I'm new to this group (and such discussion groups in general).
I was diagnosed with (congenital) Spondylolisthesis way back in 1995 (in South Africa) and advised by the neurosurgeon to have a spinal fusion; however after consultations with my then gp, I decided against it. I was given a back-brace that I wore almost daily and it seemed to help. The back pain was manageable and i was reasonably fit and active only consulting a gp when the back pain became unbearable and then only for anti-inflammatory and/or pain-killers.
Since 1995, I' moved to the UK where I had an MRI in 2006 and a series of X-rays in 2009 - the x-rays indicated that I was at 26% slippage but both the radiologist and the doctor decided to continue grading me at Grade 1. No problems with that as long as I was able to continue with my life, I was happy.
The back-pain is quite severe at times, but generally a few days of taking things easy seemed to help although the pain never fully lets up. I suffer from pains in my hips (sockets), knees, ankles and pains shooting up and down my legs - as well as pains in my shins (most noticeable when in bed at night). And it becomes difficult to walk at these times.
Last year, I moved to Canada and as I'm still on a Visitor's Visa whilst awaiting my immigration processing, I have no access to any kind of medical care (save accidents and emergency, etc). I've been cycling to keep fit and with no medical available to me and as a preventative measure, I've also begun yoga which has proved hugely beneficial to me.
However, we recently moved into a new property and because I was feeling great from the yoga and cycling, I went a little overboard on the cleaning, painting and moving and for the past week, I've had severe back pain, walk in a limping fashion, generally find it difficult to move. For the most, I'm doing little chores around the house and make dinner in the evenings but am finding this most difficult to deal with as I tend towards being an active person.
I have limited funds available to me and have been (warned) advised that any visit to a medical centre is going to result in the staff wanting further intormation - so x-rays or possibly even an MRI will be likely. I shan't be able to afford this but at the same time, this is the worst that my back has been in the longest time. I've stopped going to yoga as well - as frankly, I'm scared of hurting myself or doing more damage.
My partner continually asks how I am and is concerned but at the same time, I fear that the same answer daily (still in pain or it hurts) will begin to wear thin. How does one explain this myriad of pains shooting through my body and that the pain is constant. I feel its wearing me down and in addition to dealing with the stress of the move, I've trying to cope, rather unsuccessfully, with the mental and emotional aspects of constant pain. Mostly, I feel drained and exhausted yet I struggle to sleep.
In addition, and most likely as a result of the back pain, my neck and shoulders are stiff and hurt to move.
Any thoughts, input, comments or advise would be greatly appreciated. Any ideas on treatments - alternative and/or complementary are welcomed as well.