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Standing, a real killer

j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Chronic Pain
For those of us with lower back pain. I'm at my mothers during my 24/7 cancer care for her. And she wanted me to take her to my nephews son's first birthday. Which was nice for both of us. But at these functions invariably people will move about. And someone will start a conversation while everyone is standing somewhere with no place to sit. And as it goes on for 20, 30 min. or so. I don't want to be rude or whine so I stay in the conversation. And with no place to sit. I'll feel the pain start to come on right away. And increase in intensity the longer I willingly subject myself to it. Well after what began to feel like standing for a eternity. We finally said goodbye. And now I'm back home at my mom's wrenching in pain even after taking my pain med and my breakthrough pain med.
Will I ever learn.........after all these years.....I guess not!
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!


  • Oh Jim, I am so sorry!! I have caught myself doing the same stupid thing, just for the benefit of others...or so it seems!!

    I really hope it eases up soon....Sending healing thughts your way!!!
  • yep! no that scenario well.

    and as your having this nice conversation, your also thinking, boy am i gonna pay for this!
    its a hard one , not easy , to cut people off and walk away , feels really rude, i no.
    so i end up chatting , then strait back to bed to pay for a simple little chat!!

    and i feel like i cant go into this rave of "no i cant stand here" as i just dont think people without this problem will understand. :O

    maybee a walker with a seat??

    take care
  • Jim,

    You mother appreciates you >:D< You will keep doing your family obligation because that is who you are. I am sorry you are hurting. It sucks.

    Feel Better,

  • I hear you :(

    My family still does not "get" that standing still is a killer for me. I will be sitting down and get up to walk away and someone will start to talk to me,so I go sit back down and they stop talking. I get back up and they start again. BUT I am the impatient one - so say they lol ;)

    Walking hurts, standing still is level 8 at least pain...
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Guys you all need to learn to use your mouth. There is nothing wrong with nicely saying "let's go find someplace to sit and continue the conversation" or "excuse me I need to use the restroom" or something similar. And yes there are times you will miss out on a "fun" conversation but you need to think about your future pain.

    Or find a place when you walk in and plant yourself. Women have it easier since a handbag on the seat can save your place. And if seating is at a premium talk to the hostess.

    Bottom line is your friends and family want you to be comfortable. So don't be afraid to open your mouth.
  • That's what I do, as the pain starts and my leg and foot go numb within a mere couple of minutes, I just say "sorry, but I really need to sit for a few minutes" and my family and friends almost always come with me to a seating area. If not, I go to sit for a couple of minutes to rest up and go back, or find a spot where others are sitting to join them. I guess I'm pretty lucky in that everyone understands, and either joins me, or don't mind if I disappear for a few minutes so I can take a break and come back refreshed.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • *HUGZ* I am the same way. Standing knocks me down quicker than anything else! I voted today, and the stupid voting booth was sucky in supporting my back (wobbly). I fortunately did research on which way I wanted to vote ahead of time, so that helped. My lower back is screaming at me now - dumb me... they had 3 booths I could have sat down to vote! Argh!!!

    I agree with Kris, we have to be MORE vocal to say, NO I need to sit. I am usually pretty good in that category (in so far as speaking up), but today, whoops! I soooo hope you are feeling better now. I've been using my TENS more...which helps. Big *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I'm with Kris on this one. I've been the one standing there, feeling things get worse and worse because I didn't want to embarrass myself and talk about why it's such a big deal... then I just fell to the floor...and it was much worse than anything I could have come up with, and I missed 2 days of work :(

    You've got more than enough to worry about and deal with to let this get in your way or slow you down. Take a chair, ask for one, or send someone either in the group or nearby for one. My nephew has started to understand that sometimes he needs to pull a chair over for me if he wants to be with me.

    You do what you have to do to be able to do what you need to do! Good luck and i hope you can get at least some of your pain under control fast!

    Now, I just say... I'll need to sit down soon... and if we/they/I don't move within seconds, I find a seat.
  • Howie,
    In asking for our own needs we should not feel guilty that we cannot stand and anyone with an ounce of understanding would understand that we need help and support. It is impractical to be standing longer than is necessary and creates more pain than we should be expected to endure. At 35 I was unable to stand so always asked for a seat with a short resume of my needs, everyone is not as perceptive as we might imagine and even with that knowledge some need additional requests for assistance. Having stood longer, we are then playing catch-up with the pain which as you have experienced is a difficult objective.

    It sometimes looked as if I we nervous not being able to stand still concentrate or hold a conversation, if we had a broken leg everyone would stand up or get us a seat, we have to find that balance of disclosure even in familiar and new environments that put us as the priority and not feel embarrassed. In my cane using day’s people could not be more helpful and asked others to stand on my behalf, even adults.

    Honing that assertiveness does take time and practice and it does become easier over time, in sitting at times we do become isolated or more apparent, that our hidden condition defies our youthful look and conflict with the internal pain, we looked at assertiveness on our residential PM, it is not rude to ask for this basic need.

    People are not going to say no if we ask them politely, I need to sit down because……

    Take care and good luck. John.
  • You are so right Jim. Standing IS a killer! In just a few minutes it feels like I have become rooted to the spot and have great difficulty even getting turned around to find a place to sit down.
    Anymore I excuse myself and tell whoever I am talking to that I just HAVE to get off my feet. I know it's much easier for a woman to put herself forward and say this than a man.
    I know if I do not get off my feet at once I am going to pay big time later.
    Walking is bad enough but standing in one spot....no, no, no I just can't do it and I let everyone know that I have to move on to a chair.
    Hope you get to feeling better soon Jim.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • Sorry to hear of your flare up with standing too long while speaking with family. I know it's hard when the conversation is great and you don't like to end but yes say hey let's sit over there and continue this I want to take this all in. But yes I think one of those canes with a seat would come in handy at times like this. Hope you're feeling better soon. Still praying for your Mom to be comfortable. 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'm right there with you, Jim. Standing is one of the WORST things I can do to my back. I did it yesterday for a couple of hours while I held leaf bags for my husband to fill. Then later in the afternoon I stood for at least an hour while friends unloaded firewood in our backyard. The kids and grandma were there and I needed to be there, as everyone can understand. Did I think to have my hubby bring out some folding chairs so at least grandma and I could sit down? No, I just stood there visiting while the kids ran around and had fun and the others unloaded wood. I came into the house twice but still the effects of standing around hit me at 2:30 a.m. this morning when I awoke with pain down my leg. I'm on Lyrica for this post-op nerve pain but wasn't due for another dose until 6:00 am. Took the Lyrica at 6:00 and here we are over 2 hours later and I'm still hurting. Am going to have to ask my doctor to increase the dose. Anyway, I didn't know what to blame it on until I read your post and then I said ah-ha! That's it! Dummy me...I NEVER learn!

    I hope you're feeling better by now. :)

    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
  • I say I'm sorry , but I hve to set down, I had back surgery and I have alot of pain, most are understanding, and it usualy becomes a topic of converasation.The pain we have isnt like the "others" (Oh I knkow what you mean my back has been kiling me all day) They have muscle strain and a single tylenol will take their pain away, but people with chronic pain all too well understand your delima and walk in your shoes, and are willing to accomidate you in any way they can. and then of course, there are the ones that refuse to move just because theyre plain ol rude.
  • backpainzz...i had to comment on what you said about the 'others'. I rarely ever mention my back issues, but when I have in the past...I hear of that muscle strain...they nod and agree with you like they know exactly what we are talking about. I just have to laugh it off b/c they have not a clue. I don't really talk about my back to anyone.

    Jim, I do get what you are saying. Sitting and standing both are killers for me...reclining...well, that is my favorite position...either in my recliner or propped up in bed by pillows reclined. Sitting in a straight back chair, a car, trying to go to a movie, etc...it is just so hard. I always end up getting up half way thru church to stand about 10 minutes in the back, then my standing limit is up and I have to sit again. It's a tough cycle...the not being able to sit, stand or walk for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time. If I overdo it, I pay for it the next day in bed. So, I agree with many who have spoken...we (b/c I'm not very blunt myself) need to speak up and say "I am enjoying this conversation, but do you mind if we go over here to the living room and have a seat"?

    Kuddos for taking care of your mother. you are a wonderful guy for that.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    for the good ideas.And comments. And it is so true, we all need to be more assertive. I guess I'm to proud, vain, and just plain old stubborn to a point of being stupid. But like a few others, I'll never mention it because invariably the conversation will switch to someone who knows exactly how I feel. Because he or she pulled a muscle or ligament or something else that some bed rest and a over the counter drug will take care of. Then I get Pi$$ed off and you can read it in my face. And most of my relatives know , but forget about my back. I've found it's best not to bring it up. You open a whole other can of worms that you wont want!
    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!
  • If I am with someone who understands my health issues and we have to stand for more than a few minutes, they will see me start to desperately look around for somewhere to sit. I've gotten to where I don;t really care what strangers think, though. I suppose some of the problem comes from the fact that we don't necessarily "Look" disabled. I know when I park in handicapped parking with my placard I've gotten a few looks like they don't understand why I would have the placard. It didn't take too long for me to decide I don't care what they all think. Don;t get me wrong - some are very nice and seem to understand that I must have SOME physical problem and they are kind about it. Then, of course, there are those days when I am walking in the shape of an upsidedown "L" because I can't straighten up all the way - no explanation needed on those days, lol!
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