Hey guys! I have poked around the site a few times, but this morning I thought it was time to introduce myself.
I don't know exactly what caused my dics to herniate, but back in July 2012 I woke up in so much pain in my back. I couldn't think of anything I'd done to hurt myself and the pain was so intense and sharp that I called my doctor. He was out of town so they sent me to a walk in clinic where they told me I must have pulled a muscle. The pain never really went away. A month later I saw my GP who brushed it off. I lived with the pain for another six months. In Spring 2013, I saw my GP again because the pain was radiating down into my thigh. He told me it was sciatica and gave me a cortisone pack which only provided temporary relief. By Summer 2013 the pain was running down my leg and into my calf. I had a cortisone shot in my arm which took the edge off, but didn't relieve the weird feeling in my leg. Fall 2013 is a blur. I did the best I could to manage the pain on my own but nothing ever really helped take the pain away. After the pain was ruling my life, I decided to go back to my doctor in January 2014. This time I told him I wanted answers because there was no way I could live like this anymore. By then, my leg felt different and two of my toes felt numb. He ordered an MRI and was really surprised that I had 2 severe herniations in L4/L5. I tried chiropractic, acupuncture, and spinal decompression care which did relieve some of the pain, but it was only temporary relief. My chiropractor recommended a colleague of his who was a pain management doctor. He got me an appointment within a week where I had my first epidural shot at the beginning of July 2014. That helped with some of the leg pain but I still had pain in my butt. I had another epidural shot 10 days later. It didn't do anything to relieve the pain. I then had a piriformis injection because that muscle is so inflammed that it is squeezing the sciatic nerve, but that shot didn't help either. Now I'm scheduled for another epidural shot next week because the pmd thinks the pain in my glut is actually starting in my spine. I'm still going to the acupuncturist once a week and that does help but it's temporary. Since the epidurals, I've been able to start walking again to lose some weight that I've put on since all this started. I do stretches and simple exercises to help with the increasing numbness in my leg and foot. I also have an inversion table that does help stretch me out, literally!
My husband, who's dealt with back issues, has been absolutely amazing. He does everything that I can't and encourages me to do my exercises to stretch and is just seriously the most loyal loving guy. But I still am having a hard time dealing with everyone else in my life. My family and friends just don't get it. I know that it's partly my fault because I blew off the pain for so long, but now I can't push through the pain anymore. When I'm in serious pain and I have to cancel plans or not go to events they just don't understand why I can't attend for a little bit. I find that most people have no clue what it's like to have back pain unless they've had it themselves. It's very hard for me because even though I have some wonderful family and great friends they just want me to hurry up and get better. I know they mean well but they keep asking "How's your back?" and I find myself cringing at the question. They just want me to say that I'm better and hopefully, one day, I will be able to say I'm better but right now I'm not okay! I find myself feeling alone dealing with the pain. I don't like complaining and maybe that's why I didn't speak up and really reiterate how much pain I was really in because I used to view that as complaining but now I know that I have to tell the doctors everything that's going on in order for them to know how to help me.
I try to take it one day at a time, but I'm ready to live my life again! I'm only 30 and surgery has been suggested more than once but I wanted to give everything else a try first. Since the epidural shots, I have felt better, but it just wasn't the pain free feeling that I thought I'd feel.
I'm so glad I finally joined this community. I'm thankful to have found a place where people understand what I'm going through and I'm hoping to learn more through other people's experiences. Thanks for listening!