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What is your pain level goal? 0/10, 3/10, 5/10?
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What is your pain level goal? 0/10, 3/10, 5/10?

I am curious. What is your pain level goal? Is it unrealistic to want a pain level of 3 or less? Should I just live with pain at a 5 or higher (on medication)?  - maybe I am being unrealistic to want such low pain levels considering the Doc has told me this may be as good as I'm going to get.

Although the neuro and ortho recently told me they could do fusion, they also wanted to be very clear that it would not help all of my pain and I will always have chronic pain.

What do you strive for? What level has your PM strived for?

Anyone with a lot of internal scarring problems ever have an implant? My PM said it would probably have to be removed after a few years because of existing and new scar tissue.
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I've been asked this same question quite often, especially whenever I have to go to or in the hospital.  My answer is always the same - I strive to have my pain levels a max of a 5 (with medication) - however, everytime I say this, the doctors and nurses are shocked and tell me I should strive for a lower number - 3 or 4.  I guess because my pain levels are typically so high (about a 7-8 on a GOOD day and 9-10 on a not so good day), that getting them to a consistent 5 would be like heaven for me.  I honestly don't know WHAT a pain level of 3-4 would feel like!!

Based on what the doctors and nurses have said in response to my answer of their question, I don't believe wanting a pain level of a 3 or less would be unrealistic in some cases, although I do feel it would be a pretty unrealistic goal for me.

I wish you the best of luck in reaching your pain level goals!!
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Good topic!!  I usually wake up with about a 4 and it escalates as the day wears on. Depends on activity level and other factors.

If I can maintain a level of 4 to 5, I am one happy camper. 3 or below is just not going to happen again in my life.  I wish this wasn't true but it is.

I had a fusion on C5/6.  I did get function back in my hands but was still left in pain. I needed a fusion of C4/5 and C6/7.  Insurance wouldn't ok it.  So pain management is the best I can do.

What you do about your fusion is up to you.  Just gather all the information you can and make the decision that's right for you.
Sara
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I, too, cannot remember what life is like with a level of 4, 3 or lower. I still dream that someday I will be there. Living a normal life.

I was really taken back at my last appointment when he told me this might be as good as I will get.

This just can't be true.

Am I in denial?
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I know I am on the right website - I am so grateful you all feel my pain (pun intended)... I am so not ready to say this is my life for the next 30 years. I just can't do it.

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Sweetie, you may want to consult a pain psychologist.  I went to a regular family therapist because my pain therapist was just clueless.   But the family therapist helped me accept my fate.  Once  you accept that this is your life now, it gets easier.

Don't get me wrong.  I still have my days when I curse this pain and get furious that this is my life.  But it's getting better.

Hang in there.  You will reach acceptance one day.  But that doesn't mean you stop looking for pain relief.  Always explore every avenue available.

Good luck
Sara
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I had a fusion on 4/5 I think and it did do some good but I'm in constant neck pain, pushing neck forward hurts, sometimes can't turn my neck, and sometims pushing backwords hurts two.  I get a lot of epidurals, as many as the doctor will allow me.  So I know how it is, I wake up to about a 4 or 5 if the hernia is hurting too.  When I was in the hospital, the nurse asked me what was a perferred level of pain that I could handle and I said 5 and she looked at me like I was crazy.  I just told her that I have pain everyday and am used to it by now.  She said you shouldn't live like that.
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My fusion was in my thumb joint and it hasn't done anything except make the pain worse.  I think there's a lot of scar tissue there as well, plus the RSD.  (I have other CP issues as well, arthritis, fibromyalgia, but it's the hand that makes me out of my mind.

Initially I thought I'd get a zero pain level ... Okay, you can all stop laughing now!  Lately my pain on a good day with meds is at about 6; bad day about 8.  I'd like to see my pain average a 3.  Two would be great.  I'm waiting on my pain psychologist for WC approval rate, but I can't wait to go.  I'm hoping they'll set me up with some alternative stuff.

Today I did a lot and surprisingly at one point this afternoon I realized my pain level was about a 4 without taking any BT meds.  But I jinxed myself by saying it out loud to one of my kids and now it's at about a 7.  I want to sit on my bed, take my meds and play on the computer, but I have 1 more kid to drive to baseball.  I'm supposed to meet the boyfriend/ex/whatever he is for dinner but just called him to see if we can do it tomorrow night.  But he's got a bunch of stuff going on this weekend.  He's calling back so we can figure something out.

I'm only starting to realize I need to be more realistic about what I'm going to get to for a pain level.  This site has helped a lot with that.
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