Well, I did this kind of backwards -- posted my question first! Oops.
I'm a 43 year old female with chronic pain in my lower back, hips, and legs. I've been in pain since I was a child and always had Restless Leg Syndrome. Numerous tests when I was a teen yielded nothing significant. So I went through my youth in pain, squirming in school, standing in college. Can't sit for very long, so never had a desk job. I worked on my feet for 25 years, and now have chronic tendonitis & plantar fascitis. Catch-22!
In 2001, I was injured as a passenger in a rollover auto accident. I ruptured a disk in my neck and had anterior cervical diskectomy with fusion at C5/6. My bone graft dissolved but the steel plate is still holding (yay!). My neck actually doesn't bother me that much unless I overdo it or put pressure on the back of it.
I am self-employed now and I work with animals. In October, I tore a disk at L4/5 so I took a break from my business and hired an employee. Still dealing with nerve pain in my legs and have a great neurologist who is giving me an EMG next week. I know, ouch.
I'm in pretty much constant pain and trying to grow my business so that I can step back from working daily. Hired an administrative assistant recently and that gives me more time in the day to rest.
My dad had diskectomies at C5/6 and L4/5 and developed spinal stenosis. He spent the last ten years of his life on SSDI, dependent on Vicodin and suffering all the time. He was depressed and suicidal. He had an active mind and was driven like me. Being disabled was hell on him and I know it will be on me.
So for now I'm trying to stay working but planning for not being able to. Every once of will I have has to go into making my business stronger.
Currently, I'm on my second traumatic brain injury (TBI). The first was from the wreck in 2001. The second was in January -- I slammed my own head in the car door. So now I have post-concussion syndrome and the neuro is running some tests (CT Brain, EEG). I'm taking some supplements, eating right, and putting sleep first.
Today was a GOOD day so I don't want to make it sound like my life sucks (ask me tomorrow?). I try to keep the depression and anxiety at bay, practice my faith, and focus on moving forward. Nice to meet you all! to keep all responses together I have posted the link tovmember's other thread and closed this one..http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/lower-back-pain/l45-disk-tear-and-lingering-radiculopathy-0