I haven't got time for the pain ...
August 26, 2013 4:29 PM Subscribe
I've got a herniated disc (L5-S1) that is causing excruciating pain across the top of my right foot. I've had 2 of 3 lumbar epidurals (3rd one is scheduled for Sept. 5) which, thus far, have not helped. I have a consult with an orthopedic surgeon scheduled for Sept. 11. I've got vicodin, flexeril and OTC naproxen. But these are doing far too little to alleviate the pain. My question: Any tips, ideas on how to deal with this pain for the next 2-plus weeks without going crazy. Snowflakes within ...
posted by jrchaplin to health & fitness (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A little over 2 months ago, I began having pain and discomfort in my lower back (right side), right hip and calf, along with numbness in my right foot. No particular triggering injury or accident I can think of; just got achy while out on a walk. I've had minor back issues on and off since my teens, so didn't think too much of it.
Over the course of 3 days, this pain quickly went from a distraction to debilitating, resulting in me spending July 4th in the emergency room, because I could barely walk and was literally writhing in pain. I started seeing chiropractor while awaiting an appointment with a pain specialist. The chiro helped with reducing much of my lower back and hip pain. But the lower leg pain remained and the foot numbness has now turned into excruciating pain.
I had an MRI done in mid-July which showed an L5-S1 disc herniation.
Back on Aug. 7 I had an epidural injection; I had a second last week. Since then, the pain in my foot has gotten worse, to the point where today walking is a slow and agonizing process. it feels as if the inner side of my and my big toe are in a vice; I also get bursts of an almost electric, very unpleasant tingling on the top of the foot.
I can't wear a sock or a shoe; I get by with Crocs, though the one on the right foot gets kicked off once I'm indoors. The foot is extraordinarily tender to the touch (but not swollen or red). The skin feels as if I have a very nasty sunburn; ditto for the outside of my right calf. I can't stand having the foot covered by bedsheets or blankets. Too say the least, my sleep quality is terrible. It's been two months since I've had an uninterrupted night of sleep.
I've tried acupuncture, to no effect. (I feel some reduction in pain while on the table and for about an hour afterward.) I'm still seeing the chiro 2x a week, but I feel like it's mostly keeping the rest of me from falling apart.
Oh, I had been originally prescribed oxycodone, but it didn't help, and left me with anxiety and insomnia.
I don't know how some people can live with this kind of pain for months or years on end. I'd appreciate any successful strategies others have used in coping with pain.