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How has pain changed you?

BigochaloopaBBigochaloopa Posts: 41
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Chronic Pain
Hey everyone. Been doing a lot of thinking lately...about the " old me". I used to be a very fun-loving, care free easy going kind of guy.

I loved to horse around, and roughhouse with the kids-I was extremely active...playing all kinds of sports, running, traveling, go out with my buddies once every couple of months and paint the town red...dancing- letting loose.... Fun fun fun.

Now look at me. Pain has changed me for the worse. I no longer have that easy going spirit. I spend most of my day trying to find some form of comfort. Trying not to be too irritable or cranky.

I wake up in the morning sore and don't look forward to the day ahead. I dread it....and actually start to think how once I hit the bed later, I'll be more comfortable. Damn.

It's like a viscious cycle..... There are some days(hours) when I am actually able to forget about my pain-but those days are few and far between.

I used to enjoy writing...but now even 15 minutes sitting at the computer is too much for me to handle. Sciatica is killing my spirit. Have you ever tried to spend the day NOT sitting? It's so hard. And of course if I stand up or move too much, my back pain gets as bad as my leg/butt pain.

I feel like this is never going to go away. I miss the old me! How has pain changed you??




  • Pain changed me into a person who no longer takes anything for granted. Makes every day the best day possible. Pursues my dreams because they certainly won't show up if I'm sitting in the recliner waiting for the phone to ring or delivery man at the door. I eat better, exercise with more purpose and cherish a nap now and then. I don't disregard someone else their pain and I do what I can to help them.

    Pain has allowed me to become the person I always felt I could be yet was too busy for.

  • I like that you are able to put a positive spin on your pain! I sure hope I can feel like that in the near future. I just aint ready yet......
  • How pain changes a person will be of course based on there condition and level of pain control obtained from there surgery, and of course the level of pain control they are able to get with medications or scs or pain pump, which ever the case might be,

    Some might be able to get enough releif to be able to return to work so that can give them a more positive outlook on life while of course still having there ups and downs dealing with some pain issues,

    Some are never able to find the level of pain control needed to return to work so that just brings on the aditional stress of dealing with pain and the financial stress along with it,

    It affects everyone so diferently financially and emotionaly ,

    I mean lets face it, anyone who can no longer work and is in pain 24/7 and finances has run dry and just living day to day would have to pull a rabit out of there hat to pursue there dream,

    Some even if they hit the lotto numbers for 10 mil dollars would still suffer and might not find hapiness but would sure make life a heck of a lot easier and would at least take the financial stress part out of there life,

    So i guess it realy comes down to what catagory a person falls under and how much the pain affects there life, while some survive if they lucky enough to have a spouse working and keeping there head above water. Others are financially drained from the ongoing pain preventing them to earn a living as most normal people do so it becomes nothing more then a nightmare,

    I agree with Hagland C about nothing is going to come your way by siting around on the recliner, It never has in life, So if anyone is able to take action and keep active because the pain can be overcome then yes they need to do so if medicaly posible,

    But sadly there are some who often are bound to there recliner as a person to there wheel chair, Nothing is as simple or black and white with spine issues,

    When i find any small releif you get a boost of energy to take on the world, With winter being here and the cold you realise and feel you was beat with a baseball bat and life just comes to a stop,

    You do what you can do when you can do it because thats how it is, You can either fight it or just go with it,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Like others in our group my initial path has been shoved against my will to another direction . At first I fought like the dickens to keep it going where I had planned , but finally had to admit defeat . It took years to get where I can work occasional part time and go to school online but I'm grateful for that . I have to plan my days 15 min at a time however it helps me to gauge my pain and activity tolerance better . Everything is a trade off and it sucks but that's the new normal. I used to be very outgoing and socially active but since I got Hurt 6 yrs ago that changed . I'm reclusive and pessimistic at times but I won't give up my husband,son and my sanity NEED me to keep trying . Honestly I'm very lucky and thankful for my Husbands help with around the house and working for us. He is wonderful . Pain will always change us . Our attitudes will constant change but hopefully everyone can help others to not give up. My attitude sucks right now but I'm working on ways to help in some way to make the pain work. My attempts to turn into a person who enjoys pain not working out . Any freaks out there who have some suggestions . :) j/k . But seriously if you can make the mental switch from pain to pleasure you would rake in millions selling infomercials ....
  • Great replies. I was taking a French course through distance education. One measly course, and yesterday I had to quit. Even sitting at the computer for half an hour a day was killing me. I feel really depressed about that. Especially since I was in the best shape of my life at the time I was injured.

    I can't help but feel robbed. It was someone else' fault why I'm in pain everyday, and I am so angry.

    I agree with anelsen.....Pain is a full time job!
  • Pain has defeated me in every way, I used to love getting up in the mornings now IM scared wondering if I will be able to walk when I get up or if I move the wrong way is my back going to go into spasms. Im tired all the time ,gained weight from injections but I still try and find something in each and every day that makes me want to move forward I have accepted that this is how its going to be from now on. I try and look around to see others that are worse off than me , I work with a man who has a child with Progeria which is a aging disease and he knows his child will die most likely by the age of 12. so I try and take care of myself and not go into depression but its hard and people dont understand how hard it is just to get up in the mornings and do the simple things that are taken for granted, they think a simple back ache and do not know the extent of the pain we suffer so spineys keep on trucking and dont give in!
  • omg I think the same thing. I wake up and think about hitting the bed again later in the day !!..Pain has really made me think twice what I want to spend my energy on.. because I know I will have it..My back is throbbing now as I type this. Pain has made me slow waaayy down and I don't always like it . I do try to do just one thing that I really want to do each day..no matter how small that seems to help me deal with this..I feel like my spine is made out of glass sometimes haha
  • It has not defined who or what I am, I think it has refined what was always there.
    Every drive inside me is still there, every fault, every little definition of "me" is the same, only the package has changed.
    I chose to not be defined, or become a characature of what I once was, and never will be again.
    Bitter, angry, depressed, unforgiving of myself for being "Unable" to "do" as i did.
    The best shape of my life was the day before the accident that defined what was to become normal for me all these years later.
    you know how it is, you set your mind to become strong and fast. I had a 1300 lb leg press, a 650lb shrug, and other personal bests.
    but the drive,the internal pursuit of excellence, the unending search for knowlege, of self, and the world in and around me never abated.

    How have i changed?
    I am a better person for the suffering.
    I look on others with searching eyes , to see who and what they are.

    I speak with certainty where doubt reigned, because i have seen the darkness and was unafraid of it, because the "beast" had tryed its best to defeat, devour and define who and what I was going to be.
    and failed.

    I am a better person for the pain I had, now endure, and will suffer for the rest of my life.

    The essential core "me" is still there. my defining traits live on in a painful, ailing vessel who may not last the night, but yet I, the "me" lives on, despite, and in spite of what became of me.

    Look upon yourself with a kind and easy heart, the wonderful you-ness" is still there,

    dont be defined by pain
    defy pain

    dont be defined by suffering
    the gold is purest where the fire burns hottest

    there are many things that changed when I became "less" able,

    be strong
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • I can't say that I'm any different than what I was before, I'm still as hard headed as ever. I won't let this pain stop me or define me.
  • That's some pretty deep stuff there. I just can't bring myself to that place. Maybe I'm just more sensitive to pain, but when I'm hurting, there's no lying to myself. I hurt-this sucks-there's nothing positive about it.

    Being from the army, I've been around my fair share of folks who say "No pain, no gain"...or "pain is just weakness leaving the body." Nah, I don't roll like that.

    This friggin sucks. Being in pain all day long is sucking the goodness out of me, and it's really affecting me-my wife, and children. As hard as I try to say that I am not my pain.......it slowly is becoming that way, ( As much as I try to fight it.)

    That being said....I will never give up. I have too much to lose.
  • It has been a long rough road to where ime at. pain is an intensely personal and lonely process. no one can feel what load you are carrying and how much of it happens before you bend.
    I come from the school of ignore the pain till your on the ground, which by the way, got me here, in worse pain!

    the path i took was from intense introspection and a natural curiosity, i was curious as to what was causing the pain, why, and the psychological impact of chronic, unending pain.

    I try to separate the emotional, and psychological pain from the physicality, i am always tired, the sadness is always there so you can say ime depressed. the knowing that i cannot do this or that anymore, even though i know, inside yea, just a little effort and i'll rest later, mistake happens more often than i care to say.

    The physical pain is always there, you know that, the other pains are an option. sa they say suffering is optional, i choose to focus on the actual physical pain, and what its effects are on my body.
    i know the other aspects of the chronic pain, the emotional toll, the mental toll exacted on myself through self examination, and try not to let them ad to the overall experience.

    all this to say, keep your chin up and dont give in to the sadness, dont give in to depression, each is a separate agonist which happens to travel along like baggage on the pain train.
    all ime trying to say is lighten the load, you can only carry so much and then it turns into a burden.

    the essential you is still there, its just that the pain is greater than the ability to fight it right now, it wont always be this way, but you have to want it. you have to fight for the better day, direct your being toward that destination. fight because your worth it, because your still a PERSON! still viable and vital. dont be afraid to express yourself to your loved ones. help them understand you and what your going through, they can help you with your burden.
    try not to be distressed, this is all a process, the pain, the sadness, the frustration, its all together a bloody mess, but you will come through, you will have the light inside again, youi just have to want it bad enough to fight for it.
    hope this helps! what we go through is intense , but we dont have to go through this alone.

    be strong
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Definitely pain changes you.
    There are going to be things that you never saw before and things that you miss seeing.

    I see the pain in others more readily and find I'm kinder and more helpful to them.

    I miss seeing the exhaustion and sense of accomplishment on my face after a run or big hike.

    I also see how quickly pain gives you 20/20 vision on your life past, present, and future but how quickly we can let it consume us and miss out on the present.

    Dare I say...it changes you, it stinks, and yet gives you an inner perspective that not many share and perspective that you pray your loved ones will never have to experience.

    I also realize it's why I stay here...to remind me that people do understand and that we all have our ups and downs.
  • I know for a fact, that dealing with pain constantly, day in and day out can lead to depression, I've been there. Luckily, at my darkest hour, 10 years ago- my Neurosurgeon suggested I see a friend of his who dealt in Psychiatry and Pain Management, with which I did. I am not ashamed to say I take an anti-depressant daily, that is what helps me from day to day. I'm not saying it is a cure, just that people can slip into depression, and that there IS help out there. NEVER give up.
  • Yes depression is a major aggravator to chronic pain. Along with my spinal fracture- and sciatica/facet joint issues- I've been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, and the cherry on top-PTSD. What a combo of fun there, eh?

    I like the comment of how chronic pain gives you 20/20 vision on your life-past and present. So true.

    Best to all.


  • If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
    when mountains crumble to the sea, there would still be you and me.

    Kind woman, I give you my all, Kind woman, nothing more.

    Little drops of rain whisper of the pain, tears of loves lost in the days gone by.
    Our love is strong, with you there is no wrong,
    together we shall go until we die. My, my, my.
    Inspiration's what you are to me, inspiration, look... see.

    And so today, my world it smiles, your hand in mine, we walk the miles,
    Thanks to you it will be done, for you to me are the only one.
    Happiness, no more be sad, happiness....I'm glad.
    If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
    If the mountains should crumble to the sea, there would still be you and me.

    Some of you might know where these lyrics are from, I find having to draw strenght to go on sometimes from songs when its hard to find any hapiness suffering in this kind of pain, When darkness sets upon you and you see no hope and hapiness, even lyrics that came from suffering and pain from others put in music brings some kind of
    connection to reality outside the dailey thinking process of your own pain,

    Pain is not easy to put in words but we all feel it and we all have our own song within our self,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I been dealing with this shit for years, and I will never be to that place that I'm o.k. with it, that I accept it. It has taken my life from me and I am still so pissed about it - I could spit. Every morning when I get up for work, can't hardly move because of the siatica, take drugs and more drugs, finally get it feeling better, then go work 10 hours and come home and take care of all the crap I have to do there. If I didn't "have" to work it would be different I think, maybe I could actually enjoy some things but that isn't an option at this stage of the game. I could bawl everytime I pet my beautiful horse and know I will never, ever ride him again; everytime I look at what was my beautiful walk thru flower garden and ponds - 20 years in the making and see what it looks like now; everytime I try to play with my dog, travel, or do any of the things I have always adored - I could bawl and I am so pissed off I could spit nails! I don't believe I will ever find peace with this. The one thing it won't do however is force me to quit this job and lose everything else. I won't lose my home to it, or my animals, or anything else. I have 4 more years of this bullshit and then I can retire. I hope then I might be able to enjoy some things in life - until then it is just the daily grind of pain and strain and stress and worry. I don't know how anyone ever truly accepts this bullshit - I just can't figure it out. Oh well - at least I'm still hot. LOL!
  • That just reminded me of how much it hurts to play my guitar and sing anymore also... Another notch in the list of bullshit items. (Not meaning anything toward you - that was actually a nice song) just saying, everything reminds me of something else that hurts to do anymore. I used to play and sing in a band and it was awesome! Now I barely have time to write a song, or break out one of my amazing guitars and the microphone but a few times a year. I truly believe if I didn't have a son that was working his ass off that still lived at home with me, and my animals, I wouldn't waste my time with this anymore. I think I'd just be done because for me, it is getting to where it really isn't worth the trip anymore.
  • And here i was trying to romance you, and you ready to break the guitar slamming it up against the wall. Lol.

    You dont have to play the guitar to understand the lyrics, But if you are able to get pain under control enough to work 10 hours no mater how hard it is, Then on your days off you should be able to do the same and sit and relax and posibly pick up the guitar once in a while just for relaxation,

    Trust me staying home makes life even worse when pain wont even allow you to leave the house most days, You might not be able to ride the horse again as you would like as i will never ride a motor cycle, Some things a person can get adjusted to but not going to work each morning leaves a lot of people strugling with lack of purpose in life,

    Lot of us will never get use to this as you say but sometimes fighting it just makes it worse mentaly if you simply cant no longer do it,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Well Alex, I just don't feel that way. "IF" I didn't have to work - I feel I would in fact be able to and have the energy to enjoy life somewhat. I was so dissapointed - they offered an early out and I do qualify but since my group is considered enforcement, we did not get the offer. I know 4 peeps in other groups that took it and I was jeolous to say the least. I would be gone in a heartbeat if I could count on my full retirement like that. A medical will get me half of what I've worked my ass off for and I can't settle for that so unless they offer another early out and we get in on it - I'm just stuck for another 4 years. I have 33 in so far and can't throw that down the toilet. As for coming to work pain free enough to work, that isn't really the case. The edge is off but it's pretty damn miserable for the most part. I don't like my job anymore which doesn't help because I take issue with screwing people out of all their money - which is what we excell in. I also don't care for most of my co-workers and sit in silence doing my thing pretty much all day. The only peeps I chatter with are the boys next door that drop in a few times a day to chit chat. It's a pretty meek existence out here and man it is wearing me out. As for the romance, can't you do a little better than a guitar solo? I would prefer a lobster dinner and some wine! LOL! Take care buddy - you do tend to make me smile and that's good!
  • But do want to ask one thing ..... Alex , if your out romancing us gals are clothes involved or is it a natural performance ? :) also do you use a pick? Lol . Ok raunchy I know , try not to think of me as your little sister and it won't be weird . :)
  • Woman, You cant live with them, You cant live without them,

    Good times, bad times, You know i had my share, When my woman left home with another man but i still dont seem to care! Lol. Git-ir-done
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    I think "C" (haglandc) said the best.

    Dealing with pain in many ways is the same as dealing with any serious illness or major loss.

    5 Stages taken from several online sources

    Denial This cant be happening to me, the shock
    Anger Reality sets in, anger directed in many areas
    Bargaining We should have gotten a second opinion
    Depression Self pity and more
    Acceptance Lets hope we have all reached this one

    When I was young, I was big into all types of sports. When I had my first lumbar surgery at 28 (1978), many of those activities started to dwindle.
    At first, I was in Denial. I was young, strong, can handle anything. So I continued to move ahead full speed, not watching my limitations.

    As time when on, I started to notice that my abilities were not what they used to be. I was Angry. I shouldn't have had to deal with this.. It was just a back surgery. I have to do more, it was probably the doctor's fault.

    So then I figured, well if I did this and didnt do that, I could balance or Bargain in terms of what was going on. So, if I wanted to play in that game, I made sure I did all the exercises, stretches, etc ahead of time.

    By the time, I was 40, 4 lumbar surgeries completed and setting up for cervical surgeries, I was Depressed. After all, This whole thing wasn't fair. Why can't I go out and do all the things I want to do! All my friends my age are doing everything, I dont like this.

    The best phase came when I understood and Accepted my medical condition. It was only then, that I started to understand that it was up to me to make the difference. I needed to keep up with my exercises, I needed to avoid situations that could potentially cause more problems. I didnt look to the medical field as the answer. They just provided me with the tools I needed.

    Now that I am 61, I can look back at all my Spinal surgeries, my two complete shoulder replacements done in 2010, my complete hip replacement done in November 2011, and understand my role in all of this. I also understand the things I had no control over. So for me, it can be a balancing act.

    I don't look at my day to day life as what I can't do, or what I miss, but instead I always look at all the things I can do, the things I would have never attempted to do if I didnt have all these surgeries.
    So in so many ways I am a lucky man.

    I like to think I am a better person now, than I was 10,15, 25 years ago. Well, if not better, smarter.

    But you can see, all this took time, it didnt happen over night. So when you say How has pain changed you?, I answer YES

    I tend to go back to this post I wrote a while ago:
    A Day in the Life of a Person in Chronic Pain
    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 seriously doubt I ever will! It's just crazy that anyone ever could - I just don't get it. I'm mad as hell at everything I cannot do and will NEVER do again! That just isn't going to change - ever...
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    While each phase has its difficulties, if we dont move passed them all, we are only going to be Angry, Depressed, and in Pain.

    Now, moving ahead, is it going to eliminate the Pain?
    No, but we can learn how to deal with it much better.

    Chronic pain patients realize that the pain will never go away, but instead we have to learn to manage it and live with it.

    I dont have the answers on how to get there. Everyone has their own inner drives and determination that can figure that one out (or not)
    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
  • dilauro said:

    I dont have the answers on how to get there. Everyone has their own inner drives and determination that can figure that one out (or not)
    Sadly you're just beating a dead horse Ron. The ones who post in this section over and over and over about the same thing. They aren't getting better and won't change. They just want to constantly bitch about everything. They'll die the same way they are today.
  • The way I look at it, if you have chronic pain, you have to find a way to learn to deal with it as best you can and do everything possible to still live a meaningful, happy life. The sooner you accept the unfortunate fact that you're going to have constant pain, the better. The alternative, as I see it, is to not accept the fact and run the risk of becoming depressed and increasingly bitter that life is so different now.

    As Ron said, everyone has his/her own inner reserves (some more than others, obviously) that will help in dealing with chronic pain, and there are strategies for keeping it to a minimum and not letting it ruin your life. It's certainly not easy (people who don't have chronic pain have no idea how tough it can be), but I don't see that there's another choice.
  • Z06 said:

    Sadly you're just beating a dead horse Ron. The ones who post in this section over and over and over about the same thing. They aren't getting better and won't change. They just want to constantly bitch about everything. They'll die the same way they are today.
    WTF, a bit nasty don't you think? I started this thread because I've been hurting for the past two years, and it's really affecting me. I'm sorry that some of us are not in the place of acceptance that you must be....

    That's why I'm here, to share experiences and learn.
  • Specifically to mouse - I hope that once you can retire and use some of your energy for something other then work, maybe you will be able to move past the point of anger. I can only image how you feel. I won't pretend to know.

    Even with my own pain that at times seems like I can't bear it long enough to take another breath, each persons pain is different.

    It is also different how long each of us take to get past a certain stage - someone of us stay "stuck" at a stage longer then others.

    For myself,most days I am "OK" with my new normal. BUT I have my pain control at least 85% of the time. Not pain free but do-able.
    If my pain levels were not under control as much as they are I know I would not be at the stage of finding a new career and new activities that I can enjoy.

    I guess my point is. I don't judge, as each of us are different :)
    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.
  • Thanks for saying that Bigo, that has been bothering me ever since I read it.

    I've noticed that some people that have been here awhile seem to forget what this site is all about.

    None of us here know everything and all of us do not heal physically or emotionally at the same rate.
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