Looking at me, you wouldn’t know that I have a total of seven screws in my spine and a titanium cage in the space where my disk used to reside. Understandably, when I see a new doctor and they ask about previous surgeries, they are a little taken aback with my answer. They see a thirty-something female, who from the outside, looks fairly healthy. The typical response is usually along the lines of “Wow, what happened? Were you in an accident or did you fall or something?” Nope, don’t know why I’ve had all this trouble with my back.
I can tell you now from looking at the surgeon’s report from my first fusion, that I had degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine. But why? Why all the issues and pain? What got the proverbial ball rolling roughly ten years ago? I’ve pondered this quite a bit over the years, and here are the possible explanations I’ve come up with; some are more farfetched than others. In no particular order:
- My dad used to toss me back and forth with someone when I was little. Maybe I was dropped? I joke about this more than anything (Love ya, Dad).
- Maybe it was that time in elementary school, when I slipped getting out of the jacuzzi and fell on my rear end.
- Maybe it was from running track with flat feet my freshman year of high school. That’s how I ended up with stress fractures in both shins.
- Perhaps using tanning beds throughout my teen years caused more than the occasional ‘sun burn’. Absolutely no scientific research that I am aware of.
- I gained forty pounds in my first pregnancy. Maybe the extra weight and childbirth caused all this. If that was the case, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have an amazing son to show for it.
- On the same note, was it caused by the epidural somehow?
- Perhaps I am being punished for all my wrongdoings.
- Maybe my days of self-harm played a role.
- Maybe God chose me for this battle, so that I could help others somehow.
Maybe one day I’ll have my answer and hopefully one day I’ll have no more back pain. Until then, who knows what else my imagination may come up with.