I am so excited to have come across this place! My name is Kathleen, I'm an (almost in 8 days!) 23 year old female living in Alberta, Canada (little town called Red Deer, smack dab between Calgary and Edmonton, if anyone knows where they are!)
Here's the briefest overview I can offer:
I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 11. At age 13 I had my first surgery as my upper curve was at 75 degrees and, obviously, needed to be dealt with.
I have been fused from T1 to L4, and have had a grand total of 5 surgeries thus far to deal with the fallout from having to have surgery so young (as you might imagine, my body was still growing, so despite the excellent surgeon I had, my spine continued to curve and rotate, which shifted my rods and poked out my 'bits')
While I've stopped growing, I now suffer from chronic pain due to degenerative arthritis in my unfused vertebrae. The lower, unfused curve is at the 49ish degree mark, and my last appointment with my surgeon had him explaining that was we can expect to happen is to see my first or second vetebrae after the fusion begin to shift laterally due to the increased curve, at which point the rest of my back will be fused, L4 all the way down, eliminating all mobility.
The biggest issue is the chronic pain. I'm currently on 15 mcg/h BuTrans patches, I take 150 mg of Lyrica every day, as well as tylenol, advil, and muscle relaxants, and 5 mg morphine for break through pain (which, unfortunately, has increased a bit as of late.)
I came here both to seek support, as I'm feeling a little disheartened, and to get some opinion from my fellow chronic back pain sufferers about pain management and what they think works (I firmly believe that narcotic patches are the greatest creations ever. I can't ever go back to oral Ralivia. The highs and lows of it were awful!)
Other things about me... I love to write, I started after I was diagnosed, and it is my greatest passion in life. I am a Communications Major and I would like to be able to work at the Alberta Children's Hospital where I basically grew up or go into literary genre editing! I have two years left of my degree, but they have to be spaced out because I can't go to school as a full time student. I love video games, Tifa Lockheart is my idol, I have taken singing lessons since I was 8, and I am very sarcastic.
Also I love Stephen Colbert.
I am so excited to find an active forum where I can interact with individuals who are also suffering from chronic pain!