I've been browsing these boards for about a week now and decided that this would be a wonderful place for me to listen and learn. I'm a 41 year old wife and mother of one happy, beautiful girl. I'm having a terrible time adapting to my new reality.
I used to think that all of those people complaining about constant back pain were just a bunch of whiners who needed to 'suck it up' and get on with their lives. I thought most of them were "in it" for the attention or the pain meds.
And then I got hurt. But to make matters worse - I didn't get better. I always got better. How could this happen?! For someone whose entire life revolved around sports, outdoor activities and fitness, it felt like my entire identity had been taken away from me.
It's been a full year since my initial visit to the emergency room. Since then, I have had MRIs, x-rays and many, many treatments for what amounts to spinal stenosis and DDD in the L4-L5. I no longer classify my lifestyle as "active" - for the most part, I'm limited to basic household chores and short trips outside of the house because walking is so painful. I ride my horse twice a week, even though I know that it's probably not a good idea. For me, it's the last positive "quality of life" activity I have. It's the only thing that makes me feel normal - it's the last remnant of my old life. If I had to stop, I think I'd be consumed with depression.
I'm trying to avoid surgery at this point. Instead, my doctor and I decided to go with epidural/steroid injections. I've had nerves cauterized and several facet injections, as well. My pain is constant - I'm taking 15-20 mgs Oxycodone at least 4 times a day. I also take ibuprofen with every meal. After a recent MRI, my doctor informed me that my condition has progressed. While heartbreaking, it was not surprising. There are now times that my pain is so severe, the meds barely scratch the surface. I'm still learning about my condition and treatment options.
I feel as though the world has moved on without me. Old friends continue to play tennis and golf without me. My husband and daughter paddleboard and go on long bike rides without me. I'm no longer invited on shopping or walking trips with the other mothers at my daughter's school. They know that I can't keep up anymore. Any day that doesn't end with tears welling up in my eyes is a "good" day for me now. I can't believe this is my life...
But it *is* my life, and I need to accept it and find a way to make it work for me. It's just nice to know that I'm not alone in this - because to be honest, it certainly feels that way sometimes.
I look forward to learning from you all!