Hello group. My name is Heather and I'm 27 years old living in Tampa, Fl. I have lived a healthy, active life without a single injury or visit to the hospital my entire life! In 2012 I ran my first marathon! In the last few years my body started to tell me something wasn't right - especially when I was running. I felt a lot of tightness in my ITBand, my lower back would hurt, my feet started to swell and tingle more than normal, my hips felt weak and I got discouraged. I tried taking time off running, which helped immensely but as soon as I ran again I felt pain. I started getting migraines - really bad and really often, about 10-12 days a month. I found the only relief in the form of a chiropractor. As long as I saw him, my head felt better. Then one day in 2013 I woke up with what felt like a severe pinched nerve in my lower right back. I couldn't get out of bed. I called out of work and went straight to my chiropractor. After an adjustment my back felt better but for weeks I still felt like I needed to hunch over to be comfortable. I stopped running indefinitely but the pain was never gone. About 6 months ago I decided enough was enough. I saw specialist after specialist for my IT band, my knee, my hips, my back, my feet and no one found an answer. After 2 MRIs of my knee and back I was finally diagnosed with the following conditions:
Degenerative Disc Disease
I didn't know what any of it meant but it scared the crap out of me. The stuff I read about was caused by the aging process - but I'm only 27. The doctor asked if I ever did gymnastics, or played football. NO and NO. I've spent the last few months trying to wrap my head around this. I've read numerous articles online and watched videos but every thing points "causes" to something that has nothing to do with me or my lifestyle.
I'm scared. I don't want to live in pain but the idea of surgery terrifies me. I'm scared something will go wrong. I'm scared it won't be successful and I'll always have this pain. I'm scared I'll be paralyzed. I'm scared I won't ever be able to run again.
I haven't gone in yet to speak with any doctors. I'm avoiding the process because I don't know if I'm ready. How do I know this is the right diagnosis?
I'm looking for support from people that understand what I'm going through and can help me make sense of this all....