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Avatar universal

How long is this pain going to last??

I had my 2nd of two back surgeries about 9 weeks ago (laminectomy/discectomy) of the L5, S1 area and a repeat "cleaning of the L3, L4 areas.) I am pretty sure that's what they told me--anyway, it was a pretty brutal surgery,  and stayed in hospital for 3 days. I only went home because there was a flu epidemic in the hospital and the dr didn't want me to get it. So I went home to no help (hubby just...cant) and got down to business of healing. I came home on Oxycodone, but that was making me crazy, so I asked the doc to please give me something not so strong. He took me from 30mgs of Oxycodone every 4 hrs to one 5 mg Norco every 6 hours. Needless to say, that was in no way, shape or form enough to ease the pain. The drs PA saw me 1 month post op and said I needed to step down to Ibuprofen and be tougher. On Ibuprofen alone, I could not even get out of bed. So I saw my GP and she was livid...said most surgeons are real jerks and totally unconcerned about post op pain management. She gave me Norco 7.5/325 and I take between 4 (on a great day) and 6 on a lousy one. She is watching me and has been kind to me, and I do appreciate her--I went to PT on my own (surgeon said I didn't need it) and this, while helping, has started a whole new set of "pain" issues off. I have severely shortened hamstrings due to way my back was...so everything is designed to stretch those and strengthen my core. New pain.  I am super impatient, I want to be better tomorrow!
I guess my question is, how long am I going to still have this post-surgical pain? I'm 59, I had back problems for 4 years before I addressed them....now I feel like I am paying the price. I know I am dependent on the Norco. I am afraid of addiction, but I know in order to exercise, do my PT, still have all the work & responsibilities on my that I have, I need something stronger than ibuprofen (which is eating my guts up!) I don't feel like I will ever feel OK again. I'm, "physically" OK. I look totally OK from the outside. I just have so much more pain than I had thought I would have. Is there going to be a moment when I am not waking up and thinking "ow, ow, ow?"
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Avatar universal
Lizzy, you are the last person on the PLANET who is going to have ANY problem with addiction. Don't even move that "worry" to the bottom of the list -- rather, take it OFF your list!

You mentioned "dependent." That is a "buzz word" that lots of people throw around. As I see it, YOU are the one MAKING USE of the Norco, which is how it should be. IT is not using you, rather, YOU are using IT. So, that list I just mentioned -- yep, you guessed it -- take that worry OFF your list!

You have pain. Norco is the medicine for pain. When your pain goes away, you'll throw the Norco away. Simple as that. Stop worrying.

Now, onto your question "how long" will your pain last.

Here's an "image" for you to keep in your mind. Like, a "mental picture," for you:

Let's say you cut your thumb really bad. Have you ever done that? Not just a paper cut, but I'm talking about a bloody mangled accident, like when a screwdriver slipped, or when you were a kid and you fell of a branch, and your knee looked like it had been run over by a train. Remember that? How long did THAT take to completely heal? A day? No. A few days? No. A week? No. More likely, about 3 months! And that's for an external bang-up-my-knee or cut-my-thumb accident.

So, what you do is think "Okay, it takes 3 months for a bloody finger to heal, what is a reasonable amount of time for intensive back surgery -- oh my goodness... what was that word you used.... a "Cleaning," of your spine? Gosh!

It's time to stop watching the clock!

You were smart enough to get into physical therapy. Good job. You are already smarter than all those doctors who 'forgot' to mention that.

Lizzy, you are on the path to getting totally well. I'm not the least bit worried about anything you have said. Do everything your nice GP tells you to do. And, remember remember remember.... slow and steady wins the race.
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Avatar universal
st. louis, MO
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