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I’ve had back surgery in February 2009 which ended up with issues and the surgeon had to go back in the next month and attempt to fix what he had done. In this second surgery, he hit the L5 nerve which caused permanent damage leaving me with weakness and numbness in the right leg. In addition to this, I was left with pain in my lower back much worse than it was before the surgery.
I got the run around from him and Swedish Hospital for a few months before going to a pain clinic closer to home. This doctor basically told me I had no options except to take pain medications. We tried Fentanyl patches, morphine, misc patches, more than I can remember. We settled on the best option for my pain level.
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Anyone who has taken Oxycontin knows that the 12-hour tabs don’t last 12 hours. Because of the damn laws and contract I had to sign, I learned to pace about 8 hours a day, total, waiting until I could take more medicine. That meant for 9 years I have not slept through the night or had more than 4 hours of sleep altogether. It has also harmed all relationships I have in my life. I wasn’t able to work, struggled to spend time with my family and rarely left the house.
A few months ago my pain doctor retired, without ever telling me I had options. I was given a list of clinics I could go to. I chose the one closest to my home and boy, am I ever thankful! Two months after visiting my new doctor, he performed at ablation on the nerves going into my right leg. There is no pain now! I was left with sciatic pain, mainly on the right side. I was able to cut down from 40 mg of oxycontin twice a day to 30 and then 20. I am switching to 10 mg pills 3 times a day to finally cover that gap of time I went through withdrawal. I had no idea that was an option! I fill the prescription next week to start the new regimen so will see how it goes.
Read more: My Life with Chronic Pain
I had an injection of cortisone in my right sciatic area which lasted about 2 months (which is 2 months longer than the two I had previously at Swedish Hospital). My option now will be to go back in and have the ablation done to the nerve in the sciatic area which should leave me pain-free! After all this time, there was such an easy answer which is literally a 5-minute procedure and absolutely painless! I am so frustrated and angry with my previous doctor. I lost the entire decade of my 50’s because of this horrible drug.
I do have to say that I am thankful I have insurance and I can completely understand why people turn to heroin and other drugs to avoid the pain they live with.