Monday, April 9, 2012

Six month post discectomy back surgery update.

(Not my MRI but one that illustrates my problem.)
Every day is a struggle.

That's it. That sums up what it is like six months since the surgery to correct my severely ruptured disc between L5 and S1.

I was released from my neurosurgeon's care in February, him with the knowledge that I was still in pain. Granted, the pain wasn't down my leg or through my backside to my hip like before the surgery but it is still pain, nonetheless. Granted, the pain isn't as severe as it was before the surgery but there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not in pain. Some days are better than others but there is no mistake; my daily activity continues to be hindered by this back pain. In addition, the smaller toes on my left foot as well as much of the bottom of my left foot and parts of my left leg are still numb.

The pain is at the site of my incision and recently, I've started to wonder if the disc isn't bulging or starting to rupture again because the stabbing pain I have in that area of my back is the same as it was when I started having back pain to begin with... back when no one wanted to believe that there was anything wrong with me other than muscle strain. I haven't been terribly physical, just walking. Really, that's about all the exercise I can do anyway.

My doc simply dropped me without any further instructions and that's the biggest thing that concerns me. Should I go to physical therapy? What exercises should I do to strengthen those muscles without further hurting myself? These are questions that I asked but didn't get a definitive answer to. At the time, I wasn't that worried about it. I couldn't have anticipated still having this sort of problem this long after my surgery. Maybe it is because I don't have the best insurance and I owed his office close to $800 (not counting other hospital and doctor fees that my insurance didn't pay). Or maybe he didn't think I'd follow the physical advice. Who knows?

I'm still very frustrated with it. In just a couple of weeks, I'll be 34 years-old. I shouldn't be having these kind of back problems. It terrifies me that I might have to go through surgery again. It is physically the worst thing I've ever had to recover from. I thought I was supposed to get better but I just can't seem to be rid of it.

And it's not just the physical aspect I'm worried about. At this point, we've just paid off all the bills we owed from that surgery. I can't afford anything else to happen. If I go back for another MRI, the cost will eat up almost all of the insurance money we're allowed to use. Then we'll be swimming in bills again. I'm almost afraid to tell my family physician that I'm still in pain. So I continue to live with it and continue to wonder when, if ever, I'll be free of this pain.

Despite all the frustration, I still believe that surgery was my best option. There was no way that the ruptured disc was going to heal itself, especially not with a piece broken off in there. But when will the pain end? Will I always be in pain? If I knew the answers to those questions, I wouldn't be so frustrated. But no one really knows.

I'll keep y'all updated.

Peace, love, and healing,


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