Friday, November 11, 2011


Huge debate in my mind as to whether anyone would want to read a blog about back pain. Then I look up 'low back pain' on a search engine and come up with 358,000,000 hits. Yes, that's three-hundred-and-fifty-eight MILLION. So, I narrow it down to my particular condition: SPONDYLOLISTHESIS, and am revealed 832,000 pages. Great, we're narrowing down to what I want. Finally, SPINAL FUSION--2,080,000...whoops, we're going the wrong way. But it was what I wanted to know about.

As with most medical searches on the internet you are bound to come up with a doctor/hospital perspective and tons of advertisements promising you 'instant relief from back pain'. I truly wanted a personal  account, someone who had gone through the surgery I was facing. When I did find comments on forums nearly all of them were negative and the few positive ones weren't long enough for me to fully understand what I had to look forward to. 

So, last year, on October 14, 2010, I underwent fusion of my L4-L5 vertebrae. (L=lumbar) The photo on my profile is of the final results...kinda personal, but the closest you'll get to seeing who I am. I have now been afforded the chance to undergo a SECOND spinal fusion. This time the L5-S1. (S=sacrum). Don't freak out...the first fusion was/is a total success...the second is a the result of a birth defect called SPONDYLOLYSIS, no, not SPONDYLOLISTHESIS or SPONDYLOSIS. Yeah, those Greek have a great sense of humor beginning all these back problems with 'spondy' and trying to confuse us primitives. I read somewhere that 'spondy' means bony or bones. So, I guess that works out... 

The first fusion was a result of a slipped disc between the L4/5. I had actually lived with this condition most of my life, utilizing chiropractic care for over twenty years as a stop gap measure to keep me standing upright until surgery became the only option to relieve EXCRUCIATING pain. I would literally go months without an adjustment, doing things that a 'girl' shouldn't do...heavy lifting, construction, cutting down and hauling trees, playing full touch football as a youngster with the 'guys'. Basically hard physical stuff that I thoroughly enjoy(ed). Well, all hit the fan last June 2010 when, while I was sitting on my settee, I reached under it to retrieve an ill-behaving cat (is that an oxymoron?). And, *POP*...yep, that's the beginning sound that leads to three months of unbelievable pain. Total, miserable pain that allowed me to do NOTHING that I loved. Long-short...after nearly $1200.00 in chiropractic co-pays I finally INSISTED on an MRI. As no adjustment was providing any relief I knew that something else was going on. And the MRI revealed the 'big slip' had finally taken place. October 2, 2010 I spent nearly twenty-four hours in a  pain that can best be described as 'the devil's inferno'. Nothing provided relief...nothing.

The emergency room visit resulted in two demerol injections, copious amounts of vomit from my reaction to those injections, a bottle of Percocet (oxycodone) and Ondansetron (anti-nausea med) and Cyclobenzaprine (muscle relaxer). Yeah, I was a dulled basked case, but at least I could open my eyes without seeing the stars of pain that had taken over my universe. Thankfully I already had an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon for Monday, October 4th. Surgery was scheduled for the being somewhat of a signs or superstitious person, I asked for it to be moved to the 14th. Done.

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