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How do you deal with incapacitation and accepting being diminished as person?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello, I have two torn and degenerated lumbar discs and had two more discs (midback and neck) ruined by medical malpratice. It has been > 6 months and I can still only sit for 5 min w/o pain in lumbar region and neck, and only walk a few hundred meters - sometimes up to 800 yards but cannot get buttocks to really work well together, and if I walk too much it hurts awfully for a week. My work involves sitting all week. I know I should be glad I can walk at all but - I lost an awful lot of my quality of life. I used to walk ten miles for fun, and four miles every day. Go traveling. Love to clean my apart.

I have had a very hard life, this was supposed to be the good times finally coming. Then this happens and the mishandling accident ruins me even more. Now all I have left is working in pain and incapacitation, alone, serving only to serve others - as a worker.

I have had to deal with all, all alone, even the days when I could not stand up straight or walk at all. No one there for me except to pick up medicine now and then (if I asked - and asked and asked - and believe me, when one really needs one's friends, one finds out that 90% of them are nothing of the kind). What reason is there to live when life is pain, pain, pain and I cannot even walk for real, am alone, isolated? I so envy horses. If they are injured, they are put to sleep but humans - who can feel and conceive the full depth of their physical incapacitation and know it will never change - we, we are forced to live. I feel like a ape in a cage, asked to do my tasks, otherwise ignored and left to my incapacitation, isolation, pain and grief - and yet expected to smile.


  • I have pondered some of the same thoughts earlier today. I think acceptance takes a long time and it's good to have hope. Living one day at a time should be a goal. Planning for the future make small goals. Cleaning your apartment break it up in small goals to one room one drawer or one closet a week. Being in chronic pain can cause a imbalance in your brain chemicals so it can only be relieved with medication. Amitriptyline is an anti depressant as well as a nerve med. Cymbalta is the same. I also take wellbutrin as well as the amitriptyline. I hope with getting the negative scripts we use for ourselves can be turned around with positive affirmations of ourself and link is in my signature. Can you tell us what treatment you have had and your diagnosis? If your work has an employee assistance program, do utilize a Counsellor. There are also Distress lines open 24/7 if you need immediate help. I hope you find encouragement here and even journalling your feelings provide some help coping. Take care and see you around the posts. 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
  • the simple answer is you have to get on with it {sorry} i too have lost a wife /job and so called friends .but the only advice i can give you is to do what you can when you can and to stop morning the person you once were..i know that sound really hard but its is the only way that you will survive. i have been through the why me phase and been really sad about my position but no one really cares ,,i think that you already know that dont you?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,847
    This Suicide Help Information:

    Suicide Help

    Chronic pain can take its toll in so many ways
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • thats my outlet, it helps in the darkness of the soul. to give despite not getting, because you can and will, thet is the reward. there isnt always someone to be there, but there is always yourself to count on.
    hope the light comes to ya soon!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • I noticed you said 'malpractice' but didn't say if you were persuing a claim...?
  • I don't equate "incapacitation" with being "diminished as a person."
  • OMBH,
    We have to balance never giving in, even when that reality of hope and expectation are diminished living in that mind over matter ethos is difficult to sustain and reap equal appreciation of the smaller things we do now, in comparison to our historic achievements. None of us asked to live this life and for most it was thrust upon us and we are doing the best we can with our new limitations. The diminishing spectrum of who we are, covers many variants and feeling less of ourselves either internally or when viewed by others has ongoing implications if that continues to be the measure we use.

    As our functionality declines we become more adept at managing and coping, through learning and mastering improved tools and techniques, the effort required to continue becomes proportionately greater than the end product itself, most of this goes unnoticed or recognised. Who we have become may be about perception and you are right in that we all had expectation that our life would not be like this and coming to terms with that and the notion that this could be it, always a challenge.

    In reality nobody should go through this feeling all alone and this is where we can and do support each other in times of need and Ranch is correct in that we all help each other having some knowledge and experience of what you are going through and other people, even strangers, who wrote supportive and encouraging comments.

    The first step to improvement is knowing that you need some addition support and you are doing this here and now, we all need to be proactive in our own care and if the reality is that this is down to you alone we all need a strategy if the one we have at present is not working for us. We do understand, we have that experience and learned to seek help when required, living in constant pain is not easy and I would suggest nobody can do this alone, so ask your questions, this is only a phase to the next transition and you will get through as we all continue to do.

    Take care and good luck.

  • Hi all, I do do something 'outside' myself. I have had to go back to work and at work I am responsible for a lot of people, mentoring among other things. It is nice to be more around people but, as you can guess, it gives me more pain still. Additionally one runs into those people, who have no problem bearing hardship as long as it s that of someone else; people that suggest 'cures' to injuries they know nothing about. The same kind of people who'd tell cancer patients to stop complaining, go for long walks and cure themselves.

    It takes a deal before I get angry and no doubt I too ofteh do not bite back when I should. Having lost just about all illusions regarding human nature has, at least, made me advance in that area.

    Oh yes I know no one cares. I know the falseness of human nature - now. That is one good side effect of all this: the friends lost are knowledge gained.

    I cry a few times a day when pain gets too bad. I stay away from strong painkillers and take the anti-inflammatories. I do my walking exercises and care no longer about how I look, holding my back. I am what I am and my value is determined by what I think about myself, how I treat others, not by what the self-declared cool people think.

    I would like to litigate, sue, re. the malpractice - I just do not have the surplus. I do not know how all this works, and I have to try with all my might to do well at work. Getting about is still very difficult, too. So many people offered to give me a ride now and then, - not one of them ever kept up their offer. Funny how 'human values' cover precisely the values humans too often do not possess.

    I hope you all feel better than I do tonight. Bad, bad pain in neck and midback. I hope you all realize that you should all feel about yourselves like I feel about myself now: proud. Damned proud. I get by, I can still think damned clearly and incisively for work, - I cry for pain often yes, sometimes in a horrible moment I cry for what I could do before - but I've done it, I am doing it every damn day: living through and with, holding my head high, despite being alone and without any assistance.

  • I'm sorry no one is giving back to you re: rides. I again hope that you can find something to help your pain. There are nerve pain meds as described earlier such as amitriptyline or cymbalta and neurontoin or lyrica. Antiinflammatory meds can help also as muscle relaxers. I'm still concerned your crying many times a day and encourage you to speak with your Dr about that. A little antidepressant pill should help you feel better about yourself but it won't stop the pain. I hope you can find a pain management Dr who can recommend the best thing possible for you and maybe some meds or even a SCS. I see you're having so much responsibility for others and understand the chronic pain. You're not alone and I'm sorry how much you're suffering. Make goals for yourself about finding the right pain management Dr. I hope you find relief soon. 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
  • Hi Charry, I feel fine about myself - when I cry it is for pain. I guess the endorphins help against the pain - and besides a moment of being less tough makes one able to be tough again. I guess a man would curse instead of crying. I'd cry to see someone else once proudly walking for hours now limping abiut, but the curious thing is that hobbling, limping, or wobbling I stil love to move even in only in that manner. I must be half-way a race horse. I need to move.

    I stay off the strong painkiller sbecause they serve little function and mainly a bad function. If I take a vicodin I can sit for 60 min, but then when the vicodin wears off it will hurt for 2 days. Painkillers numb you to the body's own signals. One has to listen to one's own body. That was the way I became able to walk at all again: focusing on my muscles, re-learning how to get them all to work together again. Painkillers are good to have when one really needs a break. But I'd rather have much pain and know what my body is saying to me so that I can, whenever at all possible, try to acommodate it. One needs to be able to feel whe the body needs a breather (getting up, lying down a bit, straightening up etc). Finally, if I take hefty painkillers I would not be able to work. Need to have my head lucid.

    Another thing I found to be important, is to be nice to one's mind and heart too. To find joy in little things (on and by oneself also - so that one has something one knows will be there even if let down by people).

    Finally I feel fine about myself as human too. When I offered help to friends, I kept my word. When my friends were in hardship I stood by them. They turned out not to deserve it - that is another matter. Live and learn. At heart it is not my problem. I approve of myself.

  • This is very good information regarding the pain.

    Cynthia Kurtz
    ab workout
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