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!