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To be frightened of my life being like this and afraid I'm just not strong enough for it

(94 Posts)
gardenswithchickensinthem Tue 22-Mar-16 21:58:47

Pity party. But also advice if you have any.

I've never had a bad back before apart from a brief bit of sciatica once which caused a fair few muffled expletives but otherwise not too bad. It also cleared up in a week.

Six weeks ago my back suddenly 'went'. The pain was in all honesty and not wanting to sound like a wimp nothing like I've ever experienced before. I couldn't drive, sit, move, bend, do anything.

I was prescribed some pain relief which helped stop the 'spasms' but didn't really address the root cause.

Have now been referred for an MRI scan.

But after six weeks of constant and at times pretty excruciating pain, I'm so weary. I am managing to go to work, mostly, and it drains me completely. I just come home and sleep as I find it so tiring. Children laugh at my walking (teacher) and I worry colleagues think I'm putting it on. People keep asking how did you do it or what have you done and I just don't know! Driving is horribly sore and I'm actually scared to cough or sneeze. I never thought the day would come when I was scared to sneeze!

If I wake in the night needing a wee it's like an epic movement. I hate mornings so much as it takes me ages to move from lying to standing. I hate feeding the cats as I have to bend over. I hate feeling woozy and tired all the time due to heavy pain relief (before this happened the last time I took a paracetamol was probably 2013 sometime. I just don't get ill much.)

I am SO miserable.

Sorry - but God it felt good to let that out!

TheRegularShow Tue 22-Mar-16 22:04:33

I truly feel for you, I have awful sciatic pain and get fed up when people make light of a bad back (usually people who think you trying it on for benefits)

The pain is the worse pain I have ever experienced and I had to phone an ambulance last year due to horrendous pain. Because I'm overweight I was made to feel like I deserve the pain and ' have I thought about Losing weight'

The only thing that gave me some comfort was hot water bottles and heat spray, painkillers even Valium did nothing.

MillionToOneChances Tue 22-Mar-16 22:05:33

Book to see a private physio. Helped me loads when I hurt my back and I bet they could see you this week.

Wolfiefan Tue 22-Mar-16 22:07:27

Can you get signed off?
You really need to avoid sitting and driving. Walk or lie down. Keep mobile.
And chase that MRI.
I was told by a shitty NHS physio that I just had "basic back pain". After an MRI I was found to have slipped discs and arthritis.
Tiger balm and heat.
Soaking in a bath.
All can help.
And don't be afraid of drugs. Drugs are good!!!!!

Wolfiefan Tue 22-Mar-16 22:08:27

And word to the wise. Any bladder issues or numbness where a saddle would meet your body. Emergency. hospital. Immediately.

Hassled Tue 22-Mar-16 22:08:40

I have no advice but a bucketload of sympathy - that sounds horrific. And when you're used to just being healthy, periods of ill-health are such a shock to the system - I went through it recently and it was a real eye-opener as to how life must be for people with long-term pain/poor health.

Is there anyway you can speed up the MRI? Any more you could do re getting better pain medication?

Haudyerwheesht Tue 22-Mar-16 22:09:19

Yanbu. Back pain is horrific and when my back went a couple of years ago it was BY FAR the worst pain I have ever ever experienced. I couldn't move at all even to get to the toilet. You have my absolute sympathy - Mine just went one day too like an elastic band snapping in my lower back not even when I was doing anything strenuous.

Do you have a date through for your MRi? Could you get signed off work? Should you be driving if you're woozy?

I hope you get some answers and appropriate and effective treatment soon.

gardenswithchickensinthem Tue 22-Mar-16 22:12:52

Thank you.

The problem is, no one really takes back pain seriously hmm The GP I saw yesterday was the first one who was helpful. Two GPs haven't even bothered seeing me, just said they couldn't do anything for back pain and sent a fax to the pharmacy. The practice nurse at the walk in centre made me feel like a nuisance. It's the only thing where you can be in absolute agony and just get the brush-off.

I can't really get signed off at work sad wish I could as I am struggling in all honesty.

Backingvocals Tue 22-Mar-16 22:13:29

Sounds awful. First you need an urgent diagnosis. And depending on the issue you need to carpet bomb it with pain relief so the inflammation starts to ease. Then physio etc.

A friend was as you describe last year but did all of the above and is basically ok now. He also got a standing desk which he says has been the single biggest help but as you are a teacher perhaps your job is not as sedentary.

I have a chronic back problem too and this time last year I couldn't walk or stand for more than half an hour. Much better now thanks to very careful physio and weight training. Obviously you can't do weights in your condition but think about it once you have stabilised. It really helped me.

gardenswithchickensinthem Tue 22-Mar-16 22:15:14

I manage to stand mostly when actually teaching but I am doing quite a lot of one on one work just at the moment which is really bad as I either disconcert children by looming over them grin or sit which causes untold pain on hard school chairs. I came in today and just went straight to bed and slept for two hours.

FadedRed Tue 22-Mar-16 22:22:15

Yes it's horrible pain and so demoralising to be unable to see an end to it. Have you tried a TENS machine? I find does help when my back is really painful. Doesn't relieve it completely, but does

gardenswithchickensinthem Tue 22-Mar-16 22:23:56

I haven't but am desperate and will try anythingsad

Backingvocals Tue 22-Mar-16 22:24:27

Why can't you be signed off? You sound really unwell.

And you must find an engaged doctor. I had an MRI (private) quite quickly. In fact no obvious cause was discovered (mine is nowhere near as bad as yours) so I felt comfortable starting with physical therapy and weights as I knew my back wasn't desperately vulnerable to further damage iyswim.

gardenswithchickensinthem Tue 22-Mar-16 22:28:10

Someone was going on about exercises the other day but I just can't move. My movement is honestly extremely limited, I haven't been able to shave my legs for weeks, for instance.

It's so busy at work and there are a few off - I couldn't. But I am doing the bare minimum right now as everything is just so painful for me.

trappedinsuburbia Tue 22-Mar-16 22:32:09

No more advice just sympathy OP, when my back went I felt like a 90 year old with crumbling bones, it was horrific, even rolling over in bed or putting your socks on is a major task.
Have hope, after lots of physio my back is 'nearly' normal again. I just need to keep an eye on what im doing now. Please do chase up the MRI and I would go back to the GP and try and get them to understand how bad it is.

neonrainbow Tue 22-Mar-16 22:36:54

I had sciatica and i couldn't believe the pain. I had some private physiotherapy with ultra sound and it was amazing.

gardenswithchickensinthem Tue 22-Mar-16 22:38:15

It's horrific isn't it? sad

I just want to feel like 'me' again.

buckingfrolicks Tue 22-Mar-16 22:39:49

osteopath. Hand to god, they work miracles...

And my sympathies - it's horrendous. Ice packs every 30 minutes for 10 minutes, helps too, you need to get the blood moving around the area (apparently).

Good luck

Wishfulmakeupping Tue 22-Mar-16 22:41:17

I was in agony for far too long with it until I went to see a private physio had treatment and also acupuncture which I was skeptical about at first but it was worth every penny I felt much better quite quickly.

Backingvocals Tue 22-Mar-16 22:44:43

No you can't do anything now. It would be a bad idea. I meant for the long term, to prevent recurrence.

For now you need medical attention and for the GP to take you seriously. If you ask to be signed off it might actually underline the impact this is having on you and so prompt some action.

Also it's not your problem if others are off. I know it's hard to go off but you really need to prioritise your health.

Ditsy4 Tue 22-Mar-16 22:49:55

Go to an Osteopath. It might take a few visits and sometimes it gets a little worse for a couple of days before it gets better due to the muscles being in the wrong place and trying to compensate. I have used one for years. Also work in school and mine says he sees more school staff during term than summer hols. I have retrained myself to sit down more and it has been much better this year. I also have acupuncture sessions which relieve the pain.If you are in theSouth West I can recommend one because mine has moved. A long commute but I went to see him last time I was down there and my back has been fine since.
Trying lying down and stretching at lunchtime as it does help. It is nearly the hols. Put a cushion on the chair as it will raise you up a bit. Hope you are in KS2 as KS1 chairs are awful. My GP is sympathetic hope yours gets a bad back then maybe he will be more sympathetic.
I didn't rate the Physio. The osteopath will manipulate your bones and muscles back into the correct position.

Torres10 Tue 22-Mar-16 22:51:07

I can sympathise, a month before my wedding, my back 'went' and at one point I was contemplating deferring !
After trying the GP and physio, I ended up at an osteopath, who literally helped me stand up straight, just amazing. You need to try and get a recommendation but worth every penny imo?

Pico2 Tue 22-Mar-16 22:54:15

I'd try a physio or osteopath. When I was pregnant my back 'went' very suddenly. I needed help to get to the loo, it was that bad. My GP couldn't give me much because I was pregnant and put me onto a physio waiting list. Out of desperation I saw an osteopath and after basically kneading one buttock (it was rather painful), it was fixed and didn't come back.

shazzarooney99 Tue 22-Mar-16 22:58:52

I had sicatica twice, and both times my back went leaving me collapsing on the floor in a heap, once in the middle of a busy shopping street, leaving my sister to go into a charity shop to buy a walking stick to help me to the car,and then finding it impossible to get in it.

The not even being able to turn over in bed,having to crawl to the toilet because i was in that much agony, the most horrendous pain ive ever been in, i would rather give birth.

suzannecaravaggio Tue 22-Mar-16 23:01:09

I've had a few lower back 'episodes' and sciatica, I found a private physio to be most helpful and didn't ever bother to go to the gp, I assumed I'd just get painkillers rather than any treatment.

I didn't personally find the osteopath made much difference...I think with these things there can be some trial and error before you find something that works for you

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