What am I doing at 4 AM?


I can’t sleep and the pain isn’t helping. I had about 3 hours sleep and that usually means that it will take a few hours or more before I am ready to sleep again.

I am researching and watching videos on youtube.com about spinal fusion which is something I might have to go through. There are very few if any discs left in my spine and bone on bone is very painful.  Spinal fusion is one way they fix it, however it is usually only one or two vertebrate that they fuse. I don’t know how bad mine is or if it is possible to fuse them.

The videos were kind of freaky although it did give me some hope as to recovery and being able to move again depending on what they end up doing. If I am lucky I can just have the steroid shots and live with the chronic pain, but maybe not. I already have nerve damage another consideration and the stenosis of the spine could cause more pinching of the nerves besides what they do see in there already. They only MRI’d the cervical and lumbar and I know there are some in the thoracic area as well.

I am freaking myself out, but can’t seem to stop looking at the info available. I need to know what can possibly happen.

I found out that the stenosis can cause involuntary bladder and bowel loss of control. I didn’t know that the incontinence of my bladder for the last 2 years could be caused by the stenosis. I don’t know if it is fixable or not. It says tell your dr immediately. Well I have mentioned it to many of my drs and no one seemed to be alarmed or care. Now it seems possible it is linked to my back pain and the spinal stenosis. I have to remember to bring it up to the pain dr while she is evaluating me for possible treatments.

2 weeks to pain management appointment. I hope the time moves quickly like the rest of my life is flying by. I want to get past all of this and am hoping surgery is not needed although from what I know and what I have researched it looks very possible.

Teresa (Tessa) Dean Smeigh

-Advocate for Mental and Invisible Illnesses

-Author of Articles, Stories and Poems

http://www.tessacandoit.com

http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com (moving posts to other blog and will be deleting this one).

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20 thoughts on “What am I doing at 4 AM?

  1. authorsinspirations

    it sure sounds painful. but it’s only scary because you have yet to go through it. trust me, once you’ve done it, the scary part will be behind – and hopefully it will all work out. I’m sure the beginnig won’t be as easy as one hopes, but it’ll get better. I speak from knowledge of pain and hard times – though i’ve never gone through spinal fusion (and hope i never will). and the steroids will cause other problems if taken too long – this i know because i’ve taken them for 8 years without stopping. if your only options are steroids and fusion, choose the fusion. – and by the way, try researching stem cells.

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    1. Tessa Post author

      I have diabetes. Continuous steroids are not good for me. Those shots will do their own damage. There is no easy solution. Understand chronic pain, been at this for over 40 years and went the pinched nerve route 7 years ago, but it has degenerated a lot since then. I had the shots last time.

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            1. Tessa Post author

              besides hard to understand I don’t see that it is an actual treatment, but still experimental. I can’t see my insurance paying for experimental stem cell surgery. Thanks for the suggestion, but unless my dr is using it I won’t be going further with looking it up and traveling to wherever they might be working with it.

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    1. Tessa Post author

      Thank you. As for tips for what to say to support a depressed person – don’t tell them you understand if you have never been through it. That always annoys me. A perky always upbeat person tries to tell you she or he understands. Just pisses off the depressed person.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. luthienthegreen

        Yes, it annoys me too! ‘I know how you feel’ is one you hear a lot… No one knows how you feel and definately not a person who has never been depressed (though you sometimes get people who believe they have).

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  2. suesuzzz

    Wow gurl…
    I can’t wait for you to get to your pain dr… yes I know how it is being up at 4am lol sometimes I think that I am sleep walking thru my day …just so tired too…
    I think and this is just me I would try more and different shots first before having a operation… my saying is… its better to know the pain that you already have then to not know and it be worse… I know I would never have it done by any of the doc down here in the city over lol… I had shoulder operation over 15 years ago and they say it looks like a bomb went off on the x rays and all that and now no other dr will help me or even try to fix it …so I just live with more fuckin pain… this week has been so hard with pain levels so damn high that its hard to think and so tired of pain meds not working or even helping a lil… now I need to find new drs for each illnesses…and not having any luck at all… and can’t handle trips to Dallas … so I am down to one dr that does nothing…
    I will keep praying for you T…
    Hugggs n ♥♥

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  3. donnainthesouth

    Tessa, my hub’s uncle’s had practically his whole back fused; do think it did help with the pain for a long while, but had never heard that about the incontinence, either, but maybe that’s what’s caused his, would hate that, but mom somewhat went through that and it can be manageable; had forgotten about your diabetes, so, yes, the steroids would not be good, my dil has gone through that; hub’s uncle’s not had those or any other shots as far as I know; he has had pain meds but didn’t really have to take them for a long time, but seems he’s had to start lately, not really sure what’s making that difference; I really think it’s because he that since he wouldn’t/didn’t think he had to before, but, also, as I understand, he didn’t because he also didn’t do anything to cause himself any pain; looking back I think maybe he was scared, but also I was thinking about exercise but I was thinking about you tried that, but I’m talking about after his fusion, not before; my mom went through what you did and I hate that so bad; they sent her to PT before her surgery and it liked to killed her, too; they knew from x-rays and such that she was bone on bone, not entirely sure the PT people did; if not, think that’s something they should, but they were just following doc’s orders, who didn’t want her to have surgery and I realize it does have its own risks but sometimes there just comes a time when that’s just what it’s going to take, at least painwise, if it’s gotten that bad, which sounds like yours has – she’d been through the pinched nerve thing as well before, too; do hope things can go well

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