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Sciatica or what??

I am Paula, from Texas, and I recently went to work in a retail position but had to quit because for the first time in my life, I was in so much pain on my left leg, that I literally couldn't stand for longer than an hour (and that was with too many otc pain meds. I have recently lost about 100 lbs so felt that I would be great on my feet for at least 7 hrs per day. I have worked for 12 to 15 hrs per day on my feet previously, so it really scared me. My GP said it is sciatica. I have no insurance and am about to apply for disability because I don't know what else to do. I can go to a store, as long as there is a place to sit for a few moments, but I am usually in such severe pain after 10 to 15 minutes, that I have to leave. I need to work so badly, but am now having to look for something where I sit. Could it be a pinched nerve? I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 35 years and have never had any problems with my extremities but am now concerned that it could be neuropathy. No matter what it is, I want it to go away so that I can be productive again. Does anyone have any ideas about what it is? I joined a wonderful gym, go to deep water aerobics once daily where I feel great while in the water, but once I'm out, the pain is still there, but only in my left leg. Help!!
Paula Jan


  • First of all, I am very sorry that you are in so much pain and dealing with the hell of sciatic nerve problems. I'm not a doctor, but what you are experiencing is exactly what I went through and am still dealing with. I had to quit doing everything because the pain was so intense in my left leg. I don't believe you should waste your time/money on doctor visits, because they will just send you to get an MRI anyways, and you will still have to pay for the pointless doctor visit. I went to multiple doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, plus 2 epidurals, and this was all without insurance so I know how difficult it can be. I ended up having to get a microdiscectomy done to remove the bulged disc, and it has improved some but I'll never be the same as I used to be. In my opinion, you should go straight for an MRI, because the longer you wait, the higher chance you have of permanently damaging your sciatic nerve like I did. I was required to have an MRI before I could do any physical therapy or have an of the unsuccessful treatments I received. You can get a cheap MRI done for about $300, which is still pretty expensive, but not near as much as paying for doctors/physical therapists. I hope this has helped you, although I know it's not what you wanted to hear, if you take care of it now, then you will not have to deal with the long term effects of damaging the sciatic nerve.
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  • PamhoffcaPPamhoffca Posts: 163
    edited 08/24/2013 - 3:56 PM
    Paula. Wi my siatica, sitting down was just as painful. You really need to find out whats going on.

    Call a diagnostics place and ask what the cost is for an MRI. Tell them you will be a cash payment, no insurance and the cost is significantly less than if they bill insurance. for instance, a mammogram is $250 for non insurance and the same mammogram is $750 if they bill insurance. You can also make an appt to consult with a neurosurgeon to look at the MRI and give his/her recommendations. Depending on the results, you may be able to get an epidural block, which could help get you by. If surgery is needed, negotiate a cash price. You would be surprised at how much less it costs when insurance is out of the picture. Let us know how it goes for you.
    CA Wife and Mom, 55, L5-S1 Microdiscectomy on 7/12/13
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