Hi... My name is Gene. I’m a 45 year old male in generally good health (other than this #@$%$#%#$ pain I’m in). ACK!!!
For starters, in 2008 I had an artificial disc inserted in C5-6. I think that’s working pretty well. That’s not why I’m here...
At the end of April I hurt my blower back in karate. D’OH!!! An initial MRI showed two bulging discs L3-4 & L4-5. Advil/Tylenol/etc. by the handful hasn’t touch the pain. Nor did a course of steroids. Nor have three cortisone epidurals (my third shot was 25 July). Physical therapy hasn’t helped.
Since I hurt my back I’ve had to cancel a vacation to Poland, a long weekend in PA for the 4th of July, I missed a Stone Temple Pilots concert and I don’t feel up to seeing the Blue Angels this weekend. All I have done for three months and three days is work and be in constant pain. ACK!!!
The pain started in the low back and has gone into both legs. Thighs, calves, ankles, toes, tops of feet, behind the knees, etc. ACK!!! The pain/tingling/numbness/heaviness/weakness seems to move around. Some days are bearable. Other days I want to suck on the “business end” of a shotgun.
Physical therapy has been somewhat of a joke to me. I feel like a quick buck for the therapists (I’ve seen three). “Were does it hurt? Oh... do this stretch. We’re done for today. See you in two days. Be sure you make your copay on the way out.” Pffffft!!!!
I finally got into see an Ortho Surgeon early in July. He did MRI #2. Said things look about the same, but he is kinda scratching his head a little bit (because both legs are in play). He asked me if I wanted to try PT again and try Cortisone shot #3. I agreed. Well, as I have written, it’s not working.
While I haven’t been incapacitated (I’ve continued to work... I’m an engineer), all I do is work and try to deal with the pain and other symptoms. After three months and three days and $1,000+ in copays, nothing/no one has helped me.
So, I’ll see the Ortho on 10 August. I think it’s time for the knife (he mentioned microdiscectomy). I don’t know what else to do. I’m tired of everything. I want to start living again. I want my legs back. I read so many horror stories about back surgery. I wonder how many successful surgeries there have been. Maybe the lucky ones are back enjoying their lives and don’t even think about posting on a forum.
Sorry to see there are so many people out there who have back problems. I feel like a big sissy reading what others are going through.
Life is pain...