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gtucker
05-03-2010, 01:28 PM
I am 51 years old, women. I have curvature of the spine in my lower back. I have had bone scan, mri, scolious series xrays. standing xrays.
I have never had anything done as far as surgery goes.
I have tried chiropractor, accupunture, polarity therapy, and prob 5 other natural approches for pain.
Most resently purchased a tens unit, { no help}

I am a seasonal waitress and must work for the money. ITs the only work I have ever done. Its very hard on the back and I am in constant pain. And I do mean pain!! so much so I think I could throw up.
I have a 60 degree curve my ribs are moved from it. NO organs are effected.
Last year I wnt to a pain managment dr. and had put so much hope into it. The dr. ordered mri, bone scan ect. and when I asked him if we could make sure we had a time we could talk about the results as I knew I would panic as I have previously had breast cancer and test freak me out. He became very angry and red faced said you can get dressed. I will let your primary dr. handle this I wont be doing things any differnt than I ever do them. IT has worked for me for 25 years. And I dont think this is going to work. I went to the car and cried.
I did have all the test he wanted me to have thru my primary care dr.
All results showed curvature quite severe.

Fast forward one year No pain meds and no help I am going back to work soon and dont know how I will do it. carrying heavy trays on my feet for 10 hours a day 6 days a week.
I am being refered to a new pain managment dr. is their anything they can numb me with for the constant pain. injection. something that wont effect my mind.??? please help I am so depressed

rohrer01
05-03-2010, 01:47 PM
I am 51 years old, women. I have curvature of the spine in my lower back. I have had bone scan, mri, scolious series xrays. standing xrays.
I have never had anything done as far as surgery goes.
I have tried chiropractor, accupunture, polarity therapy, and prob 5 other natural approches for pain.
Most resently purchased a tens unit, { no help}

I am a seasonal waitress and must work for the money. ITs the only work I have ever done. Its very hard on the back and I am in constant pain. And I do mean pain!! so much so I think I could throw up.
I have a 60 degree curve my ribs are moved from it. NO organs are effected.
Last year I wnt to a pain managment dr. and had put so much hope into it. The dr. ordered mri, bone scan ect. and when I asked him if we could make sure we had a time we could talk about the results as I knew I would panic as I have previously had breast cancer and test freak me out. He became very angry and red faced said you can get dressed. I will let your primary dr. handle this I wont be doing things any differnt than I ever do them. IT has worked for me for 25 years. And I dont think this is going to work. I went to the car and cried.
I did have all the test he wanted me to have thru my primary care dr.
All results showed curvature quite severe.

Fast forward one year No pain meds and no help I am going back to work soon and dont know how I will do it. carrying heavy trays on my feet for 10 hours a day 6 days a week.
I am being refered to a new pain managment dr. is their anything they can numb me with for the constant pain. injection. something that wont effect my mind.??? please help I am so depressed

I also have constant pain. My Primary Care Physician has put me on a regimen of strong pain meds and muscle relaxants. I am seeing a pain specialist that gave me an epidural injection in the lower spine for a bulging disk. I have pain from a high thoracic scoliosis and he wants to put an intrathecal catheter along the spinal chord to deliver low dose morphine. He says this should alleviate the upper back pain. We'll see. My scoli doc won't do surgery. I'm getting a second opinion. I also am seein someone in PHysical Medicine and Rehabilitation. I'm not quite sure what they will do. They didn't do anything for me the last time I saw them. I would NOT go back to that doctor that got mad just for asking for a few minutes of his time. How RUDE!! I hope my experience gives you a few ideas. Have you consulted a SRS (Scoliosis Research Society) surgeon in your area. Your curve is quite substantial and in the surgical territory. It may be the source of your pain. :(

jrnyc
05-03-2010, 01:54 PM
i am so sorry that you are living with such pain! i had to retire early 3 years ago due to pain...at the time i worked a full time and a part time job..both stressful.....but i was a waitress and bartender when younger...very hard on the feet and back...i know it from experience!

i am also so sorry that the doctor pulled a little temper tantrum on you and wouldnt help you with the pain...you didnt say where you live...? there are some great pain doctors around...they have lots of different kinds of injections...i have had the most help from the injections in my upper back, for the smaller curve that doesnt cause me as much pain..the 42 degree curve...i get botox shots every 3-4 months to freeze the muscles so they cant spasm...it works wonderfully...

on the lower back with the larger curve of 61 degrees, nothing much has worked...i've had epidurals, nerve ablation, where they temporarily kill the nerve (they grow back), facet block, where they put injections to try to block the nerves, sacroiliac injections, which worked the best for me...but all were very temporary relief...which of course is better than nothing...i expect to have surgery L1-pelvis within the next 12 months...

i also take alot of oral pain meds...they help, but i dont see them as being permanent...side effects, etc...make them a temporary choice, though in my case it has been many years now!

i think you need a good scoliosis surgeon to evaluate your condition, and a good pain doctor who will evaluate you and let you know what options you have that he can try to help you with...you can take whatever recent Xrays, MRI's, etc, to both of them....

jess

dailystrength
05-03-2010, 07:39 PM
Hi gtucker,

I too am sorry to read of your pain and dread of going back to the painful work, as well as your horrible experience with the very unkind doctor.

As far as work is concerned, I feel that maybe you should see if you can pick up a new skill in light of taking care of yourself. You type and write fine; can you do customer service from a chair somewhere, where you can also take frequent standing breaks and stretches? I just am concerned about carrying heavy trays and moving quickly; you are not able to keep good posture I am sure of, and scoliosis is known to progress. I hope you can explore some options. Maybe an employment office in your town has some ideas.... I sit on a balance ball chair at work (by giaim) and I can maintain good core control; I do not hold any weight away from my body now but only lift with my legs. I have learned how to avoid getting back into pain now that I am finally more comfortable. I really would urge you to try and explore some different avenues... internet work, computer or database work...for your well-being. BTW I had at last exam, a 49 degree lumbar and 34 thoracic curve.

JenniferG
05-04-2010, 12:39 AM
Welcome gtucker. Sorry your pain brings you here. If I read your post correctly, you have seen a pain management doctor who was less than helpful. But as yet you have not seen a scoliosis surgeon? I would urge you to see a scoliosis surgeon asap to get a proper assessment done and a plan of action. I don't know where you live but I believe there is a list of specialists on this forum. Please don't delay because between your scoliosis and your job, your life must be extremely difficult. And it need not be this bad.

Best of luck, and I hope you'll let us know how you go on your "Scoliosis Journey".

gmw
05-04-2010, 05:35 AM
I'm sorry you're in so much pain and had such bad experience with the pain management doctor. You've come to a great place for support and info. Do hope you get relief soon.:)

Glenda

titaniumed
05-05-2010, 12:41 AM
I am being refered to a new pain managment dr. is their anything they can numb me with for the constant pain. injection. something that wont effect my mind.??? please help I am so depressed

Celebrex is worth a try. Hot tubs help.

Ed

gmw
05-05-2010, 05:14 AM
I've had to stop my celebrex prior to surgery and I can really tell a difference in my pain level. Like Ed says, it may be worth a try. I also take neurontin which seems to help me.

Back-out
05-05-2010, 10:11 AM
Dear gtucker,

What a terrible story! Breast cancer, excruciating pain in a dead-end job that definitely much aggravates your pain (and may even have had a lot to do with causing it and worsening the scoliosis), an arrogant - no, cruel - pain mgmt. doctor who added to your pain...

I too hope, like DailyStrength, you can find some other work that doesn't worsen your pain and your condition. You said you are a "seasonal waitress". Does that mean you only work part of the year? If so, how is your pain when you're not working?

I was recently reading standards for Social Security Disability and it sounds like you may qualify. I even wonder whether or not you might qualify for "Workman's Comp" because your work and pain seem to be related. If you can collect old medical records, you might be able to make a case for yourself for one or both.

There are free advocacy services that can help you with both (you need support to get through the maze of bureaucracy). People are usually refused at least once, and there is a wait. However, for qualifying applicants, it can be a godsend. This could provide you with enough money to survive while you recover from the surgery, if you qualify for that! Beware of lawyers who offer to "help". Sadly, many are dishonest and take advantage of people like you, seeking approval for such programs. They can over-charge, make impossible promises and take too large a "Cut" of benefits you could have gotten without them.

Most of all, you need to see a good scoliosis surgeon (others gave ways to find one or ask "Linda Racine" here, depending on where you live). I hope you have insurance, but if not, you stand to gain from the soon-to-be-established "insurance exchanges" - thank God! Such surgery (NO fun, but a possible life-saver!) could correct your painful deformity. Meanwhile, the surgeon could certify you were forbidden to return to your old work. The social services office at the hospital might be a good first step in identifying where to go to find the help you need and deserve.

Perhaps after you passed the first stage of recovery, you could train for something less physically demanding . Again, there ARE government services to help both with finding you work you're suited for, retraining, and helping you find employment - after you have a good long rest!

There is MUCH hope for you to live a different, happier life with much less pain! :)

dailystrength
05-05-2010, 07:43 PM
Good word, Back-Out. And what a lot you are going thru yourself! Do keep us posted! How awful of that nurse to exclaim like that. I think all she meant is that you hide it well. :)

jrnyc
05-05-2010, 08:04 PM
having worked in the restaurant business...i have never heard of waitors or waitresses having workmen's comp...or medical insurance from the restaurant, for that matter! i truly hope i am wrong about that!! it is a shame...i know how very very tough the work is...when i did it, we mostly had to work for tips...the hourly pay was nothing..not even a livable wage!

jess

Back-out
05-06-2010, 12:23 PM
BTW I worked as a waitress for almost six months, and it is HARD work. I remember all the regulars had bad backs and all wore special shoes. (Come to think of it, so did all the sculpture students at the Art School I attended across the street from the restaurant! Same thing - much standing on hard surfaces, and heavy lifting).

Many of the students (and our teacher) wore "space shoes" - custom molded shoes. In fact, I left the waitressing job to work for the man who made them - casting feet!

Shoes, even special socks, make a HUGE difference. You probably know this, but it's more than just "comfortable" shoes! There are special ones like I made, and even good Reeboks or Asics bought from a store with trained clerks, can give considerable relief. Those expensive socks (if you're not required to wear hose) are well worth it too. I still wear shoes from my running days (soled and resoled), and when I don't, my back hurts twice as much.

Might provide temporary relief.

Back-out
05-06-2010, 12:26 PM
Thank you for you kind words, DailyStrength. Good luck with that fabulous doctor you're seeing today. I checked his link and he sounds almost unbelievably qualified. I filed his info. Wonder what insurance he takes...

dailystrength
05-10-2010, 09:10 PM
Thanks, Back-out. I had a great appointment and they were amazed I was off the pain med. Dr. Shaffrey took my insurance which was Anthem-- you could check with your plan or call them...

NicoAnn
05-12-2010, 12:49 PM
I am on pain meds for chronic pain also. Before my surgery, I found some successful pain relief from doing Iyengar style yoga. This style concentrates on stretching and strengthening spine. It also decreased my curve by nearly 10 degrees in 4 months! I found a great instructor that had experience working with scoliosis and was able to modify the exercises to achieve the most benefit for me with minimal risk of damage. I would suggest giving it a try. Elise Browning Miller has some great material on yoga for scoliosis.

gtucker
05-19-2010, 01:33 PM
two days ago I wnt to the new pain management dr. It was much better than my visit with a differnt one last year. I was offerd and did take the offer of steroid epidural. So far and today is 48 hrs after, I havent felt any better yet. I am trying to be positive but feel rather panicky that it hasnt helped yet. I have a follow up in two weeks. This was his first suggestion and said we will go from here.
I need help soon as I start back to my seasonal waitress job in a short time. And will be exspected to also clean prior to opening.
We didnt talk at all about any pain meds. I am not on any for my back.
Am I rushing it to be disapointed to say the least that I havent had any relief yet?

jrnyc
05-20-2010, 01:45 AM
epidurals, and other injections for pain treatment, can be funny things...the first epidural i got didnt hurt alot, just felt like a truck sitting on my back, alot of pressure...the epidural helped a little bit with pain relief...for a few months, tops....the next 2 epidurals hurt more when i got them injected and gave little to no pain relief at all afterwards...

i have had facet blocks, nerve ablations...they helped for a few weeks, maybe, for relief...the best injection that worked was the sacroiliac injections...gave the best relief, but even that didnt last for very long.....

i would advise discussing oral pain medications with the doctor for when the pain is severe, relentless or just getting unbearably chronic!

it is best not to give up...because there are so many pain treatments out there, why not give many a try to see if maybe you'll get lucky and one will work! would be better than having major surgery!

best of luck
jess

gtucker
05-20-2010, 10:33 AM
ok so with much hope I had epidural steroid injection on monday. It was a big deal to me scared but hopeful for any pain relief. our hope was that it might interupt the pain. And in the future we would talk about other things. WEll I had no relief really but was told it might take a while so that was monday and weds. I thought maybe a little relief I wnt and had a massage thinking it would help to also relax the painful musels. well it hurt having the massage on my musels in my back and now It hurts awful. Do you think it means the epidural isnt working or just an aggravation of pressure on my nerves?

I am so depressed.