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  • My story, questions and advice please?

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    Old 05-24-2003, 06:39 PM   #1
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    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: NY, NY USA
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    mykal HB User
    Post My story, questions and advice please?

    Hi everyone. I recently found this site and it has been very informative and SUPPORTIVE. Here is my story though not nearly as bad as some that I have read. My whole story so bear with me, quite lengthy and I need to either vent or cry...

    I first had back problems when I was 19 years old. I tried to climb up a lamppost to see a parade better and on the way down in a hurry (police told me to get down NOW) felt something go in my back. I was in pain for that night and the next day but all was well for quite awhile after that actually for about 6 years. Then at about 26 years old I played basketball on one particular day and felt something in my back "go" when I jumped and landed. I was in severe pain for several days and this took about a month to completely heal. I remember going to the doctor and saying "it has been 2 weeks and I still have pain bending and actually cannot bend". He says "you have not allowed it to heal correctly". He was right and I felt better soon after but still had the occasional feeling of a tight "belt" around my midsection with the most pain in my lower spine. Pain on the meter being about a 4 on scale of 1-10, more like "discomfort". Then at about 30 years old, I was bowling and felt another sharp pain and this episode was the worst. This time I was bedridden for 4 days with extreme pain and discomfort when standing and had no choice but to "tilt" to one side in order to stand. I would tilt to the left when standing with extremem pain. I also went totally numb in my left leg for 2 days and then that disappeared after the 2 days. I eventually stood up straight after about a week but sitting was extremely uncomfortable for another week and then just mildly uncomfortable while sitting. There was actually more discomfort during this healing period. After the healing period there was still discomfort when sitting and then getting up and having to straighten out. Then, about one year and a half ago I had some shocking jolts to the back of my thigh. It felt like a taser gun for about 2 to 5 seconds each shock and the shocks came in sets of 3 a day for a two month period of time. Those shocks then unexplicably went away. The funny thing was that there were no back episodes to go with this, the shocks just came and went. These shocks were a bit painful but the short episodes and the short time frame I had to deal with this made me feel unconcerned. Next episode, I was playing pool and jerked up because of a missed shot about 2 years ago. Again I felt that funny "pop" but the pain lasted only for a few days and was painful but the least painful of all besides the lamppost incident at 19y.o. I then learned that I should loosen my belt and not be that restrictive on my stomach/back with a belt. (I used to wear my belt tight, not good with my hanging gut) My next episode came about 1 month ago. I was doing great with my back. Some discomfort every now and again but nothing really noteworthy. I was actually becoming athletic again and had some very mild discomfort after jogging on tread mill etc. but nothing really noteworthy. I took up lifting weights and decided to try some squats... (I can hear the OOOHHHS from the audience) BAD MISTAKE... I felt something pop and then was in pain again for 1 week. No leg pain however just severe lower back pain and the tilting to the left when I stand. Then I started to heal once again and I was getting better belive it or not until... One week ago I burned something in the oven and panicked. I bent over quickly to pull it out and BAM another pop. More tilting when standing and more pain than the last episode but now standing up straight after one week and the pain in the lower back area is subsiding but if I tilt backwards I can feel the burning... That tilting back is something I dare not try again for awhile after the pain it caused today. I can bend forward reasonably and touched my toes today with almost no discomfort. No leg pain thank god. No leg pain since those jolts I experienced about a year and a half ago in the back of my thigh.

    I am currently 32 y.o., 6'3" tall and about 235lbs. I would consider myself about 20 lbs overweight and have been as light as 195 for about a month at 26 years of age. My mean weight has been about 230.

    I have had physical therapy after the bowling incident 3 years ago. This included acupuncture, the tilting of the knees thing while lying flat and going side to side and the electric things on the bottom of your spine where the herniation is. I quit the physical therapy because it hurt more than helped and soon after quitting I started to heal and lead somewhat of a normal life. I did have an MRI done after the bowling incident. I don't have the region because the guy who read it to me was a guy from the PT office and he was a shady guy dealing with car accidents and ambulance chasers meaning he was no expert and not too thourough etc. I remember he said herniation but not what kind, where or how severe.

    I have managed to get better every time but my last incident really scared me because I am a bit older now than I was during my first episode and don't think I can keep injuring myself like this and have the healing ability that I have (had). I know I can (and will) take it easier to hopefully avoid anything like this in the future and just lead a slightly restrictive life, meaning no back pressure weightlifting etc. As of right now I am sitting at my computer but have to straighten out when I get up as I am still healing...

    I was laid off Dec 13, 2002. I am due to start another job on May 28, 2003.

    Okay I say all that to tell my story and to ask these questions... I am not looking for medical advice so I won't be acting on any, don't worry. Just looking for suggestions since I have no insurance currently and need to prepare for the future with this recurring injury.

    1) Do you think I have a potentially severe problem, or does the absence of leg episodes and the healing pattern seem to be in my favor?

    2) Since I am overweight by about 20 lbs. and have a gut which comprises most if not all of my extra 20, do you think loosing weight is a key to the relief of my injury? Those that lost weight and had success please let me know! (I heard about that somewhere else)

    3) I will have been out of work for about 5 and 1/2 months. I don't know the extent of the reporting of the MRI and such by the car accident guys but will this be considered a preexisting condition re. medical insurance? Just in case I need surgery later... My family doctor knew about it but just in casual conversation she may or may not have included it in my file but I never asked her for help with it just casually mentioned it to her once or twice, doubt if she ever "reported" it but you never know. Will they "make" me report a preexisting condition? How is that handled with my being out of work?

    Again thanks for all the posts and stories I read quite a few of them before I decided to post. No flames please though I may deserve them because the other stories on this board are FAR more severe than my situation but I am still a bit frightened by what lies ahead for me. Anyone with general advice feel free to post!

    Thanks in advance


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    Old 05-24-2003, 07:18 PM   #2
    ReneeRAF's Avatar
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    Location: Simi Valley, CA
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    My doctor said that 60% of people live with back problems, the statistics for back surgery as a result of back problems is very low. I think that in that you heal each time and are able to control your pain, you are doing the right things. As long as the numbness doesn't come back on a regular basis.

    Of course losing weight and exercising (streches, strenghtening your stomach and back muscles) are the best thing for a bad back. Be cautious when you bend, twist, etc.

    I wouldn't even mention the back problems when you get new insurance. Like I said, everybody has back problems, pulled muscles, etc., so I wouldn't even consider it a back problem when you get new insurance.

    Hope this helps and good luck

    Old 05-24-2003, 07:59 PM   #3
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    NursethatHurts HB User

    Hey Mykal,I agree with you that this forum seems to be very supportive.I have been lurking for a bit also before I decided to post my first time(a couple of minutes ago )and I also felt as you did that alot of people on here seem to be worse off than myself.But,I took the leap,and hope that someone was once in my situation before things got worse and maybe they can help guide me(with their opinion,and not medical advice) and maybe I will choose a different path then they did or maybe something that failed them will help me.So,welcome to you,and hopefully things will start to get better for all of us!

    Old 05-24-2003, 09:18 PM   #4
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    Bcorica's Avatar
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    Hi Mykal

    Welcome to the boards! Please don't ever feel that your pain isn't bad enough to ask for help or suggestions. We are all here to help everyone no matter what the problem is, so don't be shy.

    Here are my thoughts and and suggestions...I think that since you have healed several times before, you should be able to heal again. I would give yourself a little more time before worrying. As you said in your post, you are getting older, so it will probably take a little longer then the other times.

    I also think that if you don't have constant leg pain/numbness, then you should be okay as far as nerve damage. However, just because you don't have leg pain, doesn't mean that something can't be wrong with your disc. If you have a herniated disc, this would cause back pain.

    I don't think that you should have a problem with your new insurance. Even if your doctor did right it in your file about the other episodes you had, you were not seeing your doc consistantly, and you did get better. Everyone one time or another has gone to the doctor complaining of a sore back, pulled mucsles and ect. That doesn't make it a pre-existing injury, cause you did get better, and you didn't miss time from work because of it.

    As far as losing weight, I don't think that could ever hurt anyone. Since my injury, I have gained a few pounds, and I can tell you that it makes it worst! I think my weak abs are not helping my situation. I am sure that there are plenty of exersises that are good for your back. I would just be careful of which exercises you do. Successstory is very knowlegable when it comes to exersises, so hopefully she will come along and help you.

    I know you asked not to suggest any medical advice, but I must tell you one thing. I do think that when you get your new insurance, I would have a updated MRI done, and have a doctor read you the results. It can't hurt to have this done, and it may give you piece of mind.

    I hope this has helped you. There are many people on this board, who can give you some better input then I can.

    I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you find the answers you are looking for

    Take Care,
    Brenda [img][/img]
    May 2002: Injured at work
    June 2002: Had MRI
    June 2002: Had ESI's
    July 2002: EMG
    Feb 2003: Prolotherapy
    March 2003: Discogram, Showed left posterolateral radial tear @ L4-L5 and more diffuse annular tear @ L5-S1.
    April 2003: Transforamital Injection
    May 2003: Intra-Discal Injection, Finally got some relief from the hip, groin, butt and leg pain. This injection worked the best!
    May 2003: Second Opinion, Doctor Suggested Disc Replacement as my only option.
    May 2003: Postponed Nucleoplasty
    June 2003: Went to Psychiatrist for depression.
    July 2003 - Present: Trying to take one day at a time, and learning to adapt to a new way of life.

    Old 05-25-2003, 02:37 PM   #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: NY, NY USA
    Posts: 38
    mykal HB User

    Thanks for your replies. I guess I am very worried over something that can be very traumatic and painful and I am fearful of that. However I will definitely learn to take it easy from now on. I will loose weight and see what happens and try to lay low for the next month or so. Thanks to those who replied and if anyone else has any suggestions feel free to post.


    Old 05-25-2003, 03:14 PM   #6
    Join Date: Apr 2003
    Location: Ohio
    Posts: 747
    mokita HB User

    Hi Mykal and welcome!

    I just want to add a couple of things that may ease your mind a bit. A statistic that I read while researching my lovely back. Low Back pain is the 2nd leading reason of people visiting a doctor, next the the common cold. Interesting, huh? We're not alone!

    And as far as healing? Everything takes a little longer as we get older. Too much partying one night didn't phase me at 20... at 40... it takes me 2 whole days to feel 1/2 way normal (and I'm in by 12am instead of the old 4am !!) So, you are healing in your time and are being intelligent about it. Keep up the good work!

    Strengthening your stomach muscles is very important -opposing muscle group - you lift weights, you probably understand that. But, start slow. Pelvic tilts are a good one. Lie on your back - imagine you're pulling your belly button to the floor - you don't have to lift your butt off the ground. Just the simple movement will help (learned that being pregnant - course, I probably couldn't have lifted up anyway lol) It wouldn't hurt to check into some of the back sites like [url=""][/url] They might suggest some easy stretching/strengthening.

    And, as Brenda mentioned, losing the extra weight is that much less our backs have to carry around, pick up from bending over, etc. Did I say this would be short

    Take care!


    9/22/00 24 hour labor, baby posterior, left tailbone killing me
    12/00 MRI - PCP said nothing amiss - but, had to begin taking vicodin
    2/8/02 - 2nd baby born after long, painful pregnance as weight gain
    2000-11/02 various PT + pain meds
    11/02 Referred to Neuro
    3/03 NEW MRI - shows slight bulge L3-L4,slight DDD Neuro Refers to PM for ESI
    3/03 PM Doc orders ESI
    3/21,4/1,4/8 - ESI's no help
    5/9 - Discogram - shows Tear L4 w/ significant leak onto nerves, DDD
    Doc sched NEW discogram 'cuz performing doc oversedated, False Negative

    [This message has been edited by mokita (edited 05-25-2003).]

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