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Hello, i've been a Police officer for a little over 12 years. About 5 years ago I was bending over to pick up laundry when I got a really sharp pain in my back followed by agonizing pain for weeks after. MRI revealed ruptured disc and bulging disc, I was able to control the pain with meds and I continued in work. In 2017 I was admitted to hospital for an emergency discectomy as a scan revealed a central disc bulge. I recovered fairly well after surgery and returned to work but found that I had lost some power and sensation in my left leg and foot. A few months later the same thing happened so back into hospital for another discectomy. Again, recovered fairly well and returned to work but noted a little less power and sensation in my left leg and foot. A few months later...you guessed it, another discectomy. I returned to work to desk duties but had to go off sick after about 5 days due to extreme pain when sitting for any length of time. Over the course of the next year the pain got worse, bad pain down the back of both legs, my left foot is numb and the left side of my leg, i've also got a little numbness in my groin area. I spent a fortune on physio, nerve root injections etc but nothing works. The meds i'm on take the edge off the pain but thats it. I've pain when standing, walking, lying down, basically any movement is painful. The worst is the cramps which usually come at night, either in my left hamstring, calf or foot. The pain is absolutely agonizing and i'm only getting 3-4 hours sleep a night.
I'm a little over a year since my last op andI had an MRI scan a few months ago, at l3/l4 i've a disc bulge touching both traversing l4 nerve roots, also the spinal canal is narrowed. At l4/l5 i've another bulge touching the l5 nerve root. I've also got scar tissue (granular tissue) around and within the l5 nerve root. The lower three discs are all degenerate. Pain wise it's in both legs, though the left leg is by far the worst. The cramps stop me sleeping, with the pain I can't even walk my dogs let alone work...
So now, my force has medically retired me for lumbar disc disease. My problem is that they've given me the lowest possible ill health pension (around $500 a month) because they reckon that at some point in the future I may recover enough to get back into full time employment. Of course i'm fighting it, i'm seeing a consultant next week but the stress of this is killing me. I get little enough sleep because of the cramps and pain but now i'm worried for my future as with that amount of money i'll lose my house.
So I guess i'm asking what do people think, i've read that scar tissue around a nerve root can't be treated, is this true? Is it "likely" that i'll recover at some point to be able to work full time? It's such a dirty move to screw me out of a living pension, I mean when am I meant to be able to work full time? 6 months? 6 years? 20 years?
Sorry, this has turned into a bit of a rant, i've just been so depressed and worried that i'll lose my house and family, i'm in a pretty dark place, just hoping at the consultant gives me a good report next week so I can appeal the pension decision.
If you made it this far, thanks guys