Since getting out of the Navy, my back pain has only increased. I got out in 2007 and by 2010, it had become necessary to have back surgery. Twelve years later, my pain is worse. My 2010 lumbar fusion seemed like a good idea at the time. However, as I have learned, when you fuse one part of your back, other areas become stressed. And that is what has happened.
In 2016, I started to lose feeling and strength in my left arm. There was some pressure and pain in my neck. Another ruptured disc, or whatever. Another surgery. I regained the strength in my left arm.
It is 2022. My lower back hurts so much. My mid to upper back and neck continue to become more painful. I can’t get comfortable; not in a chair or the couch or even in bed. I stumble around my house like a drunk person. If only that were the case. I hardly ever have a drink these days. Alcohol only makes the pain worse.
I can’t work; too much pain. I used to do Uber. Can’t do that anymore. Can’t sit in the car for long periods.
I can’t practice [the saxophone] consistently because of pain. I’ll get started on something, but the next day I can’t tolerate the weight of the horn. By the time I get back to it, I have lost ground. It is extremely frustrating.
I don’t take anything stronger than Tylenol or Ibuprofen, and that, not very much. The long term side effects of some of these medications can damage the liver, kidneys, and other organs. So, I pretty much suffer my full pain. I’d rather live in pain I guess than die before I’m ready because of drugs. How awful.
I don’t know what to do. So I have decided to tell it here. I have no one else to talk to about it. I feel isolated, deserted though I know it is not true. My daughter is here with me. I have friends just across the road; walking distance, even for me. A lot of is just aging. Aging is not for cowards!
There will be no more structural surgeries if I can help it. They seem only to make things worse.