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New to the bulging disc issue- depressed PLEASE HELP

_mklarizza__mklarizza Posts: 1
edited 11/06/2015 - 8:31 PM in Chronic Pain
Hello Everyone,

I'm going through a really tough time in my life. My doctor diagnosed me with a pinched nerve in my back, she says it sounds like it's a bulging disc. I asked for an MRI but she said I don't need it, the treatment is the same regardless, and that it is too much radiation. She advised me to go for physiotherapy. My pain is probably not as severe as other people. I get some tingling down my left glute/leg/foot or some mild numbness in my foot when I sit down, which goes away when I stand up. I can touch my toes just fine (although I wouldn't try doing it too much at this point).

At one point it was bad, I guess because I am the type of person who gets anxiety attacks. I panicked and my muscles got all tense, which made the tingling a lot worse. It has gone down from that. Maybe in a scale of 1-10 my pain is about 2 to sometimes nothing. Although I still get very scared. When I'm at the doctor's office or at my PT I get so calm because they tell me not to worry, and that judging from my condition I should heal pretty soon. My PT suggested doing press up stretches (the cobra stretch) which help a lot, planks, walking, and today she suggested a little bit of jumping jacks if I can.

Without the MRI or some other test I feel like I'm in this constant stress, always attributing every single thing I feel into something neurological. I fear that this could be systemic and that I could have MS or something, although my doctor doesn't seem to think so. Google is really a bad idea because it makes me worry more. Today I woke up with my eyes blurrier than usual, especially my left eye. My eyelid feels heavier too but I don't see any drooping. I keep thinking that my eye situation is connected to my leg issue and I am so so so so so scared. I just had an anxiety attack just now and I feel like I'm going to die. My anxiety is making my hands tingly and it's causing me more anxiety since all of this seems neurological.

Please help me. I don't know how to cope from this and my parents seem irritated overtime I bring it up because I talk about it over and over. I also don't feel like worrying them. Worrying other people makes me more worried about myself so I try my best to keep it to myself but that's not helping either. I want to cry


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
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  • A bulging disc is nothing to do with anything else that is going on in your body. A bulging disc may well compress a nerve root as it leaves the spine but they can actually go back in on their own, but i agree with you that you need an MRI tell (don't ask) your GP to refer you to a hospital consultant as this is your right to treatment your GP cannot deny you this. Also a bulging disc is not a serious condition as it is just a disc bulging, a herniated disc causes the problems and is a lot more serious than a bulging one, but unless your GP has x ray vision and can see inside your back then he/she will have no idea whether it is a herniated or bulging disc, only imaging can see this and you need to insist on a referral to a hospital to get this treated. I have had a herniated disc in my lumbar spine that eventually wore away and eventually caused a fracture for which i underwent a 10 hour spinal fusion surgery. So please do insist on a hospital visit as if the disc is herniated the longer you leave it the worse the outcome will be. I also worked as a medical secretary so i know a good bit about this apart from my own illnesses.
    Best of luck to you and GET that appointment soon.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Have you a history of tendency for painic attacks?
    I would think it useful to have someone to talk with, therapist, to help get that issue more under control.
    That additional stress that we often and involuntarily put on ourselves does not help our painful situations, in my opinion.

    With therapy, for depression and anxiety, I learned more of how to not only have more productive self talk, but how to communicate with others for my best as well as theirs.
    It was also very useful as I dealt with my pain and helped me better communicate with doctors.
    Therapy and psychiatrist helped me in more ways than I can even remember!
    I still see psychiatrist for med management.

    My friend has panic attacks that have sent him to the ER, several times, for fear he was having heart attack...the pain and the numbness, breathing, etc...
    So our emotions can play a role in effecting our response to pain, in my opinion.

    But as my friend, how do you know? Having anxiety attacks doesn't mean he is not having a heart attack.
    But talk therapy can often times help us to know ourselves a little better.
    And to help us not respond to life's situations out of fear...just as we don't want to respond out of anger.

    I may have missed it, but how long have you been dealing with your painful situation?
    Is your primary caring for you? Or have you been referred to a specialist for the pain?

    My primary tried to work with my pain about two years before referring me to pain management.
    She was hopeful that more conservative approach and time would resolve my pain issues.

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

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