I'm a pain sufferer of 4 years now. I've just started to get a handle on things (I think). My pain started in April 2010 when I got a bulging disk doing squats at the gym. Right Side sciatic pain was getting no better so August 2010 i decided on a microdiscectomy. I ended up with 3 surgeries and 3 weeks in hospital. The microdiscectomy wasn't successful as the disc protruded further. I was given no choice but to have disk removed a titanium cage put in place and fusion of L4 L5 & S1. During the fusion my surgeon put 2 screws into far damaging my L4&L5 nerves on my left side. 3rd surgery was to correct the screws. Now my right leg is fixed but my left leg has nerve damage from the top of my fusion to the bottom of my left foot including foot drop and muscle wasting in my leg (Apparently my surgeon is not negligent he just made a technical error). I've had incredible pain, depression and anxiety since the surgeries. Life has gotten really hard. I'm seeing a psychologist now who is helping me cope with life as a CP sufferer.
Hi and welcome Kris,
Similar outcomes, 2 surgeries for me, except mine wasn't for screw problems, mine was bone growing through the nerve, product from the first surgery, have they made a foot brace for your drooping, my last surgeon who implanted the stim for me picked it up, he asked how long has your foot drooped, since surgery was my reply, that was years ago, yes I said, and no one has thought of giving you a brace to support your foot, no I said, had a generic one fitted within an hour, a week later went in for a cast to be made of my left leg and foot, following week picked up my custom brace, the ankle is hinge so it can bend forward when walking, it certainly has stopped the flopping forward and the constant tripping on any little raised surface. The only problem is the muscle wasting, the Velcro straps need altering as the are too long now to hold it firmly to my leg, do you have numbing down your leg as well, I get into trouble for using it as a party trick, like having needles sticking out, or hitting it it with my cane, doesn't hurt on the outside, but where the nerve runs is a different story, even my left heel is sensitive to the touch, oh and another thing temperature sensations are reverse.
I have numbness, cramping, tingling and sometimes sharp stings. Only in parts though, side of left thigh, shin and ankle. I guess it's the parts that the L4&L5 nerves innervate. I don't have a foot brace, no doc has ever mentioned it. You're right, the flopping foot trips me up alot too. It aches and is very weak. I will ask my doc for one now I know. Thank you for sharing that info. Temperature doesn't concern me to much maybe because the numbness is only in parts. I'm happy to hear you're out and about partying. I'm still hiding myself away. I've had no social life for 4 years now. I'm starting to see some positives though and plan to get back into life asap. Still working on that one. I've found it's a process of getting pain meds right, my head in the right place with accepting this is who I am now and stamina to stay up and be active. Pain changes everything. I'm grateful to have found others in similar situations. It's comforting to know I'm not alone. Thank you for you're reply and sharing your story.
It has taken over 8 years to get to a point where I don't let pain dictate how I live my life, first you have to accept your pain, then is dealing with coping strategies, pain management groups are the point of call for these, as well as a good pain management team for support. I am not up on the dance floor strutting my stuff, those days are gone, but going out socialising is better than staying stuck at home dwelling on pain, I use it for distraction, even my fishing is for distraction, the trick is pacing and knowing your limits and willing to pack it in when the time is right and not over extend or overdo activities to cause more pain, if that means calling an early night at a party then that is what you do.
You have to realise you will never get back to doing all of what you use to do in the past, we try to hang on to that with hope for a long time, always looking for something new in the hope it will cure us, that is what you have to accept life will never be the same, pain is with you now and there is no magic bullet.
If you haven't already get your GP to give you a referral to a multidisciplinary pain management clinic, these professionals only treat people with chronic pain, they are all in one unit psychologists, psychiatrists, pain doctors and physio, and usually hold group pain management groups, it makes the whole progress of dealing and coping with pain a whole lot easier, like you said getting your head in the right place.