I cannot imagine anyone was actually wondering, but here’s an update on my back pain situation anyway.
How about a (not so) brief history/recap?
In October 2017 while at my yearly physical, I told my doc about my nagging lower back pain that I’ve had for years. I just figured I had to live with it, but I was tired of that. I had an x-ray which showed a small curve in my spine that no one would ever have known was there by looking at me. Hell, no one would know by my actions either. I hide that I’m in pain most of the time. Anyway, usually a curve like this would show up in a child, but I either never had it then or no one ever caught it. Yay me. (Sarcasm… in case that wasn’t obvious.)
My doc sent me to physical therapy. I went for about eight weeks before stopping because it didn’t help at all. [I still do the stretches every day, though. But they still don’t help the pain.]
I had an MRI before being referred to a pain management doctor.
For the next eight months, I tried everything he (and the PAs I saw) recommended.
A ‘test’ injection to see if blocking the nerves would help. Fail.
A PA (who I hated) suggested some vitamins, ibuprofen, and a muscle relaxer that made me so dehydrated that I got sick. Useless.
Same PA (who I hated) called and suggested an ESI (an injection). Which I had… but that was another fail.
A different PA (much better) suggested an ESI in a different location. I did that, but it didn’t help either.
The better PA then suggested another type of injection which I also had but… nothing.
Followed up with a third PA who suggested possibly trying one other injection in 4-6 weeks if my insurance approved. About a month later, I found out my insurance did not approve. The PA suggested a medication. I resisted at first but gave in and tried it anyway. It did nothing. She didn’t want me to stop taking it, but I was just done. I cancelled my follow up appointment and haven’t been back to the pain management office since.
Last month, I returned to my chiropractor. I had been seeing him for years but I took a break during all of the above. He had previously been mildly helpful with little things here and there, but nothing he did ever improved my lower back pain. Still, with new information about the pain, I figured it was worth a shot.
For reasons I cannot determine, my pain has been significantly worse since last week. I was out one day shopping (but not buying… seriously, what was even the point?) and I kept having these spasms. (I guess that’s what I’d call them.) I got this sudden burst of pain that made me take very slow, careful steps… and then it was gone. But it kept happening. It made me kind of gasp every time. That went on for five days. Then yesterday, it didn’t happen at all, but the pain in general was (and is) still worse.
Yesterday was also my next visit to the chiropractor. I was hesitant to keep the appointment because after my first visit back to him, the pain was worse. But I went anyway. I explained the spasm thing to him the best I could. I was pretty fucked up when he checked my legs… about a half inch short on the pain side (if you have been to a chiropractor, you’ll know what I mean). He did a few adjustments. The pain wasn’t worse afterwards this time, but it wasn’t better either. At least my legs are even now. Probably.
For now, I will continue to see him monthly(ish). For now. But it’s a specialist (higher) copay, and if it doesn’t make a difference soon, I’m done. I’m not hopeful. But I am out of options.
My mom doesn’t think I’m out of options, though. She thinks I should try yoga—a specific kind. I only found one place for it that’s close enough to me, and parking is a nightmare in that area. So I doubt I can do it anyway. Plus, I don’t have the ‘extra‘ money to pay for it.
Today I was at my new ‘regular‘ (higher) level of pain without any spasms. But I feel like I have to move very cautiously or I might have another gasp-worthy event at any moment. Tonight, by the time I was finished making dinner, I was nearly in tears because the pain was so bad.
So here we are.
It’s been a year and I’m not better… I’m worse. And my current ‘treatment‘ is exactly what I was doing a year ago before all of this.
It’s scary and upsetting because although I already assumed I would be in pain for the rest of my life, it’s much worse pain now. It makes my life horrible. It makes me sad and irritable and hopeless. I do my best to hide it, but I know I fail a lot of the time. I do what I have to do anyway, pain or not. But there are limits. There shouldn’t be limits. Not if I’m going to be a decent parent.
I was living my life at a 6 or 7 (on the above handy pain scale brought to you by Baymax). But now I’d say the average is 7 or 8… reaching 9 at times. Unless I do pretty much nothing. And what kind of life is that? I already don’t do enough…
[Sorry for the crazy length of this post.]
©2018 what sandra thinks