Hello all, I'm new here and hoping to connect with some others that may be going through or have experienced what I am going through. Lets start with my back history, shall we?
I was in an auto accident when I was two and as a result of that, I have a chipped vertebra towards the bottom of my spine...not sure which it is, and I can no longer see the chip in the MRI. Fast forward to almost three years ago. I got pregnant with twins and this wasn't my first pregnancy so I knew how to be more healthy with my body and weight gain. I had a very fit pregnancy and all the weight that I did gain was in my stomach. I delivered large girls for twins (6lb and 6.1lbs). As soon as I healed from the c-section, I started really feeling issues with my back. I couldn't sit down in the "criss cross applesauce" or what I grew up knowing as Indian Style position. Every attempt I would make at sitting for more than a few moments would cause me extreme pain that felt like it started at the base of my spine and shot up to mid back, then back down. This pain would continue in that pattern until I moved to a different position. I thought nothing of it, maybe it was my body just adjusting to not carrying babies again...I wasn't sure. Fast forward to about 6 or so months ago. I was walking while at work and realized...I couldn't lift my right foot, wiggle my toes, or put shoes on because my right big toe and the second toe curl under and I couldn't get them to uncurl without using my fingers to pull them up. Add to that the pain that would shoot down my right leg (sciatica) I had pushed my bodies limits too far.
About 8 weeks ago, I started seeing a chiropractor to see if he could help with my pain and the nerve issues with my right foot. I went three times a week for 6 weeks and finally at my last appointment, I was left in tears from the pain of the adjustment. I went home and cried to my husband about the pain and how what I had been trying just wasn't working. Mind you the whole time I was seeing the Chiropractor, I was also doing PT at home with stretches and different positions but nothing was making the pain go away or even dull in the slightest. Taking otc meds was an everyday thing, I believe I have taken them so much they no longer work...kinda like popping candy, so I stopped.
I had enough of the pain and one day while at work, I broke down in tears from the pain again and finally made an appointment to see my GP. Luckily I was able to be seen the same day and she gave me Gabapentin, a muscle relaxer and a 6 day steroid pill pack. I also left her office with a referral for a MRI and also one to see a spine specialist. I made the MRI appointment and the spine specialist appointment as soon as I got in my car. I went to see the specialist first (due to scheduling) and ended up getting a ESI, (Epidural Spinal Injection) which was the last step I could take before surgery would be talked about since this has been going on for so long. The doctor's were concerned with permanent nerve damage to my toe because I still couldn't lift it. My GP thought foot drop but nothing has been done about that since I saw her. I get the ESI, and was told that it would probably take a few days for me to feel the effects or notice any changes.
This is what I experienced after the first ESI, I was numb all on my right side from my waist down which wasn't bad since I have been going through spurts where I had pain, or was numb, never a "normal" feeling. The injection sites were sore and incredibly painful for about 2 days. Anytime I would turn to the side or move my back in anyway, I felt like I was punched. I noticed that after about 5 days I was able to lift my right foot more so I wasn't always tripping when I walked but the pain was still there and the pins and needles were still there so I wasn't sure what this injection was supposed to help, but it did nothing aside from allowing me to walk without tripping all the time. I now trip mostly only at night and its still a daily thing.
Two weeks after my first injection, I went back with my MRI to see what we were gonna do now that we could see what the issues are. I have a slipped disc at L5 and one at C4. The disc (L5) is so close to the nerve roots that i'm surprised what little is there separating the disc and the nerves is barely visible on the MRI but its not herniated yet...and I fear it will soon with my lifestyle forcing me to get down and bend over a lot and of course pick up my children.
I told my doctor about what happened with the last ESI and he said well they are in a series of three, which he forgot to mention to me the first time. So I got the second ESI last Monday (May 12, 2014) and again, no pain relief, no pressure relief, and certainly no change in the "drop foot" and not being able to feel my big toe. I am supposed to go back on May 27th for my third shot but I really don't want it. These shots have made me super moody, easily angered, and just not like me. I don't feel like myself. I feel depressed about things, I go from calm and collected to raging anger over the smallest things and that isn't like me at all.
When the doctor and I were talking before I got the second ESI, he said surgery would be the only other answer but he doesn't suggest surgery for lower back since there are so many issues that may occur. Well I have been online everyday looking up treatments and ways to deal with the pain and right now, unless i'm taking the Gabapentin 600MG three times a day and Vicodin for the pain, I wouldn't be able to function. The ESI's don't seem to be doing anything for me and I don't enjoy getting shots in my back that can start to deteriorate my insides!
Sorry I know that is long but I wanted to make sure the info is there for me to be able to (hopefully) get some responses on what I should do or what my next step should be. Living like this isn't living...it's just surviving one day at a time. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!!!