The CPA Forum is a goldmine of info and support. I do read everything, I feel I don't have a lot to offer as most of the crew here seem to have spinal issues, and mine is jaw/head/ears. So don't feel I have anything to offer on specifics of spinal cord simulators or fusion surgeries or the like.
But I do read it all, if I feel I can contribute I do. I've been on this hamster wheel for 25 years. I've seen a lot, tried a lot more. So I do understand, I just feel I don't have a lot to offer on a lot of topics. And the likes of Johnno, Peter and Jo are the pros.
Having said all that, this place is awesome. Just do remember it is 100% public.
Signed up to this forum a couple of weeks ago but only now getting around to introducing myself.
Hi! My name is Vanessa and I'm 40 years old and from Geelong.
I've had issues with my back for about 10 years now, only getting worse in the last five years following weight loss surgery. Who'd think, right? Pain with weight loss.
Anywho, I guess you could say my first "attack" was eight years ago. I was on holiday in Vegas and was resting on a bench. I bent over to pick up bags from the ground and bang, back went and I couldn't straighten. Had to stay bent for a few minutes before I could slowly straighten. Didn't have any issues following that.
My second attack was three months following my weight loss surgery. I crawled out of bed to go to the toilet but only made it as far as the bathroom. I collapsed to the floor and I felt really nauseas and broke out into a sweat. I was unable to move and just had to wait until it passed. Saw GP and was given NSAIDs and pain relief. Saw a chiro a few days later and had a few sessions but as he wanted me to come every few days, I stopped as it was costing me too much money.
So since then, I've had pain on and off. Initially had an x-ray that showed "L5/S1 disc space is mildly narrowed and this could be transitional" as well as "Incidentally T9/T10 disc space is mildly narrowed associated with anterior osteophytic lipping in keeping with degenerative disc disease."
MRIs and CTs followed which showed :
L5-S1: There is left paracentral/lateral disc bulge indenting the theca. No significant canal stenosis. The left foramen is slightly narrow and the left L5 nerve root could be irritated. Degenerative Modic type I changes involving the adjacent endplates.
L1-2 to L4-5: No significant disc herniation, canal or foraminal stenosis. Conus is at L1 and the cord signal appears normal.
Conclusion: Desiccated L5-S1 disc with a left lateral disc bulge. There is left foraminal extension and the left foramen is narrow. The exiting left L5 nerve root could be impinged.
These scans were all done in 2013. I work for my GP, that's why the detailed reports
I then had an updated MRI in 2016 which showed worsening of my disc bulge. It was after this that I was referred to a neurosurgeon here in Geelong.
So basically after a few consults and more scans, as the CT SPECT did not show "enough damage to warrant further investigation", he referred me to a chronic pain specialist. As I was going overseas a few days after I saw her, she didn't want to start me on medications. Upon my return, I commenced Lyrica and current dose is 150mg twice a day. Pain has somewhat remained the same since May last year when I first saw her, so I'm now booked in for a Ketamine infusion next week and we'll go from there.
The pain hasn't stopped me from doing every day things. I used to do pilates but stopped due to cost. I'm still seeing my personal trainer and do one session a week.
I've seen chiropractors, physiotherapists, myotherapists and hydrotherapy...none of which were able to provide me with some relief.
These days, the pain is really only brought on by prolonged standing, walking long distances and prolonged sitting. I sometimes can't sleep due to the pain, I can't lie flat on my back and as I'm a tummy sleeper, I gotta find the right position that doesn't cause me pain.
Fingers crossed the Ketamine works, otherwise I dunno where to go from here. Surgery at this stage is not an option and if it were, I'd want it to be the absolutely last resort.
Hi Nessa......the Ketamine infusion i have not heard of ....when i had my surgery i had it for pain then but did not know you could get it all the time....i have had spinal fusion and have a spinal simulator put in my back....i wont bore you with all the details...needless to say i am on drugs for pain but i think my body is getting used to them had them for so long.
I do hope that it works for you can you keep me posted how you go as it could be an opion for me and i am out of them.....put in the to hard basket for years now. Good Luck honey
You are an inspiration to those who suffer but think of others worse off than themselves I’ve seen you put some brilliant posts and you always have a kind word and you are able due to your ability to read everything on site you can direct others to where they can see what could help them .
You and all pain sufferers on site who willingly share their good and bad days are an inspiration to us all.
as long as I wake up alive I'm happy
Because it could be worse
Have you looked into Radio Frequency Neurotomy? Some Pain Specialists are qualified to perform this procedure. It is burning the nerve ends in your damaged area of your spine or other appropriate area, with microwave burning. It is easy enough to look up using Google. Finding a Specialist may be a different matter. Good luck, being a fellow sufferer, I understand what you are going through.