Hi - I've been lurking on this forum for 6months, and finally decided it was time to introduce myself
I had an accident in October, and essentially blew out the facets of the entire Lumbar spine and part of the thoracic, both SI joints, tore a few discs, etc etc etc. I've been on medical leave since the accident.
So far I've had 3 steroid injections (caudal ESI -november, bilateral SI - December and 5 level bilateral facet January), and RFA - February. The steroid injections have all worn off, and the nerves are already regenerating from RFA. I'm scheduled to see a neurosurgeon on May 25th, and am a bit nervous about what might be next. I know I'm in good hands - I'm a patient at a wonderful spine institute and have terrific doctors, but I'm so scared that the rest of my life is going to be constant pain.
Before the accident, I was extremely active. I worked 45-50h most weeks (I love what I do), I walked my dogs 3-5miles most days, did yoga at least 5 days a week, and used a fluidity bar (ballet isometric exercises). I also cooked gourmet meals most nights after work for my boyfriend & I, spent time with friends, went to live shows, danced, played, and just enjoyed life.
Now, I'm on month 6 of medical leave from work, rely on a cane to keep myself from falling over when I walk (numbness in both feet, right leg drops out), wear an LSO brace anytime I leave the house, have a disabled parking permit, and have to use an electric cart if I want to go grocery shopping. If I don't, I can't move for 2-4 days after. I'm not allowed to walk my dogs or do yoga, I can't stand long enough to make dinner, I can't clean my house... I spend my life on the couch or in bed, but I rarely sleep because the pain is so intense. I function on an average of 2-4 hours of sleep per day, usually in the form of cat naps - we've tried all kinds of sleeping pills, but the pain either wakes me up or keeps me up.
I tried to go grocery shopping the other day - there were no electric carts available, so I decided to push a cart. I managed to get only essentials, was in tears within 15 minutes, and am still in so much pain that I want to rip my spine out of my body.
I went to physical therapy, but the head physical therapist (who is also a chiropractor and DO), stopped all treatment other than H-Wave because of severe spinal instability.
I've managed to keep a fairly positive, optimistic outlook, but I'm frustrated and scared, and I want my life back.
I'm 33 years old, and I am terrified that this is what the rest of my life will be like. I know I'm extremely lucky - my boyfriend is super supportive - I know he isn't going anywhere, but I feel so guilty that he is stuck with a girlfriend who can't DO anything any more. I know I'm not the only one feeling this way - How do you all handle that?
I really didn't mean to write a whole novel about myself - if any of you managed to make it this far, I'd love to know how you handle all of the changes
Hope you're all pain free and doing well
Slipped on a wet stair case the morning of 10/31/11, landed flat on my tush & blew up my spine & both SI joints.
3 level ACDF C4-C7 7/11/12 (collapsed discs & severe cord compression)
lumbar fusion to be scheduled once healed from ACDF