Good morning everyone.
I have been lurking around these posts for months and I've decided to turn to you guys to help me keep my sanity.
Background: Long story short, I was stopped at a red light in the work car 2 days before last Christmas (on a day I was supposed to be off work but alas) when an older woman ran into the back of us. The symptoms started as stiffness and soreness but by March, I could no longer walking without severe sciatica and weakness. I am 26 and I think that I've heard "You're way too young for this to be happening" more times than I care to count, and half of those times were out of the mouths of medical staff. I tried all conservative treatments and ended up having to have EMT support to get out of the bed and to the hospital more than once. They finally conducted a MRI in may and planned to do a microdisctomy on L4-L5 , S1. When the doctor (non-surgical) used the word prominent and the radiology report came back, I knew my options were limited. I had the surgery at the end of June, but I woke up several hours later than I was supposed to and with a scar 3 times as big as originally stated. When they cut into me, the herniation was protruding and they ended up performing a laminectomy/ disectomy instead. I have been on worker's comp leave ever since.
Now: I had a follow-up MRI which showed black discs (degeneration in the lower spine) and I told my surgeon that I was still in a lot of pain , but it was more localized than before. He reminded me that he told me I would need a fusion at some point in the future. It is still unclear to me whether the future means 3 months , 3 years, or 10 years. He said he would schedule me for another Epidural Injection to see if that would help with imflammation. I ask him if I could return to work and he said if I felt like it, I could. I can't really afford to keep living off of 2/3 of state employee salary anymore and I wanted to go back so I asked him to sign off on it. Friday, I received a call saying Workers Comp wants a second opinion before they'll give me an ESI. On top of that, I have no leave to keep jumping through doctor's appointments. I spent the last couple of days preparing to go back to work as I know I will not have as much energy as I once did. Friday night, the electrical shock pain started in my leg again. Yesterday, I woke up in pain but tried to stay busy doing light things to keep it at ease. This morning I am sitting here writing this because the pain and inflammation is so bad that I can't sneeze or move without crying. I spent an hour googling the cost of walking in off the street and paying for a Hot Shot steroid injection since worker's comp doesn't do weekends. I'm afraid I'm going to end up back in the ER. I just want to go back to work and have a normal life, but I know normal will probably never be the same. My job can be quite stressful, with overtime, long car-rides , and insanity but I need to do something other than sit here. I'm lucky that I've had supportive friends up to now, but I am afraid that eventually they'll be fed up. I feel like a burden and they feel bad when they ask me to do things that I can't anymore. I am afraid that I am getting depressed . I feel frustrated a lot of the time. Anyway, I guess my question is .... is there hope? How do you deal with being jerked around by this whole thing? Do you have similar episodes like this? What do I do when the pain gets like this and I have to work? I've had Percocet and steroids in the past. I still have percocet. I try not to take it unless I absolutely have to and I obviously can't take it at work (even though it has no real sedating effect on me). I have muscle relaxers. I have prescription strength ibuprofen. None of it really helps so I guess I am just looking for opinions or support.****************************************************************************************************** Welcome to Spine-Health
One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.
So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.
Here are some questions that you should answer:
- When did this first start?
. Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
. Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
. Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
. Physical Therapy
. Ultrasound / Tens unit
. Spinal Injections
. Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
. Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
. How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
. Name of Medication
. How long have you been using this?
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?
Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.
Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules
I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ
There you will find much information that will
- Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
- Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
- Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
- General pieces of valuable information
Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide
- Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
- Medical advice of any kind
- Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc
What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.
It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have areI’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?
Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.Specific comments :Personal Opinion, not medical advice :
--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 10/25/15 12:27est