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catharsis post

crypticsailorccrypticsailor Posts: 5
edited 09/01/2012 - 2:46 PM in Chronic Pain
Hi everyone. I know it sounds a bit wrong to say, but I'm glad that I have found that there are other people who understand what its like to have chronic pain. I think it is incredible that there are so many people who face the day all of the time with it.

For me, I am in a bit of a tight situation.. I was in the military for 5 years where I studied part time and recently got out and graduated. I have no unemployment, live on my own and am very lucky to be able to go to the veteran's hospital(although they take.. absolutely forever. 2 months to see a doctor, 3 months physio, and 4 and a half to get my first MRI to get an idea). Also have tried seeing massage therapists and a chiropractor. I study Computer Science and recently was completing two degrees when all of a sudden I got this pain. Ironically, it was caused by a dance competition. But basically, I am now on my own with a lease in one of the most expensive cities in the country, and the doctors really aren't helping but I really need an income :/

I'm just wondering.. how do you all manage to live life efficiently with this pain? It's really hard for me to think clearly(let alone study/work... I've been on interviews and I can't even think straight on the technical tests) and I can't sit down much so it has been kind of a bit miserable as I also have really distracting pain in my back that also runs down my leg. The MRIs showed two very slightly bulging discs but the doctors felt it wouldn't have caused the issue, as well as an Xray. I know I'm really fortunate that I can even walk and all, and that there are some who have it really bad but I feel that I waste a lot of my day obsessing over it after so many months and its really taken a grip of my life. I'm just wondering if any of you have any coping methods to make the most of things. I certainly try not to be "that guy", you know.. back pain guy... although it has made me a bit socially withdrawn and agoraphobic... I barely get around to doing my laundry sometimes -_- In any case, thanks for hearing my rant. Hope you're all coping well with this.


  • MrGrouchMMrGrouch Posts: 108
    edited 08/31/2012 - 5:06 PM
    yes we all have that and go through that every day. I also am unemployed due to sciatica which you might want to look up. I understand the interview pain and the tests as I am/was an electrical engineer for 20 years. I am not a doctor and any advice I give is just my experience but in the case you describe Ice packs at the base of your spine helps me alot and it the cheapest. I have the hot cold packs you get at the drug store that you keep in the freezer and I also have to the one time use packs that I use when I am not home. Also look at the Lumbar Disk Degenerative and other links on this site. streaching exercises such as putting your foot up on a chair and holding your legs straight, leaning against a wall with your hands and moving your legs away while forcing your heel down to streach your calf muscle. Also if it is like mine the pain is the least when you are moving and worst when you are still. Again this is only my experience and I highly recommend looking at all the info on this site and another called american chronic pain association. Most of all the Ice keeps the swelling down and the scaitica exercises ( if that is what it is) really do help. The other methods of going to docstors and taking meds is not only costly but can get you in worse trouble particulary if you have to take opiods.

    Good luck
    DDD 2 herinated disks, arthritus
  • crypticsailorccrypticsailor Posts: 5
    edited 09/04/2012 - 2:56 PM
    Thanks for the very thoughtful reply McG. Those are very good tips. As an engineer, I can imagine it has to be really tough to maintain your focus consistently with the chronic pain.
    So, I hate to sound like an infomercial.. but pretty amazing stuff... I read John Sarno's book "Healing Back Pain: The Mind Bod Connection" for the second time --I guess I was frustrated to the end point where I would do anything. I had my last straw after trying "gua sha" which is basically a Chinese alternative therapy where they scrape your back with a piece of jade and some oil(to be fair, it did help w spasms). Anyway, as I was reading.. something in my brain just kind of clicked... the pain continued, but I just told myself "what the hell? I am 25 and my body is not physically broken.. I have full flexibility and can do all kinds of movements(outside of some stiffness/pain). I've been active all my life and mild bulges don't cause pain in half of the population with them". Even though I felt crazy for it, I kept assuring myself that my brain was causing the pain and that there was no structural abnormality.. I mean, we have lived 3 or 4 million years standing upright. It makes no sense that we'd be so sensitive or couldn't fight something like a nerve out of place innately.
    The pain comes back very mildly occasionally but its NOTHING like before... maybe 25% of what it was. I really believe there's a connection between the body and the mind(I'm not sure whether its conscious, or subconscious.. or whatever.. but.. whatever the hell it is, there was real nerve pain and spasms). Today, I took the advice given in the book and danced like I used to, sat and studied all day.. didn't even need many breaks to get up(of course, my back was a bit tired.. but not debilitatingly distracting like it was before). Anyway its still a little odd feeling, and maybe a tad stiff but it has really helped me. The hard part is not constantly obsessing over it, or getting the urge to "check" the problem by moving my back to check for stiffness or constantly stretching(actually makes the pain worse)... I mean.. I'm not going to do anything crazy like start running marathons or lifting weights really hard but I am going to try swimming early next week and continue to do my core exercises daily. I think its really worth a shot for all out there still suffering and I wish you all the best.Thanks for hearing my rant here it has been a great help. While I don't really understand how this whole TMS thing works myself, if anyone has any questions about it please let me know!!!
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