Good morning, I am new here and faced with a super big decision and need your help! I am 40 years old, mother of 3, 21,17 & 5. 3 years ago I was lift my son and felt a pain in my back. Nothing major just a feeling of I'm going to be sore tom. and I was. It continued to hurt and I just took advil thinking it would go away. It didn't and I had no real idea what was going on. I never go to the doctor unless I really need to. It got pretty bad but I kept pushing till I woke up in the middle of the night and could not move. My husband carried me to the ER and that's where my nightmare began. I had herniated my L5 S1. After the usual MRI and injections I ended up having a disectomy 10 days before my wedding. It worked so I thought. I went back to work at about 7 or 8 weeks and that lasted for a few weeks. I had sat in a 2 day long meeting and I was really antsy. I thought it was because I am used to being on my feet and zooming around instead of being stuck in a chair for 2 solid days. (I am a retail manager) A day or 2 went by and my pan had increased. This time I knew what was happening. The pain was at least 10 times worse than the first time. (I didn't think that was even possible) Thank god I had a good neurosurgeon. Another MRI showed another herniation at L5 S1. This one was larger than the first. I couldn't do anything but lay there and cry. There is no medication that can take that pain away. (I hate taking pills, I'm afraid of them. I take them but it gives me anxiety) So I had another disectomy and this time they said they wrapped it with something? After each surgery I did do PT to help strengthen my core, however I do not believe that PT can do anything when something like this happens. Basically I had to come to grips with the fact that my back was always going to hurt. About a year ago I had a similar pain in the left side (the good side) and I panicked, everyone had always asked why I waited so long the first time so I decided to get it checked out. Another MRI and off to a pain management doctor. He said I had ddd and piriformis syndrome. Off to PT which helped a bit and then it came right back. I had some more injections in my back and in my piriformis. It worked! For about 2 1/2 months before it started to creep back. I didn't immediately go back since this pain was not the same as a herniation. I just kept taking my advil and doing some of the stretches. In Feb. it had suddenly switched sides over night, now I'm really confused. Is that even possible? I was cautious, I thought unless I have that pain going down my leg I am fine. Well it only took a few weeks before yes it was going down my leg all the way to the bottom of my foot but only when I have been standing for more than an hour. Back to the pain management doc. on my 40th birthday of course. He ordered an MRI and when I went to schedule I was told my insurance was canceled. What?! I was sure there had to be a mistake but as I found out my husbands insurance had switched and I no longer could see ANY of my doctors! Happy birthday to me. I have finally found some new doctors after a long battle. I do not have a primary care only a neurologist, pain management and neurosurgeon.
My neurologist says that I will never work again. I have been super confused by that. My pain management Dr. kinda freaked me out too. He wouldn't say what kind of surgery exactly but said I needed to choose which one. He said I have a few things going on. I have DDD, degenerative joint changes, arthritis and my sciatic nerve is entrapped with scar tissue. I had a discogram 2 days ago and received the results. I need an L5 S1 fusion for sure. My L4 disc is black and has a tear which is leaking, this is not causing my pain right now. He said I need to decide if I do one level or two. He said there is no way to tell if I do one how long it will last before L4 needs it too. I have no idea what to do! I feel like I am signing up for a life of surgeries! It has been such a battle this time to even get to someone who would help me. All I ever heard was your too young. I'm so confused! I'm too young to feel like this! Why do they say that to me? How am I going to decide what to do? I have to go back on Aug 10th and bring a family member with me to make a decision. Please help! My family doesn't understand my situation like all of you. Unless you have been through it you have no idea. Please help.