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I have managed moderate to severe chronic back pain for over 35 years. I was born with hyperkyphosis (middle section of spine curved outward too much) which has caused many problems as I've aged. I have DDD, severe osteoarthritis in my spine and entire body, a total of 8 herniated discs, bulging discs, fully degenerated (gone) discs, bone spurs, stenosis in 3 areas (C, T and L), retrolesthesis at T12/L1 plus a few other fun things.
I live with pain levels averaging a '6' on a scale of 1-10. I can only take enteric coated aspirin and a muscle relaxer as far as medication. In May 2008 I stretched and due to my spine being so unstable T12/L1 tipped outward more which tore ligaments and tendons. My pain levels soared up to a '10' and 3 doctors told me I could no longer work. I applied for SSD through an attorney and was approved in two months. Last March I turned 55 years old and was able to start collecting a small pension from a company I was with for 14 years. So, now I am both officially retired and disabled.
I manage other health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, Bipolar Disorder, obesity, a history of blood clots in my left leg and lung and sleep apnea (treated with CPAP).
My faith, family and positive attitude have helped me to manage my pain and all health conditions as best as possible.