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why is it we just don't listen

newhouse17nnewhouse17 Posts: 133
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello fellow spineys,

My husband and I have been planning my daughters sweet 16 party for the last few months. Her birthday is Dec. 29 and she has never had a real party (besides her family)because most families are away for the holidays. We are going for the Hollywood theme so we spent most of Sunday afternoon on the dining room floor cutting out cardboard silloutes to be painted black. We also are making stars and a huge Hollywood sign that will glow in the dark when the lights are off.

My husband and daughter kept telling me that I needed to sit and rest and let them take care of the cutting. Well, of course I didn't listen because everything has to be perfect in my world, so I spent a good part of the afternoon on my hands and knees. Because of my stubornness, I spent all day yesterday in bed in horrible pain. I feel a little better today but will really have to take it easy for Turkey day. My husband hit the roof because I could barely walk and I hate it when he gets on his told you so speal that goes on for hours. He said it was a really stupid thing to do while trying to get off the meds and turkey day coming. He said he's just so tired of me not listening to the him and the docs.

I'm not stupid, I know I have limits, they tell me all the time!!! Don't do this, you can't do that, you shouldn't do that!! All my docs keep telling me that I'm doing to much and I need to slow down and rest. If I slow down anymore I'll be dead!!!I don't do anything crazy like running or ice skating or anything of that nature. It's more like going shopping or baking in the kitchen for 2 hrs straight. Or spending Sunday afternoon on the floor cutting cardboard figures out!!! LOL

I know I don't listen to what they tell me but I just get board out of my skull. I knew that I would be out for days because of Sunday but sometimes you have to do it to know your still alive(pain)I'm alive alright. My husband and daughter have ganged up on me and I'm getting the silent treatment. Every time I get up to do something(extremely slow because of the pain) I get the sighs,head shake, and the I told you so's. My hubby keeps telling me that If I don't stop, I will be in the wheelchair sooner than they expected. Maybe someday I'll listen but not today. I'm too young to just sit around and let life pass me by!!!


  • Who is probably the wisest doctor I have, and no he does not specialize in pain! Told me that no matter what we feel like we will do what we WANT to!

    Makes no difference how bad some things hurt, if we have enough want, why we just go ahead and do them! He also told me we would never get me comfortable if I keep moving the target! He said that we were trying to stabilize me so I could be OK as I am. He says that by me doing more every time I get to feeling Manage-ably ok, I change the target point.
    So I try to be somewhat good, and not complain when I know I moved the target!

    I spent the weekend before last rebuilding a leveling and on old shed floor, took me till that Wednesday to get past it.

    This past weekend I and my oldest son, organized the shed! Bought a bunch of locking lid plastic 12 gallon containers and threw out EVERY scrap of wood or cardboard that was in there. ALL of it, The goal was to not leave nesting materials for mice!

    In the end I have a shed full of car parts that I can find by just looking through a few plastic containers or the neatly stacked body panels. Plus, I got all four Bikes in there and can still walk around them!

    It's amazing what you can put in an old steel 10' X 12' shed with a 24" deep shelf halfway around it and some organization!

    Yeah, I still hurt as it is only Tuesday. very hard to drag my sorry but into work. But, now I can clean the garages!

    Hope to do that on Wednesday and after Turkey day as I have 5 holidays off starting tomorrow :D

    Even with the pain, it felt good to do it yourself, didn't it! <):)
  • You are correct' We might have spine issues, but we not in a coma yet. There is no way anyone can expect you to sit around and do nothing all day. As long as we are alive and still breathing we are going to try to do whatever we can. We know we are already very limited on the things we are able to do. But same as myself i am not ready to roll over and die just yet. I am sure your husband means well. Look at the positive side. Some family members in some cases would want you to do more not understanding the pain it causes.Or tell you it cant be that bad and you just too lazy to do more. It sounds like you know your limitations and you are aware of it which is good. We all do stuff which is very litle but still causes pain and pay for it later. Just let him give you the silent treatment for doing a slight task. You can always just get back at him when he wants sex in the bedroom. Just say sorry i dont want to over do it. Best wishes'''' Alex
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Amen...been there, not too long ago.
    Did a bunch of cleaning, cooking, and general activity 2 weeks ago.

    Why? it was beautiful out, I was feeling good, and my husband was outside doing leaves so I knew he couldn't 'stop' me. I was my own policeman and I did a lousy job. I paid for it all last week.

    Reading this makes it seem so obvious that I just have to draw my limits a lot lower than I used to and not be ashamed of it. I am a go-getter with cleaning, cooking, got to have my hands in it because I want to contribute to my family and house....but I have to realize it's ok that I can't do all that.

    I'm glad you posted this. I felt silly posting my experience from 2 weeks ago but seeing this makes me realize that we all do silly things because we do believe we are invincible or want to believe we are better. Alas, it doesn't make me less whole because I can't do everything I used to. It makes me more whole because I need help.

  • Oh my...YES...been there, done that and have the PAIN to prove it...LOL:). We were in a car accident last week...new pain in neck/shoulder/arm and hand and also upper back pain...well the house was a mess and I was home alone yesterday....sneaky grin.....The house is clean now and I am in soo much pain...BUT...I can rest in a clean house now...;). So yes we ARE stubborn and probably not very smart at times(G) but we still have to LIVE!!!
  • I was going to post a silly reply about the doctors sending us subliminal messages to over do it so we would keep coming back to them. But after reading the other replys it occurred to me that over doing is not necessarily bad. As long as what you are doing isn't going to cause permanent damage what is wrong with doing the things that make you YOU?

    Consider it this way...if you didn't have back issues you would be out raking leaves and doing yard work. Then the next day or so you would hurt. You would go into work and tell your co-workers how your legs and back ache from what you did over the weekend. Or after a holiday you would talk to your co-workers about how much cooking you did and all the cleaning and how tired you were that you crashed on the couch all weekend.

    I think the problem is that we spend so much of our time focused on stopping pain that we forget that normal people have days when their backs or legs or arms hurt because of what they did. So what's wrong with doing something that we know will cause a little pain? It's called living....
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I absolutely agree with each of you. At least now I know I'm not the only one! I feel like as long as I'm not doing permanent damage I'll recover from it! I know that doing nothing isn't an option for me because I'd be crazy in a little while. Why give up if we don't have to?

    It does make me mad sometimes though that when I need to sit here with my heating pad they'll look at me and say "we tried to tell you". I know they mean well but, tell me, what good does telling me that do me??

    [You can always just get back at him when he wants sex in the bedroom. Just say sorry i dont want to over do it. Best wishes'''' Alex] I'm going to remember that! Funny how 'overdoing it' doesn't count at bedtime!! :D

  • because we are in the same position only it is me telling him to take it easy and change his life style and it is him saying that he needs to live and to get off his case! The way I see it is that you can have a relatively pain free way of life in which you and your family can have good times together. Or you can insist on doing 'stuff' you should not do and not only bring yourself added pain but also drive your hubby and daughter to extreme frustration.
    I'm guessing that you are a little bit controlling, a little bit thinking that only you can do it right, a little bit guilty that others are working while you are not and a very active person who is not content to sit with a book or watching tv for any period of time.At least that is how hubby is. He is learning much too slowly for me that driving your partner around the bend does not make for a stress free environment.
    Lately he has begun searching for things to keep him busy, and he needs to be busy, without doing damage. And letting me do a lot of the chores he used to do. AND going for long walks when he is antsy. Works for him and maybe it would for you also.
  • It isn't that we don't listen, we just get tired of it! Eventually, the barriers on our brains explode, and we run around doing things we know we shouldn't.

    Everyone does it. You know, your baby girl looks at you with those big puppy dog eyes, and you're going to say "No, honey, I need to rest?" No, you're MOM! You're going to get out there and do it and suffer later, just like you always have.

    Here is the question. Instead of just yapping at you about resting, why don't people actually take some initiative and do the things you would do instead? If they did that they might have the right to say "I told you so," but they don't. If you don't do it, it won't get done. Sigh!
  • happyHBmom said:

    Everyone does it. You know, your baby girl looks at you with those big puppy dog eyes, and you're going to say "No, honey, I need to rest?" No, you're MOM! You're going to get out there and do it and suffer later, just like you always have. Sigh!
    This is equally true of real puppies, like you can just look at those big, real, puppy dog eyes and say, "no honey, daddy can't take you out to play right now!"

    Especially when he is doing his "Mr. Wiggles" thing.

    Both scenarios end with a happy youngster and us silently going "OUCH"!
  • Wrambler said:

    This is equally true of real puppies, like you can just look at those big, real, puppy dog eyes and say, "no honey, daddy can't take you out to play right now!"

    Especially when he is doing his "Mr. Wiggles" thing.

    Both scenarios end with a happy youngster and us silently going "OUCH"!
    And if you have 2 kids, 3 dogs, and a palomino pony, you're REALLY in trouble!
  • I love this one. What ya gonna do? Live in fear of what "might" happen. I'm not talking about doing crazy stuff but sometimes you have to say what the hell. Need to feel like a normal person for a while.

    I've over done it today but I had a lovely day in the sunshine (if freezing) and was on the go most of the day. GREAT. Of course I will pay but hey I'm still here..............alive and kickin'

    :))( =)) :O) B)
  • I am not sure of your husbands condition Beaver. But he sounds a litle bit like me the way you describe. You might not agree with what he is doing and feel he is over doing it.But if he is in a same situation as i am, with failed back surgery. Is it posible he as myself is doing it for mental health to try to overcome this kind of dissaster of suffering in life? If he is suffering, and no mater what the pain will be there either way. We find our own way to deal with it. Just to prevent falling in to this trap of depression many have, and cant find there way out. I am just guessing he might be dealing with it as i am, doing whatever he can when he can. And we cant always do it as others see fit. Keeping bussy is the key in my opinion to avoid depression with this kind of batle with this kind of pain. And to have to worry about family not understanding why that person is doing it, even if it causes him pain, just makes it that much harder . Just a thought. Best wishes' Alex
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Your completely right, I am controlling!!! I was a very active, didn't sit still person with a husband, 5 kids, 2 cats, and a dog.As much as they try they'll never be able to do it as good as mom can. They've said so themselves numerous times.LOL

    All said and done when her party is underway and she is grinning from ear to ear all that pain will be worth it to hear those words "thanks mom, your the greatest"!!!
  • You know, over the years I have learned what my limitations are. Sometimes on "good" days, I over do it too and my husband and daughter will remind me not to over do and sometimes I do it anyway. And sometimes we make decisions for a family activity that I know is going to set me back for a day or two, but in order to live life with my family, I do it anyway. What I don't do is complain about pain, though, when I have knowingly exceeded my limitations. Yes, they might see me sitting on the heating pad or turning down an opportunity to do something that normally I would enjoy, but thankfully they don't ever wave their finger at me and I try real hard to behave myself most of the time.
  • I don't complain about pain either, but if I overdo it I am usually bed-bound for the better part of a day or two so it's not like it isn't obvious.

    Stoicism doesn't win out over overdoing it, unfortunately. They know. Whether they are the overtly finger wagging type or just the "big sigh, I won't say I told you so." type, we know they know. And the finger we're wagging at ourselves when we're sitting there with our heating pads is nothing to sneeze at either!
  • Been there, done that, still doing that! (G) My hubby can tell minutes after walking in the door from work that "I did something" I shouldn't have, or overdid regular stuff. Hummmm.... My problem is that due to changing issues with both my neck and back, I no longer know what the heck my limits are actually!! What I hate more is when you hurt like crazy, and can't figure what the h3ll ya did to cause it!!

    Rofla, I too agree the bedroom comment by AlexHurting!!! Sorry dear have a headache? Nope, Overdoing is better!!! :?

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Wow for once I'm on the right side of the family issue. My husband and kids don't get mad when I over do it. I try not to let them see except for an occasional ouch, but that's my protestant upbringing of stoicism.

    My kids are more concious of my limitations but every so often I realize that my husband is very aware. He surprises me by telling me not to pick something up or that he will do it. That's always a good feeling.
  • says that you people GET it and I don't. Actually Alex, his surgery was a success in that he has no pain whatsoever five months post surgery. And I want to keep it that way so I want him to be careful. And he wants to go back to what is normal for him. Normal for him is a 35 year old back and his is a 66 year old back so he has to make adjustments. What is interesting to me is how many people here are A type personalities, doers not observers.
    Reading all the replies has me shaking my head and thinking "These people are just crazy! Why would you inflict pain on yourself?" but, as you say, I have not been there and so should not comment. Well, just in hubby's case maybe?
  • Kris-NY, I sort of agree with what you are saying.
    I was thinking...before I hurt myself, I would have similar aches/pains (probably a sign I was going to have bigger pains at some point).

    But it's true that I didn't have pain free weeks before. As I got older, if I slept wrong or did too much I would indeed hurt. I do, sometimes, remind myself that not all my pain is related to my back. It's maybe amplified because of it and I might be more aware of it but some of it is just normal pain.

    Anyhow, it doesn't mean I shouldn't overdo it. I still have to be careful.

    Today I am stiff with the weather but I still walked b/c it's good for me. I went for a mile "hike" but took my husband along so he could hold onto the dog. But, I didn't bend to load the dishwasher b/c I knew that I was a bit stiff. I will also not carry laundry up/down stairs but I will fold it.

    It's all about moderation but I do get your point.
  • You are correct beaver this time lol' We are crazy' we finaly agree. I am glad his surgery went well and it helped him. And yes he should not over do it and posibly end up back on the surgery table. Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving'' Best wishes' Alex
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I just don't always hear it. Yesterday, I stood way too long making dinner, cleaning, talking with friends, etc. and my back is hurting today. I knew it would - it was hurting when our friends left yesterday.

    But I let hubby lift the turkey and ham, let my friends load up the table, so I avoided lifting too much.

    I guess for me, it's just something I work through and hubby agrees. I don't do anything I don't feel I HAVE to or WANT to and save some stuff for hubby, but I've had two surgeries and by golly I'm gonna live my life and worry about pain later.

    I also don't tell anyone about my pain - either they see it or they don't. I don't care either way. Hubby always does, so he doesn't say anything, just helps me by bringing me a blanket or pillow, helps pull me out of the chair, or whatever else I might need him for.

    I know it will most likely end later in the day or the next day so I don't mind the trade-off. I am, however, very grateful for my pain and muscle relaxant meds that take the edge off and allow me to do more than I could without them.

    Pain is something I'm sure I'll live with the rest of my life, so I just have to put it on the back burner and keep on a-truckin'.

  • Newhouse,
    Pacing is a collective responsibility and we are all too young for this whatever our age, we have all exceeded our capacity at times and to do it irrespective of how that impacts on yourself and others, is only a decision that you can make. Chronic pain is not something that can be surmounted by force alone, and we soon learn that we perpetuate our increases of pain in not stopping when a reasonable person may have done so. Wanting to do more is a motivator towards improvement that does not mean we should work well beyond our known capacity, although it may show us what we can do, that level of function is not sustainable and we all have to find a strategy where we are under the increased pain radar while still feeling productive and alive.

    It is understandable to try and continue to be the person we once were, our new normal makes this belief an idea rather than reality, knowing when to push and when to rest is part of the learning process.

    We have all had to examine why we continue beyond reasonableness at times and in managing that element we all have some responsibility to ourselves not to inflict more pain that is necessary. That little voice in your head is already giving you the answers and now it is just a practical adjustment and some tweaking, adjusting that strategy from manic activity to immobility, we all have to find what works for us. Those alive feelings are important, and historically these may have been physical achievements that are no longer possible, for the most part chronic patients are well motivated and slowing them down is the challenge, where less is more.

    I have learned to do activity in blocks of time and stop before the pain increases, use the pain as a moderator rather than the need to complete any task at all costs. I have responsibility to share my well-ness with others, my three children and my wife, my job roles and responsibilities. Using all our time just for ourselves irrelevant of what we are doing is counter productive; your family care about you and can see routes for some improvement.

    Give yourself time to learn and adapt, with the correct encouragement and support many dreams are still within your grasp, more than you think today.

    Be kind to yourself and pace well.

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