- CASE FILE
Age 68. Pain began suddenly 47 years ago. 100+ surgical procedures, multiple nerve entrapments, spine/joint problems, multiple hernias, EDS,
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
I am 68. 47 years ago I was hit with severe pain in my back and right hip/leg while out with friends. I have been in pain every day since with a myriad of symptoms that do not connect to any one illness. I have diverticulosis which developed fistulas requiring surgery. I have had 100+ surgical procedures for multiple nerve entrapments (carpal, ulnar, tibial. sural, tarsal) I have had multiple torn cartilages and menisci in my knees requiring multiple surgeries and then a total knee replacement. I have 2 heart stents and 2 x-stop spacers in my low back. I have what is termed a "cascade failure of my spine" with multiple disk bulges, herniations, stenosis, spinal cord impingement in 3 areas. I was paralyzed from the neck down due to osteomyelitis that destroyed the C6-C7 vertebrae in my neck back in 1996. Emergency neuro and ortho surgery saved me though it took me 2 years to learn to walk again. I have muscle spasticity in my arms and legs. There is a "growth" in my spinal canal that has been slowly enlarging for the past 20 years which is not operable that causes pressure on the cord. I have had multiple hernias (umbilical X2, hiatal, inguinal and surgical). I hemorrhaged during my first childbirth from a rupture in the uterus. I lost my next 3 pregnancies and my 5th and final pregnancy was supported with hespar-C and dela-leutine injection through my 2nd trimester. At age 24 my uterus fell outside my body and I ended up having a hysterectomy. I have had 3 bladder surgeries, hemorrhoid surgery. I was diagnosed with poly-cystic ovarian syndrome. I had a huge cyst (the size of a grapefruit) rupture, which destroyed my right ovary and caused massive adhesion, requiring another surgery. I have detached vitreous in both eyes and very poor vision. I suffer from occasional migraines and something a neurologist called "migraine prodramada" back in my 30's when I would lose all the sight in just one eye for a period of time. My upper abdomen always seems bloated. I have had kidney stones. I have GERD and reflux. I have multiple joint dislocations of the wrist, ankles, knees. I have had multiple bouts of chostchondritis and have been treated for tsetse syndrome with a steroid & procaine injection into my chest. I have angina and spells of deep breathlessness. But the worst is the pain, which has been non-stop for 47 years. Some days are worse than others. Some days my body just vibrates with painful sensations. One doctor diagnosed me with fibromyalgia about 15 years ago. Another thought I might have ehler-danlos syndrome. One neurologist looked at an MRI of my spine and "jokingly" asked if someone had dropped me out of an airplane! A GOOD day, for me, is when the pain level is about a "4" out of 10++ I JUST had another surgery for a lesion on the ulnar nerve in my left elbow. My surgeon said the nerve was encrusted with scar tissue. A podiatrist who operated on my feet years ago, told me my nerves were "discolored". Instead of being a pristine "white", they were bruised looking and many had these brown, annular rings growing around them. He would try to free up those nerves, only to have the rings grow back and re-entrap the nerves again.
Until age 21 or so, I was basically healthy (except for the PCOS and the childbirth issues) and did not suffer regular pain. After that one incident, I have not had a day without pain since... whether muscles, joints, nerves, spasms, spine pain. It was like something "flipped a switch".
As a child I grew up near the power lines and used to play in the fields they were erected in. Twice I encountered the plants dying from having an oily substance sprayed on them, what the electric company used to "clear their right of way of foliage". Years later I found that substance was similar to the Agent Orange used in Viet Nam. I also grew up in the "Hippy generation" and used street drugs: Marijuana, Mescaline, THC, LSD, STP on several occasions from ages 17 - 19. I smoked, from age 12 until 26, going back once at age 40 or 41, for about 6 months (during a stressful period in my life). I suffered a bout of depression that lasted about a year at age 24 I have been over-weight for most of my life. Despite the pain, I remained very active until the last 2 or 3 years, when any strenuous activity caused muscle tears or other injuries. I have had numerous concussions... three in the last 3 years, most from my childhood years.
I just celebrated my 50th wedding anniversary. I have a wonderful, supportive husband, with his own sets of health issues. I have 2 children (who have some of my health issues), and 3 grandchildren (1 who has Aspberger's syndrome and one who was diagnosed with MS at age 21)
My father had multiple melanomas, bladder and prostate cancer as well as macular degeneration, but died as a result of elder abuse. My mother had multiple spine problems, had chronic myeloid leukemia but died from pancreatic cancer.