hello community! i have been using this website and these forums for the last 2 years as my go to for information and knowledge and, most importantly, to read other people's stories. i have found strength here and the overwhelming feeling of not being alone. which i suppose is odd for someone that has never contributed a thing! i am reaching out now because i feel unable to "keep my chin up, stay positive, be patient, etc..." like i used to be able to.
i am 33yo. in the last two years i have gone through 8 months of chiro, acupuncture, pt. then my gp finally referred me to a spine neuro. my diagnosis at that time (MRI) was 2 herniations at l3-l4 and l4-l5, a disc tear at l4-l5, bone spurs, facet joint deterioration, and unilateral compression on my right side. i tried the epidural steroid injection in aug '12, no relief. my neuro agreed that i would not benefit from anymore injections and i had my first surgery on oct 3rd '12. he did a microdiscectomy, laminectomy, unilateral decompression, and removal of the bone spurs. i was out of the hospital in 2 days. began pt in 6 weeks and was able to travel to see my family for the holidays in december. i had a full month and half of mild discomfort (which was a blessing! no severe pain, just discomfort!!). i resumed pt in january and soon after i experienced almost a full return of symptoms. and it got bad, fast. severe pain, severe weakness and nerve pain returned to my right leg and this time my left leg played catch up and, well, caught up. MRI was scheduled even though i knew it in my gut. at my appt he gave me the news: reherniation of both discs and my facet joints and should i go on? no. he recommended an artificial disc replacement surgery (i was very active before all of this and i am still young, even if my body tells me differently). we tried and pushed my insurance hard, denied and did 2 appeals. by the time the second appeal came i was in such rough shape. so i agreed to a 2 level fusion (l3-l5), facet joint fusion, and a bilateral decompression. this surgery was on april 4th, one day away from the 6 month mark of my first surgery. i know i am leaving so much out, but how on earth do we fit everything in?
i am having such a difficult time. i have been experiencing overwhelming depression, i have new, different kinds of nerve pains and muscle spasms than i had preop, my relationship of 7 years has fallen apart and i am so, so lonely and my true support system is over 1500 miles away. my relationship troubles shouldn't be posted here, especially when this is for introduction purposes! lol. anyway. here i am. my name is michelle and i am grateful this community exists.
oh! as if i haven't rambled enough! the meds i am taking: oxycodone, ms contin er at bedtime, lyrica, flexeril, clonazapam, and topamax (for migraine prevention).
with courage to endure...