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back has gone again, not holding down meds. Hospital?

(117 Posts)
Pavlovthecat Wed 07-Nov-12 09:27:24

hello. Despite the wonderful post that has led to lots of thread and posts and visits to my blog abou dillytantes amazing memory helping my back issue, I am sad to say that it has 'gone' again.

I need some advice. I am in a lot of pain. It has been threatening to go badly since the weekend, sort of did on sunday then was ok, but at the same time on sunday I started to throw up and have hardly stopped since.

I have not taken my tramadol since tuesday (so add a bit of withdrawal into the mix). I managed to hold down some water last night, so tried some rice cracker this morning, followed by a slow release tramadol and two paracetamol. They came straight back up.

Now, I always said that when it goes again like this I would be up at A&E not the docs as they just send me away again. But, now it has come to it, I am not sure. Added to the fact I am not able to take any pain relief has me thinking I should go. I have a GP appt at 10:40am but can't see what they will do. I am not sure I can even make it as I can't walk. I can have telephone appt but that is 11:30am onwards, could be as late as 2pm. That means if I am not happy, or if they suggest hospital, it coincides with DH getting the children. GP is unlikely to do anything I am sure.

I am ok if I am still. (But, clucking means I am fidgeting wink). I am holding down a little water now.

WWYD? I am thinking if I get into hospital the very least they will do is get some fluid and some medicine in me before kicking me out? But, I have been here before and did not go to hospital, I feel a bit like a fraud.

PavlovtheCat Sun 11-Nov-12 22:08:05

hey, I am here. Sorry for being rude and sweary, was feeling very rough. much better now, thanks to a sleep and some friends taking DS for an hour so I could calmly take DD to her swimming lesson.

I have actually been really poorly this week I have come to realise, but I am on the up. Back pain is now bearable as long as I don't do too much. I really wanted to go to work tomorrow, and I just don't think I can sad I can feel my career slipping through my fingers. If this goes on much longer I am not sure how I can keep my job. I mean, I am sure they are not going to fire me any time soon as I work in a governmental post so they will follow protocol re disability and support me as much as they can, I have good sick pay (6 months full/6 months half) so financially it is not an issue, but how I can I demonstrate that this is something that will improve enough to have me back at work on full cylinders? If I can't demonstrate that long term, they would have grounds to medically dismiss me. And, even if they don't, I am no longer good at my job.

Viperidae Sun 11-Nov-12 22:23:27

Pavlov My back is much improved these days from when I had my ruptured disc but does go into a horrid muscle spasm for a day or two every now and again. My GP gives me diazepam and it really does help although it can only be taken for a short time.

PavlovtheCat Sun 11-Nov-12 22:31:19

I was going to ask for diazepam on wednesday, but I asked for codeine to try in place of my tramadol and felt she would be hmm if I asked for diazepam too! But, I should have asked for that instead, as actually that is what I needed, for my muscles to relax more quickly and for me to sleep, that would have helped my pain much more than either codeine or tramadol both of which wire me. I have had it in the past and find I only need like 5mg max x 3 daily for 2 days and that is enough to get me past the awful stage.

I did have an 'action plan' but my sickness meant it went all out of the window. I am going to have a medication review this week as I am not happy with how I am.

LostInWales Sun 11-Nov-12 22:31:20

Glad it got a bit more bearable Pavlov. Mornings are complete arse aren't they?

When I went for my MRI the radiographer was asking me if I needed any work grin I decided that either my back didn't look too scary or they were just desperate for staff! I can't work properly anymore but I can manage very part time, I have decided not to care too much even though I am bank staff so don't get any sick pay.

Muscle spasms are also arse. Sometimes they are worse than the actual back pain but then I dared to dance for two minutes whilst wearing comfy heels last night so I am my own worst enemy.

PavlovtheCat Sun 11-Nov-12 22:32:34

vip I know we have spoken before about your back, but I can't remember, did your rupture heal on it's own? I know someone, can't recall who, said her back healed in about a year and she took diazepam at night every day for one year to get her through it and she managed to keep working.

PavlovtheCat Sun 11-Nov-12 22:34:27

lost did you have fun last night? Was it worth the pain today? I have not worn heels for a long time. well, not strictly true, i wore some to a christening a few weeks ago, hopped up on painkillers, nerve blockers, and took my biker boots to change into grin

PavlovtheCat Sun 11-Nov-12 22:35:11

are you a radiographer then wales? or a nurse?

PavlovtheCat Sun 11-Nov-12 22:35:44

i see I have shortened your name in two different ways in two different posts blush sorry!

MsPickle Sun 11-Nov-12 22:36:58

Hello, I don't want to gate crash as reading this I have a sense of an ongoing dialogue but I had to comment about tramadol and odd symptoms. I had a scoliosis correction 7 years ago after serious pain through my teens/early 20's. So much of your fight with various medica could have come straight from my notes!! I also had suspected epilepsy for a while until we traced that to tramadol, it also makes my mum very 'odd'. I could take combinations of paracetamol, codeine, diclofenac (that took several goes against the spell checker! wink) and (to be honest, my favourite) dihydrocodeine but not tramadol. I do wonder whether one of the issues with it is build up and whether that contributed to your sickness? I also hated the come up/come down feeling (co proxamol through teen binge drinking/uni anyone?! wink ). What I wished someone had shared with me pre op was stuff around pacing. The basic idea is that you never push yourself to the end of your tolerance, only ever to about 80% do you've always got 'spare' in the tank. So, for example, about 2 weeks post op (which was done anteriorally) at home I could sit in my big, supportive desk chair for 20 minutes but I'd sit for 15 so I had 5 minutes in hand. That sort of thing. What it stopped me doing was riding the rollercoaster that I'd had before of 'oh it's not too bad/am at the right point in the drug cycle' and doin too much resulting in more pain later in the day. It made me feel more in control (which I sorely needed pre op) and also made managing my pain meds more straightforward as I was taking them at the right point in the cycle so I dropped them faster than I think I otherwise would have done. My op was at Stanmore and I think I remember seeing a specialist clinic there for pain management of chronic back pain. I feel for all of you coping with this and with small dcs as well. I hope you hit upon someone/something that makes the difference to you soon.

LostInWales Sun 11-Nov-12 22:48:38

MsPickle I understand what you are saying, I very rarely let myself get to the point of no return now. Sometimes I think I am a lazy cow but then I realise I know what makes me hurt and not getting to that end point makes me more productive in the long term.

Pavlov I am a radiographer, I can be quite evil in my head when an 80 year old is complaining that her new onset knee pain is 'inconvenient' or a larger patient extends an arm for me to lift them and when I say I can't they always manage to get up perfectly well on their own.

I think I prefer lost of losty btw. Wales makes me think I should be married to Prince Harry (although that could also be fun wink)

LostInWales Sun 11-Nov-12 22:49:43

Not 'lost of losty' that would just be wierd grin. Lost or losty!

giraffesCantLightFireworks Sun 11-Nov-12 22:51:40

Oh pav that is shiteness. Haven't read full thread but go if you need to. Take phone with net access and we will chat to you. Will come back and read properly later x

LostInWales Sun 11-Nov-12 23:06:45

And yes, I had a great time last night although my friends were wondering where their party animal friend got to because we came home quite early but I couldn't cope with standing up or sitting on the uncomfy chairs any longer. Bastard backs stopping me staying out all night getting drunk and stupid grin actually, there might be a silver lining there wink

PavlovtheCat Sun 11-Nov-12 23:07:25

mrspickle not gatecrashing! I just yabber tramadol talk! I completely understand about not pushing it, and I am notorious for doing that. And that is a huge reason why I want to stop the meds, or reduce them drastically. It is not that I want to be in pain, but the nerve blocker in particular, it was a great nerve pain reliever (horrible horrible side effects) but it meant I pushed myself too far, as I could not tell so easily when I needed to stop.

I do often forget so thank you for reminding me, and great advice about keeping a little back in reserve. That is what I have to do re work, esp tomorrow, I could probably get in, but it would use all my reserves so if I relapse, I have nothing to fall back on.

I keep going back to the tramadol as the possible cause of the vomitting, I just never did that on the other painkillers (not had dihydrocodene, only codiene phosphate) but I am regularly sick for a day since taking tramadol, at least once a month, sometimes more than that, just for a day, but enough to notice. GP just changed me onto slow release.

How long has it been since your op? how are you recovering?

losty it is then grin

giraffe I am better than I was, but be sure, if I go to hospital at some point in the future, I will be taking the ipad with me grin even though it is actually DHs. The laptop battery doesn't charge without the power lead, so what choice do I have? do they have wifi there? I have bt which includes free hotspot, so if they have hotspots I will be ok without a dongly thing.

I do think, at the rate it is going downhill/keeps happening, I am going to end up there, as I am reaching tolerance breaking point. Just thankfully not this weekend, DD has been so upset, not sure she would handle it well.

PavlovtheCat Sun 11-Nov-12 23:08:11

losty least it saves you money wink

Hi all, just posting briefly after skimming through today's posts. I have two things to say:

1) I may live in mortal terror of sneezes but the tickly cough I have atm is worse confused

and

2) Are you familiar with Spoon Theory?

I hope everyone has a good night.

PavlovtheCat Sun 11-Nov-12 23:42:00

puddle oh i love that theory! It is so true! and it is what we have to do, and what we do, certainly what I do. I always make those choices. If I do x I can't do y or z and have to think about those decisions carefully.

In fact, I wonder if my boss has read this. She once said to me, when I was doing physio 'think about your time if you are in pain. if you feel you have a window of just 2 hours feeling ok in a day, think carefully about whether you can be in work, or if you need to cook dinner for the family or if you need to take a nap in that time, don't just decide to come to work, if that means something else important won't get done' (she has a disability herself so would not surprise me).

I am going to keep that in my head, maybe even buy a print for the wall grin

PavlovtheCat Sun 11-Nov-12 23:42:22

and crap you have a cough sad horrible pressure on your back, hope it eases.

LostInWales Sun 11-Nov-12 23:48:11

Puddle the spoons thing is perfect. I may share it with some of my friends. That perfectly explains life with a shit back, although I also have a friend with lupus who will love it even more than I do. Here's looking forward to a week where we all find more spoons than we expect.

Viperidae Sun 11-Nov-12 23:59:21

Pavlov My ruptured disc did resolve itself although I don't know exactly how (my consultant said he did not believe in MRIs or x-rays unless needed for exact info for operating, preferred to diagnose and treat by symptoms wherever possible)

I had ibuprofen then diclofenac with Co-Codamol 30/500 for the initial episode which lasted about 8 weeks at full tilt then about 4 easing off. When I get flare-ups I had been managing with the same painkillers till GP suggested diazepam 2mg three times a day for maximum 1 week but I have discovered that, if I start quickly with it, I rarely need more than 3 days.

I have been very lucky that my back has settled almost totally

PavlovtheCat Mon 12-Nov-12 00:06:10

oh that is great to hear, a positive story that has resolved without surgery. i am definitely going to talk to gp about diazepam for v short periods when it is really bad and get rid of the other meds (in time, no point being silly about it when i am going through an acute episode)

thanks again everyone for your continued support, you helped me out of yet another dark time. sleep well everyone.

MsPickle Mon 12-Nov-12 07:25:26

Hi hope you're all better this morning! I'm 7 years post op and have to say that it's the best thing I did. I have some residual muscle aches where I was unbalanced for so long but am by and large symptom free. I was deteriorating so fast (almost a degree a month) by the time surgery happened that I didn't have a choice. I didn't lose as many discs as originally thought so I lost very little movement really. And I was so proud the first time I showed my mum I could touch my toes!!!! smile. I have wear and tear right at the base and know that in later years I might need further help but tbh I'm still grateful for every morning I don't have to cry as I get out of bed.

PavlovtheCat Mon 12-Nov-12 15:28:21

gp has prescribed pregabalin. I don't want to take it. I have read the side effects and I struggled with many of those that were 'common' for gabapentin and also amitriptyline, the similar ones. I am already dependent on tramadol, I don't want to be so on another drug, and I don't want another 4-6wks of the horrendous side effects waiting to see if it works. GP was insistant I used something or else I would be in pain. She has attributed this level of pain to the stopping of amitriptyline as I can't cope on the side effects. She was quite insistent, tried to convince me to keep on with the amiptripyline first.

I just don't want to take these mind altering, personality changing drugs. I feel really upset as I don't really know what do do now. If I don't take this drug, it will therefore be My Own Doing, this pain right?

I just want to be me again.

On a good note, I went for a swim(4 lengths on my back mostly floating), steam room and spa pool, then sat in the disabled shower in very hot water for ages. I feel a lot better in myself, but unsure what do to about the meds. I might post a thread about pregabalin, I am sure I have before, but can't find it.

I can't advise on medication I'm afraid, the last time I was on anything was about 8 years ago and it was amitriptyline, tramadol and/or diazepam in various combinations. Amitriptyline and diazepam didn't do anything, tramadol made me very spaced and alternately throw up and pass out. Then I was told that there was nothing further the doctors could do and I would have to put up with it. I was 23.

Now I'm older, wiser and angrier and I refuse to be fobbed off. I've managed to get an MRI and an appointment with a consultant a few weeks later and I will not just go away quietly. If I have to stamp my feet (ow) and throw my metaphorical toys out of the pram then that is what I shall do. I have 2 small children and I want to be able to play with them, to be able to lift them, to go for long walks with them. Atm I can't even pick up my 10mo without a sharp intake of breath because it feels like someone's sent an electric shock up my spine. Add to that the permanent burning, tearing pain across my lumbar spine and the occasional sciatic pain in my legs and I really am not a happy bunny!

Sorry for the verbal diarrhoea. blush I'm not sure where all that came from, I guess I needed to get it out of my system a bit.

Pavlov this pain is not your fault, whether you're medicated or not. The pain will still be there, it will just be masked or muffled to a degree. It's up to you what you take and how you manage this but it is not your fault.

PavlovtheCat Mon 12-Nov-12 20:15:34

joyful you got to get it out sometimes, and you have to fight. Although I feel right now like banging my head against a brick wall, the letter to spinal pathway still not having been done today, but you have to fight now more than ever so you can enjoy your children. It is important.

I threw up again this evening, and in front of DD and DH shushed her out of the room with her hysterical 'mama! mama! i want mama! i don't want her to be sick any more or have a poorly back any more i don't! sobbing her heart out.

I am not going to take the pregabalin.

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