Newly diagnosed with DDD, severe L4/L5....very scary!

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 1/13/2006 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, everyone! I've been a recent regular on the Lupus board since being diagnosed
with undifferentiated connective tissue disease last summer and when I was on
prednisone for that and realized I had back pain relief for the first time in 4-5 years,
I mentioned the pain to my rheumy as well and got an MRI out of curiousity. Ouch.
Curiousity did kill the cat, didn't it? I have been fighting the back pain more and more
in the last 6 months, but thinking it was an inactive  lifestyle related to my lupus
fatigue, but the MRI showed severe degeneration in my L4/L5 and moderate degeneration
in L6/S1 (I hope that's right, I'm doing this from memory). Also, I have constriction of
of something I forget, but assume it's the anterior pocket where the spinal nerves are.
Anyway, being only 44 and the mother of 4 including 2 toddlers, this has me so
depressed. I haven't even recovered from the pain of losing my mom in April of 2005 and
being diagnosed with auto-immune illness 4 months later. I haven't gone to therapy
for this yet - anyone out there give me any hope that I'll feel normal again? I am
looking into yoga classes (darn - I wish I kept that up after the kids were born!) to
get me back into stretching and somehow I have to find a way to get more exercise...
I don't want to give into cortison shots yet and definitely not surgery unless it's
the last resort....but what else can I do? Anyone else out there further down the
road on this with a similar history? Missy, if you read this I did see you on the Lupus
board, too, so I guess we are in this together, huh? lol - Laura
Dx:  UCTD summer 2005,
      Osteoarthritis of the spine Winter 2006
Plaquenil 400mg, Motrin, multivitamins
Muscle weakness, joint and back pain, extreme fatigue, brain fog
Mono at 14, herpes simplex, cold sores, HPV

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 1/13/2006 8:22 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Laura and welcome. I am not familiar with this problem, though a friend of mine is going through it right now and will be having surgery next week. I will try to remember and post here again and let you know how that went and how she is doing.

Good luck. I'm sorry to hear about what you have been going through this last year. I think a lot of us can releate to the constant beatings and the depression that inevitably follows.

Take car.e


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted Yesterday 12:07 PM (GMT -7)   


Hang in there.  it's tough to do...but you do have support here at least.  getting back into yoga sounds fantastic, it might boost your confidence and at least be soul soothing.

have you looked into considering a spinal health specialist?  they do all sorts of therapies and management of spine and vertebral problems.  there are also hospitals that are specified just for spinal health and rehab.

stress on top of illness makes everything a whole lot worse.

how are you doing today?



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