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I'm a 32 year old female. I hurt my lower back at work (CNA at a nursing home) 8 months ago. At the time, it felt like a pop and minor burning but the morning after, I couldn't get out of bed, literally. Any little movement brought me to tears. Since then I've learned to function through pain but my life seems to revolve around my next batch of pills and when I can get a heat pack on next.
Since that time I have had physical therapy for many months but that only seemed to make the pain worse. I have had 2 epidural steroid injections that did nothing at all and 3 median branch blocks (the 2nd one did wonders for the pain but the results could not be replicated again). The MRI showed a herniated disc at L4/L5. For whatever reason, the doctor kept "lumbar sprain" as the official diagnosis.
I have a very low tolerance for most pain meds, in that either I become so nauseous that I can't keep them down or they make me so spacey/tired that I cannot function while on them. Vicodin cannot be used for that reason, neither can tramadol. I had been taking propoxyphene and while it only alleviated the pain slightly (say maybe knocking the pain from a 9 to a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1 to 10) I could take it and function still at work (as the doctor refused to take me off work completely). However that is no longer available. I've been taking ibuprofen (1000mg) multiple times a day and tramadol( 50mg q6h) if I know I won't be having to drive. Using a borrowed TENS unit but that does not seem to help. Taking cyclobenzaprine 10mg every night at bedtime as well.
I went to a spinal surgeon on the 4th of December and he wanted to perform surgery. At this point I would roll around in cabbage leaves while chanting if I thought it would help. He diagnosed me with herniated disc at L4/L5 with radiculopathy.He was also the first doctor who actually seemed to listen when I went through my list of problems/pain. I have an EMG test schedule for January 4th. As of now, I have the surgery scheduled for March 15, a Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Spineology, right side.
I guess I'm just thrilled that there will (hopefully) be people here who know what I'm taking about, who have gone through this and can offer advice or just listen. Any information is always welcome as well.