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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Back pain is a pain in the back

BackPain1 I've had back problems most of my life and they aren't getting any better.  When I was 15 I was told that I had idiopathic scoliosis and a mild curvature of the spine.  As I got older and had babies, my back got far worse 45 degrees to the right in the thoracic region and 33 to the left in the lumbar region.  I couldn't breathe when I was in a lying position, my back hurt, I felt as though I couldn't function like normal, healthy people. So, when I was 23 years old, I had surgery to correct the curve with herrington rod instrumentation.  It was a horrible experience for me, especially with 2 young babies to care for, but I managed to get through it with the support of my family. 

I spent 10 months in a body cast and I understand that advancements in spinal surgery now don't require this long of a recovery and the cast is removable.  Wow! That would have been a field trip compared to what I went thru.  Nevertheless, I grew almost 3 inches and viewed the world from an entirely new perspective. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital because every time they tried to get me out of the hospital bed to try to walk I went blind for about 20 minutes. 

BackPain2 After about 9 days, the symptoms of blindness became far less.  My first night at home from the hospital resulted in me falling off the edge of the bed and slamming my head into the night table.  All I wanted was my mother's fried chicken, so with help, I figured out how to aim my head for the pillow before I laid down and took some aspirin for the headache.

Fast-forward 25 years later and 2 more children to add to my family portfolio.  I developed scoliosis in my neck and lower back (where the fusion and herrington were not placed) and now have been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis of the spine and degenerative disc disease.  Why am I not surprised.  There seems to be no fighting this.  I have lived with the pain consistently - even after the surgery, the only difference was that I could breathe.

BackPain3 I've had hot packs, massage, pain medications too numerous to mention, epidurals that don't take, and electrical stimulus, and the only reason, I believe, that I felt any relief was due to the momentary re-direction of my thoughts from the pain.  That might be why I love to paint and write, too, because it gets my mind almost entirely off my pain and into a frame of mind that blocks out everything going on around me. 

Unfortunately, as of the last 4 months, the pain is so intense in my lower back and hips I find it difficult to walk and move about.  I finally went to see a spinal specialist about what to do.  No surgery now - thank God - but physical therapy twice a week is the prescribed direction for relief - even if temporary. 

BackPain4 Honestly, I'm sick of the pain.  It is wearing me out.  I hate it.  If I could I'd check myself into the hospital right now and have them give me a lumbar transplant.  I want my life back!  It has been so bad lately that I swear I'll be one lucky lady to live to be 50.  I have thought for years that my days would not make it to 50.  I don't know why, maybe it is because of all the pain and health issues that are wearing me down.  I just hope that those thoughts don't make the worse come true.  God forbid. 

Got any suggestions for back pain?  I'm thinking I might try acupuncture in addition to the physical therapy.  I want a miracle and a new lease on life.  I am aging way before my time.  Any new therapies?  Let me know about them. 

Susan


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