I've had back pain for years... since my early 20's and it was blamed on my JRA & my hip socket not being the proper size for my femur. I just took the pain for granted.
Summer 2010, age 32, after a nasty buncha "hip" pain in springtime that I hobbled through, I went canoeing/camping and took a wrong step... just one step. Then I felt all wrong.
First ER did an x-ray "you're bone on bone, you need an MRI" they gave me ibuprophen and sent me home. No doc could get me in... and two days later, I couldn't lift my right foot, walk without crutches... bowel control none. Pain, bad, but I handle pain pretty well.
My husband had asked for a divorce a few weeks before... so, I drove to the ER 30 min away with my right foot. Crutches to get inside. Passed out in the waiting room. One MRI later, I was on my way for surgery. I don't know what they saw on that MRI, but they did a hemi-laminectomy, diskectomy on L5, said I'd need another surgery eventually for two disks above it, and said my sciatic had a lot of necrophy and a lot of tissue had to be removed. They were surprised the condition hadn't been found sooner.
My right foot is numbish, up through my right calf, which is now sort of hollow looking and off sized. They said when the pains started it was good because my nerves were "waking up" ...after several months of that I decided I would rather amputate my own foot Stephen King style than live with waking up all night long feeling like Jaws had caught me. The docs acted like I was being dramatic, I was theatrical in my description, but... my foot/leg had begun ruling my life. Soooo finally they gave me baclofen. This drug helps make life bearable. They screwed up my referral to phys ther so I went 4 times and then had to pay the whole bill. I did learn how to pop my pelvis back in place with a basketball...wish I could still go cuz it helped a lot... but the co-pays are too much. I have 3 kids. My spouse and I reconciled so he's a help to me now. I think I did a lot more damage than necessary returning to work after 2 weeks, then trying to manage the house and kids by myself till' things worked out.
Oh, I lost my job as an office manager. My inability to sit and manage through the pain...combined with a funding cut that made my funding stream unfit for me but fit for someone else, let me wind up with unemployment.
I'm 34 now, I start college online in November to finish my degree... thinking about becoming a marriage & family, and/or adolescent councilor. I could sit/stand, move about, switch appointment times if I'm dying, lol.
I don't take pain pills because I fear them. Flexeril makes me see my boyfriend who died after high school & hear Jesus speak to me, so I don't take that. After a huge fight with my doc during which I told him they had a choice, I could turn to alcohol, or they could give me valium (like they did after the surgery for a while-it was the only thing that unclenched me) they gave me some valium. I use it when I'm really really spazzy and can't sleep, move, stop crying in the bathroom where nobody knows I'm doing it... Pain sucks. I often feel like something is inside the muscles in my back, moving. It drives me batty. Valium doesn't make me feel anything odd, but after I have 5 or 10 ml, I feel my shoulders, spinal muscles & hip muscles stop being tied together with bailing wire.
I kind of feel like my life is limited. I try not to make plans... It kills me to drive more than 20 minutes... I'll pay for that for a few days if I drive or ride for more than that.
I don't feel like any doctors give a crap about me, my quality of life, my ability to fully use the gifts God has given me. I can't imagine working like this. Just doing housework, 10-20 minutes at the sink, sit and fold laundry for 10-20, back to sink, back to sofa, take tylenol and wait 30min before sweeping. Can I walk the dog today without tripping over my numb foot? Can I walk safely if I go for a walk with the kids?
On top of it, nobody thinks somebody my age should be this disabled, and I really have come to the conclusion over the last few months that I am. I had some health issues that they think might be crohns or a bad infection... oh, ps I might have anklying spondysomething or other too...so my side hurts, which sets off my back. My white blood cell count was a 26. I'm really run down. Which is all just knocking havoc on my back.
Anywho, that's my story. I'd appreciate advice, I'm kind of in the dark about this condition... I miss my life.