123dietdrpepper's Pain Management and Spinal Journey
In February of 1982, I had my first back fusion surgery at the young age of 17. I was born without disk between s1/s2 so the vertebrae so bone was on bone. My surgeon warned me that in my 30‚Äôs I may require further surgery because I might require re-fusion of this level because it would wear out.
Amazingly, I lived a pain free life and did everything: roller coasters, running, aerobics, and heavy lifting until one Fall Day in 2004. I was playing with my children and doing the cat walk (back arched and on all fours) and I heard and felt a pop. I had excruciating sciatica pain and I was unable to move my right leg for what seemed like 5 minutes. My primary care doctored ordered an MRI which revealed that I had bone spurs and spinal stenosis. After trying injections, physical therapy, steroids, and medication, I underwent a L5/S1 Laminectomy in May of 2006.
After my Laminectomy, I had a rough summer but was finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and thought the surgery had finally ended my 2 years of unrelenting pain. I was so happy until one day when I was loading the dishwasher, I bent to put a plate into the dishwasher and I fell down to my knees and was in severe pain. I went back to my surgeon and underwent more tests to find that I had blown out L5/S1. We again tried injections, physical therapy, and medications unsuccessfully. I underwent a L5/S1 spinal fusion with hardware in February of 2007.
To be honest, my pain never went away and the nerve pain extended down my right leg and into my toes. In April 2007, my surgeon ordered another MRI and I was diagnosed with a L4 herniated disc. In September of 2007, my surgeon performed a hardware nerve block and it was determined that the hardware on the right side was responsible for my continued pain. I had about 12 hours of relief; however, as the nerve block wore off my back pain became 10 times worse and I began taking pain medication around the clock 24/7. My surgeon ordered a mylegram which showed that the hardware was lying on top of a nerve.
In November 2007, I underwent removal of the hardware on the right side, laminectomy of L3 and L4, and decompression of the L5/S1 nerves. Unfortunately, my pain continues, I am on medication 24/7, and my surgeon has diagnosed me with failed back syndrome.
Despite everything I have been through, I feel that I am now in the biggest fight of my life which is receiving the medical treatment I deserve, learning to cope with the day to day pain, mourning the losses in my life, rebuilding my life with my disabilities, and dealing with the lack of empathy society has on chronic pain patients.