I didn't notice a seperate area for introductions. Neither did I notice posts with 'Introduction' as a topic so I'm feeling a little silly now but...I'd already posted previously promising such an intro.
I tried to talk myself out of posting this right now since I haven't made it to bed yet and I wanted to add MRI info and some of the difficult-to-decipher terms from that report but don't have the energy to search for it. A much more recent MRI was done a couple weeks ago and it makes more sense to wait for that report to share, which I should have in a week or so.
Hoping this won't be too short or too long...
I had my first backache at 18. I'm 44 now. I lifted a box of catalogs for a cute salesman whose arms were nearly full. The next day, the first back pain ever. Going from being a waitress to a shipper/receiver at a ski shop (5'3 and 101 lbs) with 2 deliveries a week of 200+ boxes and 20+ stairs to my stock room pretty much sealed my backs fate.
Even when the pain became bad enough that I sought chiropractic care, I didn't want to file workmans comp. I was friends with the management and naively thought it'd hurt her bottom line. Chiropractic care for 2 yrs. didn't help because I couldn't/wouldn't get through the pain of the core muscle exercises because it hurt so much to do so.
18 years ago I became employed (under the table..soo stupid) as a housekeeper/personal assistant for a physician's -ob/gyn- wife and her family. I BUSTED butt. I was good at what I did, very good, and worked hard. I did much more than clean. I organized storage units, packed and unpacked 2 moves for them, groomed their dogs, did their laundry, organized everything...for 3 families, related and all living seperately but all on the same penthouse floor. There was nothing I didn't do for them except cook.
My back got SO bad about 6 or 7 yrs. ago following a car accident that I was calling in all the time. I wasn't fired. They dealt with the absenses for a long time. I was also there 5 days a week though so how bad could their units get in a day or two or three it took me to heal enough to return....
I was married to my soulmate in 1996 and lost him March 17, 2004 to cancer. My husband was the working poor. He missed 2 days of work in 8 yrs. (true work ethics) but the health insurance was still too cost prohibitive and I was missing more and more work because of my back. He got his diagnosis only by my begging him to go to the ER for weeks for the huge lump that had grown on his neck for over a year! He didn't want to be a charity case and burden the system. He was soo noble...
Less than a year after he died, they fired me. No notice, no severance, no nothing. Went on vacation saying they wouldn't be needing me for a couple of weeks and I didn't hear from her again...yeah, left messages....not returned. I just left keys with the guard downstairs and cried my way out. She knew I hadn't paid into SS. She knew my resume would show squat. She knew how bad my back was....
There I was...I'd just lost my husband. No job. Welfare wasn't something I took to well at all. The lack of caring caught me off guard. What they put you through...the endless paperwork (when my right arm was at its worse too) and push 1 for this and 4 for that, endlessly, just to wait 20 mins and then not even be talked to nicely. My esteem ... sheesh.
Today I'm grateful for that welfare that pays my medical visits to my Primary and Pain Dr., very grateful, believe me, but it's sooo hard what they put you through. Every single month I fear loosing it and the meds and specialists (counselor, psychiatrist, pain doctor) I can't live without and have any quality of life. I've filed for disability...more on that in future posts with questions..... btw, I live with mom who supports me with her SS. She's disabled as well and relies on me for most of the day to day stuff that I can barely do anymore. We are a mess...so too the house.
Back pain is so bad now that I can't work...there's no way. The pain is just too bad and the mental is horrid. My back has 'gone out' on me 4 times so far where I cannot stand straight up for a week or more. Funny (NOT) how much you need to sneeze or cough when that happens (YIKES). I'm not bent totally to waist but nearly. Once it happened just from getting out of my car.
Degenerative Disc Disease and bulging disc was the MRI done 2+ yrs. ago. This recent one is sure to show more damage as the pain is so much worse. Tennis elbow and carpal tunnel (points to computer with a knowing nod) in both arms. Right one's worse. Had limit of cortisone shots in both. That actually improved over the last few months until recently.
Now my hip's involved. Was just the right. Now the left hip wanted in on the suffering too I guess although it doesn't hurt much at all. Major pauses when I get up now and the first few steps brings my attention right to the hip....then the back. Both legs have been numb for as long as I've had the really bad back pain...A family history of bad circulation in the legs I thought until I read here and other places that it could be related to my back.
I am most comfortable in a horrible computer chair with my legs up on the desk so that's where I am most of the time. My tailbone has screamed to me that this is just not good. It hurts and now I need to sit on 2 pillows. I'm starting to lay down more. I sit because I'm at my computer and my tv's right there too. My computer and I are/were great friends. I have to lean forward to type though so I have to take lots of 'sit back' breaks on the heating pad.
Interestingly, the most comfortable way for me to stand is against something squatted all the way down so my butt is almost on the ground behind my ankles. Seems like that wouldn't be so with such back pain but is. Anyone else comfortable sitting like that?
My medications? Started with 2 darvocette a day. Now I take 4-30mg oxycodone a day. Prescribed 1 every 6 hrs. I make sure to take one late at night to try and avoid the very disturbing "Ahhhh" outloud yelp that wakes me from my sleep and feels exactly like a bolt of lightning just struck me in the middle lower back.
It's mostly all lower back. If I stand just to do dishes, it quickly rises to the middle and upper part of my back and burns, burns, burns. I grab the ice pack and go sit. I alternate between heat and ice still...and the tigerbalm is always within reach.
This was going to be short. I have to lean forward to type so my back's calling an end to this even though I seem to have gotten on a roll.
Anything else anyone would like to know, I'd be more than happy to share. I have tons of questions. Will start asking now that I've started this introduction (seemed only fair).
I like all of you. I've been reading here alot (usually without logging in). You all care so much and there's such wisdom here.
I'll be sticking around, you can be sure of that.
I'll post the latin of the MRI report once I have that and hopefully you guys can help me figure out exactly what's going on. Facet Syndrome (per chiropractor) and DDD, with a bulging disc...or was it two...<shrug> is all I know really.
Mentally? Been through so many anti-depressants. None helped. I'm on the 3rd week of my first anti-anxiety, clonapin. Not good reactions but I'm hanging in there (slurred words and I act drunk).
Major depression and anxiety. Dysthymic Disorder-Early Onset they called it. That just means I've been depressed since childhood. The panic attacks are a recent addition to my maladies. 3 attacks ever (sister and mom had them, they both stopped the clonapin long ago and no more panic attacks (how's that work???) and then a few months ago I started having 3 or 4 panic attacks a week. Major heart disruption. One trip to the ER with "I think I'm having a heart attack" and talking to my mom and sis enlightened me to what they are, what I'm having. I've had one since starting the clonapin but other problems which I post about another time.
I want to keep sharing and I want to ask lots of things but am calling it a night...at 7am <shakes head>
Deep Regards Everyone,
My god, I just did a Preview and this post is SOO long. I'm sorry...