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29-year old with disc herniations

KimD592KKimD592 Posts: 435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello! My name is Kim and I am 29 years old. I am the mother of three beautiful children, ages 9, 2.5, and 15 months. I am married to a wonderful man, and I work (or did, prior to my injury) as a registered nurse.

I hurt my back in October of this past year, as I was lifting my nearly 40-lb daughter. When I went to lift her, I felt/heard a pop in my back and was immediately hit with pain. I figured I pulled a muscle, but it continued to get worse and worse. I went to my doctor the next day when I could barely move, and he gave me pain meds. Over the next couple of weeks I went in for a couple of shots of Toradol, neither of which did much of anything. He gave me muscle relaxants which knocked me out. I popped Motrin like it was going out of style, and it upset my stomach pretty badly.

November came around and I was still in pain and unable to work, so my doctor sent me for an MRI of the thoracic spine, which showed moderate DDD and disc herniations in T8, T9, and T10, which corresponds to where my pain is. He sent me to see an orthopaedic surgeon, who wasn't entirely convinced my pain was related to the herniations. He ordered PT which I did for about 3 months with very little improvement. I did the stretching, I used ice packs, heating pads, the TENS unit, etc...nothing really helped for more than a few hours. I went back to the ortho doc and he wanted me to see a pain mgt doc. I explained to them that I am not a fan of taking medication and did not want to have pills thrown at me. I did an epidural injection which did nothing except cause more pain. When that didn't work, the ortho doc wanted me to see a neurosurgeon, who recommended we try a facet block. He showed me my MRI results and the one disc in particular, T9 I think it was, was in pretty bad shape. I went for the facet block on my birthday, March 17th. Initially I seemed to have improvement in my pain levels, but it didn't last very long. I called the neurosurgeon again, since they wanted me to call if the facet block didn't help, and they scheduled me to come in next Tuesday to talk about possible surgery. I am going for a CT myelogram this Thursday, prior to my appt.

I'm extremely leary of having surgery. I've heard a lot of people say that there is no guarantee that it'll work, and that it may leave me with even more pain. However, I also know that I cannot live like this. I have been unable to work as an RN in the hospital, which is where I was before. I've applied for numerous RN desk jobs, but all of them require some sort of experience, which I don't have. Being that I have three kids that I'd need to put into daycare, I cannot afford to take a paycut. The other issue is that I cannot be in any one position for too long without increased pain. So, I've applied for disability for now. I recently found out I was denied, but I plan to get a lawyer and appeal it.

Anyway, that's my story in a nutshell. It's all very frustrating, as I've had many health problems over the past several years. I had two back-to-back pregnancies (not planned that way), both of which were high risk. After I delivered my daughter in February of 2010, I ended up hospitalized with post-partum pre-eclampsia. Then, in May 2010 I ended up in the hospital for a week with cholecystitis and had to have my gallbladder out. In August 2010 I was diagnosed with a heart condition, which can lead to dangerous arrythmias. Then I injured my back in October. I feel like I can't seem to catch a break!


  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you have certainly been through alot in the year 2010!! i had my gallbladder out as well and i know how sick that can make you!! i do hope the worse is behind you now and you can focus on your pain problems.. surgery is a very serious matter and i do hope you get a second opinion.. it can be a very important part of your recovery!! the more information you have the better for you!! good luck with your disability.. that can be a long road as well..getting a lawyer is definetly the way to go! i have a friend who is an RN as well and could not work in a hospital anymore and works in a doctor's office.. it is much less strenous and yet she still gets to work around patients..she also only works part time which is easier on her back!!!stop by the forum anytime.. there is always a spiney around to chat with.. Jenny :)
  • Welcome here to SH. You have come to the right place.It is good that you are seeing a nuerosurgeon. It is always a good idea to get a second opinion when facing surgery.

    I am sure it must be hard with 3 little ones at home.I wish you all the best with getting your disability. It can be very tough finding a job in nursing with back/neck problems(that is my field as well) I am waiting on surgery at the moment, and then will have to make some big decisions on my work as well.

    You are in my thoughts. Please keep us posted on how everything goes with your appointments.

    >: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
  • OMG Kim, your situation sounds like mine except you have had success at finding out what the problem is. I picked up a cooler while camping exactly a year ago and I am still looking for answers. My opinion is my MRI had a faulty reading. My PM is suspicious of that also. I have been a human pin cushion for an entire year, out of work and still can't pinpoint my issue (except facet joint arthritis for sure). I have all the signs of a disc problem and facet joint arthritis. I really need to go on disability also because I really don't see a light at the end of the tunnel of my pain. NOTHING is working for me. After I have a series of shots I get no relief. My symptoms are increasing every week. I can't sit or stand longer than 5 minutes or walk without leaning on something. I'm scared & I feel helpless & I'm sure you do too. I don't have any answers for you but I just want you to know you are not alone. I am glad to see you are getting the tests & referals you should be getting. I'm praying for a miracle for you, me, & everyone here.
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