I've been reading these forums for a few months and have finally decided to start interacting with the community. I'm a 30 year old female who was initially injured mid January 2017. I had a VERY physically demanding job, and since I assumed my injury was just soreness I didn't take it easy and continued to give my all at work. This really began to effect my mobility, and the straw that broke the camel's back (ha) was a slip down the stairs mid-February. All impact absorbed by my rear end, I immediately cried from the resulting back pain. I was prescribed PT, Neurontin, and many physical restrictions. Finally had an MRI in April that revealed a severe L5-S1 disc herniation (12 mm extrusion), with an additional bulge at L4-L5 with an associated annular fissure. The Neurontin helps quite a bit, but if I do anything physically, beyond the basics of life or lift more than 5 lbs, I have pretty significant flare ups that result in various types of pain. I haven't been working since mid-February, and understand how lucky I am to have a supportive husband.
Dealing with this injury for six months straight has been very humbling and eye opening. It's such a mental journey that I continually have to navigate. I wish there was a way to know where this will go and how it will progress, but I've mostly had to make peace that I will know as I know.
At this point, I've met with a spine surgeon and am under the care of a pain management doctor. I've been advised to try more conservative methods, which is a relief. The idea of spinal surgery at 30 just doesn't feel like real life to me. I was initially diagnosed with lumbar radiculopathy, but I've rarely experienced the sciatic problems associated with this. Most of my pain is in my back and near my tail bone. I think this is likely due to the Neurontin, I've played around with that in the past just to see how my body responds and when I'm on lower doses I do feel more sciatic pain. I tend to feel it on the outsides of my thighs or exclusively in my calves. It's more dull than sharp, thankfully.
Anyway, I'm scheduled to have interlaminar ESI's this upcoming Tuesday and am starting to feel nervous about them. I've made peace with possible side effects I may incur, and have done a LOT of research on them and spoken to my doctor about my numerous concerns. I was particularly worried about Arachnoiditis, and this doctor has done over 10,000 ESI's and has never had a patient develop it. The procedure will involve lidocaine initially and will be conducted with fluoroscopy. What I'm focused on now is fear of the actual procedure. I've read that many people experience only mild to moderate discomfort and others experience severe discomfort. I definitely fear the unknown pain, but I'm also concerned that if the procedure does end up being quite painful, how I will be able to hold still with a needle in my back.
I'd appreciate any feedback people have on how their procedure's FELT. Thanks!