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Could it be worse?

dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,072
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Depression and Coping
I believe that anyone living with chronic pain for over 5 years can completely understand where I am going with this one.

When someone is new to chronic pain, they think its the end of the world, their life has stopped, they can never be the person they were before, etc, etc

But it is very interesting to see those same folks after dealing with chronic pain for 5, 7, 10 years they see things in a different light.

Instead of looking at the negatives of pain, they are so thankful for what they do have.

For me, many years ago it was an eye opening. I started physical therapy in a new center and after a few days there, I saw those folks who really had problems. May never walk or talk again, may never get out of a wheel chair and so many of them were in their teens!

If that doesnt make you look at your own situation, nothing else will.

So, while I understand that we are in pain and it can rob so much from us, but stop every once in a while and just think how much worse things can be and why not look at all the things we can be grateful fur!



  • Ron,

    You are so right and I think even those of us been dealing with this for a long time still have our moments. Somethings that might trigger it can be anything from maybe you enjoyed camping and the outdoors with friends and that is no longer on your list. Or your a gardner and you just can't maintain those beds as you once did. But in the grand scheme of things, I like to say I can still watch and see those things are partake in them in smaller ways, than I once could. But I think we all get bummed by something we loved or enjoyed very much and haven't found other ways to still enjoy it.

    With all that said I still say never. Meaning I will never do this or that again, well there maybe something I will never do again, but that is by choice. I recently had a conversation with a surgeon friend whom is doing some exciting new work for chronic pain patients, so I know those that can are still working on how to solve these pains. But your right about one thing I still get to go out by myself and get outside where as others may never do those things again. So for that I am thankful for everyday. It is okay to stop and smell the roses even if we are in pain, all the more reason to take our time and do it.
  • After crashing in '85', and then as time went on, 'wear and tear' and two MVA's, I've had pain since... It didn't stay as in the chronic mode though until 2002.

    Can it get worse? I feel the answer is yes. Like you mentioned though, at some point on the chronic pain journey, "the end of the world" feeling goes away for the most part, and we reemerge knowing pain is there, and now I have adapted to this 'new life' if you will.

    Down days, you betcha. If our pain stayed exactly the same way we would adapt, but we have those good and bad days, and as such our mood might ride up and down with those kinds of days. I know I have more surgeries coming and will cling to the hope for improvement, but no longer do I feel spine surgery will "fix" me. "Fix"..bad word in spine land! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,772
    whenever i get particularly blue about my pain - problems current and impending, i spend some time on another forum that immeadiately puts my life and problems back into perspective. so if you are in the middle of your own pitty party,

    please take a visit to this site:

    it will give you some new perspective and apreciatation as to where most of us actually are.


  • It definitely could be so much worse, anyone who knows me, knows I always say that. I have to, to keep reminding myself of that. But sometimes, it still just sucks... ~X(
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,109
    There are stages a chronic pain patient goes through and I believe it is denial then acceptance with other steps in between but for the life of me I cant think of them. Help with this one anyone?
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  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,072
    Stage 1
    This is when you first experience some pain in your back or other spinal areas. Generally last only several days.

    Stage 2
    The pain does not go away and gets stronger. Here is where you first start seeing a doctor and perhaps start taking pain medications.

    Stage 3
    Here is where the pain is acute and you get relief only while taking pain medications. The pain is generally central to one area. This pain could last several weeks.

    Stage 4
    Here is where the pain starts to become unbearable. You are getting severe burning sensations and you day to day life becomes impacted.

    Stage 5
    The pain starts to spread. What first may have started in the lower back, is spreading to your hips and legs. This pain can be classified as chronic after about 6 to 9 months dealing with the previous stages. It is important to get proper diagnostic testing to determine what corrective treatments you should be having.

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,361
    It could be much worse. I remind myself of that a lot when I'm feeling sorry for myself or when I just get plain mad. Still, you've got to admit that it's hard to imagine how much worse it could be when whatever pain you're in at the time is as bad as you've ever had--you know? Like the pain scale. When they say 10 is the worst you can imagine, well what if you've never had severe pain to compare it to?? One persons worst could be a "bee sting" to another persons "shot in the foot" you know?

    Lately I try to "distract" myself a lot. If I'm sitting here in agony and wondering what I'm going to do I make myself go outside and work in my flowers or do some light housework. I tell myself that if I'm going to hurt anyway I may as well get something done. It doesn't always work, but sometimes it does by getting my mind on other things and makes me feel better by feeling like I accomplished something. Even though it's not nearly as much as I'd like to do. I guess I'm learning to deal with it some after all.

    Sorry Ron. I think I got off your topic a little. Your posts always make me think. Thanks.

  • I think that Susan is asking for the stages of grief that a CP person goes through, like the stages of grief after a loved one dies. You've posted that before might actually be a very good thing to put in the FAQ section.

  • I go on that forum also but yes stuff a para or quad has to deal with is a lot.
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance is Kubler-Ross terminology what happens with grieving as well as disability or injury of chronic pain. Well what I learned while in Nursing College.

    It's only 3-1/4 years for me in chronic pain and I think I'm bargaining a lot(I'll be a better person) and depression and still going through well I may get better..

    There may be people with it worse off than our own pain but everyone is individual and has their own pain threshold. Right now I try to live one day at a time but very hard because I have to get some packing done for moving in 3 weeks and haven't started yet.

    Even rolling my green bin to the curb last night, what my husband usually does had me bent right over. It's not easy to accept this and that's why I'm moving from here as I can't manage a house anymore and I guess that's a start of acceptance for me.

    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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