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I started feeling a deep, biting pain in my hip four months ago while attending an intensive language course where I was sitting for many many hours a day and night. I would wake up with this pain in the morning but it would go away. I knew that I had run my body down a bit in the past three years through a stressful relationship and generally not doing all the healthy things I used to do for my back.
I had a spinal fusion in my lumbar four years ago after suffering a spinal fracture--I was nearly paralyzed and the surgery saved me. I am therefore very upset that I now have what has been diagnosed as a prolapsed disc at age 26 having already had one spinal surgery and knowing very well I possibly have a long life ahead of me and want to be fit to have children and do many things.
The pain really came out two months ago when I took some homeopathic remedies to treats several physical symptoms relating to the stress and general decline in my health which I mentioned above. I started having a muscle spasm and my spine became crooked. It was agony. I kept working through it, moving around restlessly. It became very bad after sleeping on a hard back and thankfully I met a very good acupuncturist/Chinese healer, who relieved some of the nerve pain with acupuncture and clicked my sacrum back into place--apparently it had been off, causing my hip to be slightly out of joint as well. However, this did not remove the pain and I was told I would have to stretch it out over time.
I situation declined over three or so weeks of stress. I live and work on a busy farm where courses are held and at the time we had 30 students here. I had very little support and even worse, was treated almost like I was being lazy until it was completely apparent that I was in agony. I drove myself to the hospital and acupuncturist several times--finally I woke someone up one early morning before dawn when I couldn't take it anymore and went to the emergency room for the third time. Finally, I was given pain killers that actually worked and a referral to a local specialist (I don't know the area that well and my funds were so limited I didn't know where to start without wasting my money).
The specialist ordered a Cat scan (MRI being out of the question due to the metal in my back) and started treating me on the spot for a prolapsed disc through oral prednisone tablets. I have been on the tablets about two and a half weeks now and while my spine is straight, save for the odd bad morning when it slightly curves again, and some of the worst pain down my leg is gone, I still do have some pain and am reliant upon prescription pain killers to help. At least these are not opiate-based, like the ones I had to take after my previous fusion, and allow me to function normally. However, I know that at some point in the not to distant future I will have to stop taking them before they damage other parts of my body.
After my fusion, I did a lot of research on nutrition and natural healing and have a strong belief that you can support your body in many cases to heal itself. Therefore, I'm strongly opposed to having surgery, especially because I've already had a traumatic one before and am still very young. The doctor told me today that after the prednisone is finished in another 3-4 days, the only option he can provide is surgery.
However, when I told him that I am strongly opposed to it and since I'm not in complete agony--I am walking about and with the exception of the mornings feel mostly well, especially if I have adequate pain relief--I would prefer to see if I can get well on my own. He encouraged me and said I'm not losing anything by it, and also said he had a good friend who went without surgery and gradually over a period of about 6 months the condition improved and finally went away. He said it's not impossible and I certainly don't have one of the worst prolapses he's seen.
After reading a few articles and online forum posts this afternoon after visiting my doctor, I feel that most people opt for surgery. I'm therefore looking for success stories from people who made it through this problem and healed without surgery. Any advice in addition would be helpful and i would be most grateful.
At the moment, the pain is worse in the morning. I often wake to it after only 5 hours of sleep, and have to get up and move around, painfully. The curve of my spine is mostly gone, but some mornings it returns slightly. I often walk around and make a hot water bottle and go back to sleep for another two or so hours. I was feeling pretty tired in the past couple weeks so I have been catching up on rest, but my energy varies a lot--sometimes I'm tired and other times I feel good and am very productive with my energy. I try to listen to my body. Right now I'm working from home so if I need to sleep during the day and end up doing work on my laptop from bed in the evening or at night, it doesn't really matter. But mostly my schedule is starting to even out.
I have been swimming every other day, which seems beneficial, and as I feel stronger I may do every day. I'm taking a painkiller and ibuprofen for the pain, and am also going to visit my homeopath this week, who feels confident in helping the symptoms.
I bought myself a very good elastic mattress pad that fits over my mattress, and makes it soft, relieving some pressure on the nerve when I sleep. I do not sit down at all if possible throughout the day, but have been standing, walking or lying down.
I have another month where things are really quiet here and I can be productive at my own pace. After that, I'm thinking to go stay with my parents who are very supportive, until I can get well. I will probably continue some light work at first, but will not be under pressure to have a steady job and be financially independent, so I think this sounds like a good option, although you never know as it improves I will keep myself busy, and even recently as long as I have painkillers I am keeping busy, and that helps too through the worst of the pain to distract me. The only downside i can really see is that I will be leaving the summer in the southern hemisphere to go deal with this problem in the cold weather of the northern hemisphere.
Any other thoughts or suggestions would be most welcome. I really want to heal this naturally due to my previous traumatic surgery and as I learned previously, having a strong mind and positive attitude are one of the best tools for healing, so I do feel pretty positive about this. Please tell me it can be done and that someone out there is the proof.
Thank you : )
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