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ANGER or is it Anger

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Depression and Coping
While the words are the same, their meanings can differ.

It is not unusual for patients who first start to experience spinal problems, pain medications, surgery, therapy, etc become angry. I think for the most part, the anger is caused by the sudden loss of previous life activities.

These are the folks that have a lot of ANGER

But over time, as the recovery phase progresses, the healing starts mending and the physical, emotional and social aspects of the initial problem are contained, the feeling starts to change so that we have Anger but we know how to deal with it.

At some point, and that differs with people, all that anger starts to fade and no longer exists in your day to day lives.

I've been there for a long time now, despite the additional surgeries I have had. Eliminating the anger perhaps is one additional step we can all take in our healing process.

Just something to think about.
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


  • Yes, Ron, I agree. I still have days where anger creeps in, but no where near the level it used to be. On those days, I just feel like this pain and the 6+ year battle we have been waging have robbed me of so much (just a small pity party). I believe that everything DOES happen for a reason and whatever the reason I am afflicted with this pain, I need to channel that negative anger energy to a positive mechanism. Hope I am making sense here! Anyway, great food for thought, as usual. Thank-you for sharing.

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • My feelings run more to nostalgia than anger. I experience nostalgia for the me that I used to be rather than anger that my back has changed my lifestyle.

    I do know people who are angry at their spine or neck itself for changing their lifestyle. I find it rather irrational to experience anger at a part of your body.
  • I had a raging anger when I first realized that life as I knew it was not to be any more.

    In time with the support of the members here I have been able to move forward past the anger - most of the time. Once in awhile I get into a super high/bad pain level that can't be controlled and I get a flash of anger back again.
    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.
  • It's been my experience that anger has manifested itself more in the form of irritation, impatience and depression. In the end, it's all the same thing - my life has been changed and not in such a manner that I desired.

    I also feel a sense of loss - ability, opportunity, quality of life, etc.

    Each day presents yet another situation when we/I must deal with it. This realization can be subtle or blunt. For example, just this week I was in a position that required me to facilitate an 8 hour meeting of a diverse group of individuals. My posture, mobility and facial expressions were so pronounced that it affected the audience and distracted from the objective of the meeting. Afterwards it dawned on me that I may not be able to continue working in my current profession because of my "body language." Depression - Anger - Depression - Anger, etc.....
  • Hi Jim,

    I read your comments here and found them quite interesting. Reminded me of my days of employment before the Pain Monster took over my life. It's hard to live that plastic persona when your body is worn down and crying for relief. People know when the whole you is not there. As you said, your body language and facial expressions, along with you looking like a Gray Ghost because your color is so bad from fighting this monster, give you away every time.

    Your analogy of the manifestations of anger hit the nail on the head. Makes me think of the PM doc asking what my pain level is every time I go for appointment. Wonder if we pain sufferers could look at anger as having different levels? What do you all think?

    Rassy's Story
    Under House Arrest Without the Ankle Bracelet :-)
    The remarks I make are strictly my own based on my personal experiences.
  • I believe anger is also part of the level of pain you are in, One day you might have less pain and anger is very low or no anger at all even if you learned to accept this new life,

    Then other days you realise you are in so much pain you cant help but to be angry about having to deal with such extreme pain where you cant get anything done and you find yourself living like some vegetable,

    Everyone has diferent level of pain so it altered everyones life so diferently that clearly will bring diferent opinions from every person,

    While 1 person will get angry for having to only perform light duty work after there surgery or not being able to perform as well on there job after surgery,
    Another person gets angry for not being able to walk for more then 5 min and no longer can even sit long enough to drive there car to a simple dr appointment,

    There is such a wide range of surgery outcomes its very hard to say who can realy accept the quality of life they were left with,

    If everyone had the same quality of life loss we could all be on the same page but of course thats just not posible,

    Many can adjust to there new life while some will never adjust to there new life,
    You have to have some quality of life before you can adjust to it, And sadly not everyone is able to obtain the level of pain control needed to adjust,

    This is what brings on a lot of confusion with the medical comunity also,
    If they cant get a level of pain control to some patients then many times its easier to blame it on depression rather then pain is not controled and patient not having any sucess with pain treatment,

    Unless a patient has a history of depression too often i think they use depression as an ascape goat rather then admiting this persons pain is out of our control,

    The most serious pain will bring out the most serious anger in anyone even if you are Mother Theresa,

    I have my good days and bad days in my 20 years of pain but the last 8 years after surgery has been my most brutal years on earth,

    I would not wish this kind of pain on my worse enemy, Ok well maybe there is 1 person i would wish it on but maybe only for a week, But for a lifetime no way,

    Anyone in serious pain would have to be crazy not to have some level of anger and be somewhat depressed about it, Human natural reaction would be as such to extreme pain,

    I would be more worried about anyone in serious pain and be happy about it

    I been to such severe pain i though i was near death while going to er,
    After er stoping the pain and having it under control i was ready to go dancing,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • just reading a few threads, this thread interests me,

    i have always thought of anger as a forceful energy, like a battery at full charge with more charge trying to get in... something has to be done to discharge that energy

    ... it can be something destructive,we can turn it on ourselves and creat new tension and stress on our already streached bodies, we can diffuse our anger on our nearest and dearest and spread the hurt etc.

    or something constructive like useing the energy to come on this site and share in a safe environment, to say it how it is, then look for just one little thing that can make just a tiny difference for good in some area of your life.eg phone a friend and share a joke, wear 'best' perfume just for sheer pleasure, etc.

    therefore energy acknowledged, even respected, then diffused and something constructive come out of it. Anger is appropriate response to loss and pain, but can be a postitve energy.

    sorry if that sounds too hippyhappy but its stood me in good stead for half a century! much prefer anger to fear!
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 07/06/2012 - 5:53 AM
    ...post, welshlady!
    You said it well for me re' turning the anger inward. At first I was so full of guilt for no longer being able to work...feeling useless...depressed.

    Then I felt guilty like I was a drain on my friends... needing a ride often times because of being on pain meds, or needing to leave an activity early because of pain..nausea...whatever body issue was happening that day..being so out of control.
    In fact it took me awhile to accept the lack of control I have over this body of mine.

    But I finally decided to let my friends think for themselves and if "I'm too much" for them... they know enough to take a break. And I found many of my friends don't even mind if I get into one of my kind of freaky positions for comfort..or even doze off. They said they just like having me around.

    I just recently decided to believe them and feel less self conscious about my limitations. I was really withdrawing and often wondered why I am still here and wished I wasn't.

    But for the last several months..I am so happy to be alive! and I cherish every moment with my friends and familly.
    It feels good to a day at a time..to recogize the anger that I mostly turned onto myself and for me to "stop doing that" :)

    The "time heals all wounds"..... has given me a great lesson. Time really does help me with, well if not healing...coping.

    Great topic, dilauro!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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