[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][/FONT] I am 26 years old and am already 4 years into a lumbar nightmare... My mom had L4-L5 herniation at 50- My Memaw at 80 and my Dad at 55... (Yeah, BOTH of my parents, same L4-L5 herniation)
I was 22 (2006)when I had my first decompression (L4-L5 laminectomy). I was doing modeling photo shoots before I gained 20 lbs after that surgery.
October 2008 (18 months later) I noticed I was having sciatic pain- I got an MRI and sure enough-L5-S1 was now herniated. I had JUST graduated Nursing School, was about to get my DREAM job working in an ER- and it rocked my world. I've been seeing a pain specialist ever since then.
I have been getting epidural injections to ease the sciatic pain- then recently got one to ease my residual back pain from 2006. Now both are wearing off... AND on top of that.. in a 3rd MRI- L3-L4 is now "inching it's way out".
I am IN tears. I just got off work, a 12 hours shift, and I am DYING in agony of pain. I am a new nurse, I <3 my job... more than any person should ever love their job... and I am SO scared I am going to lose it . My Neuro surgeon says I need a decompression, my pain specialist says I need a fusion... I am just trying to put off anymore surgery! I sleep on the floor, I currently take percocet and due to the nature of my job, I am fully aware of the ramifications, withdrawls, and all around negative outcome of pain meds...
So I don't know what to do?! I get so many different conflicting opinions from different doctors who I think just have their interest in mind...NOT mine... can I PLEASE get some personalized feedback?
I talk my patients at work because I can relate with them. Some say acupuncture, some say to see a DO, some say to do water therapy, some say to see specialists in UCSF, and all the doctors I work with are QUICK to say "go under the knife" which isn't something I would mind, but I am ONLY 26... what's going to happen to me at 60? Will I even be able to walk?
Please help me. I am very very scared and in tears. Scared of not being able to do my job, scared of getting too old too fast, scared of losing my fiancee because of my impending health issues for the rest of my life, scare of getting pregnant... All because of my STUPID back....
I can relate to you. I am 28, and had my first fusion 7 months ago. I had L5-S1 fused, and now I need L4-L5 fused and possibly L3-L4. L3-L4 and L2-L3 are beginning to tear, but only L3-L4 caused pain at my discogram. I have a 2 year old, but I really want to have another baby, and I am also terrified of becoming pregnant. I had a great job, but lost it after being put on disability a year ago. I have just now started working for my dad (BORING! He owns a business consulting firm). It is my only option right now though because it is part time, I work completely from home, and he pays me really well. I just learned that L4-L5 is compressing my nerve and I have been having a lot of weakness in both legs, so I think surgery is my only option. Not to mention 3 injections and lots of PT (both pool and ground) have not helped me. I really want to get on with my life so I am crossing my fingers that this next surgery will be my last.
Welcome to the boards...I'm sorry you are in such distress. Having a bad back isn't the best thing in life, but it can be dealt with, and you can live a good life it you learn what to do and how to handle it. I am rather concerned that you are lifting patients with your back in the condition that it is. It certainly isn't the safest for your patients-or for your back. You could do serious damage to yourself-seeing your back is already comprimised.
Water therapy is good, as is accupuncture. I have done both. But I had them after I had my sugery. I would try a good therapist to see if they could help you. You need good core muscle strength to start with. A good PT can help you. I know that you love your job, but if you have surgery, your weight limit with fusion, for lifting will be 35 lbs. that will pretty much take care of hands on nursing. At least with adults. That was my last amount when I was released after my 3 level fusion.
You will need to think about what you need done. Personally I would go to a good back doctor and ask his opinion. Someone you haven't seen. Take a copy of your latest films and ask him what he recommends. Sometimes a fresh eye is what you need. He may tell you the same thing. But if he does, at least you know that you have tried...
ibake&pray- That was SO uplifting and helpful... really.
I took my films to a orthopedic surgeon who only specializes in backs-didn't tell him my occupation or WHO I had seen in the area (my neuro surgeon). He basically told me the following: With good exercise and good core you can get better...plus the discs will shrink with time and the compression will decrease (DUH! You lose water in them as you AGE... I am only 26-it'll be 20 years before they start to shrink and take the pressure off my nerves!!)
I have to be honest with my self... I have NOT done all I can for myself-meaning-I have no put in the full effort I need to with PT (I used to work with my PT and he allowed me slack a little bit).
I NEVER lift patients. There is ALWAYS someone around I can yell for to come help me... and if there isn't, I don't do the task till someone is.
How long ago was your fusion? How many surgeries have you had?
I recently lost 10 lbs with the help of no longer drinking alochol.... and I am feeling 1,000X better. I feel like if I say it out loud it will no longer be true and the pain will come back... but for the last 2 weeks, I am feel PHENOMENAL. Maybe it has to do with the weight loss, maybe not, but I am feeling incredible. A true blessing. I will leave updates in case it helps people
I recently lost 10 lbs with the help of no longer drinking alochol.... and I am feeling 1,000X better. I feel like if I say it out loud it will no longer be true and the pain will come back... but for the last 2 weeks, I am feel PHENOMENAL. Maybe it has to do with the weight loss, maybe not, but I am feeling incredible. A true blessing. I will leave updates in case it helps people [/QUOTE]
Thats great news!! Staying in shape and controling your wieght are so important when you have back problems. Physical and mental well being work hand in hand. You mentioned in an earlier post about your wieght gain so its only positive to your well being that you lost the 10lbs! Congats!!!!
I had Scoliosis surgery when I was 15, L-3 to T-5 and led led an active life for 30 years! Built racecars, actually drove for 2 years (Dr. didint like that but gave me his blessing!) I went skiing,played hockey and worked a very labor extensive job...ect,ect. Just want to let you know that if and when it comes down to having fusion surgery, life is not always over