In March 2007, at the age of 20, I had to have emergency spinal surgery as the result of a motor vehicle crash. I broke my back in two different places and part of the vertebrae actually laid on my spinal cord. The ambulance took me to the hospital, where I laid on the stretcher and the C-Spine collar for about 4 hours, in the hallway of the ER because there was no room available. A ER nurse came to me and said they needed to get a urine sample. I told the male nurse that they haven't done any x-rays or anything on me yet and that I was in extreme pain in my lower back. He replied, "Oh we usually base moving you on how well you move your extremities." I said, "ok then." Well, while still being on the stretcher, the male nurse rolled me to a private bathroom, took the C-Spine collar off and proceeded to stand me up. Pain shot all through my body as he walked me to the toilet. I was unable to hold myself up, I lost my hearing, and everything went black. He got his urine sample though, all over his arm. He laid me back down on the stretcher and wheeled me back to the hallway. An ER doctor came over and said they were going to do x-rays now. They done the x-rays and it showed that I had broke my L1 and L3. They rolled me into the trauma unit, put a cathedar in, and then put me in a room to await the arrival of a Orthopedic Surgeon. Once he arrived he came to my room and told me I had two options: 1) Try to stand up and see what happens 2) Go through immediate surgery and place a Titanium cage in my spine. I told him that the nurse in the ER had already stood me up and what had happened and he said that the nurse should of never done that. I opted to go through surgery. It was a good 7 hours from the time I arrived at the hospital until I seen the surgeon. I was never offered any pain medication or anything. Surgery was suppose to of lasted maybe 4 hours, but it ended up being 8 hours long. I had a L1 Spinal Fusion and L3 Vertebral Corpectomy. They fitted me with a body brace and I had to wear it for 4 months.
The right side of my back has been swollen ever since surgery and I had went back to the surgeon a couple years after the surgery because of extreme searing pain shooting from my foot all the way up to my neck. The surgeon that performed the operation no longer worked for the office so a Physicians Assistant took yet another x-ray and said that it was a Thorocolumbar Strain and gave me muscle relaxers which did not help at all. I eventually got fed up with the doctors there and never got a second opinion and have been living with the pain (with no pain medication) since. I worked in Law Enforcement before my accident and have even went back and worked Law Enforcement since surgery. In the past couple years it seems that my back pain is worsening quite considerably. Fighting on the job all the time had started taking an even greater toll on my back and I finally decided it was time to look for another career or I would probably end up paralyzed. I come from a family of truckers so I figured what the heck and went and obtained my CDL. Well, after a year of driving OTR and having an even greater amount of pain from sitting long periods of time and cranking the landing gear on the trailers. I got out of the truck and went back to Law Enforcement for a smaller agency, figuring there would be less odds of being involved in a physical altercation. It seemed as if since I started driving though, my pain has not subsided. Now I am unemployed, can't draw unemployment, have no insurance, and I'm in a considerable amount of pain. I can't sit for to long, can't lay down for to long, can't walk great distances, and sleeping is a thing of the past. I have major headaches, sharp pain shoots from my right foot to my neck, it has became difficult to do normal everyday things, I get dizzy spells at times, my lower back stays swollen and hot to the touch, the pain is so great at times I get sick to my stomach and can't eat. I don't want to go to the hospital and end up having a huge bill, nor do I want to go through that awful surgery again. I don't know what to do.
If you had the money, I would suggest "neurofascial release" as you have to start somewhere. YMMV but I had better luck with this than chiropractic etc, etc.
1) Water therapy like swimming.
2) Sauna or a hot shower.
- You can get a rice pack, heat it in the microwave to relax sore, tight muscles.
3) Sit on a low stool or foot rest and put a soft foam ball between your back and the wall:
- When you find a sensitive spot, work out the knot with the ball.
4) Muscle balancing massage such as "Structural energetics".
5) "static back" (Do a Google search)
When you told about the nurse removing your c collar and making you walk I was going "OMG" and I never say that. I was certified as an EMT and that goes against all we were trained to do. I am not one to sue or suggest it , but this is an exception. Not just for you. This nurse should NOT be working in medicine.