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Help me. I'm at the lowest of the low.

At the age of 21, I have been diagnosed with the following...

In my lumbar spine I have 1. DDD characterized by disc desiccation, and disc height loss. 2. Multilevel Small posterior annular disc bulges without stenosis or nerve root compromise (which is good I believe?) and 3. Multilevel facet arthritis.

My thoracic region is normal

And in my cervical region I have
1. Cervical spondylosis
2. Multilevel osteophyte complex (C-2 - C-6)

Can someone who has similar issues offer me some comfort here? I feel pathetic having all this at my age :( I feel pathetic having to use a cane, I feel pathetic having to be on narcotics.. I'm pretty sure I'm having a mental breakdown right now.
I'm so sick and tired of this pain.. I don't know what to do. I can't have surgery because of my age, I won't find a doctor who will even try, I can't have steroid injections, again cause of my age.. I'm desperate. I will do anything just for some relief at this point.. I'm breaking you guys :( literally physically and mentally. I'm breaking..


  • I am you at this site and read your story. my heart goes out to you . I am new at this site but so far this site has been so wonderful and the
    members have been so supported and have helped me so much so hang in there. god bless you
  • Doug HellDoug Hell Posts: 335
    edited 03/28/2015 - 4:51 AM
    Unfortunately, we are all dealt a hand in life. Please don't ever feel like less of a person or "pathetic" as you put it because you have some physical limitations at a young age. I'm 100% sure that you're not the only one. Have you researched any support groups in your area? If not, look into it. There are people going through what you are going through and feel exactly the way you do. I feel that you need to find someone u can relate to and share with, so please look into it. Also, please ask your GP for a referral to speak with someone on a therapeutic level as well. Do NOT delay. No, you are not crazy, you simply need a support system to help you through this.

    Take a step out and have a look in. What do you see? I see a young, vibrant and very pretty person. You must have some things going for you? Focus on that. Dig deep, figure out what they are and embrace them. There's no sense in obsessing over your diagnosis and focusing on the doom and gloom aspect. There is nothing in that for you, but misery. Do something about it. Don't give up! You need to focus on what you can do about it (management + maintenance) and enjoy some quality of life, given the circumstances.

    I also feel that your pain is clearly not under control. Please explore this this with your PCP and make the necessary changes (meds, pt, aqua therapy and other means of pain management). This is something you need to pursue. Your quality of life on a mental scale hangs in the balance. Remember, the mental aspect plays a huge role in the physical aspect. If you can somehow find some happiness in life, you will find that the physical aspect follows suit.

    There really isn't much you can do about the diagnosis other than take the initiative to manage it and try to find some enjoyment in what you can enjoy. Break the cycle and do something about it. That is the ONLY answer. The reason to consider life and what's of value is to make sure you're not missing out. Seize the day. What's important to you? What do you care about ? What matters? Pursue that; forget the rest.

    Doug Hell
    Spine-Health Moderator

    Little Things

    Oh, it's just the little
    homely things,
    the unobtrusive,
    friendly things,
    the "won't-you-let-me
    help-you" things
    that make our
    pathway light.

    And it's just the jolly
    joking things,
    the "never-mind-the
    trouble" things
    that make the world
    seem bright.

    So Here's to all the
    little things,
    the "done-and-then
    forgotten" things,
    those "oh-it's-simply
    nothing" things,
    that make life
    worth the fight
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • I found this site before my surgery and want to thank u all for unknownling helping me get through this . I am a nurse of 40 years and now I am on the other side. My story is about the same except the hearniation was not a herniation but a huge synovial cyst pressing on my L4 with nerve compression. I had my surgery finally after being denied 3 times 2 weeks ago. I had a TLIF with lumbar fusion . like many of u the numbness and pain that remains in my left foot ,I now see is common. That makes me feel better knowing it is not just me. Did anyone have to wear a back brace ? I havent seen anyone mention that. Thank you all again, you have saved my sanity
  • I really felt your pain. Your anguish was felt in your words. Your doing right by reaching out for help.
    I am sure that many here will be very encouraging. For example, what the moderator
    wrote to you. That is a very encouraging post. I am new here but I really like the positivity shown by all.

  • RstubbensRRstubbens Posts: 51
    edited 03/30/2015 - 11:26 AM
    Emily reading your post just broke my heart. I am 28 and just waiting to have part of my neck fused, and have lived in pain for the past 2 years. I just went through my breaking point last month and felt just like giving up on life because I really can't deal with the pain mentally or physically anymore. I can't deal with people telling me "you look fine" or "just get over it" "its all in your head" is probably the one that pisses me off the most.

    To help me deal with this all I started talking to a professional who specializes in chronic pain. It feels so good to get everything off your chest and talk to someone who is not part of your circle. I also find keeping a pain journal helps and I get my husband to read it when I think he is starting to push away again.

    If there is anything I can say is keep your head up and make sure you listen to all your emotions. Its ok to cry, and be mad and pissed off for this. Being so young and having to deal with all of this is a lot to take on. You will find out who your true friends are during this time but never give up. You will have good days and bad. Find a great support system and be honest to yourself. I really like going for walks outside now. I try my best not to get mad at myself if I don't make it to far due to pain but I still praise myself for even getting outside. Before I started dealing with all of this I was very active and lived at the gym. I would run 25KM a week and lift weights and run a bootcamp with a couple of friends. Now I am lucky if I can make it 30 minutes walking. I try and set little goals for myself and made a big accomplishment board and hung it up on my bedroom wall. I have a big calendar on it and mark down when I get out and walk. I place pictures on it of my husband and myself from our weekend trips to the market or even just going out for dinner. To some people that might sound dumb, but to me it keeps me positive and happy that I can still enjoy my life and it keeps me going.

    If you ever need to talk feel free to PM me. Make little goals and try and find the things that make you happy :)

  • janiskijjaniski Posts: 679
    edited 03/30/2015 - 1:18 PM
    I am so sorry to hear about the things going on in your life. Rachel is right tho, look for the little things. I am fused L1-S1 and also have both SI joints fused. I had a hip replacement last spring (not related to back) and because my spine didn't flex it dislocated 2x in first month so I had a revision and the new hip the surgeon put in won't dislocate because it is wider and longer than my normal hip so now I can do even fewer things. I used to be VERY active. I still can swim so am thankful for that. My swim coach works with the wounded warrior program and she told me "this is the new you". That was a very good thing for her to say because it did put things in a new perspective. Instead of what I am not able to do I try and find something positive, no matter how small. I have been in a pretty serious depression about all this (knocked unconscious by a snowboarder 16-17 years ago and it wrecked my life) and see a psychiatrist and am on anti-depressants. The best thing I did was on my own when I started a journal where every day I had to write down 3 things that made me happy. Not every day gets in there but it does help. Good luck and please keep talking to us.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I too was only 21 when diagnosed with MS I know our illness isn't the same but to be hit with any illness at that age is .... well really there are no words that express the emotions. What's more you find yourself experiencing a ton of feelings that you cannot distinguish one from the other. One moment you think "I could handle this ". Then without warning you take the fetal position and cry till you don't have any tears left.
    I feel you are doing a very mature thing talking like this being honest with yourself , confronting your painful feelings from being ill and taking pain meds. This very act reveals to me that you are not pathetic you are a strong person willing to go the distance to accomplish whatever it is you set out to do. I want you to keep in mind you deserve good friends, supportive family, high self esteem, you are worthy of all these good things and much more.
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