I guess I posted my question on my MRI results prior to posting my introduction...sorry!! If that's the worst mistake I make in here, I'll be happy. : )
I am a 56 year old woman with a history of Lumbar and Cervical Fusion. I broke my back in a car accident - gotta love those drunk drivers - when I was 18. Unfortunately it wasn't diagnosed until years later and healed with calcium deposits making it a bit crooked - off center, whatever the correct terminology is...I've had back pain since then and did surprisingly well with OTC pain meds until my first disc exploded when I was 40. I say exploded because it fractured and they were still pulling out pieces of it during my third spinal surgery that year. All is well that ends well, right? I was relatively pain free until I tripped up a step - takes a very graceful person to do that - and slammed my neck into the corner of the door frame. Cervical fusion followed that and again, I did pretty well afterwards.
Unfortunately over the past year I have had several new diagnoses added to some old ones and my list is now:
Osteoarthritis (big surprise right - actually I've had this for over 30 years)
Degenerative Disc Disease
Diabetes (type II)
I am also allergic to all pain medications except Demerol and Fentanyl - which really makes pain control interesting. A year ago I woke up and couldn't move - not even to take care of my personal needs. I have had several MRI's, CT's and 2 myelograms since that time. I've had PT, four epidural injections, massage therapy, heat, ice...you name it, to no avail. One of the epidural injections worked and helped for about 3 months. Unfortunately, I have fallen 20 times now and it seems to be an ongoing problem. I cannot always control my right leg. This has led to a severe fracture of my right wrist requiring ORIF - with several screws and a huge metal plate! I am working my way to being bionic!! I also fell (#18) and suffered a severe laceration of my left leg. I ended being hospitalized with cellulitis twice and it took approximately 3 months of PT debridement for the laceration to heal.
I do the best I can and tend not to take any pain meds until the pain is unbearable. I can't afford to become resistant to the 2 meds I can take. One of my biggest problems is I know too much and surgeons don't like questioning patients. I really try to ask nicely and think that it isn't too much to ask a question, after all it is my body. I am unemployed and uninsured. I am waiting for my Disability to kick in and also waiting on an answer from Medicaid. Luckily, the medical center where I am being treated has a 100% patient discount for people like me in my income classification. I feel like the "pass around pack" at the Medical Center that is treating me with the Ortho surgeon passing me off to the Neurosurgeon (and was visibly happy to do so) at my last visit. Unfortunately, there is only one neurosurgeon there and I'm scared to death he isn't going to do anything either. I simply cannot live this way for the rest of my life! I finished my degree in IT December of 2013 and I am dying to use it!! I must be able to get back to work soon!! So now you know me - or this part of me.