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Johnnyb

Fighting digenerative spinal diseases

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Johnnyb

Pain. My daily life ! Learning a balance has been hard. Kratom has worked in large part but I think I need to step it up with muscle relaxers and possibly some stronger stuff. If my back goes out I can’t work for days . The pain can be so excruciating some times all I can do is sit And scream silently lol. Stretching and excercising helps a lot but it’s just not enough and that’s just the way she goes

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Johnnyb

What do others do for pain management?

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Johnnyb

What do others do for pain management?

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Nitetrain

what Have you done so far?  If you’re able to exercise and work your at least ambulatory. 

Its no picnic but maybe share other options you’ve tried?

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RubyRed

I've known about my scoliosis since I was a kid but just found out I have degenerative disc disease and two types of arthritis in my back, one being severe. I've had blood tests and x-rays but I'm waiting for a full spinal MRI. After I have that test I'll be seeing a rheumatologist and back pain specialist. My general care practitioner has prescribed me a mild muscle relaxer, anti-inflammatory and some Tramadol which has helped a tad but it's all just a bandaid on a big, gaping wound. For years the pain was like background noise I was able to tune out but in the last several years it's accelerated quite a bit. I guess age will do that!

I know I should get myself back to the gym to swim laps again but I've been super busy with work lately. The pain makes it hard to concentrate. Swimming does help, though. So does hanging upside down on my inversion table. 

I know someone with similar arthritis who gets cortisone shots in her spine and they help her a lot so I'd like to find out if I'm a candidate. I'd also like to meet with a physical therapist to find out what the right exercises are for me so I can strengthen my torso and reduce my pain. I hope one of my doctors refers me to one so insurance will cover at least some of the cost. I hear they can be expensive. Even if we only meet a couple of times and I get a list of exercises to do, it would really help.

I'd be happy to keep you updated on what sort of treatments I'm given and how they work out for me!

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Jhardi36
Posted (edited)

Hi! I'm Jessica. A little about me... I'm 36 yo and married for almost 5 years. I'm a Registered Nurse for 5 years now. I have a 3 year old and 19 month old.

I have DDD and DJD. Everyday is a struggle... especially working as a nurse in a hospital. I'm on a muscle relaxer called Tizanidine. I take them at bedtime, though, as they make me fall asleep during the day. I'm on Oxycodone HCL (short acting). I'm also on 300mg Lyrica for the nerve pain.

My back pain started when I started band at age 11. It was my Right shoulder blade that hurt. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 13. I got a physical for cheerleading and the doctor left the room and came back in and as a last second thing wanted me to bend forward to check for scoliosis. Yeah, my spine is shaped like a backward "S" and it has rotated (twisted). I was in gymnastics as a teen. In my early 20s I could no longer do a back bend.

Fast forward to 2006... I had a breast augmentation in May. I think that started it all, tbh. I went from a AA to full C ( surgeon's recommendation... I wanted a B cup). Each breast weighs 1 liquid pound. So from absolutely nothing to 2 pounds.

In September 2006 I lifted something waaaaay too heavy without help. I immediately felt fire go from my lower back down left leg to foot. It. Was. Hell. I herniated L4/L5. I was given steroids. It went away. 

In November 2006 I lifted something minor that shouldn't have hurt me, but nope! Immediate fire again. I herniated L5/S1 and the L4/L5 herniated disc flared up. The fire going down my left leg and foot was sciatica. I was given steroids and they did nothing. From November 2006 to July 2007 I had sciatica 24 hours a day. It was so bad I thought of killing myself. I cried myself to sleep every night. I made things so inconvenient to my friends. We'd go out and I could not stand or walk for more than 3 minutes before I had to sit down. I was seeing an orthopedic. He wanted me to do a cortisone injection and I did. It worked for 3 days and the pain all came back.

One morning in July 2007 I woke up and went to get breakfast and when I got to the kitchen I realized the pain was gone. It was a glorious day!

Then September 2008 came. My bf at the time and I had been drinking. We got into a fight. I was supposed to stay at his house, but he locked me out. I was way too wasted to drive so I slept in my car. I. Woke. Up. SCREAMING. I'm talking the most horrific pain ever. I screamed the entire 15 minutes home and literally climbed on my hands and knees up 3 flights of stairs to my apartment. The loser ass bf took me to my orthopedist. He told me to lay on the table and raise 1 leg. I tried and literally screamed out loud and cried. He sent me immediately to his partner, who was a surgeon.

He wanted to do surgery the next day, but I was on birth control pills and have Factor V Leiden (blood clotting disorder) so he wanted me off the BC for 2 weeks then he'd do the surgery. He prescribed Percocets. It was an awful 2 weeks. I couldn't stand for longer than 30 seconds at a time. Sitting on the toilet was torture. I couldn't stand to shower so I'd lay in the tub with the shower going and wash what I could and just scream and cry. I had a friend then who went to the store and bought me cereal and items I could hobble to the kitchen and make quickly and gobble back to my bed. I could only lay in bed. I couldn't sit or stand or I'd scream, literally. 

Then 3 nights before the surgery I hobbled out onto my porch to smoke. I'd lay on the loveseat and smoke lying down then hobble back to bed. Well, anyways, I got up from the loveseat and 90% of the pain was gone, but the outerhalf of my left leg and 3 outer toes were "numb." Severely diminished sensation to touch.

I went ahead with my first back surgery on 10/29/2008. I had a microdiskectomy with laminectomy on L5/S1. I never told my surgeon the pain went away or that my left leg was numb. I'd have these things that felt like jolts of lightning shoot on the side of my foot. It was like I had Tourette's... it took all I had not to curse, yell, or scream. 

I will continue the rest in another post.

Edited by Jhardi36
Needed to add what surgery I had & the location of the surgery
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Nitetrain

Jhardi36 what’s the rest of your story?

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RubyRed

Jhardi36, thanks for sharing all that! Was the info about your surgery included when you edited your post? I'd like to hear any updates if you have them.

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Deb1960

Hi johnnyb I as well have degenerative disc disease along with spinal stenosis. What ever you do don't have back surgery for it. I had back surgery with the promise that I would be back to work in 3 months. Well I ended up disabled instead. I have 2 rods screws and bolts and some crazy metal mesh holding the bottom of my back together. After that I needed discs replaced in my neck with plastic ones and another rod with screws and bolts in that as well. After that I needed my left hip replaced at that time I was walking around with no hip in so much pain and had no idea why. Then I needed and had my right hip replaced. That was done in 2016. They couldn't get me to wake up after that surgery. I was a goner and don't know what woke me up but I'm just grateful that it did. So was the surgeon. Now I need my left shoulder replaced but I'm scared to death and don't wanna go have another major surgery. I'm in pain management but the government took over and the pain Dr's are only allowed to give us so much medication. It goes by numbers. So if your numbers are high on pain management your shrink has to take you off what he gives you to help you cope with all this craziness. On top of all of this my spine has slipped off my pelvic bone 13mm and I can no longer stand straight up. So I feel what you're going through. I found this site by fate cause I wasn't even looking and there it was. I spent a lot of time reading so I make no mistakes but if you read you will find what you're looking for. 2earls  was fantastic at helping me as well!

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