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Out of curiosity how many have lied about their condition?

jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:44 AM in Chronic Pain
I lied for the first time this weekend about my medical condition. I said I had no spine issues, why, because I wanted to do something that had I disclosed my condition I would of been denied one of the best times of my life. I went to the Nascar race this weekend and I was given a chance to drift ride with a professional driver. One of the questions in the liability waver was do you have neck or back issues? I lied and said no. I had the time of my life in that car!!!!
Had I been honest the opportunity would of been taken away. How many others have lied?


  • It could be quite risky to lie sometimes. I mean, what if you'd had an injury to your back - I wouldn't have thought you'd be covered by any insurance policy you may have because it was a pre-existing condition that you didn't declare - so that's why I think it could be risky sometimes (but that's just my personal opinion).

    I'll now be totally honest and say that, yes, I have also lied - though not in the same way. I was off sick earlier this year (one of 3 occasions in 2 months I must add). Because I didn't want my employer to know it was back-related so I said it was for some other reason.

    Ha! I now have an interview tomorrow at work because I've hit the 'trigger points' according to their absence policy (3 separate times in 2 months). I have, at a previous interview, asked to be referred by management to their occupational health team. Doing this will now turn the last 2 occasions into 'disability' leave if they agree, which does not count towards the trigger points.

    Still, lying is lying no matter how it's said I suppose. I should have stuck to the truth, but I didn't want it to jeopardise my job in any way.

    It will make interesting reading to find out what other members say????

    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Honestly I am just tired of explaining it to people. They never really get it and it just takes too long to explain.

    The other thing more frustrating is the weekly call from my Dad and the first question is the big "How do you feel?". I just get tired of telling him I am still in pain and I just let out a fine. If I tell him I am in pain I get the whole, doctor, what are they doing, you are too young, blah, blah, blah.

    It is tough enough to deal with the daily pain and at this point having to explain it over and over also just is adding insult to injury. The last question I want to be asked is "How do you feel?". Lets not forget the tilt of head (like on friends) while they say it....poor guy.

    I am in pain, I have been in pain for 2 years...somedays more pain, less pain but pain...got it now do not ask again unless I volunteer the information. That is pretty much how I feel unless you are in the chronic pain game with me. This is why I come here.

  • Hi Susan.

    I had the same opportunity to do just that on las Vegas business trip. Unfortunately, I declined, broke my heart but I didn't want to risk any further injury to myself. As a huge Nascar fan would have loved it. Now we were actually driving the cars, but no matter I was in enough pain anyway so I didn't even go to the track and stayed in town swimming in the pool.
  • I do this as a reflex all the time. Someone asks how I feel and I say OK. Even to doctors. Then I say well not really......

    I also find that when I get into explaining what's going on I don't want to say too much. So I will cut it short.

  • I lie to casual friends and acquaintances and say I'm Fine in response to "How are you?"
    No one wants to here my BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, story and I don't want to see their eyes glaze over with boredom (LOL!). Although, here's a thought, save your story for someone you run into that you really don't like -- that will fix em!


  • 1) They believe they have the same amount of pain as me. When I know they do not. Explaining how there neck was sore when they woke up this morning.

    2) The many suggestions of how something like "stretching" or something as obvious will fix me.

    3) The many suggestions of doctors, accupuncture, yoga..

    And yes it does bother me that when I do take the time to explain it that they do begin to get bored 5 minutes in.

  • I have to admit, I too say it as a knee jerk reaction, knowing that the person asking doesn't have the time or is asking as social nicety....

    One day before my surgery, I saw a neighbor who told me she also needed lumbar surgery as she was working in her yard, carrying large hill country bolders and placing them in her landscaping.......

    at the same time, I had a hard time walking from my car to my doorway......

    not the samething I am guessing,.....and she is a PT....

  • so very very true js
    exactly my list and then some more
    i often do with ppl on the phone...i say ok i'm fine..
    in person i always get well you look good...I don't bother explaining inside the outside shell..my muscles are screaming..

    we do what we have to get thru the day
    and so is we say we okay
    ppl should know we lying ...

    so glad you got to ride in that fast car...i myself would not risk my spine...but then i dont like fast cars...
    all my best
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Who among us doesn't lie on a daily basis about these stupid issues we face? The only place I think I have found true understanding is when I can vent my frustrations here to my spiney friends. All of us who read each other's posts can relate to the same...or unfortunately usually can go a little deeper...and that makes coping with reality easier for me. I am asked every day "How am I?" and know that the person asking doesn't give a tinker's damn about how I really am. Great thread. Thanks for posting this.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Sure I was testing fate by getting in the race car but i also test fate by taking a walk everyday. I want to live my life to the fullest and was it stupid of me to get in the care? sure was, do I regret it no. My father has a picture of me in the car and he keeps telling me he is going to send it to my surgeon. lol. It was great just to forget my issues even if it was
    only for 10 minutes. For those 10 minutes I forgot it all!
  • Susan,
    It always has to be taken in context and all activity carries some increased risk, only you can decide what that means to you and these are usually isolated incidents and not a perpetual denial. The benefit of your experience with live long and that stretching approach one technique in trying to keep our existence fun.

    We all hide our condition if and when it is appropriate or possible and others are not mandated to divulge any weakness and can pre-empt the notion that we are in need of help or support. Time teaches us who to tell and we live to regret telling some individuals that we thought had the capability to help and support us rather than use that unknown information against us, I am protecting myself in not divulging this information and was said that “once the genie is out of the bottle it is impossible to put it back in” My own policy is, I now only tell on a need to know basis and getting that balance right in who and what to tell a constant challenge.

    Even the mention of the words back pain makes everyone an expert in how to make it all better, from potions to lotions and miracle cures, which soon develops into all manner of additional ailment as my own eyes glaze over, while trying to smile.

    E Goffman wrote a book called Stigma in which he describes disclosure and how we use it, a fascinating read.


  • As I read the more recent posts I could hear a million conversations with my sister. She knows everything, has the best doctor, etc. I tend to avoid her because of this. Once or twice a year I feel I need to be sisterly and get together for lunch. Usually takes a few days to get over that experience.

    Oh and I'm still waiting for her to call me with the name of "her" surgeon. She has to clear it with her husband before telling me the name. Guess he knows even more than she does :)
  • I had a tough night for reasons unknown to me but reading this thread brings a tear to my eye and a smile to my face. It made it easier to for me to get up and go to PT/work.

    It is amazing how I can feel two emotions at the same time as I never thought possible. God this is so draining on so many levels.

    Kris-NY, great one about the sis...and John yes everyone is an expert on back pain. BTW Kris I have a cousin who is a surgeon and ofcourse I hear about it weekly from my Dad and if I had the surgery I would be all done.

    Maybe I am too much of a cynic about others but I still see the face of an assistant in a hospital that gave me the "poor baby" you are too young but when I responded with a firm "I will beat it", all I could see in her face was not empathy but instead a bit of "satisfaction that I am not him".

    Maybe this is my "angry" stage of CP...in anycase I really want to thank you all today for posting. You made my day that much better. I am not alone. I care about you all.

  • I lie to myself!!! And yeah like most of you,I just say "I feel fine"....not necessarily because the asker doesn't care,they just don't get it.I am tired of the frustration...I don't think a couple of my Drs get it,so I tend to minimize how I feel with them! A few years ago I got a job offer,I lied on the application where it asked about back,neck problems... even had a physical,I got real a few days later and declined the job (driving a haul truck,surface mine).I have tried to get ME back by doing things I should not do...like the lady mentioned, doing yardwork,camping,4wheelers.It's only in the last year that I have begun to be honest with myself about my pain,frustration,depression,fatigue etc...
    I would've went for a ride too...yahooo
  • I guess that is one way to explain it. I lie to myself because I don't want to be the wet blanket for my family. I do what needs to be done no matter how I feel. So a lie by ommission is still a lie.
  • I lie all the time about my condition. In the beginning when people would ask they seem genuinely concerned, but now they're doing it out of politeness. And yes I see their eyes glaze over and in their head there saying Blah, Blah, Blah, etc.

    I learned also that you have to pick and choose who you tell and what information you divulge. My mother-in-law uses this information against me and talks to others about me behind my back.. Like others she believes that because I had surgery I should be running marathons now. We recently canceled a huge family vacation to Ocean City, MD because I cannot do 7 days of walking, boat rides, fishing, amusement park, etc. My husband explained to her that I feel bad enough about not being able to take the kids so don’t say anything. As soon as we were alone she started drilling me about how awful it is that I ruined everyone’s vacation and I started to cry. She even goes as far as shaking her head at me when I walk up to the pew to do my bible reading at church!!! My husband asked her that before she comes over she has to learn to keep her thoughts to herself and think before she speaks!!!!
  • Newhouse can I borrow your husband - oh wait mother in law is gone... how is he with sister-in-laws?? We have a family funeral the next two days and I am dreading having to see everyone. With my mother-in-law gone there is no one to spread the family news so I am sure there will be blank stares and lots of questions. And since the first surgery wasn't then end there will be lots of "i told you so"s

    Give your hubby a kiss for supporting you. You have a gem.
  • Hang in there. Sometimes the people around us are tougher to deal with than the actually spiney issues we suffer.

    In life though I have found that what goes around, comes around. They may be telling you "I told you so" now but eventually someone will be telling it in the future to them.

    Stay strong...

  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,599
    When people ask me how I am doing ...

    I look at them and simply say .... "Thank you for asking".

    If they desire elaboration I reply; "I am still walking, talking, and breathing".

    This of course is not the case with my Doctor(s)- Therapists - Social workers - Attorney - Paralegals...
    who I am rigourously honest with about my conditions and progressions.

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!  (Click on Welcome to Spine-Health)
    My Story  - Click below
    I am not a doctor nor have I ever played one on TV.  Therefore any comments made are based on my experience.
  • I have been experiencing the same for the last 2 1/2yrs. In the beginning is was nice that people cared now it seems they ask just to be polite.
    Family and friends have distances themself and maybe its for the best. Rather be alone.
  • I lie about the way I feel all the time,even to myself.I want to continue doing things I enjoy,so I tell myself I will be ok with this or that,only later on to pay dearly for it.
    My coworkers ask how I am and I'm to the point where its so much easier just to say I'm doing ok.The people that really understand how I feel,or care how I feel can pretty much tell by just looking at me.
    Thanks to spinehealth and all you good people here,I know you all understand and can relate to how I feel.
    Peace and I love this place!!
  • You know as I read through this thread again to make me feel good...I was just thinking as I was filling more stupid forms...what is it with these pain levels?

    I mean how do you figure them out? I keep circling those silly scales and honestly I am just sick of them.

    Maybe this can be the what pisses you off thread...

    The pain scales really piss me off...when I see them I just stare and feel like a 2 year old about what number to circle!

  • You bet I have! I am so tired of being asked how I feel by people that really do not care...because when I am honest I soon see that dull, glazed over look in their eyes. Then, I often get the lecture that I just need to "get hold of myself," ect., ect. It's either the exercise lecture, the get out and be with other people...how I shouldn't feel the way I do...ect. Yes, I lie...and will continue to...for my own sanity!
  • Hey everyone
    I lie a lot about how I feel.When someone asks I usually just say I'm fine or I'm making it.
    I also lie to myself and do things I know I will pay for later.
    There are a few members of my family that I can actually tell the truth about how I feel.And of course all of you always understand.You all rock!!
    Be well,Mark
  • They ask how the injections were and if I have some relief and I say yes. Mainly I say every little bit helps. There are days when I feel pretty good and able to do more things and tell myself you're getting stronger everyday which is a real boast in feelings. But it may not be so and I may be telling myself that forever and eternity and still really be the same as I was over 2 years ago with my back injury. Really with my family I say a l feel a little better but with strangers I say I'm fine.

    But I still try to strengthen my muscles and try to walk everyday and use my air stepper a few minutes a couple of times a day and maybe I'll get stronger. I squatted down yesterday to pick up the water hose thinking okay I'm going to fall over or get stuck and I'll have to call for help so someone can pick me up. But instead I lunged with my ever getting stronger thighs and was able to lift myself up.

    JSirabella-I feel the same about those pain scale questions. There should be a weak scale question because sometimes I have weakness and not necessary pain that is just as disabling as the pain.

    Still praying we're getting better everyday. TC. 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
  • Unfortunately, I walk leaning sideways and with a limp. I am unable to lie about it. But if I could, I probably would because I am only 36 years old and I hate when people are offering to do everything for me because of it.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I do the daily little white lies. "How are you?" is responded to with "Okay". When maybe all I'm doing that day is laying down. I'm more honest with my hubby and some of my spine friends.

    And I did a Petty ride along (and would still love to do more tracks) and did just as you did and agreed that I met the requirements to ride. Yep, my neck hurt after (getting in and out ain't easy) but it was worth it as an HUGE NACAR fan.

    What I don't do is I don't lie to my doctors, their assistants, etc. I want them to know exactly how I am doing. And around some good friends I'll be honest. I had surgery 2/2010 and went to PIR for a race in April. By Thursday I had to leave (yes, had been there all week and left the day racing began) and all our friends totally understood. But then again I was in a huge LSO brace and it was 90 degrees out so it was a combination of pain and heat.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Today I had to fill out the form with the million questions at my PT for the insurance company...

    I mean what do I feel today...a six, five..what is the difference between them. Let me see what did I put down last time...hmmm.

    How about do you feel better than when you started? Do you feel better than a year ago?

    I be honest I really do not know...I do not even remember how bad it was a year ago! I have been in pain for so long I can not remember what the he!! it feels like to not have pain. PAIN is pretty much a normal state of being for me now.

    I think I will stick with I am fine...


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