Just to give you a little glimpse of how I got to this point, here is a quick timeline of significant events during the past couple of years:
September, 2006: We helped our daughter and her husband move and I injured my back (my 5 year old grandson ran into me accidentally). I have had problems with my back intermittently since my teens, but pain from this most recent injury has been constant and I have taken a variety of medication off and on since 09/06.
December, 2006: My daughter and her husband separated after a turbulent 13 year marriage.
March, 2007: My mother's health began to deteriorate rapidly. She was in late stage congestive heart failure.
My daughter filed for divorce and her little boy/my grandson began going back and forth between his parents.
My cervical spine was diagnosed as collapsing at C4-6. Surgery would be needed in time.
April, 2007: I had cervical epidural steroid injections that helped with pain and numbness for a short time.
June, 2007: My daughter and her husband's divorce was final.
July, 2007: My mother passed away. We were close and it was very rough.
November, 2007: ACDF surgery for C4-6 recommended by neurosurgeon. Scheduled for early December, but I got sick and it was rescheduled for January.
January, 2008: ACDF, C4-6 on January 7th; recovery at home for 4 weeks.
February, 2008: Lumbar MRI showed the same herniated L5/S1, bulges at L2-3, 3-4 and 4-5; mild to moderate scoliosis and stenosis; arthritic changes.
June, 2008: 6 month check up for cervical spine showed fusion coming along slowly. Neurosurgeon recommended ALIF for L5/SI if/when pain can't be controlled with meds or ESIs.
August, 2008: ESI for L5/S1. No pain for 24 hours; since then side effects have been brutal -- hot flashes, night sweats, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, etc. Do not intend to have more injections. Do not want another surgery.
September 1, 2008: I am two years down the road of continuous physical and emotional pain and discomfort and feel like I've hit a wall. I don't know what to do to get my life back on track or how to accept it if I can't. My body constantly hurts and I feel like someone from another planet most of the time. How do I get a grip? How do I accept my limitations? How do I know when or how to make changes in my life so it works better? Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thank you. ~kathleen