Sorry in advance for the very ranting post that is about to follow - I'm having one of those days that has got me to a very low point and I just need to get it all out in the air with people who understand and aren't going to judge me for it.
I've had back issues for the past 5 years since herniating 3 discs at work.... Follow 18months of conservative treatments I finally had a microdisectomy at l5-s1 in January 2011. From there I had almost 2 years of reduced sciatica and leg pains, until December 2012 when my leg randomly started catching fire. Since then I've been bounced back and force between the neurosurgeon and my pain management specialist trying to identify a cause of the problem, and then some form of solution....
For the past 10 months I've been on a combination of lyrica and cymbalta to try and relieve the burning and numbness sensations in my leg and foot - with limited relief. About 4 weeks ago I fell after losing all feeling in my foot - not great when you already have a sore back. I had a SPECT CT done a few days later (it was already planned) which revealed that I have a L5-S1 herniation again... So back to the neuro to see what he wants to do - if it's bad enough he's already flagged that he would fuse it (based on discussions held after an earlier scan which ended up showing no herniation)...
The pain management specialist wants to trial a Spinal Cord Stimulator, which we've just got approval to do - but with the new herniation appearing in the scan I don't know if they'll be able to trial the SCS without first correcting the disc problem.
I thought I was coping well with all of this back and forth, but I've realised today that I'm not... I was due to see the neuro today to get a final decision on if he will operate to fix the herniation, or if the herniation is irrelevant and the SCS is the way to go... I got a phone call this morning to say that the neuro had been called into emergency surgery and hence would not be able to see me today.
I was shattered when I got that call... I'd barely managed to get through the past few weeks with the pain I've been in, but each day have convinced myself I can get through it knowing that an answer was just around the corner - only now it's not just around the corner, it's another 2 weeks away.
That's another 2 weeks of not knowing if I'm going to need 0, 1 or 2 surgeries to fix my problems... It could be that they need to fuse before they can do the SCS implant, or maybe they don't need to fuse, or maybe now they want to wait some more and see what happens with the disc before they make a decision.
2 more weeks of wondering if I should just go ahead with the SCS trial or if I should wait and see what the neuro says... If I call the pain specialist today I could potentially have a date for the trial booked before I can even see the neuro...
I'm just so sick and tired of being in pain and not knowing what's happening... The drugs don't work, they just leave me feeling groggy, yet not enough to allow me to sleep properly. I just want to cry - all the time! I'm at work, but I honestly don't know why I bothered coming in because I would hardly say I've been productive... I'm sitting here watching the hours tick by on the clock, just hoping 5pm will come quickly so I can go home and not have to talk to anyone, not have anyone ask how I'm doing and then tell me that I 'look fine today, what are you complaining about?"
I don't want to have to explain to friends that I can't come out cos I'm so much pain that I can't find the energy to move.
I don't want to have to tell work that I'm sorry I can't come in because the pain is making me nauseous,
I don't want to keep taking the medication that is seemingly doing nothing.
Basically I don't want to keep feeling like this. I want to have my old life back where I was pain free and everything wasn't a toss up between how much extra pain it was going to add to my already horrible pain levels and how much it will upset everyone else if I don't go.
Right now, I don't even care how much it would upset people if I don't go to activities, I don't want to talk to anyone - I've been spending my lunchbreaks in my car down at the local park so I don't have to explain myself to anyone - no one can ask me how I'm going, which means a) I don't have to answer and then mould my answer depending on who asks and then lie to them and say that I'm doing ok, when if I tell them how bad it is they'll just give me a look of pity , and b) I can just be - and if the pain is so bad I want to cry I can without anyone judging me for it.
Most of all I'd like to get back to normal so my husband doesn't have to keep living with his wife the cripple, the mentally exhausted and depressed excuse for a human that I've become... It's not fair on him to have to deal with me being like this... Even though he's been with me since before my original injury, I know it's not easy on him seeing me like this -
Sorry for the rant - like I said, I just need to vent and get this off my chest.
Thanks for reading and I hope you're all having a better day than I am
July 2009 - L1, L3, L5 disc hernation
Jan 2011 - L5/S1 Microdiscectomy
Dec 2012 - return of neural symptoms
June 2014 - fusion recommended - awaiting insurance approval