Hello to those who may read this post,
I am new to the forum, but I have been a longtime reader of this website. I am writing today because I have been struggling more than usual & I am scared, feeling sad & depressed even though I should be feeling happier with all of the things happening in my life -- many of which are good.
I am a 11 year sufferer of chronic pain, which has been diagnosed as neuropathic pain since 2010 when my pain, which had been relatively stable between 2006 - 2009, went from a 6 every day to a 7 or 8 every single day, with no relief.
I have been taking Methadone but it is hardly helping any more, and the past week I have been in more intense pain than usual.
But the reason I decided to post on this forum is I am feeling so intensely depressed the past week or so, since my pain has worsened & it feels like the methadone isn't really helping as much anymore.
I am worried I am feeling depressed. I usually try to keep an optimistic attitude but I guess I am feeling more alone than usual, and like I have no where to go or no one to speak to who will understand. I don't know what I need exactly, but I am feeling very scared that the pain meds I have been taking are not working as well, and I am scared that my personal relationship with my boyfriend is beginning to slowly come apart at the seams. I don't know why exactly, but lately he began a new job & I am overwhelmed with my graduate studies and pain, and I feel like I spend 98% of my time alone now because he is putting other things ahead of me as far as his priorities. I know maybe this sounds silly, since I have put up with pain the past 11 years I should be able to deal with anxieties about my relationship, right? I should be stronger than I am... at least that's how it goes in my head.
This man has been the sweetest most incredible and devoted person in my life for the last 2.5 not-so-easy years with my pain changing & everything sort of falling apart with my job, and my professional life. But recently everything is changing so incredibly fast & I am feeling very depressed, with my pain worse & my fears that he is not happy with me (even though I have no tangible reason to fear this). I have started feeling like giving up & letting everything kind of fall down because I am in so much pain I really struggle to care about anything except him, and trying to find some relief. My mind keeps telling me I am not enough for him, he deserves someone else who is healthy & happy, & when I tell him I need more support it seems like he doesn't know how to help. I wish I knew how to explain it to him...
Any advice is welcome. Even if there's not much to be said about the relationship stuff that is OK with me, but advice about coping with the pain & trying not to let my mind & heart feel so much fear because my confidence that I am worth something at all is so low. I feel like the happiness & optimism I have tried to keep with me in the past 2 years since my pain intensified in 2010, has done nothing to help me. I feel very alone & afraid, and I don't know what to do.
Thank you for listening. I wish there was a support group for me in my town, but the closest one is in Portland in North Oregon, whereas I am in southern Oregon & not able to drive 6 hours each way to attend a single support group in the state. But I hope all of this information & my anxieties or depressing feelings aren't annoying or don't upset anyone, I simply need somewhere to go with my feelings so I don't end up frustrated when I try to speak to someone about things & they have no way to help or to understand.
Let me know if any of you have anything you want to share or ideas to suggest, because I could use the support right now.
*If there is any interest in the history of my condition I included some details below -- but this is not needed for responding to the info above, which I posted in order to hopefully find even a little support, if anyone has any to give.
History (for those interested)
I have had 3 surgeries on my back.
* In 2003 I had a less invasive surgery to attempt to reduce the bulging material off the L5-S1 nerve roots, which eventually resulted in a reduction of pain between 2004-2006 (18 months) when I was off medication. The pain didn't come back exactly, it seemed to worsen instead. In '03 I had the surgery because I had dull-aching low back pain, and that was the pain I experienced relief from. But in '06 I began experiencing intense sciatic pain down both legs out of nowhere.
* In 2007 I had a massive flexible-fusion that used no bone or metal rods to permanently fuse my discs, but instead wound-wire cords & screws in my L3-L4 disc to S1, which created a corset-like support system in my back. This improved some of the weakness in my low back as far as not being very strong or sturdy due to degenerative disc disease. However, it did nothing to relieve any of the pain & this surgery may have caused or worsened the nerve damage I was dealing with after the sciatic pain began in 2006.
* In 2010 I was desperate enough to let my pain specialist put in a spinal cord stimulus but it never really helped very much. The pain I am in is worse now than ever & the implant ended up doing nothing to help, only scarring me up more.
I have tried all types of meds & the only thing I've taken that has helped at all since the neuropathic pain became much more intense in 2010, is Methadone. But that seems to be helping less & less these days. I am in so much pain lately I don't know what to do to help myself. I tried PT again & it helped at first but then the minor relief went away again, I know swimming helps sometimes but I often don't feel well enough to go swim at all.