Not Good!I am a once extremely actively 41 year old with stage four spondolythesis.
I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was thirteen. I didn't wear the hideous all encompassing body brace that I was to wear all day except to bathe. Nothing else was done. I remember being around ten and all of a sudden I fell to the floor and I remember being stuck and my mom having to help me off the floor. As a teenager I remember having some lower back pain, but it eventually subsided. When I was 28 and 30 I had heavy lifting accidents at work and I couldn't move without pain for several days. I felt better and never saw a doctor. When I was 33 one of the moves I did using an exercise video sent a shooting pain down my back. I remember hunching over to do the dishes and sometimes rushing to lie down on my back on my bed to relieve the pain. I had no health insurance but got on county medical and had an X-ray after much waiting. The evil nurse practitioner handed me a piece of paper with my diagnosis and didn't explain anything to me. I thought I had "arthritis" in my back. I saw a physical therapist that I had to drive over an hour away to see (I live in a rural community). I wound up getting a job and not qualifying for free medical. I guess my pain wasn't as bad back then. I think I compartmentalized the pain. I kept thinking someday the pain would magically go away. I recently ended a four year physically demanding nanny job. If the job had not ended due to my charge attending school full time, I would have had to quit. Constant pain interluded every working moment unless I was sitting down. Rising from bed or a sitting position was difficult and made me feel like I was seventy. I was given no health insurance and was terribly dissapoointedwhen I asked for it after working for four years knowing my employers were wealthy and had great insurance of their own. I was constantly hunched over while working in the kitchen and would have to often stop and roll around on my back to relieve the pain for a few moments. Touching my toes used to help, but no longer.
So my job ended and I became depressed and fraught with anxiety. I had cared for my charge since she was three weeks old and she became like a daughter to me. Also, I had been living with the family during the week and was home on weekends. The transition caused me to have what I consider to be a nervous breakdown. I was crying every day and sometimes screaming. Part of it may have been that I noticed my pain more because I was not distracted by working 11 hours a day and driving 7 hours back and forth to my home on the weekends. I knew I needed help and I called the county and have been seeing a counselor once a week in expensively. Thank goodness I like my counselor and I've been feeling better. She led me to an actupuncturist who led me to a chiropractor who helped her more than others she had seen. I went the next day. Again I have to drive an hour away. ( Don't live in the country if you have medical problems!!!!) I luckily am on unemployment and saved some money while working. I have numbness in my arms also, so I got a full spine X-ray. Spondolythesis was diagnosed and this time it was explained to me. I was told grade 4 which is about 75% slippage. Lower back pain left side with sciatica dien left side. Also, I have three bad discs in my neck and my neck spine is curved the opposite it should be. I have numbness in my hands, no grip strength, pain after gripping. I was crushed. I'm going to the chiro twice a week. I started looking up lots of info about spondolythesis. I cried. I kind of feel like life as I knew it before my last incident was over. I have climbed 50 peaks in the Sierra Nevada, climbed Mt. Shasta twice and Grand Teton. I have made attempts on Mt. Hood and Ranier. I have biked across California and hiked and backpacked hundreds of miles. I used to kayak, clean my grandmother's house from top to bottom, rake my father's yard and detail friend's and family's cars as Christmas presents. I was a dynamo! Now I feel like a cripple that has been suffering in silence. Now I am not silent because I Can't Take It Anymore!!!! My husband doesn't understand and basically ignores me when I talk about my back, my condition, my pain. I don't even know if my marriage can survive this. I feel like my condition makes me not even want to be in a relationship. Especially one that used to be abusive and dysfunctional.The only time my back doesn't hurt is when I'm sitting in a recliner or lying on my back on the floor. Sometimes it doesn't hurt if I lie on my back for awhile and move very slowly and don't bend or lift anything. I thought I was going to pass out when I stood up to get my X-rays. My mobility has gone down to 5% of what I used to be. I feel like I'm going to wind up in a wheel chair. I also have gained weight. I lost some but need to lose more. Other than swimming I can't really exercise. I'm going to see if I can use an indoor hotel pool. I envy obese people on treadmills on tv ads that need to lose 100 lbs. At least they can walk!!! I'm going to do what I need to do and hope things improve. Core strengthening, taking it easy seeing the chiro. I don't want to take narcotics. I feel frightened and alone. I have a paraplegic friend who became so after a mountaineering accident. I feel glad that I'm not that bad off. I can't imagine what he went through. He has become a godfather of paraplegics and made a living giving inspirational talks. I can't really even walk my dog. I have-it's painful and I have to sit down a lot. She cries every time I stop moving. She's a hound dog and wants to keep moving and sniffing. I would use a scooter if it meant I could walk her. I was crazy to adopt a big dog that should be walked every day. I guess when I got her my pain wasn't as bad. Maybe I need the companionship. All I want is to be pain free and be able to walk my dog. I can give up everything else.
So, I would love to hear from someone who has become pain free and how they got there. I have read some of the blogs...
Thanks in advance!
1yosemitejenn 41-45, F 0 Jan 28, 2013