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Life after degenerative (lumbar) disc disease?

captain_spaceyccaptain_spacey Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:56 AM in Matters of the Heart
Actually, I'm newly diagnosed (the week before last). I had asked my boyfriend to come up and give me support. He had made plans, but cancelled and came up anyway, but he was acting resentful and distant the whole weekend and I ended up breaking it off. He had already mentioned the urge to break it off during that weekend anyway. I don't want to be with someone who is going to feel resentment toward me because of my pain and limitations and worse yet, abandon me eventually anyway.

The reason I had asked him is because I was devastated with the news and wanted some support. My social network has discentegrated over the last year or so as I've been suffering persistent, frequent and chronic pain and my ability to go out became much less often.

Now I'm wondering if I acted too hastily. He, of course, doesn't get it, but maybe with enough information sources, he would eventually get it. I know he is scared of being a bedside servant and he doesn't need to fear that. I'm VERY independent; I made dinner for my parents on Friday night and I do for myself as much as I can because I hate depending on others a whole lot.

Well, he wasn't very sensitive toward my situation, maybe he never would have been. I wanted to spare myself an even greater heartache than just breaking it off now has caused if he ends up being insensitive and leaves me anyway.

I know he wants a partner who likes being physically active and is physically fit. I like being physically active (I always have been) but that has been slowly taken away from me due to my condition.

I cut him loose and am sort of regretting it. I don't really have too many friends who commute and I live far away from the vast majority of them. Two friends live close by, but are busy a lot. My, now, ex-boyfriend used to at least talk on the phone once or twice a week and come up at least once a month (I used to go down to see him, but I l lost the ability to drive for more than fifteen or twenty minutes without feeling too much pain).

I'm very lonely and although there is online support, it still doesn't quite fill the void of loneliness from a lack of in person interaction.

I'm also afraid that I won't ever find someone who will be willing to get involved with me because of my condition. Plus, I can't have kids.

I have a lot of student loans and medical expenses and only make minimum wage, so I'm forced to live with my parents (rather than on my own) and I'm only 33 years old! I'm kind of stuck and I'm worried about what the future holds.

I've been really stressed out and depressed over this too.
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Comments

  • Hi and welcome, Sorry about your situation, Have you had any mri or any tests to show what is the cause of your pain. .? DDD not always as severe as some people would think in many cases. But if you know you have pain at least mri could explain what is the direct cause that maybe your boyfriend can even understand,

    I know us man only use like 10% of our brain but if you explain it to him maybe he will understand. I am no Dr phil but its posible no?

    Let him make that decision if he wants to still be with you or not. If it dont work out at least you can make him suffer before breaking up for good no? Its only fear he gets to suffer a litle also. Lol. Ok just kiding,

    Many of us suffered relationship problems because of our pain and spine condition but if it was not the spine problem it would be other things testing the relarionship. This is a good test to see if your partner stands by you or not,
    If they dont then it was just not ment to be,

    Damn i am beter then Dr Phil eh?


    Ps: let us know what level of your spine is causing your issue and what dr findings are so people here can help you beter, Good luck
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065
    Right now you are dealing with two issues. That I am sure is making things more difficult

    - News about your medical condition
    - Relationship with your boyfriend

    Degenerative Disc Disease is the most mis-understood of all spinal alignments. The words degenerative
    and disease make it sound so bad.
    In reality, DDD is very common. Most people will show some signs of it by the time they are in the late twenties.

    Some people may experience it earlier or more severe due to:

    - Genetic conditions
    - Trauma and Accidents
    - Spinal Surgery.

    The good news is that most DDD situations can be totally managed with an approved exercise program and over the counter NSAIDs. Only the most severe cases will require surgery. You would be amazed at just at how many people have DDD and are continuing to live a full and active life.

    Take a look at this Spine-Health article: Degenerative Disc Disease It will go into details about DDD and provide videos on the subject.

    What diagnostic tests were done to determine that you have DDD? And where?

    As far as your relationship with your boyfriend. That has been a topic on these forums for years. Go over to Matters of the Heart and you will read so many stories.

    Its a delicate matter, one that really needs total and open communications in order to make positive headway.


    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I would get your surgical options examined to see if that is worth considering in order to regain some quality of life.

    You were right, he was only there for the fun times, he would've bailed sooner or later anyway. He was just looking for an excuse.

    Take it easy.
  • I had an MRI on the 11th of last month. The diagnosis from my general practitioner was on the 14th of last month. I just got back from the Integrated Spine Care clinic (my first consult). They will be calling me with the scheduled appointment for my epidural steroid injection (cortisone).

    At this point, I have no desire to get back with the ex. If I'm going to have a partner, at this point in my life, I'll need someone a little less selfish and a bit more proactive, regarding other things not mentioned in this post and really don't matter at this point anyway.

    The MRI revealed degenerated discs at L4-L5 and L5-S1 level. I experience moderate to severe low back pain and moderate to severe burning nerve pain in my left leg, occasional spasms, twinges and a lot of twitching (the same side and leg as the nerve pain) at night. The more precise analysis by the doctor I met today is that I do indeed suffer from degenerative disc disease and most likely some annular tearing because of a broad annular bulging at the L5-S1 level. Also my radiology report described one of my discs (I don't remember which one and I don't have a copy of the report) as desiccated. Other words were osteoarthritis, sacroiliitis, nerve root inflammation (although I think that had to do with the DDD or disc bulging...). It was a lot to take in. I'm a bit overwhelmed and recalling the second half of the conversation is particularly difficult.

    Anyway. Surgery wasn't a heavy topic.

    I've been advised to discontinue the athletic lifestyle I once had, which included running a past-time I had really enjoyed.

    At this point in time it's a matter of reducing inflammation, improving my quality of life and managing pain. Other than the injection, there isn't much else anyone can do for now.

    I have nsaids, morphine, cyclobenzaprine, lyrica and diphenhydramine to counter the itching from the morphine and help me sleep. I still work full time. I wouldn't have insurance to take care of myself if I wasn't. I don't function much outside of work, these days.
  • :)

    Although I'm not taking the ex back, he is being a touch more supportive these days, even though out of the hurt I feel about the relationship and having less patience I've been kind of bratty to him more than a couple of times. Kind of weird.

    I just need to focus on getting as well as I can and be more positive I guess.
  • Admiting you was bratty to him is the 1 st step in making up, You are only 11 steps away from make up sex, Oh hell forget the 11 steps, Tune in next week to dr Phill update,

    If you have a tear and if it dont heal then sound like fusion surgery would be in your future, Hopefuly you are able to avoid the surgery. But even if you needed fusion wont be the end of the world for many do fine even with fusion,

    Best of luck with the injection,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • He acknowledged his bad reaction and insensitivity regarding my diagnosis and feels guilty about it. I was the one who broke it off because of that. I had realized our relationship had been going down hill for sometime, since the consistent decline of my physical state. He got out of a marriage where he endured a lot of mental and physical abuse. Her health problems were not like mine, but she was on oral prednisone, so I think her behavior toward him had a lot to do with that. She came from a wealthy family and expected him to be her servant as she berated, belittled and subjugated him for anything she perceived as an error on his part.

    I did not treat him this way. Despite my struggles, I latch on to any independence I have left in regards to taking care of myself. I informed him that his emotions from his former marriage were probably surfacing because of my declining state (projection) and his unconscious reactions to it, which then triggered my own baggage regarding a long relationship with a severe alcoholic, so my behavior wasn't so great either.

    Since he and I had been friends for so long, before the relationship, we decided to remain friends and focus on ourselves. Especially since it was long distance anyway and I can no longer commute. The potency of these circumstances overpowered the relationship (it simply wasn't strong enough to sustain).

    We had one last physical encounter over the weekend (not sexual by any means) because we had purchased tickets to a comedy show in my area before we broke up and before my physical state was more constant. I took the day off from work so that I could manage the two hours of sitting, which didn't work, but whatever. Before the show, we spent some time talking. He asked me questions about my back and I unexpectedly starting crying (I couldn't keep it in). I apologized for it and he said "It's okay," and held out his arms so I could cry on his shoulder.

    The friendship will remain, but I need at least a couple of months of no contact with him so that I can separate the emotional pain of the failed relationship more effectively. I hope he understands that.

    I'm looking into what kind of exercise I can do in place of my old activities. I used to run, bike, hike and most of my physical fitness was high-impact. I have to find something to keep me as physically fit as possible, but will also help me. I have no access to yoga classes, swimming pools or anything like that. The drive to any one of those things is too far and my finances don't really allow it. What I fear about yoga is doing it wrong and injuring myself further, so I'd like a live instructor to help me do it properly and a video cannot give me feedback. I used to love rural living, but now I loathe it.

    Thanks for all of the feedback. I've received more understanding and support here than from my family, although my mother is really trying. Bless her heart.

  • When I went off on disability I bought a recumbent stationary bike so I could exercise and also started walking which is the best kind of exercise. I guess you're too far away from a Physical Therapist to help you?

    I have DDD also and I had to stop working but I'm a little older well I was 47 when I stopped working. I also moved away from a desolate area but I had stopped working but it was so I could get out and walk daily and be close to my Dr. and Physiotherapy and a Chiropractor not for adjustments but for him to use ultrasound and inferential treatment on my lower back to take down the inflammation.

    I'm glad you and your ex-BF are still friends but I know the toll of a break up. I'm glad your Mom is being supportive now. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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