Just looking for people to relate: chronic pain, spondylosis, bulging discs, fibromyalgia, lumbar stenosis
Hi. I'm new and sort of going crazy, and I'm hoping that having people with whom I can relate and maybe get some tips on how to better manage my pain could help.
I've had lower back pain half my life (I'm only recently 26, so that's not long ,but it started very young). I have been to chiropractors since I was a teenager and was told by one chiropractor, after I had a spinal x-ray that I had an extra vertebra (L6) and it was attached to my sacrum as a transitional vertebra.
Anyway, I've been dealing with the waxing and waning back pain for a long time. I have used braces and Biofreze but had never until recently had a full workup of my lower back.
I have been dealing with chronic nerve and joint pain now for about a year and a half. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia early this year, and have been on and off so many medications trying to find something that works to manage the pain. It also makes any other pain more intense than it should be, so any accident or injury hurts like crazy.
I was living in California and my mother was really concerned about the pain, so I came back home to the midwest. A friend of mine had done this paleo diet called the Whole30 and had amazing success in his joint pain reduction, blood sugar, bloating, everything, and felt great, so I started on it. I was able to come off the hydrocodone I was on for the fibromyalgia and for about seven or eight days, I felt better than I had in years. Then it all went to hell.
My back started to twinge. A few hours later, I couldn't stand up straight. a few hours after that, I was crying and screaming and pounding on the floor. I'm really used to being in pain, and I've had kidney stones over and over and a ruptured appendix but I had never been in pain like this.
The next day it wasn't letting up, so I went to the emergency room (reluctantly, as I have no insurance but my SSI claim is pending), was given lots of drugs, and still felt awful, so I was admitted. The next morning I had an MRI, which revealed that, for my age, my spine is pretty screwed up.
It revealed congenital spinal degeneration (since I hadn't had any sort of injury, they said it must be congenital), two bulging discs with annular tears and stenosis with the disc material abutting the nerve roots, as well as spondylosis in at least two of the discs. I also have a pseudoarticulation on the right and apparently have no L6 but my L5 serves as a transitional vertebra.
I was kept in the hospital for four days on pain control and was released with 15mg morphine twice daily after they had had me on a Fentanyl drip for three days.
I saw my mother's doctor for follow up and she's reluctant to treat my pain. She renewed my morphine prescription and my other prescriptions, but the biggest blow was that I would no longer be able to get my Savella (for fibromyalgia which was helping tremendously) because it's too cost prohibitive and I had only county health care in California. My Medicaid claim is piggybacking on my SSI claim, so whatever Social Security decides will decide for Medicaid as well, and my claim is still being processed.
Reading through your stories, I feel like a fraud. I see how many of you have been through years and years of this and, comparatively, my issues and pain seem like nothing. But I'm here, away from my boyfriend of five years and my dog and my friends, living with my mother (who is a godsend and has the patience and compassion of a saint), and it's been difficult for me to deal with all of this on my own. My mother worries so much and I don't want to burden her further by complaining. I try to hide the pain but I can see that she sees through it.
I'm almost out of my morphine and have an appointment on Monday but am unsure whether she'll prescribe me anything else. I got her my medical records and told her the morphine wasn't really helping and I think it's even having some adverse effects. I've been trying to find stretches and exercises, I've been wearing a back brace and using Biofreze which helps some, but I still have to spend most of the day flat on my back.
I guess I'm just looking for some people who know how all this feels, and maybe some help staying positive and figuring out how to deal with the pain. I know I need to quit smoking because I've seen that that can make it worse, and I would love to get back on the diet but am having a lot of trouble with all the prep work and cooking involved (though I would absolutely recommend it for anyone dealing with autoimmune issues, chronic pain, or anything else. You can see more atwww.whole9life.com/.whole30). The fibomyalgia, I think, makes the pain worse, and while I was tempted to blame all the nerve pain on the stenosis, my doctor in the hospital told me he thinks I have fibromyalgia as well as the back problems.
So, sorry for the long wind, and hi I guess.