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Grew a wishbone where my backbone used to be!

BeccaBBecca Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi All,
I've had back pain for years... since my early 20's and it was blamed on my JRA & my hip socket not being the proper size for my femur. I just took the pain for granted.

Summer 2010, age 32, after a nasty buncha "hip" pain in springtime that I hobbled through, I went canoeing/camping and took a wrong step... just one step. Then I felt all wrong.

First ER did an x-ray "you're bone on bone, you need an MRI" they gave me ibuprophen and sent me home. No doc could get me in... and two days later, I couldn't lift my right foot, walk without crutches... bowel control none. Pain, bad, but I handle pain pretty well.

My husband had asked for a divorce a few weeks before... so, I drove to the ER 30 min away with my right foot. Crutches to get inside. Passed out in the waiting room. One MRI later, I was on my way for surgery. I don't know what they saw on that MRI, but they did a hemi-laminectomy, diskectomy on L5, said I'd need another surgery eventually for two disks above it, and said my sciatic had a lot of necrophy and a lot of tissue had to be removed. They were surprised the condition hadn't been found sooner.

My right foot is numbish, up through my right calf, which is now sort of hollow looking and off sized. They said when the pains started it was good because my nerves were "waking up" ...after several months of that I decided I would rather amputate my own foot Stephen King style than live with waking up all night long feeling like Jaws had caught me. The docs acted like I was being dramatic, I was theatrical in my description, but... my foot/leg had begun ruling my life. Soooo finally they gave me baclofen. This drug helps make life bearable. They screwed up my referral to phys ther so I went 4 times and then had to pay the whole bill. I did learn how to pop my pelvis back in place with a basketball...wish I could still go cuz it helped a lot... but the co-pays are too much. I have 3 kids. My spouse and I reconciled so he's a help to me now. I think I did a lot more damage than necessary returning to work after 2 weeks, then trying to manage the house and kids by myself till' things worked out.

Oh, I lost my job as an office manager. My inability to sit and manage through the pain...combined with a funding cut that made my funding stream unfit for me but fit for someone else, let me wind up with unemployment.

I'm 34 now, I start college online in November to finish my degree... thinking about becoming a marriage & family, and/or adolescent councilor. I could sit/stand, move about, switch appointment times if I'm dying, lol.

I don't take pain pills because I fear them. Flexeril makes me see my boyfriend who died after high school & hear Jesus speak to me, so I don't take that. After a huge fight with my doc during which I told him they had a choice, I could turn to alcohol, or they could give me valium (like they did after the surgery for a while-it was the only thing that unclenched me) they gave me some valium. I use it when I'm really really spazzy and can't sleep, move, stop crying in the bathroom where nobody knows I'm doing it... Pain sucks. I often feel like something is inside the muscles in my back, moving. It drives me batty. Valium doesn't make me feel anything odd, but after I have 5 or 10 ml, I feel my shoulders, spinal muscles & hip muscles stop being tied together with bailing wire.

I kind of feel like my life is limited. I try not to make plans... It kills me to drive more than 20 minutes... I'll pay for that for a few days if I drive or ride for more than that.

I don't feel like any doctors give a crap about me, my quality of life, my ability to fully use the gifts God has given me. I can't imagine working like this. Just doing housework, 10-20 minutes at the sink, sit and fold laundry for 10-20, back to sink, back to sofa, take tylenol and wait 30min before sweeping. Can I walk the dog today without tripping over my numb foot? Can I walk safely if I go for a walk with the kids?

On top of it, nobody thinks somebody my age should be this disabled, and I really have come to the conclusion over the last few months that I am. I had some health issues that they think might be crohns or a bad infection... oh, ps I might have anklying spondysomething or other too...so my side hurts, which sets off my back. My white blood cell count was a 26. I'm really run down. Which is all just knocking havoc on my back.

Anywho, that's my story. I'd appreciate advice, I'm kind of in the dark about this condition... I miss my life.


  • I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. It sounds has though you have had one thing on top of the other and that is alot for anyone to bear.
    I am happy to hear you reconciled with your husband and I hope he can be there for you emotionally and physically. I know it takes a toll on a spouse to see us go through our daily challenges living with chronic pain. There are days my husband who is so supportive just looks wiped out and he will say he is so worried about me. He too is disabled and I remember being the one to take care of him so I know how it feels to be the spouse watching your loved one deal with pain and the tasks of everyday life.

    It sounds as though you need a find a really good dr to work with you in finding out exactly what your problems are physically. How long ago did you have your surgery? Depending on when this was you may be dealing with alot of post-op symptoms.
    It sounds like you have so much on your plate right now and need to get to the root of the problem. If your surgery was a long time ago then perhaps you now have additional problems which should be addressed by a physician right away. Do you have a primary care physician? I would make an appt right away and go in and tell him exactly what you have told us he should be able to refer you to the proper specialists. As for the pain your are dealing with perhaps you could be referred to a pain mgmt dr. They would be able to get the proper tests done and hopefully put you on the right medication to help you. Sometimes physical therapy helps more than any medications.
    I too lost my job after 29 yrs 11 mos and 26 days. After my cervical fusion which failed and many lumbar issues making walking virtually impossible my pain management dr and neurosurgeon said work was no longer an option for me. It was very hard to accept. I am somewhat older than you I am 49 now but was 47 when I was no longer able to continue working. I had a disabled husband at home and had no clue as to how we were going to make it financially as our medical bills are through the roof. You have so much going on and 3 children who need you so it's imperative that you are pro-active concerning your health and get down to what is going on with you.
    As none of us are dr.'s here we can only really help you by giving you any emotional support you need. This is a wonderful site with so many understanding people who may be going through some of the same problems you are dealing with right now. I'm not sure if you mentioned if your husband has insurance and I hope he does. It's a long road and it takes alot on your part to find dr.'s that can help you but that must be a priority for you.
    If you ever need to vent or just need someone to talk to feel free to PM me I will be as supportive as I possibly can.
    Also, disability or chronic pain problems do not pick people over a certain age. You will find many on this forum are quite young suffering from very painful conditions. They have been down the same road where the dr.'s feel they are too young to have a disabling condition. So these members are very pro active in their care and finally find dr.'s who are willing to work with them to get results.
    I pray you have brighter days ahead and remember we are here for you.
  • Welcome to Spine Health Becca >:D<

    At least I think you have maintained a sense of humor? I am reading some humor in your suffering.

    I definately agree that you need to find a new doc. Maybe neurologist or a pm?

    Hang in there,

  • 39 low back and cervical here as well started at age 8 !!! age has little factor here when it comes to these problems. Many doctors over the years have waisted my time and money be very active in finding the right doc to treat your back issues. Pain mangement can be a great resource. Bacolfen has also done me good for a short period of time but the more you take it the less it works from my experience. I do wish you well
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can.hope you enjoy your time here with us. have a look around and make yourself at home. good luck to you! Jenny :)
  • Hi,
    Thanks for your comments. It has been a torturous week...

    Lulusheart, I love "The Four Agreements" too. I have a little copy in my nightstand.
  • Becca, it is so nice to know that you are a friend of the book and a friend of mine! the weekend is coming up thank goodness!! hope that brings you peace to both mind and body. Jenny :)
  • Welcome to this site, and I know that you'll find lots of support and guidance here - b/c I came on here, not that long ago and was looking for the same thing. :) I happen to be a counselor for juveniles -I work w. cases of severe abuse/neglect, who are in varying stages of the court process and state custody (New Hampshire). I have found my job to be wonderful - esp. after my car accident that caused my injuires and since then too. This is the type of job that you can sit or stand...or even take the kid on a walk to just get out and talk. Its very easy to modify what you need to get done, with what you ca do that day! And, by working with other social workers, you have your own steady supply of those who listen very well and are very supportive :) Ask away if you want to know anything, job wise or health wise :)
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