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Frustrated over negative outcome of back surgery
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November 26, 2001, 11:23:44 AM
­ Dear MaryAnne,
Hi, I am at my wits end. I had been seeing a spinal dr. for awhile. Finially he said i had to have surgury on my lower spine. Said my spine had shifted and i had a disk worn down to nothing. I also had a nerve that was pinching and causing pain.Well, the surgury was almost 4 months ago and i am feeling more pain than ever. I hurt all day and all night. The MRI i had done shows nothing should be wrong. I am doing what i am subhosed to do with caring for myself, but the pain medicine is gettin outta control cause it isnt helping at all. I cant find anyone to help me be free of pain. I am getting depressed now too, i cant even drive hardly or hold my grandson who is only one year old. Please help..........MRS MACK (40) years old female.

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November 26, 2001, 11:24:46 AM
#1
­ Dear Norma:

I am so sorry there are thousands of people in your position. Doctors forget to tell patients that there is a chance of what happened to you happening. Back surgery at best is always risky at making the condition worse. As far as chronic pain in this country back pain is the number one winner. Hind sight is always 20/20 but a second opinion and third is always good when it comes to back surgery. I would like to know what he did at the “disc” area as I haven’t heard of surgery for a “shifted” back and a disc that is worn down? I understand about the nerve encroachment. This information may shed some light on to why you still hurt. Unfortunately from all that I have kept up with and am also a victim of back surgery, there is no way to medically get the pain to stop. Because the surgery and what they did is part of the reason it hurts so bad. I understand what you are saying about the pain medication and that ends up being another problem. Back pain can be very very painful and they will give you plenty of pain medication which no matter who you are after two weeks you are addicted to the medication. This is nobodies fault it is just a fact of narcotics. But then they lose their patience about you continually asking for pain medication, though you really need it, but they will start to slack it off and then you are in for the next treat which is withdrawals. They are terribly painful and there you are left with back pain and withdrawals and then nothing to take care of the pain. As I said there are thousands of people in this country living out this nightmare.
If I were you I would go to this surgeon with an appointment and sit him down and ask exactly what he did and if he “fixed” what was wrong why do you hurt? Tell him you want a direct answer because you are the one who is going to be stuck in pain the rest of your life. Be strong, be powerful this is your life, your body and he has done you wrong until he explains that he hasn’t and justifies it with “results”. Tell him you don’t want anything but results. After you are done with him ask him what you are supposed to do about this that you can not live the rest of your life this way? Make him be accountable for his actions. We patients just accept what is said to us and never question it and then this is what happens to us when we don’t ask questions and when we don’t go back and make the doctor accountable for what he did. Make him come up with what you should do. It will be physical therapy but make him do it and write out a schedule for it. Then I would do it and see what happens.
Now, if this continues for 6 to 8 months you can pretty well accept that is the best you are going to get. Then you turn away from the medical profession and turn to alternative medicine for this kind of issue. Your hope and a good chance of getting out of pain is “Yoga” I have seen it do wonders with back pain. You want Iyengar Yoga. It is the best I think for the back. You can find qualified instructors about everywhere. But believe me there is hope with Yoga. I don’t believe there is any hope for you with the medical profession after this. As far as pain medication if the doctor does try to take you off, you challenge him and tell him that you can not be just left with nothing and ask to be referred to a pain clinic. They should be able to inject medication into your spine and help calm it down. You also would not become addicted to this since it goes directly into the spinal area.
You can stay on those injections pretty much as long as you want. Hopefully with the injections and the Yoga it won’t be that long to where you either have no more back pain or it will be lessened to the point that you can function and live with what pain you have.
BUT do not have any more back surgery unless it is life and death. It truly can leave you in a worse nightmare than you had before.
As far as feeling depressed, I think that would be a natural reaction for the loss of control, the feeling of betrayal and from the pain medication. You will have to cut back on the pain medication whether you want to or not as it is starting to have a reverse affect on you and you are building up a large tolerance for it. Either get him to put you on a more potent pain medication or send you to the pain center now. But the depression and crying (if you are) will not get better on pain medication and you will see things more doom and gloom. So keep this in mind you don’t want to lose your wits about you. Please try to do these things so you can take back some control over your situation and to keep a bad situation to one can only imagine what they would do next.
Before you ever let this man touch your back again in a surgical situation without getting a second independent consult and ask them what went wrong and could they basically see what they can. They also might be able to tell you what the verdict is about being like this from now on.
But the depression won’t lift until the pain medication is changed or lowered enough to make a difference in your mood.
Then when you are ready and want to get past the betrayal and feeling so upset with what has happened to you and move on, which will take a while, I can help you do that. Write me. You will then get the power and the peace you want so you can make a new life. Because your life as you knew it is gone. I can help you make your new life even better than your old one. I can get the pain under control with your mind, with your emotions and of course with what you eat. All new and strange things to me also until I ran out of options with the medical system and I was left bed ridden for 6 years. I did that, I got me up, I got me a new life, I got me to where I can live in my pain and deal with what I was left to live with.
Thank goodness you won’t have it as bad but I can help you if you find no answers for your pain and for finding your way out of your depression. You can and will have a life again no matter what OK? So try these options and I will be here if you need me.
Do let me know what happens as I am very interested and also find out what he did with your “bent back” and the discs?
Thank you for writing I hope I have helped,
MaryAnne

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