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New Member...Stuck on the Floor

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi Everyone,

I'm here because my boyfriend recommended this site to me. I guess he has been looking for something inspirational for me since I've been depressed about my situation lately.

I'm only 26 years old, I just graduated from collage and I was so eager and ready to start my career in graphic design. My boyfriend even got me a beautiful aluminum portfolio case to carry my work in when I go around showing off my work in interviews.

The day after the last day of classes, my back went out. That was on May 7. At first I didn't think it was that serious, but the numbness in my left foot and piercing pain in my left calf made me concerned. After several doctor's visits, a MRI and many occurances where I keep thinking I am getting better, only to have another flare up and get worse again my doctor came to this conclusion:

L4/L5 Disc large bulge on left side, torn and the matter inside the disc is spilling out onto the sciatic nerve which is causing me intense left lag pain.

After reading some people's stories, I guess its not that bad.

I can't really walk without feeling like my toes and calf are on fire and mainly, I just feel that my life is passing me by. I know its only been over a month now, but my doctor says that it may talk up to 4 months before I feel normal and it will be a lifetime of having a weak back that will need constant extra attention.

So I am here because I hope to read that people are able to get over this condition, lead pain-free lives, and be able to share what I'm going through with others who might understand. When I talk to friends who have never had a back injury before, it seems hard for them to know that I am going through pain since they can't really see a visible



  • Hello sweetie,

    I'm so sorry for your pain!!!

    I didn't have the exact same situation as you. But I was 28 years old when I had my initial problem which was pain and weakness in my arm which led to a herniated disc that my doctor said has partially torn off. He said that I needed surgery to fix the problem: a cervical disc fusion at C4/C5. After the surgery I was relatively pain free for years....despite having degenerative disc disease, stenosis, and other problems in the neck.

    (Right after the surgery, I got pregnant and had a relatively normal pregnancy and baby!)

    What is your doctor recommending for treatment during the next four months???

    I know that everyone is different and your situation is different than mine, and I am definitely not a medical professional. Yet, I think you are way too young to think your life is passing you by or worry about life with a weak back.

    Since you just graduated, do you have already have a job with insurance? Do you have the resources to get another opinion? If so, I would. If not, can you do some old fashion bartering? Offer a physician graphic design services in exchange for a second opinion (assuming you can still do a little work....)...

    Even if not, you are taking the first step by checking this board for info. You need to be your own health advocate! Do some research, see what will help you feel better and do it...hot baths, yoga, massages, whatever it takes.

    Best of luck to you! I'll keep you in my prayers!!

  • I agree with Allison, that if you have the means to do so, a second opinion might not be a bad idea. What kind of doctor did you see. The fact that the doc said you would forever have a weak bad leads me to believe it was not a surgeon. Just because a person herniates a disc once, does not mean they are condemned to a life with a weak back. It normally serves as a wake up call that teaches us about taking care of our back by strengthening our core and keeping it that way throughout the remainder of our lives. It's not difficult and it generally means you wind up with a stronger more secure back than the average person. Learning about proper body mechanics, lifting and bending techniques can do wonders for keeping us feeling stronger and pain free.

    Don't give up on yourself. Many many people recover from a herniated disc without the need for surgery and without recurrence.

    If you haven't seen a doc that specializes in spines yet, it may not be a bad idea to get a referral to one.

  • Sorry you have such discomfort. All ready to start your work and this happens. I certainly agree with C and Allison about a 2nd opinion. A person should only go through surgery if it is absolutely necessary. Are you at risk for nerve damage if nothing is done? Only the neurologist, NS or spinal surgeon can say. One thing surgeons don't tell you about surgery is the probability of scar tissue at the surgical site years later. read some of the posts here and there is a lot of discussion about scar tissue. I've had 6 surgeries and not one surgeon mentioned it before the surgery and now i have ever worsening pain caused by it.
    Are you the type of person who will be diligent about strengthening your spine?
    Look at percentages. Supposedly 95% of all disks get better on their own. There are 5% of surgeries that have complications like infection. The probability of successful surgery is about 80%. Get some opinions by reputable neurologists, neurosurgeons or spinal surgeons. listen also to your gut feelings.
    By the way, you and i have something in common other than bad backs. I used to be in the typesetting and prepress business!
    I so want things to work out for you. keep us posted and keep researching your situation. :?
  • I always hate to hear of anyone suffering in pain but it is particularly sad when it is someone so young. Lots of issues do heal on their own so try and stay positive that you will too. I have several annular tares and do know how much pain they cause. Good luck and please keep us posted.
    How nice of your boyfriend to search for support!
  • Sorry you are suffering. Meds like neurontin and lyrica help with the burning pain as the nerve heals. Back injuries definitely get a lot of us down, but over time it does eventually get a little bit better. Just not as quick as we would like.
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