How much are your pains?

William GarzaWilliam Garza TexasPosts: 1,960
edited 01/06/2020 - 9:19 PM in Chronic Pain Forum

I say how much because there is more to our varied conditions than physical,mental and emotional pain-s

How much mental capacity its taken up during the day

All of it? Some? Or ""?

Sometimes i humbly think that mental pain is worse because of im sad i cant do something

Or, when my thoracic area hurts badly...when i watch a sad movie or hit with bad news 

And of course the ever present physical pain

We seem to be complicated humans..or are we?

Do chronic pain sufferers have a better set of tools to cope?

Is it learned or something we are given from professionals...or did we already have the tools?



  • William, I think we already have the tools but don’t release the Kraken inside that allows us to persevere until about the 3 month threshold.  That and the reading and learning we spend our time doing every time we’re prone trying to educate ourselves.  I couldn’t read for about 3 months post op the pain was too much.  Then I read like crazy, and still do. Pre op I didn’t spend as much time reading as I should have.  

  • Its the reading deficite that kills me..i was a voracious reader, at one point 2-3 a week. Being a speed  reader made it Text neck..gaaaahhhh

    Video channels help me more now that i have to use readers and the ears are still pretty good.reading would take me away from pain for a while

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  • Chronic pain could cost us literally everything.  Our first bout with chronic spine pain is a feeling out process.  We stand toe to toe sizing up each other.  It is almost like a prize fight.  In this corner we stand ready to do battle.  In the opposite corner our pain is ready to take us down. 

    Initially we think the pain will be minimal and help is on the way.  We get hit with a big right hand and we expect our drs and the medical community to be in our corner to bolster us up.  We soon learn our help is very slow in coming.  We are alone for the next three rounds. 

    We learn very quickly we must stand on our own.  We are the ones alone at night when the pain has us walking the floors.  There is no one in sight.  We learn to evade the pain.  To side step its punches.  Slowly our drs help us with meds and therapy of some kind or the other. 

    Chronic pain is a formidable opponent not to be taken lightly.  This will be a fifteen round match.  Some matches never end. 

    God bless and prayers for you all


  • angie29angie29 Posts: 97
    edited 01/13/2020 - 6:48 PM

    @William Garza

    Like you I miss reading like I used to. And playing video games. I was a bookworm and gamer in between family abd work.

    No I  Always have to take breaks.

    There are stands you can buy that allow you to put a book at eye level. Or like you said, a screen.

    We make adjustments. 

    Mental pain is tough, really tough, but you're strong. I think we do develop strong coping mechanisms. We have to. 

    Those without chronic pain don't understand,  but WE do.

    Stay strong. Focus on the good and what we can do,  even if it's not as much as we used to.

    I'm so grateful fo the better days and what I can do.

    Best wishes 


  • Today is day2 of horrible low back pain. Why? I have no idea what caused the flare up. I read to keep me from focusing on pain. Doing all I can to stay positive. There’s still the constant neck pain and headaches but I vowed to be a better fighter and not give in to the pain emotionally. I kept thinking I needed new glasses or maybe reading too much.Turns out I have a cataract. Looking at surgery in March. I feel older than 58. The pain has become a familiar part of my life and I can’t imagine being pain free for a day. We are complicated and adapt to our pain in different ways. Hearing from others on this website helps me to know I am not alone and that is a an inspiration to keep fighting. It is possible to be at peace with pain,but it’s not always easy. Have hope and remember none of us suffers alone.

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  • Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 360
    edited 01/14/2020 - 12:55 AM

    I am also 58 but feel 100 most days but I’m also in that newer “the pain is minimal (at first) and I think help is on the way” stage in my walk with pain.  Or worse, I still think I can do this on my own (I can’t) and there will be some doctor or some procedure that will pick me off the mat (so far that’s a negative too).  I guess personally I don’t accept that I am done fighting yet, but keeping that facade keeps me filled with the false hope.  I guess I’m lucky I don’t have ‘text’ neck yet and feel I am still the new CP guy on the block so why should I be the one to complain? 

  • Anyone with chronic pain has the right to complain. This is a good place to get support. It took me years to realize my pain will never go away completely. The changes in lifestyle came slowly, I was stubborn. I am fortunate that I have not needed surgery. You can continue to fight by not letting the pain rule your life. Joel, remember that you are not defined by pain or disability. I still struggle with that myself. Keep posting. 

  • Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 360
    edited 01/14/2020 - 1:56 AM

    Yes the fellowship here is a Godsend. I’ve been fortunate not to have Many mental / emotional issues William referenced, until just the last few months.  When I went to a pain CBT session a year ago I felt completely out of place with people who have just had it way worse Or just for a lot longer than myself.  5 years ago I always still figuring my way with back pain and not changing my lifestyle, and ended up ripping my meniscus’s playing basketball with the young kids. finally getting the opportunity to just lie in the hospital recently thinking and reading, and that’s when the mental stuff started getting to me and the first depressed thoughts ever came out.  The weight of it all was all of a sudden crushing.  

    Seeking help through individual and group therapy has been very helpful so far, but it’s gotten to be much more of a struggle to keep positive. I’d like to figure out a way to impart knowledge to help others from having to make those lifestyle changes when it’s nearly too late, so they don’t have to suffer at our age.  I realize that’s Over generalization city, but ...

  • This conversation has taken an interesting turn.  The decision to have surgery is certainly between you and your dr.  Let me say while this is true, spine surgery is a very slippery slope.  Once you have spine surgery it seems to beget the need for more surgery down the line.  This may not always be true but I find it true for myself and many many others. 

    As for helping others, when I am in any line situation I always take the opportunity to tell others who are younger to be careful with their bodies.  To not have spine surgery unless absolutely necessary.  I also advise them to not put off medical care or change of lifestyle.  Lastly I advise them not to put off having fun in their lives while they are still young.  I always thought I would feel better at my retirement. I would do all the things I had wanted to do then.  Big mistake.  I waited to long. 

    God bless you all


  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,167

    I do not think we get the tools to cope from our doctors. Unless you see a psychologist or other professional. The doctors we use have never been in our positions with surgery and chronic pain. I learned how to cope, at first, on this forum, talking to other members and reading their stories. I remember someone kept telling me "You are not alone".

    I love to research and read. By doing this I have learned about different procedures, surgeries and injuries. Like Joel, educating myself and possibly others. I could be wrong, but I think the younger generation has the attitude of "just fix it, do the surgery so I can get on with my life". But how do we get this message to them?

  • Figures, I woke up with ‘text’ neck today.  So lesson 1 is good neck posture. I sat on the train to work before my surgeries next to a woman In her 40s who’s husband had been told he needed neck surgery.  She said they focused on healthy eating, good posture, keeping weight down and regular exercise...he had staved it off for 10 years and they were still going strong, and enjoying life, but doing it smartly and everything they did they considered their spine safety paramount to decisions. 

    Unlike I who instead of four man lifts would do with two, lifting very heavy road cases and equipment...all in my early 40s after being told I had DDD by my GP after a chest X-ray.  Didn’t listen and am now paying the price. Would be nice to get others to listen to us older wiser folks. 

  • cnallen63ccnallen63 Middletown, Md.Posts: 4

    How much are our pain-s?  Though I have physical chronic pain from an injury, I feel like my mental pain is worse.  I am unreliable, unable to work, unsociable .... how many other "un" categories are there?  All opposite of the person I once was and how people knew me.  Now they are disappointed in me.  As if I chose this crap life.  Divorced, grown kids I now have to house with roommates as if I were in college.  I am in and out of PT work depending on my ability to function.  Thank God for disability but certainly that doesn't cut it in the least.  

    I fight to function at my highest level every day.  Nerve blocks every six weeks from an amazing and compassionate physician have been a miracle.  Roommates and most family don't get it.  They see me function well at an event and instead of saying something positive about  being out they say something snarky or two-faced.  I'm just thankful that I'm not that simple-minded.  

    My other "un" problem is consistency.  I hope I can be consistent on this forum because I am reading some really touching posts. I could really use some support from those who are experiencing some of the same struggles as me.

    Thanks for being here. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,167


    Thank you for joining this forum. Most of the members here are all chronic pain patients and will totally understand what you are saying. We all look at "we used to do this" and it makes us angry. That's why so many of us fight with depression, anxiety, anger and guilt. We did not cause this, we did not make it happen, but we have to find a way to live with it. The best support you will find is on this forum. Read some of William Garza's discussions, they will make you think on the good side.

    Take care and keep posting
    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Agree with @memerainbolt

    Chronic pain sucks and it does change us. Those without it will NEVER comprehend it, they can't.. But we can choose not to let it determine out lives. You can be in pain and do things or sit at home and do nothing. Do what you can that makes you happy, be it family,  friends, social events.

    We hurt at home doing nothing,  may as well do something enjoyable. Don't give Into the pain. Don't let it win.

    Stay strong. 

    Faith, hope, strength. Keep fighting,  you can still lead a fulfilling life. 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,167

    We have a new category in Forum Home, Chronic Pain Buddies. We are also implementing several more in the coming days. This will be a place where we can all go and vent, whine, cry and support each other. I saw where Angie is the first to join, thank you!!


  • @memerainbolt

    Thank you Sandra  :)

    I'm very grateful to have found this forum,  and if I can help someone, anyone,  just a bit, I'm happier.

    We're all in the same boat, friends that understand, care, support and advise. 

    That's a blessing I'm grateful for. 

    Best wishes 


  • I am reminded of a statement my oldest Son's football coach once said to the team. He told the boys to "Get thru what they are going thru." Made alot of sense then, and it certainly does now that I am a spiney. I think about those words daily and it helps me push thru my pain.


  • I agree with Angie that those without chronic pain cannot understand it. Like Chris I am still coming to terms with all the uns. Especially the unreliable and unsocial. Not all of family get it,but fortunately after many years of living with me, my husband gets it. I have friends that say “I never take pills,not even tylenol”. I am still not sure how to reply to that , I know what I would like to say but hold back lol. I think there are adjustments we make each time our spine health changes. I like to do what I can and try not to think about what I can no longer do. Hearing from Sandra and
    each one in this discussion helps with the loneliness chronic pain brings. Keep posting, we are supporting one another. Sometimes I just read posts to feel connected when pain has clouded my day.
  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,167

    I really got tired of the comments and questions. Have you gone to a specialist? or What are you going to do? Why don't you have surgery? Now I answer back. If they were true friends or knew me well. they would never say a word. What have I got to lose, right, people who I don't want to be around.

    Instead of thinking of all the things I can't do, I try to think like I still can just in a different way. But even with that, I too have days when I get down because I can't. But I have my husband who totally understands. He has seen me go from a feisty, energy filled, Harley riding woman to a scoliosis shell and a spine that is very gnarly looking. All within a few years. He retired early to take care of me because he knew what was coming. I don't know what I would do without him.

  • Sandra, I think you are still that feisty, energy filled woman. I know inside that I am too. We are all trapped in whatever our bodies become as we age. It’s that feisty attitude and lifestyle adjustments that keeps us going. Every so often I allow a few tears and get up and move on. I am a friend who gets it. 

  • @memerainbolt and @nancyann

    Inside these worn and defective bodies we are still us. Feisty and doing what we can.

    I'm sure we all have those days, tears, darkness and a feeling of hopelessness,  I have plenty,  but....God grants me another day to enjoy what I can. And I always try to remind myself,  no matter how bad I feel, I know for certain it could be worse.

    And in every day there is some joy and blessing. 

    For me it's my daughter and husband.  She's 9 and really makes me laugh, it's us against Daddy, but not in a mean way. She's sweet, kind, funny and an absolute blessing.

    Chronic pain may change our lives, but we hang on tight to what really matters. Family, friends,  love, and faith. The little things that make us smile, laugh or bring warmth to our hearts.

    Without a doubt I am a much more grateful,  more compassionate and more patient person than before.

    PS, @memerainbolt, Sandra, my husband and I used to go on motorbike trips all over the country. I even learned to ride myself! We loved it. It was amazing.  Can't do that anymore,  but I hang on to those happy memories   :)

    Take care 


  • Oh, I love the idea of the Chronic Pain Buddies Forum!   Seriously, I "pretend" I'm not in pain around my family/friends.  They don't really want to hear about it much and it's embarrassing to whine about this back pain that has no end.  I have always had an Eeyore type of personality.  I think "Isn't it enough that I actually get out of bed every morning and now the Universe wants me to get out of bed in PAIN too??!"  This forum and the good people who contribute here are my saving grace. 

  • @mjcg

    I feel like my husband gets tired of me saying I hurt, so I often don't bother. I mean someone asks how you are every day and the answer is "I'm hurting", they just don't get it. But they can't to be fair. 

    It's invisible,  outside we/I look normal. Fortunately I don't have a cane or a wheelchair,  so people often say "you look well" (as in, "How bad can it be?...."). If only they knew.

    I've had a LOT of bad days,  like so many on here,  but there are better ones in there too. 

    I really hope they can get you fixed.  I still hold onto that hope for myself. 

    Take care and stay in touch. 

    Best wishes 


  • @dmo

    I hope you're ok my friend. 

    Always in my thoughts and prayers. 

    God bless 


  • Thank you Miss Angie,

    Chronic pain is the dark side of our lives.  Somehow we must get through it.  Thankfully we have THE ONE who is greater than ourselves. 

    God bless you also. 


  • @dmo

    Absolutely. Every day is challenging and difficult. It can be very dark. 

    Our faith is the light. The hope. 

    God bless you my friend. 

  • After I lost my ability to walk, which coincided with the onset of pain, I decided to buy a mobility scooter. I bought a couple of leather jackets, and dug out my high heels. I don't know why, but I thought "If I am going to do this, I am doing this in style". Plus, sitting in a scooter hides my lumbar ice packs so much better. Haha. 

  • Awsome way to go Sitsalot!

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