Chronic Back Pain
About ten years ago I began to have chronic back pain. Up until then I had had a few problems, but nothing to speak of. Then, taking my kids to school one morning a lady turned in front of me…and it began. Now, my back problems aren’t from the wreck…but it aggravated it…and it’s been hurting ever since. I’m not telling Y’all this story for sympathy. I’m telling you so that you will understand what is about to happen with my blog, and hopefully my journey will help someone else making the tough decisions that I’m about to.
When this all began, the doctors let me know that I needed surgery. Sort of like the flamingos in the picture above, my neck and back are all out of alignment! I have mild Scoliosis, I have numerous discs that are protruding on my nerves, and I have what is called a spondylolisthesis<em>. </em>which is basically a broken spot in my back. I also have a place between two of my vertebrae that fused itself, and degenerative disc disease. Fusion is about the only option for the broken spot. But with fusion comes many other problems.
Fusion generally cause the vertebrae above and below the fusion to need fusing in about ten years. So, with my age came the risk of A LOT of surgeries throughout my life. So, I’ve learned to live with the back pain. I’ve had physical therapy, drugs, shots, injections, massages, heat, ice and shocks. I’ve had EVERYTHING!!! Everything and anything to avoid surgery.
Two years ago I began to fall fairly frequently. I just thought I was getting clumbsier than I always have been. Then, about two months ago, my feet began to burn and tingle. I couldn’t tell if they were hot or cold. My doctor sent me to a neurologist, whom did an MRI, and a nerve induction test. He discovered the reason I was falling was peripheral neuropathy in my legs. He, then, sent me to a pain specialist. He was going to do an injection last week in the L4-L5 area. Three days before the procedure was to take place I got a pain in my shoulder that went down my arm. Suddenly my left hand was so weak, that I haven’t even been able to open a flip cap on the shampoo bottle. So, we opted to have the injection put into my C5-T1 hoping to stop this. It did seem to help the pain, however this week-end my right had began to tingle, and the left hand was still pretty useless. On top of all that…my lips began to tingle also. So, now the game changes. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be having to have surgery pretty quick. I’m scared, and nervous, but I don’t want to lose the use of my hands, so I’m not putting it off any longer.
Why am I telling y’all this? Well, I know chronic back pain is pretty common. I’m hoping that anyone else that has these same problems will be helped in some way by all of this. But mostly…I want y’all to know how grateful I am for y’all…and I’m hoping you’ll be patient with me as my posts might get slim for a while. I have some AMAZING blogging friends, that are going to try to take up some of the slack for me….but I can’t ask them to post every day for me. So, I’m asking y’all to be patient with me.
That’s about it for now. Thanks so much for the Love and support! I’ll keep you posted!
January 23, 2013
Today I’ll go for an MRI of my brain. Along with issues with my hands, I’ve been having tingling in my lips. The Neurosurgeon is curious about this, and wants to look into it further. Tomorrow I will go for my L4-L5 epidural. I had some of these about ten years ago, with no luck. They say they’ve changed the way they do them, and I’m hoping for better luck with this one. The injection I got last week didn’t help too much with the loss of function in my hands…but it did calm the pain. We will see. I’ll keep Y’all posted.
January 24, 2013
Today I had my injections in the L4-L5 spine. It will most likely be a day or two before I’ll know if they were a success. Right now, all I know is my hips are killing me from the shots (actually from the medicine). I’m so hoping this works better than the neck shots I got last week.
January 26, 2013
I feel like there could be some progress in the way of pain, although I’m still a bit soar still from the injections. I noticed yesterday, however, that my toes are still dragging a bit, and my feet were on fire again. This morning my right foot seems to be getting the worst of it. Still very limited used of my right hand, which is odd and scary. My prayer is that the neurosurgeon will have some answers for this. My hands are everything. They called me yesterday, and have set the consult with him for the 30th. That’s the day my youngest son flies in from Montana for a week long visit.
January 30, 2013
Yesterday we spent the day in Lubbock to find a daycare for Jude. We are trying to find a place where I can begin to acclimate him. This needs to happen, whether or not I have surgery. I need a back up…and he needs to socialize. We just don’t want to have to just dump him.
I was suppose to see my neurosurgeon this morning, however they called me yesterday and said that he had way too many surgeries and need to reschedule for Friday. So I guess we’ll put the updates off till then!
February 4, 2013
Well, once again, they have rescheduled my appt. for tomorrow. Hopefully this one won’t get moved. Saturday my feet went numb and haven’t returned to normal. So now all the appendages in my body are numb and tingly. UGH… I wasn’t very nice on Friday when they cancelled! Hopefully I will have more news for Y’all tomorrow.
February 7, 2013
Okay…the fact that I just can’t seem to connect with the surgeon is getting rather frustrating at this point. Once again, it’s suppose to be tomorrow. I saw my pain management Dr. today, and he’s sending me to physical therapy AGAIN for the L4-L5 problem. He says that no matter what I’m feeling…I have to have surgery on my neck….no getting around it. So, I guess tomorrow will just be to finalize the time and place. So I guess even though I haven’t met with the surgeon, and haven’t been told by him officially, I will be having surgery….and pretty quick according to Dr. Sahindler. More after tomorrow’s appt.
February 8, 2013
After seeing the neurosurgeon today, there is no choice about surgery. He says that my spinal cord is almost completely compressed at the neck, and that I have bone spurs protruding all over the place. Also I have the discs pressing and pinching the nerves. So surgery and fusion of two discs and bone graphs on the 25th of this month….like it or not. He said it wasn’t a choice…and it couldn’t wait. If I were to wait, I could completely lose the use of my hands. so….off I go to have surgery. 🙁
February 22, 2013
I haven’t updated y’all in a while. Surgery is set for this coming Monday…yes two more days. I have to be in Lubbock at 6:00 in the morning. I’ve had to jump through so many hoops to get this done. The insurance company has acted like royal pains. We had a little snafu, and the hospital threatened to cancel the surgery. We got that all worked out…but they discovered I had a UTI that I didn’t know about. So, today, I go back to see if the antibiotics they gave me, have worked. They won’t do surgery if I still have any infection. This will be the last hoop, I hope. I’m super nervous…and have been having to take xanax every day for anxiety. Dave flies in tomorrow evening at 6:30. I’m hoping having him home will ease the anxiousness a bit. It’s really hard going through this alone. Unless something comes up today, this will probably be my last post prior to the surgery. I’ll keep Y’all posted as soon as I can. Thanks to all of Y’all for your caring thoughts and comments. I can’t express how much it means to me, to have this much love and support…if it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t be handling this near as well.
February 27, 2013
Two days out from surgery. I’m sore as I can be. I woke this morning unable to move. Surprisingly though, most of the tenderness is in my chest, where the tube was…and my shoulders. The nurse kind of warned me about this. Apparently they weigh your arms and shoulders down during surgery to stretch the neck. She told me I would be having muscle spasms there…and boy she wasn’t lying. I’m really amazed that the pain isn’t worse than it is. I really could be so much worse than I am. I can’t really move my neck very well…but I’m sure that this will improve with time also.
May 2, 2013
It’s been a while. Things are good…just very busy. I’ve been trying to get the mojo back into my heart. With warm weather coming…I hope to get motivated to be more productive. I still have quite a bit of pain in my neck…and my left hand still isn’t what it needs to be. I had a nerve induction test done yesterday….and the neurologist said…it’s definitely not anywhere near what it should be. Not sure what that means…but he didn’t feel that the physical therapy that I’m scheduled for would help much. I guess I’ll find out on the 22nd where that puts me…I have another appointment with the neurosurgeon then.
October 9, 2013
It’s been several months. I still hurt on a daily basis. My left hand still doesn’t work like it’s suppose to. Although…I’m not paralyzed from the next down…there really haven’t been much improvement. I have discovered that I am not falling near as often as I was…so that’s definitely a plus. Doc says the only way to fix this issue with my hand will be another surgery. I have decided not to do that. He and I are discussing lower back surgery. I really haven’t decided I want to do that. I certainly don’t want to before next spring….so that will be off the table for now. I do hurt constantly…but it didn’t fix my neck pain…in fact, my neck hurts more now, than before. This makes me somewhat hesitant to venture into another surgery…especially one as extensive as this one. So…for now, I’m living with it.