I keep poking and and out as time permits, and my issues keep seeming to get worse. Since I couldn't figure out the best place to put this, here it shall be.
For those who remember me, I had the left side L5/S1 micro-D in July of 07. Got some relief and did well through fall/winter. Had residual issues on left side, but was completely functional.
Getting back to the US in May, hit all the alternative/complementary treatment modalities I could find (PT, acupuncture, chiro...yada, yada, yada). Not only did the left side not get better, but shortly after the right side started up. Thought it was probably muscular, but MRI in June showed "protrusion on right side at same level. Not a happy camper.
I was even more disturbed when the NS told me that I was operative (showing bilateral symptoms), and that I should do everything conservative before coming back to him. He had me do a lumbar X-ray series, and on my f/u advised that L5 vertebrae has slipped (not which direction though). I'm gathering this is spondylolytesis, correct? Was hoping he'd go over the films/MRI with me, but the appointment last about 3 minutes (again). Again, same result, advised to avoid him (surgically) as long as I can. Tried to bring up ADR as a possibility (have bulges the 2 levels above and dont' want to exaccerbate them), but he seems fixated on fusion.
Went for my first ESI 3 weeks ago, but it wore off after 2 weeks. While I wouldn't say it he gave me great relief, it certainly was something of an improvement. The past 4 days, have been particularly bad however, as the pain in my lower right back has persistently spread down the leg and into my calf. Whereas my initial problem on the left side had been characterized by weakness, numbness and timgling (with some pain in the foot), this has been a whole different animal. The pain on the right is not only persisent, but getting significantly worse. The positive response on the straight-leg test, at first muted, is now through the roof. I'm scheduled for a F/U with the Pain management Doc on Monday, but Friday would be the earliest I could get another ESI (and I'm not sure I'll last that long, at this rate).
My cousin, who is a fantastic pain management Doc (back East) is trying to give me all sorts of ideas on injections (facet joint & prolotherapy) to avoid surgery (at all costs), but I can't see how any of them is going to dramatically alter this in the near term. She's optimistic that with the right practioner and injections I can get through this. I appreciate her optimism, and wish I was close enough to have her work on me. Unfortunately, I'm stuck on the opposite cost, and am worried that band-aids aren't going to do the job.
I'm in a bad position right now, as I'm a full time grad student (in the military, no less) and can't afford to be laid up for surgery, of any kind...let alone something significant.....for another 17 months. Unfortunatley, with the way things are deteriorating, I don't know how long I'm realistically going to be able to hold out. I've managed to get through the first 7 weeks of school, but it seems that things are progressing, not getting better. I'm really frustrated, and am tired of not "being myself"!
Well, guess that's it for the moment. Again this crosses several threads (LBP, DDD, Spondy, alternative treatments, and I'm sure a few others). Tired of being depressed and feeling sorry for myself, and appreciate you all being there to listen. Thanks again!