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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I have had a total of 10 lower back surgeries. I have degenerated disc disease. Most of my operations were fusions. The last two were my worst nightmare.

I got a newly approved burst spinal cord stimulator put in, 28 days later I got a significant spine infection. I had to go through another surgery to have everything removed. The sad thing is the stimulator worked with my pain.

I spent two months in a skilled nursing facility getting powerful antibiotics through a pic line for two months. I am now in so much pain, nothing helps.

I wish there were articles on exercises to help people like me to do to try to strengthen my muscles around my spine. I can't walk, stand, sit or even lay down for very long periods of time. All the articles are for people with "backaches," which I do understand can be annoying. But unless you've had back fusions people who complain about backaches are lucky.

Through all my surgeries, I've had epidurals, hundreds of trigger injections – you name it, I've had it done. I've tried swimming, walking and other activities for back pain relief. Please, let me know if there's anything I can do.

Who has been there for you? How?

My wonderful husband is always there for me. He tries to understand, but I'm sure it's very frustrating for him.

He is very active. He loves hiking, biking, and exploring. Most of which I can not do. So he has to do things by himself. It makes me feel bad.

I have had a total of 10 lower back surgeries. I have degenerated disc disease. Most of my operations were fusions.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I just thank God that I'm still able to walk at all and that I didn't die from the spinal infection.

I just thank God that I'm still able to walk at all and that I didn't die from the spinal infection.

What's your advice to someone else living with Back Pain?

Make sure you get two, three or even four opinions before having back surgery.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I always have to figure out before we go somewhere or do things if I'll be able to handle it.

Make sure you get two, three or even four opinions before having back surgery.

About Debra Richards

My Story: Debra Richards

I'm 62 years old. My passion was dancing and horseback riding. When I was young, in junior high and high school, there wasn't a sport I wouldn't try. Now, just getting out of bed is a challenge.

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