Hi my name is Mark,
I’ve been reading for a while.. its time to jump in..
I have DDD and stenosis, I’ve been in pain for almost 20 yrs and just started treating it over the last maybe 2 yrs. .. Im 41 now.
I had L5 S1 fusion with cage and screws on 12/23/10 and am now going through a round of epidurals in my neck where the stenosis is C567.
I was extremely active, if I was sitting on the couch it was because I worked the night before.. I was an adrenaline junky and raced anything anyone would let me all my life. I was skydiving a couple of days a month for a long time, riding my dirt bike with my kids, Im a retired race instructor at California superbike school..
The list goes on.. I work in the motion picture industry in transportation/special effects/ stunts and precision driving, I am also a fire contractor (equipment operator / water tender) .. Im currently racing cars right now.. The last few races last season I was so swollen in the neck that I could only feel a couple fingers, I had my crew put me in and out of the car.. I knew it was over..
I got my MRI and was introduced to my NS Dr the middle of last yr.. He told me that per the MRI I qualified for the surgery and that it was never gonna get better only worse.. and that if I did it now I would buy some time before my other disks follow suite, but to think about it.. He said I should be back to work in 2 months. I asked him if I could race after that he said NO PROBLEM… He made it seem like a walk in the park.. I now know he’s never had the surgery and really knew nothing about my life and job .. but anyway.. I should have done more investigating but …
My wife and I talked and after the episode at the track that I never recovered from and we booked the surgery.
I was also referred to my PM Dr who was supposed to do my neck. They said they couldn’t do the epidurals unless there was 4-6 weeks either before or after my fusion.. My fusion was already booked so we pushed the shots..
Also I weighed 170lbs, I completely lost my appetite when I lost the feeling in my shoulder.. I now weigh 142.
So my wife sent the kids up north for xmas break.. I was in the hospital on dec 23, my wife had vacation and took care of me.. the house was quiet..it was perfect for recovery..
I walked on the day of the surgery, I was very motivated to leave and have a cigarette.. thinking that If I could walk they would let me out.. not the case as you guys know…lol .. I had to go to the bathroom.. no hopping and dragging myself down the hall was going to work.. and my wife was not helping me..lol .. even though I was still hurting.. the morphine works great.. I found out I needed to go to have a BM before they let me out.. I did that the next day and they released me.. Big mistake.. I should have just chilled.. I ended up at home with a 101.6 temperature.. we got it down before it hit 102 but could have been a mistake.. after that ive had pain in my legs, calves and feet.. and my feet started sweeting.. weird.. anyway they said it was my nerves waking up and its normal.. I walk every day things seem to be going the right way.. but my legs still hurt.
10 days out I see my NS and he basically told me I should be good to go to work in a 2 months but no physical therapy at least for 6 months, no bending, no lifting, no twisting , no jumping.. otherwise I can do anything I want… Im a little resentful to say the least
Im out of my mind feeling like I don’t know if Im doing enough or to much, I look at myself in the mirror and hardly recognize myself.. My race season is shot, Im irritable and just want to be alone…. Im depressed..
I read a great article on here about how pain creates depression and depression creates pain ..and we get caught in a cycle. Im trying to break the cycle ,…
I told my PM Dr about my NS Dr not letting PT for six months… I can tell he dosnt agree but dosnt want to step on the NS Dr toes. I trust him though and I know he wont leave me hanging .. so he’s gonna start me on PT for my neck about the same time I get my 3 month MRI.. I just got to get them to agree on my recovery/exit plan..
My PM dr has a much better idea on my life and work as he treats lots of people in my industry.. he said there is no way Im going back to work until he is done strengthen my core.. I like him
The bottom line is I obviously wouldn’t take medical advice fome someone who was not a dr.. but I would pay attention.. I read on here that the only person who knows what Im going through is another person who has been through it.. I know that to be true..
My wife asks me everyday.. how you doing?.. I have been telling her.. well this is better.. this hurts.. this is new.. etc. .. I got snappy last night.. she tells me .. “I thought you were feeling better today whats that about”.. I told her I decided to stop complaining and I was sorry for over reacting…The point is … she’s never gonna get it.. although.. she has had kids.. lol.. so …..
The good news is …. I got my appetite back.. food has never tasted better.. lol.. now I have to walk more but whatever.. Im thinking the epidurals are working cause it was about 3 days after that , I don’t know how long it will last.. but for today im starving..lol.. I know there are side effects from the steroids… for me.. right now.. this is a good one..
I see you guys get it..