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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


I'm relieved to have finally found somewhere that others can relate to the same situation that I've been experiencing. Since I've been wandering about the board making comments I figured my intro was overdue. So here goes...

:wave:

My name is Sue and I've been going through the nightmare roller coaster like everyone else. My situation has been ongoing since January of last year. I've come to the conclusion that it's not quite willing to stop yet and I'm getting quite frustrated but anyway.

Here's a little background as to how things got started (well at least how I'm pretty sure it got started). Quite a few years ago (about '98) I was in a car accident, struck from behind. The L3-L5 area was damaged at that time, hips were thrown out of whack as well. Recovery took awhile but eventually things went back to normal; hips were never correct though.

Zip up to current time line (Jan of 2005). I went in for a bone density test. Now for those of you who know what that is you'll understand how the test is performed. For those that don't I'll explain. I laid on a large x-ray table with an upside down x-ray that took photos of my hips and pelvis to examine and see if there was any bone loss. It's a two part test. The first part is laying with your back flat; the second part is having your legs elevated onto a platform; kind of like a step. That checks the hip rotation and the joints.

Ok, now if you remember I said earlier my hips were never correctly aligned. So obviously there was going to be an issue shown in the readings. I'd said plainly to the technician this was the case - at least twice. On top of which my back could never deal with laying on flat surfaces since the car accident damage. Anyway. Knowing there was going to be an issue with the reading, the technician still didn't take into consideration my comments and persisted on the issue; she then attempted to align my hips so they would "appear" more straight in the reading - her words exactly.

If you've ever gotten a small electrical shock accidentally and felt the sharp pain it causes; that's how intense it was through my lower back. That was #1. The second part of the test was raising my legs onto this pedestool. When the tech went to raise my legs, rather than letting me do it myself, she took it upon herself to help me do it and literally pulled my leg up higher than it could move. By this point I'm screaming and starting to cuss up a fit.

When the test was done I was in so much pain and my back was so damaged from just that little bit of movement, I couldn't move off of the table. What does she do? Lets me get off of the table myself. Rather than call a doctor in and see what's going on she just walks out to her desk and goes on with the test results. :mad:

Needless to say I was not a happy person at that point and all I could think of was going home. I made a few comments to the people at the front desk before I left though. Two days later, I can hardly move and my back is in so much pain my husband had to leave work; come home and get me; then take me to the ER. From then on it's been a whirlwind of trouble.

I've been from a family doctor who took x-rays thinking it was a strain-sprain to a back doctor who checked my back and said there's more damage than that and we need an MRI to discover 2 compressed sciatic nerves and a fissured disc plus muscle damage on top of it. :rolleyes:

From there I went through physical therapy twice, didn't help much; I could hardly move the second session and they didn't want to touch me because of the pain sensativity. The back doctor then sent me to a pain management doctor who in turn got me started on a combination of nerve medication and steriods to ease the pain. It worked kind of but then again it didn't give me the full affects that were expected.

I went through all the steriod shots known to pain management; epidural, bi-lateral, nerve block, facet joint, you name it I had it. I've taken all of the nerve medication on the market; UltraCet, Lyrica, Cymbalta, there was one other that started with an R and I can't remember what it is. None of them worked. The Cymbalta did for awhile but it just up and quit. I've been on tons of pain medication; both narcotic and non narcotic - some rather potent and addictive which I hated taking, I refused to take them unless I was screaming "do me in now and get it over with" and even then I had to think about it. :eek: I'm not a sadist in any means of the word but I tell you what, the mood swings are ungodly. I thought PMS was bad, these made PMS look like an angel! :dizzy:

Anyway. So here I am now a year and a half later still riding this nightmare out. I'm quite annoyed because now I can't do anything hardly at all. I'm only able to walk so far (about 20-30 feet) then my back just wants to turn to goo; I can stand for about 5 minutes or so then my back just gives and knees buckle. Sitting is okay for the most part but I'm limited on length of time that I do it. Usually no more than 2 hours at a time. I work on the computer with college (full time student) plus my business (web consultant) so that makes it hard. Luckily my husband got me a laptop so that has taken a lot of the stress away in using that.

Before all of this took place, I was able to be a housewife plus run my business and go to college on top of it. Now, I'm lucky if I can do 3/4 of that within a reasonable amount of time. Cleaning is limited which really annoys me; I'm used to being able to get to doing laundry when it needs to be done because of my back - ain't gonna happen. Making dinner for my husband hasn't happened since my back started going down hill last year and that really gets on my nerves. He loves cooking though and doesn't see it as a problem; I guess I feel guilty because I can't do it like I used to.

Now we're faced with me likely going in and having a back surgery. :rolleyes: What type we're not sure of yet. I'm asking questions now as to how much longer my back is going to hold out until I hear a yes or no on this possibility. The reasons I say that is because my back is on a steady decline and it seems as though it's starting to pick up the pace. Especially after what happen last night.

This brings me to a question. Has someone ever experienced the issue of a sharp pain in their sciatic nerve area when having a bowel movement? :confused: It did it once last night briefly then quit. I haven't had any issues otherwise or since then. I know all the nerves are compressed in that area and they all work together. One of the things I was reading is that a sharp pain in the area can happen.

What I'm trying to figure out now is, should I start seriously thinking about making a visit to the ER next time this happens? I haven't found any specific info about this on the Internet so if there is someone here who has info on this I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks everyone and I surely look forward to chatting as my situation moves forward.

Sue





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