I'm new here, but I have been dealing with a host of back problems and pain for about 3 years now. I'm sorry this is so long, but I just need a place to get all of this out, and maybe some of you have dealt with something similar and can offer me some advice or support.
Yesterday I got back from yet another new doctor's office, this time a neurosurgeon. He explained to me the same thing I've been hearing over and over again-- that yes, he knows that I am problably experiencing some "discomfort", but I am not a candidate for surgery.
I went through my (now typed with annotations) list of problems/symptoms and he just nodded and advised more physical therapy.
When I explained that I've been doing physical therapy for 6 months, 3 times a week and it hasn't done snot, he just told me to try a new physical therapist.
Then he told me, after looking at my MRI results, that I should probably know it would be a bad idea for me to have children, as the pregnancy would basically destroy what's left of my back, and then prescribed me a cane to assist with my walking since my right leg has been giving out/really hurts to walk on due to sciatic pain.
My problem, I guess, is two-fold.
First, I'm 23 and dating the most compassionate, caring and understanding man I have ever met. He has been absolutley incredible through this whole ordeal, but at the same time, I feel enormously guilty for constantly ruining plans, dates and activities because of the constant, excruciating pain I'm in. I know a lot of it is just good old fashioned Catholic school guilt, but I just don't want him to spend the rest of hislife worrying about the next time the pain is going to strike or if I'm going to be able to get out of bed that day if he isn't there.
I feel like it isn't right for me to have to ask him to deal with this, like I have just dumped all of this on him and forced him to accept it, and I feel terrible all the time because of it. I love him a ridiculously stupid amount, but I feel like I'm ruining his life. Like I said, I'm 23. He should be taking my pants off, not having to help me put them on in the morning. I'm this young and already my back is this bad--- what am I going to be like when I'm 40? I don't want to burden him for the rest of his life with a wife who can't contribute or do anything by herself.
Second, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, on the surface, I am a pretty bubbly and outgoing person. I do theatre and I have bright blue hair. I love talking to people and made the decision long ago that I couldn't let this affect my life--- but the problem is that I don't think my doctors take me seriously. They see a, seemingly happy young person with stupid hair, and I feel like they think I'm either exaggerating for access to pain medication or making it up for attention.
I assure you, neither of those things are true.
I feel like the expect me to be writhing on the ground in agony, weeping and moaning and begging for relief. I am in pain-- and a lot of it-- all the time. Over the past two years, I have gone from running 6 miles a day to barely being able to put my shoes on without assistance. I have trouble walking, driving, going to the bathroom (sorry, tmi) and generally living the life a normal 23 year old would live.
This is ruining my life, and no one will take me seriously.
They have proof from the ridiuclous amounts of tests I have gone through that there is legitly something wrong, but no one wants to take steps to fix it--or even reduce it-- because I (and I have been told this, verbatim by doctors) "Seem too happy to be in THAT much pain". How about screw you, sir?
I don't expect to get magically fixed. But I'm sick of not being taken seriously and I'm sick of being made to fee bad about complaining to doctors and for bugging them for help.
I found this wonderful forum and it seems like a lot of people are going through the same experiences I am, so I am just wondering-- how do you deal with this? What do I say? What do I do? How do I keep from going crazy?
Thank you all so much.