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I guess no one really asks for this.

Hello, my name is Maria. I am age 23. I guess my spine issues started when doctors, before I was born, said I would be born with an abnormality. They urged my mother to have an abortion, but she refused. They were afraid I would have been born with spinal bifida. It turned out I was born 'healthy', or so my mother thought. I thank her for giving me the opportunity to live.

There have been issues with my back in the past, I thought nothing of it. I just thought it was growing pains.

February 20, 2012 was the day that changed everything. The day that the truth about that day back when I was 6 months along in my mother's womb came out.

On the morning of February 20th, 2012 I was sitting at a red light in my van with my three year old son and senior citizen father - with about three other cars in front of me. One of the things I remember vividly is feeling the impact, my head viciously moving forward and whipping back and then mouthing the words "what the f***" before trying to access the situation. The car behind me didn't stop, and decided to plow into me at about 35+ miles an hour, against my stationary car - shoving me forward into the vehicle in front of me.

The only thing I thought about was if the woman in the car in front of me, my father, and my son was alright. I could care less about my aches and pains as long as they were alright. Especially my son, because he is my world. Instantly I felt furious towards the man who endangered not only my life, but the life of my family.

The police came and went, and according to the police report he said "oh, I was just going 10 miles an hour. I saw the light turn green so I accelerated." I dont care if the light turns green. If my brake lights are on, that means you STOP.

Needless to say the guy recieved a citation.

I went to a hospital right after driving the wreckage of my van home to drop off my father and my son home after taking my dad to home depot. I was on the last block of where I wanted to be before that guy hit me, but I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of ruining what I was originally going to do with my day. I wasn't going to leave my son and dad stranded either. And it was too much to take an ambulance. I licked my wounds and drove, and drove, and drove.

The doctors at the North Regional hospital only said I had a muscle spasm. It turned out to be much much more.

I went to another doctor for about five months, got MRIs and Xrays taken. Turned out that the muscle spasms were also - three bulged discs, reversed curvature in the neck (military neck), and lumbar spinal stenosis (sciatica), and pinched nerves in the neck and abck.

My doctors dont know for sure if I had Lumbar Spinal Stenosis before the accident or if it was the accident that caused it. But one did mention that - "You could have had it for many years. Could have been a monster lying dormant, and this was the thing to push it into an aggressive state."

The last time I heard from the guy that hit me was back on the date of the accident when he said - "sorry for ruining your day." I find that to be the understatement of the year. Maybe the smack in the face was I had to cover my injuries. The guy didn't have any Bodily Injury Insurance. We were in Florida at the time of the accident. So thankfully I had uninsured motorist and my mom was gracious enough to have me covered under her blue cross plan.

I'm frustrated, I ache, but I still live

The left side of my body traveling down hurts, I can no longer run or skip... cant even pick up my son any more for that matter without crumbling. I feel frail... but I'm trying hard to find it in my heart to forgive. Especially since it seems like this wasn't his first accident. The only thing I really dont like is having a hard time opening up windows and walking up stairs.

I remember a few nights ago I felt less of a person. I ended up crying in the shower to mask my pain because I didn't want my significant other to see me miserable.

I've already had a caudal epidural injection - and I hate it. My boyfriend suggests getting another one, but that's not what I want. What I want is to feel close to normal without the help of medicine. But as a neurosurgeon told me, "you will never be 100% again, but I can help you manage the pain."

Well, I guess that's the story of my life. But it's not going to stop me. Before my days are through I want to at least have another child - and that's one thing the man that rear ended me is NOT taking away from me.

I am still confused about a few things - more or less .. the lingering question is - what do I do now?

I've read some of the experiences of other users on here, and I can greatly sympathize. My only wish is that you all feel better and that you are not alone in your struggles.
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