I have been reading the boards since injuring myself at work back in November. I am 38 years old and a single (divorced) mother to two under 6. Prior to my injury I worked as a charge RN on a locked adolescent psychiatric unit. One night in November I had to break up a fight between two patients and ended up suffering a back injury.
I went to their doctor who did xrays and referred me for PT, took me off work and sent me to a specialist. 7 weeks later I found out that I had a Grade I Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis with bilateral pars defect of L4/L5. 10 weeks after injury my specialist did extension xrays which showed instability and progression of grade to II. I have had only conservative therapy to this point. 10 weeks of PT, 2 epidural injections and I remain off work.
When I saw my specialist several weeks ago he told me that because my spine was so unstable, the only option I have at this point is fusion. I am really scared of having the surgery because in 07 I had an elective surgery that went horribly wrong and landed me in ICU in guarded/critical condition.
When I was first injured my symptoms were debilitating. Now, almost 15 weeks later I have become fairly use to the daily pain. Last week I was bedridden though for 3 days in horrific pain. I have radiculopathy to the right buttock, thigh and on a bad day down to my foot. I have pins and needles on the inside of my right foot and sometimes my shin feels like it's been injected with novicane at the dentists. I also have bad pain with movement on the right side of my spine. When the pain on the right lessens I become very aware of the fact that my left side hurts as well, although not to the same degree. When pain is at it's worst I have had bilateral radiculopathy with pins and needles in the feet.
I am very scared about the thought of having fusion and have heard some horrific stories in my career as a nurse. I am afraid of the restrictions it will have on my ability to carry my 3 year old lets say if she falls asleep in the car. I want what i'm sure everyone here wants, I want to play with my children and live a great life.
My doctor told me that I can never, ever allow injury to my back again. I am just lost at this point. Since this is workers comp, if I refuse the surgery they will likely find me at my MMI and send me back to work. In all honesty, I can't imagine working a 12 hour shift right now. Just picking my kids up from school and going grocery shopping takes a toll on me.
If anyone can share their experiences or help me find some positive in this, I would greatly appreciate it. Also, how do you know when it's time to have surgery? I'm just so confused about this whole thing. Thank you so much