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I don't think I can do this anymore

aimlessaaimless Posts: 372
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Chronic Pain
May be a common theme this week... I know the pain gets to all of us, mentally, and we work through it and move on (or try to). Lately its been harder and harder. I feel like I spend an extraordinary amount of time thinking about managing pain: medications, adjusting dosages, moving meetings at work so I can get in to phys therapy. Planning my life - commuting at a time when I can get a seat on the train (because standing for 20 minutes is truly painful). Always having a tagline for why I can't drink at various festivities, etc etc.

I've doubled my nerve pain med to the maximum daily dose and I'm still having pain (it was an effective medication just a couple of months ago). I have a second nerve pain med and I'm going to talk to my surgeon about increasing that one as well. The phys therapy gives me very temporary relief, and I am still not able to get any aerobic exercise due to the stenosis. I'm struggling. I know others have it way worse than me, but I live inside this body and more and more I'm hating it.

The idea of surgery scares me because it is no guarantee, I could end up worse off. Yet living like this is making me feel like I just go through the motions. I'm not really "living."

Does this make sense? Anyone else ever feel this way? How do you overcome it?


  • i feel like that everyday,i am not a surgical canidate was injured in 1993,and have never had back surgury,i am worse than i was in 1993? yes,i hope you have a better day...
  • :) aimless, i am so sorry you are feeling so down and depressed. yes, it does sound like you are depressed. have you thought about any medications for depression? i hate to know you are feeling so badly and know that words don't do much to end the sadness. it is so difficult to see our bodies running our lives. the time it takes to take care of ourselves can increase so when pain flare ups. perhaps the increase in your nerve meds will help. i hope you find some comfort in those of us in pain as you are. you are not alone! Jenny :)
  • I agree with your assessment ... is it really living *now*? Yes there's a risk with having surgery, but it looks like you have tried everything you could over the last two years.

    Have those last two years been the kind of life you want to live?

  • Hope you feel better soon. I agree with "C" you may want to review your choice of treatment in light of the changes in your condition.

    Sending (((((hugs)))))
  • What is happening right now - it is as though the challenge just suddenly got more difficult in the past couple of weeks. I am trying to keep a good attitude, that is so much of what gets us through!! But I think I hit a turning point, and I am going to think through surgery and timing and just focus on my own path and how this could work.

    Bigcat - I've seen your posts and my heart goes out to you. I hope YOU can get some relief as well.
    Jenny - sad part is, I DO take meds for depression! But you're right, I may be able to get enough of this under control with nerve meds again, will keep you posted.
    C - I agree with about 98% of what you post here on Spine Health. 'nuff said.
    Tig - agreed, and I love a long distance hug, thank you thank you :)))
  • I'm with "C" on her same exact words. Not much more to add to that.
    I'v seen people wait to long and suffer in the end of the run.
    Or I have seen people jump on the band wagon get things going and everything was ok.
    There is NEVER EVER a answer if surgery will cure it all.

    Hey the percentages they give you these days are pretty good.
    I took my 60%chance of feeling better. I did not want perm nerve damage. BUT I was also lucky enough to have excellent insurance and well that does not go for everyone..

    Think this through. Once pain that can "possibly" be fixed is interfering with your life style, its time to go forward with the "possible"

    Hang in there. We all feel what your going through. We are either going through it, or already have ~~~

    Terri ;) >:D< >:D<
  • I'm so sorry for your pain. I can relate to you in many ways and my thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm sending you a ladybug Hug through the air.And a smile too,I do know it is hard and harder at times to get through this mess we are in and for me sometimes just even a smile can take my pain away if only 4 a minute, Patsy
  • Thanks Terri - you nailed it re: quality of life, that is the corner I have turned. I have started the conversations with my family and my SO, and so far they are all supportive. BTW - I've been following your surgery threads as well, and wish you all the best in your recovery (and no more over-doing it!!) >:D<
  • Long distance hugs >:D< and smiles back atcha! :)))
    (and reading your post made me smile, I needed that)
  • I am definitely with you on the surgery dilemma. I am able to control my pain enough with meds to have some quality of life at this point and definitely would not even consider surgery because the risk of making things worse are too great. (I have already had 1 failed surgery that did make it worse). But on the other hand if I get to the point that I have no quality of life and the pain can not be managed with meds, I would have to rethink the surgery issue and at that point the risk may be worth taking. Good luck with what ever you decide I know that it is a tough choice to make.
  • I have gone through those same feelings since I was injured as a CNA and Nationally Registered EMT. In 1978, I lifted a patient, and ruptured 2 discs. I aggravated the injury by not quitting work, and doing CPR in the back of an ambulance for 36 miles. I had my first laminectomy in 1978. It only provided temporary relief, so in 1980, I had a second laminectomy. That provided some relief for several years. In 2003 I had Ti plates with cage and 6 screws to attempt a fusion. That failed, and the hardware was removed 1 year later. I get so depressed over 30 years of chronic pain, but being married to a Baptist Minister has helped, plus the arrival of 2 Granddaughters that I love to death! I am seeing a counsellor, and working to get rid of 60 extra pounds through Weight Watchers and aqua therapy. Hang in there, my prayers are with you. "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me". It is a promise.

    57 year old female ~ 4 lumbar laminectomies, arthroscopic surgery right knee, rotator cuff repair, ulnar nerve transfer left arm, double pre-surgery knee replacements, arthritis, spondylosis, degenerative disc disease, full hysterectomy at 19 due to fibroid tumors, fibro myalgia, depression, recently diagnosed bi-polar, COPD.
  • Hi aimless! I am so sorry that your oging through all this stuff. It is a process. Everything is a process.

    I think for me I had a really hard time when I was first injured at work with the arm injury in Sept of 2004. I was made and angry alot. Wanting to get better and working hard at it.
    The first arm surgery went well and it was the second more serious wrist surgery that atarted me down a journey of life that I had just never ever thought I would find myself! I did not really even realize there was this wole other life as a chronic pain patient and what that meant for me and many other people!
    The second arm surgery failed and at that point I was devastated! I saw no end in things! It was then that I started feeling like your feeling now!
    Like my life revolved around my pain and the pain meds schedule. Around the way I felt from day to day! Not to mention all the tight restrictions because this arm thing was a w-comp case.

    There was much work to be done on my "insides" if you will, to begin to work on the healing process of the grief and loss I felt for the life I had had!

    About 2 years and 2 more wrist/elbow surgeries later I was finally getting better and w-comp was coming to an end. I got off all meds and had been walking everyday and hikking every weekend and had already started to do, Some of the life I once had.
    But all through the w-comp 3 1/2 years of it was a constant vigil of WORK on acceptance...Yes that A word.

    Well I was very excited to be so close to getting the w-comp thing done and had been off all the meds for a bout 2 weeks when I had an MVA that injured my neck! Things eventually closed on w-comp and I was basically left in a state of TOTAL devestation!
    I thought, because I was in denial, that htis neck thing was going to pass and be overwith in a few weeks.

    I found my self back right where you are! I tried for about a week or so to go without the pain meds. The last thing I wanted to do was to start on medication therapy and any type of procedures or pt again. The pain became to much to handle and it was a signal I was all to familiar with telling me...screaming at me "something is seriously wrong inside"

    So since July 10th 2007 I had traded the w- comp injury for the neck injury!
    I was in denial and unwilling to seek acceptance of the way things are at the moment.

    It is tough! There is no doubt in my mind. It is a JOB to plan your everyday tasks around what your pain and injury or illness are doing. The meds are a part of that too. And, trying to get anyone to understand is a waste of time.

    Aimless if your married and have children and are going through all of this like I know others here do...like TerriJV, My hat goes off to you all! It just must be extra difficult for you all with a family involved.

    On the other hand if your like me and alone and have to rely on yourself well that is a entire differnt set of stuff that is equaly as hard.

    I know I have rambled on a bit about my story, but the thing that I guess I want to express to you the most is that 1.) I am here for you any time you would liketo have some support or a listening ear! just PM me...
    and 2.) I know these things are difficult and desision making for surgery is tough and planning for all of this is overwhelming, but it can be done and you are so not alone. There is help out there and HOPE!!!

    I can't make a surgery decision for you but when my Ortho told me that and ACDF surgery done for discogenic pain has less of a success rate, only 50-50, then when it is done for those who have cord compression, it came down to the fact that my life was much like yours.
    I felt I was missing out on life rather then being able to participate as much as I would to participate in life!!
    I am almost 39 yrs old and trying to become a Nurse not be nursed..lol, but all that is on hold pretty much since all the accidents and chronic pain. i may even have to change my career focus!
    But what I do know is as long as I don't give up, and I believe there is hope for me, I can continue to move forward with my life no matter what it may throw at me.

    I hope that my ramblings have helped you some! Please feel free to PM me anytime you like!

  • chrissy great post.
    me kids, married :? :B who says?? [( 8} =)) =))
    only bustin with ya.
    yes it does make it easier and tuffer!!!!!!

    but hey when docs give u 50/50 or even something to go on i take it, im not one to sit around.
    my mom has a friend who has suffered for years w/ lower back pain, leg pain you name it. well now its to late for him. there is no surgery. it may fix the lower back pain but not the nerve damage.

    my issue is heridatary. along with lovely cna,emt and firefighter issuessssssssssssssssssssss.

    i have herniations all the way down. not a spot is missing.
    so most likely MORE surgery is on the way...

    ok this is not my post so i won't ramble like i always do.. :D 8}

    aimless hang in there!!! weigh your good and your bads about all of this. and go from there......
    glad my first intial post helped to some extent.

    cyber huggies
    >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • Hi aimless, im so sorry u r going throgh all this, yes at times it gets so fustrating that well i speak for myself i dont know which way to turn, i got a fusion juat fused at the transverse processes things......and a surgeon at our local hospital thinks that this bmp stuff they have used may have overgrown.......i too have stenoisis and my legs are like jelly and i didnt have that before the surgery but maybe it was all going to come anyway.......i have to say people on here have been brillant, always responding to my posts i am truely grateful i really am, aimless maybe surgery could work for u..u never know but i would definetly recommend getting loads and loads of opinions xoxo take care
  • From all of you, I am grateful. I have been feeling better since I told myself it was okay to start to explore surgery. I thank you all for your responses (and make no apologies for "rambling" there is no such thing, its interesting to hear various perspectives). And certainly some tough roads travelled, which I greatly respect.

    My situation: I have good medical insurance so I am fortunate in that regard. I spoke with my employer about all of this today and let her know what was going on, so there are no surprises if I do proceed. I live with my partner and he is also supportive of whatever I decide to do. He sees me in tears at the breakfast table every day and knows I am struggling. And no kids, just a poorly behaved little dog. And I most certainly have my parents support (like you Terri, its genetics, and my mom had a failed lumbar fusion, perhaps that is playing into my nerves).

    I am calling my surgeons office tomorrow to make an appointment; I want to discuss options re: success rates, timing, have I given meds enough of a shot... Terri you also mentioned permanent nerve damage which I had not considered and I want to discuss with him as well. Sometimes, these decisions are made for us...

  • Before you try surgery, give prolotherapy a 6-12 month trial. In most cases, chronic pain is due to ligament damage. Prolo has helped me get to the point where I can now do physical therapy every day. It takes a long time to work, at least 6 months, and the treatment isn't covered, but I think it's worth it.

    Prolo helped me get out of chronic low back pain stemming from a herniated disc back in 2002-2003. You should realize that herniated discs happen because ligaments get to weak to contain them...prolo strengthens these ligaments. It took over a year, but it slowly worked. I was able to participate in competitive sports from mid 2003-2007 (Golf, tennis, hockey, hoops).

    I did re injure my back by not heeding the warning signs...I kept playing sports even though I had a lumbar strain. I felt it "go" and after trying several different remedies for over a year, I went back to prolo...I have had 5 treatments since November of 2008 so far and like I said, it is starting to work its magic again. I can sit longer periods without pain and it's not always on my mind.

    I sincerely expect to be 100% again, probably in the fall or winter of 2110. It takes a while, but it is a cure.

    Check out more info on CaringMedical.com.
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