Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

16 yrs old, broke back... any hope of help now?

NormalPainNNormalPain Posts: 17
edited 03/29/2013 - 4:10 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Okay. Context first:
So I fell 30' and crushed T11 & L1 20 years ago when I was 16, and I didn't get any medical treatment because nobody thought I'd broken anything (they checked my arms and legs), and I got yelled at or shamed for being a hypochondriac drama queen whenever I expressed pain, so I got real good at hiding every outward sign of pain-- in my face, posture, breathing, etc-- until I'm so bad I can't move, and then I isolate and hide until I can pull off 'normal' again. 5 years after the fall, when I'd moved to another state for college I was finally able to use my student loans to see a chiropractor, I got my first good x-ray and PT and stim, MT, etc.

I've been seen by chiropractors for most of the past 20 years, and only started taking muscle relaxors, etc 1 year and 4 mos ago, though I've herniated my S1 disc over a dozen times, etc, I've only been out of denial about my back for about 6 months now.
I'm 36, and though I look about 26, I get up like I'm 96 from my sassy red old lady power recliner where I have to spend a good deal of my day.
I'm still getting used to being 'out' about my back (I've hidden the pain for more than half of my life, and been super ashamed when I couldn't hide it, like when I'd herniate and not be able to move, though I'm seeing a great therapis and getting better about that), and researching WHAT THE HECK I CAN DO ABOUT MY BACK.
I've had 3 kids, and with each gorgeous baby, my back has gotten exponentially more unstable, i've hearniated my disc twice as many times in the past 6.5 years than I did in the first 13.5 before having kids combined.

My fantasy of having a normal life is smashed like a crushed vertebra (har har har).
But my injury is so OLD now, it doesn't seem like there's ANYTHING ANYONE can do for me.
My MRIs show my S1 disc 'impinging' on my nerve root, which is the 'root' of a lot of my pain and disability (though the arthritis up my back, twisted pelvis, skull that's cocked to the side & jammed onto my atlas, and the scoliosis I was born with aren't exactly benign) but since it's not more than 3mm, protocals say 'hands off' for every doc I've seen. And the really great docs admit there's so little known about conditions like mine: small bulges that cause severe and chronic pain and disability, etc.
I'm a fighter. I'm not okay with just accepting life as a painfilled invaid if I don't have to, and I don't think I have to.
I've been dissociating for more than half of my life and because I've beeen able to detach from my body, turn off the pain and force myself to do whatever I wanted to do, within reason-- including being a Zumba instructor, belly dancer, hula dancer, etc. shouldn't there be a way to do all that without leaving my body?
I can't make myself do it anymore.
And the pain is too consisitently high for me to turn it off, and since coming out of denial, that mechanism that was so totally automatic, is just disintegrating, and I'm so much more aware, I FEEL so much more, I'm so much more present, even when I don't want to be.
I've done a cortizone injection, Ortho got my hopes up so high, like maybe I could be normal if I had this done, and for the first time since my fall I let myself try to imagine a life without the pain, and it was so gloriously beautiful that when just days before the injection, my FP said don't be surprised if it doesn't work since my injuries are so old I'm not a good candidate for it, I was devistated, shattered. I decided to believe it would help anyway, law of attraction and all that. Well, yeah, it made it a zillion times worse, felt like a white hot hose was being shoved down my leg during and then irritated a whole nutha nerve root for months and months. I couldn't walk for days, and I was crawling up the walls in agony for weeks. Definitely not doing that again.
But it seems like EVERYTHING I look into, only has good results if you have a recent injury, or the compression fractures were the result of osteoporosis, or your discs bulge at least to 3mm, or that the prognosis is that you're in at least as much pain, or worse after whatever the procedure.
The closest I got was the Stryker Percutanious Disc Decompression, but I can't find anyone who does it to see if they think I'd be a good candidate for it. I even called (read harrassed, lol) the Stryker rep in my area but he won't get back to me.
I have my ups and downs emotionally/psychologically and right now I'm on an up, but just last Friday I wanted to not exist anymore (I'm Christian so there's no point in fantasizing about suicide since death's not oblivion or a relief so much as casting in stone my last mortal act of murduring myself forever, oye; so, the only way through it is through it, and if I endure life's tests and pains well, THEN I get the big best forever, so wishing i could erase myself from existance is as close as I get, but that's real, real bad for me).
DOES ANYONE KNOW OF ANYTHING for a 20 year old injury in a fairly youngish person? I've gotta make this body last another 63 years or so, and it's only going to go downhill from here-- my discs will become even flatter and more dehydrated until they're nothing, my twisty spine will get more twisty as gravity and disintigrating discs bring me down, the ARTHRITIS just grows like moss in Seattle, making me not want to move until about 1 or 2 pm everyday because of the rusted raw pain-- but I'm the mom of 3 little boys so, that's not often a real helpful option-- seriously, I hang out with the elderly ladies who's hands are locked into curled painful positions at Church and we chill and chat about our arthritis issues.
I can't think about that 63 years as a whole, I can only do today. And then today. And then today.
Or I have an anxiety attack and can't breathe, because the weight of all that pain and inability is too much for me to handle all at once.
Like I said, I've had the problems for 20 years but I've only been dealing with a lot of aspects of it for 6 months.
I take a pharmacy every morning and night for my back/body/anxiety/depression- though the meds I'm on now aren't the kind that mess with my head, I HATE that (unless I'm biting through the furniture, then if it knocks me out, bring it on, but I don't have anything like that anymore). I'm mostly whole grain, clean eating vegan because I've found that gives me the most energy, and the least pain (inflammatory foods= he## on earth for me for days), I still try to teach my Zumba class once a week, though lately I've only been able to do it every other week because my disc is too messed up- it helps the arthritis (if I've been up and at least moving a bit for at least a few hours first) but kills my disc, so I pack myself in ice after and literally chill in my chair for hours after.
I'm doing everything I can (though the one thing I'm not is weight training, I know it works, it helps, I've pulled myself out of bad, long, horrible stretches of inabililty and pain with it before, but it's SOOOOOOOO painful for the first 2 weeks and I literally can't do much else (which, again, the mom thing doesn't jive with it) so I'm being a big fat weenie about it, and I'm GOING to do it, but yeah, I'm putting it off. I'll start Monday. :)) but if there's ANYTHING surgical/medical that could help me out PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me ANYTHING!!!
I need help.
Thanks for reading my rambling novel. :)
"Where no rain falls, there no grass grows."
-Elizabeth Hollister Frost


  • That's a lot to take in. I've had spine problems since I was 18 and I'm 42 and I also feel like I'm 90. I had my 6th surgery one week ago. What I DON'T do is - hide it, deny it, commiserate with others who have chronic pain (live in the solution, NOT the problem), or force myself to do things that increase my pain. My suggestion to you (and everything thing from here is only my opinion) is to begin recovery. Clearly you've stated that nothing your doing is working so it's time to do everything differently. Begin between the ears. I've spent years working with therapists to get my head straight. Chronic pain can make emotions run rampant. With time I've learned to disconnect pain and emotions. I can think clearly in severe pain. If your thoughts are dwelling in misery, it's time to change that. Has doing it alone done you any good? I hold my head up and look people in the eye and I don't find myself sharing my troubles with people in elevators, or wherever. I don't share how I'm doing with people unless they ask. But at the same time my friends and family know about my health problems and are supportive. As for taking a pharmacy every morning, that's really all you mentioned as to what you're doing to live in the solution. I've never convinced myself of what I need and then hunted down a doctor to deliver. My best suggestion to you is to find a Brain/Back/Spine clinic where you can get comprehensive care (pain management, physical therapy, referrals to emotional support, non-surgical treatment, and surgical treatment if needed). I'm sure that imaging (mri's, bone scan's, etc) will allow you to sit down with a doctor and come up with a plan. I've met people over the years who were obsessed with not having surgery and people obsessed with having it. My opinion is that running to any end of the spectrum puts you in your own box. It's easy to find people who've had bad experiences as the result of anything in life because some will get on a soapbox and look for anyone who will listen. Seeking them out dangerous just as much as getting advice from people who've never been there. We may have similar problems but we're not the same I hope to see a reply soon that says you've moved into the solution and starting to get physical and emotional support that you need. Best wishes!
    Jason Stanford
  • As I read your post I understand your mind state right now as at times I feel the same way. I am 30 years old and a mother of a 2 and 12 year old. I had a spinal fusion at L4/L5 & L5/S1 in December, 2012. I continue to have more issues/pain arise on other areas and wonder will there ever be any kind of relief for me? Mine has been deemed genetic, as I never had an accident of any sort to say that I have injured my back.
    That being said, for what it is worth, it sounds to me like you are an extremely strong person (in all aspects). I think being around the same age and a mother I can more understand what your going through as I am going through the exact same thing as you. You stay strong and work hard thinking at some point there has to be light at the end of the tunnel and also for the fact you have a family to take care of. My infamous phrase I tell myself is the world isn't going to stop because I am in pain, but that in itself is exhausting at a certain point. To think at my age and the condition I'm in now, what condition will I be in say in another 10 years even and it's in a way very depressing. But I try to look at it as, for whatever reason this was the hand I was dealt and it's my choice to either "LIVE" my life as best as I can or give into the pain, lay down and give up. Don't get me wrong, I have my moments, my days even my weeks and it's not all rainbows and butterflies but bottom line is you do the best you can for you and for your family. I agree with you to not try and focus on the future and what condition I could potentially be in at that point in my life. I hope to not be any worse, but I'll just deal with it at that time.
    So after reading your post, it sounds to me like you are a great, strong person who when you put your mind to doing something, no matter what the obstacles are, you will do it. You are frustrated, wanting answers, tired and just going through one of those times that you ARE entitled to have, where you can no longer be strong and just want some kind of answers and relief. I'm sorry I can not provide you with any of the answers you are looking for, but even though we are complete strangers I want to offer you my ear (or eyes, as we are online!), just as someone who can understand your frustration and exhaustion (both mentally and physically) stemming from your condition and having to keep going for your family. As you stated you are Christian, as I was raised, please remember, though it may be hard to see there is a reason and a purpose for everything and God will not give you more than you can handle...although we may think differently. Keep your head high and don't stop trying to get the answers you deserve to get and if there is anything I can do to help, I'm more than happy to try and help. Take care, I'll be thinking of you!
Sign In or Register to comment.