I am Mary Beth....My Family call me Beth...You should too. I was diagnosed with Scoliosis as a child and wore a brace at 10...was placed into ballet which made me happy because I could take my brace off.... AND I was good at ballet... I would never complain...about my back...I didn’t want my mother worrying about me. My doctors thought I was a pretty tough kid.....and told my Mother I would always have to wear a brace... but they thought I wouldn’t need surgery until I was finished growing. I refused to go back to a dr. after awhile....Just wore my braces and moved on.... Fast forward....to 1973...got married and had my first child..... I actually ended up giving birth to 4 children...I bring this up...because I had them ALL naturally...NOW... for you guy’s .....That is taking your sciatic nerve pain and wrapping it around a bowling ball and for 21 hours having that ball with nerves attached pushed out your ...well...I’ll leave that to your imagination......with out pain medicine...I might add....YOU ladies understand :) After my First child..my doctors told me...That I shouldn’t have any more children...but I Love Children and I love life and I wanted more....well after my last child... I lost feeling in my right side ...but losing the feeling wasn’t anything... I lost mobility.. I could no longer use my foot AND then I started getting sciatica and hot nerve pain. Fast forward .... since 1988 I have had Five spinal surgeries... cervical spine and lumbar spine fusions..... I have been diagnosed with M.S. and Adhesive Arachnoiditis..I have constant pain...sciatica hot coal burning or freezing cold ...I wear a brace on my right leg..... still wear back braces... arthritis in my spine..Spondylitis...Spinal stenosis ...and degenerative disc disease. all of the above..... THEN.. I will have M.S.Flares where I can't do anything at all....I can't even brush my hair....I have electric shocks that run through every part of my body......Trust me there IS NO drug that can help that.... So The doctors put me on Cymbalta then Lyrica and of course Imuran and Avonex...all at different times....you name it they tried it........... and of course EVERY opioid known to man.... ALL made me a lifeless mop....constipated....upset stomach... feelings of hopelessness suicidal....went to 98 lbs or 44k..........I became something I couldn’t identify with.... My husband had to do everything for me... my children had to walk on eggshells around me.... I would melt into the floor trying to walk..........I either wanted to die and be out of their misery.... or leave so they could live...... (mind you...they weren’t making me feel this way) One day I had a CLEAR moment...and remembered who I was.... I am the Mother.... I am a business woman who ran regions .... I am a dancer...a wife.... a..golfer...I may not be able to do the things I USED to do.....but I can enjoy my life and my family...... So I went to A new doctor and told him I needed to get OFF of ALL of my medications....that if I could Give birth without medicine I can handle this.....he advised me it would take awhile... But he would start me on my path.... (never do this without HELP) so we did.... and here I am Now what do I do...you want to know.... well ... I still need help.... I started to not worry about the things I couldn’t do and started doing more of what I could when I can.... I know you won’t believe me ...YET... but I started doing yoga...ok don’t laugh and DO NOT picture those crazy poses.... I learned to use deep breathing...That part of Yoga.....:) When I’m in a bad flare of course I am in bed......but during these times I need to be completely alone....I put quiet music on....and breathe.... I make myself picture the pain leaving with every out breath.. and life entering with every in breath.... I pictured me doing ballet... I pictured my children... I use HEATED light blankets...or COOLED sheets (keep some clean sheets in your freezer) :) My husband is so helpful.. he asks what I need if anything ...checks in on me..... Helps me to the bathroom brings me things to drink......Yes it is hard..... to do this. AND when The pain eases I get help up and put my leg on and walk.....walk ...and walk. then rest....then I go back to bed....breathe cool or hot blankets or sheets ...repeat... as long as needed. Again In a flare there is NO medicine that can help....period. When I am NOT in a flare...I still have PAIN....but surviving a flare.... I can handle the sciatica ...and the burning pain...and the muscle pain..... I make up for LOST time.... I eat and have wine and enjoy friends. Walking keeps me strong... If you can’t walk use your chair...get out side..the fresh air makes a huge difference..... do something you enjoy.. Go swimming.....by the way the pool is the best medicine there is... we live in a place where we have a heated pool a cooler pool and a jacuzzi...Where I do All of my Exercising ...If you don’t live where there is a pool....go where there is one. I can’t run anymore but I can walk...slowly BUT proudly...with a brace... I need help getting up.. I need help doing most things but so what.. I do them anyway... I use palates resistance rubber bands and do stretches and strength training with them. I live my life preparing for that moment when I won’t have a flare again... Because I am doing more to stay out of a flare....they are less frequent.... :) I Do things I enjoy........I am a music theorist... I write music... I play keyboard... I can’t dance any more...but I CAN Sing and I CAN play music.... I am not trying to sell you on what I do....I am just saying there are options. I have my life back.....it isn’t like it once was....BUT it sure as hell is something I can identify with. I can say.... My name is Beth and my life has changed...but it is MY life.

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