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Please help! Need info (post discectomy)

funnygirlffunnygirl Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Exercise and Rehab
Hello everyone. I had a really unique back surgery experience. I rarely had back pain throughout my life and in the fall of 2009, started feeling numb in my hips. Within about 10 days, the numbness was about 80% throughout my tummy, hips, groin and upper thighs. One morning I lost bladder control a little, went to the dr immediately and had an MRI. Within just two hours of the MRI results I was in the operating room. The disc between L5 and S1 was completely herniated, blocking my spinal column at virtually 100%. The discs between L2/L3, L3/L4 and L4/L5 were all pretty severely herniated as well. The disc between L5/S1 was completely removed (I still have complete numbness in about half of the bottom of my left foot - surgeon says that will remain forever due to the nerve damage). No other discs were removed. I had a spinal fluid leak and was flat for 36 hours after surgery. I had physical therapy 3-4x/week for 6 months.

Then I lost my medical insurance. I've slowly gotten MUCH better since the surgery. I sleep in good positions, never lift more than I should and pay attention to posture, etc.

This is what I'm really worried about. I've had no pain for months now and no numbness other than what I've been told will remain. But the other night I attended an event and sat on a hard wood floor on a thin blanket for almost 3 hours. I really thought I'd be okay and had no symptoms at all. The next evening while watching tv, I stood up quickly to answer the phone and had HORRIBLE pain shoot into my neck and back of my head. Heartbeat loudly in my ears. I sat back down and it almost immediately disappeared.

This has been off and on now for five days. I literally could barely stand up or raise my heartrate at all without pretty bad pain in the back of my head/neck. It finally occurred to me this could be something compressed affecting my spinal fluid. I hadn't iced my back in months, so I took some Ibuprofen yesterday and iced for 30 minutes and was fine! I even went back to the gym for a workout which I had skipped all week. I iced again last night, woke this morning with mild symptoms again, so I'm on ibuprofen today and will ice again tonight.

I'm wondering if I should go back to the immediate post-surgery regiman of tons of bed rest with legs up and icing. I'm thinking I should stop exercising completely for at least a week or so to get the swelling down.

I cannot go to the doctor at all. I had to quit my job due to this surgery and I'm single making just enough to live on which is why I couldn't afford my Cobra payments. I'm now self-employed working from home. So, I really, really need some advice. I just can't afford medical care right now. Thanks so much.



  • Samantha, first off, welcome to Spine-Health! I'm so glad you found us here, and am so sorry for your need to! I've found wonderful people here, great info, and fantastic support.

    I've never experienced the things you have, and have no idea of what may or may not be going on, and even if I had, I'm no doctor. My best advice to you would be to see if there's a doc in your area that would work something out with you, so you can be seen, and maybe work out some sort of payment plan that you can deal with, because it sounds like you really should be checked out.

    Hopefully someone will be along soon who has gone through something similar, and can offer something a bit more concrete. Until then, I just wanted you to know that we're here!
  • Thank you for the welcome. As I explained, I have no insurance. Payment plan or not, it would be irresponsible of me to amass thousands of dollars in medical bills because of a headache that may just be a headache and nothing more. That's why I'm here...to see if any others have had a similar experience and can share that experience. Since icing and rest are working for me so far, I'm just here to share and gather information based on other's experiences. I'm well aware no one here is a doctor. No one can give medical advice, etc. But if someone has had a similar experience and can share what they did to relieve the symptoms, well...that;s what forums are all about. :) If through sharing information, I find this type of headache could be serious, I'll definitely seek medical treatment. Thank you again. I look forward to perusing more information here. Wish I'd come sooner. :)

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