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Hello - introduction

Hi there.

Not sure where to start. I'm 54 years old.

After being told my pain was imaginary for a good 5 years I finally had a rheumatolgist diagnose fibromyalgia. This was over 20 years ago and he called it fibrositis. I was told that there was no treatment for it but that I should be thankful that it wasn't rheumatoid arthritis. I was in constant pain and no I was not thankful.

Moving forward, I was walking through the mall and suddenly my leg would no longer move forward on it's own. Lots of tests, etc, etc. Diagnoses, Sciatica caused by arthritis in my SI joint. Began getting cortisone shots, progressed to nerve blocks which were effective for shorter and shorter intervals. I worked through all of this as I had 3 kids to support. Quitting wasn't an option. I was also lucky enough to work for a company that was willing to work with me. Whatever I needed to work comfortably.

Unfortunately, the arthritis has been slowly moving up my spine. I now have DDD from SI up to L3/4. I just had a spinal denervation done just before Christmas. Still waiting to see how that's going to pan out. Right now, I'm going through the nerves dying. It's very uncomfortable to say the least.

A few years ago I started losing my balance. Just things like not quite making it around corners. It's like my depth perception was off. Then the vertigo began along with just randomly falling down and constant nausea. After two falls down the basement stairs, my DH made me go to the doctor. My doc sent me to see a neurologist suspecting MS. This wonderful doctor sent me for nerve testing and for an mri of my brain and entire spine. I have to say she was quite thorough. She said the MRI showed quite advanced arthritis in my low back and neck. She thought perhaps my core needed strengthening. Off to aquatic therapy I went. It was wonderful and I did feel somewhat stronger but I continued to have vertigo attacks and fall down. She referred me to a new rheumatologist who said the DDD should not be making me fall down and suggested Menieres disease. So ... off to an ENT who did some testing, asked some questions and diagnosed me with Menieres.

I got to the point where I just could not focus on work. If I took meds for the pain, I couldn't concentrate and if I didn't the pain wouldn't allow me to concentrate. I had to leave my job of 24 years. It was a very sad time. That was in 2010. I waited a year then tried another career. I went away to train to work from home processing medicare claims. I made it through training (3 months) then 6 months of doing the job. Same issue. Meds/pain/focus.

I've had to now admit that I'm simply not capable of holding a job anymore. I've decided to apply for social security disability. From what I've read, I have a long road ahead of me and alot of my medical records to pull out. I haven't tried previously as my DH has a good job and it really wasn't necessary. Now he's getting ready to retire and we're going to need the income.

So, that's my story. I'm sure it's pretty similar to a great many people on this site.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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