Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Need a Backeotomy....

So, today I had a corticosteroid injection in my back.  I am running out of options for treatments that don't lead to surgery, so I decided to give my doc the go-ahead to do it.  It's a simple procedure, only takes a few minutes and there's only a little pain (not from the needle, from the meds going in).  I was numb from waist to toes for about 3 hours, so I took it easy until it wore off.  I'm in a considerable amount of pain now, but I'm hopeful I'll find some relief in a couple of days.

My history of back issues started when I was a kid.  My grandma (yes, THE grandma) had to retire at 53 due to severe back problems, and our family has a history of scoliosis.  When I was 8, I fell of the jungle gym on the playground and landed flat on my back - on concrete.  That earned me a trip to the ER and my first round of x-rays, but they didn't find anything alarming.  I went through two car accidents before I was 11, both times sustaining serious injury to my back.  I was hit by a car while riding my bike at 14, earning yet another trip to the ER and discovery of more damage to my back.  Most recently, I was in a car accident in 2008, where the damage to my car was fairly minor but the seat broke loose from the floor.  I fractured the vertebrae at L4 and L5, and that damage has never really healed.  I went through extensive physical therapy, and dealt with the pain on my own until I just couldn't handle it anymore.

I'm only 37, so I'm not ready to give up and just accept the pain.  With mild narcotics (Norco), I can function well enough to go about day-to-day life.  I don't take muscle relaxers well (except Skelaxin, which is horribly expensive so I can't afford it), and can't take Meloxicam or high doses of Naproxen as it kills my stomach. I have taken Gabapentin in the past, but it has too many side effects.  For now, the shots + Norco are what I'm relying on to put off surgery as long as possible.

I greatly wish for a morning where I can wake up and not be in pain.  I honestly can't remember the last time that happened.  I would love to be able to sit longer than 30 minutes without burning, throbbing nerve pain shooting down the backs of my legs.  I want to be able to have fun.  I really miss it!


  1. Hey, this is the 1st time I've seen your blog but I follow Grumpy and Nurse k pretty religiously. Your back story makes me want to cry for you- I can't imagine the pain. I'm writing b/c last week I learned that a friend has recently had a nerve stimulator implanted; she broke her back 4 years ago and has had problems with it (and crazy pain) ever since, and finally told her doc last year that she has to come up with something b/c she just can't live like that (pain, pain meds, fatigue fom both). She had a temporary nerve stimulator attached for a few days and said the relief was immediate, and of course opted for the implanted one. She has a remote to increase or decrease the stimulation. I am in awe that it works and she is loving life again. That would be worth an untold amount of money to me. I have also read lots of successful accounts of people getting their spines fused and it helping a lot with the pain. I guess I just wanted to say, you've still got some really good options, so don't give up hope!

  2. Thanks so much for your support, and I'll definitely look into the nerve stimulator! I would love to enjoy life again, and not have to plan my day around how long it takes medication and stretching to make me comfortable enough to function. :)


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