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My daughter is 13 with L5/s1 S2 herniated disk, lots of pain. We are looking for inspirational stori

Melissa moserMMelissa moser Posts: 3
edited 07/04/2015 - 6:52 AM in New Member Introductions
My daughter has L5 S1/S2 with lots of pain. Are there any success stories? It breaks my heart to think of my daughter who was very athletic just 3 months ago dealing with pain and limp over a lifetime. She is only 13. Her identity is tied into her soccer and Tao Kwon Do. Now she is sad and lonely and exhausted from pain and isolation.
Who are the success stories that have had surgey/ epidarls/ physical therapy and are still physically active?
Thank you!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 07/04/2015 - 8:17 AM
    Sorry for the pain your daughter is enduring and that you, the mother, are trying to help her find relief.

    You don't mention doctor's care.
    Are you seeing a spine specialist?
    Does he take care of your daughter's pain medication?

    Have you spoken with a doctor re her depression? I would include it as with her other pain related symptoms.
    Sometimes, a little therapy can be useful, esp during transition periods in our lives.
    Painful situations certainly fall under that.

    There is an older post called__ the blend__you can find it with __search__ on this site, upper right on page.
    It helpful with ideas on how to cope with pain, and ways of pain to be distracted somewhat.
    You could adapt it to a young person, for your daughter and her age.

    With your daughter's identity being wrapped up with her physical activities, now may be a good time to help her realize her worth, no matter what she is able to do, or not do.

    Maybe there are passive activities of interest to her that she can do while more limited with active activities.

    Does she have comfortable internet access? I use an iPad as I'm unable to sit an length of time and laptops became too heavy.
    She can maintain contact with her friends, bringing her somewhat out of the isolation, and play games, and otherwise distract the pain.

    When she is comfortable, maybe friends could visit.
    Maybe you could ask for friends of her activities groups to send her a card with all their signatures and well wishes.
    Just some thoughts re the isolation.

    Although isolation and depression often accompany pain, it is not to be considered normal.
    It is best to address issues.

    You asked about success stories.
    On general, I would say there are always success stories.
    Those who feel better tend to go on with their lives and not post to websites once their conditions have been resolved.

    Doctor is always best to assess, guide, and or reassure you.
    Please keep us posted on how she, and you are doing.
    Hang in there!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi. I'm so sorry that your daughter is suffering like this. Both as a mother & a patient I understand. I was younger than your daughter when I was first diagnosed with osteo arthritis. I know it's a different situation but I followed docs advise, we went on an arthritis diet, had slow steady recommended therapy & exercise etc. I really didn't have my life that effected until I was in my 30's & had my first child. So...I was a success story until then ;-)

    Savage has given some great advise. As a kid your interests aren't just passions they become your social life as well. Parents interest in what you're doing & their pride in you also encourages you to identify yourself with your interests. I went from being a horse rider to becoming obsessed with the theatre & literature. I became "One of those" kids. You know? I'm not saying that your daughter won't be treated, recover & return to her former passions, I don't know enöugh about her situation but this could be a good time to encourage other interests.

    My fear would be that she gets the correct treatment (procedures, surgery etc. whatever's appropriate) & as soon as she feels better she will push too hard to get back into her sports & cause further problems. Slow & steady is VERY hard for a teenager!! Many, many people go through this, are young, bounce back & never have problems again. Many of us here who started with spine problems young will confess to pushing way too hard, too soon & becoming complicit in a life of chronic pain. I think sticking to restrictions is going to be one of the hardest battles.
    I have friends who are now in their 30's & 40's who had HUGE spine fusions as teens & only one is still living with chronic pain. As Savage said, most people who are successfully treated go on & live their lives & NEVER post about it on the Internet. Please don't be frightened by what you read. Sometimes it seems like everyone who has serious spine problems is given a life sentence when you search the web & forums too much. The opposite is often true.
    She's very young. The odds are very much in her favor but as I said PLEASE take it slow. Spine problems are a marathon not a sprint. I know it's hard. Always get second & third opinions if your concerned. We're here for you, even if you or your daughter just need to vent. I've found having this support group has really helped me. Best wishes ;-)

    My iPad changed my life! Its light & I can comfortably use it in pretty much any position.
    Being bored & focusing on pain amplifies it. Distraction is one of the best pain management tools.
    Don't underestimate the little things, hot Epsom salt baths, aromatherapy massage oils, ice & heat etc.
    Pain therapists can be great. They listen, understand & provide coping mechanisms for everyday life.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thank you for your very supportive comments! Unfortunately teen girls identify with groups as their self and identity emerges. It is hard for all teen girls let alone my daughter who is starting to figure out that she is no longer going to be part of Tae Kwon Do and soccer all stars which gave her so much pride.
    I think your story sounds very successful. I thank you for sharing! My daughter's doctors told us to be optimistic and all stories of success help me and her. Most of the times she doesn't actually understand the future ramifications. I think she still believes that in a few months she will be doing Tae Kwon Do and playing soccer even though we have to be careful when she sneezes. In actuality in a few months she'll most likely be having back surgery to remove small pieces of her backbone, so her neurosurgeon can shave off protruding herniated disk.
    Thank you for the advice when it comes to taking it slow. I definitely listened to you and appreciate your time.
  • Thank you for taking the time to reply!
    My daughter has a neurosurgeon, orthopedist, physical therapist, and pediatrician all of which express surprise at her age. She takes codeine at night for pain and will receive an epidural on Wednesday. I will check out the previous post you talked about, thank you. This has been going on for 3 months with quite a few misdiagnosis.
    I wish I knew about others who dealt with this and we're fine now. It would be a comfort to her.
    I think therapy would be good for her. Sometimes she has no understanding of the long term prognosis. It is when other people we run tell her about their story that she becomes worried. These people are always a lot older than her.
    I also have fears of her passing out when I'm not around. She passed out once because of pain and I was there. The other time she was in a cooking class which was a low physical activity that I thought she would enjoy. Boy, did I mess that up. I tried.
    She is very stoic and dealing with it. At the same time, she avoids her friends because she wants to play like them but she can't because it hurts her too much.
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 07/04/2015 - 3:33 PM
    Does she go white & sweaty, like flock sweat when she passes out? That's been part of my reaction to pain since I was a kid. If she does lets talk because I've always known its going to happen! It's embarrassing & sometimes it's a 'false alarm' so I've had dangerous falls that I could of avoided by listening to my body & recognizing the subtle 'vitals' changes that lead-up to it.
    Was she standing for too long in class when she collapsed? That's a common one for me.
    Managing my pain & learning some 'tricks' have made that a lot more manageable & not dangerous.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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