Hello everyone. This is my first posting:). I will be having my morphine pump trial on 2/13/08. I am quite nervous about it. Reading all of these postings has been very informative so thank you for contributing!
I have degenerative disc disease. The first rupture occurred in 2000 and the surgery to repair it was very successful. I think that it was caused by my oldest son jumping onto my back and his knee ramming into the L4-L5 area.
Two years later, the same disc ruptured again for no apparent reason. I got out of bed one morning and found myself with the same excruciating pain as before. Doctors told me that it had not ruptured by I KNEW that it had. After begging for an MRI, my hunch was proven correct. A second surgery was performed which was very difficult. The scar tissue that built up from the first surgery was wrapped around the S1 nerve root and my surgeon told me that the nerve membrane can tear in one of ten surgeries. Mine was the one in ten. I leaked spinal fluid and the nerve membrane had to be patched. Luckily, I avoided a cerebral headache. There was severe trauma to the nerve. I have slight atrophy of my right calf muscle, numbness in both lower legs and feet, and obvious pain in my low back, hips, legs, and feet, but it alternates from left to right each day. There is no rhyme nor reason for this. One day, it will be the right side that kills me, and then the next day, it will be the left. Thank God it's not both at the same time or I think that I would die!! No doctor has ever been able to explain this to me. I had been seeing pain specialist after pain specialist and have been on every narcotic out there. My vertebra had become so unstable that by April of 2007, I had a spinal fusion done. Two rods and four screws are now in place, with a cylinder in place of what was left of my disc. I knew going into to this surgery that my pain might not get any better but at least my back would be stable and it wouldn't get any worse. Like many of you though, there is NEVER a moment, never an hour, never a day, that I don't have pain.
In regard to medications, I am on 6omg of Kadian per day and 200mg of Topamax per day to ease the pain. I can still work but some days are much harder than others. I suffer horrible constipation from the Kadian and that's the primary reason why I am considering the pump. I am so used to living with the pain that I have accepted it. The risks involved with the pump really scare me but if I can have it and not have to depend on taking chronic laxatives and fiber supplements then I might consider it if the trial goes well. I have a feeling that if the trial goes well, then I may think why I ever hesitated doing this. I can control putting a pill in my mouth. I can't control the pump in my body should it come loose. That's the biggest concern I have. My doctor has not talked with me very much about it at all. He just told me that I am a candidate, handed me a video to watch and walked out the door.