:sick: ~X( Hello everyone
I am sorry to be here...but sorry that you are here too.
My name is Brie and I live in Oregon. I am 36, a single mom of a 15 & 16 year old..the most amazing people I know. I am currently employed FT }} not sure if I will be able to continue another 3 months on that one and I have two yappy purse dogs which I love dearly.
Short(ish)summation of pain/diagnosis: L)
First back episode occured at age 17. I was in full spasm and unable to walk or stand on my own. I was placed in the hospital in traction and diagnosed with Degenerative Disk Disease.
Over many years, I have had at least 3-4 actue episodes a year. I have usually just laid in bed for a while-a few days to a week or more-taking muscle relaxers/pain killers.
Three years ago, my back went out very badly for over a month. I had to call an ambulance to extract me from my car because I had slumped to the side and fallen across the passenger seat and was not able to move due to pain and the contortion my body was in. I damn near lost my job. Since that episode, I have never been the same. I developed chronic pain through my back and hips which never went away.
A few more acute episodes have followed this one.
In May of this year, another acute episode. I waited and waited for this one to go away and finally went to the MD in August. My MD sent me through the rounds of testing, MRI, PT, and NEURO and PMD. My current diagnosis per the NEURO report:
SEVERE SPINAL STENOSIS DUE TO LIGAMENTOUS AND FACET HYPERTROPHY MULTI-LEVEL (L3-4 & L4-5)DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE (L3-4; L4-5; L5-S1)HYPOACTIVE REFLEXES BILATERAL. I also have bulding discs, but he did not feel that they were the primary cause of the stenosis (|:
Through the years, I have been through PT, worn support belts, chiropractic work; traction; TENS; MEDS; Swimming therapy; modified activities etc.
So currently, I am using a walker/cane 24/7. My activities and ADL's are significantly reduced. I lay in bed when I am not required to do anything because that is where I find the most releief from pain. Stenosis is usually categorized by relief with sitting and pain with walking; people also lean forward...so I felt good that I would be able to continue to work, except I have a desk jockey job and I am MISERABLE sitting. I can't take any drugs at work because of my job.
Walking and standing are definately the worse, but sitting produces terrible sciatica, numbness in butt and thighs, terrible burning sensations in both legs as well as very uncomfortable tingling in back of thighs, down the legs and sides of calves into tops of both feet and first four toes on each foot.
I take pain meds only when absolutely crippled in bed. I know==bizarre...but I hate meds. I do take muscle relaxers regularly...but only 1/2 of th prescription they have given me.
I have an irrational fear of being an addict and I have some bizarre fear that if I take the meds I will die in my sleep. I know, I know... I am honestly very positive and sane with a respectable job, I am just a freak about meds.
8} The neuro wants to do a decompression surgery bilaterally on the two levels. The pain management doc wants to do the steroid injections.
I am opting to not do either of them. I am not doing the surgery because it will not solve the problem...it may relieve some of the pain and due to my age (36) and condition of my back, the neuro said that I will continue to suffer from ongoing and chronic issues and I would most likely require further surgery later on for stablization or another decompression. Apparently the hypertrophy (arthritis and growth changes) are very common for people in their 60's and older. The neuro says my back is that of an 85 year old and that my spinal canal is completely compressed. A second opinion was also in agreement with this one.
I have opted not to do the spinal injections at this time because I do not trust the PMD at all. I am currently looking for another one.
Anyway, sorry for the long winded drama laden intro. I guess my original plan for a shortish one was lost! Thank you all for reading and welcoming me.
I hope for less pain for you and supportively offer HUGS to each of you!