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Just diagnosed with this. I am 33 and a mom of two babies - how do I cope with this?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Spinal Stenosis

I am so glad I found this forum! I have just been diagnosed with spinal stenosis. I have always had lower back pain but in recent months it's become severe to the point where I have a hard time functioning day to day. I wake up in the morning so stiff I can barely move. I have to force myself to get going and have pain constantly. I just got the results Friday and have to see my doctor tomorrow to see where we go from here.

I also have my two babies, a 9 month old son and a 20 month old daughter so needless to say I am VERY busy, lol. I have been really depressed since I got the results because I know I have years of running and playing with my kids to do and wonder if I'll be able to! I am scared, angry that I overdid it so much when I was younger (very physical job) and I am just so sick of being in a lot of pain all the time. I had a CT scan but they are sending me for an MRI as well to get a more detailed picture of my screwed up back. I am guessing he will send me to a pain clinic and back specialist. I know I could not opt for surgery for at least another 5 years. Recovering from surgery with two babies to care for isn't an option for me right now.

I would appreciate some advice on dealing with this and would like to hear what has helped your pain. Thanks!! Jodie


  • Ugghh... I feel your pain! I had my first two kiddos, 20 months apart, so I know what that is like and I can't imagine being in your kind of pain with two little ones and all the needs they have, especially that require bending and lifting!

    I am still looking for an answer to the facet joint OA stuff as I did a fusion but I don't think that address my facet OA problems. It has helped with some of my pain and problems but things involving the facets are no better and I am really bummed about that.

    Let us know what the doctors suggest.
  • I gather from your post that your testing was ordered by a pcp or someone other than a spinal specialist. After you get the results from your MRI, I strongly suggest that you see a fellowship-trained spinal specialist...this can be a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon who has had additional training in the spine and back. With arthritis and stenosis, you will probably have ongoing problems that may need attention through the years, so you might as well find the most qualified doctor to begin with. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis and not waste time dealing with a generalist.

    I think it is easier to find a spinal specialist that you like and then if he/she feels you would benefit from an interventional pain management doctor, he can refer you. Often the spine specialist will have someone he prefers to work with and it is easier if they are coordinated, rather than seeing each doctor as a separate entity.

    Read about it here: http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/what-degenerative-disc-disease

    This is good, too: http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/exercise-sciatica-spinal-stenosis

    You will probably be sent to physical therapy and will learn exercises there than can ease your pain. Again, it is important to choose someone who specializes in orthopedic cases.

    Taking an anti-inflammatory will probably help with your stiffness and pain, but that will be up to your doctor, of course. ;)

    Try to read and learn as much as you can about your condition. It is important to understand what is wrong so you can be an active participant in your own treatment and can have a meaningful conversation with the spinal specialist.

    Look through the board. You will find many helpful tips and information on here.

    xx Gwennie
  • Thanks for the posts. I went to the doc today and I he's booking me in for an MRI and I've also been referred to a back specialist. He warned me that both are going to be quite a wait. :( In the meantime he has prescribed oxycontin 10 mg to be taken twice a day. I took one today and it helped a bit. The pain is still bugging me but at least it's a little easier to handle. And yes, I do A LOT of lifting and bending and carrying with my two little ones, not to mention cleaning, cooking etc. Can't get around that but as they get older it should become a little easier (I hope). Again, thank you for your helpful posts. I am hoping that something can be done to fix my back. I don't want to be stuck taking pain meds for the rest of my life. And I know oxycontin can be really addictive so I have to be careful with them.
  • Hi! There are quite a few non-surgical treatments that may be available to you, which may also cut down or perhaps eliminate the need for narcotics. Of course, that will be for you and the specialist to decide. I am sure that you and he will be able to find an acceptable treatment that will help with your pain while you raise your children and beyond.
  • I feel your pain. I have three kids myself, but luckily they are a bit older. It's very hard having these kinds of issues when you have others to care for and take care of. The thing is you just have to do your best and do it. Ask for help when you need it or are having a bad day. As your kids get older you can also get them involved and ask them for help. My boys, 11& 9, help me out a lot when asked like carrying groceries, doing dishes, taking care of the dog. It's a hard thing cause I feel you have to take good care of yourself in order to take good care of those around you. Do what you doctor suggests, take your meds, rest when you can, and just keep going cause unfortunately us mothers can't stop when we're down. We keep the family going and that's all we can do. Good luck, sorry you're going through this, and remember we're all here to support each other.
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