Hi everyone! I'm happy to find this place; you all seem like you've been through a lot (unfortunately) and I hope someone sees a similarity between my story and their story and can help me with the next step!
I was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis in 1995. I wore back braces off and on (stupid younger me!) and had spinal fusion in October of 1997 at the age of 12. I know I'm not using the right terminology but I believe I had an S-curve with a thoracic curve of 64 degrees and a lumbar curve of 47 degrees. My spine was also twisting. They only fused the thoacic area and I cannot remember the exact discs - T-11 to T-24, I think. They didn't fuse all the way down because my doctor didn't think we needed too. I wore a back brace intermittently for the next year.
In 2006 (age 22) I started getting debilitating pain. I started a new job where I was walking all the time. It was all concentrated in my lower back and I was forced to quit my job. I went in for x-rays - nothing seemed to be wrong. CT scan and barium test - nothing wrong. I felt so hopeless! I started going to a chiropractor who used a machine to adjust my spine. After something like 8 weeks at 3 visits a week (and a ridiculous amount of money later) I started to feel relief. I had back pain on and off (though never as severe) for the next four years.
This year, the pain has started up again. I have gained weight and I know that's a part of it. I'm also waiting tables (lots of walking/being on my feet/repetitive motions) and the pain really started back in June when I picked up several extra shifts in one week. It felt like sciatic pain, so I went to a different chiropractor. He didn't take x-rays and did a manual adjustment (which freaked me out) but he said he could help. I didn't get any relief so I went to my family doctor. She took some x-rays but wasn't comfortable diagnosing anything so she sent me to a spine specialist. They took more x-rays and said...everything looks normal. Everything's fine. Wrote me a prescription for indomethacin and said if it didn't help we'd have to look MRIs and such, and all those things cost money! I got married this year and my husband had a great plan for him but not a good plan for us. We pay for everything out-of-pocket until we hit the $3k deductible. As we just got married in May we are not at all close and there's really no money to pay for these expensive tests and doctors. We'll change it again in December but that seems so far away when I'm feeling like this.
It's getting to the point now where I can hardly walk. I'm looking at different jobs and I think I might be switching soon. I know there's a lot of things that are contributing to this (the weight, our awful bed that we are replacing soon, bad shoes, lack of exercise) but it still seems like there has to be something else wrong. I don't want it to be serious, but I want SOMETHING to give me a reason to feel like this. I know lots of overweight people with no pain! I'm 26 years old. I don't think I could have a baby like this. Does anyone know of anything that could help? I'm scared to do the MRIs because this feels just like the 2005 incident when they said I was fine and the pain was in my head. We don't have the money to waste! I'm sorry to ramble I'm just feeling horribly hopeless. Any advice or thoughts will be so appreciated. Thank you so much for reading all this!