I have chronic pain in my lower back (l4/5 and l5/s1 area) and sciatica on my right side. I am loosing sensation in my foot. I work as a Nurse's Assistant, and my pain began September of last year after a few weeks of improper lifting of my patients. The pain started as a bad back ache, it got progressively worse until I saw my GP about it in January. Since then, my pain has exploded. At this time last year, I was working 50 to 100 hours a week - and LOVING it! I had moved into my own place and was building a life for myself. Since first seeing my GP, I have had 2 MRI's, 2 EMG's, and 4 Facet Joint Injections, all of which have been inconclusive. I've lost 80lbs since December with no lifestyle changes except for more inactivity. My B/P went from a healthy 90/60 to around 170/130 and I have an elevated pulse rate of around 130, resting. I went to PT 3 times/week for five months before they discharged me because I wasn't making progress. I've seen three neurologists, had a consult with two Pain Management Doctors, both of whom only preform injection therapy. I've started seeing an Internalist also. I had to move back into my parent's, The pain became so intense that I can only work 5 hours a week, and that's a struggle. I spend days in bed, in 8/10 pain and unable to sleep for 2 or 3 days at a time because of it. It's gotten so bad that I've needed help just to go to the bathroom myself; I get so light headed and my vision shakes and I get dizzy when my pain really flares. I know I will have to stop driving soon, as I'm able to feel my foot less and less; between that and the spasms I get it isn't safe. My GP has been prescribing oxycodone 5mg four times a day, which helped back pain (but had no affect on my sciatica) for about a month and a half before it stopped being effective. I am on Cymbalta, which helps somewhat with the sciatica, I think. I tried Lyrica for a week, but my GP took me off of it after a week; I have no idea why and I don't think a week is long enough to judge the effectiveness of that medicine.
I feel like I'm disregarded, either thought to be exaggerating, weak and/or seeking meds because of my age. I am pursuing every angle I know of to try to get this figured out, but no one is offering solutions, no one is willing to give me more medicine, and I don't know where to turn. My life has fallen apart right before my eyes, and I try to cope and accept my situation the best I can, but having to leave my jobs and ask my Mom to help me take a shower is NOT what I wanted to be dealing with at 20. Even when I go to the E.R. they give me 0.5ml of Morphine and when I tell them it isn't working, they tell me to go home and take Ibuprofen and take a hot shower.
Has anyone out there been through this at my age? Does anyone have any ideas of other tests or treatments I should ask for? I'm trying so desperately to stay positive, but the last few days have been very hard. Giving up driving has really put me over the edge of feeling helpless and useless.