Edward, 50, is married with two kids in college. He works in the Spanish Language Media. Besides playing football, rugby, volleyball in high school and college, Edward’s family had a history of back pain. He had episodes of debilitating back spasms which started to happen more and more frequently. At age 29, Edward’s doctor discovered a significant herniation in his L4, L5 region. He had a microdiscectomy and felt immediate relief. When his back pain returned his social life and basic mobility was not what it used to be. You must ask yourself whether or not you are willing to live with this pain, Edward advises. He told his friends that if, hypothetically, he were in a building on fire he would not be able to make it down the stairs in time.
My name's, Eddy, I was born and raised here in Southern California. I'm married, two kids, two kids in college. I work in the Spanish language media industry. Uh, I've been selling media time to reach the US Latino consumers for almost 30 years. So taking a look on the history of my back issues that I've had over my life, my dad had back problems. I had uncles that had back problems. I think I was kind of predisposed to have the same type of issues. I played high school sports, I played both volleyball and football for four years in high school. Played one year of college football and then two years of college rugby. At some point in that span of time I think was eventually where I had my initial issues.
I started getting back spasms, debilitating type back spasms. Pretty much take your breath away, they were happening once a year, then they were happening once every six months, and they were happening about every two to three months. And they would-it'd be from small things. Bending over a certain way, brushing your teeth in the wrong position, and it took longer and longer to get over each episode. By the time I was 29, so I was still relatively young, I got to a point where I had just terrible sciatica pain. I had numbness in both feet, and the doctor finally decided to do an MRI when they discovered a pretty significant size herniation in my L4-L5 region.
You know at the time, you know things were different, 20 years ago but it was a little bit more extensive surgery back then. I'm talking about what uh, back pain does and the way that it affects your daily life, the level of activities that I was able to do or not do. You know, I just didn't feel like I was old enough to-to give up on some of the things I loved to do, and to change my lifestyle that much. But in addition to that, just being out socially. Not being able to sit throughout an entire dinner, you know I just didn't think that that was something that I wanted to do long term. Getting in and out of the car, seems really like, simple and rudimentary but for someone with back pain I think that they all would agree that's not necessarily always the case.
It was brutal, you know. Just getting out of the damn car was hard. Maybe you th- you take your back for granted, but it's-it ties everything together and if you've got a bad back, you're not doing well. It changes your life. I'm always sleeping on my side with a pillow between my legs. It seems like all people that have bad backs, we all have the similar story. Not being able to sleep in certain positions. It got to a point up until this last surgery, that I literally couldn't run if I had to. I told someone in my office if the building was burning, I wouldn't be able to get out because I couldn't possibly run. So, you know these are all things that kind of, you have to decide, are you willing to live the rest of your life like this, or are you willing to look at options and see what's available.
So, with my very first surgery 20 years ago, I had a micro discectomy. L4-L5 region, they removed almost a eight millimeter herniation and the relief was almost immediate. So, I was able to get back to normal activities. Which for me, were basketball, I could rejoin my men's soccer league; unfortunately about nine months ago I was at Pilates class and I knew I should've left five minutes before I did. Um, but, ended up doing one more move and at that point I felt muscle spasms that I hadn't felt in 20 years. I felt that pain before and so unfortunately I knew the feeling and I was afraid of what it might mean.
I went in for an MRI just to confirm what I thought and unfortunately the L3-L4 disc had herniated. Which they say is common for people that have issues with one disc, is that the disc above it no longer has a foundation, there's more stress on that particular one. So, the doctor wasn't too surprised.