Hello. I'm active duty military, 34 years old. I had a L4-S1 fusion due to discogenic (spelling?) pain that was not responsive to injections or meds. My husband has been very supportive but the lack of support outside of home is really getting to me. I'm afraid this has gotten under my skin to the point that I'm becoming depressed. The surgeon says I'm doing great, despite me being in pain pretty much 24/7. I stopped the prescription meds because they were affecting my ability to be professional at work...and I can't be caught driving on Percocet or even Norco. I started taking tylenol but it was ruining my stomach (probably from all the painkillers before that). I think I'd rather be in pain than sick and/or high.
Following the surgery I was on convalescent leave for close to 3 months. During that time nobody from my unit contacted me to see how I was doing. I got phone calls from friends, thankfully, but nothing from leadership. When I did return I logged onto my clogged e-mail box to see I was E-MAILED a new job assignment by the commander. When I had a meeting with him regarding my office he was very clear about how I would need to get back up flying again immediately or he'd move me out of the unit. Not even a "how are you doing" or anything. I was so hurt and didn't know how to respond.
I do have a strong sense of independence and am really not fond of asking for help. But something's gotta give. The social network the military boasts seems a bold-faced lie to me right now. I think of the last decade of hard work, deployments and long days I put in and it all seems for nothing. I work in a fog of frustration and pain and there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of this tunnel.
I need somebody to lean on. I'm hoping some folks here can help shed some light on my situation. I'm sure I'm not alone.