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too much to absorb...

Here is some background info. I am a 39 year old woman. I was a stay at home mom and I took care of my mother for 13 years. In the last couple of years until her passing in 2011, she was wheel chair bound and in renal failure. In 2010 one night out of the blue, my legs began to hurt, the worst pain I had ever felt. It switched on like a light switch and has never switched off. I went to the ER at which time they said it was diabetic nerve pain and I was drug seeking. I do have diabetes, and have the nerve pain in my feet, but that wasn't what was wrong. The doctor I got was very arrogant and just wouldn't listen. So for a year I self medicated with what meds my mother wasn't using. I know that is wrong, but I had to do what I had to do. My mom had to have a caregiver and I was it. One week after she passed, my best friend took me to another ER and luckily I got a young doctor whom I will never forget. I gave him my symptoms and he wrote them down, then he found a senior doctor and they came in to dissect my symptoms. They then said they were doing a back Xray, I was puzzled. I told them it wasn't my back, it was my legs. Well an Xray later they found signature reasons for my pain and told me to find a family doctor.

Finding a family doctor with no insurance and one you haven't seen before for chronic pain is almost impossible. I called 2 counties and no one would see me. I crumbled the paper with them listed and started to throw it away. I saw there was one more I hadn't called and said "what the hell" so I called. I talked to a nurse and told her everything. I told her about the self medicating and told her I needed pain meds. I told her I had no insurance so I didn't have the money to pay for 10 visits until they would agree I needed pain meds. My first visit he put me on pain meds and two visits later I had my first mri. I have been seeing him since. He's great.

I am thankful for him. I almost committed suicide after my mother died. I wrote letters to my 3 girls trying to explain my actions, hoping they'd forgive me. I was in so much pain and it was hard to prove. Its hard to prove a pain that no one else can see evidence of. It wasn't until I found my doctor, that I had a reason to have hope.

I work a full time job as a veterinarian technician, but I won't be much longer. I can't hardly move anymore, but I can't sit still either. It hurts to move because of my back, but I can't lay down due to my leg pain. I'm still very frustrated, I don't dare ask for more pain meds, I can't afford to be pushed to a pain clinic at $400-600 a month. I try to take one day at a time.

If anyone can put this stuff in English that would be great. My doctor is old and just says "you have reasons to hurt" LOL.
Thanks and thanks for reading I know its long. I have been on here for a month and just got the courage up to post.


Please forgive any typo's, I scanned to micro word and it well,...has a mind of its own
2011 Lumbar Spine w/o contrast
FINDINGS: There is some anterior wedging of LI vertebral body, but the bone marrow signal intensities are within normal limits with no evidence to suggest any acute or subacute process.
At LI -2 disc space there, are spondylosis changes with a significant amount of spur disc tissue bulging into the anterior epidural space and compressing the anterior dura.
The conus is at normal level atT12-Ll.
There is no evidence for significant distortion of the cauda equina nerve roots at the Ll-2 level. There is compression of thecal sac, however.
At L2-3 disc space., there are chronic Schmorl nodes, but no sign of neural tissue encroachment. L3-4 also has small chronic Schmorl nodes. No neural tissue encroachment is present.
At L4-5, mere is a diffuse bulging disc asymmetrically into the left foramen where there has an appearance suggesting disc protrusion into the foraminal region with perineural fat, but no definite nerve root impingement or displacement.
L5-S1 has a diffuse bulging disc with effacement anterior epidural space, but no thecal sac distortion. Visualized portions of the SI joints bilaterally are normal.

1. Anterior wedging of LI vertebral body with a slight kyphotic position resulting. There are spondylosis change with spur disc tissue of the dorsal aspect of the disc margin with significant compression of the thecal sac resulting. No disc protrusion is evident.
2. Disc bulging at multiple levels with an asymmetrical bulge into the left foramen bordering on a disc protrusion al L4-L5 with perineural fat effacement, but no evidence for definite nerve root displacement.
3. L5-SI has a diffuse bulging disc with mild compression of the midline thecal sac. No facet arthropathy is evident.

2011 Thorac Spine MRI w/o contrast
FINDINGS: Spinal cord has a normal morphology and normal signal intensities.
At T11-T12 there is spur disc tissue with small degree of disc protrusion which is in the midline and slightly to the left of the midline with compression of the anterolateral dura and the midline dura. No sign of underlying cord abutment or compression. T12-L1 also has spur disc tissue which is compressing the anterior dura.
At T7-T8 there is a very subtle degree of disc protrusion with spur disc tissue that is compressing the anterior dura in the midline. It is slightly to the right of the midline as well. The spinal cord has a slight flattening but no abutment or compression.
The thoracic spine more superiorly is unremarkable.
The facet joints are normal throughout and the foramen are patent throughout.
1. Spondylosis changes with small spurring, spur disc tissue T7-T8 as described above, Tl 1-T12 as described above and T12-L1. At T11-T12 and T12-L1 levels, there is compression of the anterior and anterolateral dura as described above but no spinal cord abutment or compression and the conus appears to be within normal limits.
2. T7-TS the small spur disc tissue is in the midline to the right of midline with flattening of the dura and flattening of the anterior border of the cord but no sign of cord compression or abutment.

Cervical Xrays May 2012
The vertebral bodies of the cervical spine are normally aligned. A normal cervical lordosis is seen. Anterior osteophyte formation is present at C5-6 and C6-7, with associated ossification of the anterior longitudinal ligament. There is some relative disc space narrowing posteriorly at C5-6. The posterior elements are well aligned and intact. The prevertebral soft tissues and airways are normal. Oblique views are unremarkable. Flexion and extension views demonstrate a good range of motion, without instability.
1. Mild degenerative disc disease at C5-6 and to a lesser degree at C6-7.
2. Ossification of the anterior longitudinal ligament.
3. Good range of motion on flexion and extension, without instability.

2012 (june) Lumbar spine w/o contrast
FINDINGS: The increased kyphotic curvature at the thoracolumbar junction as well as the AP wedge contour toT12 and L.I is again seen. Marrow signal demonstrates no acute fracture or signficant focal marrow edema. The conus terminates normally at the thoracolumbar junclion, The T10-T11 through LI-L2 as well as the L4-L5andL5-Sl discs remain hypoiniense. Small chronic Schmorl's nodes are. noted from TIG through L4 without a rim of marrow edema. The disc bulging at T11-T12 through I.I-L2 and at L4-L5 through L5-S1 demonstrates no significant change. Scattered disc protrusions arc also again seen.

At T12-Ll, mild right anterior central but no significant foraminal stenosis is seen in conjunction with the shallow right paracentral disc osteophyte complex accompanied by a mild disc bulge and early mild marginal osleophytosis.
At L1-L2. moderate anterior central but no significant foraminal stenosis is seen due to the abnormal kyphotic curvature, diffuse disc bulge and marginal osteophytosis.
At L2-L3 and L3-L4, no central or foraminal stenosis. No disc protrusion/herniation.
At L4-L5, mild effacement of the anterior epidural space accompanies mild right but moderate left foraminal stenosis due to the left predominate diffuse disc bulge, marginal osteophytosis and moderate facet hypertrophy.
At L5-S 1. mild effacement of the left anterior epidural space and mild to moderate left foraminal stenosis is again seen due to the left sided predominate diffuse disc bulge, mild early marginal osteophytosis and mild to moderate facet hyperlrophy.
1. no significant interval change.
2. Abnormal kyphotic curvature at the thoracolumbar spine accompanied by mild degenerative disc disease resulting in moderate central stenosis al LI-L2 and mild right paracentral stenosis at T12-L1,
3. L4-L5 diffuse left-sided predominate disc bulge with marginal osteophytosis and mild lo moderate facet hypertrophy resulting in mild effacement of the epidural space but up to moderate left foraminal stenosis.
Number 4 was cut off the page they copied for me...


  • bthpckrsbbthpckrs Posts: 4
    edited 07/07/2012 - 5:39 PM
    Could someone please help decipher these?
  • ...diagnosis of medical photography .be it MRI/CT scan .but i have seen enough of them to see that you back is showing sings of degeneration .that's not so important the technical but is for the consultants and they use it like a map when talking to each other and performing surgery ..to the layman .if you are in pain that's the main thing .there are elements of the scan result that could cause you pain and from that your doctor could prescribe you medication too help .but as i am not a doctor i could not advice on drugs and the relevant doses .i would see your doctor and get him/her to explain the findings and from that hopefully the situation can be resolved .be it with drugs and or surgery .i would avoid surgery if you can for as long as possible unless there are no alternatives ..sorry this post is a bit vague but as i have said we can't interpreted anyone's MRI/CT results ..just in case we get it wrong
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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