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Life's Challenges

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Depression and Coping
All of us at one time or many are faced with situations that we have to deal with.

What happens is that those of us that are dealing with chronic pain, or have recently had several months of pain, need to deal with the various stresses in life.

Stress can become so much of an evil thing to people dealing with chronic pain. When stress hits us, we tend to tighten up, cervical patients may start to hike up their shoulders, lumbar patients may start to shift one way or the other.

After doing that for a while, our muscles tighten up, which in turn puts a strain on some part of our body, which in turn, do you get the picture?

We all go through rough periods in our life that are not directly related to our spinal problems. It is so important that we learn how to control those 'external' stressors so that they do not impact our already impacted spines.

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Well said Ron. I think we have all learned or are still learning of the stressors that make life harder for chronic pain patients. When I am stressed my pain goes through the roof so I had to learn to find a balance. I had to learn " dont sweat the small stuff". That being said, I am a chronic worrier so this has not always been easy for me
  • I had a conversation with someone the other day. She's known for some time that I have "back problems", but we got into it a little deeper than I typically do.

    Fwiw, I have found that the term "spine issues" is more useful than "back problems". Thank you to whomever posted that. When people hear you're having back problems, I do think they tend to minimize. Everyone has a back ache now & then.

    If I have to explain why I can't make a 3 hour car trip for business, I think "spine injuries" gets my point across in a way that "back problems" never could.

    But I digress. I found myself talking about my spine issues as dispassionately as I would describe a work project.

    My friend asked some questions & I answered honestly about what was causing the pain & how it felt, where it traveled, etc.

    She was floored. She knew I had pain, but didn't really have a complete picture.

    Finally, she said: So, you are in constant pain?! OMG!

    Yes. As a matter of fact, I am. I think it felt kind of good to be heard.

    It felt even better to sense the admiration in her voice for what I am able to do, professionally.

    I'm a workaholic who defines herself by my work, so that meant something to me.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    What you described is what so many people suffering from back, err, spinal issues suffer from.

    When you explain to someone in depth about your problems and they really here the chronic pain you are in daily, people many times are completely floored.

    They just think how can someone who is in that much pain exist day to day, working and for the most part never letting anyone know about the pain....

    Thats sort of our Spiney's Badge of Courage!
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    ...that it could be a stressor just leaving your own home and visiting elsewhere, even with people you love, for a few days?
    It seems to send me to another planet! Trying to keep pain under control...and smiling all the time with more conversation and different personalities than I'm used to since I live alone.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I spent yestereay morning getting my hair done, which means a few hours of talking to people. I had a pretty good time talking to people. Working from home & constant pain keeps me kind of isolated.

    But, yes, most of the time it's too much. Yesterday was unique in that it was a really upbeat, joking kind of group.

    I'm paying for that few hours getting highlights. I was exhausted & in a lot of pain afterwards yesterday & had to spend most of the afternoon & evening lying on my stomach.

    Then I remembered I posted about the same experience last time I got my hair done!

    I find social engagements much more stressful now. Although if I go to an event that really captures my interest, it can really give me a nice temporary distraction.

    I'm learning not to try to sit very long & to take my pain meds before I go. (DH is my designated driver).

    I think it's a matter of picking & choosing. If it's a social outing that is of interest to you, it may be worth the anxiety of getting out the door.

    I think CP gives us a good reason to be more choosy about how we chose to spend our time & with whom.
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