My name is Susan and I am 42 years old. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with an L3 nerve tumor. After surgery to remove the tumor, I was left with lower back pain, left hip, and left thigh pain.
I was diagnosed with nerve damage, a weakened SI joint, hip joint pain, and muscle spasms. I was sent to a pain clinic, and was prescribed neurotin to help with nerve pain and hydrocodone for the back pain and Feldene. Although the medication made me sick, it did help with some of the pain. I also had steroid injections in the hip and SI joints.
The chronic pain has affected me physically, causing dehydration, bladder problems, weakness in my legs, pelvic pain and at times I am bedridden because my leg muscles seem to lock up on me. I visit the emergency room at least six times a year, either for dehydration or bladder problems. I am treated with IV fluids and injections of pain medication.
I spend my time trying to avoid the things that make the pain worse. I have learned that treating chronic pain is one of the hardest things for a doctor to do. The pain I have is worse in the morning when I first wake up. When it rains, the pain can become unbearable.
For the joint and muscle pain, heat and massage therapy works the best, nothing but medication helps the nerve pain. I rely heavily on my doctor to help control my pain. Finding the right doctor is very important.
I think that taking care of your feet helps tremendously. I wear special shoes and soak my feet in warm water every day. Massaging my feet can help relieve some of my pain as well. Physical therapy has also helped.
Living with this pain has been very hard on me emotionally. I try to stay positive and when I have a good day, I try to get the most out of it. When I have bad days, I rest and stay as comfortable as I can.
I know the doctors are doing all they can for me and I just hope that someday there is a cure for back pain and we can start living a pain-free life.