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Worried & Feeling Dumb

misterkatamarimmisterkatamari Posts: 51
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Lower Back Pain

I've been having the worst pain I have ever had. I'm going to get an MRI and see a specialist, but until then I'm just kind of waiting around. I have some hydrocodone, but I'm not really sure it is doing much but making me feel sort of loopy. The pain is still there.

I'm really worried because I have to work tonight, and I know it'll be busy. I'm a waiter at a 24 hour restaurant, meaning that all the drunks will be rolling in tonight. Meanwhile, I'm stuck in bed because I can hardly move. I hate calling off work, especially on something like this when it's 'just' pain. I feel so dumb because I feel like my pain is insignificant compared to other's, like I should just deal with it...but at the same time, I just don't think I *can* deal with it. :(

Anyone else ever feel like that? Or feel conflicted on if they should try and force themselves to do something even though they're in lots of pain?


  • Don't ever think you are dumb. Pain is real and everybody deals with it in different ways. I have a 45 year history of scoliosis with over 10 surgeries and have been in some sort of pain most of my life. I have been very active at times but not so much in the last 5 years. I'm still searching for the impossible dream of being pain free. That's what it is, is a dream. But I still think there are doctors out there who can help -- you just have to keep looking. Not every doctor is a match to you personally. I know I refuse to be demeaned any more by a doctor. They are human beings first and we don't always see eye to eye. They should be a good listener as well.
    Have you tried ice on your back? Heat never helps, but ice does for me. As far as working, only you can determine how much pain you can tolerate. Maybe go in to work and see how long you can make it. I try to become occupied with something to distract me. Does it always work? Heck no but that doesn't keep me from trying.
    Use this forum to express yourself because we are in this together.
    Good luck.
  • First, although I don't like that word, I use it because you do - don't feel dumb for having pain. I'm pretty sure you didn't create this pain on purpose. Second, it's not "just" pain and you should never compare your pain to others here or elsewhere. We're each in our own space of pain and nobody but ourselves know how we feel, the extent of the pain and how debilitating it is. Your pain is as real to you as mine is to me, etc.

    What kind of work do you do in your restaurant? Are you a waiter where you'll be on your feet carrying trays for 8 hours? Or a Maitre'd where you can lean on a podium? The bartender? With the kind of pain I had before surgery (and frankly, the kind I have now) I would also be worried about trying to walk and carry stuff for an extended period of time.

    I'm sure you're also thinking about how much money can be made tonight - drunks are generally generous tippers and in groups, spend even more buying drinks for their friends, running up their tabs even higher.

    I'd imagine almost everyone on here has been through what you're feeling, conflicted about doing something you want or should do while in pain. But it's your decision. We've each made ours, for better or worse, and don't know the outcome until during or after the activity.

    I don't know your situation, but if you employer knows you've got spine problems, maybe you can tell your boss that you're going to give it a try but can't guarantee you'll be able to make your full shift so they can be prepared with backup. Being New Years Eve, it's bound to be very busy and I hope they have backup ready just for this kind of thing.

    So that's just my thoughts, for what they're worth. But please, never feel dumb because you have pain. If that were the norm, every person on here would feel exactly like you do and that would not a good thing.

    Take care and let us know what you decide and what happens.
  • Thanks everyone for your support.

    I called off today and the boss was rather rude to me. It really upset me since I was so stressed before hand and in pain anyhow.

    I ending up going to the ER because my regular doctor is out today for the holiday. The ER doc said that even though I have had 2 MRIs showing a worsening DDD and bulging disc--that I am too young for that. He said he would have never given me the hydrocodone but it was between me and my doctor. He prescribed me a muscle relaxer and told me that my pain was not nerve related because my knee reflex was fine. He said that a new MRI was pointless and expensive.

    I was so confused and scared after that. I rode home in absolute pain and anxiety from it and work and the ER. I threw up several times when I got home and now I'm calmed down.

    I hope this med he gave me does help, but I just feel like he was dismissing me. :(

  • I was in an ER once with backpain and the idiot MD had me sitting on an exam table when he pulls my foot out to straighten my leg and then asks,"Does this hurt?". It hurt and I wanted to punch him in the mouth and ask him if that hurt.
    I put little trust in the opinion of ER docs on backpain.
  • Hi, Ozone. On this Board I've seen several references to Prolotherapy, which I'd never heard of. I'm heading straight from here to the search box to do some research on it. Now tell me: for how long have you been having this treatment?
  • I hadn't heard of prolotherapy either, so I looked it up. Sounds interesting, at the least.

    So I took the first round of the medicine I was prescribed/ told to take which was: Robaxin, Lortab, and motrin pm. All it did was knock me out, but I woke up back up because of the pain. lol!

    Oh well, I'll keep trying it I guess and see if it helps at all.

    Thanks for everyone's responses.

  • I've had 6 Prolo sessions since April.
    For a good discussion of chronic pain, ligament laxity and Prolotherapy go to Youtube and search on
    "Prolotherapy Lecture". It's a great intro. For those who have viewed the lecture and are interested in more info on Prolo then feel free to PM me.
  • Thanks Ozone, sounds like an interesting approach.

    This is my second day of taking all these pills. They knock me out really fast but the pain doesn't go away at all. In fact, I'll fall asleep for 3 hours and wake up from pain. Plus lying down seems to aggravate it so when I wake up I feel worse than when I went to bed.

    Now I need to talk to my family doctor about everything and see if he wants me to follow the ER doctor's advice. I still think I need an MRI to see what is going on back there, so I find it strange that the ER doctor would discourage.

    I hate that it feels like people dismiss me basically because I am young and therefore should have no pain.

  • Well, looks like I ended up getting fired from my job in relation to all this. Even though I followed company policy in regards to it.

    But quite honestly, I have a lot more important stuff to be thinking about. I don't need a job that pays me $3.50 an hour. I need to figure out if there is anyway to deal with this pain before classes start up again.

    Right now I don't even think I can drive. Even if I wasn't all doped up on the medication, it hurts to sit up at all and my school is a 30-40 minute drive. So I gotta figure out what's up with everything.
  • "Now I need to talk to my family doctor about everything": Good idea. In fact, I'd run, not walk there, as the expression goes (I'm sure your pain would keep you from running). I feel really bad for you, between that unsympathetic boss firing you despite your adherence to company policy - although with respect to your back it might have been a blessing in disguise. Everything has a reason. Keep us posted. Essmoe
  • Hi again, misterkataqmari. I forgot to add that I hope you can get this sorted out before school starts.
  • Thanks essmoe.

    What you said about it being a blessing in disguise is probably true. It's been over a week since this really started, and my pain is actually worse. Meaning that if I had to work this week, I would have had to call off again. I just am unable to even drive, let alone wait on tables with trays full of food!

    So I'm going to focus on getting better and/or finding away to cope with the pain. Thanks.
  • I have chronic pain like so many people around here. It might be as simple as you need stronger pain medication. Don't let guilt keep you from asking for the appropriate strength medication. I aim for as strong as it takes to make me somewhat functional. Be clear about how the pain is keeping you from functioning. I don't know your situation but..IMHO Get away from 4 hour pain meds as soon as possible if this is chronic pain. The long lasting variety allowed me to sleep at night.

    I'm no medical professional but there are some things that helped me some. Hot and cold packs, ibuprofen to reduce swelling, b-12 supplements for stress. Something for nausea since hydrocodone is known to cause that and I find that pain can cause nausea on its own.

    Make sure that people around you know what you are going through so they don't put unrealistic demands on you. This includes nurses and doctors that might not understand your pain.
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