Short story is this: I have low back pain which I've had for years. Three years ago I laid carpet in my mountain cabin and tore it up. Went for MRI which showed bulging and such at L2/3 4/5 and DDD L5S1. Had epidurals 3 times, after PT and TENS failed to help. Same result with ESI.
Fast forward to eight weeks ago and 3 years of Ultram increasing to the 2 every 8 hrs and I am past the point of escaping the pain and now my back burns deeply as well as shooting pain and numbness in my left leg and hips. MRI show impinged L1 and L5 from L1/2 and L5S1 discs.
Question is this: I am in pretty substantial pain and the shooting pains keep me from sleeping well. I am able, by biting the bullet, to still DO the things I enjoy. I'm torn between just telling myself to quit being a pussy on one hand and on the other hand I tell myself to go get fixed and take a step up to narcotics to cope with the pain.
I go in Wednesday for the discogram to try and narrow it down to a fix and I see my surgeon on Thursday.
To complicate things, I am a recovering addict and the narcotics almost killed me 8+ years ago before the C4/5/6 ACDF. I'm scared to death of them. 2/14/03 was the last of my "using" days thank god.
Any experience, strength, and hope will be greatly appreciated.