36 years old vetnurse with Sciatica - my story so far

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Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:11 am

36 years old vetnurse with Sciatica - my story so far

Post by Lambo » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:34 am

I am 36 year old woman who has had sciatica since christmas. I too have had NHS issues. Since first seeing my GP it took me further 2 visits, 3 visits to A&E and a 5 day stint in hospital to get anything done.

I am a veterinary nurse and we do MRI scans on animals. 18 months ago my back 'went' into spasm at work and the neurologist popped me inside the scanner at the end of the day. I had a small bulge in the disc at L5S1

At work some 6 weeks ago i couldnt carry on any longer and was sent home. My GP gave me Valium for muscle spasms and that was it.

On my first visit to A&E when i couldnt get myself off the lounge floor, I was told to take diclofenac and paracetamol. I was given an i.v. dose of Morphine which was enough to stop the pain long enough for me to relax.
10days later another trip to A&E, this time i was not given any analgesia, but having spoken to 2 colleagues who both have same issue as me, one having had surgery, one trying to avoid it, I was told Gabapentin was a good drug for nerve pain. I wouldnt leave A&E without it, so the doctor there sent me home on it.

Again the next day i had to return as the pain was umbearable. This time i had numbness in my left leg and foot. They finally admitted me for analgesia and i was sent up to a ward.
In the 5 days i was there i saw the orthopaedic surgeon on day 4 for 5 mins in total.
I was told most discs will get better with time. This was not helpful considering the amount of pain i was in. I was having morphine every 4 hours.

I left on crutches on day 5 with oral morphine.

Originally the GP said i was looking at a referral at the end of May, then being early March. I didnt think this was acceptable.

Luckily the fact that i had been admitted to hospital pushed me up the list and i finally saw the surgeon 19.4.10

ive been told i have a large disc that needs surgery. Or i could wait for it to get better on its own, which it will with time, the end result of either would be the same outcome.

It is now my 6 week off work and i am due to return on Tuesday on light duties.

The Gabapentin took around 7-10 days to work and i am just that and anti-inflammatories. I have also reduced my dose to 3 times daily from 4.

I have not had morphine now for nearly a week. I can walk, sit for longer periods.

I fully intend to avoid surgery at all costs. I have done alot of reading and research.
Obvisouly due to my work I come from a 'cut it out' background. We do this surgery on dogs at work on a weekly basis, but surgery is only done due to lack of function, rather than just to pain.

I have read research that states that normal healthy people with NO back pain were shown to have bulging discs on MRI.

I have started the Rebuilding your back exercise programme today and look forward to reporting back on my progress.

My advice to anyone is to shout loudly and make a nuisance of yourself to get anything done. Take responsibility for your own health and dont just take the first persons advise.
The doctor who told me he want to operate is a SURGEON, thats what he does. And to be honest I would not let an orthopaedic doctor near my spine, only a Neurosurgeon.
At work the neurologists do the spinal surgery, the orthopods fix broken bones!!!

I know every case is different, but i guess you have to make your own mind up about your treatment options.

I am only young and I do not want osteoarthritis in my lower back, or extra scar tissue that is going to decrease my flexibility further.

I realise that my bad bad has been brought on from years of bad posture and my physical job.

This is where it stops! I am going to take care of my back from now on, no more slouching on the sofa.

A health professional recently told me that when you slouch in a chair you put 270kg of pressure thorough each disc, that alone has been enough to make me sit up properly.

We are not invisible, but the body is amazing at healing itself and I am going to give mine the best chance of doing just that.

Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:11 am

MRI scan

Post by Lambo » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:38 am

I forgot to mention that I had an MRI at the hospital, which showed i had a 'large' bulge level of L5 S1

I have yet to see this mri, so i cannot comment on if it was larger than 18 months ago.

I was, at the time, looking into getting a private MRI scan, in the hope this would move me up the waiting list, if i could prove i needed surgery etc

I was quoted £250-£450 at vista diagnostics by waterloo station, who were very helpful, and could see me within 10 days

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