Travel

For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Mar 24, 2014

No Back Problems? Pass This Post Up!

I had my second set of shots, today. The doctor is hoping but did not sound optimistic that these will last much longer than the first ones. I already have an appointment in April for a more involved procedure so that alone tells me something. If that procedure doesn't work, then I'll be referred back to the surgeon for SI joint surgery. It won't be as invasive as the back surgery, but it's not a walk in the park, either. They will put implants or screws through my pelvis on each side and anchor my pelvis to my spine (the way it's supposed to be). I'm beginning to wonder if everything about me is unstable.

I'm disappointed and I'm very tired of pain. I'm tired of medications and I'm tired of limitations. I'm just tired of it all. The thought of surgery (if it will stop the pain) doesn't scare me. However, the recuperation is long. At least six weeks no weight bearing, four weeks partial weight bearing, and back to regular routine twelve weeks. I haven't given up hope that the shots won't last, but I didn't feel any encouragement from the doctor.

I'm writing this because I know of at least two people who are having back problems who drop by here. If my experience can help just one person, it's worth posting. For anyone now or in the future who is a candidate for back surgery, INSIST that they check your SI joints along with all the other testing. The best way to diagnose the problem is to have a lidocaine shot(s) into the joint. (The first shots I had were diagnostic as well as treatment). If it relieves the pain for a short while, then they know that in about 25% of people with back pain at least part or all of the pain originates from the SI joint(s), not the back. What confused everyone about my back was the lack of leg pain and that the pain was on both sides.

I don't regret having the back surgery because in my case there were so many things wrong and it was so unstable that I couldn't not have it. I just wish they could have combined the two and then maybe the recuperation times could have been combined not to mention the months of pain that could have been eliminated.

Some might find they are in the 25% who are mis-diagnosed and the SI surgery is the only surgery they need. That's why as much as I hate writing about this stuff, I feel it might help someone to avoid a mis-diagnosis. According to everything I've heard and read, it is very often missed and goes totally undiagnosed.

So, my fingers are still crossed, with a little less confidence, but I've not given up. I sometimes want to scream, "Hey, look at this white hair! How much time do you think I have to waste on this?" And, I wonder. Will I ever be able to set out to explore, again? Will I ever get my Jack out camping, again?

Except for Susan, he'd be bored to death. She has kept him exercised and in good shape. I love being at campsite with him. If I do get some pain relief with the shots, I may take him to some state or COE parks in Georgia before my next appointment. I can take my time hitching up and just stay hitched up while at the campground. We'll see. 





10 comments:

  1. I think it's really important to share these kind of experiences because you just never know who is ready your blog. I also know that Jack is happy wherever you are be it at home or at a campsite.

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    1. Thanks, Sandie, that's the only reason I wrote it. I'm sick of thinking about it and sick of living with it, but I am just amazed at how many people have lumbar back surgery (including me) when in actuality the pain is not caused by the back. Had I known then what I know now, I would have asked them to check my SI joints. In my case, I can understand the confusion, but I might have been able to put off the back surgery until it started causing me discomfort. I guess my advice is, the doctor is NOT going to ask you if your SI joints are your problem, YOU have to ask HIM.

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  2. Oh Nancy I am so sorry to hear that the shots didn't last any longer. Sure hope this second go-round works better. I hate thinking of you having more surgery but if it helps, then it will be worth it. Thanks for caring enough to write about your difficulties. I know at least one person you are concerned about (tee-hee!!). Please take care and hopefully you and Jack will be out enjoying some good adventures soon. ((HUGS))

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  3. Thanks, Donna. If these don't work, hopefully ablation will next month. After that I'll have to make some decisions regarding surgery as it is a lengthy recovery. Thanks for stopping by. Anyone who does have problems and wants to know more about what I've learned, feel free to email me at actionnewsat5@gmail.com

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  4. aw jeeeez, Nancy... so sorry you're going through this! ... I think sharing has got to help everyone... even those of us who don't have back problems... we can all benefit from people like you who refuse to give up and going through the process of deciding what's best for you helps all of us...

    Great picture of Jack ... ;) HISS on health problems...

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn, I hope it does help someone. Jack IS great. :) Not braggin' or anything. :)

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  5. I agree Nancy. Maybe readers don't have back problems yet but your advice here is important because who knows. As we age things just change on us without any notice. We've found that out for sure. I had no idea aging was such a depressing business. Seems that's the down side of our great pride in having longer life spans. What you said about "Look at this white hair...." is SO true. You don't realize that time is running out in your 40's, sure wish I had. But you definitely realize it as you hit 60 and beyond. This is a great post. Your attitude about it all is also great. You sound strong and determined. That's the only way to get on.

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    1. Well, frankly Sherry, no one listens to complaining so might as well try to keep a good attitude. It's not easy at times, but Jack doesn't mind listening to me. :) Gettin' old ain't for sissies. :)

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  6. I wish for the best results for you this round. You have been through so much already and for them to only recently find the real cause. I'm rooting and praying for you on this. Really would love to meet you on the road sometime.

    I was able to find your blog but I have feeling it will fall off again. At least I was able to finish reading about your last trip and look at all the beautiful houses. Such a great trip.

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    1. I think that was more depressing than anything, Jo. That's why my hope is that I can prevent it happening to someone else who reads this blog--boring as a story about my back is. I sure wish I had read it before having such extensive surgery 15 months ago. I might be singing a totally different tune, today.

      Don't worry about falling off my blog--it's mostly rambling. Except for my back posts I write it mostly for myself and for my kids if they read it sometime in the future.

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