I found this site in hopes to vent, learn, cope and rediscover myself. I definitely feel alone.
I was once a very active person, played tennis, went boating with friends, took dance/salsa lessons, was at the gym 3x’s a week. Now, I can only reminisce. Nowadays my mind is on how I can make it through the day without Motrin or wonder what my day will be like the next day after some small activity.
I never really had severe back issues, but had some sciatica pain on and off but was able to keep it under control with physical/massage therapy. However, 3 years ago I was walking, felt excruciating pain just at my right shin. I couldn’t hold myself up, I had to crawl to get back in my car. The pain was terrible. I thought I had a clot in my leg. Turned out, I needed emergency back surgery for a herniated disc. I had a laminectomy and discectomy at L4/L5/S1 I can say that surgery eliminated the pain/spasms and allowed me to walk. But since, I was no longer the same. It took a long time for me to recover I didn’t have much nerve damage, just some dull feelings along my shin to my ankle. During my PT, I kept complaining about my right hip, I couldn’t do some of the exercises because it felt like I had something obstructing the space between my thigh/hip. It always felt like a tennis ball. The physical therapist & doctors didn’t pay any attention to my complaints stating that I just had surgery and I need to wait at least a year before everything settles. Someone suggested it might be bursitis. In spring 2014, I wasn’t feeling the greatest, I don’t know if depression from a cold/harsh Michigan winter, but I felt so sore/stiff/achy. I went back to the my back surgeon, who suggested a PM&R, in which I went to see. That doctor suggested a different physical therapist, since I’ve always responded well to massage therapy, who was more hands on. I’m so glad I did, but it’s bittersweet. While working with him, he discovered that I had a significant mobility issue w/ my right hip. I told him about how I felt after my 1st surgery. He worked it out as best as he could and he did work wonders. He did suggested my PM&R order an MRI of my hip (Arthogram sp?) THAT was the worse experience of my life (at that point). MRI results showed a labral tear in my hip joint. Now, we know that my hip causes my back flare ups. Treatment for this kind of tear is limited, most say surgery doesn’t help or make things work. I tried the conservative route by having a steroid injection (It took 3 office visits to muster the courage to do that). It did help. Life wasn’t back to normal but it was my new normal.
January 2015 didn’t start out so great. Everything flared up. I herniated (still don’t know how) again, but this time it was much worse, the pain was torture, I was screaming for someone to shoot me. It was so bad I was convulsing from waist down, I couldn’t control the spasms. I was taken to ER by ambulance. EMS wouldn’t give anything because they thought I was a drug addict going through withdrawals (the EMT person later told me this). The pain was so severed, it wasn’t till the nurse pointed out the teeth marks on my arm. I had bitten my arm so hard, it took 1 week to go away. Once again, emergency surgery. I had a revision of the 1st. This time my surgeon put on strict restrictions when I got home. I could walk/stand as much as I could tolerate, sitting was only allowed for 30 minutes every 2 hours. The rest of the time was spent laying on my back no higher than 30 degrees. I was like that for 2.5 months, until my 1st post op visit with him. If I didn’t think that was torture enough, I developed a bedsore right on my boney tailbone! (I know TMI!) I had one dr telling me not to lay on my back so the sore could heal and the my surgeon telling me otherwise! WHY!! I almost feel obligated to mention that one week after my 1st surgery..I got a tooth infection…in which I needed a root canal!! NOT FUN!
Currently, I’m walking and getting around fine w/o any meds, other than Motrin. My hip is acting up, but the hip surgeon does not advise surgery. I’m going to try another injection next month. My left hip is starting to hurt, mainly because I’m over compensating for my right No one can understand the magnitude of pain both physically and emotionally. Some days I feel like I can do something and the next day my body tells me “you shouldn’t have done that” This time I have significant nerve damage to my right foot. Its ultra-sensitive, especially the big toe. It’s gotten better, but it comes and goes. (For instance the Charlie horse in my calf, the spasms in my ankle, random shoots of stabbing pain in my foot) To be honest, I try not to concentrate on that, as long as I’m walking. I’ve lost a few friendships/relationships because of this. My family is sick of hearing me, but THEY ask. I hate when they compare me to people they know that had similar or their back fused. I was on a recent trip and an acquaintance said I was high maintenance because I asked the host of the house we were at for a pillow for my back cause their patio lounge chair wasn’t very supportive for me. I’ve stopped being as social as I once was. I’m single and I turn 40 this year. (2015 has been very memorable) But I feel like I’m 120!! This has really drained my spirit and I don’t want it to. I’m tired of feeling defeated and don’t want to accept that I will never feel 100% and end up alone because now I’m a “burden” (not sure how though, considering I have a full time job, a house, a car, and I help take care of an elderly relative)
I know this is long but it helped a little to vent. I relying on my faith to get me through and reminding me that I’m still the fun person with a great attitude! I have come a long way from where I was a few months ago. Patience is all we need (I didn’t realize I had so much!) Welcome to Spine-Health
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~ spine-health moderator, savage