I finished something today, that I never would have imagined that I would be doing. I finished filing for disability. It’s scary to think that that is something I would ever need to do, but it is.
I have work full time since I was 18. I used to be able to stand, move, bend, stoop, pick up things (even heavy things) and not have a problem. I would do this for 8-12 hours a day pending the job I had at the time. I was able to do this until 2015. That was when I got hurt. Weird mishap.
It started when mom got hurt (Aug. 22, 2015) We were in the process of taking care of her. She was in the hospital for two and half weeks. Once she was home, she had a hospital bed in the living room. Shortly after she got home, I was taking a shower to get ready for work. I hit a slick part in the tub and started to fall. I caught myself on the side of the tub, but as I was standing up to finish my shower, I wiped out. I just ended up sitting there. I finished the shower in that position. I was to afraid to stand back up.
I seemed okay. Felt decent. Went about the rest of my day. Work, helping mom. Seemed pretty getting up the next day, until it was time for a shower. I took things very slowly, not wanting to fall again. But as soon as the water hit my back, I knew something was wrong. I finished the shower, but knew I had a problem.
I went to work, after making sure mom was set with what I could. When I got home I started treating my back as if it were a pulled muscle. I didn’t know that it was but I knew it was a start. I took Ibuprofen, laid cold packs on the small of my back, but none of it was helping. I still had pain. What made it worse that the pain wasn’t just in my back, it was also going down my left leg. I started looking up what else it could be. Figured out that my sciatic nerve was pinched.
Made an appointment with my, at the time, regular doctor to see what we could do. I didn’t want pain meds, I wanted my back to feel better. She said that it was a pulled muscle. I explained to her that I have already treated what I could for a pulled muscle and this wasn’t a pulled muscle. But I did what she told me too, because I’m not the doctor she is.
Sometime again in late 2015, I went back to my doctor and told her that I was not getting any better. That the pain was still going on. She insisted again that it was a pulled muscle. I explained that I have done everything you’re supposed to do for a pulled muscle. I had done everything that she had asked and nothing was working. I was still in pain and it was getting worse.
By mid-February, I was in so much pain that I could barely function. On February 14th, 2016 a wonderful friend came and picked me up and took me to the ER. I explained to the doctor what was going on and what I had done so far for it. She said that it sounded like I have a pinched sciatic nerve. (Let’s be honest, no shit.) She ordered an MRI and gave me some pain meds.
I had the MRI several days later, that showed that I had a bulging disc at L4-L5 and a ruptured disc at L5-S1. The MRI also showed that my disc in the are had deteriorated some. I went back to my doctor who said that it did look like had a pinched nerve and sent me to a doctor to get an epidural.
From February 2016 to December 2020 I had 5 injections. They all lasted for different time lengths. But obviously nothing was a permeant fix. I had a second MRI in April of 2021 and was honestly devastated to see the results.
The disc in my lower back have deteriorated more. The bulge and ruptured disc were still there and now they are pushing another disc out of place. I was told by the doctor that I would eventually have to have some of my disc fused. It wasn’t the best news to hear but it did finally make me realize something.
My back was never going to be the same. I don’t know why I expected to be, but somehow I did. It was a hard blow to figure that out. But it got me thing about other things as well. Like working. I currently work a part time job from home and mentally it’s not the most ideal job. I don’t make enough to pay my bills, but I may to much to go on unemployment. I’m at a stalemate. Can’t do one thing because of the other, hate my job but I can’t quit cause I need the money. It’s not a fun position to be in.
Then I started thinking, disability. Never in a million years would I have every imagined I’d be in this spot. I have officially applied and now all I can do is wait.
And waiting is always the hardest part.