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Why is it

NumbskullNNumbskull Posts: 1,526
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Chronic Pain
that the flare-ups seem so debilitating, when the pain isn't anywhere close to being as bad as the pain I was in prior to surgery? I mean, before, I couldn't be upright without my neck, shoulders, arm and hand screaming at me, and even laying down, the pain made me writhe. There was no relief, not even hydromorphone touched the pain, didn't even take the edge off. Now, I'm back to work, although by the end of the day, I'm done, so tired, and my neck and shoulders are yelling at me. But I start the day out at my baseline pain, as someone else put it in another thread. The days that it remains at baseline, those are the really good days. But the flare-ups, on the really bad days, when it's my headaches, my neck, the spasms in my traps, my back, and my leg, knees and the cramping in my foot and hands just kicks the crap out of me. The only difference between now and then with the flare ups, is that the radicular pain in my neck, arms and hands is so much less. Maybe I'm more tired than I was before? I'm letting it get to me and giving in to it? Honestly, sometimes I feel like such a drama queen by letting it get to me, which just makes me feel worse. Why can't I just "suck it up and carry on" like I used to?
APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own


  • Wow you are just 5 months out from surgery. I would think that your stamina would still be quite low. It really does take some time to build yourself back up after surgery. Try and be patient with your self. Hopefully you will keep getting better and better and the worst is behind you. I think that you will tire much more easily than before surgery for quite some time. Good luck to you and I hope you feel better soon.
  • I am so sorry you are going through a rough patch. So am I and so is a lot of others from what I have read.
    I think the reason we can't just "suck it up and carry on" like we use to is because the constant pain wears us down with time. Even our our "normal" pain wears us down. Aren't we "sucking it up" then??

    I know right now I am going through he%$!! And I can't "suck it up" either. I just can't. I did suck it up and go to PT today and it was soooo hard. I came home and fell on the bed. I struggled through each set of exercises and was so happy when I had did the last one. They do not make my pain worse, if they did I would not do them. I was already in very bad pain when I started.

    Every day Kelly we struggle with pain at some level and it is so very hard!! And when it spikes we just can't handle it. I can't anymore.

    You aren't alone. My thoughts are with you.

    Sending a hug..... >:D<
    Patsy W
  • I have been going through a bout for a while now, usually they don't last this long but this one is a killer. I also am having spasms and arm and chest pain...No, not from my heart but pain that is soooo bad it goes from the back to the front. Ya know, it's been a year and a half since my last neck surgery and I still feel like Iam worse now than before my sugery. It does wear a person down, I know Iam not at all the same person I was 3 years ago when this all started, I think I was a very strong person then and now I don't have any fight left, so I know where your coming from. I just have alot of respect for you, you are "sucking it up", you get up and go to work that's alot more than most of us here are able to do, I know I can't....
    Just keep up the fight and don't give up....
  • You're still not that far out from your surgery. Would I be correct to assume that you did not have a fusion? If so, I would think that recovery from your surgery would be more difficult cause they had to move so much stuff around. Remember you still have to hold up that bowling ball between your shoulders.

    I to get up and go to work every day. The difference between myself and you is that my discomfort stays constant rather than flaring. I do have days where the constant is a little higher, but that's the life I've been dealt.

    Is there anyway you can take a break during the day so you can lay on a heating pad? My wife recently had a 2 level ACDF and when ever she gets tight, she lays on the heating pad for a little bit.

  • Take a half hour of my lunch and simply lay down on the floor of my office on my back.

    Depending on how you hurt I guess as to if that would help or make things worse!

    I find the afternoon to go a little bit better after laying on the hard flat surface on my back.

    I guess you would need a somewhat private office with at least a thin carpet to be able to do this?

    As for why is it worse now and harder to take?
    I think it is simply because we grow weary of the pain and it beats us down if we do not watch how we think about it and our lives.

    Listen to me, like I am any good at this stuff!
    I'm trying to work my way through a book on learning to manage this....try and stay positive, etc;
  • everyone for the boost. I think it's just that I'm so tired, I guess an average of 4 hours sleep (not consecutive, and IF I'm lucky), then having to work is taking it's toll. Wow, it's been 5 months, eh? It seems like so long ago now, maybe that's part of the problem in my way of thinking. And yes, I'm not a very patient person either, lol. J.J., thanks for the reminder to be more patient and for the good wishes!!
    Patsy, good for you, for sticking with PT, even though it was so hard!! That in itself is a boost, you know you can do it, even though it takes all of your strength, you still accomplished your goal!! I hope that you recover more quickly from your nasty fall, and you can get things moving with the pain pump.
    Jeannette, I'm sorry that your surgery didn't help you out at all. I'm so glad you added that the chest pain wasn't heart problems, that's the first thing that popped in my mind when I first started reading that!!! It took my breath away for a second there!! You definitely don't need that kind of problem on top of everything else!!! But, I do think you have some fight left, and are still strong, as you face the pain every day, and do fight it, as you're here on the boards giving adivce and support to others!! (and sharing stories in the insomniac thread, too, lol)
    Dave, my heating pad has become my new best friend!! I don't use it at work though, but as soon as I'm home, it doesn't leave my neck. Maybe I will take it to work, it would help, thanks for the suggestion. You hang in there too, with going to work!! I can't wait for my issues to stay at a constant, you give me hope!! btw, my noggin feels like it's a big ole bowling ball resting on a splintered toothpick most days, that made me laugh, thanks!!
    Wrambler, lol, we are the worst for taking our own advice, aren't we? If I were to lay on the floor, I'd never get back up, lmao. And, yes, I'd get some pretty strange looks (more than I do normally). But I do rest my head on the back of my chair, kick back and rest my boots on my desk for a few minutes every lunch!! It's just not the best position to be in though, when the chief walks in, and calls me bone idle, lol. I do try to stay positive, I really do!! Just sometimes, I think you're right, it does wear us down.
    Anyways, I wish all a great weekend, with as little pain as possible. TGIF!!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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