Chronic sciatica bulging disc
I'm here because I literally have no where else to turn...
I've been experiencing severe constant sciatic pain since Feb 2016, I have had intermittent issues since the birth of my son in July 2016. In September I discovered I also have a bulging disc in my cervical spine located at C7, which was causing nerve pain down my arms, this condition has since improved with some physio. Around the same time I was suffering from mild but constant sciatica on the left side. It went away for a few months before returning on the right side. Just a few weeks ago I had a CT scan that revealed I have bulging L4/L5 disc that is compressing the L5 nerve root on both sides, currently it is my right side that has almost constant pain worse in the morning and at night. I have been taking codeine now since february and am currently taking up to 4 30mg panadeine forte a day. Unfortunately it barely takes the edge of. I have been offered tramadol but I turned this down as I do not want to become reliant on narcotics, I just want the issue fixed.
Which leads me to posting in this forum...I have just moved to Korumburra in South Gippsland Victoria. I have no seen two GP's, one wants me to have an MRI, the other wants me to see a sports injury specialist. The issue is that I am already on DSP and cannot afford the MRI or the specialist. $310 mri, and $225 specialist consultation where I get only $70 back from medicare. This is half of my fortnightly pension for one appointment, even with the appointment being a month away I still cannot save to pay. The best I have been offered is to pay in two installments, right now I just can't cover the cost. I've also called some pain clinics and their fees are even higher $320 for first then $200 there after.
Please does anyone here know how I can get treatment for my issues without massive costs? I'm in constant pain and I just want it to stop, I can't pick up my son, I can't walk far, I can't sit for more than 10 minutes. All I can do is lay in bed and try to get as comfortable as possible on the bad days, and do limited activities with no lifting on my good days. The best I have been offered for now is an appointment 1st of July to see a care plan nurse to get the 5 sessions for a physio or osteopath. I have already has physio last year, it did help the cervical spine issue but did nothing for my sciatica. I have yet to see an Osteopath, but I'm willing to use my 5 sessions for this. After those 5 sessions run out I would only be able to afford to see someone once a month. At this stage I feel that I have no choice but to take the tramadol and become a legal drug addict...I've taken the stuff in the past for various injuries and it leaves me pretty much like a zombie.
Does anyone have any advice for me on where I could go to get affordable help? or any other potential ideas for treating this? I'm at my wits end and have been in tears today wondering how I can afford pain management so I can get on with life.