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husband has sever chronic pain
StarMargar posted:
I have been with my husband for 20 years and have literally known him since we were in diapers. he was a 215lb man with no body fat at all. he was misdiagnosed with spinal bifida when he was 13 after he briefly lost mobility in both legs. at the age of 19, he was pushing his truck off to the side of the road and slipped 4 disc in his lower back. he had surgery after 9 months in a bent position, un able to straighten his back. the doctor removed 2 discs and shaved the other 2. (this is how it was explained to me) a week after surgery, my husband got an infection in the incision. the doctor treated it with standard antibiotics. my husband was doing moderately ok after that with medication for pain and stay active. he is now 38 and over the years he has progressively started losing feeling and control over both legs and and is now in a wheelchair. his pain is so sever that he cant eat because he nauseous all the time. he is now 115lbs. he suffers with pain and muscle spasms all the time. he doesn't leave the bed because of the pain. it hurts to move. the doctors have tried procedures. cortisone and steroid shots. he wasn't a candidate for a pump because the medications made him unable to urinate for 3 days. they tried to burn nerves in his spine. the trail for that one caused his legs to draw up to him and spasm for 2 days. they couldn't do it. he is withering away and the doctors don't seem to know what to do to help him. hes scared to try another surgery because he feels all this started with the first one. (only one hes had). I need advice on what I can do to try to help him. who should I talk to? he is withering away before my eyes and I don't know how much longer his body is going to hold out. please help me!
seabreezn responded:
You & your Husband sound like you need immediate intervention . Have you tried talking with a " Pt. Advocate " of the local hospital you go to ? A well informed advocate can usually point you in the direction of a Dr. that can begin to help your husband once he gets all the facts - medical files etc , I so hope you've kept a list of medical procedures , the year they were done & by which Dr. an the end result = A medical synopsis . ...I wish I could help you more as the situation you describe is not the way to live - While you are in search of " better care " sometimes trying natural remedies can temporarily help .
Slow deep breathing = yogic breathing , meditation , prayer if it suits you and very slow stretching so your husbands muscles don't atrophy . I know when your in the midst of this , the above may sound foolish but , temporarily they can help with depression / stress . Even a change of scenary can help with the day in /day out survival mode you sound like your in.
As a care-giver you also need to chat this out with other caregivers - you'd be surprised what you can learn to help both of you.
The USA is failing people in pain miserably with these new health care changes - it's down right inhumane that many Dr.'s don't want to help complicated cases especially if your health insurance is lacking . Unfortunatly , with no forsight these Dr.'s are setting themselves up for the same if not worse treatment . There are millions of people suffering needlessly - I pray that your lives will change . Prehaps some research in other types of medicine would help - accupuncture etc . Open yourselves up to the non-tradional . Regarding nutrition , small , slowly chewed bites of food , nutrient drinks etc. may help ...Go easy on yourselves emotionally , hyper-stress can do great harm / Reach out to your community and don't be quiet about it until you both find some help .
Know your not alone an people do care . Good Luck .
PS; Have you checked out the Mayo Clinic on-line ? Also , they are a "free" hospital and one of the best . May the Almighty bless you both
dfromspencer responded:
To me, it sounds like the first doctors that gave the operation, screwed up? I can't believe they would remove two discs, and shave even more? Did they replace the lost discs with anything? If not, how was he able to stand erect at all? It sounds like he was using muscles, instead of bones, and that that, has done him harm? Squeezing the discs together, may have caused some nerve damage? There may be some mal-practice going on here???

You need to do what Seabreezen suggested!!! See that patient advocate. Ask them for some help. At least its a start.

I wish you the best of luck, and a speedy recovery for your hubby!!!

Peter Abaci, MD responded:
My heart goes out to you and your husband. You both need all of the support that you can get as you work through this challenging and complex situation. There may be at least two significant factors contributing to your husband's physical limitations. One factor may be neurological deficits related to all that his spine has been through over the years. But another factor limiting his function may be the pain itself. Your doctors may have a sense of how much nerve damage exists that they could discuss with you.

One way to work through a situation where pain severely limits a person's function is through a very comprehensive interdisciplinary rehabilitation program. This type of treatment can potentially be delivered in either an outpatient or inpatient setting depending on what is available and what would be best for your husband. For example, I help run an outpatient program where patients come in for several hours every day for six weeks. They get a lot of education and guided rehabilitation to learn how to function better and manage their pain more effectively. In some cases, patients dependent on things like walkers or canes and even wheelchairs are able to learn to walk without them once they learn to retrain muscles and better manage their pain.

I would suggest looking into seeing if your husband is a candidate for a very comprehensive program. Caregivers need lots of support, too, and I hope your doctors can also help connect with you support while trying to help your husband at the same time. Best of luck.

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Peter Abaci, MD , is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate educat...More

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