I've suffered from pain since I was 15. I took a bad spill while jumping my horse. I found out that fall caused a Grade1 spondylolesthesis in L5. I never let it bother me and continued to ride, dance ballet, row crew and windsurf as well as mountain bike. The pain wasn't too bad, just a nagging in the low back. When I over-did it, Motrin and a hot bath helped. I was warned that a severe blow or fall could cause further injury including paralysis. I refused to let it bother me and I did well.
In November 1993, I had a car wreck and that L5 broke off on the right side. All the MRI's and X-tays were unremarkable and I went to PT and my chiropractor not wanting to take pain killers or anti-inflamitories. I was lucky to be able to tele-commute to my job and if I was in pain, I re-scheduled appointments and meetings. I was in a fair bit of pain, but it wasn't until I was promoted to a job where I had to be in the city every day that things went downhill fast. Within 3 weeks of starting the job, I begain to feel more back pain, weakness and buring in my legs. I likened it to someone pouring hot oil down inside them. I had to walk 5 blocks to my office from the train with a laptop and briefcase and I was having trouble making it. One of my friends went out of her way to help me to my office, then walk the 6 blocks back to hers.
I saw a different orthopod who did flexion and extension X-rays. Something no one else even mentioned. As a matter of fact, the only one who felt there was more to the situaion was my chiropractor.
The flexion/extension x-rays showed L5 to be broken on the right side; slipping to a Grade3 in the front and a 4 when I bent back. The only thing supposedly keeping me from being paralyed already was the fact that my core was so strong.
This orthopeadic surgeon sent me to The Rothman Institute in Philadelphia where I was blessed to meet a physician who is now one of the most well-known spine surgeons in the world. He told me I might come out of the surgery paralyzed, but he would do his best to make me "functionally disabled" a term I never knew existed. We set up psych testing and the surgery for 7/14.
Thanks to this wonderful Dr., I came out of surgery functionally disabled and able to care for myself. I was told that I would have pain for the rest of my life, but I never thought it would be so bad.
I developed RSD/CRPS and Fibromyalgia as well as the nerve damage pain I deal with. I started on opioid therapy in 1993 and I had my first SCS implanted in 1995. Things got so bad by 2007, that I barely made it out of bed because of the pain. I was on ultra-high doses of meds and nothing helped. I had been through five pain management physicians but nothing helped. Finally, in desperation, I saw yet another Dr. who told me it was time for a pain pump. I knew this was an option, but I wanted to wait until I was older since I already had the SCS. I was in so much pain, I agreed to it. I had the trial in August 2010 and the implant in Sept. Unfortuanately, the implant developed an infection, landing me in the hospital for 10 days and forcing them to remove the pump. I had to wait two months in agony before we could re-implant the pump, which was done 11/12/2011.
I am doing well and thrilled to be off all those meds. We are still fooling with the morphine dose and planning to try Marcaine added to the morphine for some of the pain and numbness that isn't being covered.
I am hoping to start back to aqua-therapy next week and I've already. lost 7lbs in 9 days (I'd gained 80!)
Well, that's my story in a nut shell, thanks for reading!