I stumbled upon this site while doing some research and I just had to join. I read through the forums and I really like that there is a place where I can go and read about others who struggle with the same problems that I do and offer my support and encouragement and also get some of the same in return.
What brings me here is that I am 24 year old who suffers from a severely herniated L5 disc. My troubles began a few years ago with intermittent pain that was excruciating and difficult to suffer through. It was not until 2012 when I got my first job out of college and was able to finally get insurance that I was able to go to the doctor, receive an MRI and learn of my severe herniation. At first I read as much as I could on the condition when I heard what I had and I had hope that the disc would reabsorb or heal on its own-after seeing the MRI however and noting the severity of the disc, things were looking a little bleak. I decided to undergo my first cortisone shot which will be the only one I will ever get. It did help for quite a while and I don't really regret getting it but it was insanely expensive even with insurance and after reading up on them I just can't volunteer to undergo more of them-I just feel it would be a bad choice for myself personally. Luckily, my pain is fairly intermittent. I have even had a majority of the past couple years pass with relatively little or no pain. However, last month I suffered a very bad relapse/flair up and this month it is happening as well and I find myself a little terrified. The pain is back in full force (luckily it is on a come and go basis and not constant) but it radiates up my spine and through my body in horrible shockwaves and causes my torso to tilt, making an unsightly posture for myself that is both embarrassing and awkward and at times it even makes it difficult to walk.
Sadly, surgery is not an option available to me in the near future. I have a nice pile of medical debt from initial treatments and findings and my financial situation-while stable is not ideal. In the short term I treat the condition with tramadol my doctor prescribed for me on an as needed basis-but as many people who suffer from this sort of pain may know, the sharp stabbing electric shock like pain isn't dulled by drugs-at least none of the ones I've been on.
So I come here looking for tips and tricks. How can I lessen my pain? How can I make the most of a bad situation? How can I learn to live with and manage my pain? What thoughts, sayings, writings, readings do you use to get through it all and still keep your sanity? The fact is, I really appreciate finding others who know what it is to have pain like this because when I come into contact with people who know nothing of it, they are sympathetic but have no idea how it feels-its always better to talk to people who have "been there, done that".
I look forward to meeting and speaking with as many people as I can and learning from what there is to be said and making new friends. Thank you for reading!