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Can I pick your brains?

katiejohkkatiejoh Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in New Member Introductions
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!


  • First off, Welcome to Spine Health!!! At the top of the website is a search box that might be of assistance for you to research the many doctor written articles, and member posts on all manner of subjects. :)

    I'm sorry that you are hurting. As for your MRI's, have you had any in the sitting (positional) position? I am one that when I have MRI's laying down, many of my issues don't show. I have since had only positional (Stand up is another term) MRI's. The quality of the views are on par with most 'regular' MRI machines now. It shows the area they are scanning under load, and as such, in the position that is causing you pain - can be of help there as a thought?

    Until recently most of my issues were black and white in so far as the doctors knowing what was causing my issues. I've since then became a puzzle patient due to Neuropathy (pain away from the spine) so the trouble shooting has begun. I know it is frustrating Katie, but here is where you have to become your own advocate and keep searching. Please let us know how it goes. Take care, and Welcome aboard!!! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. Brenda gave you some good advice to start with! i hope you are able to get some pain relief soon. good luck as you search for the needed answers!!! stop by anytime! Jenny :)
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