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Those that want to help themselves vs those that want others to do that

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:47 AM in Depression and Coping
I do have to say that because of the years I have been on this site and my connections with the medical field, I lose any empathy for those that only want to complain, blame their doctors, blame the insurance companies, blame the DEA, blame everyone else, instead of looking within.

I understand that this thread is not going to get that many favorable responses, but I know for myself just how much I am willing to help others that are willing to help themselves, vs, how I can not muster up the energy to help those that only want to complain.

I also try to be fair. Those that are so new to this chronic pain situation, I can understand their frustrations, but those who have been dealing with it for a while and yet still seek to blame others, I am sorry, I have such a difficult time trying to help them.

We all have 'x' amount of hours in a day, so I try to maximize mine when ever I can
Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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Comments

  • Ron you are right. It is easy to get stuck in the mud of self-pity. But for many of the people on this site this is just a way to work through the stages of acceptance of a life change. Most of us have heard about the stages relating to grief but if you think about it this applies to so much in our lives.

    I found this version which includes 7 stages but the number of stages is not important.

    1. Shock and denial
    2. Pain and guilt
    3. Anger and bargaining
    4. Depression - reflection and loneliness
    5. Upward turn
    6. Reconstruction
    7. Acceptance and Hope

    Everyone goes through this at different rates. I know I found this site around stage 2 or 3. Right now I'm around 4-5.

    Unfortunately the nature of spine problems means that we take 2 steps forward and 1 step back. Just when you think you are better something else happens. Also we spend alot of time waiting to get answers from doctors or approvals from insurance companies.

    As far as responding to posts...I try to stick to ones that i can relate to with the occasional response to a general question. I am not a mushy person so you won't see me doing hugs and kisses type posts unless I see someone who is feeling down and no one is responding. You made a point a few weeks back that people need to do some searching for info before starting a new thread. We tend to look for immediate gratification so this will always happen.

    So now that I have used my precious time to respond to your post I am going to go back to reading my romance novel :)
  • Howdy Ron,

    I guess I have to read more varied posts, as surely I missed something new going on? I do agree with much of your post. I too try to help where I can, but yes there have been a few here and there, that no matter what solutions are offered, no positive result occurs, or the person ends up lashing out at the very folks they've asked for help in the first place because what they wanted to hear wasn't so stated.

    You're not one that makes posts of such deep subjects on a whim, so I am guessing I missed some 'example(s)' of recent. :) Off to my reading...

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065
    any one particular post.
    What I come up with is after reading many posts for several months, somethings 6 or more months.
    So, if you were to ask me "Which post make you think this way?", I couldnt give you an answer.

    Many times, I would like to focus in on only a couple of forum areas, the ones that hit home the most..., but as with the rest of my team, we promised to monitor the entire site, therefore we get to see many different sides of posting.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I too of course gravitate to those areas of similarity to my own as well. Of late, I now read the posts via "most recent" each time I come on. I have found that some of the folks I chat with or post too also have issues in other areas (spine, depression, loves etc.), and it helps me see a better picture and at times understanding of those I post with.

    You've seen me on here enough, and we've chatted/posted enough to each other, if I get that way, and it isn't just a phase, let me know! I have my down days like anyone else, but if they stay and I don't see it (G)....... Dankie!!!

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Ron, I very much agree with you.

    But I think we can get into some traps of thinking that people aren't helping themselves if they aren't taking our advice, or if they aren't doing the things we would be doing. I think we have to be careful to allow for the fact that everybody feels comfortable with a different path.

    So with the caveat that as long as we allow for everyone to help themselves along their own path using their own ways, I agree completely :)
  • Most folks are afraid of whats inside, i tend to think
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod
    erator

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    I really don't think ron intended it to go this way.
    just my opinion.
    we really need to get along and support each other.
    take care,
    ranger
  • You are correct, it is about helping yourself and being proactive about your care and treatment. That means looking into and finding out about different treatments and then hopefully talking it over with your doctor. Who could possibly object to that? Not I, it isn't my place to do so, nor was my post meant to present that way.

    My own feelings about certain posts I've read in the past year or so remain. It doesn't make it true for them... it doesn't actually affect them at all. If stating an opinion turns into "I judge you for thinking _______, then I'd just as soon as delete the post and take a break-probably a good idea for me.

    _____________

    Ranger, you are correct and I apologize for taking it another direction, it was never my intention to do so... sometimes my fingers run faster than my brain. I've deleted it as it obviously serves no place here and does not follow in the original posts direction.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    no problem clandy,
    I do understand where you are coming from. I think we have had our moments when we get a little off track or even said something that just didn't sound the way we intended it to be, none of us are perfect and I'll be the first to admit I am not. You bring up valid points and I have always said we must respect one anothers opinion whether we agree or not. You are also correct in that we must not judge anyone for the way they think, who are we to say as we don't know what they have gone through or are presently going though.
    take care,
    ranger
  • Flame away if you must! (G) "Can't we, can't we just get along?" Okay, all kidding aside... Most all of us on here have pain in one level or another, and even if we had the exact same injury, our pain would still be perceived differently. Sure we all have opinions, and as such we post suggestions, support, even 'hard line' at times.

    I think Ron (sorry not trying to put words in your mouth here) is trying to say that some who have had issues for a long time, still are at the stage with they blame everyone but themselves. He wasn't as I could see it targeting anyone in particular, just making what we all do daily, an observation. We have all posted responses to 'help' someone, and find that they continue to go on the track they are as though we didn't post squirt. It gets old is what I think he is alluding to.

    I've posted to some to not only be ignored, but at times told they didn't want to hear it. Those few folks, I've just tuned out. Ron and his admin, they can't tune people out, so he gets frustrated just like anyone else. He is just putting it out there that it DOES frustrate him, and wastes his time... Next. :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Sometimes folks need to vent and this is the right place! Anyways some need support and know I do sometimes too. I heard before if you're an active member here why not answer 5 posts a day? I'm sure an authority or Mod would post more but it's nice to get feedback for your issues as well as be able to ask for support. It's nice to keep it light and miss Weakback's and others jokes here at times have to relax sometimes.
    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 have been proud to be a part of this support group. And I admit I probably have placed blame on ins. co's, dr'.s and myself many times. Being fairly new to being disabled I ready many posts before joining and when I finally decided to join I thought how great it is to be able to talk to others with the same issues. Many of us have had bad days and I've seen others talk them through it. I have seen people encouraged to vent and get their frustrations out. The stress we spiney's go through is intense along with the pain and sometimes little issues perhaps with an ins. co, or work issue or family problems simply takes us over the top. We may sound as though we are complaining or placing blame. Could that possibly be due to lack of sleep or extreme pain. I am not sure but perhaps I am taking this post wrong but I feel as though finding this wonderful support system does not come without being judged. For the most part I see people who are going through the same problems just trying to help others and giving of themselves. I have never found such a wonderful group of people that I have felt comfortable opening up too. I know before I joined and many times now I feel so alone but I know I can come on this forum and throw my pity party right out the window as there is always someone with something much more serious than what I may be dealing with at that particular time.
    Ron, you are a great moderator and have helped so many. You take your time and many of your posts have been a Godsend. This one just confuses me somewhat. I would hate for anyone to feel they couldn't open up with any problem they may have pertaining to the various forums. We are all very different yet have so much in common. Some can carry the burden of everyday life and handle it with no problems. Others have a difficult time and perhaps their posts are just coming off as though they are placing blame on others and not being proactive in their own care.
    Jan
  • I think Avi hit it on the head when she said that there are some people that just don't want to hear that pain management is going to require anything from them. They point fingers at here and there and everwhere, but never at the face in the mirror.

    I also did not assume that he was thinking of anyone in particular when he wrote the post. But as Avi said, if you ever see me focusing too much outside myself for solutions, feel free to remind me that what I am looking for is probably not out there.
  • Kris-NY, thank you for sharing this:

    1. Shock and denial
    2. Pain and guilt
    3. Anger and bargaining
    4. Depression - reflection and loneliness
    5. Upward turn
    6. Reconstruction
    7. Acceptance and Hope

    This about sums it all up. These stages were originally from Kubler-Ross's writings on death and dying.

    May I add Don Miguel Ruiz's, The Four Agreements:

    1. Be Impeccable with your Word
    2. Don't Take Anything Personally
    3. Don't Make Assumptions
    4. Always Do your Best

    ......oh the humanity of it all....Best wishes to everyone here.

    Marianne

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,065
    was not directed at any specific member.
    It was an observation that I have seen over time.
    I am basing this on the past 6-10 months worth of posting. Then comparing to the posting that was done in 2008 and part of 2009.

    My major and sole objective was to say that it is really our own responsibility to figure out how to manage our spinal situation. That means working with doctors and any other medical professional.

    It does bother me when I hear people blaming all others for not helping them manage their problems.

    Thats it, very simple.
    I feel we all have to take ownership and work with others to get through everything.

    I apologize if people took my thread as a dig against members.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • There is a research paper, that looked at North American and European methods of working on backs and spines. It covered in the area of 40,000 case studies. It was presented to the Psychology in Spain, conference, in 2005.

    After all of the methods, procedures, medications, and anything else you can think of, the most important thing that they discovered about recovery, or feeling better, or getting better ---

    WAS - that the patient felt like they had some control of the situation, and that they had a positive expectant attitude of better things to come -- even when things were quite hopeless.

    My own almost 3 decades of experience has born this out as truth!

    I too tire of all the complaint threads. I know its hard, I'll write in my paper journal, and burn it when I am done filling it up! I love the cathartic feeling it has to release the pain, in fire.

    PEACE - C458
  • Centurion that's a great idea. I might just try that.

    Something just popped into my head. I wonder if the increase in pity-me posts that you claim to see is related to the economy? There seem to be alot of people who are not able to afford surgery either for lack of insurance or not being able to take the time from work. Also alot of people who are not able to get to the doctors who might help them. Plus there are many people who are out of work and have health issues so they look to SSD.

    Ron your point is taken. Now it is up to all of us to turn those negative posts into positive learning experiences. What we each do with the info is up to us.
  • No, I would suggest that the reason for the pity-me posts is that this is a support board for people with chronic pain, and that is a subset of people who need a lot of support.

    I am not sure why anyone would expect chronic pain sufferers to have an easy time being positive.

    The fact that people with chronic pain have psychological issues as well is well known, so why not suggest counseling for the more negative people you see, rather than assuming they just don't want help? Maybe they are depressed or just stuck. I definitely needed my therapist to get me through the worst of my health problems, I could never have done it on my own.

  • Ron,

    In an odd way, I'm kind of glad you opened this thread, as I think it opened us up more on how we focus. Do I blame "outside" entities? Sure, I blame Lycoming for their engine failing me (heli crash), I blame the 2 drunk jerks that hit me, I blame my lifestyle...hehehe. Other than that, I like many here get frustrated when the medical professionals don't respond as fast as I would like, but *I* look in the mirror and can't think of what I would have done differently had the clock been turned back.

    I still would have flown helicopters, I still would have gone out to dinner with a friend (first drunk that hit me), still would have gone to the lodge dinner to support a deputy that was shot (hit and run there)... I guess I could blame my body for betraying me? Naw.. all too easy there. My cards were dealt, now I get to decide how to play them. :) No regrets.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I do fully blame the initial doctor who saw me but did not "catch" the severity of the fracture and sent me off rather than treating it. But no use whining about that, it's spilt milk.

    I can't blame my horse, he's too cute.

  • You're horse is too cute!!!
  • Ron,
    It is sometimes easier to blame others than take some responsibility and for me those in most need require additional support and encouragement as and when required, for the most part people are not doing this intentionally and only replicating what they have learned to do or encouraged to behave.

    We all support other from a caring perspective and even those less willing or unable to help themselves should be given adequate opportunity to express how they feel that may well have been denied to them over the longer term.

    The frustration is that when individuals continue to be constantly negative does not help them or other individuals, we all need time to learn to get better at managing our circumstance and if you continual blame everyone and all things no amount of support will help you move forward. Support here is given with courage and sincerity from experience that we have lived, it enable that experience that we all need to be foreshortened in time and get us where we need to be more quickly and effectively. Chronic pain develops though stages and we are all at individual learning and experience, it take time to learn new skills and we use the ones we have until we know better.

    Although pain will limit our options it will never take always how we should behave, that we can decide and perhaps each phase has to be worked through before we see the road ahead. Living in pain while attempting to restrict its impact, while simultaneously enduring pain and managing it, is not easy and never as simple as we initially imagined. We have to find a balance between recognition for our symptoms while improving and living with all the challenges that pain itself brings.

    We are doing a fanatic job supporting everyone and seeing some of ourselves in them and helping where possible.

    Take care.

    John


  • i have found the "Four Agreements" a wonderful book for guidance in my life.. it means alot to have support not only on SH but from reading and meditation.. i love the "always do your best!" and that means at whatever time it is and however you are feeling.. don't beat yourself up over not feeling well and following through with a day's plans.. simply do the best you can just as you are!! what a wonderful thought. as we get "older" here on the forum i think we see just how important it is to help ourselves.. it comes with time.. this is only one of the many valuable lessons to be learned here.. let's be kind to one another as we learn to help ourselves.... Jenny :)
  • anelsen15 I couldn't agree more (though I have been guilty of doing it). I know that I hate it when someone asks how my back is feeling, and I answer, and then they tell me that they know just how I feel because they pulled a muscle in their back once. I don't think I'll ever understand how they can think that is the same as having pain, that may never go away. I read an article by a Dr a couple of months ago, and he was saying that he could understand chronic pain patients b/c he had suffered after a surgery for a couple of months (minor surgery). My first reaction was that there is no possible way he understands. We know that there may never be an end to our pain. He knew that it would end. He didn't have to comes to terms that his life FOREVER is different. Coming to terms with that is the hardest thing I have ever done. I had cancer 7 years ago, and for me that was easier. I felt like I had more control, that I could beat it, that there was an end in site. Knowing this may last forever, I have found that much harder to deal with.

    Ron, I also understand you point. I have been dealing with that at work. Another manager comes to me complaing about his employees, this has been going on for a couple of months. I have given multible suggestions on how this could be dealt with. He choses to do nothing, except continue to complain about it. Is is very frustrating when it seems that the person wants to nothing except complain.

    At the same time, I can see how some people can be stuck. I am in Canada, I am lucky since I have a family Dr that Rx's pain meds. However, he will not refer me (that is needed here to see pain management or a specialist). The only thing he does for me is meds. I cannot see a new Dr because there are no Dr's accepting new patients. Emerg or walk in only tells me to go and see my family Dr. If I didn't have a family Dr, I would be in much worse shape, and I am thankful for him. However, I have never seen a pm doc or a specialist and I can't help thinking that I am suffering when maybe another Dr would see it differently and be able to help. So i can understand feeling stuck, and not being able to take another members advice. It is frustrating, to say the least. I am thankful for universal care (we do pay for it thru our higher taxes/monthy fees in some provinces) and not having to worry about paying for the test or MRI. However it can be frustrating not having the freedom of my neighbors to the soth to see what ever Dr i want.

    Lastly, Kris is right. I am not at the stage of acceptance yet, that takes a long time. And everyone differs in how much they take in getting thru the stages. Know how there is a sticky about not giving medical advice? Maybe on on the different stages would be a good idea. Helping others to help themselves?
  • I'm in Canada also and my Family Dr. gives my meds also. You must be in a small town or maybe you're getting by with your pain meds and don't need a specialist?

    I found Pain Management Drs online in my area and usually my Dr. asks which one I want to see. I've had 3 PM Drs and really would recommend getting one at a hospital as the Pain clinics here don't do any injections under fluoroscope x-ray but heard they do it at some hospitals.

    I've always worried about the PM Dr. getting it in the wrong spot. The only thing that reassured me was that Anesthetists don't use fluoroscope when a woman is in labor and finding the right spot so why can't they do it in this case? I also don't get any sedation for any injections except the freezing but maybe it's different at the hospital. If I don't get better this year next year I'm going to a Pain clinic in a hospital. These clinics don't even offer RFA nerve burning which may help me.
    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
  • Hi Charry, I am in a city of 60 000. There is one PM. My Dr was going to refer me (6 month wait) until WCB misunderstood what he was saying. They took it as I was needing surgery, and asked for more info. When that happened everything changed with my Dr. No more referals, it was like he took offence. I cannot get a new Dr, none taking on new clients (I've tried). Still it could be worse, what if I didn't have a family Dr when this happened? I'd be in alot worse shape now. At a walk in or ER, for anything ongoing, they tell you to see your family Dr. I am frustrated, wishing that i could try something else, it's been almost years. Pm's (or anything else even an on/gyn here require a referal).

    What they saw on the MRI was an annulear tare at L4/L5, and a transitoinal L5
  • :D I remember coming home after surgery, in a collar and I am positive I was loopy from all the medication. I didn't have years of pain before surgery, it was an emergency type situation. I was shocked when I awaken w/c4-c7 fused and all the bells and whistles. When I could set up for 15 minutes, I started looking for answers on line. I found this site. From the beginning, it has been very helpful. I did use the search field to find people like me within the site, but I am sure I am guilty of posting something that has been ask hundreds of time. I am guilty of posting, "Help I am in so much pain" or Has anybody gone through this?..then the post went to "thank you" or at times posting to someone that was where I was or am. So to all of you that answered me when you had already answered it before w/lots of other newbies, thank you!!! Thanks for all the cheers when things got a lil easier and thanks for all of you just being you!
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