- CASE FILE
Debilitating lumbar & cervical pain. Weakness & significant sensory difference down my entire left side. Teeth falling out. Brain Lesions
ABOUT THIS CASE FILE
I have had on & off back problems since I was 12. Usually I would move a certain way or do something that would cause my lower back to spasm. But all I had to do was rest for a few days & take muscles relaxers & within 3 or 4 days I would be back to normal. The weakness down my entire left side started in the early part 2011. One day while at work I thought I was having arthritis pain in my left arm. So, I took some ibuprofen & continued to go about my day. About 30 minutes later I realized that the pain wasn’t going away & I was also having shortness of breath. I called my boss & said I think I’m having a heart attack. I drove a food delivery truck & had to drive about 45 minutes back to the depot before I could even get to the emergency room. Once I was there, they did all the test to check if I was or did have a heart attack & everything came back negative. The diagnoses at that time was I believe torn ligaments in my left shoulder. But the pain and weakness in my left arm only progressed. My doctors ordered an X-ray of my neck & saw something in my spinal cord. I then had an MRI with & without contrast from brain to tailbone with no real answers other than I have a Syrinx (syringomyelia) from C6 to T1 & T10 to T11 or 12 & a significant difference in the white matter of my brain from one side to the other. During the physical examination found out that my balance is completely gone & I no longer do the tandem (heal toe) walk. I eventually got used to these new issues like I had with my lower back pain. I went back to school in February 2014 to become a chef/baker. I received my culinary certificate in April 2015. Finally got a job in January 2017 & loved what I was doing. Some days after work my feet & ankles would be really swollen with no explanation or I would wake up with my hands & feet swollen. On August 30, 2017 I got out of my car at work & my lower back felt funny. I managed to make it thru a full day at work but by the time I got home I almost couldn’t get out of my car. Now I am in constant pain & have urine retention. Some days are better than others but now I can’t even stand in my own kitchen for more than 10 minutes without being in excruciating pain. Sometimes as I’m walking it feels like my legs go completely numb & I have to stop & wait cause I’m afraid I might fall. Some days my left arm is so weak I can’t even wear my bra strap on that side. Sometime between 2015 & 2017 I started having dental issues & once my back went out for good it seems like my teeth just started falling out. Even a root canal that I had that was less than a year old broke in half. My dentist couldn’t even follow my dental plan because they were having to take care of my teeth that would break. I just finished having the rest of my teeth pulled out & now have full dentures. Including teeth that had root canals done had to be removed. The only answers my neurologist can give me so far is that I have degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, spinal narrowing, & a few small lesions on my right frontal lobe but they can’t tell me what caused them. I've also been told that I have 3 or 4 bulging disc in my neck that are pushing on my spinal cord & impinging on the nerves. I have the same problems in my lower back. Yet my neurosurgeon tells me at 43 years old I'm too young to have any kind of disc fusion surgery. But then why can't they offer my any other solutions. So far, they've only been able to rule out MS. I’m on 2 different nerve blockers, 2 different opioid pain medications, & a muscle relaxer & I still have anywhere from 10 - 20 days in a month that I can’t even get out of bed. They have tried epidural injections in my lower back but that only made it worse. They tried the nerve cauterization test but that didn’t work either. I’m now doing Aqua therapy but it’s not helping. Some days it even makes everything worse. I just want my life back. My husband is disabled as well. My husband, our 13 year old daughter, & myself are living with my elderly parents in a senior community. At any time my parents could get in trouble for us living here. We could get kicked out or worse, my parents could lose their house. My mother who is 79 years old, my father who is 84 years old, & my disabled brother who is 57 years old. I should be able to take care of all of them but most days they are taking care of us. I'm so afraid that this is pain is permanent. What will happen to my family when my parents pass away? Will we end up homeless & disabled with a child?