Years of back problems has left me depressed

Posted , 4 users are following.

I've suffererd with my back for 7 years now. It took me 9 months to convince my Gp there was a problem, I finally got a scan which did show a disc bulge. I was given co-codomaol & referred to physio. The usual. But the pain just would'nt improve, turned into Sciatica and for years these episodes would become severe. I went round in circles, trying different medication, physio, saw a chiropractor, nothing helped. I was missing work repeatedly, that was a huge stress, obviously they wanted to hear I was getting better, As I would return for a few months, then I'd be in agony again. I decided enough was enough with my Gp, I even wrote to them explaining I need help as I'm going to lose my job. Still nothing, so I paid privately for another mri scan, still showing a disc bulge, it was decided I should try cortisone injections. During this period, I had the most severe flare up. I couldn't even walk to the bathroom, was given morphine patches and Could'nt leave the house for 4 weeks. I was dismissed from work before I could even have my first injection. Which failed to work anyway. So disappointing, frustrating, depressing. Another year passed in which injections were tried again, after the third failed attempt referred to another spinal surgeon. I explained how long this had gone on, how it was affecting my life and went for yet another scan. I presumed after our conversation that I was on the waiting list. But then recieved a letter to say my mri scan had'nt changed in 3 years, no surgery was required and I was being referred to a pain clinic! A week later I was rushed in with Ces, stonosis and had emergency surgery. The surgeon told me he does'nt know how I've tolerated the pain for so long & that the physio had been making symtoms worse. Luckily the emergency Gp who examined me the day I was having Ces symtoms recognised it and sent me to a descent hospital, otherwise I dread to think how I would of ended up. The previous Gp and hospital treated me appallingly. I'm left now with horendous constant backache, leg pain is also starting to return. I'm just so worn out with it all. It really has ruined so much for me, losing my job, causing financial stress, its affected relationships, social life. At one point I was drinking nearly everyday just to get some relief. I've been told I won't be able to return to my usual job, whatever I do will have to be part time, nothing manual, no sitting or standing for long periods. I'm just at a total loss as to what I can do. The pain is horrendous just doing everyday tasks, driving etc. But I need to do something as I've explained to my consultant, if only for my mental health. My confidence has been knocked, I'm depressed, isolating myself, the medication makes me feel like a zombie, I've tried weaning off tramadol but always return to it especially if I go out as pain gets too much, if I stay at home its more bearable but it is no life, I can't continue like this. Is there anyone else with a similar situation? Although the leg pain has improved, I've been told I'm just stuck with this backpain now, more surgery at some stage. But I need to try to have some sort of life/routine with it. How do you manage with permanant pain? Just pottering around the house all day? I can't take anymore of it. I need my life back, but I know it has to be a different one. I really need some ideas, motivation please. I hope I've made some sense, this has gone on for so long, too much has gone on to explain fully. Would really appreciate your experiences. Thank you

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Oh god you really have had a tough time and I can relate so much to you, pain is mentally exhausting and reeks havoc on the body but no one can see it, dealing with it comes with time unfortunately.

    I recently went to A &E thinking I had slow onset CES but was told it wasn't and sent home, however I'm still suffering spending 95% of my day lying down, my legs are burning from my butt down to my feet, sciatica,numbness, chronic lower back pain, trouble peeing, can't stand,sit or walk for more than seconds.

    I had a fusion 14 years ago and have been in pain ever since, for years I kept saying I could feel something and my back felt like it had snapped but MRIs showed no change and only slight bulging disc above and below, about 12 weeks ago my back just went and agin no change in the scans but was sent for X-ray and then told that the metal wear in my fusion is possibly loose and always has been, I'm waiting for a CT scan (2 weeks)   I could possibly have to have the metal removed and maybe another fusion, I still feel like something's not right and scared that the damage done while waiting for the scan could be irreversible, you know your own body but no ones taking any notice, the opp has left me with a thoracic arachnoid cyst and cervical degeneration and bone spurs. Iv been on all the meds then came off them late last year, best thing I ever done, they helped with pain for a short time but not for me, I have 2 glasses of wine before bed to help sleep (2 hours if I'm lucky)

    You could try ice/heat packs 

    Peppermint oil(great for blocking pain signals) lavender(helps relax)

    Stretching exercises (with advice)

    Magnesium, for muscles

    I hope you find something that works for you soon, good luck and keep us updated with how you get on😊

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  • Posted

    Oh and ask about a tens machine or spinal cord stimulator when you visit your pain doc 😊

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    • Posted

      Hi Caroline, thanks for your reply. I really can't understand why this is'nt taken seriously. How long is anyone meant to tolerate this pain. If you go to A&E with a broken wrist it's dealt with, yet back pain your left to suffer and sent home. I've read about so many mistakes that have have been made with Ces, like you said you know your own body so don't accept just one opinion if your not confident. If I could turn the clock back I would'nt of put up with any of the crap they've tried to palm me off with. Please let me know how it goes. Good luck x

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    • Posted

      When I went for the results of my emergency MRI he said there's nothing more we can do it's wear and tear, I broke down and told him there was no way I could carry on if this is it so he sent me for an X ray, that's when they found the loose screw? I was told it was failed back surgery, 14 years and it took an X-ray, I am furious but it dosnt get you anywhere.

      Look up water therapy, I havnt tried it but it's supposed to be good

      Have you tried acupuncture? 

      Chiro treatment is really good, you may want to try another one 

      Let me know how you get on😊

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    • Posted

      Hope you don't mind me asking but do you work? How have you managed all this time? My mental health has took a serious battering through it all. Financial stress, being home all the time. It has affected so many things. You have every right to be be furious. That is a clear case of neglect, how can anyone complain with pain for that length of time & its took 14 years to understand why. I'd seriously get some legal advice on that. Surely someone is accountable for not investigating it properly. I have another appointment with my consultant coming up and will be asking what else is avalible. I have had physio once since my op and since doing the exercises I was told, the sciatic pain has returned. So Something is'nt right. I could scream. After all the years I've waited to get proper treatment, I really thought that would be the end of it. Back to normality. So I really do feel for you, suffering for that long. Thanks again for your reply x

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    • Posted

      Since my opp I have done tones of research and unfortunately not many people return back to "normal" after many back surgeries.

      I was a personal trainer and beauty therapist and had my own business that I had to sell off, I went from being fit at 32 to this but was given no indication life could be like this, we are struggling financially, my husband has his own business and works 12 hours a day, sat and sun until 5pm, we've had 3 holidays with our kids since this happened, we used to have 1 every year, we have 2 years left on our motgage and I don't know how we've done it but we're not there yet, I can't wait until I can breath again, I'm always trying new things to see if this is the miracle cure so I can return back to work so I will let you know when I find it 😂 

      I have an amazing family but the guilt I carry is crippling in itself, 

      The rest of my family and friends (siblings included) have all disappeared mainly because I have nothing to offer them now, sad but true.

      Have you tried for Personal independence payment? it's a nightmare but stick with it.

      Everydays challenging and to be honest I don't know how Iv got this far but you keep going the best you can, I have to hope that this will get better.

      As for neglect it's 14 years there's nothing I can do, it's a very long story and so many cover ups but it's been handled in a way that time prevents any damages unfortunately but I will keep trying.

      You should ask your pain doc to refer you to a phycotherapist it really does help😊

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    • Posted

      So sorry to hear that. But good to hear you have support from your husband & kids. I can imagine it must be a pressure though. I'm single, seem unable to keep a relationship. I've met people during this time but it just seems to be an added pressure. It should be the fun part, going out together etc, but all I feel like I do is complain & have'nt been able to wait to get back home to lie down. Or there's times I haven't been able to go out at all for weeks. None of which helps with my self esteem & depression. Since losing my job, I've ended up relying on benefits, pip I'm awaiting for their decision for the second time. Benefits have caused yet another relationship problem, if I were to live with someone, there expected to support me financially. I don't feel like I could trust someone to do that for the long term. I'd also feel even more trapped, & probably under their control, if that makes sense. If I was already married, then I could accept it a bit more but knowing I'd be going into it with all this in the background just does'nt feel right. Long story but I did get close to a friend who did propose, but I just don't feel right doing so when I'll be no help at all frankly, also if it does'nt work out I can't just find somewhere else to live without being in work. No one wants to know. So basically that relationship has had to come to an end, their are other issues too, but that's my main concern. Worrying I'll just be a burden. So that's yet another thing a back problem has caused. I have no kids, & obviously that won't be happening either. So life seems on hold. So either way it does'nt seem easy. As for friends, yes sympathy seems to run out doesn't it. Well, I never thought I'd be in this position so I hope for their sake the tables don't turn. So good to speak to someone with a similar situation. Thank you x

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    • Posted

      Oh the story is so familiar, I really do think you would benefit from counselling and I totally understand how you feel and we're your coming from, the problem is you get up and grin and bare it so no one really has a clue to the extent of what we have to go through, I have missed so many family events this year and not through want of trying, the sad thing is not even family really understand and it's so frustrating when you have to explain, I get the feeling it's like oh it's her back AGAIN😡 No one knows what's round the corner, good or bad. 

      I can see your giving yourself a really hard time and it's totally understandable, hopefully you can get to a stage where you can manage your condition and start living a fuller life.

      If PIP gets knocked back appeal again and keep going, it is extremely daunting and not something you need when your suffering as I think stress also adds to it,

      Keep a diary, I have bits wrote down all over and sometimes I read them back and can't believe it's actually me that's wrote it.

      Stay strong and ask for help from pain management and GP until you find what works for you, you will get through this and I'm here anytime you need to sound off or need a shoulder😊

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much, I'm here for you also. Next Gp appointment coming up so I will keep you posted. Thanks for your ideas, will definitely be looking into what else can be done now. Obviously this pain is here to stay, I will have to accept that, so your right It needs to be managed differently. I feel better already just talking to someone who understands. I really hope things improve & you get some more treatment soon. Thanks so much again. Try to stay positive. Please stay in touch x

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    • Posted

      write down your questions so you don't forget and don't feel rushed say what you need to.

      You stay positive also and same to you I hope you can find a way to manage it, thank you and I will stay in touch, good luck 😊

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  • Posted

    I think B vitamins can help in nerve repair😊

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  • Posted

    I can completely sympathize with you because I have had chronic back pain for 13 years. And after the first couple of years I was suicidal. In fact I spent a week in the hospital because of it. There is a lot I would like to tell you and I would like to refer you to some places but I know if I do that here it will get deleted by the monitor. So would you please email me? I don't know if you know how to do it on this site but if you're signed in there will be a little envelope by my name. Use that envelope and send me an email and I will give you loads of information and loads of help and support.

    Kathleen

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