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Missing my life

My life had been going so well almost 4 years ago. I went to school and became a Licensed Veterinary Technician. I was working at a great animal hospital and worked hard to see my patients become well again. One day I lifted a heavy dog that had collapsed. Everything changed from there.

Last year I finally received a diagnosis for my debilitating pain. I couldn't sit through lectures at school, bend to lift my patients, basically, couldn't do anything that I love to do. I have Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, Lumbar Facet Syndrome, and Lumbar Radiculopathy due to a bulging disc at L5/S1.

Today, I walk with a cane. I am stuck at home all day because I can't drive. No school, no work, no me.

I don't mean for this to sound like a pity party, but I need to get this off my chest. I miss being a 23 year old. I feel lost. I can't do the job that I love, I can't go to school to finish my bachelor's degree. I feel as though my life has been put on hold. I'm not myself anymore because of the medications I need to take to just take the edge off my pain. I want to be able to walk with my boyfriend and our dogs, I want to be able to go back to school, I want to be able to be me again.

I'm sorry if this sounds like a "woe is me" sort of post. I'm just feeling very down today.


  • Hi there,

    Sorry so many things have happened to you at such a young age. Regarding school, you may want to look at On-Line degree programs. I completed my Bachelor's Degree on-line through the University of Louisville. In fact, when I graduated, we had one guy in our class who lives in California and only came to Louisville once and that was to graduate. This might be something to consider.

    I'd also suggest that you speak with your doctor about how you are feeling. He/she may be willing to prescribe an anti-depressant. Or, take a trip out of town with your boyfriend for a change of scenery.

    Keep your head up!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I agree - I did two degrees one by distance learning while working full time, the other full time before my accident. I was also an eduction officer in my old life for the military and my job was to advise clients on education, especially the more difficult cases where people were medically discharged. So you get me for free. It is a bit more difficult but there are an incredible number of on-line courses.

    There are probably courses that could build on your veterinary knowledge already. My friend takes her dogs about 100 klms each way to see a person who will use herbal treatments, massage and acupuncture on her pets. Acupuncture is not as physically demanding and there are not many people who know how to treat pets with herbal remedies. I think probably the massage part may be too physically demanding but there is an incredible demand for acupuncture and natural remedies on race horses and probably greyhounds as well. With small animals you could probably work out a way to treat them without having to lift and I'm sure people would bring their animals to you. I didn't quite believe the demand for massage and acupuncture on animals, and as I had to approve the money for training, I checked it out thoroughly and a lot of trainers wanted natural treatments. If you treated race horses you may have to get another person to drive but if you worked in with a vet and knew about natural treatments, I think it could work for you. I know there are courses on animal massage and natural treatments it in Australia so there must be a lot in the US. I have seen how well they work, especially for arthritis. The person she takes them to is totally booked out and does not live in the city. She also takes her animals swimming twice a week with a person who specialises in swimming as a cure for pain in animals.

    There is also an amazing Canadian woman - I started watching a documentary and at first thought she was crazy but she believes animals talk and see in pictures. She can speak to animals - she had a race horse who refused to eat and was smashing himself really badly trying to get out of the stable. She spoke to him in pictures and he said he was used to running around a field and not being locked in a stable. No one told her the horse had been recently bought. She did a deal with the owner and the horse that the owner would let the horse out for a couple of hours a day if the horse would start eating again and not thrashing round the stable. As soon as the owner let the horse out - it started to eat again and when it was time to go back he went in quietly. I lived on a farm and we started to use pictures as a form of communication with our animals. We had two dogs - one was continually following the other one around and being awful to the new dog who had wandered onto the farm. We pictured in out minds for a week them stopping fighting and becoming friends. It worked. You could research the woman - I cannot remember her name but have spoken to many other farmers who believe animals communicate with pictures. This woman was in really high demand by zoos and professional trainers as her theories worked. The documentary was made years ago - she didn't do anything physical so you might like to see if you can find the documentary and have a look. Maybe you could write to her and talk to her about it. Maybe she could train you in the technique she uses. She is probably quite old now and would probably love to pass her extensive knowledge on to someone else.

    When I work on the computer, if you need to deal with paperwork, everything is set up for lying down as this is the most comfortable position for me. Hunching over a computer all day is murder.

    I know it sucks but you need to make new goals. The best thing to do is to build on the knowledge you already have but in a way where you don' have to lift. I know what intractable pain is like - it is difficult to get motivated. If I am stuck in a rut I use a hypnosis session on You Tube for stopping procrastination. The one with the circle with the line through it. It works for me when I am feeling down and makes me motivated again which is why I think I get down in the first place.

    Hope I have given you at least something to think about. I love animals too and as a lady said to me the other day in the supermarket, she wished people were as loyal and loving as animals. Then the world would be a great place.

    And you are allowed to be down - pain isn't fun I have had it for eight years - I won't take medication for depression for many reasons - it is natural to be down if you have pain. It is a valid emotion, but I do use hypnosis to get me on top of things again, as well as strong painkillers and I use amitryptaline for sleep as I am hopeless if I don't get good sleep. Good luck and hope you find something that you love that you can still do.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    that is fairly common and many other members are dealing with. The biggest difference lies in your age. I dont know why, but in the past year or so, I am seeing and hearing more and more from people your age having disc related problems.
    Some from trauma, some from genetics and some just seemingly coming out of the dark.

    Spinal problems do not discriminate for age, color, faith, creed or anything else.

    Now that you have an identified problem, the action wheel needs to start. What have your doctors told you about what you should be doing? Do they see surgery down the road or now?

    Your conditions can be treated with several methods.There is no reason that you will not be able to return to doing some of the things that you have loved to do in the past. Spinal problems may present a problem, perhaps a setback in time, but so much of that can be recovered.

    Think forward, past the situation you are in now and the things you cant do. Focus on the future. Concentrate your energy in resolving your current condition work always working to grab some of the things you did before. You might have to alter some of those things.

    Being young can work to your advantage. Conservative treatments as well as aggressive ones (surgery) can be handled by younger people easier than for the older people. Your body is young, your muscles are young and toned. You can take some of those treatments and then rebound from them faster.

    My problems started when I was about 16, had my first spinal surgery at 28. I bounced back and have done so much over the years.

    Get your current condition resolved and the channel everything towards the future.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • If you ever need to talk to another young woman who has dealt with life changing issues, drop me a line. I was 21 when I was hit by the spine train. There is a lot that you can do as far as treatment goes. Time to take a proactive approach. You can do this and get back on track, or simply in a better place than you are today.
    27 Year Old, suffering with several spinal conditions since 2007...

    Spondylolisthesis grade 4, PLIF 2007 corrected to grade 2,
    Nerve Damage and all of the fun that comes along with it.
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