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It is sad when you become transparent

j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Chronic Pain
In sept. 08 I was P.M.ing A guy on this forum for a few mo. He told me of how he had become transparent to his grown children and all his relatives and friends too. Mostly because they couldn't stand to be around him because he was in constant pain. And they just did not know how to deal with it.
They were very sad for him. But rather than finding a way to help or to just be there for him. They stayed away and he felt he had no one.
His name was dr_eric, he was a doctor in Israel and he found this site. He posted many times. I felt there was much more to his posts. We began to P.M. back and forth. He finally posted what he was considering. Ending his life. I have honestly never heard of anyone coming remotely close to the spinal problems that he had. And he had to be in more pain than I could comprehend. With a pedicle screw coming out of his back and pushing the skin. And he was awaiting a huge surgery in 10 days. But didn't think he had the will to wait for it and to recuperate with no one there for him.
Believe me it was very hard to try and talk him out of ending it. When I was experiencing the same from my friends and family that he was! And sill do.
I was lucky that he had a lot of other friends on this site. Because I don't think I sounded convincing enough.
To the best of my knowledge dr_eric got his surgery and recouped at a medical home and hopefully is doing fine!
But the moral of the story is........
Is'nt it sad when the ones you love would rather look through you than at you.
I experienced that again this last weekend.
Good luck, Jim
Click my name to see my Medical history
You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!


  • What a great post Jim and so sad at the same time as well as being true. I've been and still am on vacation right now. It seems that I am transparent as no one is taking into account how much pain I'm in right now. I just can't keep up and being condemned and left behind because I'm in too much pain. This by my own husband. I don't want to miss out on all the new sites and experiences either. I am criticized by him when I use my cane so I go without. He complains that it makes too much noise and is annoying. This is so heartbreaking to me to be treated this way. I can't imagine treating my loved ones this way.

    I seriously just want to beam me back to home right now :''(

    Jim that was a great thing you did with Dr Eric. It is very scary when someone you care about on here comes to that point and you can't just reach into the computer and grab them and give them the hug that they need. It is a very scary situation to be in . I pray Dr Eric is recovering and doing well thanks to you and others who are always there to pick us up when we stumble and fall.
  • Thanks for the post.. Patsy
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,878
    workforce,on this site and so may other places.
    People for whatever reason refuse to accept responsibility for their actions.
    If I go and rob a bank and when I am caught I tell them, well my day wasnt going well and I needed money... BS.. You robbed a bank, it was wrong, you are caught, admit to that and accept your punishment.
    Trouble is, we dont see that way of think that often. I can not tell you how many times, I have seen damage done to our golf course or the marina docks by local children. I know who they are and when you confront their parents, the first response is.... "No that is not my child, they didnt do anything wrong." So now, we have two problems.. A grown up covering up for a wrong doing and then a younger person realizing that they can get away with things.
    Its a hard thing to swallow
    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
  • a very sad but too common occurrence when some one is ill
    take care my friend
  • It is sad that people in so much pain became invisible, especially love ones. I hope Dr_Eric is recovering well, and that he has family members caring for him.

    Ming, sorry that your vacation bring tears to you. It is hard to walk quickly especially when you need a cane. Sometimes, people do think we are baggage to them.
  • I remember Dr Eric I hear he had a small stroke but waas recovering well. I think Tonya and others have more info. I understand also what he felt. I've told the extended family I was ill and not even one card or call. Anyway, I try to tell my Mother I'm getting better, trying to believe it myself. Hang in there everyone. 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 guess I'm pretty lucky because I still manage to enjoy myself and am especially happy when visiting with family and friends. I really don't give a darn if they're "supportive" or not, as long as I can have a good visit and have fun.

    I have DDD with severe spinal stenosis at several levels, which has included a badly compressed spinal cord plus lots of compressed nerves, bone spurs, bulging discs, herniated discs, "missing" discs that totally deteriorated, etc. I had cervical fusion of C4-C5-C6 in Dec., 2006, after almost becoming paralyzed, and just a few weeks ago, on March 12, 2009, I had lumbar fusion at L3-L4-L5.

    I take a combination of three prescription meds at the same time, rather than one strong one and others for breakthrough -- 10 mg Lortab, Soma, and Tramadol, and I also take antidepressants and sometimes ibuprofen for inflammation. In the worst of times (after surgery), I sometimes substitute Percocet for the Lortab. This works pretty well for me, most of the time, and I haven't needed to increase the dosage in many, many months.

    Now that my pain from the lumbar surgery is under control, I'm beginning to do more of the things I enjoy doing. However, I don't know if my doctor will allow me to continue taking the meds that are working so well for me, since I've now had the lumbar surgery and it has reduced my leg pain. My next appointment is still a few days away. But I get very little relief from any type of pain med unless it's combined with Soma, at minimum. I don't do injections and have refused them due to a bad experience I had with an epidural, in the past.

    I'm far from pain free, but I try to stay as cheerful and active as possible, and to limit the negative affects on my life that could occur due to my pain problems. I don't think anybody perceives me as transparent, but that actually might be desirable, at times. I have to wear one of those rigid, turtle-shell back braces right now, which I refer to as my "exoskeleton," and it kind of makes me stick out in a crowd. I live on the Gulf Coast, and it's too hot to wear a bunch of clothes to hide the exoskeleton. (I think it's probably still cold or even snowy in some places, but it's already hot and humid here.)
  • Jim,
    You've taken it to a very personal level but truly have embraced what Spine-Health is all about I think: a place where there is no such thing as transparency; a source of strength, encouragement and information from a group of people that have already walked that mile (and who would gladly give someone else those shoes!! :))) ). You touched on it when you said that others don't understand and I truly believe that divisions are made because people don't know how they can help. Hell, I have a hard time putting words down myself and I'm in those shoes -- writing is NOT one of my strengths. Regardless, I think every member here is an "enabler" which helps fill those gaps. The group here is just as much family, sometimes more so.

    I hope that whomever talks to Dr_Eric will extend our collective good wishes and let him know that for every one person he hears from with a word of encouragement or even a simple "hello, how are ya?" that there's another 100 that he may not be aware of that feels the same.

    Thanks to Jim and everyone else here that provides that strength when it's very much needed. =D>
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Charry, thanks for the update. And everyone for their input.Jay, it's true we are a family here. And that's something that we all need especially me. I don't post a lot and from time to time I don't even check in. But I always return to the family that I can count on. We have all walked in the same shoes. And you can always get another persons' views or advice or just some support on a bad day. Thank you all for being here!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I want to tell you that I'm relieved that Dr.Eric has such a kind friend like you to talk to and I'm also glad he reached out to you in his time of great need. He helped others around here, even with all the pain he goes through and please let him him know that we care about him and want him to get better. Anyway, thanks for being there for Dr.Eric.
  • Thank you for letting us know about Dr. Eric. I've been concerned about him and hope you or someone can give us an update. I wonder if he'll come back to the forums? Do you still talk to him now?

    I also agree that we are all family here. I say many more things to SH members than I would even think about saying to my family and friends. The support here is wonderful and I always feel warm when a new member joins, knowing that they'll probably get the support they need when it's not available elsewhere.

    Take care Jim. Even though we can't see you (except in your avitar), you're not transparent here.

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Hi all, dr_eric had his surgery in Israel and did his recovery in a special recovery home there. He did not want to do that but as it turned out he was happy that this was the place that he went to. And seemed to be doing well.
    tonya42 was in contact with his daughter, who pulled through for him, I think.
    He quit coming on the forum and p.m.ing me for some reason. I know he closed his practice about 2 or 3 weeks before the surgery. And had hopes of re opening it. (but it didn't seem likely) tonya42 may be able to get more info because she had some contact with his daughter.
    As for me, I have been hoping that things are going so good for him that he just doesn't have time to be on forums!
    But I do say a prayer for him every now and then.
    Well I'm off to the valley for doctor appointments for my wife. And take care of my mother for a few days.
    Good luck, Jim
    P.S. Ron, were you sleep walking on the 18th ? (|:
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Jim,
    As we all know a facet of chronic pain is that it can if you let it, just become about you and the pain, over time those who attempt to support us become frustrated also, age itself can have an element of disappearance and rather the fear of saying something inappropriate or knowing what to say, curtails others from saying anything at all. We are pushed to the periphery and at times unable to participate as we would like.

    Living with ourselves is hard with the collective aspects of continuing chronic pain, learning those skills of what and who we have become, is an ongoing process and we are entitled to that space with support and encouragement.

    Perhaps at times I pushed people away and isolated myself, not intentionally or with malice, for most of times ill health is a time based occurrence, chronic pain can be a lifetime which makes those occasions of invisibility more frequent and of greater impact. Keeping your chin-up constantly is very difficult and we have to embrace periodic lows and learn from them.

    Jim, as ever your helping others in need, while in need yourself is the greatest of gifts and a measure of your humble visibility to many others, a star.

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