Hello. I am a 31 year old single mother. I have had slight back problems since my teens. A doctor told my mother I had scoliosis, but she didn't think it was anything to worry about so eventually I forgot about it. I've had some back pain and injuries to my back and shoulders over the years, but nothing like what I am going through now.
In September last year I awoke one day in severe pain, I couldn't sit up and had to roll out of bed. My son helped me put my shoes on because I couldn't do it I was in so much pain. I saw a doctor who put me on some pain medication and muscle relaxants, then sent me off for a CT. The CT didn't show anything that was worth worrying about and they said it was just "wear and tear".
I struggled on for a couple of weeks, trying to take it easy on my back while still being active as I could be. My son is only 8 and I don't really have a support network. I'd been so busy trying to help out my mother who suffered a stroke a year before and is in a nursing home.
Anyway, after a couple of weeks the pain in my left leg started. I saw another doctor who said it was sciatica caused by osteoarthritis and to just take some ibuprofen before bed. I resigned myself to that thinking nothing could be done. After christmas I couldn't take the pain anymore and asked a doctor for some ideas on what to do to help. He referred me to a physiotherapist. I finally got an appointment in February. I had a couple of appointments with him but he said that he suspected it was a bulging disc due to tenderness between L4 and L5. He referred me to another doctor who he knew well and trusted to get to the bottom of this pain. So now I have been just seeing this doctor since March and so far I have had another CT that showed a bulging disc between L4 and L5, a Schmorl's Node in L5, and a cyst on S2. He also said that my lumbar area looks quite straight so it looks like I've pulled the muscles. He put me on Lyrica 75mg. The first night was wonderful, I was finally able to get a good night of sleep without pain. This relief from taking the lyrica twice a day lasted about a week. Dr also sent me for another CT for my upper spine as I have been getting paresthesia in my left arm. I also had Epidural Steroid Injections to try to help with my nerve pain. This was followed by a full spine X-ray to see the scoliosis. This revealed that I have mild scoliosis and kyphosis, and a pelvic tilt. I had a CT the other day to measure leg length, as the X-ray report suggested that my left leg may be longer than my right.
I now have constant pain down my left leg, and intermittent sciatica in my right leg, as well as pain in my upper and lower back. I've been struggling through the exercises the Dr gave me, but they are agony to do. He also doubled the dose of Lyrica, while warning me it will make me quite drowsy for a little while. The Lyrica doesn't appear to be helping, but I'll keep trying everything I can. Dr says he wants to look at all possible causes before he refers me to a Nuerosurgeon. I'm glad to finally have a doctor who is trying to figure all of this out, he also takes the time to explain things to me and show me the scans. I just want the pain to stop, I'm looking for work, but worry I won't be able to find a job the way I am at the moment. I also worry if I feel this bad now, will it be worse when I'm older? Or maybe I will find a treatment that works. I don't know. I haven't been in so much pain for this amount of time before, so I suppose I'm a little scared. Thank you, and I'm sorry if I rambled.
Scoliosis, abnormal kyphosis at C5/6
Severe disc space loss L4/5, Schmorl's Node in L4
Arachnoid cyst in S2.
4/4 ESI with no improvement