. I also purposely think of all I have to be grateful for and it really helps to shift my perspective when there's so much junk going on around me. The Lord loves you more than you will ever be able to comprehend and he knows intimately about pain, suffering, betrayal, rejection and so much more. I'll pray He lifts u above the circumstances today and guides your footsteps...
 
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An_189538 replied to An_189537's response:

all the doctors on my team know each other well. the endo and primary both took care of my adrenal insufficiency and I am feeling much better in that regard. I had seen another pain doc prior tot he other one I saw, and since he is out of network I have decided to reach out to my rheumy doc tomorrow about all my back and sciatica pain. He never gave me cortisone shots, but some other kind that didn't cause any bad side effects.

Thanks to both of you for your replies. I have started to read the psalms mentioned in one reply and I'd like to buy a book with them in it.
 
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Geradine4733 responded:
You and your husband need to go to a psychologist for marriage counseling. Marriage should be supporting one another. You are both acting like children.

You need to communicate with each other - not yelling and smashing things. Men want to fix things. He can not fix what you have so he is frustrated and yells which does not help. He thinks if he can fix the printer it will help him. It is his way of relieving the tension. This is childish but your smashing things is too.

I am sure that your husband loves you but many men do not know how to act. He did not know how to fix your crying but he thought maybe the ER could help you.

He could be more supportive and senstive but he is still your husband after 36 years so give him credit that he still cares for you.

You are not getting anything out of the marriage, and neither is he. This is difficult for your children to see too. You have given up your power and you are expecting other people to fix you. If you go to counseling you have a chance to regain your power and recharge your batteries by regaining your self esteem. You can not expect others to help you if you do not try to help yourself.

I am sorry if I am being harsh but you must regain your power. If you regain your power, you can not only help yourself but you can give encouraging words and support to your children. This will help them - your worrying won't.

Best wishes that your life gets better. Going to counseling will be like a life preserver thrown to you when you are overwhelmed with your grief. Being able to communicate with your family will empower you and that will help you.

Good luck.
 
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An_189539 replied to Geradine4733's response:
I certainly was not thinking properly at the time of my argument and I have a lot of family crisis going on at the same time, so I was totally overwhelmed when the pain intensified. You cannot, however, say that I am not getting out of the marriage when I was only talking about what happened on one particular day. Generally, we discuss everything, but when my pain is overwhelming he is at a loss as what to do. He had all good intentions, but it is true that I did not give him a chance. I displayed anger when I should not have and should have been able to calm myself down which I was unable to do that day.

To show him my appreciation for all he does for me, since he worked on Father's Day, we spent another day that he had off, saw a special movie he had wanted to see, ate where he wanted to and it was a wonderful "date" night! He's been really happy and noticed that i went out of my way to please him insead of putting him down.

So things in our relationship are back to normal....and I went back to a former rheumatoligist who will be helping me in many ways with my back and fibro pain.

Thank you for thinking of me.
 
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bj1208 replied to An_189539's response:
hi Anon_27147 - I know Geradine was looking out for your best interest - I believe we all were! we took your post as a means that you were reaching out to us for help - and it did sound as though you were at wits ends -

As we have not had a chance to actually meet you and know your background sometimes we do react to how the post comes across -

I am glad that you are going to your former doctor for your pains - it's horrible when the chronic pains can take control of our lives - even if it's a fly by night fight or a daily one - we all need the help of a support group and that's what we try to do -

i hope you continue to post and let us know how u are doing - even if it's just to vent!!! we all need to do that and it does help when there are lots of shoulders here to cry on - God knows we ALL have been there and done that -

take care and let us know how things are going - Joy~~
 
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DUKE MEDICINE
Joe T Minchew, MD responded:
Anon

I am sorry that you are going through such a difficult period with your pain issues as well as with phsychological, emotional and family issues in your life. You have already gotten some very supportive and useful advice from other members of the exchange. As you know, this is an extremely difficult and complex problem and there are clearly no simple or easy solutions. Chronic pain is a terrible illness that devestates both the patient and their loved one. The worst part is that often there really is not a "fix" but only things that can make it better.

Unfortunately, your depression has a negative impact on your pain condition and your pain condition has a negaive impact on your depression. It is a very viscious cycle that is hard to break. This is not to imply that the "pain is in your head" but point out that the "pain gets into your head". Studies have shown that people that are under psychological or emotional distress percieve painful stimuli more intensely. In other words, if you perform something painful like a poke with a pin exactly the same way to a person under stress, they will rate the pain caused as greater than someone not under stress (a 5 of 10 intensity versus a 2 of 10 intensity. It is critical that any pain treatment that you pursue has a psychological component. This can include a person in the pain clinic or a separarte therapist like mentioned seeing or both. It is important that your pain physicians and you psychological therapist or psychiatrist work closely together to ensure you address pain and depression and that meds to not negatively interact.

Another important step moving forward is work hard on changing your daily focus from "fixing the pain" to minimizing the pain and maximizing your function. The pain is probably going to be there no matter what so you can either withdraw from everything you love and hurt or you can do the things you love and hurt. The latter would seem to be the better place. You do not have to be afraid of being active and hurting. The pain you experience is not like the pain from a burn. You are not "burning" your back if it hurts. There is no tissue damage associated with the pain from fibromyalgia and other similar conditions. There is no danger of damaging things if you try to do more.

Good luck! I hope that this was helpful in some way.

JTM
 
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An_189540 replied to Joe T Minchew, MD's response:
I have been seeing someone to talk to about my various issues, which is helping me tremendously. I am much more positive, and even went back to a rheumatologist who I had not seen in 2 years due to his difficult staff members. Ironically, they are all gone and it was a very pleasant experience. He spent over an hour with me, touching bases on all aspects of my healthcare, which was wonderful!

He started by giving me injections that contain very little cortisone and mostly another chemical that has no side effects. It helped immediately! Now he wants me to start a neuro biofeedback study being conducted by a psychologist who is using a room in his offfice and I am very much interested.

Thank you for all my replies, as I appreciate each and every one of them!


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