Hello to all! I am obviously new here, 34 y/o divorced yet now engaged Happily mother of one almost 12 y/o son. Please excuse the length of my intro but there is a LOT to tell.
I was born with scoliosis, caught at age 5. I wore the god awful braces 24 hours a day until I was 16. My specialist at the time said 16 is when a females spine stops growing - yet I watched my sister pop a foot in college??? anyhow - I got to be brace FREE for 6 months anyway, and at that check up I was found to have Continuing scoliosis. My thoracic - lumbar curve went from 19 degrees to 54 degrees I needed emergency surgery to make it to 17. In 1991 I got the 18 hour surgery but instead of a BAR or ROD I got a NYLON CABLE inserted with SCREWS between each vertebrae from [ T-7 thru T-12 ] also
[ L-1 thru L-4 ] they used this method because of the way of the cut. I was basically cut in half, my spine pulled from my kidney's and lungs as well as my uterus, that darn thing and then pulled straight with the cable. The CABLE ALLOWED the CERVICAL CURVE leeway for the years to come...
Although I returned the following year to be re-fused due to being to young and needing to bend over to get that 80's hair look despite what I was told by my doc, other than that the next 10 years were great.
Sure I had pain day to day, but as I said I was born this way I truly have no idea what it would feel like to not have chronic back pain at all times. I DELIVERED MY SON ALL NATURAL 1997 - NO PROBLEMS - other than even though I begged for an epidural due to the screws it was impossible to give to me - hence all natural birth not exactly by choice...
In 2003 I awoke one morning like no other, the day before was just as a-typical as any other, yet I had extreme pain in my lower spine, it hurt when I walked, sat and breathed in. 2 hours into my day I had to lay down, this WAS NOT NORMAL - at the time I was 100% physically fit, a body builder physique and controlled my pain with strength training verses ANY TYPE OF DRUG OVER THE COUNTER OR OTHERWISE! Once I laid down, I realized I could not get up, I could not feel my legs and I was beyond scared. I went to the emergency room, I was then diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease. This also all happened 3 weeks before I was able to graduate as an LPN at school, needless to say they would not allow me to finish. From this point of my life until present day, although I never believed and everyday I try to stay positive but things obviously can get worse and worse!
I was eventually put on neurontin, darvocets at first then the tabs, as well as ibuprofen. But I was presistent that I would put surgery off until ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
NECESSARY came in on 12-5-2006, this is when I had a TOTAL DISC REPLACEMENT OF L-3 thru S-5, they had to leave the coccyx because the doctor said it would be too difficult for me to heal, but he did make me aware that the coccyx was also DEGENERATING and I have about 5 years. So right now near half my spine if not more is METAL or HAS METAL IN IT.
The only down fall to this is that my CERVICAL CONTINUING SCOLIOSIS has know where to curve but inward and because (this is from a orthopedic specialist) I was cut through the front the way I was years ago in the 1st correction surgery, I cannot get the cervical fixed until new technology appears. This Ortho was also a intern for the doctor that did my 1st surgery and is labeled NY finest, when I went to go see him, he was in awhh with me, he remembered me from all those years ago and informed me that I was in the history books today due to my case. Well that is great but what about the pain???
I had this last surgery because I thought I would no longer be in constant extreme pain, yet I would have been better off left in the wheel chair I road in on before they fixed me. YIPPY YEAH I can walk, but my quality of life is that of a 200 year old person.
My body now looks like well I am definetly no longer body building, heck if I can get up out of bed in the morning that is a workout in its self! I am supposed to be a stay at home mom but I feel like I am just a stay at home FIXTURE on the couch or in bed crying all the time because this life I was left with really f-ing blows.
Pain medicine as well, how the doc's love to hand it out, yet I took a step back even to see if I needed them, went to a suboxone clinic which is a medicine to help you get off opiates. The medicine is great, I got off the opiates but then my quality of life fell from bad to extremely worse, so back on the tabs. But the lortabs (which I take 10/325mg prescribed for every 4 hours) well I need 1-1/2 every 2 hours to even function. Then of course I run out and for the waiting time till my next script I am basically a lifeless blob. Now my doctor wants me to go on methadone which was also recommended by the suboxone doctor as well.
I am scared out of my mind about that drug, but I also wonder if that would be the one that would work for me finally? I know because of my pain I am an addict for life to opiates and it is so hard to try to explain to my family exspecially my mother who thinks I am a junkie and does not get that I need those pills to function the way I function which is not that great anyway - it is not as if I go marathon running after taking 2. Honestly I take the 2 then do laundry or make a after school snack (homemade) for my son. I prepare dinner and enjoy helping him with his homework, also taking him to a skate board park every other weekend. I take these pills to live half way normal and I just never have enough to do that. And that is so frustrating and dissapointing as I end up feeling like a drug addict in the end. Then I think is this really it, is this the life I have to try and live everyday, because on some of those days I just want to quit.
Thank you anyone who has taken the time to read this. I am new and rambled on and on probably all over the place as well - sorry that is the neurontin kicking in I am on 3600mg per day so I can get flaky...lol
Just please let me know I am not alone, because right now that is exaclty how I feel.