My husband was injured at work in March 2005 when a 500 lb bay door came down directly on the top of his head. As a result, he has suffered a bulging disc in his neck, nerve and back damage and psychological trauma. The worst pain occurs in his head with sharp stabbing pains which send electric shocks down his arms and legs and even causes pain in his testicles. His family doctor has told him that he doesn't think there is anything that can be done for him. Because he has so much damage throughout the discs in his back and neck, he feels that surgery would not be an option because the doctors wouldn't know which area to operate on to alleviate the pain because of the numerous disc damage. He has had MRI's, EMG's and xrays and the doctor recently booked an appointment for an epidural injection but that is all that has happened so far. He will never be able to work again and his quality of life has severely diminished, to the point of wanting to end his life.
Is there anything that can be done for him? He lives with this pain 24/7 and it is getting almost unbearable for him to get through the day anymore.
There you go again, taking the words from my mouth... With that kind of injury, a neurosurgeon should be involved. Feeling pain in the testicles when moving his head? That suggests significant stenosis putting pressure on the spinal cord, not just on the nerves that exit the cord. Your husband may need rods inserted the length of the spine to stabilize it from further injury or paraplegia... or at the other extreme, there may be a discreet area that is causing most of the pain that could be decompressed through a tiny incision. I would want to check out the best experts, sparing no expense, before accepting a life of total disability.
His family doctor needs to be frank that he is in over his head. Your husband needs a neurologist and a pain management specialist. I think a pain psychologist would be a benefit as well since learning to live with pain and a dramatically changed life strains every part of our lives - along with the people who love us and live with us. Where non-malignant chronic pain is concerned, the best outcomes happen when both the mind and the body are treated.
I have lived with severe chronic pain for 10 years, and I can't even enjoy eating normally. Whle my life may be awful to the outside observer, I have learned to find joy in every day. Ultimately, it really is the "little things" that make life worth living. With the right help, I believe your husband can have a good life again.
I would not take a family doctor's word that surgery will not help restore at least some function. The emphasis of pain management is on the word "management." Too many times we get our hopes up for a magic pill that will cure our pain, and right now that does not exist. The goal is for increased function and quality of life rather than a return to pre-injury status. It took me quite a while to accept that, but once I did life got a whole lot better. There IS help to be had for your husband. It's just time to get out of the family practice to get it. :-)
I want to thank you both so much for your replies. This information will help me tremendously when talking to his family doctor about getting him the help he really needs. God Bless you both for taking the time to answer my question.
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