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Getting accustomed to pain, is it normal?

RatSquadRRatSquad Posts: 114
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Chronic Pain
I have been dealing with back & neck problems for the past five years now; which has led to some major procedures on my lumbar and cervical spine, with more to come in the future. But I am somewhat perplexed at what has happened to my pain levels in the last 12 to 18 months.

There are times I can not put any weight on my right leg due to lack of (or no) strength, shocking sensation(s) in my legs and feet, inability to stand and walk without some type of aide at times, pure (uncalled for) nasty comments over insignificant things, constant pain in the back & down the legs, etc. What I now consider normal daily life.

In February of this year I was put out to pasture by my agency (Law Enforcement) because of all the symptoms and side effects of back & nerve damage.

Here is where my conundrum enters the picture. I went from an average daily pain level of a 7 or more, to what I used to consider a 2 or 3. I even stopped taking all meds because they were not making any noticeable difference to the nerve & other pain I experience.

My PM Doc tells me he is jealous of my pain tolerance. And even though my pain level is now considered low, given my symptoms he suggested installing a pain pump.

Is it normal to get accustomed to dealing with pain on a daily basis? So much so that the same symptoms that I would previously score as a 7 or higher on the pain chart I now consider a 2 or 3?

View my history for all the gory details.


  • Bravo!!!! I am green with envy. I had a two level cervical disc/lam 25 years ago which was a total success. I went from a constant level 8 pain to being pain free after what seemed like a prolonged recovery period. It remains a success with some predictable arthritic changes..........nothing an NSAID and moist heat wont cure. The lower lumbar is another story. Congratulations and best wishes for continued relief.
  • Maybe you have worked out different ways of coping with it and have found ways of 'taking your mind off it' by keeping busy.

    If you're taking medication, perhaps it's actually doing what it should be doing.

    Perhaps now you are not working, you have more opportunity to rest when you feel the pain increasing, thereby reducing your pain levels. Also, perhaps the physical activities you used to do have been stopped now.

    There are lots of reasons why pain feels less intense - that's what we're all striving for when our pain is at it's highest.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Thanks all for the replies. I just found it strange that with there being absolutely no improvement in the last 18 months, and in some instances things have gotten worse that my pain levels have changed so drastically.

    I did come to the revelation after I stopped working in Law Enforcement with all the stress, driving and additional problems that came with the job, how much pain I was actually hiding. I think it comes under the "I can't show any weakness" heading.

    On a very positive note, my lovely bride has commented since I was forcefully retired that she now has her husband back.

    I wish all of you a pain free day!

    View my history for all the gory details.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    And what ever you do. Don't rock the boat!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • i have been a chronic pain patient for 10 years. i look at my pain like that of a drunk uncle. he is there and a pain in the papootie but after a while i learn to ignore him. it is there but i don't let it control my life or my work or my family. i just got used to it after a while and except for bouts of breakthrough pain, it doesn't bother me. i believe we learn to live with pain
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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