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Quality of Life

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Chronic Pain
What do you do when your quality of life is no longer there. When you are unable to do the things you once enjoyed and doing the things you have to do are so painful you dread each and every day. I feel like I am between a rock and hard place and I'm sure most of you feel the same way. (I am on tramadol right now but the Doctor only gave me 20 and told me to make them last. Whatever!)

I guess I feel like this pain is not going anywhere soon and the Doctors are at a loss so far as to what do. If you start taking narcotics for chronic pain then you are looking at probably taking them the rest of your life. And then there is the probablity of your body becoming more and more tolerant of the drugs so you require more and more to achieve the same pain relief. Where does it end?

I can't live like this but the thought of seeing a pain management doctor and being on drugs scares the hell out of me, and my husband is of the mind that I might as well hang it up once I start down the road with drugs to control my pain.

I feel like I'm screwed either way. Part of me says to hell with tomorrow, I want to live today! It seems like I have tried quite a few things P/T, ESI, Tens, ultrasound therapy, massage therapy and they all make me feel better for a whole 30 minutes or so then I am back to a 7 or 8 on the pain again.

Can you live the rest of your life on pain meds?
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Comments

  • I've been on narcotics since February and my hope is my anular tear will heal and my body will absorb the herniation. It can take as much as 18 months. There will still be people who will require surgery. There's quite a few success stories here and also alot of people who've been on narcotics for years. How long have you been on meds and your history? We're here for you. Take care. Charry
    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
  • I was taking hydrcodone when my pain first started but havn't really been on anything to speak of since July. Whoops, I went to the ER one night and they gave me 15 hydrocodone, that was a month or so ago. I just had to have some relief before I went out back and took care of my ownself.

    I have had 2 mri's one of my thoracic spine which is where it hurts and one of my cervical. The MRI of my t-spine only showed two mild disc bulges but my cervical spine showed quite a lot of stuff going on but I don't have any neck pain. I had an ESI last wednesday in my Cervical spine with no results.

    I just keep getting worse and worse and the doctor doesn't know why. I have just changed doctors because my other doctor refused to send me to any specialists. I was like, if you can't fix me lets find someone who can. My new doctor is not much better but at least he is willing to send me to some specialist and see if we can't rule some things out. But what I have gotten so far from these Doc's is that I may have to just learn to live with the pain. Huh, no way.. this is not living this is existing.

    I don't like the thought of taking drugs long term but that may be my only choice. I guess I just wonder how people get along taking them for years and years. Don't they eventualy quit working?
  • Suziee.....what choice do I have really-a life of pain-no thank you.I still have a good deal of pain with my meds,without them I would be miserable..especially having had them this long(15 mos).

    I went from April 2002 until August '07 without pain medication.Before 2002 I was taking a different kind of pain med for 11 years and quit that cold turkey(funny phrase).I refuse to go back to those 5 years and 4 mos of pain,and my pain is worse now than it was then..so yes,I can live on the medication.

    Sometimes it is what it is,and we make that choice or decision because we've thought long and hard,traveled many a road and saw this as the path to least painful resistance.The decision comes with responsibility and I have to remain strong willed so as not to let myself become abusive with my meds.I was before ..not this kind,but before 2002,and I know that if I'm not incredibly careful that it could happen again if I let it.

    I can never take my meds early or more than my 4 a day..otherwise I would know that I would be taking the fork in the smooth path and into dangerous territory.

    Your question is a good one and others with different opinions will possibly disagree with me..and that is ok because I'm speaking from personal experience only.

    I'm sorry for your pain..if it's spinal,or cervicle as I think it may be I really don't see it just going away.The Drs know this,so why they don't treat you is beyond me.Even if substance abuse would be their concern(for chronic pain patients it usually is not BTW),but even if it were they could treat you and hold you to a contract.I'm not saying this to offend,only to help..but of course that is a personal choice.

    I take my meds every day and I am a private person here in this real life.What I mean is I don't go 'round telling anyone that I take medication..my health issues are just not something I sit around talking about with friends/family,only because I don't focus on that when I'm out with others.My point is that nobody has ever mentioned a difference in me(and I have a couple of outspoken family members).I didn't act or dress different..well actually I think I did get nicer and when we go out I care more about how I look,but I'm the same person.

    This is how I'm trying to explain my experiences with pain medication,and why it was the right,and so far the only choice for me to have a quality of life that is close to the normal that used to be mine.We are all different,but our choices are few sometimes.

    All the best.
  • I suppose my husband is making me feel like drugs are the very last choice and once that choice has been made then I am "doomed". Good grief, I feel doomed every morning when I wake up.

    I didn't choose to have this pain and I certainly didn't think 9 months ago I would still be dealing with it and that it actually could get worse.

    I am 48 years old and have never had an operation or any medical procedure in my life (ESI) so I have never established a relationship with a doctor of my choosing. I have been just going along all dumb fat and happy only to have my back give me a wake up call.

    Bottom line is I can't get it through my husbands head that if it comes to taking meds to control my pain that it won't be the end of the world or my life. If anything it will give me my life back and we can begin to enjoy our life again.

    I understand the Doctors don't want to give out narcotic's and I am okay with that but at least refer me to a pain specialist who deals with pain every day and has the knowledge and expertise in treating someone with chronic pain.

    I know I am preaching to the choir.. Everyone here is pretty much in the same boat. Some are sinking while others are grabbing for a life line and some are on dry land.
  • I understand your concern about maybe having to take narcotics for a long time, or possibly the rest of your life. You along with your doctor should make that decision, and the benefit should outweigh the risks. And it's a question of do you want to stay in bed all the time and miss out because you're in too much pain to do anything, or take narcotics so that you spend less time in bed, and you can do a few things. It may allow you to visit family, travel, do minor chores. Everyone is different as far as what they can tolerate.
    My spouse wouldn't take meds, that his personal choice. But he would want me to take something rather than be in agony. It allows me to function fairly, not to the extent that I did before my back problems started of course. But also I have good and bad days.
    Think of it this way. It's like a heart patient having to take heart meds for the rest of his life, a diabetic can't go without theirs, neither can an asthmatic, or someone with rheumatoid arthritis. Our condition is chronic just like theirs and pain medication allows us to have a better quality of life.
  • Also,I certainly don't mean to sound rude toward your husband,but the 'very last choice' for most Drs,and me,is spine surgery..because down the road a person is likely to be taking medication for their pain...even after surgery it happens sometimes,more often than we want to think.Then you have had surgery,which causes(it's a fact)weakening in other areas of the spine,more likely chance of needing surgery again in the future,AND are on pain medication...anyway,or again.

    And I don't mean to sound pessimistic,but this can be a reality for some-though the lucky ones have successful surgeries and things work out GREAT...? Really,because I know people who have had surgery(back)and I have never heard a TRUELY happy ending.What I hear is that it MAY make your pain somewhat better,maybe the same,or possibly worse.I don't like the sound of those odds and so I have decided not to have the surgery unless as a very last resort.I've had many other operations and some with hardware [tho not spinal] and the pain is not gone in those areas.Spines are serious business and nobody should enter that type of operation IMO unless they HAVE to.My Drs agree(so far-lol)

    Perhaps your husband has seen the stereotypical drug user and thinks that all people that take pain medication,or pain killers as they say on TV-are the same.Maybe you should tell him about some of the people here that have good jobs and are raising wonderful children in loving homes and take their medication because they need it.You have to admit,you don't see people like us portrayed anywhere ..and when people think of taking pain meds every day they think of what they see on television or hear on the news/papers,etc.It's only their fault when they know better and choose to think the worst..otherwise they just don't understand the concept.I hate to admit this,but I was the same way before I knew better.

    BTW~I'm 48 too,and was 47 when my PCP referred me to my PM.I don't regret it at all.Maybe your new Dr will refer you soon.
  • I think my husband thinks that sooner or later your body builds up a resistance to all pain meds and then what do you do? I do know that you can or do build up a tolerance for certain pain meds. So do you just sort of switch around so that it doesn't happen?

    As far as back surgery goes I don't think I have heard of anyone having a successful one and if it was successful it didn't last long. That would be last on my list of things to do. I was really hoping that the ESI would help but nothing.

    I was thinking the other day the "Dr. Phil" should have a show with people that are in chronic pain and have to take narcotics to have some quality of life. He has had all the abusers on so maybe its time to turn the table on pain and narcotics. I may just write him, I think it would make for a good show.
  • and I will live the rest of my life on pain meds if that is what it takes to have any quality of life. Don't worry what others think. You are the one that either must take the meds or live in pain. Good luck.
  • Hiya Suziee, >:D<
    I read your post and it made me feel sad inside :( . I can relate to everthing you have said, :''( like others here will read your post and think you were talking about them :O . I really dont want to sound harsh >:D< , but when you have chronic pain day in day out :''( , you are happy to get some relief , no matter where it comes from (medication, PT, massage, etc) #:S What i have learned is that doctors, specialists, surgeons, will not help you unless you help yourself :? . If they want you to try some medication to help your pain @) , then try it, then if it dont work they can say they have tried every option :( . When you first go on to the medication, yes you will feel sleepy, but as time goes on your body will a just to the medication. :D Its ok for anyone who has never suffered this kind of pain to tell you that you do not need the medication :? , if your doctor didnt think you needed it then he wouldnt advice you to take it :? .If you have to take medication for the rest of your life then so what @) The medication will give you a better quality of life :) Ignore what other people say, you have to be a little selfish >:D< Start on some medication @) , then gather all the people that are close to you , explain how you feel and about your pain and that you are starting on some medication and how its going to make you feel, and that you would be grateful of any support :S. Please let me know how you get on with all this >:D<



    Angie x :H
  • :H I haven't read though the other posts but here's my take on it. I've been managing my pain with meds for 2 years now and I finally have something that works. I HAVEN'T MISSED A DAY OF SCHOOL OR WORK SINCE GETTING MY NEW MED! :D I am happier with less pain. My boyfriend :X at one point didn't understand. Then he Googled my condition and ended up reading to me for 7 hours. I could see the understanding paint his face. =D> <:P Now, he's happy I'm taking meds because he's seen me on meds that don't work. He appreciates my meds because they make life better for him too. :D With less pain, I'm happier, so as a result, he has less stress. I won't say we can do more, even though we kind of can sometimes, but the things we can do are less plauged with the evil pain cloud image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> hanging over us! When he didn't understand, we fought a lot about my meds and my condition. Now, it's easier to focus on other things because we always have that understanding about my back/pain/meds.

    I have so much more to write but I'm heading to work so I will try to write more later. Suziee, you are a good, loving person and you deserve relief. Don't be afraid. Please... Life is so much better when pain is controlled...

    Much love and understanding,
    Lisa >:D< :* >:D<
  • Hi Suziee,
    Sounds like you are miserable, I'm so sorry for that, and everybody here knows exactly what that feels like. Take medication if you need it. If you're still in the process of figuring out what's causing your pain, you will need to feel well enough to keep fighting. And that's what it is sometimes, a constant battle with the Drs, insurance co, etc... I just recenly had to tell my PM dr what I thought we need to try next. Without some relief from pain I feel like just quitting everything. Does your husband think you'll be whacked out all the time if you are on medication?My situation will never be pain free,so I want to get to the point of tolerance,and I'll be happy, if that means taking a pain pill or muscle relaxer when I need them, then so be it! As it is right now, I sleep about 3-4 hours a night ,because of pain. I take diclofenac, norco, and zoloft daily. And a muscle relaxer when I feel a spasm coming on. Ive been told I'm a "tough ole bird" but I still need some help! So if your Dr will help you let him, and if you know you need help tell him.
    I sure hope you get some relief, as I'm typing this , I'm hurting, time for another painkiller. Then off to work.
    Take care and keep coming here!
    Sagehen
  • I am more than ready for some relief. Thanks everyone for your imput!! I just needed to hear some positive comments about pain meds. It really is starting to make me angry when people say "well, you can't be on drugs the rest of your life". So what the hell am I supposed to do? I am not going to settle for this quality of life and come to terms with this pain!!! The doctors just don't understand what its like to live like this day after day with no end in sight. I have jumped through all whoops and I'm tired.

    I have an appointment Tueday and I am going to ask point blank if they will send me to a pain management doctor. We have messed around long enough and I am not getting better, if anything I am getting worse. I know, my attitude sucks!

    Thanks everyone
  • NOT ALL PAIN MEDS ARE NARCOTICS, BY THE WAY. PAIN MANAGEMENT IS THE RIGHT PLACE FOR YOU. YOU'VE GOT TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S CAUSING YOUR PAIN. THE APPROPRIATE MED MAY BE SEIZURE MEDICATION OR MUSCLE RELAXANTS OR ANTIDEPRESSANTS. IF, HOWEVER, NARCOTICS ARE THE RIGHT DRUG FOR YOU, TAKE THEM FOR GOODNESS SAKE. YOUR HUSBAND IS THE UNFORTUNATE VICTIM OF THE MEDIA BIAS AGAINST THESE DRUGS. THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO TAKE NARCOTICS FOR PAIN DO NOT BECOME ADDICTED. THEY MAY DEVELOP A PHYSICAL DEPENDENCY BUT THAT IS TRUE OF MANY, MANY DRUGS, INCLUDING BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION. WHILE, IT IS TRUE THAT PROLONGED USE OF OPIOIDS (THE DOCS PREFER THIS WORD--LESS SLEEZY SOUNDING) CAN LEAD TO PHYSICAL DEPENDENCE AND TOLERANCE (THIS MAY BE THE SAME THING) LETS LOOK AT THE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS OF NOT TREATING CHRONIC PAIN: LACK OF ACTIVITY CAUSES WEIGHT GAIN, INCREASED BLOOD PRESSURE; HIGHER CHOLESTERAL LEVELS; DEPRESSION (WHICH CAN LEAD TO SUICIDE.) SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION ARE IRRITABILITY (LET YOUR HUSBAND LIVE WITH THAT FOR A FEW MONTHS), DECREASED INTEREST IN SEX (DITTO). I WAS A COLLEGE STUDENT DURING THE LATE 60S. I NEVER DID DRUGS RECREATIONALLY. I ALWAYS SHARED YOUR HUSBAND'S VIEW THAT NARCOTICS SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COST. THEN I DEVELOPED A DAMAGED NERVE IN MY SPINE. I AM TOLD I WILL HAVE PAIN THE REST OF MY LIFE. IF THAT'S THE CASE, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE IF I'M PHYSICALLY DEPENDENT OR NOT. MY ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT THE OPIOIDS MAKE ME REALLY NERVOUS AND PANICKY FEELING (WITH ONE EXCEPTION, THANK GOD.) I AM SO INCREDIABLY GRATEFUL THAT I HAVE THIS ONE DRUG TO HELP. IT DOESN'T TAKE THE PAIN AWAY. I'M GETTING READY FOR A TRIAL WITH A SPINAL CORD STIMULATOR. I WISH, HOWEVER, HE WERE ON YOUR SIDE ON THIS TOPIC BECAUSE YOU NEED ALL THE HELP YOU CAN GET RIGHT NOW. DOES HE HAVE A BETTER IDEA? WE'D ALL BE INTERESTED IN HEARING IT IF HE DOES.
  • It sounds like you are trying to deal with the fact that you are going to be in pain forever...before you even have the help with your pain.

    We all go through that,all of us in chronic pain suffer from the loss of what was.You sound like you are realizing that this is forever and are just now starting what so many of us call the grieving of our old selves.

    It's normal what you are feeling..but it is a process and that won't go away as soon as you get pain medication.Initially you will feel relief and might even be happy because you will finally have something every day that will help with your pain.The emotional stuff is another story and soon after the initial 'joy' wears off that will hit you full force.I only say this because I can already hear the start of it in your posts.

    You won't be alone there either though..we are all in different areas of getting to the same understanding.Some of us are already there.I don't know if I am completely,but maybe I'm as far along as I can get for now.I've had a head start though as I've been in pain for so many years.

    Tolerance is an issue of course,but it's so different for each of us-not only in the length of time that we become tolerant,but how we and our Drs deal with and manage it.It's actually big enough for a whole thread(lol),but personally speaking I don't seem to have the problem with tolerance that some people do.My meds were increased from 5/500 to 7.5 to 10 over the course of 13 months..but it was my pain,not tolerance that caused the increase.My Dr & I know this because in the morning when I took my meds I still felt the initial euphoria that a person gets from narcartics,but my pain was not getting as much relief over time.When I started on the 10mg I did get sick to my stomach at first,but my pain was helped a lot.I hope that makes sense because that's the only way I can describe it.

    PCP's can treat pain it's just that some don't like doing it long term and is usually why they send their patients to PM after treating them for a while.My PCP told me that she felt that I could get MORE and better pain care from PM and is why she sent me.I took it personally at first,as though she didn't want to treat me,but we talked about it and I understand now where she is coming from.I still see her for everything,but she doesn't prescribe the pain meds anymore.

    Maybe your Dr can prescribe.Tell him exactly how you feel,and then if he's not comfortable prescribing you can ask for a referral.
  • I would love to see any show like Dr Phil or The Doctors talk about the plight of the chronic back pain suffer and the stigma of having to rely on a narcotic medicine to function. And also to re educate the public that we are truly ill, and not judge narcotic use as evil, just because some people have used them illicitly. That poppy plant was put on this earth for a reason, to help pain sufferers, but it has been misused throughout the ages. Unfortunately for us, right now there is an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, and both patients and doctors are affected by it. When I walk out of the pharmacy, I clutch my purse tight to me and watch for people loitering. I have my keys in my hand ready. I know I'm an easy mark, since I use a cane and have difficulty walking.
    These are the times we live in, and there's a lot of paranoia all around.
  • I wish I could ease the way for you to gently and softly transition to this new life.I wish I could tellyou the magic word to make all these issues fade to a low roar, I wish there was a way to tell those around you of the different levels of pain oyur experiencing.
    1. The physical pain
    a) the drain on your body and energy

    2. the mental anguish
    a) the unending fight to balance your life with:
    1) yourself
    2) your family
    3) your self out in and to the world
    And trying to make the world understand and if not accomodate, to at least respect the person and the wonderful life carried inside!

    As tot eh third paragraph... you seem cut from an honorable and wonderful cloth, trying to respect your husbands ideas)(ime not trying to be sexist) but as you love and respect your husbands wishes, so should he respect the bodily integrity of his immortal beloved. Ime sure he only wants the very best for you,and hence the comments,
    but
    there is the issue of your quality of life,Multifacited as the humaqn animal is, there are so many factors to consider.
    SO...
    I can only relate to you of what I experienced. dont let pain be the controlling factor of your entire being, your gonna see, once ypu adapt to the median level of pain,and get "used" to the breakthrough levels,sadly... you begin to redefin your life and its acepptable perameters, you never really lose any control of your life, you mearly go through a uncomfortable and extended transition phase, where you learn to accept the situation in a mature and open minded way, its not fair or nice, but to begin to get any semblance of a life you want to participate in, your gonna have to adapt, to say, bend in the storm, so as not to break, or to wear away to a bitter and sad end.
    pain meds, when looked at as tools used to fight the pain
    have no inherent faults, God gave knowledge to men to make these tools to alieviate the needless suffering, there is no reason to cause suffering to yourself, there is nothing wrong with having a modicum of solace in the fight against pain. too much pain too long may cause depression and other probs.

    I admire your wonderful fighting spirit!!!
    take every moment, every secon of your new and wiser life, embrace the change, know that inside, you are still the same wonderful and lively person you always were.
    that will never change,
    what makes you,"you" is engraved and written in your soul, every attribute that makes up your person willnever go away, you adapt and beecome a wiser person. dont fight the inevitable, accept the pain, accept all the sorrow, embracing life as it is is sometimes the only way to live with yourself in this body become prison.
    so
    you leasrn to make the best of what you can do,and learn to let go of what you once were, to..
    what you are
    and will be!

    All the drives and passions, loves, desires and energy will always be there.
    you just learn to do things a different way and at a different speed.
    you learned to walk once, and there was no sorrow,and little pain,
    all we do sometimes is get mad coz we have to learn to walk again, bu its ok
    you have many people around you ready willing and able to support your efforts,
    explain to them
    once
    whats happening
    and what you would like to happe in your life
    that way they wil have understanding and hopefully some patience.I hope these humble words have lifted you a little!
    feel free to come and vent or share with us.
    s
  • I've been taking pain meds (opiates/muscle relaxers, etc.) for 8 years. I made a choice a long time ago, that I could not live the rest of my life in the kind of pain that I was in. My entire world had "shrunk" and I had no real quality of life. Luckily, my husband never had any issues with meds and he has always been as understanding as a person without pain can be.

    There will always be some people who never "get it". And sadly, sometimes they are family or close friends. I learned a long time ago, that I had to do what was best for myself and for my family, so I don't really ever discuss it with the people who fail to try and understand. Nobody would ever know how much or what type of medication I take. I look and act like any other "normal" person.

    I certainly can't tell you what is right for you, but I just wanted to let you know that it can be done, long term, and done successfully. I still have a certain level of pain, and I will never be back to the "old" me again, but I have a good life and I'm able to do the things that I "need" to and many times, the things that I "want" to do.

    You have to make the choice that is best for you. And in time, the people who truly love you and care about you, will see the light. It might take some time, and you may need to try a few different docs before you find the right fit for you, but in the long run, it is worth every second of the effort.

    Best of luck in whatever you choose. I hope this helped a little. Take care, Mitzi
  • Thanks for everyone's responces..I don't even no where to start. I think Robin is right on, I am grieving for the way I used to be and the thought of not being that person again is hard to wrap my mind around. What I thought was going to be a bump in the road has turned in to a hole in the ground that I need to climb out of.

    My husband will come around, I'm not too worried about him. He knows what this has done to our lives. All the good things that are going on in our lives are trumped by my pain. It has a life of its own at this point and controls everything I do or don't do.

    I just need to get a Doctor on board so I can get on with my life. I do go in for a second ESI on the 18th and this time it will be of my thoracic spine (where I hurt) and not the cervical spine (where I don't hurt). It makes no sense, my mri of the t-spine shows mild bulging discs, while the cervical spine showed quite a bit of stuff going on, thats why they chose to do the ESI there which didn't do a damn thing. So now I am hopefull that maybe this next ESI will help.

    I still need to get refered to a pain management doctor. I will mention it on Tuesday.. No, I think I will demand it!

    I need to stop being such a "mouse" and start asking for what I need instead of being told what they think I need.

    I have tried all the antidepressants cymbalta effexor, pristiq and none of them have helped the pain. I would like to try lyrica or nueroton but so far no one has offered them up.

    Thanks again you guys.....

  • Being proactive is correct but we also need support and guidance at the early stages we can be demanding of what we think we need, when in the longer term those things become less important. Ranchhand, make a good point that we transcend into the minimal us and accepting these imposed changes is never easy and just being grateful for what we have sound good until it is us who those imposed conditions restrict our daily life. His spiralling list take us to a place that we ourselves have no understanding or recognition and why should we, every day we decline in some capability and over time this accumulates toward restriction, very discreetly and slowly unseen by ourselves and acknowledged and just a blip rather then irreversible change.

    Some of this is about attitude and expectation we all like to think we are working towards collective and attainable goals and when just surviving is all that can be hoped for and accepted this is very difficult to acknowledge as the best we can expect.

    We look for hope in a change of circumstances and for some this existence of being is all that it has come to and we need time to adjust and grieve for the lost us, who we have become by default. It is no wonder we can become depressed and by the rate of our change, it is a surprise we have not become more severely depressed sooner and we should acknowledge that.

    That mouse analogy is wrong, you have survived and supported others while you yourself were in pain and put others before yourself, even in your hour of need, accepted all that disappointment with some good grace and resilience, you are still the person inside that you always were and that will never change, that is why you are loved and admired and you have and continue to do a good job.

    What can anyone say in accepting the new us, the journey we have made and what we have learned about ourselves on the way, we should be proud of our achievement, they may well not be those of the world outside, but they are important to our survival?

    Hug yourself, you have and will continue to shine, however faded you feel inside.

    John
  • Very well said.. Thank you..
  • Most family practice physicians or even specialists such as surgeons, orthopods, etc., will only take a chronic patient to a certain point in terms of pain management, and then they become uncomfortable dealing with anything long-term. Especially narcotic meds. It is usually then, that they tell the patient to seek out a PM doc or in a worse case scenario, try to keep using the same old methods to treat the patient, when they've already failed to help.

    And just remember, not all treatments or meds work the same for all patients. So, don't beat yourself up, if the next set of ESI's don't do you much good. If they help, all the better. But if they don't, there are other options.

    I agree with John that you shouldn't consider yourself a "mouse". None of us ever expected to be in this situation. And how can anyone know how to procede, when something as complex and frustrating as chronic pain hits you and knocks the wind right out of you? From what I can see, you already have the best possible attitude. You've clearly made the decision to make the best of what's been handed to you.

    Keep standing up for yourself and being your own best advocate. I am sure you will find a good doc, who will help you to reach the goals you hope to achieve. You may have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince.(or princess) I know it took me 3 tries to find the PM doc that I have now. And I wouldn't change the process if I could. I learned a lot along the way, not only about how I wished to be treated, but especially, about how I didn't.

    As everyone has said in their posts (in their own beautiful, individual way) there is life after a chronic pain diagnosis. It might be a bit of a struggle to get to the place that works best for your needs, but it is worth every moment of it. And like I said above, if you don't find the right doc at first, move ahead to the next one. Don't ever sell yourself short. Only you know your body and your pain. Even a doctor has no right to tell you any different. When you find the one who not only listens, but hears what you are saying, you'll know you've found the right fit.

    Like I said before, I wish you the very best and please don't ever give up hope. Please keep us posted on your journey, OK? Take care and be well, Mitzi
  • Pain management are the best to be with as they will explain everthing to you :) . You just need to deal with the pain thats here and now :? , do not think long term pain. Try to relax more because if you dont this will also increase your pain levels :? . Please let us no how you get on @) , and PM me any time you want to :) , even if its just to vent ~X( .


    Angie x :H
  • Suziee,

    There are so many factors that determine one's "quality of life" and those factors differ greatly from person to person. I felt like my life was "over" when I had to give up most of my hunting/show dogs. I felt like it was over when I realized that my muscles were atrophing rapidly and I was becoming physically weak, or when I couldn't drive across the country anymore or when I couldn't even push the vacuum cleaner. Every time I went through another physical change it felt like I had to go through another round of mourning and all the steps that go with that as well.

    Having been a "tough broad" that handled pain well before my injury I had no skills to deal with the fact that I would forever be in severe pain. I was in denial (much like your husband) and refused pain medications from my doctor for quite some time. She finally made me realize that if I didn't get my pain under some control that I would do further damage to not only my body but to my soul as well. Although there is no way to eradicate my pain completely, keeping it at a manageable level has allowed me a lot more freedom than I had before.

    I would advise you to take your husband with you when you see your doctor next time. It is sometimes easier for others to comprehend why we need medications or procedures when it comes from someone other than us. My husband had no idea how bad off I really was until he saw the doc with me- all the information he had was what I told him and I often softened the truth because it was so hard for him to accept.

    I agree with the others, you MUST be your own advocate when it comes to your health care. Don't allow yourself to get lost in the medical shuffle and the fear of the doctors to prescribe the medications and/or treatments that we need. Be staightforward and honest with your doc; if he doesn't want to do something that can help you then ask for a referral to someone that can.

    One more thing: Please don't compare yourself to others here on the board. Every person is different and just because someone else can do it without meds or surgery doesn't mean YOU can or have to. This is YOUR body and YOUR pain and you deserve every chance to feel as well as possible. Got it? LOL

    Please let us know how things work out with you, we really do care.

    All the best,

    Griff
  • I just wanted to check in and see how your Dr appt. went.Good I hope.
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