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New: Drummer with DDD (go figure!)

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:31 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a 29 year old stay at home mom. My daughter is a precocious 3 and the back problems make life with a toddler interesting to say the least.

I've had chronic back pain for at least 15 years, but didn't think much of it for the longest time. I'm a drummer. I spent 7 years in drumline carrying drums and killing my back doing so. In 2002 I had sciatica on my right side. Doctors then told me that I had SI joint dysfunction causing my sciatic nerve to be effected. (I've since been told that these doctors were mistaken.) Those same doctors said it was a weight issue. Lose weight and you'll get better. So I lost weight, got better with occasional pains but again... drummer. It's "natural" to our species, right?

A year ago I woke up in excruciating pain. Couldn't move, sit, stand, lie down... trip to the ER said "I think you've slipped a disc". An MRI and a few weeks of increasing pain later, I was diagnosed with DDD and disc herniation L4-S1. Both were pinching my sciatic nerve and I had incredible nerve pain on my left side. I was treated with Lyrica for peripheral neuropathy, went through two rounds of physical therapy and acupuncture treatments, had 2 epidural injections into each disc and have been on pain meds/muscle relaxers ever since.

I've been blessedly off the Lyrica for about 3 months now with minimal nerve issues. (Still can't feel my little toe and have numb patches from the knee down, but no more burning pain!)

I started to improve and began exercising (trying to lose the weight I'd gained). Then I could barely move. Similar pain to what happened last year...another trip to the ER. They took x-rays that came back normal and a doctor ordered my second MRI. I have yet to get the official results back, but it looks like my degeneration of L5-S1 is increasing...possibly more herniation in the same location.

What concerns me is a strange black spot on the MRI. It's about the size of a nickle and shows up to the side of the L5-S1 vertebrae... bone spur? I've looked online for similar images and have found nothing. I would think that a bone spur would've shown up on the x-ray done in the ER. I'll get official results (hopefully) tomorrow. (if anyone has had similar experiences with this, any input would be appreciated.)

I'm so tired of taking medications that make me partially stoned all day... it's no way to try to function with a child. Plus, I'm trying to lose weight and every time I try to get exercising... bam. Back goes out.

Also, i've never been told that I'm a candidate for surgery and I'm glad of it. The prospect terrifies me. I'm 29 and don't want to start the surgery game now. But I know it's somewhere in my future, in all likelihood.

Anyway. I'm glad I found this forum. It all looks very informative but, more importantly, extremely supportive.

Have a great day.



  • Hi:

    Welcome to the board! You will find so many supportive people here to give some advice or simply let you vent on a bad day. I am sorry you are going through this pain right now. I dont get "stoned" from my meds, I just have less pain and can actually function more. Good luck on the MRI, and please keep us updated.

    Jackie :)
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am so glad you stopped by. =D> you have been through alot and it may be time to make that "surgery" decision. you will find lots of info here and lots of good friends. :D good luck and keep us posted! Jenny :)
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  • It is always hard to see somebody so young suffer in so much pain. I wish you luck and please keep us posted.
  • Thank you so much for the support. :)

    I just saw my doctor. The degeneration has gotten worse and (as he so eloquently put it) more "disc stuff has squirted out" ... he is referring me to a surgeon to discuss disc removal.

    But, the good news... the Mysterious Black Spot of Mystery is nothing. So that's a good thing.

    So yeah... we go from here.
    The husband-like-boyfriend is in provider panic mode at the word "surgery" and talking about a second job. I'm going to calm him down a bit ;)

    Oh, and my doctor said to stop getting on the internet and studying. *smirk*
  • sounds like a very wise man. Sometimes we can get way too stressed out worrying about the possibilities rather than waiting to know the realities. Good luck and keep us posted.
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  • How nice to see another musician here on the site, but sad to see that you're having issues that I'm sure hinder your ability and perhaps desire to play! In my situation, nerve damage and peripheral pain prevent me from playing guitar for close to 6 months now and unfortunately, I need that ability to write melody/music (in addition to lyrics) for the artists that I'm contracted to do so for/with. So, hopefully the surgery I'm scheduled for on 6/1 will alleviate the weakness and pain enough that I can get back at it.

    Best wishes to you and stay after this, and if absolutely necessary, see surgery as yet another treatment option that could end-up being a blessing...I got 18 solid years out of my L5/S1 fusion and would do it again in a heart-beat if I had to. (which I actually am with the c-spine issue)
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