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3 years and back to the drawing board

Well Hello! So I am new (clearly) and have found your forum online.
36 y/o female, been dealing with low back pain and what I will call sciatic pain for three years this month. Initially my experience started with sharp pain in my back which eventually effected my everyday life in aspects of walking, sitting, standing, sleeping, you name it. The pain then migrated down my left leg. I went in to see my primary care doctor and she put me on 800 mg ibuprofen every eight hours, flexeril - which I only really used at night and norco. Which I took three times daily. After about a month and nothing getting better, I was referred to PT. My PT doc was very nice, he felt that I had a lumber herniated disc. I continued seeing him weekly for a couple of months. I learned excersises positions etc to help counter the pain as well as tens towards the end as well. About the third month, we were not having improvement and I was in fact having more pain down my leg and some foot pain. At this point I was referred to physical medicine. This dr was quite nice as well and finally ordered an MRI for me. The MRI came back and she said she did not see a herniation and performed other diagnostics on me and determined I was having problems with my sacroiliac joint. Next step, steroid injections in her office. Talk about OUCH! I almost pulled a full superman off her table! We let this go to see how to would help, and unfortunately there was very little relief. For the sake of time and space, the next 6 mos was off and on pain meds and two SI injections under fluoroscopy. I wish I can say these worked, but there was very little releif from the pain, so back on ibuprofen and norco. After some time passed from the last injection, I ended up having a pretty bad flare up. I went back in to see the interventional anesthesiologist and he told me he thought I should consider ablation on the area, followed by, "if that doesn't work" we can look at the facet joints. Well, that didn't work for me. While I am open to trying things, I was not willing to ablate nerves to find out they were not the issue. So, head hanging I dealt with the pain for about a year now, taking meds (same ones) off and on as the pain flared and subsided. Fast forward to the last three weeks, and I had a sudden onset of numbness in my foot (left) that then turned into burning, itching, numbness, crawling and tingling. And then the usual horrid low back pain flare up. I gave it about a week before I freaked out and called for an appointment with physical medicine. My previous physical medicine dr changed locations, so I requested a local dr. The soonest appt was july 2, but I called daily to take any cancellation. Luckily I got in Wednesday. I really like the new dr and explained again everything that is going in, and how I want to look at all our options. After all this time operating under the assumption this was an SI problem, this new dr looked at my original MRI and said she sees something going on at the l5 area. She called it a blip. She ordered another MRI to see if we can get a better picture, but says she thinks this may be a herniation. SIGH. It makes sense based on all the symptoms, but gosh this has been a frustrating road. I have my MRI at 6:15am on Tuesday 6/30, and then the soonest follow up I could get with the dr is July 20th. SO, until then, I wish I could say I knew what exactly is going on, but it seems no one knows for sure yet. In the meantime, I am worn out, sick of medicine, emotional, bummed out, and SUPER anxious about the MRI. I did not like having that done. They had to start my first one over cause I was almost hyperventilating and moving too much- lol. Hopefully that was not too ridiculously long winded. Kinda tough to fit so many details of three years into one post :)
Talk to you all soon!!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    For some it can take years and years of discomfort plus endless number of diagnostic tests
    To try to find an answer
    What I find alarming is that your series of nuts changed. Going from we can't see anything
    Wrong to know some potentially real problems

    It would seem to me that things were overlooked in some of
    Your earlier tests or that you developed problems over the years.

    Main thing is they seem to be narrowing down. Your problem

    That a loo so means some corrective actions can be done
    I a sure you are relieved about that

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • That it can take this long, and be all over the place like it has. I am hoping (oddly) that if something is wrong that it is clear this time so we can address it as best as possible. At least, it seems like it would make more sense than having a mystery reason for the pain and numbness. In the meantime, it has definitely been a long time in pain and unsure what is really going on. (Or feeling like I am going crazy!) I do feel some releif that perhaps the new Dr has a better idea?? The follow up appointment isn't until the 20th of July, but they told me I can email in after seven days to get an update at least. I am anxious to find out what the deal is.
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