(Sorry this is a little long, I wrote it as more of a Journal for myself to look back on than anything. Which is why I didn't include any images.)
For those who read my post on Monday, here are the answers. On what is going on with me.
My spine and disc's are perfectly fine. In fact the good news is, they look much more healthy and younger looking than they should for my age.
I do have 2 bulging disc's, but they are only minor and most likely not in any relation to the cause of my pain. (I already knew about those from some car accidents I was in, in my youth. They've never bothered me.)
What is wrong? Well the medical term is Hypertrophic Facet Disease. In short, the facet's which are as I understand it the joints between the discs on your spine, that are the cushioning for all your movements your back makes. Well a few of mine are destroyed and degenerating at a very early and fast pace. Then there is a huge amount of arthritis that is building up around them. It's also spread between My L4, L5 and S1 area's. (Right around my waistline.) Which is why it is effecting me in nearly everything I do right now and causing me such excruciating pain.
Why did my doctors nor myself prior not ever think about facets/arthritis being an issue? Well the truth is, and even my Doctor said it today. I am really too young for this, not only that but he's never see anyone as young as me have it as bad as I have it right now.
Cures? Nope, right now there are no surgical procedures that have shown to be of any benefit. It's not like when you ruin the joints on your knee's and you just get a knee replacement. When the facet joints in your lower back are ruined degenerating and destroying, they are just ruined and it effects much of everything you do for the rest of your life.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN
He told me it's going to alter my quality of life, and I am going to have to learn to live with some pain levels with everything I do.
He told me if I want a better quality of life, I SHOULD QUIT MY JOB although he said the choice was mine, but obviously if I don't things will get even worse.
Working at a library all the bending/lifting is why mine is so bad right now, and why it's getting worse and worse instead of a little better with the past weeks of treatments I have been on. It is most likely what brought it on.
On the plus side, once I can get the inflammation down and the severity of the arthritis going on right now down. It will be to my benefit to stay and lead an active life, even if it's always going to hurt me more now with everything I do. Which is a good thing, because I love to run and hike!!!!
For now: Things that stretch or bend my back or force an arch to my back are also a no, no for a while. Prolonged Bike rides, Swimming, Lifting, Yoga, Sit-Ups, some Stretches and Squats are out of the question right now, as they will just make things worse. Possibly they can be introduced later, but not right now.
WHAT IS NEXT
Although there isn't a whole lot that can be done. There are a few things that I started yesterday that he hopes will bring the pain levels down a bit and decrease the inflammation of the arthritis.
If that doesn't work, there are 2 other options we will try.
Looking to the Positive
While there is no cure (yet). The Dr. really does believe because of my youth. Even though right now it is super inflamed and excruciating. That eventually I can get to a point where I can manage it and find a comfortable level of pain to live with daily instead of how it is right now. I will have times where it will flare up and get bad off and on, but most the time more manageable levels of pain.
First, I hate it, all of it!
I am also shocked, I wasn't expecting this of all the possibilities. I really only thought this kind of stuff happened to older people. But then again this is me, and crazy, weird, odd stuff always happen to me so I shouldn't be too surprised.
While, I am glad I do not have any issues with my disc's or spine. I am a girl in her 30's, when you get told that you are going to have to deal with pain on a daily basis for the rest of your life because the joints around your spine are destroyed and damaged. It's discouraging! Especially since I'd like to believe I haven't even hit the half way point of my life.
Not to mention especially, when right now I can barely move at all and when I do, it's beyond painful. I can't imagine right now living like this on some level, it just hurts way to bad.
(Wishful thinking) I was truly hoping for a diagnosis and a cure on Monday. Being in so much pain, and getting the news that I was going to have to live with it. Seriously just brought me to tears. I am so sick and tired of being the girl that keeps getting hit with blow after blow of bad news. When all I want to do is just be active and enjoy life!
On a side note: As of next week, I will have been battling the tendon injuries I received in my left foot 3 years ago from the work injury I got from when I first started working at the library. Finally feeling I was starting to get a grasp on those, to get this news about my back now was a serious much bigger blow.
Knowing now that the library job not only caused my foot injury and now it has also caused this degeneration of my back to come on so badly. I am beyond done with it, I am quitting!
I've said through the years that I was going to quit, and then never did. The truth is, I love my job, I enjoy most the people I worked with, I enjoy being able to travel around to different libraries. Work when I wanted to, where I wanted to. That was why I kept on staying and never left, I was having fun.
But it's taken too much of my life now. It's now taken away my quality of life for my entire future. So on that note, no more!
What is Next?
Once I get over the emotional part. After hopefully the next 7 days of taking it very easy and no work and the new drug treatment. I hope to have some great news that the pain is starting to ease back into something less and more manageable. (I may take 2 weeks off work, if needed. Whatever it takes!)
I may not be of highest spirits right now, but I can promise you this. Attitude I already know is everything, and I won't let this get to me. It can cause me pain every day, but I am not going to let it ruin what I accomplish in life. I will find a way to work around it, things will get better. I won't accept anything otherwise. Oh, and even if it feels like murder or sends me into the deepest pain levels, I will finish my 50 states marathon goal. If anything, it now has me wanting to finish it more than ever before!