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How did We get Here?

Good afternoon everyone,

Today I am going to ask some very tough questions.   Questions without answers, we have all been there.  One thing is for sure.  We all share the same need to rid ourselves of this relentless pain.  Alright then, lets all get started.  I warn you though, it gets deep where I am going.

Have you come to the realization you have crossed a line drawn in the sand?  A line once stepped over, there is no return from?  I know this sounds morbid but its not meant to be.  Nothing in my life has prepared me for how I am now living.  As we grow up as children we all are so preoccupied by life we never give a thought to what our later years maybe like.  I must confess I was totally ignorant of how life in chronic pain would feel.  After having suffered the effects of aging I can honestly say my eyes have been opened to the reality of chronic pain.  As much as I love all my drs there is only so much they can do.  I naively thought modern medicine would prevail and we would all live near pain free lives. 

Enter here the word HOPE.  Without hope we are destined to failure.  We must believe there is a chance of getting better.  Nothing will paralyze us quicker than loss of hope.  Never ever give up.  This means giving of yourself to lift up another person who may have fallen.  We are all vulnerable and afraid.  Reach out to others even when it hurts to do so.  The bond of love is unbreakable.  Doing something out of love is the ultimate sacrifice.  Showing love toward others leaves us so vulnerable--yet nothing touches the soul more deeply or satisfies the spirit so completely. 

When I was a young man I used to spend a lot of time with my retired Grandfather.  I watched him as he aged and it was an eye opening experience.  He suffered with DDD and arthritis just as I do now.  I should have realized at that point in time how my own life would eventually evolve.  My Grandfather would look back on his life and talk with such fondness about his job and how he missed working.  I never understood this zeal for working until I myself aged and became a chronic pain patient.  I don't think its so much working I miss but the ability to work or more to the point, being able to work and live life without pain and the emotional turmoil that goes along with it.   

Should we have surgery and face an unknown outcome or avoid surgery and live with our situation?  There is no clear answer to this question.  I personally want to go on record as saying I absolutely wish I had not had surgery.  I would not say it made me worse so much as I traded one set of symptoms for another.  It matters little in my situation as I am still in pain.  I acknowledge people have great outcomes and move on with their lives. 

Lastly how do we deal with chronic pain when we have other health issues going on at the same time?   This is really hard to answer.  I cant believe I am saying this but I long for the days when I only had spine pain.  I am really struggling with other problems and the wheels of medicine turn so slow at times.  I truly have crossed over the line I spoke of earlier.  I must now stand firm and work through all my medical problems as best I can.  I will say I cant do this alone.  I am holding fast to my faith.   I have heard others say that religion is nothing more than a crutch people use when they cant explain or cope with life's situations.  I readily agree with that statement but would add my crutch is in the form of a Cross.  I use it daily to help me walk.  Without it I would surely fall -- never to get up. 

No matter what your personal belief system is -- it is my privilege to pray for you.  I am happy to do so.

In life there are no guarantees or exemptions from pain and suffering.  I number myself with all of you on SH.  By standing together and supporting one another we can get through this.   Just knowing others care how I am doing and really want to help by praying for me is my great reward.  I thank you for those prayers. 

dmo

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13

Comments

  • I have always been an upbeat type of person and I love to laugh.  I can laugh at myself with no trouble at all.  My spine surgery was the first step in a long downhill process that ended with me being diagnosed with cancer.  I am not implying any of my other health issues came about as a result of my surgery. 

    The aging process has not been kind to me at all.  I can relate to all my friends here on SH and it really bothers me when they hurt so much everyday.  I wish I could take all the pain away.  I personally am tired of going for scans, dr appointments, picking up this prescription and have to go here or do this just because my health is falling faster than a rock from a skyscraper.  lol. 

    Dave, I can really identify with your gain and lost list.  I honestly can not say I would not change a thing leading up to my surgery or in your case the cause of your initial injury.  If I were you I would have stayed home that day!!!  lol.  I know you said you have gone through depression and now are much better but I at times feel anxious.  I have medication for this but I haven't taken any because at last count with everything going on I am taking like a hundred different things.  lol.  Today I have a bone scan to see if my cancer has spread because my ribs are hurting.  My dad had cancer all through his bones so I am worried this may be my problem.   No worries though cause I hear Heaven is a beautiful place and I wont mind getting there early!!  lol. 

    Ron I know you have been through a lot with all your surgeries.  The thought of having to do all that is just overwhelming.   I take things very slow now as I tire easily and my aching spine issues really just slow me down.  I honestly worry about Sandra also.  She is a great lady fighting the good fight everyday. 

    My prayers are with you all. 

    dmo



  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 5,916

    The line in the sand, Dale. I have crossed it a lot lately, struggling with my health. And not just my spine, but all of the problems that go along when scoliosis starts pulling on your organs. And constantly losing more weight. Thank you David but lately I have not been very strong, for myself or others on the forum. And that bothers me. 
    Like Ron, I look forward to the enjoyment of the next day. I keep telling myself, tomorrow will be better. If not with my body but my mind and spirit. 

    Thank all of you for the support you have always given me.


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  • Hi guys,I can sure relate with all you are saying, the surgeries, the drugs, one doctor after another has become my social life, lol. Just when I think things might calm down another issue  pops up! Right now it's sudden hearing loss in my left ear and this week the white noise started. This aging thing is tough, no doubt about it. 

    I don't regret my surgeries, I'm thankful I live in a time where I have a choice. The pain of living with a herniated disc and a crushed nerve was worse than I live with now. I only wish I wouldn't have been so stubborn about the fusion and possibly avoided nerve damage. The only one I do regret is the neurostimulator but hind site is always 20/20, we make the best decision we can at the time. 

    I do think I've drawn my line in the sand recently, Dale. I'm weary, worn out, and had enough of looking for a cure! I was shocked when my neurosurgeon told me months ago that nothing more could be done and I recently heard the same from my pain management doctor. She suggested a Behavioral Pain Management Center to learn how to cope with living with chronic pain and a deteriorating body. I went to my first class this week and I am SO glad she cared enough to refer me there!  One of the first things I heard from the counselor was pain is your reality but suffering is optional. I already feel like at some point, I can kick pain out of the drivers seat. Oh I know there will be ups and downs but I feel HOPE. My circumstances won't change but perhaps the way I see them can. I'll still have to do the hard work of grieving the losses and  letting go of how I wish things were and the "what ifs"and embrace what is. I don't miss work but I miss being a wife and grieve that loss but I'm still a mother and grandmother and I embrace that wholeheartedly! So that's my story at the moment, God has led me and given me the grace and strength to persevere this far and grace will lead me Home. I'm so thankful for all of you, we need one another to keep moving forward and help when we're struggling. 

     Prayers and Shalom, Joanne 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 5,916

    David
    You have always been the official unofficial Wal-mart door greeter!! And you are so good at it lol. You offer a lot of good sound advice on this forum and you are such a big help. Thank you for the sweet words, it made my heart smile.

    Dale
    Your topics are always filled with thought, therefore making us really think. How did we get here? This life I have now was completely because of my spine collapsing and scoliosis setting in. Your one question, how to deal with chronic pain with other health issues is simple, you deal with it. We have to, we don't have a choice. You have to take the issue and try to solve it. That is what I am dealing with now. Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts, it means a lot to me.

    Joanne
    I have been seeing a pain psychologist every month for 4 yrs. He has taught me how to live with the anxiety, guilt and depression. The letting go of things and the "can't do" anymore. This is going to help you so much!! And there is hope, there has to be. The two tings that help me the most are my faith and being spiritual. He told me to the thankful very day for 3 things and write them down. Months later, go back and read them. You will be amazed that we are thankful for the simple things. Good luck with this!!

  • Good morning everyone,

    I want to say thank you for the wonderful responses and for the caring attitude everyone here on SH has shown.  Most of the time my questions are rhetorical in nature but I guess I should explain this better in my messages.  I am a reflective person which causes me to spend way to much time analyzing my life. 

    While I miss working as it gave me a sense of accomplishment coupled with an income which never hurts, I am extremely glad I don't have to punch the timeclock anymore.  Most days I just don't feel up to working or really doing much of anything.  I am trying to set a world record of burning up as many heating pads as possible per year.  lol.  If I could get my GI issues under control I would fare better. 

    God Bless you all

    dmo 



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  • dmoddmo Posts: 597
    edited 03/08/2019 - 5:51 PM

    Thank you for the words David but there are times you cant use mind over matter to get through the day.  When my stomach is hurting I am forced to sit on the heating pad or lay down for a while.  I know other people also have other problems than their spine issues.  I wish it was only spine problems believe it or not.  My stomach and colon issues stop me dead when they get to hurting.  Most days start out relatively easy for me but by noon to mid afternoon I am struggling to focus on anything.  I have my upper GI scope on Tuesday coming so I hope to find some answers.  I am pretty sure I am looking at another surgery to fix my hernia.  I need to fix this as this just hurts to much to push through it everyday. 

    I was much more care free about life when only my spine hurt.  Now that its more complicated plus cancer Its not easy for me to say to my pain---move over I am driving now!!!  A person can only take so much before it just drags them down.  I am still fighting though. 

    dmo

  • Dale, I bet I could give you some competition on the heating pads, lol. I've been known to use two at one time and I always order extras in case one bites the dust. 

  • Probably so Joanne, I go through one every six months.  lol. 

    I have used heat on my lower back and an ice bag on my neck at the same time!!  lol

  • nutcase007nnutcase007 United StatesPosts: 917

    To all - To have or not have surgery is a very personal and individual choice (if we have a choice).  We all had to make choices with limited information.  We only do ourselves emotional distress if we agonize over "what if".  Hopefully, we can pass on a little wisdom to our children and grandchildren of what we learned along life's path. 

    I do not regret my three ACDFs.  If I had not had the last two ACDFs, I was at high risk of becoming a quadriplegic.  Will I ever have the quality of life I had before I was rear ended 40 years ago and my neck shattered?  No, I know that and have come to terms with that reality.  Will I have a possible upcoming upper thoracic spine surgery, if it is an option?  Time will tell.  I seek some level of quality of life, if possible.  My pain level has become so severe, opioids no longer take any edge off of my pain, so I am totally off of all opioids so that I can hopefully get scripts for benzos.  They are the only class of drugs that help me manage psychological depression.  The transmission has been very rough.  I get violently with all SNRIs and SSRIs that have been tried on me. 

    I hope most on this site attempt to be supportive of each others daily challenge of trying to find some quality of life.  None of us can totally understand another's situation.  I find the most distressing reality for me has been the lose of most of my relationships.  I try to say very little about my pain and life's challenges. 

    If some method (be it support groups, religion, faith, mental solliance) works for someone to cope, great.  Please don't push your coping method(s) on anybody else.  The best we can do is offer suggestions of techniques that work for us.

    My little write-up above has NOT been directed at anybody on this site, but myself.  We all have been dealt a bad deck of cards on our life's journey, but hopefully we all can find some meaningful moments along the way in our remaining life.       

  • Good evening all,

    I always find it interesting when talking with others on this site the vast differences in how people interpret their circumstances.  It is a virtual rainbow of ideas, coping skills, daily rituals, medical approaches and really so much more. 

    In reality we are born, we live our life and then we die.  In the middle of all this we experience every emotion there is.  I believe like minded people seem to gravitate to each other.  We all share the common bond of chronic pain which I honestly believe makes us more compassionate to our fellow man.  I would like to freely admit I never gave a thought to others who lived their lives in chronic pain until I had to endure the exact same thing.  I would go a step further and say it truly hurts my soul to hear of others suffering.  I know how much spine pain hurts, how horrible our nights are and how brutal searching for relief can be.   

    I am a person of faith but by no means do I wish to change any person here.  I have friends who are atheists and agnostics.  To be honest I read where a lot of people lose close friends and family due to their chronic pain.  I can say in my experience I have received more consideration and understanding from others since my health has taken a turn for the worse.  For those losing friends I am so sorry. 

    I try my very best not to complain to my wife.  That being said I sometimes cannot help myself as I hurt and she is my closet and most loved person in my life.  She tries to make my life as best she can and I appreciate that more than I can ever say.  My wife will say to me "I love you" to which I reply "I love you too"  she then says "I love you more!!"  I then say "No you don't you just think you do". 

    God bless you all

    dmo


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