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Celebrating 22 years of pain!

Dennis EDDennis E Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Chronic Pain
In reading post on this forum, I've noticed quite a few people that have been dealing with pain for many years. They seem to be the people that have a lot of experience with dealing and living with pain.

For me this has been a challenging, yet fascinating journey into learning much more about myself and gaining a much deeper appreciation for my life.

Yes, I've done all the treatments, taken all kinds of medications, tried spine simulators, pain pumps and had surgery. None of this fixed the pain even though there were things that made it better for a while many just made it worse.

There came a point when I quite trying to fix the pain and chose to learn to live with it. This gave me back a life that was much richer, much healthier and much happier.

I'd like to hear from others who have made this journey, learned to live with pain and got a life. What keeps you going, what keeps you on track and enjoy all life has to offer?


  • It really is quite an enlightening journey as long as I can step back and look at it as such. My life is so much richer which really sounds stupid, but living with chronic pain has taught me more about myself, more about others and the world in general than I could ever have imagined. I've met some of the most incredible people, learned to look at life through the eyes of others, learned not to fret when things take time or when one thing after another seems to go wrong.

    I have a life once again. I am back working in a job that requires being on my feet 8 hours a day. Training and riding my horse nearly every day, hiking, riding a scooter to and from work, gardening, doing yard work and just about everything one can imagine. I do this with a feeling of gratitude inside me. I was told to hang it up and get used to being a coach potato. No way, not for me!

    So yes, once again I live life and I love it!

  • Haglandc,

    Thanks for sharing! I know there are a lot of people reading this site that need to hear from people like you that give them hope.

    You're right about life being richer and full of much more gratitude than before you encounter pain, but that's part of this learning journey.

    I've gotten most of my life back again too. I do have a few limitations from other health issues, but now can and do everything I enjoy doing. Many things I've learned to come up with some "work-arounds" to allow me to do these things without making things worse. I've also added friends, hobbies, interests and volunteer work that have brought even more joy to my life.

    Keep up the good work!

  • This post caught my attention. I dealt with back issues and sciatica on/off for 17 years before my disc ruptured and I learned what pain really is. I am 2 years living with pain. I really like the way you look at that as a celebration. I only started doing that about 6 months after my 2nd surgery. I realized that if this was as good as it was going to get I regards to pain relief, then I needed to approach things differently.

    I have learned to separate my pain into buckets. I realize some pain would have been there as I got older...I can almost ignore that pain now. I have other pain at night that is down right depressing. Just recently, I learned to enjoy the 4hours of sleepnthat I do get (which recently is a huge improvement over the 2 or 3 hours) and just embrace the opportunity to wake up, get some water, walk painfully around the house, and enjoy thi night. I indeed, got back to living...the pain was leaving so i figure I might as well take it on a walk with me.

    There are days when I sigh, cry, and long for the good days. But today, after reading this post, I will celebrate with you...I celebrate 2 of your 22 years of pain

  • Its much easier to accept this when you been through it and gain some form of life back,
    I stoped counting the years of pain after around 18 years because now i just round it off to half my life i have had spine issue just about .

    Before surgery i still had some good days which i thought was bad back then. If i could turn the clock back i would never have back surgery ever.

    But it sure does make you understand when you run in to someone and you see them with a cane, or anyone who can barely walk that you dont even know. Back in the old days i would never of engaged them in to a medical conversarion to ask them. Hey buddy what the hell they do to you, and actualy laugh about it because what else can you realy do.

    Most as myself never realy understud the severity of spinal complicarions untill we had our own compilacions.

    It all depends what quality of life a person was left to deal with to determin how they handle it long term,

    Some of us in no way can accept the fact that this is as good as it gets and just keep hope that something has to come along sooner or later even if it never does. Otherwise we would have no hope at all,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,874
    You know at times I've forgotten!

    For years, it was my spine, my medical condition, the surgeries, There were all the enemies.

    Then as one surgery fixed one condition and I started to feel better and just wound up being stupid and doing things that , lets say 'assisted' in having additional surgeries, I became the enemy.

    First Spinal surgery 1978, last one 2000, but because of some surgical fallout, Arthritis has taken control. I had both shoulder's completely replaced last year, and next month I am having my left hip replaced. So, surgery , medications, therapy always seem to close at hand.

    I don't let it rule my life. I understand what I can and can not do. I know I will be on some type of medications, most likely some narcotic for life.
    Thats ok, I know how to live and adjust to that.

    I've stopped dwelling on what I could no longer do and for years now have focused in what I can do now and do better.

    I am a happy person, I love life, I love my family.
    Sure at times it feel like there is a monkey on my back.
    But those that know me, know I've called that the Beast and that can rule so many lives.

    Instead, when that monkey starts to jump around, I just figure out ways to make friends with it.
    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
  • I love your attitude :-C , and because of that, SH couldn't have found a better person to fill the System Administrator role. Keep up the good work (including telling the spammers to get lost!). >:D< , Ess
  • ...with anelsen15. I've dealt with back pain for 22 years also - ever since I picked up my infant daughter & felt the 1st of numerous knife-in-the-back attacks. And for the last 10 years, varying degrees of constant pain that no surgeon or any other medical professional could figure out.
    So I can truthfully say I've learned nothing about myself from my journey, except that I absolutely HATE this pain & this life. Sure, it could be much worse & I'm thankful for that. And I've accepted the fact that I'll always be taking lots of pain meds. But not being able to enjoy any of the things most adults can do as they age (play golf, travel, etc) - it sucks!
    So anelsen15, I know exactly how you feel.

  • "
    It does suck. I can envision all I could have accomplished, helped, seen and where I am at does not compare to what I had. If anything I am a worse person I now struggle so much with jealousy . I can never accept it but I will always struggle due to it.
    I recently went back to work ( struggling) and at work everyone is talking about what they did over weekend, year or what is planned. Good times. I sit there and wonder if I should tell them about my weekend of icing my back and laying down. I am aware there are many in pain but I sure feel like a minority around most people.

    I often wonder if my pain slowly came on and life slowly changed if I would struggle this much with acceptance?? My life just changed so fast, one second I am happiest ever starting new job, next it's all changed and I still feel like I am in shock. Does it ever end?"

    I so-ooo relate to this message :(

    Jelousy is one of my issues. I wish I could be as active and do 1/2 the stuff my friends (using the word loosly) do. I have been shut off from most of my friends since I can't enjoy the things we used to do.

    I also spend most of my free time icing/tensing/sitting/laying down. I haven't given up on my hobby but it is challenging trying to get the same results with less physical work.... Gotta use the noggin more and when your medicated that proves even more difficult.

    I guess I am still missing the "old" me. The active me. I am definately not "celebrating" yet :) But trying to stay positive as always :) the glass is usually half full if you know where I am coming from. But sometimes I throw myself a pitty party.

    Yes the journey has taught me that I can handle more than I ever thought possible... but what a journey and what an experience.

    Peace :)


  • I want to thank everyone that contributed to this discussion. It such an honest look at what life with long term pain is and what it can be.

    I was luck to understand years ago to forget wondering if it's as good as it gets or grieving all those thing that could have been.

    Now I save my energy for creating the best day, week, month and years as I possible can. I'm very careful to acknowledge all the good in my life and focus on it when the times get tough.

    For me this is just a different road through life. It dose have meaning, have joy if I'm willing to find it. The daily work of dealing with a body that has many deficiencies will go on but it's up to me to find new things I can do, meet new people and find more to live that I love.

    All of you are such strong survivors, to have lived through everything that you have. It is amazing that we have all made it this far and not just given up.

  • Dennis E said:

    For me this is just a different road through life. It dose have meaning, have joy if I'm willing to find it. The daily work of dealing with a body that has many deficiencies will go on but it's up to me to find new things I can do, meet new people and find more to live that I love.

    Dennis, well said. I found that I can change my outlook on daily life. I don't have to get stuck in a rut feeling sorry for myself for the things I "coulda ... shoulda ... woulda" had and done. This is my life and I have to make the best of what I've got.

    My niece is an inspiration for me. She was born with Cerebral Palsy and her life is full of pain, doctors, medications, physical therapy and surgery. Despite all that, she is a very happy young girl because she chooses to celebrate what she can and does accomplish and things she can't she sees as a challenge. She may never accomplish those challenges, but they certainly motivate her to push herself through another day of life's challenges. At 8 years old she is starting to learn to walk and had a blast surprising me at work last week. She held he dad's hand and walked from the car into the store to greet me. She was exhausted when finished, but she was excited about her accomplishment. How can I not be inspired by this!

    Anyway, cool discussion. Thanks for starting it.

  • This is wonderful site. It is a challenge to deal with severe pain 24 hour a day with hardly any relief. Every time I move my neck it like bone breaking pain. I goes deep into the bone and almost knocks me out. I am afraid to take any nerve block injections. I have the weirdest reactions to everything, smiles.. I understand completely about trying to find a reason to live with such mind blowing pain. I live with 3 little female cats, well one on them is a fatty girl and she is very bitchy now. Ha Ha, she has arthritis and is 20 lbs. overweight . lol I have two little dogs, one is old and blind. He is a survivor. He gets pissed and takes off running when he is frustrated because he can't see anymore.. He is a trooper. I watch him go for walks, blind and he is very brave. Animals have a strong survival instinct. I live alone with 3 cats, two little dogs and 18 birds. They have taught me to be strong and keep on getting up no matter have much pain I am in or how discouraged I get because nothing is working. I hope to hear from the people on this site and hope to be able to help anyone I can to move past the pain and find a reason for living again. Thanks Darlene
  • I have been dealing with very severe pain for more than 50 years!
    I used to demand help from medicine.

    Now I just take it one day at a time. I do what I can and leave the rest for someone else. Literally, I have dropped cash and stood there till someone will pick it up for me.

    I do what I can and worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

    Believe it or not, we are gaining valuable experience that the healthy don't get. My mom was never sick a day in her life till she had cancer. She gave up after a very short battle. She told me she had no idea how I manage to fight everyday with the pain (which is worse than her cancer was) every single day. I remember one day when she threw up three times. That was enough - she could not take "anymore". I have spent whole days in so much pain I can't keep a thing down! If I ever get cancer, I don't know what I will do but I wonder if I am better able to deal with the issues? Hope I don't find out!
    just one example of how a healthy person was less able to deal with illness.
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