hello i had a lumbar fusion surgery back in feb. i have my L4 L5 and my S1 all fused i have 14 screws 4 rods and 2 disc spacers y pain is through the roof and nothing helps but narcotics ive tried most all of the popular nonnarcotics but nothing touches my pain im in the military and i cont do my job while on narcotics i just want to get back to work???
I'm not quite sure exactly what your question is here, so I'll just offer you my opinion. That's a pretty tough surgery, and a whole lotta hardware, to go through and not expect to be in a lot of pain. I understand, and commend you, for just wanting to go back to work. But is it possible that you're just expecting a little too much too soon? You may have to continue the pain meds and the healing process a while longer before you can step down in meds and be active enough to return to work. Are you still going to physical therapy? Doing whatever exercises they've given you at home? Time, healing, pt, medication - it all plays a part. It doesn't matter how much you may want to jump back in if your body just hasn't had time to heal enough to do so. Not everybody can move at the same schedule, some do well earlier and some need a bit longer. What is your Dr telling you? Maybe you just need to cut yourself some slack for a bit longer!
I was about to write the same thing as above. Must be good advice! In all seriousness, has your doctor cleared you to return to duty? Does your job mandate that you are not to do it while on certain medications or is it the way those meds make you feel that prevents you from your duties? There are things like Flexor patches that are nonnarcotic that provide relief where your pain is focused. It is a prescribed medication. Have you tried alternative options like acupuncture? I haven't, but I know some people swear by it. One last idea... counseling with a person who is trained in managing pain can do wonders. It isn't like a talk therapy session, at least not for me, but rather practice to use your body to help relieve pain. I have been through intense therapy using biofeedback machines as well as simpler therapy where I learned different approaches to handling the pain. I have had good outcomes with both. I wish you health and relief so you can get back to the life you desire. TC
You have to try to see these procedures as a serious trauma and you can slowly start working on adjusting your mind and expectation to the fact that no matter how you look at it, you just did undergo a severe trauma. What does that mean ? Well, it means that the life after the surgeries might not ever be the same as it used to be before the surgeries. It is just a fact, and it is totally up to you to see this reality as negative or also to see it as a positive. You control the reaction and response to that traumatic event. The pain levels you had before, might never be the same either and that is a fact but you determine if you view it negatively or positively.Again here, you do not control what happened to you but you have 100% control over how you choose to react to those events in your life. I hope it doesn't sound to cynical, but really right now you need to learn and recognize what you can and cannot control.
That will help you set more realistic expectations and cause much less distress for you. Your reaction or response to anything that is just happening with your body or reactions to pain are all yours,you can learn to control them well over time and than you make the experience what you would like it to be. This is as opposed to just passively suffering and taking everything that happens without giving yourself a chance to chose your response to anything. Do not forgo your ability to control your responses and reactions to anything that is taking place within your body or even with your life.
You are entering the world of dealing with chronic pain, welcome here, you are not alone, there are many of us here. This is a complex and deep journey towards humble self discovery. You will learn a lot about all the drugs and specialist and approaches but most of all you will learn to have a good relationship with your body and you will learn how to choose the type of reaction you would like to deploy when certain things take place.
It feels overwhelming and discouraging and sometimes it is so unpleasing but if you choose to react against the flow of negativity with positive thoughts, you will beat this and win. You are strong, use all the tools you can find, try them all, and always keep in mind that it is up to you how you react to whatever just happen. Even though it might seem as you have no control in this situation, you in fact may have more control than you think. You always have the right to react the way you choose, no one can take that away from you. Progressively you will learn to react positively and not let things overwhelm you and you will figure out how to live. Give it time be patient and work on trying to control your reactions to the situations at hand. I hope this makes sense and I hope it will help you. Chronic pain is very challenging and complex not just for you but for everyone around you. No one said it would be easy, but if you want, you can do it. Many,many others had to do it as well and so can you.
That's one HUGE surgery you had there! My spinal surgeries took a good year to heal, and that was with every modality of care possible. I'm actually surprised that they are allowing you to continue active duty? Any time you have surgery your body is forever changed. If you are thinking you will be 100% the same, I'm sorry to say this, but you won't. You can learn new ways of doing things and adjust, but even then you will have problems in other areas due to stress of putting more weight/activity than was supposed to be. This is an incredibly large change - the above comments are right. You are only 3 months out - realistically expect a year, use every kind of therapy you can get, and then pay for even more out-of-pocket. Therapy will help, not only with biofeedback, etc. but with dealing with the stress and change in your life. Take a deep breath, and keep on going. You've still got quite a journey ahead of you. Take gentle care - ElizaJane (I used to be active duty, so I do understand).
My surgery was in Jan 2007 to relieve pressure on the siatic nerve going down my left leg. The nerve had been painfully active so long that after surgery, it kept thinking it was being pain stimulated even though it was not. After 5 months I went to a Chiropractor who did a complete exam followed by a combination TENS/Ultra Sound stimulation treatment. Within 5 sec of the switch being thrown, all pain went away. It gradually came back between treatments for about a month or two. Two treatments a week, about 30 min each. Then after one of the treatments, the pain never came back. That was the last treatment. The nerve had learned it was no longer being pinched. That was in May of 2007 and the pain never came back. It is now August 2013. Nerves are not very smart. Once they have been firing constantly long enough, they just don't know when to stop sending pain signals to the brain.
Good luck with whatever you try.
My original disease was degenerative disk disease with some bone spurs. This means gravity and age did not rupture or herniate the disks, the disks just became very thin so there was no room for the nerves branching off the spine to pass into my left leg without being pressed upon. I had gone from 5' 8-3/4" to 5' 8". I had lost 3/4" due to thinning disks. Before the surgery, the pain had hit 13 on a scale of 0-10 one night and I had a trip to the ER. It took 12 mg or Morphine in three 4 mg shots to shut the pain down. Two epidurals and daily Gabapentin held me together from Oct 6, 2006 till the surgery on Jan 18 2007.
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