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Recent Number of "My Pain level hit the Top"

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Chronic Pain
Since I follow all forums (not always responding) I have been seeing a trend in the past 3 weeks.
There have been more of the " I've had it" posts than I've seen in almost a year.
I am not questioning anyone who has made those posts, because
while pain is subjective, you know it when you have it
But what I would like to know is WHY there has been such an increase in members saying the same thing?

- Is there some lunar cycle going on that effects this?
- Does hearing someone else say make you feel you can say it also?
- Have some of the various treatments and medicines made the effects or impacts of pain medications to lessen?

There has to be some logically reason for this. It just doesnt all of a sudden happen to so many different people.

I dont want to offend anyone, but those messages do seem to come from people who have been dealing with chronic pain for 10 years or less.. Those that have been dealing with it for longer than that, I think just figure you have to go with the flow.

The bottom line here is that we all want to reduce the amount of pain and stress that chronic pain does to a person. Maybe its also something to get more about the people. I know one of our members, Jeauxbert, no she has been through a lot is still going through a lot, has so much going on in her life right now, it would be hard to compare, yet, she keeps afloat. Why and How?

Is it in our personalities? Cause if it was just that, I am sure doctors would want to know that to help deal with various situations.

For myself, I guess I've been at chronic pain so long, been associated with the medical field for so long, and have seen so many patients that really have it hard, that I just tend to shrug a shoulder when something hits me.
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


  • Excellent question, wish I knew the answer. I do feel that a lot of it has to do with the individual and their environmental and social factors. I guess you could call those stressors. Right now there's a huge amount of economic and social stressors happening world wide. That could be playing into it as well. Sometimes just knowing that Spine Health is a "safe place" to vent when you can't do it at home, helps members.

    I agree that time has a lot to do with it, as well as determination. When a person is determined enough, they may still suffer incredibly, but aren't as likely to express it. One of those things like "self fulfilling prophecy". In other words if a person complains that their levels are out of control day and night, then they will "allow" their pain levels to be out of control day and night. So the best way to combat that, is to change the way it is expressed or not expressed.

    Now some will probably come back and say that it's not healthy to keep things bottled up inside. I'm not saying that many keep it bottled up inside nor should they do so, I'm saying they choose to work at making their life as functional as possible by not focusing on the problem every waking moment. Shift the focus to other areas of their lives and suddenly their world opens up again.

    Then of course there's always the possibility that some people love to sit behind a keyboard and "create". If there's no conversation going on, then they find a way to start one even if it's an over exaggeration or starting an argument for the sake of having something to "discuss".

    On a forum like this, the easiest and quickest way to get someone's attention, is to make the title all caps and to verbally "scream".

    There are people here with legitimate issues that need to be expressed. It's unfortunate that many of them get caught up in the "fog" created by others.

  • Well, all I can say for myself is that my pain became acute due to scar tissue impinging on the nerve, and from what I hear it is a gradual process. It became worse recently from the ESI done on L4-5, & L5-S1. I never done well with ESI's but since the fibrosis was found, I went ahead with my doctor's recommendation. Maybe the weather played a small role in pain escalation; we were hit with a cold, damp cold front with doses of heavy rains. It is enough to make your spinal hardware rattle and roll :''( I was told when the titanium gets cold, it causes more pain and putting heat over it helps some. Last December at my PM appt., my doctor said everybody was calling in complaining of more pain, and this was in the middle of an arctic front. No kidding :D
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    this way, we can all know more.

    How much does weather play into this?
    some new developing problem?

    Getting answers makes so much more sense
    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
  • Maybe it has to do with medications. I posted under a different thread about the horrible psychological impact I had with Lyrica. Just a thought.
  • I've noticed that too lately,and I haven't been responding as much as normal in part because of that very reason.

    What haglandc said about pain:
    if a person complains that their levels are out of control day and night, then they will "allow" their pain levels to be out of control day and night
    ..That is SO true in my case.It's not even that I'm in denial at all-how is that even possible-but over the years I have noticed that when I mention something about myself and I get looks or words that might be taken as sympathetic...it actually makes me feel worse.Not only about my pain,but my entire situation.

    Whenever I feel that I have something totally in hand,or that I'm ok with it,that is when I'm ok to discuss it openly.

    Sometimes I actually get a little peeved when I read a person posting that their pain levels are at a 10+..or even better a 13,15,20+--You get the picture.I always think that there is NO way their pain is even at a 10,if it were they wouldn't be typing about it.

    I don't know about anyone else,but I have never been sitting at my keyboards when in a 9 or 10 pain level..maybe an 8,and for a very short time.

    Actually,today is a pretty bad day for me[lol].It started last night and I'm not getting any relief.I even canceled a Dr appt today because I was just hurting too bad to go.Sounds lame,but it's true-and I had never canceled with my PM before.I don't want my meds increased because they usually work,but today he might have wanted an increase.I'm certain I could have talked him away from that as he knows how I feel...but I may have been to weak to try.

    But yeah-I've noticed the same trend.After years of CP I try to strike a balance and think about other things when I have bad days-knowing that these days won't last too long.
  • It isn't lame at all to cancel your appt. because you're in too much pain to go. Maybe you have to drive yourself and it wouldn't be safe. I have done that in the past with other appts and most clinics are understanding. I know that you don't want to increase your pain meds during this pain episode but maybe they can give you a Medrol pack to get you over the hump. Anyway, I hope you get to feeling better. Take care
  • Well If I was going to start a post or ask ? about pain.
    I wouldn't now.
  • If it's legitimate it needs to be addressed. The only one who knows whether their pain is as they say it is, is of course the person doing the posting. So what does it matter what others may think. If you post and it comes from your heart, then to heck with what anyone else thinks.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    I realize that the discussion about Pain can lead to many different directions. Some people are not comfortable talking about it. I think that the folks here that deal with chronic pain can really appreciate different views.
    Robin, I appreciate your honesty I share some of those feelings also. Thats one of the reasons, I always say to members, if your pain level hits over 8, its time to head on over to the ER. Once you pain level increases over that, you really arent capable of doing a heck of a lot.
    The important message here is trying to understand some recent trend... What and Why?
    - Medications?
    - Climate?
    - Years in chronic pain?
    - Environmental?
    - What else?

    Stay with us, I can think of many topics that deserve more discussion. I may have opened the path with a direct statement about recent trends, but it has lead to something so much more important, pain, why and how
    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
  • Ron, this topic could go in so many directions, but I'd like to add a few thoughts.

    I think it may be possible that seeing one member give "voice" to their pain sort of gives permission for another to do the same. Many of us silently suffer and just do what it takes to make it through our days. Before I found spine-health, I longed for someone to talk to that would understand, and to be able to tell them how I felt without fear of them thinking I am a baby. I didn't talk to my family because I was supposed to be the in-charge super-mom and wife. I didn't walk to my friends because I wanted to be treated as their friend, not someone in pain. I didn't want their "pity" or attention. I found that I silently worried, cried, thought I was a whimp for giving in to my pain, and basically dealt with my world being turned upside down on my own.

    Probably the biggest thing that caused me to learn to love this great community was the acceptance, validation, and support I received from the members here. I would like to think that I was never a drama-queen type member. I would hope that my posts didn't drive the more experienced members crazy. I would like to think that I kept things real and in perspective. And I KNOW that I always kept a determination about me that I wasn't going to let it beat me.

    In reality, there may have been members who got tired of my story. Heck, maybe some of you are still tired of me.

    I have learned that dwelling on my pain day in and day out gets to be very depressing. But it took me a while to gain the maturity and experience to understand this. It is a cycle that only those of us who have been doing this for a while understands. It is healthy to acknowledge our pain. But it is even healthier to learn how to put it aside and still have a life. Maybe not a life as we knew it, but still a good life. That is so hard to do when every movement hurts, and so much energy is spent dealing with our pain. We all have to go through the journey of chronic pain in our own way.

    I must admit that I have a hard time with some of daily drama posts. I have a very strong personality and like to be in control, so when my world starts falling apart I put my energy into trying to fix what can be fixed, and seldom complain. But, like I said before, it took me a while to get here.

    We could all write volumes of posts about the quirks with doctors and pharmacies and stuff that happens. Some of us maybe need more validation from others. Maybe some don't have anyone else to complain to. Or maybe some are using this forum as a journal of sorts and by writing down these things it helps them to deal better.

    Why the increase? I go back to my original thought that it is possible that by seeing others "complain" one is given permission to do the same. Or maybe it is because we are all tired of being cooped up inside and need spring to come before we will be happy again.

    Now I type all of this not to take up bandwidth, but because I don't know how else to explain how I feel on this subject. Sorry it was so long.


    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • lol-I take it I got lost in my last post.Happens a lot.

    Maybe there are more people posting-more members (new).

    I do agree with the theory that when one person gives voice it can give permission,or at least make it easier for another person to speak about their own pain.

    It's springtime,a time of awakening.Maybe some people are reevaluating their issues,maybe depressed that 'here it is springtime and what can I do'? Then again,it has been a little wet off & on here,and I know that causes ME a lot more pain.

    I see the buds and the leaves on the trees and it fills me with joy,but I would be lying if I didn't say that it can be a reminder of what I can't do-IF I let it.We all have those days too I think.

    Just today my nieghbor was mulching out front around her bushes.I have shrubbery that needs attention and my pain wouldn't allow that-if I were out in the forums I wouldn't have started a thread about this--but I may have posted in reply to someone elses post.Someone asking or seeming to need reassurance that they are not the only one feeling this way.

    So-seeing people out & about doing more might be affecting some others views of themselves-making them more aware of their pain.Just a thought.
  • I think it's the weather. It's cool and rainy and I'm looking forward to the spring and planting flowers well.. watching hubby plant flowers. =)) I hope to feel better day by day especially when it's warmer. So hopefully most of us will feel less pain when the temperature rises. That's just my experience as I'm not a Farmer's Alamac reader. 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've had it for 10 years. it is there and there is nothing i can do except work, take meds, and have a normal life as i can. i don't worry about, or think about it or complain about it. i try not to feel sorry for myself. i see my dr's on regular basis and do what they say. one has to get on with one's life. it could be worse, you could be dying or have cancer or some other terminal disease so a bit of pain does not seem like a big deal to me. my brother in law discovered he had cancer, he was 51 and he died 2 months later. this is something to feel bad about. he left a wife and 2 teenage kids. so i put things in perspective when it comes to pain. at least i am alive and i have a wife and son who love me.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I hear what you are saying. I have lost a father and a mother-in-law to cancer, and watching them suffer was way worse than what I go through day to day. Not to minimize the seriousness of a terminal illness, some say that having a lifelong debilitating condition is just as difficult in the long term. For some of us, it isn't just a bit of pain. Others can still live a somewhat normal life, learning how to deal with the pain. I know on my really bad days though that it is extremely difficult to put it out of my mind and keep going. I will never be able to work again, not by choice but because it just isn't possible. There are odd jobs that I can do and things to try to keep myself busy, but getting up and going to work everyday is just not possible. So, I wanted to just add that bit of wisdom here for anyone who may feel like they do everything they do just to survive, and it still isn't enough. Don't feel bad if you can't do as we are saying here. All one can do is their best, and hopefully their best gets better and better with time.

    I do think it is not healthy to always focus on level 10 pain, because my understanding is that 10 is the worst pain imaginable, and few of us have ever really felt that. And I agree that MY level 10 would not allow me to be here typing on the computer. I also think that our level 10 becomes different as we experience more and more pain. For instance, some say that having a baby is the worst pain imaginable, and I can tell you that yes, it is horrible. However, having pancreatitis was even worse than that. And sometimes the never ending pain we are under with our spine conditions wears on us mentally so much that while it isn't acute intense pain I perceive to be level 10, to some it may feel like 10 because we never get a break from it. If that makes any sense. Okay, I am rambling; time to stop.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    into perspective.
    Sure, no one wants to live a life with chronic pain, but when you start to realize what you do have and what so many others dont, you think
    I dont think there are many spinal related problems that are considered terminal.
    My wife works with COPD patients and for almost every one of them it is terminal, almost like a death sentence.
    So, what they do and I have seen it, is try everything they can to enjoy what time they do have here.

    When you look at the logo...
    When you have some lemons, make lemonade

    That makes a lot of sense
    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
  • I think that sometimes it is simply a vent. We don't have another out and this is it.

    Where else do we take it? I have been at this "only" 2 years and 9 months. Some of it is simply that we have not learned what we can actually "take" have we? As the years stretch we learn there really is not much we can not take.
    We endure, the choice to not endure is frankly more brutal to those around us than we would choose to do to them!

    Why is there an increase in posts that can't take it? I'd blame it on a pummeling effect. Economy, news, etc, all loaded on us, the inactive.

    With any luck the weather will continue to improve and we will go sit on the porch and watch the birds instead of the depressing news.

    I always try and look at my whining as a small slice of therapy, you all are unpaid therapists... :)
  • when people are just starting out with this stuff, they go through a lot of emotions, and really think they can't take it. They want to make the problem go away. It may be that until you accept that this is it, you keep complaining while you're trying to find a way to get better. Once you completely undertsand the condition and the long term effects of it, I think you come to a mental place where you stop complaining so much and focus your energy on learning how to live with it.

    I also agree with Wrambler that this is where we go for a free shrink. Just need to learn how to type while laying on a couch.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • i was under the impression that these types of forums are for letting go .and instead of just sitting there thinking ..is this normal o???etc what shall i do ? you put down you questions and fears and thoughts on here for all to see.like you Ron i have been in pain for longer than i really care to mention and what is normal to me ..may scare the pants of a newbie ..so we are here in a capacity to help and support each other especially the newbies.i think we can flush out the idiot's and drug seekers and spammers .we have the knowledge to do that and help only the deserving.i believe that this is a fantastic web site and i have benefited from it myself and i would like to believe that i have been able to help others? like a previous poster has said weather ..monterey problems dark nights and so on make you more likely to get the laptop on your knee and type away.maybe when the nice weather arrives there will be a drop of ?pain is a very individual matter .and i would not discouraged any one to put here feeling down on there laptop if it helps them .we are here to help and advise and i will continue to do that for anyone that wants it.
  • I also agree with everyone else that if the pain gets to the 8-10 range that you should be ringing your doctor's phone off the hook or heading to the nearest hospital. It is so true that pain crisis involves physical and psychological anguish. All of us can attest to feeling distressed during a pain flare with thoughts of doom and gloom thrown in the mix - it's only natural. Everybody suffers in their own way. Some choose to be very vocal while others suffer in silence. It is rooted in our belief system, culture, upbringing, and social environment.

    I think it is wonderful that when someone is having a bad day that everyone rallies around the person to offer sympathy and moral support. No where else can you get that, especially from people who know exactly what you're feeling.
  • I think all of us have different pain levels at different times and can each tolerate our levels differently. We also have emotionally and mentally bad and good days in our life along with the chronic pain we bear making it harder for us on some days, easier some.

    And it has been a long winter...LOL!

    I haven't been a member long enough to know the posts have taken such a change. I read posts from past threads and present before joining and felt like I had found a place to share my good and bad days with, friends that know and understand this life.

    Everyone wants to share their story here so we can understand where they are coming from. I have to admit I am thankful I haven't had the years of chronic pain some have of you have suffered and endured already. But since I will never be the old me again I am learning how to adjust and cope from all of you, your attitudes, strength, courage and how you have adapted as you lost some things but gained others. I'm learning from your daily challenges how to keep my chin up as I move along this journey.

    From my perspective those with chronic pain have had more time to accept the changes in their life and limitations, they may not like it but have learned to adept more those that are just facing this change in their life for the first time or just a few years into it, yet even those with long term pain and problems have bad days too. They come here to share it, to spare their family and friends that have had to go through the changes with them over the years. It does affect our entire life, daily, and those around us are affected too so coming here where those that know and feel it helps. And it gives those around you a break!

    Just my thoughts again, I think new members are trying to find ways to deal with the loss of life as they knew it, they haven't had years to adjust yet, so they are searching for answers, learning to cope,find compassion, and they feel like they can post here so not to burden friends and family. I think we all compare ourselves, sometimes reading a post makes us cry, laugh, learn it's no so bad and how to cope, or just be thankful for today. Also, we see the burden it causes our loved ones and how they are adjusting so we share what we learn here to help them too.

    Ex: I was glad I could walk 1 mile yet feeling bad it took me an hour until I read another member was at the same pace. That made my day because it made me feel normal and happy! I had someone out there to compare myself to.This is a place to measure and compare to find out what others experience. Not medical answers but help. So when I shared that post with my family and friends they understood that it's not just me and that maybe I am doing ok. I don't feel alone and I find comfort that I can say I hurt today and you understand because you know that pain. If I have something funny or a good day you understand too. And the plus is we don't have to complain at home to those that have already heard us and see us suffer daily. They already feel helpless at times plus they don't really understand.

    Ron, you mentioned before your 7 might be a 10 to someone else. That is so true because I know people that can't tolerate what might be a level 1-4 where others like the post with the broken arm that tolerates that pain well. When my Dr. saw me the first time 3+ years ago it had taken me nearly a month to find a dr to help me and he was 2 hours from our home. No dr. in town would help me. This Dr. was shocked when he saw the MRI and the first thing he said is you have a very high tolerance of pain, I can't believe this! He felt terrible and scheduled surgery asap. He warned me I might have damage and we tried all things after that surgery but that a fusion was next. I just kept going that way. Last Oct. he took one look at me as I was going in a room and knew I was back where we started 3 years ago. He's great and I'm lucky.

    This is not to complain ...LOL! I have a point here...after the fusion I was talking to my girlfriend one day and I mentioned I was finally better for awhile before I had to have the fusion! She laughed and told me I was in denial! I should have seen myself, I could barely walk yet and how I kept going she didn't know! But I kept going until I had excruciating pain again! She said look at you now and think about it! She was right...I had learned to compromise and live with the pain. I thought it was my life from now on and I was trying to deal with it the best I could. I was right and wrong, I am spiney forever and I am happy I can do what I can. I know am better now and should have tried this a long time ago! See my point, if i had known about this site I wouldn't have been alone for the past 3+ years and had more knowledge via the spiney friends that post here. I might have said, Hey, that's me ....I need to do that or not do that, etc.!"

    Anyway, I don't mind listening to others vent as it helps me appreciate my day or helps me feel like I'm not alone depending on how I feel at the time. I enjoy all the posts I find time to read!

    Thanks to all that have helped me just by being here.

    Have a good day!

  • Cancer puts our pain into perspective Ron...and brings us back into the reality of the whole life...every life.

    But that was not your question.I feel that what Jon wrote,while true and heartbreaking,was not in fairness to this topic.His post belittles our pain and kinda makes us (me)feel ashamed for even answering your question.

    My mother died only last July from cancer,and I have never once compared myself to what she suffered.

    I'm sorry,but I feel that while Jon's post may have put things into perspective-that any of us could have done that same thing had that been what you were looking for.
  • For myself, I've had no injury or accident to cause my pain, yet I am progressively worsening. Both myself and my wife are both becoming increasingly worried because the non-stop doctor visits result in "everything looks okay." From more than one doctor.

    For the last 20+ years I have been in public safety helping others as a firefighter, medic, command officer for search and rescue and 911 dispatcher. I have had people die in my arms and while I've talked to them on the phone. I have also brought new life into the world, delivering babies "hands on" and giving instructions to untrained people over the phone. And just about everything else in between. I am no longer able to do any of this and am very much feeling pretty worthless as a result. My frustration level is unbelievable sometimes. I love to come to Spine-Health and participate in this great community. It allows me to still give just a little bit, although I'm still not all there mentally.

    People are different and deal with issues in different ways. For some being able to vent with an audience that truly understands without judgment relieves a huge burden. Others are more apt to offer their support. Thus is the nature of a diverse group of people.

    I agree with Wrambler: no matter which side you're on there is a measure of therapy in venting and offering support. How many people vent in one post and five minutes later are offering their support to someone else? Probably 99% of the participants here are receiving that "therapy" on an ongoing basis. I think we called this spiney-holic in chat the other night! :))(
  • Sucks Jay sorry to hear your story.
    I think we all can relate to being spiney-holic's
    unfortunately, Sad but true ! ~X(

    hope your pain eases up a bunch.
    Dan <):)
  • It has to be this Dam weather.......Riany and cold all last week.
    Pain was a ass kicker for sure ! X(

    This week weathers close to 80 degrees here in "NORCAL" B) .
    Pain is much much better. <:P

    But I still want to cry a bit more.......So here it goes.
    I still hurt way to dam much!!!!!!! X(
    OK sheeesh now I'm done OK. :))(

    Hope you all feel better soon .
    Ok Group hug.............."RIGHT NOW"!!!!!!!!!!! >:D< <:P
    Dan xoxoxoxoxo >:D<
  • I can't and wouldn't try to speak for those making the "I've had it" kinds of posts; I can only speak about my own emotional self-assessment.

    I don't think there has been any change in my pain level or even my source of pain, though there has been some emotional changes of late. I don't attribute it to changes relate to the weather, per se - I think it is more likely related to the change in the seasons.

    Just look at the natural cycles of life - the trees, wildlife, etc. I know city folk might not notice it as much as us country folk do, but speaking from my little perch on the mountains: the grass is coming back to life, the trees are budding, the mountains will soon be lush and green again, instead of the brown colorings of the past months, the animals are beginning to build nests in preparation for spring births, and the days are getting longer.

    Humans are not exempt from this cycle; we are evolutionarily involved. Whether we want to acknowledge the primitive nature of it or not, our bodies are programmed to follow these cycles. Most of us have had at least a momentary taste of spring in the last several weeks, which is a sign that we're meant to begin coming out of "hibernation," after staying hunkered down for the (very long!!) winter.

    For me, there is a certain amount of frustration that comes with lining myself up to make the grand exit from my winter hibernation and realizing the numbers of things that I want to do, but have to be careful about. I think, if you allow it to, that frustration can turn to the ultimate fuel for depression and hopelessness. The next thing you know, you're "awfulizing" everything, until it snowballs on you. It's just awful that I can't go out and work in the yard like I've done in the past, because of this damn pain. And it's just awful that I can't take a nice long walk in this beautiful weather, because of this damn pain. It's just awful that I can't {insert yet another thing here} like I used to, because of this damn pain. Before you know it, you've lost your ability to keep even the most normal pain levels at bay.

    Personally, I choose not to allow frustration to live in my head rent free. I require any frustration I feel to become the fuel for determination, rather than fuel for depression and hopelessness. Instead of "awfulizing" and pining for the life I had in years past, I choose to be thankful for the life I have today and with that choice comes a source of hope that will always defeat the pain.

  • Very interesting discussion...

    I am a "newbie," and have only been dealing with chronic pain for about 8 months, which I know is a relatively short amount of time. This has been a new, painful, emotionally and financially draining experience for me. And I'm not sure when/if I will be able to do the things I used to do. It is difficult and frightening and very, very lonely.

    I am not at a point where I feel that I can "choose" to be a better person, rise above my problems, and keep my condition in perspective every day. I really hope I get to that point, but I am not there now. The fact that there are tens of thousands of people in situations 20 times worse than mine does not at the moment make me feel any better. I wish it did. I really wish I could be silent and make the most of every day, no matter how much pain I feel. I'm just not in that place yet, and I think it will take a while for me to get there.

    Personally, I use this website to calm my sometimes irrational nerves, get more information about what has happened/is happening/could happen to me, and vent in a safe and understanding environment. And if I find myself in a position to post something and possibly help someone else like me, I do and usually feel better for having contributed.

    Some days I feel like I can handle this, and some days I really feel like I just can't take it anymore. When I feel that way, I need to get it out. I don't want to say that to my husband, who is just as frightened as I am. I don't want to say it to my friends, who mean well, but really don't understand. So I say it here, a place where I know it is safe to write about the things that I am afraid of, and complain to people who really do understand. Free therapy.

    Stress (physical and emotional) does terrible things to the mind as well as the body. The financial world is collapsing and the unemployment rate is beginning to skyrocket. Those of us in chronic pain who have also been hit hard by the economy most likely are suffering from abnormally high level of stress. Actual and perceived pain levels probably are increasing; the body suffers along with the mind.

    Just my point of view...
  • Here are my guesses (a combination of the following):
    1) Weather is more extreme than in past years.
    2) Stress levels are peaking due to economic factors.
    3) Maybe they're pushing themselves more than 5 years ago because they figure they're in pain anyway- so might as well do things they want to do because pain will be there regardless.
    4) Tolerance of pain meds increases over time, so the meds are no longer as potent as they were before.

  • Thanks Dan, in retrospect I hope that I didn't hijack the thread a bit but I did want to express my underlying mindset.
  • Gotta be the weather. ~X( I had one day of 67*last week, and I felt better. Now it's raining again, and I'm hurting a lot. Life stressors of trying to take care of a family, children, spouse, can also add to it. As can isolation, which is my problem. Financial difficulties, job stress, all can cause pain and muscle tension. Chronic pain can be very physically wearing on a person, yet most of us try to present the "good" face to people. They ask how are you? But they don't really want to know. Good thread, and makes people think about their pain in a constructive way.

  • I wanted to come back and add a comment.
    I read and write on a few "automotive performance" email lists and groups. Every one of the ones I have frequented and comment on had in some form or another seems "on edge". Not everyone, most people are fine, but the fringe element is more edgy, seems more inclined to "pick" at any chink in anyones armor!

    So, I do not think it is any one thing or the population in general. More likely it is the outlook in general.
    Economy, ecology, then add, waiting for spring to break, stack the lack of our abilities to do what we want to do.

    It all leads to overload. Makes our day seem too long and tasks to great!

    Arg, I had more to say, you all are lucky.
    I have forgotten what else I wanted to say...
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