Well, my name is Melissa. I'm about to turn 30 and I have two children, a one year old girl and a five year old boy. I have had back issues for as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed at age 12 with degenerative disk disease. I have been told by many doctors that the damage to my spine looks similar to that of someone in their 50's-60's. I also have sciatica and osteoarthritis. Secondary to all of this (well, not secondary, but not directly spine related) I have PTSD, Bipolar Disorder I, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PCOS, Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, Migraines, and high blood pressure. I have a lot of pain and swelling, as well as stiffness, in the cervical spine, but none of the doctors seem to want to check that area out. I do have an extrusion with annular tear at L5/S1.
I've read through this site several times, and have found some good information. I've had MRI's, CT Scans, Xrays done, as well as ultrasound and EMG. I've tried physical therapy, both on land and in water, massage, TENS Unit, lidocaine injections, trigger point injections, yoga, meditation.......I've had bilateral epidurals, spinal manipulations by a DO, numerous pain medications ranging from Tylenol to Kadian to Butrans and everything in between. I've been on Lyrica, Cymbalta, and a few other meds in that category. We've tried Lidoderm. Thus far, nothing has helped so at this point, the doctors have stopped all forms of pain medication and relief since nothing seems to give relief without causing other issues that make it dangerous for me to take. Currently, I'm on Lithium, Lisinopril, Prilosec, Pepcid, and Promethazine.
Regardless of what anyone else believes, my pain level on a daily basis ranges from a 7-9. Going to the hospital has proven pointless as I've been there so many times over the last nearly 20 years for back pain that they now give me Demoral, Phenergan and Benadryl via IV, take new xrays, and send me on my way. I don't drink or do drugs. I don't smoke. Every day is a battle. I don't live, I exist. I am tired of the fight and tired of the mental and physical anguish, which of course leads to emotional anguish when I see the disappointment on my son's face when Mommy can't do things physically that his friends' parents can. I know other people have it worse, at least I don't have cancer or something terminal, but in a way, this seems worse. I don't have an ending in sight to my suffering. I used to be a positive person. Now I'm positively depressing.