Sciatica Made Me Give Up

My name is Karl.  I'm 29 years young. My story starts 9 and a half months ago, back in December 2014. I had recently been taken on as temporary staff for a brilliant landscape design company and being given such an opportunity, I was focused to set a good impression. I tried my best and one day was given the golden opportunity to prove that I could make the cut. So one of my seniors heads off, leaving me to get on with the job. I worked hard, digging up well-rooted plants and walking over uneven ground whilst lifting. With will and the possibility of earning a full time job I thought just get it done.

Later that evening, I was sitting on the sofa and suddenly had a bad back. There was moderate pain but something was definitely up. I went to bed and woke up in much worse pain.  Regardless, it was back off to work and repeating the same sort of tasks. By the time it got to Wednesday (3 days later), I had to ask to be sent home from work. I headed to the walk-in center. 

Now I was at the point where I'm lying on my back in the waiting room. I was seen by a doctor, who told me that I had muscle damage and to rest up.  I had managed to get some 10 ml valium and spent the next month lying on a bean bag with a continuous sharp pain increasing down my left leg and lower left side back pains echoing into my sleepy brain. 

I had been off a few weeks and had been kindly let go from the agency I was temping for, due to lack of work over the Christmas period, so had a lot of time to be sleepy. I rested and rested and still my pain was throbbing continuously, but now the valium was all gone. It was February 15 now and only a slight let up from the pain. Personally, I just think I was getting more tolerant to the pain. 

I received a phone call from the gardening company saying that they wanted me to attend an interview for a full time position. This was great news and couldn't have come at a better time. I had pain but I was finally given the chance to build a new career. I started working and feel less pain. It’s still enough that every night without fail I lay on the bean bag on the floor, but I felt like it was bearable and like most muscle damage, if rested, it would eventually get better.

Somewhere along the line, the pain switched from my left buttock and leg to the right side.  I went back to the doctor. He was unsure what the problem was, but gave me some tramadol and naproxen. The tramadol made me wake up at 3am with a migraine, but the naproxen had a different effect. Within a week of using the new drugs, I had started to get constipated. Going to the toilet was very painful. My belly was so bloated and made me feel like I was going to faint whilst trying to go to the toilet (along with the pain of my right leg now). 

I was now at a high pain point.  My back and leg hurt. I had a tingle in my ankles and my 3 last toes on my right foot sometimes felt like they were burning.  I went back to the doctor again (taking more time off work) but this time I have a new doctor, a very good and knowledgeable doctor, who instantly said it "sounds" like a prolapsed disk. She gave me gastro pills and lowered the naproxen dose from 500mg to 250. She also gave me co-codimal 500mg and diazipam 2mg and refered me to a musculoskeletal service. I just had to wait another month to be seen.

I was now at the point where I could not sit down. I stood on public transport and had to either stand up or lean over my bed to eat. I woke up whenever I moved the wrong way and I started to feel very depressed due to the constant pain. My world has changed and I have with it.  My doctor also signed me off from work for two weeks.  I think this wasn't the best move, since I would lay in bed and not really move. My pain felt worse and the time alone only seemed to enhance the suffering. I got to week 2 of the time off and I had to start going into the garden and working, moving, walking, just anything to distract my brain.

I asked the doctor to be signed back to work. My situation had worsened and I was going mad. So with all my medications and my note, I returned on amended duties August 15th. I hadmy date set with the fancy doctor that’s going to try to make sense of this madness and work is giving me amended duties. 

My time came to go to the musculoskeletal clinic. The physician seemed unsure why I can't sit and after a few very vague checks and a long question sheet, he tells me he cannot check me until I have had an MRI. I had another 3 week wait. I went to my appointment and the new physiotherapist informs me that this isn't an MRI, but another check up.  My patience has gone so I cannot keep calm. He offered me an injection. Yes, do it now. Please.  I am glad that I didn't know what I was expecting.  The next 10 minutes will haunt me forever. I can only describe the experience as feeling like someone had put a screwdriver into my spine and then tried to move it up and down as hard as they could. 

The injection had a big effect, but I had to take the week off. I felt probably 25% better than what I did. I managed to sleep through the night until 7am and stop limping as much. I went back to work the 21st September.  My pain still exists, but has leveled out.  I am still in a lot of pain and I really just don't know what to do. I’m so lost.




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