If you tell someone, “I’ve got a bad back” chances are they’ll say “Oh, I’ve had one of those!” BUT the difference is, the pain never goes away; sometimes it is manageable and other times the pain is so bad, I want to curl up into a little ball (if only!) until it goes away!
I have herniated L3, L4 & L5 discs (AKA Slipped Discs), L being the Lumbar region or lower back and the muscles, to protect the spine have gone spastic or rigid. The pain starts at the bottom of my ribs and as I have “Displaced Pain” too, it can go down to my toes. I’ve been told there is no operation to help at the moment; any surgery would only have a 10% chance of success, 20% chance of paralysing me, 20% chance of making it worse and a 50% chance of no change!
Another problem is the muscles down my spine go in to spasm, the spasms can be so bad that you can actually see them rippling! Anything can cause them to go into spasm; a cough, a sneeze, twisting or even turning over in bed.
My pain is managed with a cocktail of medication with “top-up” meds too but I also use heat pads and a TENS machine, I have been to see an acupuncturist which works for me but the costs, as I prefer to go private, aren’t always an option. I’ve had it on the NHS but didn’t get the same results.
Another reason I don’t see the acupuncturist regularly is I forget! I forget appointments due to the pain and meds and I even forget when I’ve taken my meds so I rely on alarms on my phone to remind me when I’m due (IF I remember to set them that is!) I even forget to eat, or can’t be bothered as it hurts too much to stand for any length of time.
Sleep is a major issue, it takes ages for me to get to sleep and then I wake up every 2 – 3 hours due to pain or needing to pee and it takes ages to get back to sleep again, unless I’m exhausted and then I can fall asleep straight away and sleep for 18 to 24 hours only waking to go to the loo or take meds.
I get exhausted easily; attending an appointment, going to the shops, out for a meal or a visiting family locally, only a few hours out can take days or weeks to recover from, with increased pain levels and sleeping more.
To be continued…