Procedure after procedure to just end up bed/chair/house confined because of CDC opiate dosing guidelines ?

Hi Steve,

I’ve been putting this ofc for quite some time, but now is appropriate, I think… Here goes…

I was a nurse in a cardiac unit for six years. On September 6, 1987 I was hurt at work, the day before Labor Day and three days before my twenty ninth birthday. We were short staffed with it being a holiday weekend, so I tried to lift a patient up in bed by myself. She was a tiny thing and was lucid. When I pulled, she grabbed the siderails…I felt horrendous pain in my lower back that shot down my left leg.

After my first laminectomy in March of 1988, I recovered and was allowed to return to work in September of that year. The hospital, in their infinite wisdom, assigned me to a dialysis floor KNOWING that I’d had surgery six months previously. I lasted five weeks before herniating another disc. More surgery, which failed…and another, and another.

Then the fusions started. After three of them where all bone, my own and donor, disintegrated, I tried a spinal cord stimulator. When it was turned on that evening, causing such muscle spasms that the leads were displaced. After a month, the doctors tried to reposition them, but to no avail. In search of relief, I explored various alternatives, including consulting with healthcare professionals about tizanidin rezeptfrei, a muscle relaxant, to address the ongoing issues with muscle spasms.

Then, in 1994, I was referred to another orthopedic surgeon who told me that he could get a fusion to work, but he would have to implant titanium. I said okay…why??? Because he dangled the “I can get you back to work” carrot under my nose.
Well, I still couldn’t work, but I suppose I was okay until 2009, when yet ANOTHER surgeon had me undergo a CT Myelogram (which was the most painful procedure I ever had!) anyway, it showed severe stenosis, failed hardware and degenerative disc disease. I had that surgery in 2010. Still no relief, except for pain meds.

In 2013, it was discovered that I had Flat Back Syndrome. The most painful SURGERY ever! Then scoliosis, more surgery. Then more surgery because of broken rods and loosened screws. Then a final, so far, surgery in 2019 because of DDD.

I’m now fused, with hardware, from T-2 down to my sacrum and out to both ileac crests. I am now 63 years old, so I have spent over half my life in constant pain. It wasn’t so bad when I was being prescribed proper medication, but we all know that’s over.

I have tried everything, and I mean EVERYTHING for the pain. You name it, I have done it. I’m at the point now that I have no quality of life. I can’t do much for myself anymore, not even clean my own bottom. I have deep, dark depressions that come over me in waves. My best friend, my sister by choice, passed away four months ago from…you guessed it!!!! Complications from untreated chronic pain! Oh, how I envy her…I wish it had been me….

I’m sorry this is so long, but it’s a complicated problem that I have, along with many others. I used to be a happy, active woman… Now, all I do is read and play word games on my tablet.

Thank you for all that you do for the chronic pain community, Steve…we appreciate it.

6 Responses

  1. This is the kind of history a person wouldn’t have if they learned what I teach. It’s possibly still not too late. My next course in Bringing Medicine to the 21st Century starts June 13. Go to to learn more about the course and get signed up.

  2. I know how she feels. People tell me how lucky I am to have survived being in an accident. I know what they mean and in that regard, I guess I am but it sure doesn’t feel that way all too often. I now view those that get to go on before me as being the lucky ones. It’s not that I want to die, as I’m sure you all know. I don’t. I just don’t want to struggle to ‘live’ and suffer with constant pain while being treated like a hypochondriac or medical malingerer on top of it even when I have a medical file that’s filled with conditions known to cause terrible symptoms and worst of all, severe chronic pain. You can’t have the level and type of injuries that I sustained and not expect things to go awry at some point. And that was only the beginning. 28 years ago as of this this September. They told me that I’d probably develop chronic pain later in life but that I’d be taken care of because no doctor would see my former injuries and deny me help. Oh, how I wish that were still true. Not just for my own needs but for those of all who know exactly what I’m talking about.

    I read some absolutely heart wrenching stories sometimes and break down in tears with a heavy, hurting heart as if I knew the person whose story I’m reading. In a sense, I do. I know the elements of what we are all dealing with so very well and I can empathize with that person as if they were my dear friend. That’s because we seem to be the only ones who have that empathy and compassion for each other. Although that’s not to exclude the phenomenal advocates, providers, researchers and all of the other folks that have the rationality to comprehend and the hearts to try to understand. When I tell people that I’m so very sorry for how they were treated and what they’re being subjected to, I absolutely mean it. Every time. I feel it all the way down to the bottom of my heart. I carry their stories with me and use that as my motivation for addressing our issues with the public every opportunity that I get.

    I just cannot, do not and will never understand how we got to be in this position that we are in. Never in my life did I think that this level of inhumanity and cruelty could be unleashed upon us and especially not under the guise of helping and saving us. I always thought that if something even remotely like this every tried to take root, that the culprits would be swiftly shut down and appropriately dealt with. I suppose I had too much confidence in other people and underestimated the power of carefully crafted narrative in times of ‘crisis’. That and the nefarious agendas driven by goal driven individuals and entities, that have no regard for whom they harm to get to where they want to go. The fact that they can keep it up knowing fully well what they’ve done, pouring it on ever thicker even, just speaks to the twisted mindsets of the people who are doing these things.

    I wanted to believe that the majority would stand up for us. That they would stand up against the injustice of it all. The problem that I didn’t account for was that they wouldn’t even recognize it happening. And so here we are. Waiting to someone to realize that while they were distracted, people unnecessarily languished and died. That it was entirely preventable and that it was indeed a genuine tragedy. I just hope that day comes sooner, rather than later, for the sake of us all. I truly do.

  3. The shooting that occurred just yards from my home in Tulsa, OK yesterday, will be linked to opioids. The shooter had recently had some kind of back surgery from one of the physician’s that he killed. Today, we have been informed the shooter had called multiple times with complaints of extensive pain, post op. He apparently had been seen by Dr. Phillips, deceased on May 25th for some kind of treatment, then released. He made several calls in the following day’s, apparently they without any resolution. We already deal with unprecedented suicide in our pain community since the restriction of our medications. I fear if we have many of these types of situations, our community could be in even more trouble getting the bare minimum. As someone who lives with severe pain from failed spinal lumbar fusion, L2-S1 in addition to MS, there are days I don’t know what my purpose is here any longer. I just felt that the community should have this information, it can certainly impact us harshly in the future.

  4. As a former nurse of the same age, this hit so close to home and has me crying, again. When will this madness end?

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