Back Pain Cost Me Everything

Hello to all. I am Marc. My back pain began as a child. I was approximately 10 yrs old. I would get many muscle spasms and aching in my lower back after snow shoveling and heavy lifting. I would complain about it and was told I was too young to feel pain.

As the years went on I learned that I could deal with the pain by physical work and working with my hands. Being creative was a positive outlet for me. This was a stress reliever. When I was 22, my major set backs began. I was working as an automotive service technician for general motors. There was a day when my back decided to give way and I felt a horrible stabbing pain in my lower back. I couldn’t imagine what it could be, so I continued working for 1 month. After that, the pain was so intense I could no longer deal with it. This was when I decided it was time to seek professional assistance.

I had an x ray and an mri. I was diagnosed with a narrowing of the spinal canal and a back sprain. They also found disc bulges in L4-L5-S1 to add to the collection. They also revealed to me that I had degenerative arthritic conditions of 4 discs and neuropathy.

I can tell you what didn’t work for me. I had physical therapy. They had me laying on a large foam tube to press into my back. This was useless. They applied a tens unit, but this only intensified the pain. I was given an exercise program lifting weights to strengthen my lower back. I got relief from ice and rest.

About 6 months later I returned to work. So my duties as a mechanic returned and sure enough, I through my back out again. I was out of work again for another extended period of time. Shortly after, I went to a pain clinic. I was introduced to different medications and cortisone steroid injections. I must say that I would get instant relief from the injections, but not much longterm relief. I’m not promoting this, but I have noticed since they put me on strong narcotic pain relievers, my back pain has become more manageable.

Right now I am unemployed again. Back pain has taken most of my life from me. I have lost all that was once important to me. My job and the love of my life both disappeared. Let’s face it, people need stability to thrive. Dealing with chronic pain takes a severe mental toll on oneself. You become constantly aggravated, agitated, stressed out. At times, the pain is the only thing that you can concentrate on. This causes severe anxiety and restlessness. I wouldn’t wish this condition on my enemy.

Over the years, my condition has gotten slightly worse. I have 2 discs bulging into the epidural thecal sack along with worsening degenerative conditions. The nerve is becoming severely inflamed going into my legs. I have had 24 steroid injections, most of which have been into the joint facets and a few epidural blocks.

Right now, the pain center has me on ms contin extended release, ocxycodone, zanaflex and gabapenten. These are strong narcotics. They do help alot. I’m heading in soon for a facet joint/facet medial branch block. They are going to use stereo waves to burn the nerve endings. I’m supposed to expect 6 months to 1 year of pain relief.

I know nothing alone takes all the pain away, but when procedures are combined with the right medications and when I continue to keep moving, walking gently lifting and not giving up, I get some relief. But I must say the thing that absolutely keeps me strong and going and the reason I am able to get out of bed every day is because of my faith in Jesus Christ. I know he gives me the will to continue. I hope this helps someone. I didn’t want to whine too much. God bless you all! – Marc

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