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I can't take the pain anymore
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I can't take the pain anymore

PLEASE HELP. I am 22 yrs old, had my Harrington rods inserted when I was 11. My profession for the past 2years (massage therapist) has ruined my lower back. I am in so much pain I had to quit. I should have quit a while ago. My lower back feels like it's been hit by a car. I only feel relief when I'm lying down. I can't do my daily chores without pain. I can't live my life this way. Do I have to have surgery again? I can't get an MRI because of my rods. I don't know what to do , or who to go to. Please help me....

Hopeless In Cali
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7 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow, I totally understand how you feel.  Pain can absolutely control a person's life.  I got addicted to the pain meds just to live.  If you can avoid that route, I would strongly suggest it.  I don't have any answers for you.  I went to La Clinica in Bogota, Colombia to see a hghly regarded surgeon to see about putting artificial discs in place of the herniated ones.  The operation was too expensive.  I know this isn't a reality for you, but I would try to get some type of disability payments if possible.  Can you get a lawyer to research that for you?
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Avatar_m_tn
Aloha amyerenee!  I feel compelled to write you and try to correct a myth that Fergman mentioned in their post above.

If you feel that you absolutely HAVE to, feel free to go to a Pain Doctor for pain medications. The reason I can give you this advice is because I've endured a lot of pain and suffering for the last 12 years due to 3 failed spine surgeries for herniated discs in my lower back and I've been taking the SAME dosage of Pain Medication for the last SIX years and  probably will continue to take them for as long as necessary (like the rest of my life!).

Research and studies have been done to prove that as long as a patient follows their doctors precribing instructions AND does their best to stay as honest with him/her as possible, the chances of becoming ADDICTED to the pain meds is extrememly LOW.

Perhaps some explaining of the difference between addiction and dependence is needed.

A person is addicted to a substance when they are taking it for NON-MEDICAL reasons. (As in, to get high from it) And will go to almost any length to acquire MORE pain meds to sustain that "high". Even if it means using criminal activity.

A person is DEPENDENT on a medication when they adhere to the prescibed dosage that the doctor told them to and they only take it to reduce the level of pain in their body so they can have a higher quality of life. Think of a diabetic who uses insulin. Even though they use it every day, they aren't addicted to it, they are dependent on it to balance the levels of blood sugars in their bodies so they can continue to live some sort of a decent life.

I have to tell you that I completely understand how you must feel because I needed another surgery after I had anterior fusion surgery done and it didn't 'fuse' correctly so I needed to have some "rods and screws" installed to stabilize the entire area.

Unfortunately, you more than likely will have to have another surgery because the surgery you had at age 11 isn't effective anymore since you still had some growing to do. My guess would be that you need to have those rods removed and new ones installed to fit your now 'adult' frame.

When you go looking for a pain doctor, you won't find any doctors listed under "Pain Doctor" since most of these types of docs are in Orthopedics, Oncology and even some Anathesiologists specialize in pain management for people.

I just wanted to quiet any concerns you may have about being afraid to take any pain meds for pain. If I couldn't take the pain meds that I've been taking for  almost 11 years now, my quality of life would be so low that life for me wouldn't be worth living and I'd find some way to do the unthinkable. (I actually DID attempt this shortly before I found a great pain management doctor...and I sure don't want to see anyone else get to that stage because they hurt so bad and they are afraind to take meds for pain...it isn't a good thing at all!)

Keep us updated with your progress so we may continue to help you with further advice if needed in the future. OK?

Tropicalman
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes please listen to Tropicalman.  He knows exactly what he's talking about.  My pain was so bad that I had no life, just the pain. At one point I was in a wheel chair. I could barely get to the bathroom on my own.   But I refused the surgery my neurosurgeon wanted to perform on my back and refused to issue me anything for pain.  I asked him what my options were and he sneered that I was out of options and that I would return for the surgery at some point.  We are military and military doctors will not issue pain medications.  During this painful journey I put on 80 lbs which made everything worse but I couldn't exercise and my metabolism obviously came to a halt.  
I knew I couldn't continue to live in that state, no one can w/o giving up their sanity. So find you a physician that will work with you as far as pain meds are concerned and look into further surgery as Tropicalman suggested.  And please do not up your dose of pain medication w/o your doctors consent.  
Best of luck...and please keep us informed of your well-being.

Zuzu
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so very much for writing to me. It feels good to know I have your support. More than you know!

Since writing, I've improved my back pain enough so that I can at least do chores without pain. However, once I take a moment to lie down, I realize how tight my back is. I have a problem with having to feel busy/ useful, meaning I wouldn't feel right laying all day in bed (while my boyfriend works a very hard job to support us - since the Government won't let me get disability right now). What's a girl to do..

I'm experiencing a symptom of chronic left leg pain, from my Left lower back, through the glutes (of which are too painful/ tight to massage out), down my IT band, to my knee. My left shin is also very tight. The only way I can find relief is to pound on my IT band! Which of course hurts !

I honestly feel there is something that needs to be done surgically. I'm not sure if they could replace the rods, since my Harrington rods are fused to my spine. Unless that can be done? Sounds like a very extensive surgery. My lower back and my neck are the only mobile parts of my spine. So as much as my lower back hurts, I would try anything to keep that mobile. I wish they could just open me up, pull my spine until it's straight, and sew me back up.

I appreciate your suggestions with finding pain pills for me, but I don't know if there is such a thing that could fix the pain without drugging me? I'm very scared of medicines and do not trust doctors, so I'm not sure that would be the way to go. I understand one medicine may work for one person, and not for another person. That would be a ton of trial and error, correct? Do you have any suggestions of top sellers, perhaps? That works on most people? I don't understand how medicine works, apparently.

Thanks for your time and God bless you!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
You very well may need more surgery, but don't rush in it. I have had 7 back surgeries so far and am only 25 years old. I as well have Harrington rods in my back, as well as 17 pins, 2 titanium rods, and 10 screws. My entire spine is fused from top to bottom. I can no longer put my own shoes and socks on. I depend on pain meds just to make  it through the day. I am not addicted them but still need them. The "unbreakable rods" titanium rods and screws were put in my back and now have shattered and slipped down my back. I now have to endure a long and grueling surgery with 2 incisions one from neck to butt, and one from my bellybutton to private area.I will for the 2nd time be in a wheel chair, and learn to walk again. Find a good doctor and ask them, get x-rays and a cat scan if you need one. Have you tried injections yet? Cortisone has helped me before I let myself get so bad.  Try therapy yourself first! I can answer many questions you may have so if you want e-mail me.

Jessica
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Avatar_m_tn
hie there. em you mind telling me what was wrong with your spine that you had to get rods inserted at such a tender age? my spine is deformed,like an s shape,it hurts a lot,even he i lie down..my left rib didnt fully develop,which is why my spine collapsed to that weak side, breathing is hard whn im lying down..its so stressful,in always im my room avoiding people because they stare.
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675438_tn?1234592157
Amy... I really hope you will get this message. Please see a Neurologist.  A good one ! I know for a fact that you can have a Mylogram , or a discogram (look the terms up on Yahoo)  This is similar to a MRI.but can be done with metal and gives excellent results for the physiciant.  I had all the same symptoms you are having. I had 2 failed surgeries with a ORTHOPEDIC surgeon. He later told me he had done all he could that I had to accept the pain and learn how to deal with it. 2 years I laid in bed. Lost my life. My job, my home, everything.  I became so deppressed. Later a family member told me abaout a neurologist. (I have 2 cousins and a uncle with the same thing, obviosly I have bad genes) Sometimes bones purs can grow near the rods pressing on the nerves shooting pain into the buttocks and legs. .After surgery I am so much better and have a life again.  please e-mail me, I think I can help you.I would even go so far as to ask my surgeon for a referral for you. I believe he knows dr in CA. good luck. Monica in Ohio
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