Hooz...I don't know what state you are in but in NY state they have a program called VESID(Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities) they help you try to find something that you can do so that you can return to work and be more productive. When trying to stop a stretcher with a fresh post op patient from smashing into the wall and some equipment in the hall (my transport attendant decided that they did not need to help anymore at this point and walked away! yes, they still have their job and I am sidelined from the work I love) I developed Facet Arthropathy at L4-5. While i realize that this is not as serious as herniations and the like, I do have hronic back pain and it interferes with my ADLs, standing, sitting and laying. i can not lift more that 10lbs on a regular basis and ocassionally I can only lift up to 20lbs, so of course I can no longer go back to working in the recovery room. In NYS the max worker's comp pay out is $400 bucks, of oc urse I am down to 300 a week and now they want to cut it even more. I don't know how I am supposed to survive on even less when my poor hubby is on disability and has to take most of him money to pay for his medications! Of course comp pays for my medication. I had 3 facet joint blocks, which helped a little, I did PT is 2 6 week increments 3xweekly but that didn't do much for me at all except fire up my sciatic nerve from the intake exam! My next step is a median branch nerve block at the L4-5 level (I am currently awaiting authorization, something I won't get till I go to court at the end of this month.). I have trouble walking for longer than 5-10 m inutes and standing becomes aproblem usually after 5. It makes doing things around the house interesting and I don't dare take the jug of milk out of the fridge with 1 hand. In addition, non work related I have severe herniations at C5-6 and C6-7 but being out of work for as long as I have, I have no benefits to get that fixed...but I ramble.....
Back to VESID....they are helping me get a certification in case management, not exactly what I want but it will give me a pay scale close to what I am used to and I will have access to health benefits and it will be easier to keep the physical restrictions my doctor has set for me. They do also send people on for BSNs or MSNs as well as other continuing ed courses things that have good marketability to get you back into the work force.
To the young lady that started this thread....I take it that when you suffered all those herniations that you were not a surgical candidate? I realize that surgery is not the end all and be all of pain management and I know that most folks that go through back surgery still have pain but is it an option? Acupuncture is just a pain management tool and does not solve the whole picture. Maybe you should try to find the best neurosurgeon or orthopod specializing in spine surgery in your area for a consult. You may have to go as far as 2 hours from your home, if you are able to travel that far. I worked in an orthopaedic specialty hospital in NYC when I sustained this back injury (ironic, isn't?). My heart goes out to each and every one of you that have had such injuries. And I look forward to discussing this further with you all.