I am very new to the forum thing but thought I would give it a try since nowhere else do I find anyone that understands what I am going through. I am a 29yo female and have had back issues since I was 17yo and still to this day I have no difinitive answers as to why.
At 17, I had what we will call my first "incident". I was told by an urgent care dr that I had strained my back. I layed on the living room floor for four days until I could move again and went back to school thinking that was the end of my problems, but it was only the beginning. I enlisted in the military where I had constant low back pain which was ignored or seen as an excuse to get out of pt. (Physical training--not therapy.) I finally received an x-ray workup from a dr. I was told I had spodylolis and was supposed to be sent to Walter Reed for an MRI. Then came September 11th. Needless to say the MRI never came about.
During the next few years, I had several "incidents" where I would "throw my back out" and be bedridden for days. I became accustomed to them. When I was about 23 yo, I had another series of x-rays done in which I was told I had arthritis and a fractured tranverse process of the l5 vertebrae. I was also told at this time that I had spondylolisthesis. No one ever explained to me what this was and I didn't learn until a few years ago when my "incidents" became more frequent. Anyway, I was sent for an MRI and was told I had two bulging disks.(l5-s1, l4-l5) No treatment ever occurred at any time the first few years, besides medication and rest. This time I was sent to physical therapy that didn't do a bit of good. I went for several months and never saw any improvement in my pain.
After the pt, I moved and wasn't able to continue treatment. I was a single mother to 2 children by now and didn't have insurance or money to pursue treatment. Then, 5 years ago, I met my husband and we had a daughter shortly after we were married. During the last stages of pregnancy and after her birth I have severe sciatica which I attributed to her. Three months after she was born it was so bad that I couldn't walk. I had another "incident" and went to the ER by the urging of my husband. (Every other "incident", I was still partially mobile. I could still walk and go to the bathroom- this time I couldn't). The ER quickly told me there was nothing wrong with me, they couldn't do anything for me, and sent me home.
At this time, I had insurance and decided to pursue the issue. I made an appoinment with an orthopaedic surgeon who, again, did another set of x-rays. Nothing was determined so she sent me for another MRI. This time I had three bulging disks. (l3-l4, l4-l5, l5-s1). I still had severe sciatica and was given my first epidural steroid injection which helped the sciatica immensely!! It wore off at appx 5 months and I had another done which only last a matter of 4-5 weeks. Again, I moved and had no insurance, so the issue was dropped. I had lost a lot of weight and figured that was part of the problem.
As of April/May of this year I started having a lot more problems. Pain is constant and some days are worse than others. I have terrible sharp shooting pains in my lower spine region when I have an "incident" which used to be about once a year is about once a month. The last incident was 6 weeks ago. Before, there would be something to set it off. I could actually feel something happen in my spine and I would sit down somewhere before I knew I wouldn't be able to move. This time, there was nothing. THe pain is so bad somedays that I cannot walk, my husband has to help me off the couch, get in front of me like a human walker and hold me up while I shuffle my feet across the floor. In May, I had yet another MRI. same issues now l5-s1 is herniated. I finally got referred to the nuerosurgeon two weeks ago. Somebody finally beleived I had pain! The nuerosurgeon was not helpful....he stated that nothing I had would cause the pain I think I have. He is currently scheduling me to have a scoliosis work-up done and another injection but this time in my SI joint.
Today, I gathered all my previous medical records and have an appointment with another nuerosurgeon next wednesday for a second opinion.
I hope in coming here that I can find others who have had similar troubles so I know I am not the only one. Bless my husband as he listens to me and tries his best to understand, but ultimately he doesn't know how frustated I am. I am tired of living in pain with no answers. I can't even pick up my daughter or hug my children without pain. Hopefully, we get some answers soon.
Thanks for listening to my vent!!!