It's a downer so don't read it if you need/desire happiness and sunshine right now
  1. This is a dermatome chart for each spinal nerve
  2. Each nerve coming from the spinal cord is labeled based on the vertebra that surrounds and protects its origin
  3. From the spinal cord each nerve travels down, up, or wherever it leads.
  4. The dermatome chart shows the areas each nerve travels to
  5. That nerve and its branches control sensation and movement in that area. It controls things like sweat glands, too.
  6. My vertebrae are stiffening from arthritis, crumbling, and pinching off nerves coming from L-3, L-4, and L-5.
  7. So in the areas covered by these nerves on the chart I have burning, aching, throbbing deep pain. Like a really bad toothache in a large area.
  8. It never stops, relentlessly sending angry signals to my brain.
  9. Muscles in my legs are permanently damaged, weakened, and in some cases atrophied. Some back muscles are also atrophied.
  10. It is crippling.
  11. So I am drugged all the time. And depressed. And reclusive.
  12. I had surgery, but it was too late to help. You see, I was misdiagnosed by multiple doctors (an internist, family medicine doc, rheumatologist, and orthopedic specialist) despite multiple tests, scans, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs. A victim of the very health care system I belonged to for 40 years as a nurse and respiratory therapist.
    I was already permanently damaged by the time they diagnosed me.
  13. I had a neuromodulator placed on my spine. It helps - I am on 50% fewer narcotics. But I'm still on 2 narcotics, and 2 muscle relaxants, and 2 neuro drugs, and 2 antidepressants.
    Also nasal spray and inhalers for asthma and allergies, and drugs for hypertension and restless leg syndrome.
  14. And now L-2 is starting to hurt sometimes, too.
  15. Today my worst spots are the bottom of my feet and my shins. They burn and ache from deep inside.
  16. helps me. I am distracted from my pain while reading and writing.
  17. And people are kind here.
  18. I know it sucks for people to hear me complaining. There are lots of people worse than me. I have reasons to be grateful.
  19. Right now I just needed to get it out. Because there is nothing I can do but sit here and experience this pain.
  20. If you read this, thank you from the depths of my heart and soul. 💙