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Hi, i'm new :)

TrixieMamaTTrixieMama Posts: 64
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in New Member Introductions

My name is Kimberly. I am 38 years old and the single mother to two little ones under 6. I got hurt at work in November. I was working as a charge RN on a locked adolescent psychiatric unit and broke up a fight between two patients. In the process I injured my back.

I was sent to their doctor and they did xrays and sent me to PT. My pain didn't improve so they referred me to a specialist who sent me for an MRI. At 7 weeks post injury I was told that I had a bilateral pars defect at L4/L5, spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis grade 1. I had my first epidural 4 weeks ago and it didn't do much, I had one days relief and my pain returned with each day after. At 10 weeks my specialist decided to do flexion xrays which showed severe spinal instability with progression to grade 2 spondy. He told me that day that I would need a fusion. This week he gave me my second epidural and it hasn't done much but take the edge off.

I have become "use" to my pain. At first it was debilitating but now it is just a part of my everyday life. I have radiculopathy to the right buttock, thigh and on a bad day down to the foot. I also have pins and needles in my right foot and sometimes my shin feels numb. In addition I have pain to the right of my spine with movement. When my pain levels decrease I become aware of the fact that my left side hurts as well and sometimes I get radicular symptoms there are well.

I see my specialist/surgeon again on Tuesday and likely he will want to schedule me for fusion. I am beyond scared and totally out of my comfort zone. Being a nurse is a hinderance for me at this point because my education and real life experience is making my mind think of all the things that can go wrong. My biggest fears at this point are not being able to take care of my children and live a normal life.

I'm scared and very unsure of what to do at this point. I would love to make some friends and share experiences and hopefully find some "buddies" to help me through this; and, hopefully I can help someone through what they are going through.

Have a blessed day <3


  • I am sorry to meet you here, but it is a good place for education and support.
    I am sure you understand that you will hear good stories and bad stories. I am a RN also. We know that sometimes things go well, and sometimes not so well.
    Please look around the site, check out some of the sub-forums, and look at all the information provided by the Spine Health site.
    There are a lot of nurses here. It is not really a back friendly job! ;)
    Stay in touch and let us know what is going on with you. We can't stop you from worrying, but we can be here if you need someone to talk to!
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a wealth of information throughout this site and the members of the forum are very friendly, knowledgeable and supportive.

    I've had some of what you have going on. I had sponylosisthesis, severe stenosis and facet hypertrophy at L4/5. I also tried injections and other conservative measures (diagnosic nerve blocks to determine if a RFA would help, but it didn't), so I ended up with a fusion at L4/5. The surgeon found things were worse than they thought when they got in there and he said my back was more unstable than he'd originally though and was glad I had the surgery when I did. As proof, my lumbar incision is 7" long for a one-level fusion - they had a lot of work to do. :-)

    So to some degree, I understand what you're going through and I also understand how scary surgery is. I was still very nervous even though I'd already had an ACDF. That's something that is nearly impossible to control and I had to have xanax, prescribed by my surgeon, in the weeks leading up to surgery. With your advanced knowledge, I can imagine it's even scarier.

    At this point, being over a year post-op from my TLIF, I wanted to tell you that I'm able to live a normal life with my lumbar spine. I have additional problems above my cervical fusion, but that doesn't mean anything here except that I'm not completely normal yet. But lumbar fusion was totally worth it. I still have lower back pain flares, but not debilitating and they decrease as time goes by. I imagine my job sets them off as I need to lift and bend regularly, but it's never something I can't handle.

    My strongest suggestion is to have complete faith in your surgeon and if not, get another or more opinions until you find the one you "know" will do the right job and do it well.

    As for Spine-Health, you'll make many friends here if you stay around. I've walked in your shoes as have many here and there are an overabundance of nurses on these forums. That must be one difficult job and I comment nurses for what you do - you're the angels of society and have a special calling that we're glad you've answered.

    Take care and feel free to PM me any time if I can help you with anything.

  • dear Robin, welcome to the forum! :H tell us a ltittle more about yourself so we can get to know you a bit better.. good luck to you! stop by anytime! Jenny :)
  • welcome to spine health. Kimberly, I am sorry that you are going through all this. Your story and symptoms are very familiar to me. I injured my back during a patient transfer. I will be having a fusion at l5/s1 possibly l4/l5. The syptoms you described are almost exactly the same as mine, although mine are on the left, and my foot as well as calf/shin are numb.
    Did you see your surgeon yesterday? If so, how did it go?Did he recomend fusion or something else?
    Wishing you all the best, you came to the right spot. This site is full of wonderful caring members.It has helped me a great deal, knowing there are others out there who understand.
    gentle >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Hi my friends!

    I'm sorry I haven't responded sooner. I've had two sick kiddo's and managed to get bronchitis and a sinus infection in one swoop myself :(

    Thank you all for introducing yourselves and for all the great info :) It's nice to know that I am not alone <3

    I saw my surgeon on Tuesday, one week post second LESI and to my great surprise, and his I felt pretty good. On Monday the LESI seemed to kick in full force and my radicular pain seemed to decrease dramatically. When I saw him he was quite surprised and expected that we would be scheduling surgery. He doesn't think that the steroid will last and is seeing me again next week. Yesterday to my dismay the radicular pain started to return and I have found standing and walking to be increasingly painful, something I hadn't noticed due to the severity of my radiculopathy.

    Unfortunately I allowed myself to get overly excited about the steroid helping and despite my knowing better, "forgot" that this is only a temporary fix. As much as i'd like to believe that the steroid will last forever, it won't and I will still be left with the problem at hand.

    Needless to say I am quite disappointed in myself and the truth of this all. As the pain is increasing with each passing day I am once again reminded that a life of chronic pain is something i'm not willing to accept which, once again is a catch 22 because as we all know surgery won't take away all the pain and will likely create new pain.

    I've been so under the weather with this horrible respiratory bug that I haven't done much the past week or felt like being online for that matter (thus my late replies, sorry). I guess that I am in a bit of a funk. It's so amazing to be pain free after being in pain so long that it is difficult to adjust to again, even if my time pain free has been brief.

    So, once again I find myself in pain, contemplating my choices and feeling lost all over again about making the right decision.

    It is so refreshing and nice though to know that I am not alone and have a group of people to turn to and to grow friendships with during this journey.

    Thank you all so much for welcoming me into your community :)

  • Sometimes, the injections can be at least a semi-permanent fix, i.e. can last for many months. I'm sorry that wasn't the case for you, but don't get down on yourself for thinking it might have "fixed" you. There was always the possibility that it could.

    I'm glad your surgeon had the foresight to schedule you for another appointment next week and like to hope that surgery isn't going to be necessary, but as you said, it's likely due to what's happening.

    I know how scary the thought is, but I can tell you that being over a year out from my lumbar surgery, I feel pretty darned good. The initial recovery was difficult, but by the six month mark I was doing well and even golfing again. I know that seems impossible, but my surgeon specifically told my PT to train me to swing properly so I wouldn't hurt my lumbar surgery area and hardware when I went golfing. Pretty cool that my insurance paid for golf lessons. :-)

    So, take care of yourself and please let us know what your surgeon says next week. I also hope that you and your kiddos are feeling better.

  • Hi TrixieMama,

    Welcome you here.

    Sure you will have great time with all of us.
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