I am a 52 year old female. My chronic pain began 16 years ago and the fun just continues. I worked as a paramedic for a few years, but decided to hang it up for a safer and less stressful secretarial job. I lifted a box a work and the pain was horrific. I went to a chiro (for the first time ever) who did an adjustment that caused me to be unable to walk out of the office. 3 surgeons ended up saying I had degenerative disc disease and herniated discs at L3-5 and stenosis. I had a laminectomy and fusion with instrumentation at L5/S1. Only at that level because the surgeon said we start small and have a place to go if it didn't work. Well it didn't. First, I suffered an infection that entered the spine. Second, my body decided to form scar tissue in excess called arachnoiditis. Third, the fusion failed. For a few months it looked liked things were getting better, but then things started to regress to worse than the original issues. Recently a doctor reviewed all my , x-rays and CTs and said I was NOT a candidate for surgery because of the odds of failure. However, I think that at the time I was the mother of a young baby and they thought it would get better.
After surgery I had so many procedures to try and return me to some sort of normal. Injections, spinal blocks, rhisotomy (destroying specific nerves to block the transmission of pain). Nothing worked. I now have a spinal cord stimulator that helps somewhat, but I am on pain medications. Sleep is a frenemy that I see for a couple of hours each day.
Now for the real fun. I was recently also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I am now on Enbrel. Basically I am only able to get up for short periods of time and mostly I am bed bound. Walking is painful, sitting is torture and laying around is soul crushing.