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Newbie struggling to understand severity

MrsMoon53MMrsMoon53 Posts: 2
edited 09/18/2015 - 2:07 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi, my name is Beck and i have recently come out of hospital with more questions than I thought it was possible to ask. lol
I have always suffered with back pain but just have self medicated and got on with things.
3 weeks ago I woke up and my pain was horrendous, though not in my back, it was in my right leg and was excruciating. After an out of hours Dr OFFERED to visit me at home (unheard of I know) he diagnosed me as having a slipped disc and prescribed me 3500’s , Naproxen and Amitriptyline 50mg (on top of the 50 I take every day for tension headaches).
I suffered for 5/6 days then pain in legs slowly eased but only to be replaced my extreme muscle weakness. By day 10, 1 of my legs had started to go numb so I rang docs again, who visited at home again (still couldn’t walk distance at all) and said he didn’t think it was slipped disc, and wait another week or so and I should be fine.
An hour later I collapsed on my kitchen floor when both my legs buckled under me and I was unable to use them to get up. Much crying and frustration later (hubby came home and picked me up) I finally agreed to go to A and E.
Did exam, said I would need MRI but sent me for x rays anyway, turns out I have slipped a vertebra and have something called spondylolisthesis (??) and needed to see the orthopaedic team. Many hours and x rays later I was admitted to a ward. MRI next day requested by head ortho who then passed me onto a spinal surgeon.
Here goes, this is what I want answers about.
Apparently....I have 2 fractures on my vertebra, along with the slipped vertebra, I have a herniated disc, L3/4 and arthritis,and my spinal cord is tightly pinched. He says he can’t operate (not that I want it) as the vertebra below the slipped one etc has already started degenerating and I would be in more pain etc than I am now, and after proving I could walk around they let me home to wait for an appt with him in 3 weeks.
Does anyone else have all these things at same time like I do? (I’ve googled lots and they all seem to be separate conditions)
What will happen now?
Will my legs get their strength back? (its stopping me from working and I love my job)
Whats my long term prognosis?
Does anybody here work as a Teaching Assistant and has any advice about the type of support occupational health may suggest to my head before I can get back to work???
Am I at risk of it getting worse?
Could I paralyse myself?
Im so sorry this is such a long post but Im scared and hate not knowing things, and the surgeon won’t appt won’t be for another 2 weeks. :o :o



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    i am sure that you will find your time on spine-health very rewarding. this site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
    here are just some of the highlights that are available as tabs on the main spine-health menu bar

    spine-health main menu tabs

    conditions detailed medical libraries of articles and videos that address almost every spinal condition.
    treatment list of treatments to the conditions identified by spine-health.
    wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.
    medical articles
    pain forums these are the forums you will be using
    find a doctor this provides with a method to search for doctors in various locations.
    videos index to all spine-health videos

    as a bonus, spine-health provides these patient forums. here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. you will soon become part of the spiney family[/u] who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. you are now part of this family that is approximately 27,00 international members and growing daily.


    - it is very important to understand the forum rules to make sure all of your posts[u] do not violate any of the rules.[/u]

    - all new members must read our faq in order to understand the layout of the forums, how to navigate through the forums, helpful terms, how to make effective threads and posts, plus a link index to many of the important medical forums and key medical articles on spine-health forum faq

    i am positive any member, new or old will find this chroinc pain - step by step thread very valuable.

    here are some links that all new members need to review to create effective threads and more

    read before you post
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    also working with us very closely is allison walsh from the spine-health company



    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Jetta2010JJetta2010 Posts: 22
    edited 09/18/2015 - 5:01 AM
    Beck, welcome to the site!

    I am sorry to hear you are going through so much pain. And on top of it not knowing what is causing it or how to treat it. All a lot to process. I do think that you have done yourself a favor by joining this site as there are others who have gone through what you are and can offer support in your time of need. However, prepare yourself to delve into the world of back and spine pain as there is much to know. You don't need to be a Dr but you do need to educate yourself as best you can so that you will be able to talk the talk so to speak. Keep organized and take it a day at a time. You will get through this and you'll be the better for it. I will offer whatever I can as far as my experience with dealing with back pain as best I can.
    L5/S1 disk compressed, bulging disk, bilateral facet joint arthropathy, neural foramina narrowing

    Current med: Hydrocodone, 10/325 3x/day, Morphine,15mg 1x/day at bedtime
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  • Good advice Jetta!

    So glad you joined these forums Beck, they will be helpful. First and foremost, I am so very sorry this happened to you. I too worked with children and they were my passion, so I know also what it is like to miss work. It is hard to return to working with them because of our nature to bend down to speak to them. So please work with dr before considering, I wouldn't want you to be hurt more.

    I do not have your conditions, just a little of them and then others. Someone will chime in here that is more similar to you and might be more informative to your direct concerns.

    Like Jetta said, welcome to spine world. I really advise reading the new member section, the stickies on low back pain and sciatica. They will answer some questions. The spiney world is a process. Just like a diabetic has rigorous testing to determine treatment, or a cancer patient must be poked and prodded before treatment starts..that is where you are at.

    Waiting for doctor appointments (3 weeks I see for you) is hard. Luckily you have an Mri already, so you won't have to wait for him/her to send you for one. The absolute key piece of advice:
    1. bring a list of handwritten questions, bullet points that you can easily reference.
    2. Bring your spouse or closest relative/friend. Your about to hear a lot of information and the person you bring is invaluable and will be your best support.
    3.If you could, bring a pain journal. I write my pain level, location at time/date whenever I take a medication. It helps keep me organized and my doctors appreciate the input. I copy my insurance info, past surgeries, and medications in the front so easy for me to fill out all those forms.

    You will not see a surgeon like you see your general doctor. making the most of your appointment is critical. Also, you will probably have to wait in waiting room, because they tend to run late unless you have first appointment. This is normal. Why? Because if they are good doctor they let the patient take as long as they need to get every question answered. Beck, we are talking your spine sweet girl, so go in as prepared as possible and do not feel bad about taking the time you need to hear his evaluation and recomendations.

    Every one of us is different, had similar experiences, sometimes in different order than others. Please do not be upset by the many horror stories you may read. While I feel so sad for these lovely spineys, understand that people who have success typically do not stay in this forum. I have had success in the past and never checked the site for years. Thankful that it remains and comforted by others who know what we are suffering through. Our spouses and family are typically upset to see our condition and have empathy, but here in spineland you can know we know exactly what you mean when you describe pain as an ice pick in your bone.

    I sincerely wish you a good outcome and look forward to talking with you and hearing your journey. Welcome.
  • Thank you for your kind words and comments, am currently not in that much pain at the moment, think drugs must be working but maybe also have high pain threshold. (once broke my ankle and worked for 3 days before finding out when i tried to wear a pair of high heels)
    I have already started writing questions to ask in my phone, so great minds... and all that. I think mostly I’m just in shock, I suppose at the severity and only just finding out something that the surgeon thinks I have had for a long time. My hubby is amazing but doesn’t want me to do ANYTHING bless him. We have 5 kids, though only 3 that still need taking care of really, lol, and a myriad of pets, and I feel so guilty and find it difficult watching him TRY to do everything I normally do I suppose.
    Its good to know there are people who successfully manage to live with and overcome all this crap. :)
    I have asked my boss to start referral to occupational health, as this can take a couple of weeks and I’m hoping I’ll have some answers by then. (i better) lol, but looking unlikely that I’ll be back to work before November at the rate all of the systems take. Grrr
    Anyway, thank you for listening to me moan, I will have a look through the pages you suggested too. :)
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