Just when I thought this issue was behind me, it rears its ugly head.
In February 2013, my life changed forever. I was working 2 CNA jobs, and I was resting before my next shift. I got up from the couch, and experienced horrible amounts of pain. Nevertheless, I tried pushing through it. I got to my car, and was on my way. The pain was excruciating. It felt like the bones in my back were being crushed, and I felt like my legs would explode. I didn't make it a mile down the road. I went home, and prayed for this pain to go away. The pain didn't go away. The situation with my back got worse. There were weeks at a time where I couldn't walk. Even breathing hurt. I was miserable, and I was bringing everyone with me for the ride.
In 2014, I was connected with my neurosurgeon. He had me undergo a discography to pinpoint which discs were diseased. Doctors did that by injecting dye into the discs in order to inflict pain. They tried all of my discs. When they got down to L4/L5, I thought I was going to die. The pain was the worst I've ever experienced in my life. I felt like I was in a scene from "Susperia." I was in such horrible pain, that I was biting down on a towel so I didn't scream.
As painful as it was, I felt validated. I had doctors tell me that the back pain was due to obesity, depression, etc. One doctor wanted to put me in impatient treatment for mental illness. The pain I received from the discography was a middle finger to the people who didn't believe my pain was real. I was approved for surgery right away. That surgery took place on June 10, 2014. Several months later, I wasn't any better. According to MRIs and Xrays, my surgery failed.
While it did relieve a little bit of that severe pain, I was still having issues after that surgery.
In March of 2017, I was approved for a revision surgery.
The day of the revision surgery, there was a "blizzard" hitting the area. I went in a day early because the governor was closing the roads. I had no loved ones in the hospital with me when I had my surgery, and it was pretty scary. I didn't see anyone until the next day. In the months following this surgery, I was doing MUCH BETTER. In fact, I was pain-free for the first time since February 2013! I was excited, and I was starting my life back up again. I started a new job, moved into my own place, and I was living the life I was dreaming about since the pain started. I even got back together with a guy from my past. Life was perfect!
In September 2017, I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified because I was still recovering from March's surgery (it takes a year to heal from spinal fusions). I was emotionally and spiritually attached to the baby I was carrying, so abortion was NOT AN OPTION. I went into the pregnancy knowing that my could seriously fuck up my back for the rest of my life. I held out hope that I could be wrong.
I had my son, and I've been raising him as a single mom ever since. Up until recently, my back has been holding up pretty well!
Over a month ago, I decided to shovel snow for my dad. That pain came back. Since then, I've been living in a familiar discomfort. My back has been pained, crampy, and occasionally throbbing. I've had numbness and weakness in both legs, and when the pain is really bad, it affects walking.
This morning, I visited my neurosurgeon's office for a checkup. I have some nerve root compression, and my Xrays showed that I have Grade 1 Retrolisthesis in both L3/L4 and L5/S1 (these are above and below where I have my hardware). On top of all of that, the rest of my spine is destabilizing (I pretty much have the spine of a 60+ year old right now).
Next month I have an MRI scheduled, as well as another follow-up. In the meantime, I have been told to avoid ALL strenuous activities. Now this presents a problem because I have a toddler that loves to be picked up and held. He also loves to play with me on the floor. He is insanely active, so I have to be ready at all times to grab him out of harm's way. I know that if I don't modify things, I could be looking at another surgery, or I could be disabled.
The one thing I am good at is coming up with solutions to my problems. I want to avoid getting into my own head, and beating myself up. I did that for years, and I pushed a lot of people away. I have a lot more at stake, and I have 32lbs of inspiration in my toddler. I'm also a lot stronger, mentally. It's a lot, but I won't lay down my sword in surrender. I'm battling back, and I will win. I always win.