i used to be a pro/am skateboarder from 84 to 95, of course skating pools and vert. so when you fall your back always takes the brunt of the impact (tony hawk, among other pro's all have the same issues with back problems amongst problems related to knee's and ligaments). thus, i have always had major back problems. i just took ibuprofen and Tylenol everyday. as i got into my early 30's, taking ibuprofen and Tylenol was just not working anymore. i had zero insurance or a PM at that time, so i would use a walk-in clinic. i always complained about lower back, and sciatica on my left side leaving my big toe completely numb. i was always treated as it was a muscle spasm with a few vicodin and skelaxin.
i kept coming in till they told me i was a drug seeker in FRONT of everyone, and that i was not welcomed back. not once did they offer to xray my back. nor did they recommend some other clinic or doctor that specialized in pain/back problems.
in 2003 my pain increased to a level 10 when i picked up a speaker system (was wearing back brace at the time). i always pick up items the correct way as from working a job with light to medium lifting.
lucky enuff, my friend's dad is a PC/family doctor and she had him see my that afternoon. went in, and immediately took xrays. he then wrote a very small script for percocet 5, and said they would call me after my xray was read.
i was called later that nite saying i had multiple fracture in my L1, and it looked like i had previous fractures on the L3 as well.
long story short, degenerative disc disease was finally found out to be my problem, and any type of lifting could cause a fracture at any given time. being in my late 30's, this diagnosis seemed unbelievable esp since i used to compete on vert/street/pools just 10 yrs earlier. i was/am physically fit.
i started crying with a mixture of joy and madness. i wanted to go back to the clinic that called me a 'drug seeker' and sue them. however, her dad took me on as a regular patient, and i've been treated since. i'm now wearing the FENT patch, but have been decreasing the amount so im not sooo damn sluggish during the day for work.
now my only problem is MYLAN fent patches are the only ones that seem to be around, and you have to call around 5-10 stores to find the name brand, or the sandoz generic. I HATE THE MYLAN. THEY DON'T WORK!
at the same time, i have had two doctors say that back surgery is not the best option as of yet, due to my youngish age, and the fact they don't think it will correct my problem. more likely it will compound the existing condition.
i just hope america gets it's collective head out of it's arse, and starts allowing medical testing with stem cells... maybe my back can be saved in 10-15 yrs with stem cell transplants.
one can dream, eh?