Last fall (on Gwen’s birthday actually) I got up bright and early and went over to the hospital to have an MRI to try and discover the cause of my chronic and persistent back pain. This was right around the time when our family doctor was moving to a new office, and I guess in the confusion the staff at the old clinic missed calling me about the results. I finally saw my doctor yesterday morning and it turns out I have degenerative disc disease.
This is actually a really common ailment that a lot of people have, especially older people, but it’s something I’ve actually been dealing with since I injured my back at 18, over two decades ago. Since then I’m been living with pain that has continued to worsen, and is now at the point where it’s negatively affecting almost every aspect of my life (for example, I can’t lean forward far enough over the sink to properly brush my teeth so I had TWO cavities at my last dentist appointment!). At the time when I originally hurt my back the doctor I saw was INCREDIBLY dismissive of me and since then I’ve been anxious about seeking help and reluctant to do so. Like I’ve tried things to get some relief, but I never knew the cause or the name of what was hurting me.
Now that I have a diagnosis and a treatment plan I actually feel really positively about it, and hopeful that I can finally a start living more normally & comfortably in my own body. It’s a relief just knowing, you know? Although it is becoming a little frustrating having all these unrelated health problems that each on their own would be manageable, but combined tend to ruin my life. Anyway, I’ve started medication for the pain and my doctor is referring me to both the spine clinic and a pain management specialist, so things are already looking up.