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How Do you Cope with the pain

ncchief30nncchief30 Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Ok, since Nov 2009 I have Pain in my neck,shoulder and middle back on the right side. I also have a burning feeling down the left side of my back. This has been going on for over a year now. I have done PT,Injections,used a TENS unit, Patches and other stuff but the pain will not go away. I really do not want to live anymore. This pain sucks. The pain killers I am on help a little but does not do the job, I am on Oxycontin 10 mg twice daily, and 4 norcos a day. How do you all cope. Because to tell you all the truth I really do not want to live.


  • I'd bet that you want to live but not with the pain. Which is what most of us feel. I've been doing this for almost two years now with varying problems and pains and pain levels. I've had lots of ups and downs along the way, currently feeling kinda down.

    I know that when things seemed the worst, most discouraging, for me I had to do something to pull myself out of it. Sometimes it was finding a new doctor because the current ones just weren't coming up with answers. Sometimes it was cutting back on doctors because I was getting too many opinions and no clear course of treatment. Once it was as simple as getting a pedicure!

    Right now I'm thinking of changing doctors if my disability coverage will go along. My neurologist seems to be giving up on me and I can't blame him. I also think I'm outside of his specialty.

    Sometimes we need to talk to a councelor. There are ones who specialize in pain patients and can help you deal with the issues we face. These can include doctors, insurance, job change/loss, family changes, disability and all the things we have to consider. Remember that most of us are on medications that have terrible side effects, the worst of which is depression and suicidal thoughts. So if this is how you feel call your doctor RIGHT NOW!!

    If you don't feel quite that bad I can suggest a nice shade of red that is guaranteed to perk you up :)
  • Hi Chief, I have been dealing with the pain for the last 3 years and now have new pain to add to it. It does overwhelm me quite often. On those days when I am at my lowest, I reach out, like you have done. Sometimes just to have someone hear me and let me know I am not crazy. Who has all this pain daily? It is hard to get up and do it all over again the next day. My favorite part of the day is bedtime. I know I will get at least 3 hours of rest without pain with my meds. I do things in my dreams I can't do in reality. Then P-O-W! Pain is back. The day starts over and you fight the fight again. I hang on for my family. My grandchildren's faces bring such hope and reason for me to fight the pain. I keep hoping that maybe next week someone will find a new medical procedure or cure that will help spinal/nerve patients without all the side effects and give us back a quality of life. My quality of life has changed from what is used to be. I accept it now. I make the best of it I can. I always believe that someone out there is alot worse off than I am, so I am thankful that I only have the pain I have. Chief, I hear you. It's not easy.
  • My favorite time of day, too. I was just explaining it to DH yesterday.

    I retreat to my room alot. I have to spend many hours at my desk on the computer, which, of course does awful things to my spine. Because of my sciatica, neck arthritis & floppy disc, sitting is the worst. I can't get comfortable for even a couple of minutes, no matter what I do.

    So after I'm done with my work, I often retreat to the bedroom & alternate lying on my stomach for a few minutes with sitting up in my back rest--it has a little massage function which is nice.

    Almost anything I do causes pain, even a few crossword puzzles to help relax.

    The combo of melontin & Soma let me rest until the Soma wears off, about 3-4 am & then I'm in more pain than ever.

    Take a pain pill, doze on & off for an hour or two longer & get up to start it all again.

    I love bedtime too.
  • I love my Tempurpedic (not trying to spam here) bed, and I go to bed about 7 or 8 each night. (I wish I had spent the extra money for the adjustable bed) I can get comfortable, watch TV, read, listen to music or just pull up the covers and go to sleep. I have a big ice pack I stretch out across the area under my back, and relax.
    Yes, bedtime is the best!!
  • What are your Drs saying about this pain? Are they working with you to try to get it under control?

    I was in your same shoes when I joined this site. Through gaining more knowledge from the members here I came to realize that I did have other options.

    I acted on my new knowledge and am now in less then 75% of pain then I was in when I joined here :)

    I hope we can be of help/support to you :hug:
    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.
  • ncchief30 said:
    Ok, since Nov 2009 I have Pain in my neck,shoulder and middle back on the right side. I also have a burning feeling down the left side of my back. This has been going on for over a year now. I have done PT,Injections,used a TENS unit, Patches and other stuff but the pain will not go away. I really do not want to live anymore. This pain sucks. The pain killers I am on help a little but does not do the job, I am on Oxycontin 10 mg twice daily, and 4 norcos a day. How do you all cope. Because to tell you all the truth I really do not want to live.

    I am very sorry for how you feel! I also feel a lot of

    pain and am headed for my 4th spine operation soon.

    The way I cope with the pain is by keeping my mind

    as busy as possible. I take all my meds like they r

    prescribed, I lay on a heating pad, I soak in a hot

    tub or pool several times a week. Massages are help

    ful too! If your pain is cervical you can wear a

    soft cervical collar, that helps me! I also wear a

    back brace for support of my lower back. Hang in

    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • Is it the fact that we can generally find ways to be more comfortable in bed than anywhere else; or, is it part of depression?

    I feel sometimes like I'm wrong to want to retreat to my room early. It's just DH & me & he's fine with it, he will usually join me to watch House Hunters.

    But, sometimes I wonder if it's ok. It really is hard to get comfortable anywhere & the bed gives me more options.

    Oh, how I wish I had an adjustable bed!
  • *This got longer than I expected, if you'd like, browse to the bottom and check out the links I included and read my response when you feel up to it...

    Hi Chief, welcome to the forums and sorry for your trouble. To sympathize a little, I also just joined for the exact same symptoms you have described with the addition of twitches from several points below the cervical/thoracic levels and heel/hip pains. Long story short, I was working at a medical supply company lifting heavy beds and other items for seven months before I started coming home daily feeling like a softball size lump was in my upper back, right between the shoulder blades. Has gradually moved up to shoulders and neck and caused other issues, as I'm guessing you have experienced as well. I am on a similar amount of pain medicine, taking 10/325 percocets 3x a day and paxil for anxiety/depression/calming sympathetic nervous system. This doesn't come close to letting me function day to day, only occasionally do I get things accomplished. Spend the rest of my time sleeping or laying on heat/ice in dispair.

    To answer your question on coping, I am at the end of my rope and have been having similar negative thoughts as you. The difference I feel between people who are able to cope and those who are not like us is a confirmed diagnosis. A lot of the people on the forum have already had imaging results like MRI's that showed mechanical failure like a herniated disk and have had, or at least scheduled, a surgery. Many have had mixed results and their ability to cope with any pain they still experience I think is made easier by the fact that they know the problem and its cause. While this doesn't diminish the pain in ANY way, they at least do not have to wonder if it COULD get better, they just use proper medication schedules and continue to visit the proper doctors and psychologists that can help them with this management.

    May I ask if you are under the care of a physical therapist, pain management clinic, or pyschologist? Each of these have been invaluable to me over the last year and half (opened my original L&I case in June 09, similar timing to you). Also, what if any scans/images have you had taken and what were the results?

    I live in WA and recently began seeing a new set of doctors and a therapist named Sue Horton who is more helpful than any of the "specialists" I have seen over 18 months. We have been discussing a distinct possible reason for these symptoms that haven't been looked at by others. This is Cervical Cord Compression, also called Cervical Myelopathy. In a normal MRI while laying on your back with proper support and positioning, I had a few small bulges in my upper back and neck, but nothing that would be considered surgical or even enough to cause the severe pain I'm experiencing. I am told now that there is a flexion/extension MRI that can see the spine as it moves and they find often that people with strong symptoms may have only a bulge while laying flat, but actual indentation of the cord in extension (leaning your head back), or flexion (chin to chest). If these motions cause you increased pain like they do for me, it is a strong possibility you also should see a specialist for this test.

    I am having mine next week and will keep you posted on the process for your piece of mind. Although the doctors you've seen don't know whats wrong, even if they are "specialists" don't give up! Keep on the meds responsibly so they don't take them away and keep on the forums. I'm sure someone near you can suggest a good facility or doctor that will know what to look for when you describe Cervical Compresson. Here is a video and a couple articles from the doctor/therapist I'm working with. They are on the cutting edge of dealing with this condition and I'd be happy to do whatever I can to help you. Maybe ask them for any coleagues they know close to you?


  • I empathize completely. I am in the same frame of mind. Why us? I was in an auto wreck 9/09. Teeth bashed in, head trauma, severe whiplash. Been in a few wrecks but that one really messed me up. 3 lumbar bulging discs, djd, ventral root impingement...causing sciatic pain...annulus tears. Add to that fibromyalgia. I was a dental hygienist. I worked in dentistry for 28 years. Back breaking profession. Elbows kill me. Need an mri for my neck, cannot turn my head. Huge knots in my back that never get better. I'm on lortab 10mg 5 x per day amd klonopin. I'm need somas but my dr won't write them. I have hives continuously so I'm always on benadryl. My dr won't give me anything other than Lt's. I thinks that's why I have hives but I'm afraid to lose the only relief I have. It would take a while to explain why I'm so broke, but I have no med ins no car or license..my fiance gets me to my dr once a month which we can ill-afford but do. I don't want to live in this hell of a body either. But those who love me think I sound selfish if I say such a thing out loud. I also have fibromyalgia. I'm on Salvella..the doc gives me samples as its expensive. My dr wants me to see a neurosurgeon for the discs. I just can't, and can't shots the cervical mri I need either. I stay in bed, on a heating pad, fighting the pain and hives continuously. If I try to do anything, like clean up our do a chore or even ride to the store, it gets way worse. I don't want to live with this pain. Its depressing. Did any of us thing we'd ever feel this way? We just have to deal with it as best we can. I hope it gets better for us all who suffer chronic debilitating pain.

    Venting doesn't lessen the pain, but knowing there are others who understand is some comfort. I'm Daina. I enjoy commiserating with others who are in pain. Thanks for listening. Chief, I hope this helped in some small way. ;)
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