Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

How has it changed your view of life?

pepeguapoppepeguapo Posts: 57
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Chronic Pain
Chronic pain that is...

For me, it has revealed that we humans are much less in control of our lives than I thought we were. Maybe I am just young, but before being disabled I assumed that life basically panned out depending on the way you played it. We all started on an even playing field; same game, same rules, same equipment. Now I'm finding that not only have some of us been shorted on good cleats and a cup, but we also have to work harder the other players just to stay on the team, all the while getting yelled at for having a rip in our uniform!

Now I'm questioning the whole purpose of playing, beginning to think the coach only likes star players, and really getting sick of being on the bench! Yeah I appreciate relationships more and judge people less. But really I'm just angry that some of us can't seem to win no matter how hard we play, and I keep wanting to scream the same complaint that every kid on the playground can relate to, "It's not FAIR!!!"

Okay, Okay. I know life isn't a game to be won... it's a journey. But right now I'm don't seem to be traveling anywhere interesting from my recliner. I guess we have to set our own rules, define for ourselves what winning means. Heck, we have to play a completely different game. I just wish I knew how stupid this game was before practicing myself into dependency on pain pills. For the most part, being in pain, not being able to work, being alone, has made me humble, scared, and itching to get back in the game.


  • Pepe - I have to say that I felt the same way. I was 18 or 20, when I recall having some minor issues. At 21 or 22, I had 4 months, out of one year, that I had been given Dr ordered vacations from work. I spent the time, in physio, back care programs, whatever he suggested. It made sense at the time. I was heavy, carried a lot of wieght, but I was also 6ft, so I was not small in any way.

    I went through a time where I was quite angry about the fact that I could not even sit in a chair, long enough to get thru classes in college. I found myself trying to find work, to keep moving. I just happened to find something that worked for how I move, and I got good at it.

    After about 5 years, I had sorted out what triggers, set my back off, got it really going, and how to reduce the chances of having an incident. It was not fool proof, but I began to see that I was making out better. My attitude softened, and I realized that maybe this journey I was on, was in fact the reason I was hurt, not by someone else, but just something I had to learn for myself.

    As a life-long project, I have gone along with learning about myself, each day, I try to brighten someone else's day, and I strive to have the best day possible for myself. String a bunch of good days together, makes for a good week. Good weeks make for a great year, good years, make for an enjoyed life.

    It is still a game, it is how it is played, and figuring out the rules.
  • I have to say that it's been a difficult 2+ years. I was always an active and happy person, bubbly and cheerful without fail. Oh, I had my days, but not too often. I was taking preventative vitamins like fish oil, vitamin e, pomegranite, etc., to keep me healthy and was an avid golfer, playing in friendly tournaments, working every day, keeping the house clean and was on top of the world. Hubby and I had everything in order and all was well, had a good savings, a house, two cars, two dogs, the all american family, sans children - we were our own children.

    Now, I'm lucky to play 9 holes, can't find a job, have dipped into our savings after having lost half of it in the economy, take pain pills daily, am considering disability, but don't think I'll go that direction. I have to see my husband lift me up off the floor after playing with my little Wally, and make sure I have my pills with me when we leave the house. He opens all the doors and has to do many of the things that I used to be able to do with ease - vacuum and lifting, among other things. I hate that I have become a weakling in a sense when I've been so strong all my life and that he has to see and deal with it too.

    I understand watching the others play the game we used to play and love - "Hey, I was the quarterback and I was darned good at it...what the heck happened.." - but now we're playing a new game, and have to make the most of what we do have.

    I know the old adage that there are always those worse off than yourself sometimes doesn't help, but then again, sometimes it does. There are still blessings to be counted, fun things to do, we have those that are on our side, on the bench with us, and after we get through the anger of how we feel we've been cheated and it's just not fair, it's a matter of enjoying the sidelines and finding the new fun, the new hobbies, the new way of life. I've made new friends, found a way to play a little golf, and can still have my "game night" with my friends over.

    I'm still working on all this myself and haven't conquered it like Centurian and so many others here, but I'm coming along and in a better place than I was a year ago.

    I've said this before and I'll repeat it. My father once told me that if we all had to put our troubles in a pile and then pick one out again, chances are you'd pick out your own because you wouldn't want any of the others. I live by my father's mantra and in addition, I hope the drunk woman who hit me 30 years ago is living a cruddy life. Just kidding...it simply is what it is and had I been smarter at 18 after the terrible accident, I would've gone to my doctor to look at my spine throughout the following years so this could've been stopped earlier instead of progressing every month only to become debilitating so many years later.

    But again, it's our journey, it's our life, and only we can make it the best it can be with what we have. Yes, my view has changed, Pepe, but that doesn't mean that my view is darker or distorted. It's just a new view and I can live with that as opposed to the alternative. The sun is still shining and there are still things out there to put a smile on our faces, make us happy and warm our hearts.

    Thanks for letting me rant a bit.
  • Cathie - I only point my direction and view of things. I will tell you bluntly, that I never feel like I have conquered anything. There have been times when I thought I did have it figured out, only to have a severe pain flare and have to spend 8 or 16 weeks, redoing and rebuilding my stamina.

    I can and do have my moments of frustration, but I dearly try to ensure that those I love are not around me, when I let that out. I still need time to flush it, but it is not a constant thing, like it was in the beginning.

    I can only encourage, that as time goes by, some things get easier.

    I accept this, but I still bargain for time, and push myself when I probably should rest. I pay for it! I just don't comment about it, because I know what I need to help myself. And I know when I have burned to candle too much.
  • I wondered about that statement when I made it and think the word "conquered" was not the right one. I don't think any of us feel as if we've conquered much having to do with our spine issues, so I understand.

    In any case, I love your outlook on life with spine problems, your positive attitude and knowing how to deal with your issues.

    Like you, my issues and pain are personal and I try to keep them to myself, my bad days or days when I get overly depressed, it's just a very personal place to be in. I also know when I'm overdoing it and whether I have the choice to do so. Sometimes I don't have a choice and sometimes I do and choose to reap the consequences later. And sometimes I just choose to sit in my recliner and do whatever I want during that time.

    Take care, Centurian.
  • Yeah, stuff like putting a smile on someone's face, or relating to people in a good way, it has all become very important to me since having pain. It is surprising how much being understood can relieve my suffering. It is these kinds of unexpected sources of hope and joy that have kept me from going over the edge, but it certainly feels like a powerless journey. What I mean is, it isn't something I can force or even work hard at, it's grace.

    I admit that reminding myself of others who are in pain and cannot walk or drive around helps me to have a positive view of my situation. Whenever I come to this forum I am humbled by the immense suffering of those who are getting worse or have little hope. I like your father's mantra, I am pretty good at dealing with my problems, I have had them for so long. Thanks for your replies, I'm intrigued by your tools for coping and living happily.
  • Wow...great thread...I am sitting here crying...dont know if its because of the steroids or just my LOVE for everyone here...maybe both cause I know that you all save me everyday!!!!!

  • The word Conquered just has me seeing chariot races!

    We don't conquer, for the most part we subdue.

    We don't leave our pain behind, we walk alongside it on a good day.

    We must try to stay somewhat positive, or at least entertain ourselves with books, movies, TV, pets.

    There is sometimes an event that gives us hope and those events we need to look for.

    Last night I was playing with my 9 month old Chocolate Labradoodle Shadow. 3"s of fresh powder snow on the ground, playing with Shadow was as simple as kicking snow at him, which I did quite well. We played a little too hard and down I went, landing directly on the bad side, of course. Shadow thought I had laid down to play! It took me minute or two to get up. But surprisingly I did not feel too bad, so I slowed down my play and just kicked snow at Shadow till he was only moving about 3' side to side, then took him in.

    I thought surely my SCS is covering some pain, so I turned it off, and the only thing that hurt was my normal pain! Today, I had a bit of a sore knee and my ipg site is sore, but that is mostly it. A few extra spasms, no big deal.

    Sorry for the theft of pepes thread, sometimes we need to look for the good in life really hard, but usually there is just a little bit around.

    May you all find some each day.
  • Pepe, not to once again feel like your thread is highjacked, but Wrambler, I too had a wonderful walk in the snow with my little Wally today. Something happens to our little friends when it snows and they become full of life and spirit.

    I'm attaching a picture of my little guy. We got to walk today with his girlfriend, Katy, a nice 1.5 hour walk and we laughed so hard watching them play and follow rabbit tracks.

    Our little friends can become our best motivators and heart warmers, even on the coldest and hardest of days.


    (I tried to make this smaller but photobucket has made changes and is not allowing me to select a thumbnail...sorry).
  • I guess I don't take (or try not to take) anything for granted anymore. The ability to do even the smallest of actions has been taken away, I mean the little things we used to be able to do without even giving it a thought. We now have to plan ahead of time as to when we will do it, how we will do it, and what we will do after when dealing with the consequences of doing it.

    I'm also much more sympathetic towards other people's pain. It's no longer inwardly rolling my eyes and thinking "Suck it up buttercup, deal with it and carry on" (yes, I'm Army) but rather giving advice in dealing with pain. The former attitude is a big factor in why I'm where I'm at now...

    (Also not want to hi-jack a thread, Cathie, your little one is just adorable! I know my boys would just love to play with him!)
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Pepe,
    It is inevitable that our lives have changed never to be the same again, when that defining moment happens differs for us all, as we live through the hope of improvement and the sadness of reality.

    Pain needs all our life skills and more, it is that unknowing of the future, not that we would have any greater insight had we continued to be healthy; we perceived it would have been better, in whatever form. Chronic experience does not come with a handbook or a catch all remedy for every scenario, our personal plan only works for us individually, elements of it work for others, on occasions.

    I would have taken no comfort to having known my own plight that the last 20 years may infer will continue in the future, we are all accommodating imposed change and the reality of a plan unconsidered at the start. Highlighting only the negative is all part of the improving process, we need to live up to our own expectations, not down to the limitations that others or even we ourselves imagine, as our health goes out of the window, opportunity knocks on the door, it is hard to keep going and challenge what and how we improve. We need time to learn these news ides and acknowledge our achievements, be kind and compassionate to ourselves.

    Life is equally unfair for those living lives defined by circumstance, in reality we are not all given the same cards and have to deal with what we are given, winning is what it means to you. Tenacity is not the universal measure used for achievement and it is not the speed we are measured by, rather the times we get back up and continue to fight. We are all making progress from challenging circumstance, surviving and improvement are winning, they are the same terms others would use in our situation, surmounting pain is an unachievable objective, no sooner have we reached the plateau than the horizon has moved and we are again playing catch-up.

    Pain has saved me from myself, and my driven nature, many things will never be achievable again, the sadness would be in seeing that as the end rather than the beginning, every restriction is an opportunity to me, to continue progression through stealth, subversion, inventiveness, good humour and a smile a day.


  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    In almost every way possible.

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Oh my, what a little cutie he is!!!!!

    I adore my dogs as well--they are the greatest companions!

    Your dog pic lifted my spirits totally unexpectedly, thank you for posting!
  • I just wanted to put my 2-cents in.
    Yes, I feel cheated sometimes.
    But like Cath, I realize I am happy being me.
    Hubby and I were very much like Cath. I'm only 41 and hubby is younger.

    I am trying to make the most of it. I am fortunate b/c I still have my job. I think the biggest smile just came seeing your pup Wally (I assume that's who it is). Yes, my dog has the most energy as the weather gets cooler and I can't stay out too long. But I marvel at how happy she can be chasing a ball or breaking sticks (yes, she chomps them into mulch...well almost). She reminds me that life is about the simple silly things.

    So these day?
    - I enjoy being a little plumper than my prior fit-self. It's ok and I try to lose the weight but I'm learning to accept the new body.
    -I enjoy the days that I can go hiking (a hike used to be a couple of hours and hills and challenge; these days, a hike is a walk in open fields trails or flat rail trails)
    - I never leave home without my ID card, Advil, Tylenol, and my phone. Anything out of state, I bring other meds
    - I can do laundry but can't carry it up the stairs. I can cook, but can't always empty the dishwasher.

    Every time I see someone jogging I get choked up because I can't enjoy that freedom anymore. I can't dance at wedding and be as carefree anymore. I can't spin my nieces around but I do try to appreciate what I do have now because I still have so much.

    I think in time we learn to live with the chronic pain. It doesn't get easier, but knowing others are out there, like the people here, helps me know I'm not alone.

    I thought I was doing everything right. For me, it was my own doing. I guess I spun off the road about 20 years ago and ever since, the back was a problem. Then just a little over a year ago, L5S1 gave out...and while I hope and pray things continue to improve, I also am trying to accept that this might be the way I live for awhile...numb leg, painful leg, and days where my back just wants me to lie down.

  • I look at people differently. I enjoy the simple things more, but CP has affected me in almost every way I can imagine. It would probably be a shorter list to mention how CP has not changed my view of life, and I remember the day it hit me. I was walking with my 2 sons and their father at niagra falls along the river bank. I can't walk on a grade or anything bumpy or lumpy, so I was having a painful go of it. I glanced over and saw what I knew was a grandmother w/her grandchildren traveling at a speed much faster than myself. I was only 28 at the time, very healthy (well.....), and it hit me like a punch in the belly how this grandmother was getting around better than I was at this stage of the game. I have never viewed age or myself the same since that day.

    My surgeon told me that I would probably be in a wheelchair by the time I was 45, but you know 45 seemed like light years away at that time and honestly, I figured surely by then they would come up with some solutions--the whole man on the moon arguement, which incidentally I am beginning to doubt-lol. I'm 50 and not in a chair yet. My OS says "Robin, it's just the cards you have been dealt." I say "No, it's how I play them."
  • This is a great thred! Thank you all for sharing your experiences. When, I feel better I will write more. Just wanted to let you all know you help me with your heart and sole..

    Love to all

  • Just adorable! You are correct, animals give such unselfish love - no matter how we feel. I adore my little Kip Kop doggie (Hedgie) my shitzu and my horse. They are such lovebugs and always make me smile. Glad you posted that. We should start a new thread and post pics of our pets - that would be fun!
  • That would be so much fun! I always feel uplifted when I see loving, well cared for pets!
  • I started a new thread in Lighten and Brighten calling for all pet pictures. Please go there to see two more pictures of Wally and show us your babies and angels.

    Now THAT'S a great holiday gift - seeing these little ones.

  • I'm a newbie to this site, and reading this thread has really helped me today which is one of my worst. Thank you to everyone who is able to share, and provide support on this site. Happy Holidays.
  • I'm a newbie to this site, and reading this thread has really helped me today which is one of my worst. Thank you to everyone who is able to share, and provide support on this site. Happy Holidays.
  • Hummm.... Interesting thread I must say. :)

    As for view, for a while I saw my "view" shrink as my allowable modes of transportation, and career were destroyed by spine issues. When I started to compartmentalize things into a logical sequence, I started to adapt to a "new me" and a "new view" of same.

    The cards I was dealt I don't much care for, but at the same time I at least had the forethought to financially make it such that I would be okay. For the most part I've had doctors that care and are very good at what they do.

    "Thanks" to the spine issues, I learned a new "view" of my hubby. Although I always had a great lover, friend and confidant in the hubby I married, the bond is that much MORE due to the very same spine issues! So while the career went bye-bye, the home life continues to improve and build if that makes sense? Even though I was in law enforcement for almost 20 years, and thereby cynical of many I meet, I've now moved to were I am more accepting. Odd creature I've become. :)

    Thanks for the thread... I'm getting philosophical again...Argh! (G)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.