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It's nice meeting y'all. I'm sorry we all have to meet in these circumstances. It is nice though to know there is a place for us to discuss things so I thank who ever started this! (This part added after finishing, this is a very long post and if you want to skip it, I won't blame you. And thanks to all who read the whole thing, you are very brave! :0)

A little history: 38 years old, two children after trying several times, and most-of-the-time loving hubby. After suffering years of female problems, started having problems with my back. Had just got used to that idea of maybe seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when someone forgot to pay the electric bill! lol Yeah, I try to keep remembering that at one time I really did have a sense of humor.

In 1999, my doc sent me for an MRI. If I was told what they found, I sure don't remember anyone telling me. I didn't have a clue until the end of 2002, when I had another one done. To make a very long story a bit shorter, in 1999-2000 I had 4 ESI's and the LASE procedure done. Three weeks after the LASE was done I had foot surgery as well, so here I was recovering from one sugery then hobbling around on crutches. What a sight! Two months after that I lost my father after a long illness and got myself all in an uproar again, but managed to finally overcome and return to work after nearly 10 months off. August 2000, I had the other foot operated on, then was fired from a job I loved in December 2000. Fought and won my unemployment claim, but left it at that, not realizing I might have recourse to go after the employment for wrongful termination (as defined by my state). Still haven't decided if it's worth my time to go after that or not.

Problems returned Sept 2002. Woke up one morning so sore I couldn't get out of bed, doc took me off work (was working as a cashier/stock person in a local dollar type store by this time) for a week and referred me to a neursurgeon who was so busy I had to wait two months to be seen. The day I returned to work, it was decided I should be the one to help the customer who needed something out of a window display. While trying to get up there, I heard a pop in my back (with a customer in the back of the store, yelling what the heck was that?) and couldn't move for a brief time. When I regained my composure enough, I marched as well as I possibly could to the back of the store, threw the keys at the assistant manager and told her I was "outta there!". I managed to get myself home somehow where my hubby came home 2 hours later and found me passed out in my car, it still running. I have no idea how I got home! I finally got in to see this neursurgeon the family doc was so proud of only to be told that in his opinion only cancer patients should be on pain pills. He did a real quick exam which consisted of asking me to bend over forward as far as I could while he was reading a paper. A few weeks later, my family doc gets a letter from him stating there was absolutely nothing wrong with me that a shrink wouldn't cure and to get me off all meds ASAP. So doc took his advice and put me on Darvocet (from Vicodin) for pain and took me off everything else except predinsone. Meds we're tried to that point were vicodin, flexeril, neurontin, nortriptyline, celebrex, norflex, vioxx, skelaxin, predinsone, and bextra. After arguing for several minutes in front of everyone at his office I finally convinced him to refer me back to the pm doc I'd seen in 99. I got there and he immediately changed my meds (after fighting with my pc doc for a month and a half over who was supposed to be prescribing). He put upped the dosage of the darvocet at first then when he realized that was working in conjunction with the other treatments I was having (facet joint injections, radio frequency lesioning, burning the nerves, cortisone injections), he finally changed me to Methadone. I've been on that for 6 months now. Had some relief at first but have noticed in the past several weeks that it isn't as good as when I first started it. Am very scared of this med, but seems to be the only thing that has really helped this time through without either knocking me out or making me seem like some tpye of veggie sitting in a recliner. I started seeing a new primary care doc last month and she additional put me on lidoderm patches. Can use up to 3 every 12 hours if I need to. Those seemed to do okay at first, but hubby thinks they've actually made me worse (hmmm...wonder if trying to twist around to put them on the small of my back and somehow get them on my tailbone by myself has anything to do with that?). We are currently fighting with the insurance company over a spinal cord stimulator implant. Right now they won't even approve the trial. Applied for ssd 10/02, finally retained attorney after turned down 2nd time and am waiting on hearing now. Been diagnosed with: cervial lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, ddd, degenerative joint disease, spinal stenosis of the
L4-L5, diffuse disk bulging of the L4-L5 & L5-S1, facet joint arthopathy disease, facet joint arthritis, and chronic sciatica.

Whew! If y'all made it through all that and are still with me, thank you, thank you, thank you! I sure do appreciate having a place to go now without really ticking someone else off in my life. I can't count how many people who totally avoid me now as a result of dealing with all this. One I saw in a grocery store (she used to be a close friend) and when I saw her turn around and go in the other direction when she noticed me, I knew that friendship was over. I ended up volunteering to help with my 20 year reunion and am so afraid that by the time it rolls around everyone is going to hate me! I cross my fingers that I get my SCS approved so maybe I can at least stand in a group of people being able to partake of the chitchat without having to say "Excuse me, my back hurts and I have to go lie down or something."

We're too young for this! We haven't done anything to deserve it! And we want others to talk to that understand us and I'm glad that y'all are here!

Thanks again for letting me tell my story and share my woes with you. I'll be sure I keep track in hear and will faithfully read everyone else's stories so that I may hopefully get to make some new friends and have others to share ideas with, cry tears with, and laugh with, and shout with if one of us find a way out!

Take care all!