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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

O, how I have wanted to post here for so long. By the time I was done reading everyones posts I'd be too tired to tell my story. Well here it is. Let me apologize now because I have a feeling it's gonna be a long one.

I am a 36 year old hairdresser on Long Island. Always was very active. Exercised every day. Walked, skied rollerbladed. Biked once from Bear MT, NY to Boston Mass, in 4 days for the Aidsride. It was my therapy. I am a big girl but could do circles around most people.

It all changed in August of 2002. I went down a river on an innertube. Huck Finn style. I have done this many times before, always did the harder course. I was with a different group of friends that were scared so we did the beginner one that day. It was a beautiful. Near the end I got stuck on a branch when I tried to free myself I ended up doing a complete backflip in what seem to be 3 feet of water. When I stood up the pain was crazy down my leg. I had to finish otherwise it would have been a rescue attempt. I managed and got up the hill. I went back to the campsite to change out of my wet clothes before going to the hospital. I could not move after that. The pain down my left leg was so severe, they called an ambulance and brought the stretcher right in the tent with me. My friends say my real calling in life is to be a truck driver after they heard all the bad words that came out of my mouth. The hospital gave me three shots of demerol and sent be on my way. I was able to sleep that night and drive home the next day. Now that was a miracle.

I took off 2 days, then 2 days on. 2 days off, and 2 days on. Then off for a week. Work was agonizing. I bought a cutting stool. If it wasn't for that. I would have been off for 6 weeks. I could not stand through a whole haircut. I am short. To get the stool high enough to cut the top of someones head, my feet won't touch the floor. I had to ween myself from it. I don't use it like I did. Now i have a matt. That helps a lot. I can work much faster standing. I've been at work everyday since, excluding 6 weeks of recovery, the next year. I get so mad when people call in sick because their backs hurt. I want to scream! I'm sure some of you have to understand that. I've been trudging through this for over 2 years. Let me take a moment and count my blessings......ok. Sorry about that. Sometimes I think I need medication. My moods are crazy.

The pain never went away. My left leg, calf, ankle, foot and big toe was killing me. I tried physical therapy, and a chiroprator. No relief. Once I had My MRI taken, it was a clear herniation. About that time I found this board, Feb 2003. I've been here since. Hi. Thank you for all the information. I talked to my Dr about a microdiscectomy. She agreed. I went to see a neuro about this. He is highly recommed. In my feild I get to talk to a lot of people. Everyone said he is the man to go to. I do trust him. When he saw I could not walk on my heals. He suggested the procedure. I had it done in May of 2003. The only difference I feel is in my toes. My foot still falls to the floor, instead of a nice heel toe action. My back burns and gets stiff. After a while of no major relief, he sent me for some ESI's. The first one helped, then less and less. After the last one I have noticed atrophy in the front of my calf.

Now I had another MRI and it shows another herniation in the same spot. He recommends Fusion. He said he could do another micro but he doesn't think it will hold up. I went to another Dr. in Manhattan for a second opinion. He sent me for a Ct scan and EMG. He basically told me the same thing. When I asked them both about ADR, the response was I was not a candidate. Because of the location of the hernitation. Who knows.

Now I try to get myself together to have Fusion done on L4-L5. I am scared out of my mind. I just had an appointment with him discussing what will be done and what to expect. I am educated on this. Thanks to all here. I went it to this knowing nothing, now I feel I could pass part of the Exam. I should be hearing from the office sometime this week.

Today my job informed me they are changing insurance plans. My GP and Neuro are on neither plan offered. It will be changed on Nov. 1st. I was hoping to get it done before that anyway. But now I'm not sure. What about follow ups? What if it gets delayed? Could it be a sign from God not to do it? :angel:
My mother's health is deteriating, her back. She needs help now. I need to fix myself. I can see my future in her. And it scares me.

I am freaking out. Thank you all for being here. My friends are tired of hearing it. I can't deal with my clients anymore. I don't care what their grandkids are up too. I deserve an Oscar for dealing with this everyday at work. Some are more worried about who's gonna do their hair when I'm out. That is when I want to.....O, lets not go there.

Thanks again. I needed to get my story out. Sorry I get a little out of control sometimes. :wave:
Don't be discouraged. Keep looking for the solution that you feel confident in - perhaps a change in insurance is just the kick in the pants to make that move...

Hmmmm.... Something sounds strange about you not being a candidate for an ADR. From what I've read the FDA trials in the US will end in Oct this year. If I ever have trouble in the lumbar or cervical regions I won't settle for anything but an ADR. The recovery time and success rates are to good to ignore.

This November I will have a discectomy at 3 levels in my thoracic spine and then fused solid at each site. I'm already fused at the facets at these levels so this should be a sinch.. over the last 20 years this area has been disadvantaged due to a major multiple compression fractures from a car accident. Now the disks must go and be replaced with greater stability. Since there is no mobility in the thoracic spine there is no need for an ADR.

Finding the right doctor is important! Keep looking until you are completely satisfied.
Take care,
I will be having an L4 L5 fusion on October 21st and I'm scared to death also!! I do know though that I must go through with it in order to have a chance at life again. I have had limited mobility and major pain and problems for three years now. I had a discectomy last summer that didn't work for me either and now the disc has collapsed at this level and this is my last resort. I'm very anxious for this surgery. I'm not excited by any means but anxious to get on the road to recovery.

I went to Manhattan to get an opinion from doctors up there, I'm Pittsburgh area, because I had a scoliosis fusion when I was younger and I wanted top doctors opinions. One told me to hold out to and possibly I could get ADR. Which I didn't like him at all. He made no sense to me and knowing what I know, I cannot have ADR due to the previous scoli fusion. So one to the other doctor, he told me that the fusion at this level is the only option and know this. I have had another opinion since then and that is what I"m going for.

I wish you lots of luck, I know how scary it is. Keep us posted and we'll be able to help each other along!!!

God Bless,

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