I experienced what you call the most debilitating pain you could ever experience in your life. It all started when I felt a pain in my left butt cheek and chest pain radiating from the pain in my butt. It went away and time-to-time it would return.
I didn't go to a doctor right away until one Thanksgiving holiday it hit me, lower back pain with a pain so bad it numbed my entire left leg with a pain shooting down to the bottom of my foot. There was not enough Tylenol in the world to help me. I called my local clinic and they seen me in the worst pain. I ended up getting a Demerol shot and some Tylenol 3's to last me for the holiday weekend.
When my doctor assessed me I had high blood pressure, no feeling in my left foot, this is what my doctor described as someone who is not faking it. I ended up going for an X-ray which showed I had bulging disc and calcification. They soon sent me for and MRI. It was sciatica with my lower L3 and L4 degenerative discs.
I was home for 8 months following this diagnosis as I couldn't stand no more than 5 minutes. I did eventually get better, but I had an accident soon after feeling better. I live in the north, icy stairs led me to my next injury. I fell and hit my tail bone right on and it knocked the wind out of me. I swear I almost was knocked out from the pain. I went home and iced it.
I also had to go for another MRI recently as the doctor wanted to know why it was lingering so long. My doctor wanted to see if I damaged my already compromised spine. The doctor told me it was the same, but I was diagnosed with Arthritis of my L3 & L4. I will always have it, but not to let this stop me from enjoying life.
With my almost one year of non-activity I did gain weight, but now that I am better, I've taken on eating right and exercise. I am now 20 lbs lighter and working on the next 20lbs. I am only using Tylenol and ibuprofen for some pain and inflammation and my legs are getting stronger. I found listening to the doctor and doing the back exercises did help with cold and hot compressions on my lower back.
Make sure you have a doctor who does understand and informs you every step of your recovery, ask a lot of questions especially with the exercises you are required to help strengthen your back and help you recover from your injury. I took back my life, my back didn't take it from me. - Karen