I never thought I would join something like this, but I've been browsing for an hour and have been intrigued by everyone's stories and been amazed by all of the support everyone has offered one another.
I wish I found this sooner.
I'll try and keep my story simple, although it‘s a lonnngg story... I'm a 24 year old girl and I've been in pain for literally half of my life. I was always active growing up; dance, gymnastics, softball etc. When I was 12, I was diagnosed with a low grade Spondylolisthesis, slight Scoliosis and a bulge at L5-S1. I wore a backbrace for 6 months, (which I now have heard they no longer do for such problems; As a pre-teen the last thing you want is a hard plastic brace on 22 hours a day. Thankfully I was able to wear it under my clothes, and hardly anyone knew I ever even had one.) I stopped playing all activities, due to pain and Dr’s orders, and went through 6 months of physical therapy. After that I was pretty good for a few years. I had my spurts of pain every now and then. I always dealt with Right leg pain/sciatica.
Fast Forward to Janurary 2004, I was involved in a car accident. For a few months I did not feel any more pain than “normal“, but the job I had at the time required being on my feet all day and the other half of the day I was sitting for long hours in classes at college. I’m not sure which set it off but within 3 months I had horrible pain into my right hip/groin, thigh, calf, foot. The MRI at the time showed a herniation at L4-L5 and that same large bulge at L5-S1. Going back to look at my old MRI from when I was 12 actually showed the herniation (which for some reason at the time was never addressed.) It definitely worsened over the years, and probably also due to the trauma of the car accident etc.
In the last 5 years I have done Physical Therapy, Trigger point injections, Ultrasound, Massage, Chiropractor. I’ve tried icing it, heating it, living on anti-inflammatory meds, stretching. Nothing really worked, and many times I thought some things just aggravated the situation. Sometimes I felt it better to just leave it alone.
In the last 3 years my pain had gotten horrible. My sciatica was the worst it’s ever been. Along with the right hip/groin, thigh, calf, foot pain, I had random tingling, feeling of heat, muscle spasms, and experiences that felt like the worst “charlie horses” imaginable. Sleeping became more of a chore than anything because many times I’d have to get up and walk around in the middle of the night just to make the pain bearable. I have had several Steroid Epidural Injections, Facet Injections, SI Joint Injections in the last 3 years. I did find the injections helpful. But over time I found that they not only did not last as long, but their effectiveness was not the same.
November 4th I had an Injection and within 5 days I experienced the worst pain I have ever felt. I could not walk, stand, sit, bend… NOTHING. I went to the ER, was reluctantly discharged by doctors after being given pain pills to take home (which I never take because 1. they don’t seem to help and 2. I don’t like the way they make me feel etc) They told me they thought I should see a Dr. to consider surgery. November 11th I miraculously got a consultation with a Dr at a new spine clinic associated with a very well-respected hospital in my area. The Neurosurgeon I met with convinced me that surgery was my only choice left. I was admitted to the hospital that night and November 12th I was having a microdiscectomy.
I never thought that I would be 24 years old having back surgery.. I was so anti-back surgery that I thought I would NEVER have it done. I can honestly say although it has only been 3 weeks since the surgery. I am so happy I did it. So far so good. I still have some pain but it is nothing compared to before!
If anyone has any experiences/suggestions post op, I’d love to hear them.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading… It feels good to share with people that understand. (hence the reason, I wish I found this sooner)
-Nicole from NY