I am new here. I am here out of desperation. From the input I get from the world around me, I am a failure as a human/wife/mother. Let me be more specific. My most recent MRI of my thorasic and cervical spine show improvement from the one 8 years ago. In those sections I went from having C5-C6 herniated, and a C6-C7 bulging, to a diffuse bulging between C5 -C6. Other than that the results for the rest are 'unremarkable'. I was originally diagnosed with this issue when I was 24. Told that most people by the time they are 50 have at least one compromised disc.
At 17 I was ejected from a rolling vehicle at about 50 MPH. This might sound weird but when I was flying through the air somehow my body remembered to try to curl into a ball with my hands over the back of my neck. I suffered second and third degree road rash on my forehead that shaved my hair back an inch from the original hairline and all over the outside of my forearms and my hands. It was a gravel road, and I don't know how much protection from that type of injury I had for my legs and feet as I was in jeans and cowboy boots.
I landed in such a fashion that the impact traveled down my spine where it cause a burst fracture at L1. I lost all feeling from the waist down shortly (within hours) after arriving by ambulance at the hosp. Feeling was regained after 9hr surgery on the front of my spine where they had to remove bone fragments from my spinal cord and placed a Harrington's rod attached by 4 screws spanning from T12-L2 , a bone graph taken from one of my floating ribs, and a 1/2 inch added to my height as I had minor scoliosis prior. Again, other than rays, the most recent MRI of that area is 8 years old, but all films indicate no 'significant post operative changes'.
I have severe pain and tensio in my neck and across my shoulders, wearing a bra is excruciating and one of the vertebra in that area randomly twists and pops my rib out of place. I have pain and tension that radiates out from the area where the implant is, and I have pain and tension that forms in my lower back at about the same level of my hips. I was also diagnosed with an enlarged uterus, about the size of a 14 wk pregnancy (no fibroids or cycsts) that I was told was pressing on my lower back.
My doctor says he sees no reason for me to be in pain, and since the pain I am I is not 'acute' so there is no call to use opioid based pain medication, which to date has been the only thing that provides any relief besides osteopathic manipulations, and not the kind where they just force your back until it cracks. I have also started having random bouts of localized pain, for instance today there is a issue with my right leg, a pint painful and tender to the touch near my hip, one on the back of my calf, and one that wraps around the back and outside of my foot. I am having episodes that last for a week or more of severe pain and stiffness in my legs accompanied by sharp pain in the center of the bottom of my feet. There are times when I get sharp burning pains in the center of my palms like someone is stabbing a knife all the way through.
There are times when I wonder if it is in my head, but then I pick up my cup of coffee and I have a 3 or 4 inch section that feels like someone yanking on a guitar string in my back.
All my doc is willing to give me for pain is 1 15 mg xr mobic per day and wants me to take 2mgs of Valium 3 times a day and 2 at bedtime.
He has decided that I need phisical therapy, again, as my fourth round of physical therapy was completed just over a year ago.
I begged for even just one pain pill pe day, just so I could have a few hours a day when I could function near normally in the care of my family. I offered to come in weekly so they could test my blood/urine and count my pills to be sure I wasn't misusing them. No luck, no compassion, no hope for relief. I explained that I already do proactive things like stretching, heat therapy, use of my TENS unit, and even yoga when I am not hurting so bad I can't, which is all the time for the past year or so. I don't go to the ER when I am in pain for fear of being labeled a medication seeker. The only choice seemingly left is to suffer in this silent prison. I do everything I can to hide how bad things are to my family because all it does is create a burden they have no control over. I know that being overweight is contributing to some of the pain I am in, but I also know the pain in my back was no less severe when I was down at 130 lbs as it is now. When I told my Dr I just needed correct medication to make it possible for me to exercise he told me that wasn't important, I should just go get on weight watchers .
I honestly don't know how much longer I can bear up under the strain of no hope for relief. I have children and a husband that have had to take over almost everything besides attending me in the bathroom and helping me bathe and brush my hair and teeth. I am both a physical and financial burden to those around me. I hurt too much, and what few 'good' days I have are so in predictable that I can't be reliable for anything. My pain affects my interpersonal relationships because of the effects on my personality, and I have developed a host of psychological issues, depression, anxiety, manic episodes, that I believe have a strong root system in my pain and the fact that I went from a physically and socially active person to someone who has to debate whether making lunch trumps how much it will hurt or not.
I have Medicaid and my options seem so limited. The Drs that seem like they would be a good fit for me don't accept my insurance, and the Drs that do accept it seem to have no understanding or compassion for chronic pain sufferers. Further, they leave you feeling like an idiot/junkie for asking for help in the first place.
What do I do? Where do I go from here? Do I just give up at 32 and start the long process of waiting to die so it can be over? Do I force my family to continue supporting me and watch as their chance at 'normalcy' gets ruined by my lack of participation? Do I cancel my Medicaid and whore myself out so I can afford to private pay a doc that will actually help me make progress? Is my issue that I am unwilling to accept that this level of suffering on a daily basis is not only ok but reasonable?