Hi everybody, as the subject says I'm 19 and already have chronic lower back pain that is just getting worse. I'll give you my history first:
-6 years ago I was diagnosed with spondylosis thesis. I was really active (it was my last year of junior high)and I continued to be active for a couple more years until the pain got too bad and I had to quit playing sports. I was given a back brace and that was it.
- I learned to deal with the pain for a few years. I couldn't stand or walk for long periods of time because it hurt so bad. I kept going to the doctor but didn't get much help.
- Last year (my freshman year in college) I couldn't deal with the pain anymore. I couldn't walk to class and I couldn't go to many of my school's events. I saw an orthopedic doctor and had an MRI, ct scan, and x-rays done. The doctor said my x-ray said I didn't have spondylosis thesis anymore but the MRI showed a bulging disc so the doctor gave me a back brace and told me to take Aleve.
- A couple months passed and I still had no relief so I went back to the doctor and he gave me stronger anti inflammatory medicine to take around the clock.
- I thought the back pain was getting better after that. I still had some pain but it wasn't as bad so I was happy and just dealt with it. Then 7 months later (this past July) My back started hurting excruciatingly bad. I had shooting pains down both my legs and into my feet. I could barely move and had to quit my summer job. My orthopedic doctor is an hour and a half away and hard to get in to so I went to my family doctor who gave me Tylenol with Codeine to deal with the pain until I could get in with the other doctor.
The Codeine didn't help much but it took the edge off. When I finally got in I had another X-ray that didn't show anything. My orthopedic doctor said I should wear a back brace. He had given me a back brace 7 months before so I was a little irritated. He was surprised that didn't work so he put me on Neurontin. He said to come back in 3 months if it didn't get better and he would probably have to refer me to a rheumatologist.
- That was about 4 weeks ago and things have just gotten worse. I still have low back pain, shooting pains down my back into my butt, legs, and feet, sometimes burning pain in the back of my knees and shins, a tingly feeling in legs and feet, and weakness in my feet and toes and sometimes legs.
- Last week my pain was so bad and I was having trouble peeing. It was just numb and I couldn't get the pee out. Also my feet were extremely weak. I went to the emergency room and they did an MRI and put on an iv and gave me morphine for the night. They said there wasn't a substantial change from my MRI 7 months prior. They said there was a chance I had some signs of degenerative disc disease and some "narrowing," but not enough to cause the amount of pain I was in. They sent me home with Tramadol. I didn't like the side affects and it didn't help my pain so they gave me Vicodin. Still, it isn't helping with the pain much.
I have wanted to go back to the ER almost every night since then but I can't because I know there is nothing they will do for me there.
So, now I'm going to the orthopedic doctor in a couple of days and I'm really worried he won't give me any answers and he'll just send me home in pain like everyone else.
I'm really tired of having this pain. I've missed out on so much already, I just want to do the things my peers are doing without pain. I'm really tired of laying on the couch all drugged up and in pain everyday. I'm not sure how I will even be able to handle school this semester (which starts in 6 days.)
Has anyone felt like this before? I feel like I'm just being passed around from doctor to doctor or I'm not being taken seriously because I'm so young and having back pain.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what this could be? Is going to a rheumatologist the right thing to do or should I be going to a neurologist?
Any answers or kind words would be appreciated. I'm losing sleep over this. I just want to be able to be a normal 19 year old. Sorry this is so long.