Posted 2/8/2023 9:09 PM (GMT -8)
Hello fellow human beings,
I am 31 years old and have sustained a severe lower back injury for the past almost 7 months now. I herniated one disc and believe I re-herniated two more prior ones in the lumbar region due to weightlifting and exercising incorrectly. I have always been extremely active and athletic. My previous injuries weren't quite as agonizingly painful nor did the pain last for long, but this most recent one involved the worst pain of my life, so much so that I ended up in the ER. Most of these months I have spent at home, only leaving my house for really short outings; basically only for medical appointments or short walks. Since conservative treatments failed to bring me relief (pain meds, physical therapy, steroid shots, acupuncture), I actually had surgery a week ago. The procedure is called an ultra minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery in which protruding disc material was removed from my last two discs without the cutting of bone or ligament. Most people who have this surgery experience immediate relief and resume daily activities pretty quickly, but for me it seems the recovery may take a bit longer. I have experienced some relief, but it is slow and not all of my pain has gone away right away. It's still a bit uncomfortable to sit for very long. I know I'm only a week postop and I must have patience with my healing, but since I have been dealing with this issue since last summer, I feel like I am at the end of my rope mentally. This condition has left me with debilitating pain and consequently I have lost my independence, social life and ability to work. I used to meet my friends all of the time, travel, work, go out to eat and do all of these things, and so being home bound has definitely taken a toll on me. How have you coped with a prolonged injury? With chronic pain? With feeling like the world keeps moving forward while you're still stuck in bed with medications and Netflix to keep you company? I've honestly felt so hopeless and defeated during this time, that I've thought my young life is over. It sounds dramatic, but that's honestly how I've felt. I have tried to distract myself by reading, walking in my patio as much as I can, seeing a therapist virtually, FaceTiming friends and other things within my current capacity, but I don't know what else to do. I'd appreciate any advice on how to hold on to any glimpse of hope.