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Real Pain and Real Psych or Brain/Body Links



  • I have a real problem with this post,the other thread was closed and it was on the same subject,my pain is real i am not a surgical canidate,i had 22 suguries on my ears before the age of 12,my pain is not in my mind,where is the compassion on this forum gone to,this is the section for chronic pain,and these type of posts that are judge peolple shouldnt be allowed....i am offend by Michaels post and this one.
  • Thank you for sharing your history and taking the time to write this post.

    I've only been a member of Spine-Health for three months, so I haven't had the opportunity to hear your story. I must admit that I do have memory problems from taking Percocet, but I guarantee I will remember the majority of your history.

    Real pain most definitely has real psychological links to it. If a person suppresses or denies this fact, I believe it will eventually present itself in another physical and/or mental disorder.

    I can relate to the one coping mechanism you mentioned, regarding the temporary handicap parking tag. This coping mechanism doesn't sound crazy to me at all. One of my coping mechanisms has been to NOT read my full surgery report. (I know this is going to sound more crazy to others than your parking tag, but it's my choice for the time being). I can feel my pain and I can feel my progress. I can tell when something is not right and I know when to seek out professional help. I do not feel there would be any kind of benefit for me to review the sordid details from my initial hospital stay and surgery. I know the basic information and that's all I care to know at this point in time. I have all of my Xray films and have looked at those, which I do find interesting.

    You are absolutely right on the emotional stages you mentioned. When I began to realize my fall was a life-changing event for me, it was very difficult to accept. I did not want to burden my husband, family or friends with my recurring thoughts of being scared of losing my old self. When the crying spells started up with me, I scheduled an appointment with my psychologist right away. I was scared and started to feel as if a close family member had died. I didn't give a second thought to taking an anti-depressant. I needed it and I needed professional counseling to help me through that very rough emotional time... and any more that may come my way. If you want to get better, you need to help yourself. That seems like a very simple statement, but it's a very deep one.

    I will stop for now, so others can contribute to what you have shared.

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to write this.

  • bigcat90 said:
    I have a real problem with this post,the other thread was closed and it was on the same subject,my pain is real i am not a surgical canidate,i had 22 suguries on my ears before the age of 12,my pain is not in my mind,where is the compassion on this forum gone to,this is the section for chronic pain,and these type of posts that are judge peolple shouldnt be allowed....i am offend by Michaels post and this one.
    Don't read it if it offends you. I never said your pain was not real. I never said my pain was not real. My pain is real. I have never doubted that your pain is real, Bigcat. The point of MY story is that I believe there is a mental component to help control pain and that being in real chronic pain causes psych issues. I invite you to re-read it, especially the parts where I say that while I have objective proof from an entire group practice of physicians that my pain is real,I acknowledge that chronic pain has caused mental health issues for me and that I have learned to use my brain to help with my pain.

    I invite you to visit Dr. Kubler-Ross's foundation's webpage about the cycle of grief and then re-read about how I feel it has been a part of my life in accepting my real chronic pain.

    I would be happy to discuss in PM what issues you believe should be allowed on SH, and what you issues you think are about compassion. All posts will not please everyone. While this one might offend you, many others offend me. You calling my compassion into question offends me. I have literally spent hours in chat when I would have liked to be sleeping or something else to give a sympathetic ear to a member in need. If every post had to agree with every member, what kind of place would this be? It would be a site with no members. Please keep that in mind.
  • I am glad to hear(well, not really glad, but feel better) that someone else understands the handicapped parking tag issue and can relate to it. Having a permanent one makes admitting chronic pain too real. I did not read my OP report for nearly 9 months after surgery. I had seen the films, but didn't want to read the full detailed report. Yeah, I see the scars on my back but to see it detailed out what machine parts were put in me? I understand where you're coming from.

    Hey, in your sig line you mention a platinum infrared heating pad. What the heck is that? I use a regular heating pad daily but would love something that would penetrate more deeply. If you can explain it here, I would love to hear it. If it is from a vendor website, please send me a PM with the link.

    Good luck to you.
  • Hi Ernurse (I know I should remember your first name, but the memory, lol).

    I have been an LPN for 30 years and remember when Dr. Kubler-Ross' research came out on death and dying. Her work in this subject area is outstanding! I refer to it all the time, whether it be for my own personal loss of my former "normal" self or for someone else here on this site. It took me 2 1/2 years to come to an acceptance that I can no longer tolerate working. Oh yes I went through all the denial, anger, depression, etc. And, I am sure, it will rear its ugly head over and over.

    One of my coping skills: I remember a private patient I had..a 37 year-old man with Duchene's (sp?)
    muscular dystrophy. Imagine him living so long! He is the first chronically ill patient I have actually fell in love with. Not in a way that some imagine, but because I had great respect for how he lived his life. He had great love for music, his room filled with stereo equipment blasting the Phantom of the Opera as I gave him CPT before hooking him up to his ventilator for the night. How we'd watch his soap opera, and his devotion to one of the actress's, being a member of her fan club, lol. He had every catalog you could imagine and loved to shop. He had his horror movies, which I watched along with him, much to my dismay, yikes! If he got upset and yelled at me, I knew not to take it personally. This quality he admired in me.

    So now, I have my interests that I can do and have become as passionate about as possible. And I'm happier because of it and don't feel the need to explain it to anyone when, for instance, I must watch my favorite show at the same time every day!

    Oh there are times I must bite my tongue per se when I see someone is not where I am at, but instead try very hard just to listen, to take out of my contact with someone what I like and to leave the rest.....

    And by the way, thank you for the times you have helped me...

  • That it took to write the post. I'm not sure I understand it anymore than Michaels? Maybe a little.

    I guess you are trying to say that sometimes we get a little bit wrapped up in all our issues and lose the ability to not be that person?

    As far as posting on your post. I hope I have not broken any of your rules? Not sure how you can tell people to post or not post here?

  • ernurse, you have been through so much, it breaks my heart. What you've said here, and the way you have said it, IMHO would be difficult for anyone to contradict. "you say true, and I say thankya" as Roland of Gilead might say (Stephen King, The Dark Tower, if anyone's interested lol).

  • Yes, yes, yes. There is most definitely a psychological component to chronic pain. There are those of us that are fairly new to chronic pain (mine has been just over a year) and I believe we have to go through the grieving process.

    I have never seen anyone professional about my mental health - I tried that after my sister committed suicide and I simply couldn't do it. I find that I can't talk to a stranger about my innermost thoughts and so I rely on the only two people that I can truly confide in and get mental relief - my husband, Tony, and God. (Little Wally's a good listener too, but he's not world-wise yet. Just a happy-go-lucky puppy.)

    This does NOT mean, however, that this is the way I want it. I'd love to be able to talk to someone to let some of the heavy metal out of my brain, but I just don't work like that. This site also helps tremendously and it probably sounds incongruous that I can't talk to a stranger but I can find relief talking with strangers here...

    Anyway, I appreciate your post. You and I have talked before about your directness (among other things) and there is at least one person at S-H that appreciates it - me.

    I thank you for taking the time to post your story. I never knew what you'd been through and I'm glad you shared this very important part of yourself with us. I'm sure it wasn't easy because what we go through is very, very personal stuff and it took strength to do it.

    Your friend,
  • I have seen "professionals" for mental health for years. What I have mostly done is donated my money to them...

    I have found only one who truly helped me deeply. The others did lots of "exercises" to help my find my innner child, my angry passive man" my etc,,,

    I have found more profound thoughts and insight from others of my kind than "professionals".

    The one person that did help was much more than a normal book learned professional. She approached things on a more personal level, never scolding of chasitising, just pointing out the wrongenss of my thinking. She never told me what I "should" think either.

    I actually asked about getting some help in dealing with the new me. What I found was dead silence and what I received was confused looks by everyone I have asked. It seems there is a lacking in trained people who really understand how to help someone find the "new" them.

    I am simply going to have to figure this out with a little help from my friends...
  • thank you for presenting your experiences with chronic pain. I cant write with the style you do but i want you to know i was deeply moved by your story.
    I think that you and i have faced adversity in a similar fashion. and we now accept our pain and disability. we've had to battle our wounds and maintain some sort of life. The impression i get is that you are a fierce fighter who used every tool or weapon there is to hold on to your life.
    I, am wheelchair bound, in constant pain and in search of some relief. I have a new life now and i've accepted my lot. I too am going to have an SCS.
    I feel akin to you and admire your strength. If you fought as hard for your patients as you have fought for yourself and family you must have been a wonderful ERNURSE. I wish you the very best....
  • You were one of the first woman i met when i joined Sh back a few years ago, and you were always so kind and helpful to me. You now that I truly thank you.

    Chronic pain really is a bitch and learning what I call my new normal really has been a journey. One that has been full of challenges, full of tears, full of fears, and also one that I try to find thanks to some of the friends I have been blessed to meet ( no drama queens) a giggle. I so believe that depression/ mental isuue really do go hand in hand......what came first i have no clue. I also believe that medicine plays a big role in it as well. They all change the brain. Funny how the average brain weights 2.5- 3.5 lbs, and yet it carries the rest of our lbs around and can really throw us for a loop.
    I have been blessed during this journey to be able to seek outside help with a therapist and what a blessing it has been to my recovery. Like you my issues are not going away. However how i chose to deal with them is up to me. Some days are good, and other days just plan suck. However any day that i am not in a hospital with stroke issues or aneurysm issue is a wonderful day. I have had many days where i just could not get out of bed, took me days before i could reach out for help to call psych doc who would gladly help me, but i just could not do it.
    It is also documented anesthesia patients, and surgery patients are at higher risk for said patient. SO really what is big deal, the more info we have the more we are informed. I know I found after brain surgery i found depression to be a real problem. Even after my 2nd child also. Thank goodness the information is there.
    I don't understand why people get all upset, but i guess i have never been told the problem is in my head.....well except for aneurysm.
    Thanks to this forum and the wonderful few woman i have gotten close to, they have taught me to run from bad doc's .
    It is hard where family and children are concerned, I too deal with that. My son has just broke down the other night crying his eye's out after stuffing his fears, that he is afraid of not knowing if i will be alive or dead every day........guess what he is going to therapist tomorrow. Parents i believe are not always the one to get through to the kids. Breaks my heart though. I am not the old me, but i still am an outstanding woman.lol trying to help all that i can, and when i can't help i try and not hurt. People get out of these threads what they will.
    You vented that is what we are here for, so keep being you. The new you with a great sense of humor, and helping others always gets us out of our own head. And when you need to rest, rest. granny panties and all !!!!!!!!! People do get there knickers twisted lately, what is up with that????

    See ya soon.

  • Thanks for your post ERnurse.
  • Posting this was very hard for me but very cathartic, too. Many of your comments made me cry. J-when I met you, you asked me for advice, now you carry me so much! Pete, I'd like to think I was a strong patient advocate, but I know after my initial injury I became a more empathetic nurse. I really never knew what pain was before and still there are many that have more and deal with it better than I do. Marianne, I am Angie. I'm glad someone else refers to Kubler-Ross, too. Cath, Kat, Patsy, Paul, everyone thank you.

    I want to thank all of you for your support, this post was really pouring my heart out. Besides helping myself, I hoped that at least one person might realize if a tough bitch ER nurse(so I've been called by Mr.ER) went for mental help, it might be OK for them, too. I am lucky enough to have found a psych guy who specializes in chronic pain. He literally had a patient whom he later counseled that had cut her leg off due to nerve pain. I feel like he's the only "head" guy who understands. When I told him I gave myself a timeline until I would not accept things anymore, he said, "Well, I guess we better get working on things because we've only got till then!"

    Again, thank you all for support, you moved me to tears reading how many knew what I was talking about. I've finally accepted a Boston Scientific SCS procedure soon, though I will stilll take pain meds for my back and depression meds for some time(kind of hard when you lose your identity-I am no longer my screen name from when I first created it.) The night I had the trial pulled, I cried all night and so I have a lot of hope now for pain relief since it helped my legs so much.

  • I just caught that you call your hubby "hunka hunka burnin' love!" So funny because in between calling Mr. ER a caveman(on his less than sympathetic days) I call him "my sexy beast!"
  • Hi Angie,

    The platinum infrared heating pad radiates heat approximately 2 1/2 inches into the muscles, whereas the standard heating pads radiate about 1/2 an inch into the muscles. It is a lot larger in size than the standard heating pads so you get much broader coverage. The covering is black velvet (another sweet comfort). It comes with two adjustable velcrose straps, so you can adjust it to bend around your knees, legs or feet.

    Like you, I had never heard of this kind of pad. Charry, is the person who recommended it and I will be forever grateful to her. It has done wonders for my back muscles, my knees and my hips. I did ask my Neurosurgeon and PM doctor for the "go ahead" before I purchased it, just to make sure it wouldn't harm any of my hardware.

    I will gladly PM you the link, as I purchased it through a vendor.

    If you decide to purchase one, please let me know how it works for you. From all that you have described, I think you will find great relief.

    I wish you well and hope your antibiotic treatments will be over with soon.

    Keep up the good work on helping yourself and the many other lives you touch.

  • Bigcat-thanks for the Pm.

    Tammy-I think I gave the wrong impression when I posted, antibiotic IV PICC line was a little earlier this year, that is currently done though I take prophylactic antibiotics before any kind of procedure. Hey, at least with the IV antibiotics I didn't have to worry about the constipation issues! There is a bright side to it. Thanks for the links, definitely checking them out, I don't think I can use it on the spots when/where my perm scs will be, but definitely can put it on my lower butt and thighs.
  • You know, though some of the shared stories have made me cry, I can't help but laugh when some of you post. I remember so many times you've lifted my spirits in chat!

    I KNOW the perm SCS will work well for me, just have to hold out till my date and then the temporary healing time. I do finally have some hope because of it. Frustrated Dad, thanks for all the info. Now Bionic Woman, even though you stole my new name idea(and you did, I just know it was a conspiracy!), I so appreciate your medical expertise. You are one on this site truly qualified to give health advice.

    Anyone else having problems, hang in there, some day some way, medical science will catch up with what we need. I had hopes that when the First Lady Bush had neck surgery, it might bring national attention to true chronic pain sufferers, but then her recovery seemed all hush hush. I think it will take many celebrities or other famous people coming out in the open not about addiction, but about their chronic pain and frustrations(maybe they don't have as many frustrations as us normal people, I don't know, I'm not famous. Well, maybe infamous since Eve and I got spanked together! :) ) I mean, look at how much Superman-Christopher Reeves really was Superman to me-brought attention to his injury and the potential of stem cell research. How about Michael J. Fox and Parkinson's?

    I care so much for you Jane, Eve, and Tam(and Louise if you are lurking) and so many others. I commend anyone brave enough to share their humbling stories of failures and also successes.

    Everyone please remember that tone of voice and emotions are difficult to communicate online without seeming fake and insincere, so pardon my bluntness, it's how I talk(Cath knows this!)
  • ernurse said:
    Now Bionic Woman, even though you stole my new name idea(and you did, I just know it was a conspiracy!), I so appreciate your medical expertise. You are one on this site truly qualified to give health advice.
    Sorry, you're welcome, and thank you - respectively :))(

    I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Kubler Ross, too. I think she's really understandable and most people can find themselves in her explanations and use them to work through things.

    I also think there's another theory that offers a lot of insight to how we progress through the challenges of chronic pain, and it also shows some of the paths where people go "off track" and get stuck in negative patterns. John Fisher's Process of Change is normally found in industrial and organization psychology, aimed more at business type environments, but I personally think he's hit on an explanation that encompasses life with chronic pain better than he'll ever know.

    Here's a basic diagram of his transition process and it shows the "paths" that kind of split off of the main "healthy" path, leaving people in problematic situations:


    I think on Fisher's diagram, the "drama queens" we see often end up veering off the main path and getting stuck on the 3 common paths - denial, disillusionment, or hostility.

    Denial, for example, would be the "yeah but" people who repeatedly ask for advice, suggestions and guidance, but meet every suggestion -- even if it's just a suggestion to obtain more information on a specific topic -- with resistance and long lists reasons why that particular thing won't work for them. On a message board, you find yourself reading a thread that shows no real acknowledgment of the possibilities since the first post, in spite of 20 responses with very realistic ideas and suggestions.

    The disillusionment folks, on the other hand, take the suggestions/encouragement and start moving toward a particular treatment or procedure. While it looks like they're going embrace the possibilities, there's really a subconscious "event" brewing under the surface, waiting to obliterate those possibilities. Those are the folks we see canceling procedures at the last minute for odd reasons or finding themselves embroiled in a mix of problems that are always someone else's fault and totally beyond their control, with no possible resolution other than just giving up.

    And the hostility folks - well, I think they're the most obvious "drama queens." The place we see folks on that path show up clearly is when they sequentially dismiss entire categories of practitioners because they "tried that once and it didn't work." They're adamant that they will never again consider certain approaches or modalities, because they're "quackery" and over time, the abject hideousness of their previous experience with that modality (or the experiences of their friends/family members) grows like a redneck fish story.

    I think the hostility path has the deepest connection with the mind/body issue that brought this topic up to begin with, because it's so incredibly easy to get caught in a cycle beginning at the guilt point, moving into the depression area, but then repeatedly miss that turn that leads into gradual acceptance and getting stuck in the hostility, which creates a somewhat natural path back to guilt.

    I think getting stuck in that guilt-depression-hostility cycle has a huge impact on the ability of people to heal. I also think it feeds directly into what "C" mentioned in the other thread, about pain becoming so much of a person's identity that they can't figure out how to let go and move on to an identity based more on health.

    Anyway.. that's probably more than anyone wanted to hear from me on that topic.. but with my professional background (counseling, hospice, aging, grief & loss, etc), I think about stuff like this alot... ;)

  • Hmm, this Transition Process diagram is interesting and can see how it could be applied to me. Thanks for chiming in! It is hard to break the cycle and stepping back, I can see where I've made it tougher for myself.

    BTW-I would like to create a new screen name to represent the new me in August and since you stole my name, got to think of something else. You can keep the BionicWoman name, I won't sue for copyright infringement only because you've helped me in the past. I might go for BionicBeauty or Electrifying.
  • You probably want me to keep the name, 'cause I get some pretty nasty messages now and then. It's one of the downsides of being so opinionated. :rollinglaugh:

    I think we can all see ourselves on that diagram at some points in our lives/treatment, because we all fly off the rails of all these transitions every now and then. We're humans and that makes us imperfect beings who often require a learning curve to get where we're going. I think it only becomes problematic when a person gets "stuck" repeating a particular cycle, can't move past it, and become so closed off that they get beyond defensive if you point it out to them.

  • I so agree with everything that has been said here. I agreed with Michael's post, too, but Angie, I think you were more eloquent and wrote it so that people would understand the point better.
    The one thing that I would add to this, would be fear. Fear that a procedure won't work, and the person would not find the relief they were looking for. The one important thing that we have to remember, is that any surgery or other procedure is most likely not going to end all of our pain, it may help with some, but probably won't get rid of it entirely, and that is something that we all have to accept. I was very lucky that my surgeon stressed that point for me, that my surgery would take care of the radicular pain only, but I would always have a stiff, painful neck for the rest of my life. He was right, so my quest, after recovering from surgery, was finding that "blend" that PapaRon has mentioned, to get my pain levels to a tolerable level. And I am so lucky, that I have. I can now live with the pain that I have, I might not be able to do what I used to be able to do, but at least I can go to work, and get a little bit of housework done each day after, and have been able to enjoy a little more activities with my boyfriend since finding that. It might put me out come night time, but hey, I'm going to bed, and getting the rest that I need to face the next day (most nights, there are still some that sneak in there where I just can't sleep for whatever reason).
    I also thank you for mentiong the pain scale. Every time you experience pain that is worse than ever before, you now have to adjust your pain scale accordingly, instead of saying it's a 20. I've had to adjust mine (and my way of thinking) several times throughout my journey, and once I realized I had to, it made that aspect of it a little easier to accept (because what once was let's say a 7, now became a 5, because of the new, intolerable pain that took over the place of 10) We have to remember that 10 is the worst pain that we have ever experienced, but it is hard to remember that something else was so much more painful, when you are in so much pain at the moment. (then again, anyone who has been through labour might not find it so hard to remember :))) )
    Anyways, thank you Angie, for sharing your story, as hard as it might have been, it will help someone out there, even if only one person, that is one person who feels better because of you. I'm so sorry about all that you've had to endure, and continue to battle. I wish you peace, and relief each day!!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • it's a new day and it's sunny here. i hope it's sunny for you too. we awake and make our plans...each day's a challenge just like everyone else we march forward. little gains make us happy. little things give us joy. life is good. we're no different than anyone else.
    have a good one...pete
  • Angie,

    I'm glad to see this subject. It's helpful for someone like myself who's drum beats to a different beat then everyone else's. I'm glad you're going to get a new lease on life with the SCS. I really hope it does everything it can for you.

    A little update for you, after 3 weeks, Topomax built up enough in my system this weekend to cause complete parasthesia/numbness in my arms and legs Saturday afternoon. Doctor has requested that I stop taking it altogether now. Officially bummed, cause that was the last drug in that class for me to take. It sucks when the doors close and you're doing everything you can to keep them open.

    When are you getting the permanent SCS? Keep me posted on your progress.

  • I think I am ready to own up to, what I can only refer to as, my new life. Thank You, for posting,
    for reading, and sharing. Nothing is easy.
    My difficulty lies between--- I think this will work
    and hostility when it doesn't. I know the majority of my anguish causes deep impacts to my demeanor.
    Not an excuse, but, my Symp. nerv. sys. does play a signifigant role in the cycle. All I wanted was HOPE.
    I am beginning to have severe reactions to any treatments. No one can find my veins since my first block. Now it takes at least a half an hour to I.V. me. Talk about iatrogenic! A little poke is enough to
    send me primal. Everything!!! is translated as an attack. That is the only drawback to my fully accepting RSD. Can one blame anger stemming from false hopes? Doc said blocks would "CURE" me. Made it all worse! Now, it is my bad! for their lack of prolonged relief. Sorry so long.
    To the point. My shrink is good about RSD. At least the mental aspects. He tells me I am wrong, all the time. Not a wise choice. He's earned my respect!
    I will own this malady, when I get to stop convincing others about it. There is a fine line between dwelling on the pain, which I try to avoid-makes it worse, and recounting constantly, where I avoid making it worse!
    Thanks for all words posted here. Good, bad, ugly...
    better than reading only my own!
  • There is definitely a link between psychology and pain as a recent newspaper article outlines http://www.theage.com.au/world/the-curse-of-tolerating-pain-20090712-dhct.html and this is without it being chronic pain. With chronic pain however the situation would be worse and made more complex with side effects of drugs etc and sometimes even withdrawal as well as duration. This does not however lessen the fact that real pain does exist (normally it is natural body function to tell us something is wrong). Pain regardless of it being a physiological (i.e. cause can be seen or identified from medical images, tests or with the cause yet to be found) or psychological based, must be treated. If I look at the “National Institute for Neurological Disorders and stroke” site http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/chronic_pain/chronic_pain.htm it states “some are treated with Placebos with success” so psychological based pain is recognized and treated. I think we need to hope for correct diagnosis and treatment!

    The only thing I find annoying is when others (including medical staff) simply dismiss pain.

    Also like the reply by BionicWoman with the diagram (and may bookmark it as have not worked out where I am now). In terms of Ernurse I have read many of your comments and can only say thank you and keep posting!
    Kind Regards >:D<
  • I'm not going to write a long post but just wanted to say that I see little resemblence to your post and the one Michael wrote. What I saw in your words was the picture of someone who has had to admit there is a psychological impact to being chronically ill. I couldn't agree more and it is a tough adjustment. I was sickly from the time I was a toddler, on medications my whole life, with many major surgeries beginning when I was just 16. It wasn't until I went into a major clinical depression in my late 40's that I got the psychological help that made me realize I'd suffered from depression from the time I was a young child. Chronic illness makes you feel very "different" and packs a huge psychological wallop. We all want to just feel and to actually BE "normal".

    I want to thank you for taking the time to share from your heart about how your chronic pain has changed your life. >:D<

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    then the one created a couple of days ago. Facts are that so many members here are dealing with chronic pain. Some much longer than others. I really believe as you deal with chronic pain for a long period of time, not only do you have the physical problems but there are many emotional problems that go along with it.
    For now, put aside the emotional pain dealing with family, friends and co-workers. More to the point, your own emotional difficulties.
    You get up every morning knowing you are going to have pain and a difficult day. As that continues day after day, it almost becomes a habit, so without a doubt you will have a difficult day even if you are physically feeling better.
    I went to some counselor for a while because I was getting depressed that no matter what I did, no matter what treatments I was taking I was always going to be this way. Talking it over with a professional helped so much. It wasnt eye opening or any great discussions, it was just verifying some of my own thoughts on life, pain, etc.
    I came away from that realizing that we can be our own worst enemies. If we look at the negative side, thats all we are going to see. Pain will be so much more intense, even though it isnt.
    Positive approaches help control that pain... Its there, but you realizes it isnt going to get the best of you.
    We all seek doctors to help with our medical problems and we are given medications to deal with this. And we have all sorts of treatments to maintain some stability. Thats taking care of our physical side. How about our mental side. Its not as easy as just taking a pill to fix that, its work and its opening our eyes to everything.

    Angie, you did a very good service creating this thread. I think it extends what Michael was trying to say.
    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 way to present this and keep from losing some of what Michael was trying to get across. I know we have butted heads over the years, but I have always had a great respect for what you have had to offer to those that come to Spine Health.

    The issue with the temp handicap placard, is very understandable. I have dealt with that same battle, only in regards to using a walker or cane and most recently a bracelet. I have always resisted getting a medic ID bracelet, but after the encouragement of the doc and the rep, I took a hard look at the issue. I have done so much traveling and because I don't look "disabled" or whatever you would call it, if I were to be injured or have a bad reaction to meds, no one would think I have a cervical SCS.

    While researching the effects of getting an MRI if you have an implanted SCS, I realized it could be life threatening if I were to have one, no matter who or how it's conducted. That coupled with a couple severe medication allergies, I realized that what I was being told, was in my own best interest. However wearing an ID bracelet to me seems like I am screaming out to the world that I'm a wuss and feel sorry for me, or some stupid thing like that.

    With the SCS it is so easy to look so normal and feel so much better. I love being able to just blend in with the crowd, so the thought of bringing it to everyone's attention via the bracelet just hit me hard.

    I had to grow up and "get over it". That's what it took for me.

    When I initially went for the rapid detox and then the SCS, the pain management doc required working with a behavior management/pain management therapist. This was one of the best things he could have done. The combination of the therapist and the pain management from the doc and SCS, helped me put everything in perspective and keep it there.

    Anyway I'm rambling now. Thanks for the post and thanks for all your continued harassment via Spine Health. I think that there are a few good names left out there, where you shouldn't have to give BionicWoman too much grief. BatteryBabe, ElectricNurse, BionicBroad, GeneratorGirl, LeadLady, just to name a few. :-)

    Take care,

  • when you are woken up every night at around 3.00 am in horrible pain .and i wont use the ..o my pain is 20/10!!! its just pain end of story .from the bed its down to the recliner .more pain killers and the acticare goes on .then i will try to get some more sleep on my chair ..after that i will shower and depending on how bad my pain is i will get back on my chair or if feeling a little brave i may go to the pool ..but if i have ventured to the pool .when i return home i will be finished and need to get back on my chair to rest ..this is my life ..i am a strong willed person and i dont believe in its mind over matter or any other mumbo jumbo i have real sever damage to my spine and other congenital abnormalities and they can not be fixed ..i have to live with it ..its not easy but its not impossible ..i visit spine health for support and to help others ..i was annoyed about the other post that suggested pain was all in the mind ..because for most of us its a very real problem ..
  • my theory is that the mind can help you accept the crap we all have to live with. once you convince yourself you can live with it and just enjoy the few things you see, hear, and do it's not so bad.
    if you compare how you are to what you were it will drive you crazy. it takes a long time to just accept it.
    maybe i'm crazy in the head but i try to look at the challenges of everyday as a test of what i can do. i look at a flight of stairs i must go down as a challenge. how do i get down. whats the safest way down. you and i have more challenges than most people. when we finish our days we are tired. yah its our life but it is a life and if we just take it as it comes. we'll get something from it.
    anyway did you go swimming. i went for motor bike ride. had some pain but i enjoyed it. my daughter is up from new york and she rode her bicycle with me!
    well, have a good one...pete
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