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Will I ever be able to live a normal life again??

Hi everyone,
I really just need to hear other people's experience and any tips possible. I'm 34 and have been in moderate to severe pain every day for the last 2.5 years. The pain is stabbing in the lower back/ buttocks and burning in the legs. Being in my 30s the doctors didn't take my pain seriously and I had to pull teeth to get mai and tests. The spinal dr concluded it was sacroillitis and said there was nothing I could do except try to strengthen core. Well finally last summer I got to a different dr and they did EMG test and it showed S1 nerve damage. They diagnosed me with lumbar osteoarthritis and bulging disc, creating spinal stenosis. They also think sacroilitis too. I have lost all ability to bend, can't sit very long, stand very long, everything flares the pain up worse. I just don't know what to do at this age. Does anyone keep working with this kind of pain? I got si joint shots and nerve blocks shots that worked a little, but pain is coming back worse again. I'm so tired. Tired of pain, tired of having to be careful with all actions, tired of not being able to bend....UGH so tired......


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,527
    Hi Julie,

     A normal life?   Heck, since 1978 I have had over 15 Spinal and Joint surgeries to go along with a number of other spinal conditions that I have.

    I have slowed down a bit since then, but I enjoy every day the best it can be.   Pain, I guess when you start to deal with chronic pain for over 25  years, you sort of get accustomed to it.  I have pain every day, but I have not and will never let it interfee with my life.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • JameyhJJameyh Atlanta, Ga.Posts: 98
    Hi Julie...My story was the same.  I had a Grade 2 spondylolisthesis at L5-S1, severe right sided-radiculopathy and arthritis generalized throughout my body.  My worst pain started last April and I did what everyone does...PT, spinal epidurals, narcotics (that never relieved the pain) etc.  My rheumatologist was not really getting that I was suffering so much so I took a chance and went to my GP.  I basically begged for an MRI and a referral to be evaluated by a neurosurgeon.  But  it was a process too.  You first have to be seen and evaluated by the physiatrist or NP for the specialty clinic I went to.  The suggested the spinal epidural (worthless for me) and wanted to try Neurontin, Gabapentin, etc.  I said NO MORE MEDS.  So lucky for me they agreed to make an appt with the neurosurgeon.  At that point it was determined that I had "mechanical back pain with instability".  No amount of any other intervention would have helped me.  And I am now 6 weeks post op and I am walking straight, no back pain and loving life again.  
    sorry for the long presentation but to sum it up....Find a good doctor that will listen to you.  And don't give up.  I am 60. You are 34.  You need to be persistent and hopeful.  Mental determination did it for me.  I wouldn't take no for an answer.  I hope you have good insurance and good luck in finding the new you.  Hugs
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  • I get so tired of it all too. After several surgeries and so many treatments, it gets old quick. This last year had turned everything upside down and for the worse. I was more mobile before after having a pain pump, and now I hope the spinal cord stimulator improves things for me again. Top to bottom my whole spine is affected and I worry about the future as well. 
    Ol' Spiney..Micro-D L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central HNP L4-S1,stenosis, retrolisthesis, EF, facet arthropathy, lumbar& cervical DDD. FBSS- Medtronic pain pump & SCS
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971


    I also suffer from arthritis... you might want to talk to your doctor about weekly Enbrel injections.  I went through years of horrible joint pain and even surgeries to try and resolve my pain.  However once I linked up with a good rheumatologist he suggested Enbrel injections.   WOW... within a matter of days I was like a new person... absolutely zero joint pain...  and I have not looked back since.  A real wonder drug for me...

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • i can probably live with the back pain from arthritis,, its the legs  / feet pain that hurts more. I now get tinglings in both feet and they feel so heavy and hurt like my legs do now. I am just trying to find of whats going on with me. lived with the leg pain for almost 4 years and not one doctor can tell me why.  have had nerve/muscle test, passed   have had PND test  passed... just got a epidiul shot from my pane dr day before so no relief yet
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