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Bulging discs at L 3/4 and L 4/5 - drastic pain treatment?
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Aithne posted:
Hi everyone!

I am a 40 year old woman (almost 41) and I've been living with chronic pain for 2-3 years. I has been absolutely horrible. It felt like pelvic pain at first..still often have pain in that area now. I went the gynecological route for a long time; I even had a hysterectomy, thinking that it would stop the pain. It didn't stop the pain in the least, and recovery was a nightmare.

In my search for what was causing me so much pain, I was tested for many different things. I found that I have lyme disease, so sought treatment for that for awhile, but found absolutely no relief for the pain I was feeling. Finally, I asked to be referred to a pain mgmt. specialist. He helped me get off of the pain meds that I'd become addicted to, (the addiction experience was HORRIBLE) so I'm really thankful to him for that. He also had me get an MRI done, which showed two bulging discs at L3/4 and L4/5 that are hitting nerves. The L 4/5 disc seems to protrude the most, toward the left side, and my left leg is very much affected.

Anyway, I'm glad to have FINALLY found out the cause for the incessant pain, and am very grateful to be off of the norco (that stuff is wicked.. what a cruel and vicious circle it creates!) I had terrible wrist and ankle pain for a long time, and thought it might be from the lyme disease, but since being off of norco, it has gotten MUCH better. I received a corticosterol (epidural type) injection about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I had high hopes that it would make a big difference, but so far, it doesn't seem like it has. My lower back hurts SO much.

I am just SO worn out from being in pain for such a long time. I just don't want to feel it anymore..AT ALL! I know that I sound like a wimp, but I just am..I'm a complete wimp when it comes to physical pain like this. I am wondering if anyone can share about any other treatments for this type of condition? I find that I am just exhausted most all of the time, and that the pain is still here everyday, holding me back from doing the things that I want to do. I just want it GONE oh so badly! I remember having epidurals during labor and the relief they gave.. I want that kind of relief. *sigh*

I AM a lot better than I was, (was completely at the end of my rope a few weeks ago) but I am still not doing well. I am desperate for help.. I am not able to cope with this well at all. I'd let them do just about anything to me if it would make the pain STOP for good! I am probably being completely naive here, but I've wished I could just have my spinal cord severed just above the pain, if that would end it. I hardly ever walk anyway in the condition I'm in, so giving that up wouldn't bother me much. If I couldn't walk, but had no pain, I know I'd be much more productive and happy than I am now. I wonder if this would work to stop the pain? I wonder if anyone has ever had this done? I don't imagine I'd ever find a doctor willing to do it, but if it would take away this incessant pain for good, I'd sure like to have it done. I feel like pain has stolen and continues to steal my life away from me; it's hurting my family so much as well. I already use a wheelchair often, as walking exacerbates pain, so am used to it and don't mind it. I know there'd be toileting issues, but I'd happily learn to deal with them if only I could be pain free. For me, it would be completely worth it.

I haven't been able to find any information on anything like this, and can't help but be curious.. am I the only person who's ever wondered about this? I'm afraid to ask my dr. as I fear he'll think I'm crazy, but if doing something this drastic would end this pain nightmare, I'd do it in a heartbeat (if any dr. were willing to help me in this way.)

Hurting and Desperate,
Tracy
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davedsel57 responded:
Hello and welcome.

I am sorry to read of your pain. I fully understand.

No doctor would every perform the procedure you are thinking about. There are far more effective ways of managing chronic pain from spinal conditions that that.

You need to do some research. Below are links to websites that have good information.

WebMD Back Pain Health Center: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/default.htm

Spine Health: http://www.spine-health.com/

Spine-Universe: http://www.spineuniverse.com/

You would also benefit from finding a good counselor and getting some therapy. There are psychologist and psychiatrists that treat chronic pain patients. You can talk to your primary doctor about a referral or recommendation.

Make sure your doctor(s) that treat your spinal conditions are spine specialist such as spinal orthopedic surgeons or spinal neurosurgeons. Find a good pain management specialist. A newer type of this specialty is called a physiatrist. These doctors offer a wide variety of treatments, procedures and methods for managing pain.

As I said, I fully understand. I have been managing chronic pain from multiple degenerative spinal conditions for over 30 years. I know what you are feeling but there is hope and there is help.

Keep doing your research. Keep moving as much as possible. Keep a positive attitude.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

Dave


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