I guess I'll just start at the beginning. First of all, I have been an athlete all my life. My biggest passion has always been running, but I've also participated in volleyball, softball, golf, and swimming.
My back and leg pain began with an acute onset during my pregnancy with my son, ten years ago. I developed severe low back and sciatic nerve pain that crippled me for a couple of weeks. This eventually diminished with rest and lortab.
During the next 8 years, the sciatica and low back pain came and went a couple times a year. The normal regimen for my back pain became cortisone injections, rest, soma, and lortab as each episode came.
In June of 2009, I played in a golf tournament with my husband. The following morning, I was unable to get out of bed as I had horrifying pain shooting down my right leg and low back pain worse than I had ever experienced. I layed on ice for a few days and then finally hobbled my way into my PMC doctor's office. He prescribed me some lortab, prednisone, and flexeril. After two weeks with no improvement, he ordered an MRI, which showed severely herniated disks from L3 down to S1. I was then referred to an anesthesiologist for cortisone injections. I was scheduled to have an injection several days later.
The following day, I got a call from my primary care Dr's office letting me know that my urine test had come back showing I was pregnant. Thus began a halt in my care and a referral to a high risk OB/GYN. My OB turned out to be a kind man who said I could go ahead and receive the cortisone injections and continued prescribing me lortab 10 and flexeril.
At this time I was walking with a cane and the pain was pretty miserable. I would honestly say it was about an 8. Anyway, I ended up having 2 cortisone injections a couple months apart and neither one made a bit of difference for my pain. I was then referred to a surgeon. The surgeon then told me that I was a candidate for TLIF surgery, but he would not operate until 6 weeks postnatal unless I lost control of my bladder and had no feeling in my legs. Nice, hah?
So I spent the next 7 months in pain and on bed rest with an allowance of 3 lortab 10's per day and 2 flexeril. My OB induced me at 37 weeks pregnant and I had a beautiful baby girl via C-section. Six weeks later, in April of 2010, I had TLIF surgery at L5-S1 with titanium hardware and metal cages with BMP. Recovery was tough, but I was vigilant with my limitations and physical therapy. However, I am to this day, still in moderate pain.
I currently have radiculopathy pain down my right leg and low back pain. The surgery seemed to reduce the intensity of the sciatica, but not by much, and my low back pain has increased. My xray at 3 months post op showed evidence of fusion, but my surgeon did diagnose me with spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease.
I am only 36 years old, but feel 60 and my entire way of life has changed. I swim daily and run on the elliptical machine, but have not improved since around 3 months post op. I am currently taking lortab 10 (allowed 8 tablets daily, but normally take around 6), Soma 350mg 3x's daily, and 150mg of Lyrica 2x's daily. My 1 year post op appt. with my surgeon is next Friday (April 15, 2011).
Ok, so that is my story condensed from start to current. I hope that this site may educate me in more ways to manage pain and also that I may help others in my situation. I would love to hear some different ideas for improvement in my pain and funtionality, as well as how to approach my surgeon for an extended release pain medication. He has been reluctant to prescribe me an ER med.