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Sarae601SSarae601 Posts: 5
edited 03/22/2015 - 11:25 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I'm 31 years old. Nothing about my back has ever been normal. It started on June 26,2012. I was sitting Indian style in the floor. I couldn't stand up. It was a disc protusion on the l5s1 and on my sciatic nerve. I went months trying different options that were not surgical. I had a microdisectomy on nov 7,2012. By January I was still in lots of pain. My surgeon sent me to a physical medicine dr. I tried for months with meds, pt, injections you name it and nothing worked. I went back to the surgeon. He said I was structurally fine. He sent me to a pain mgnt. Dr who specialized in spinal cord stimulators. I was so hopeful.. I went they the trial. It worked. Went in and got the permanent one. It was so painful. The dr butchered me. 2 incisions and 37 staples later it was in. Every time I turned it on it hurt me so bad worse than what my pain was. We reprogramed or 12 times from October to February. He wouldn't say anything was wrong. I listened to my body tho. Changed drs and started over. Thru new testing it showed the disc Iat the l5s1 was degenerative. And scar tissue was on my sciatic nerve. My body absorbed the disc and caused the vertebrae to collapse which in turned caused every disc from the l1 down to buldge/ herniate. Thru testing the device it turned out it was stimulating my motor neurons instead of the sensory neurons which was why it caused more pain. We took the device out. Another surgery. I did more scans, X-rays, myleogram, discogram. Had my fusion on December 2, 2014. I'm still in lots of pain, lower back, sciatic leg and hip. I can hardly get up and down and still walk with a limp. I started pt 3 weeks ago and it's so painful. I'm miserable. I am31 years old and crippled. I have an 8 year old also. Please give any feedback you can


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • To try and be a mom during all of this! I have two seven year olds and every day I struggle with balancing pain and what they need and, even more importantly, deserve. That is a lot of trauma in a fairly short amount of time, you have been in pain for years, it isn't going to resolve quickly, slow and steady with bumps is to be expected. For me, the first six months were exasperating and painful, two steps forward, ten back, but then summer hit and we were in the pool everyday, since that was the ONE thing I could do and really enjoy with the kids because the pain was very minimal( and I could lay down flat in public without looking odd, ha). It also helped with me physically and emotionally. I would definitely keep your doctors informed and ask lots of questions- talk to your PT too, if they don't listen, find one that will, but when they say it will take a full year to recover, it really does. Sadly for me, just as I reached that year mark I have had some sort of unknown setback and headed back to the neurosurgeon, but as you know with back pain, it rarely is ever simple or as it seems. I told my husband that I am a very young 80 year old who just celebrated turning 40 with a trip to urgent care for, surprise, surprise, back pain...sigh.
  • Sarae601SSarae601 Posts: 5
    edited 03/23/2015 - 3:15 AM
    Thank you for taking time to post.. It's a daily struggle. This has taken so much from my family in 2 1/2 years. 4 surgeries later I'm so hopeless. I always do better in warmer temps than in winter. This winter just about killed me. I just wonder why me, at my age. I was so active before all this. I ran daily, worked doing hair, and kept busy with my child. I'm literally a shell of a person compared to what I was. It so frustrating visiting Drs. They look at me and assume I want drugs. I'm 31, no where near overweight, and attractive. I've had Drs tell me they don't know how to operate on someone like me. They judge me before they even see my file..
  • I hear you! I feel like so much has been taken from my family because of this. A therapist has helped me see and understand that it can also add. The kids are learning how to help more and my husband's support has only helped us grow stronger together. I wonder why everytime I start to get some semblance of life back I have these huge setbacks. I may never know why, so now I try and refocus my energy to how. How can I do this in a different way, how can I be the mom I want to be and still get my back to behave, etc. it is a daily marathon, and like you I was a very active busy person who now celebrates the days I can work more than three hours and walk a mile before needing to lay flat for hours on end. Some days I can do this, others I just cry myself to sleep. I head back to the neuro this Friday, where I find out whether surgery number four in less than 3 years is my next step. Ugh!
  • Wow, after reading both of ur stories I feel like I'm reading my own. I too am a shell of my former self. I used to work anywhere from 8-16hr days as a nursing assistant and even in my prime was a competitive cheerleader(only 7years ago), now I'm lucky if I can do a load or two of laundry, the dishes or sit through a movie without severe pain and spasms let alone think about working anytime in the near future.
    I had my first surgery, a microdisectomy and foraminotomy in september of 2014, after almost a year of pt and injections. That was followed by more injections and pt but of course the pain was only slightly better and only for a few short weeks after surgery. Another mri was ordered in December and while it showed that I still had damage at l4-5 and new bulges both above and below, my surgeon didn't feel the need to go back in since the first procedure was unsuccessful. I was referred back to pain management again only this time for a trial SCS. I had this done in January, and since it was "successful" at relieving my hip and leg pain we determined that it would help. I am having the SCS placed on 4/7/15 along with a t10laminectomy. I'm terrified that it won't work and that I will be stuck. My pain has gotten worse since the trial and I finally had another mri which showed the bulges there in december have increased slightly but still no significant nerve impingment. So I fear my surgeon still won't want to do anything besides the scs. I did finally get out of my pm dr and though unconfirmed my surgeon as well that should the scs not work as expected or my back get even worse that I will have to have a multi level fusion with caging. I know why they didn't want to tell me but at the same time it only confirmed what I was fearing in my head all alonG.

    I want nothing more than to go back to work, even if it is never again in the medical field. But at this moment I don't see how it is possible. I'm 30 years old and I am fighting for disability because I haven't been able to work for 18+ months, and I don't even get workers comp because my former employer thought I was "faking and drug seeking" because my endometriosis and chronic migraines decided to flare up 6months prior to my work related injury requiring me to be hospitalizied and visit the ER multiple times. At least I was able to settle though... but that's enough complaining.

    Hope everyone begins to find healing and good health
  • Complain away, I feel like I am an 80 year old trapped in a 40 year olds mind. Everyday is work, and yet I barely work and when I do I have to let my house remain a complete mess and sacrifice time playing with my kids. I despise this pain for making me choose between living and surviving. If this isn't temporary, I am going to need some major thank in learning how to accept the new version of "self" Is is wrong that I hope the neurosurgeon says time to go in and fuse both levels? Because that seems so much more attainable than living in this painful limbo. This has stolen so much from me, any chance of having another child, being the mom I used to be, seeing the world, having a successful business that isn't just making it, enjoying a night out with my husband(can't sit for more than a few minutes, and not at all by the nighttime)...sorry, having a hard day and optimism is at a low. Silver lining...my twins have become awesome smugglers and love listening to me read chapters and chapters at a time and my husband has learned how to do laundry....sort of, ha!
  • I sometimes feel that a fusion would be best as well. I only know that it did wonders for my friend. She had 2unsuccessful discectomies then when they fused her she has been able to return to partime work. She says it gave her a life back, mot just a painful existance.
    I'm holding out hope that I will be able to start a family one day, but who knows.
    These cards we've been delt truly suck
  • Agreed. I am working hard to stay optimistic, but wonder if putting so much hope in one appointment is going to leave me nothing but a huge crash of reality. My fusion was healing so so well, this latest set back really caught me off guard and happened the night of my 40th birthday, so I spent the whole day in agony debating whether I should go to the ER, but decided not too because I couldn't sit/stand long enough to wait to be seen. Venting helps the optimism, ironically, so thanks for listening! I secretly still hold out hope that I may still have a chance at one more baby, I mean I did handle infant/toddler twins with sciatica....hmmmmm
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