In 2004 I had a MRI for severe back pain. The MRI showed that all levels of lumbar and s1 were bulging, herniated at l4-l5, osteophytes throughout same area and thickening of yellow ligaments causing narrowing of the exiting neural foramina bilaterally with compression of the exiting spinal nerves bilaterally at the same level of l4-5. In addition, early spinal stenosis is noted at this level as well. I had back pain for most of my working career, lifting and stacking heavy weight from a kneeling position. (20 years) I didn't have bladder problems until this episode. I used to go 8-10 hours before needing to go, but now maybe 25-35 times in 24 hours. I weighed 215 lbs at 6'1". I had insurance at the time so was able to do PT and told to only walk, which I did religiously and lost 55 lbs. Worked on core building, kept walking and followed the "Back Book" given to me by PT. I always tried to walk anyhow, because when I was 13, 14 and 15 yrs old I had bilateral SCFE. I didn’t walk much for 3 yrs, because in the mid 70's, when your hips were pinned they really cut you open. During 2004 the PT also noted strong possibility of rotator injury.
I worked hard for 3 years, through much pain, bladder dysfunction and virtually no sleep only to have another self paid MRI in 2007 that showed the entire lumbar area to be bulging further, desiccated, protrusion at l2-3, slight herniation at l4-5 and osteophytes throughout. The clinic I was going to made the order for the MRI for me, and the PA there said it was just as bad as the 2004 MRI, even worse, except that the stenosis was not appreciated?? this time. They can only give me Torodol injections and I take Ibuprofen/Tylenol like candy to no avail. Still no sleep and shooting leg and arm pain with pins and needles in the toes, pinky and ring fingers. Sometimes in bed the left shoulder feels as if a hot poker is being pushed through it. I think the most unpleasant part is this feeling as if my feet were burning and under great pressure. They are cold to the touch, but have good circulation. They checked it with ultrasound. It gets so bad now, that I really wish I could remove them. It's worse than the back pain.
It's 2009 now and the whole process seems to be moving up my spine, because my neck and arms feel like my back and legs. I can't get any aide, until someone makes a diagnosis and getting that from the DR's here seems like pulling teeth. I have been referred to Neuro and told I may need a neck/shoulder MRI as well as my head. I'm still paying the clinic and for the 2007 MRI. I feel like giving up! Three years ago, I would have talked anyone out of giving up, but can now no longer see the day as anything but drudgery.
What can I do? What do people do who need diagnostic testing, but have no more resources? I have noticed that my stools are turning quite dark from time to time. (Looks like shiny Hershey syrup with the consistency of honey) I know I can't keep the Ibuprofen at this level, but need it. My legs are feeling weak now and walking is becoming much more difficult and I stumble allot.
I’m sorry for the rant like ramble, but I’m feeling like it’s a bad dream that I keep waking up, to realize it’s not.