My Life Is Not My Own
My Life Is Not My Own
By: Michell Freeman
My name is Michell Freeman, I am from a small town in Bennettsville, South Carolina and this is my story. On November 4, 2013 I was in an automobile accident that involved a fatality. I was hit by a car that had ran a red light. I was unable to walk without great pain. When I arrived at the hospital my legs felt very cold and I had lost feeling in my saddle area and later down my left leg. The Doctor came in and told my family that I had a disc fragment that sequestered. The doctor told my husband that I was to lie flat on my back only to get up to use the restroom and if I lost control of my bowel or bladder to call 911. I was released the same day with a follow up with a Neurosurgeon.
I was able to see this neurosurgeon on November 5, 2013. I was instructed to take a steroid for seven days and given opiate pain medication. He wanted to get the inflammation down. On November 12, 2013 I returned to his office unable to walk. The pain had me screaming for help. I was told that I needed to undergo an emergency Laminectomy/Discectomy.
On my follow up I let my surgeon know something wasn’t right. I was leaking and having sudden urges to urinate. I was having electric sensations go down my back and legs. I was burning. I had another MRI and was told I had a lot of inflammation involving the nerve roots. I was referred to pain management for a series of selective nerve root Injections.
On my first appointment with pain management I was nervous and was given a Valium. I laid flat face down and the nurse said that she was going to walk me through it. The doctor didn’t speak only to say who he was. As the procedure began the pain was terrible. The nurse said he was about to inject the Depo Medrol steroid. I felt a shock of electricity go down my leg and I began to cry. The nurse assured me this was normal and the doctor cleaned my back and walked out the room. I had no feeling in my leg and was placed in a wheelchair. My pain relief was not better but increased and my head would hurt so bad I would put an ice pack on it. For a while my body ached. Two weeks later I went for a second injection. On my third injection while on the table my doctor started the procedure and inserted the catheter. It was very painful. He moved the table up higher with the needle inserted to get a better view using fluoroscopic technology. Tears were falling and the nurse said its almost over. Just as she said that I screamed out loud as my back jerked. The pain was excruciating. The doctor finished and walked out the room without speaking.
July 2014 I went back to my neurosurgeon for him to tell me that this pain may possibly be permanent. He said he was out of options and my primary care physician would need to take over with either helping with pain or a referral to another pain management specialist due to I refused to continue to get anymore injections. The neurosurgeon, imaging and pain management were in the same complex.
February 2015 I was diagnosed with Adhesive Arachnoiditis. I sent my MRI scans to be reviewed. The MRI two months after my surgery (January 2014) it was confirmed that it had already advanced to adhesive stage with Empty Sac Sign. I have since developed colitis, bradycardia with syncope, and fluctuating blood pressure. I no longer can go to activities with my children at home nor play the same with my four grandchildren. I break plans often due to relentless pain. Days of not being able to get out of bed. My life is no longer my own. I have lost control of deciding what I am able to do each day. I live a life of having to take opiate medications in order to have some life, relief and function. Before finding the correct dosage and keeping it as low as possible I would constantly cry out and beg to die. Pain altered my brain in which I had thoughts of suicide daily. I lost the life I once knew as an employee with USPS, an active wife, mother, and grandmother. I now live a life of having to learn how to adapt, improvise and overcome.
Michell Freeman is a member of the Social medial support groups: Together We Fight, ARACHNOIDITIS, and Arachnoiditis Everyday. She is also an International Delegate for the International Pain Foundation.