All posts by Hermit78

A Hermit and Her Herniation

I am a mother of three, 14, 5 and 2, who in my previous life was the primary breadwinner for my lovely family of five. I was a tax manager at a large public accounting firm and it was 4/13. I got home from my who knows how long of a workday and at some point sat down in the recliner and kicked back only to feel a foreign pain shooting down my right leg. I said nothing and went to a fitful night’s sleep. Next morning I painfully got ready for work, having dealt with numerous lower back pain flare ups starting with my first pregnancy and labor during which I broke my tailbone (who knew that was a thing?) I was used to working through pain so I pressed on. The drive in was the most excruciating thing, but goodness it was 4/14 and I’m a tax manager so…I closed the door to my office and feigned total busy immersion. I called my husband to bring me a heating pad and ice packs. I almost overdosed on the little packs of ibuprofen the firm put out in baskets for us screen gazers (three at a time). I left the office before lunch and have never been back except to gather my things.

That was 4/14/2015 and I am still in constant pain. The spine docs took one look at my MRI and listened to my symptoms and I was in for a microdiscectomy lickety-split (I mean, you know, it all goes slow as molasses so that’s relative).

I remember those first few weeks after surgery , things felt so rosy, I still felt pain but I could chalk it up to recovery, it would all be better soon. I started my post-surgery rehab just as prescribed with an inspirational therapist paralyzed from the waist down. Every time ended with me hanging in a pool on a noodle because any other effort caused me too much pain to continue. So you know, I am no wuss as far as pain, three natural labors (I’ll spare you further details) can attest to that.

One month after surgery prompted by my continued pain and therapy performance I got another MRI. When I went over it with the PA she said there was scar tissue that was probably causing my pain but that the herniation (L5-S1) had been “successfully” removed.

I have since have three failed epidural steroid injections, I have been under the care of a physiatrist, who really has done nothing but try to give me some awesome cheerleading, he said he has been dealing with a “similar” herniation for 21 years. So I suppose from that I should take what, that I should get off my ass, suck it up, what?

I am on so many medications. I never think they work until I miss a few doses. I know all about alternatives, have tried acupuncture, have a really great golden milk (turmeric) recipe, have bought out Sam’s Club’s supply of epsom salt, have made my own pain cream with solar-infused arnica and cayenne, menthol, MSM. It feels nice but come on, it’s all temporary.

I am in the process of switching GP’s in the hope I can get some revived attention. I had been fortunate to have been receiving disability insurance, but they and SS have recently denied my claims. I have cashed out my meager 401(k) but am still under so much water.

I rarely leave the house (that I can’t afford) except for doctors. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how I am looking at things in that moment, I have always been an introverted hermit. I don’t know if that will be my saving grace or my downfall.