I am a 31 year old single mother. I suffered a compression fracture of L2 in July 2009 and wore a back brace for 4 months. Since the accident I suffered back pain daily, but managed it well and took pain relief only when I couldn't switch off to it any longer. I have always been able to switch off well to pain as prior to the accident I was a runner and ballet dancer (I have not done either since) and both of these activities required me to shut out pain at certain points. My pain levels increased gradually over the last couple of years, but expected that as I work (usually) 45 hours per week sat at a desk (not the best thing for back problems).
Approx 5 months ago the pains increased and also began feeling leg and hip pain. I battled on at work for approx 10 weeks with this sometimes excrutiating nerve pains in my legs (mainly right). I eventually agreed to allow my GP to sign me off work and started physio (physical manipulation and traction) which just made the symptoms worse.
I have been taking Amitriptyline (20-30mg daily) and codeine or tramadol for pain relief for the 5 months. I have had an MRI and paid a consultant to review the results. The MRI report stated that there ws an "old infraction of the superior end plate of L2 with some herniation of disc material (L1-L2) and a sub end plate fissure."
My current symptoms are:
Hip pain (left and right)
Leg pain thigh ( left and right)
Leg pain rear, running right down through sole of foot(right)
Leg pain from knee to ankle/sole (left)
Pain in groin.
Difficulty urinating (when pain increased due to sitting or walking too much)
Weakness in right leg (takes a lot more effort to move)
Reduced sensation in right leg.
The consultant advised that the disc issues are not severe enough to cause all of the above symptoms and does not know why I am feeling them. He therefore can't do anything other than send me for pain management.
My issue is that I have no answers as to why I am feeling the above symptoms now, and have been left with no indication as to when I can expect to get back to work. I need to work, I am a single mother. I am getting help at home from my parents because I can't do some physical chores without suffering for days after. I need help and feel that I have been left with no answers and completely alone.
How can I get the doctors to look further into my case to get the answers I need. How can I get the doctors to help me get back to work quickly? I felt like the doctor did not believe I was having these sypmtoms because as far as he could see the disc herniation was not severe enough to be putting pressure on the nerves. But I AM feeling these symptoms so how can I get them to tell me why? I have been fobbed off and left hanging when I need help the most.
I am slipping into depression... I can feel my emotional strength draining and am on my reserves. Chronic pain is difficult to deal with emotionally, but when you are told they don't know why I am feeling this, it just makes it harder to deal with! I resent the pain because I can't see any light at the end of my journey... I am lost.