I've been 'lurking' here for some time and finally decided to join during a new low (every time I think I've hit bottom with this little adventure that we all share, I live through it somehow, find a way to cope, soldier on ... until the next bump). A lot like life, I guess.
It'll be been six years for me Sept 1. Mostly left lumbar (all of it) plus some adjoining S/T not to be outdone: DDD, stenosis, sciatica, OA. I think that's about it. Major scarring (what did he use, a bulldozer?) and nerve damage from failed discectomy L4-5 in 2008. Had pretty much every kind of injection they've got + RFA + chiro, PT, TENS, biofeedback, acupuncture, meditation, psychotherapy (you live with constant pain levels 5-7 24/7 and NOT be depressed!), vitamins, herbs, Reiki, massage. Cocktail hour: tramadol, roxycodone, gabapentin, piroxicam, baclofen, effexor XR. Provigil keeps me awake. Lidoderm, ice, heat, biofreeze.
So my latest MRI (2 weeks ago) showed amazing progress of the bulge at L4-5. It looked like something out of a horror movie. Even the radiologist was impressed. Surgeon (consult #7) wanted to do 2-level fusion immediately, possibly yesterday. My pain doc agreed. Well, thanks to rigorous PT, I have tons of pain but minimal weakness - the leg hardly ever buckles anymore. What really scares me is, I'm a single woman, with no family. I'm still working (computer analyst) but it takes a huge toll. I have insurance thank goodness. I'm a contractor, so no sick time. Was told I can't get short term disability because this is an existing condition. But no work, no insurance. The recession took care of my savings. Huge medical bills took care of my once-excellent credit rating. How on earth can I pay for this - even 20% of it, let alone be off work for, what - up to four months, best case? I know there's no guarantees, either.
I feel up against the wall, you know? Of course you do. I hate feeling trapped even more than the pain ... more doors closing... Any ideas? Please?
Thanks for your patience!