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Hello everyone

SharpMomSSharpMom Posts: 3
edited 05/05/2015 - 10:35 PM in New Member Introductions
Hello. I have been coming to the Spine-health site for a few years now, but decided to finally jump on to the forum as I am hoping for a little advice. Sorry for the long post, but if you could just skim and give me some feedback I would appreciate it. :)

I am 43 and have had back problems off and on for about 16 years. About 3 1/2 years ago it became a much bigger issue with chronic pain since then. I have 2 herniated discs, stenosis and arthritis in the lumbar spine. Degenerative disc disease, a problem in my neck and severe pain in my thoracic back. I was looking everywhere for my last MRI results so I could be a little more technical for those of you who understand al that stuff, but I can only find the disc and not the written report. Anyway, all I really need to know is that I hurt. I have had 4 epidural injections and a facet block, none of which offered any relief. I'm not on a horrible high dose of pain meds, but have been on them long enough that I no longer working with 100% of my brain. I have a hard time focusing and staying on task and my memory is just awful. My newest symptom is a cold left foot and small electric shocks I can feel all over when my back is really bothering me. I have had a nerve test, a circulation test (which lead to a angiogram) all of which showed nothing, except a mild case of cubital tunnel syndrome.

I have also had several bowel problems that have landed me in the hospital 4 times in just over a year, plus several ER visits and GI specialists. So now with all of these medical bills piling up, even though we moved 3 years ago and downsized considerably both in house size and mortgage size/payments, I am faced with needing to go back to work. I have been a stay-at-home mom for the better part of the last 13 years, although I've never been one to just lay/sit around. I am finding it increasingly difficult to do many things, cook, wash dishes, garden or work at the computer for any length of time. I have been working for the past 2 months, full-time at first (not a good idea) and now part-time. I have applied for another position as a veterinary technician and they have offered me the position, but I am very scared of trying it. I would be standing most of the day and although I was able to try it out with a work-day interview yesterday (worked for about 7 hours on my feet for most of the time) and I made it through, I'm just unsure of whether this would be a good idea for me to pursue.

I was hoping to get a little feedback from others that may have been in my position. I've heard what my family has to say and though constructive, hasn't really helped in my decision making. I have a week to give them my answer.

Thank you for any comments you have. ;)


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi everyone...
    Been on this site everyday when i have a small chance just to stop feeling alone in pain...

  • hello Sharp mom,welcome to the boards :)
    I can only give you my own personal experience of working with my condition over the last 2half years...
    I have mild bulged discs in the lumbar,facet joint arthritis and DDD all in the lumbar....
    I work in healthcare so there has always been a considerable amount of manual handling involved.
    I've worked 12half hrs shifts three days a week,and 8 hour shifts 5 days a week both on my feet all day....
    I have to say I managed the 12half hr shifts 3days a week better with my back condition....then doing shorter days five days a week...as the four days off gave my back time to recover .
    This was when my back was manageable....it is no longer manageable so I am unable to work at all at the moment ...really does depend how much the pain is under control and whether your job will irritate those pain levels?full time is a lot to take on with back pain but really the decision lies with you and only you can make that decision ....I know I will never manage full time again and I wouldn't want to irritate it even if I do get the pain back under control....so I think it's about been sensible as well.
    Best of luck to you :)
    Facet joint Arthritis L3,L4,L5,DDD.
  • SharpMomSSharpMom Posts: 3
    edited 05/06/2015 - 4:59 AM
    Makena, I understand your pain and I hope you can find some help and comfort here.

    Pinkella, thank you for the advice. It is so hard to know what to do. I found that the full time position I started with was very stressful and I don't really like the job/environment so it's been hard. I know I would enjoy the vet tech position and I have my pain under control most of the time during the day, but at night, when sleeping, I am in pretty bad shape and have had to take something to help me stay asleep because when I wake up I'm in extreme pain. Once, I start moving things get better, but the pain meds make me feel off for 2-3 hours and I have a hard time focusing. My vision has also gotten pretty bad, which happened before when I tried working 10 years ago.
    Well, thanks again. :)
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