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i would give anything

The past four years have been hell for me. I've lost a job where I was making great money, had insurance, cars, bought our first home etc... Life was good. Then my injury came. L5s1 herniation with annular tear and severe nerve impingement.
I couldn't work anymore so I was laid off since it wasn't a work related injury (found out later the company was about to go under due to rescession). Over a period of one year I became worse, pain depression, anger everything because I could no longer do anything for myself between the pain and loss of feeling my left leg I was confined to my bed. Since I couldn't work I was forced to sell just about everything we owned (my wife and I) then my wife was laid off due to rescession and that's when things got really bad. We were forced to short sell our new home because the bank refused to work with us (and thousands of other in california. A few weeks after losing everything a friend of mine offered me a job (very laborous work) but the catch was after your first year they would pay for your insurance. So I greatfuly accepted. That one year was hell, the pain and agony I went through not to mention the pain and suffering my family had to witness was enough to break any ones spirits. But endured it and got my insurance got checked out a few weeks later and was given the above stated diagnosis.
Was it worth it? The pain I'm feeling right now would tell me no, the look my wife gives me when she sees suffering in pain and still doing the things I've always done would say yes. Yes some days are worse than most but when my daughter asks me to play barbies with her I do it because I don't if ill be able to tomorrow. Yes everything I do hurts like hell but I suffer through it and hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
Sorry for cramming all of this together I'm curently writing from my phone in a bathroom at work lol. I hope that all of us will someday live the kind of life that we strive and long for, until that day happens keep fighting and keep doing the things you can because you never know, you may not be able to tomorrow.
L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol


  • I just wanted to share these thoughts, I'm still going through a lot and still suffer from depression and pain on a daily basis. I just want to let you all know that while I may be new here I have ears and I am here to talk to anyone about anything so don't be affraid or hesitant to pm me or comment. We don't need to be alone
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
    edited 10/24/2012 - 3:22 AM
    Hi and so sorry for your pain! This is a good place for information or to vent lord knows I have done my share..So sorry you lost everything , I was laying watching tv the other day and feeling sorry for myself that I or we have to live this way and they was talking about cheerleading should be named as a sport because it is so dangerous , they showed a 15 year old girl that broke her neck when she was 7 years old beautiful blonde and pretty face her mother was brushing her hair , she has no movement in her body at all and lives in a chair like Christopher reeves and I thought to myself here I am feeling sorry for myself and wondered how in the world this young girl must feel , I really feel blessed even though I have severe pain I can still walk , not good but I can..I suffer from depression which is new to me I have always been a happy strong out going person and now my only though is I am scared to go anywhere because I might spasm and not be able to get back home..
  • When I first started writing that post yesterday it wasn't intended to end the way it did, but while writing it I started reading about and thinking of all the things I have been through in my life and what I have endured over the past 4 years. It really made me think how lucky I am to have such a wonderful wife and daughter. Right now I am in the bathroom at work teared up because I feel like they deserve more than what I have to offer now. My wife cries herself to sleep every night worried about bills and money and how we are going to pay for everything I have going on and it kills me inside. Because before this injury I was the type of man that would do anything for my family working 3 jobs and still find the time to spend with my family at the end of each day. It kills me to know she is so sad everyday because I can no longer work more than 4 days a week for crap money and killing my back even more in doing so. I was raised to be a family man and to take care of my family at any cost, and I physically can no longer do it. I use up whatever enegery I have at work trying to make things happen for my family that when I get home I have nothing left. Most of the time I suffer through the pain to try and get things done around the house for my wife so she can come home and relax but I feel like its not enough as money is the main problem for us. I know many people here can cope with what I am saying. I want to do more but can not, I want to be more for them but can't. This is why so many of us suffer because normal people just don't get it what this pain does to us physically and mentally. I've been close to just ending it all because I can't even begin to describe the amount of pain I feel in my heart for my wife and daughter having to watch me suffer and half the time be intollerant towards them because I just want to be alone. Sometimes I feel like they would be better off without me and maybe my wife could find some one more like the man I used to be. I just feel so lost
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • I would say that your wife would not want to be without you and that it hurts her also watching you suffer , I asked my husband for a divorce because I thought he desereved better than a cripple , but he asked me why and I told him why..He has stood beside me and money has been a issue with all my doctor bills and not being able to do the things I need to do at home..He paints all day and then comes home and cooks and cleans and I feel so bad laying on the couch watching him but a couple of years ago he would come home and find me trying to mow or do those things and he knew I wasnt able..I think the hardest part for our spouses is not being able to help us and yes money is a issue but you are still the man she married and fell in love with , dont be so down I know excatly how you feel as many others on here do and because you are sick or whatever you call this never ending thing we have does not make you less a man..I hide in my bedroom alot because I feel like im lazy but im not lazy I have worked hard all my life and just cant do anything anymore..Hang in there you are not alone!
  • Everything you have said is exactly what I am going through and I honestly thank you for your kind words as they are definitely a good change from the ususal things I hear. Its just so hard to see any kind of goodness come from this hell we live in everyday. I think that one of the hardest things to do now is learning how to let go of lives we once lived and trying to figure out just what we do from here. I think that's the main reason I'm still working is because I am having such a hard time letting go of the life I had and I know that as soon as I go on disability or have to be confined to my bed that's going to be it for me. I know that's not true but that's just how I feel at the present moment. I want nothing more than be able to run and play with my daughter, and have her look up to me as a strong father figure that can do anything like I looked up to my father, to me he was super man and could accomplish anything. I fear that she will grow up watching me suffer and not get to enjoy time with me because I'm always in too much pain to play, or in painful agony when I do play. Something has got to give sooner or later right? :/ I know in my heart that everything will be ok in the end but I can't stop thinking about what I'm going to do to make myself and my famillies lives better.
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • I have a 16 year old and he is great but he has watched me suffer and the impact it has had on his life has really made him a better person, he is more caring of feelings of elder people or disabled people but it has hurt him alot to, A week ago everyone was going zip lining and he wanted to go so I drove the 2 1/2 hours to get there and was hurting so bad by then I noticed him watching me with worry, I called him to me and I told him: son what gives me pleasure is to see you have fun dont worry about me I will be fine..He went on and done his zip lining and was so happy when he came back , I think you are right we have to make the most of what we got and except who we are now and let go of our past person , I am stll working but I know my time working is coming to a end and its like letting go of a part of ourself , but dont sweat the small things , try and find peace and thats what will make your life more settled , and I need to practice what I preach because I am trying to do the same thing..I feel like I have a cancer that never kills and I have thought about what it would be like to be out of the pain and ......... but when the day ends I dont really want to be gone from the world ..I love sunsets and flowers and just simple little things that I never really saw, hey and my hubby can still take me a chair down to the pond and let me fish even though it hurts gives me great pleasure..!!!
  • I do the same thing all the time :) I still go on trips even though I suffer the whole time in the car, I still take my daughter fishing and try to teach her as much as I can now before I'm no longer able too. I still do things around the house for my wife when I know the outcome will be grimm. I do all of these things because if I don't I might as well just lay down and die now. I try to be the guy that even though I'm in pain and suffering I try not to show it because I don't want to be labeled as weak or handicapped even though I know that I am just that. But like you said in my mind I am still that person and everyday my body reminds me that I am not. But I keep truckin on, I don't want to die and don't want to leave my family behind but sometimes I just can't help the feeling of how much better things could be for my family if I never got injured and that's what hurts the most. I just want to say that I really appreciate you and the others who have given me hope and inspiration to keep striving and moving forward. From the bottom of my heart thank you even just a small conversation goes along ways, and I really do thank you all :)
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
    edited 10/24/2012 - 3:26 PM
    Thats right keep pushing! Thats all we can do and when you are sad or frustrated there is always someone here that will listen because we do care and that does mean alot to know we are not alone, I never relized that there are so many people in pain until I joined this sight , so many times I have been down and someone always sets me straight or lifts my spirits , we do have a big family here! there is always hope dont ever give up! :)
  • Today is my Friday and I woke up smiling... I'm going to do my best today to try and maintain that smile all day, that is my goal today. :) thank you for listening kentuckygirl65 hope I can return the favor someday.
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • Smiles are good ! I do that alot just to keep from screaming plus it wrinkles lol , You are welcome I enjoyed talking to you and glad I could make a difference and im sure you can help me out someday , you will see my bad days on here when I want to be a jumper and give up but when someone comes back and picks me up, it seems like it makes everything more easy to tolerate just knowing that there are people that care and were not alone, I wish you all smiles today its a beautiful day out here !
  • I call how I live now my "new normal" ;)

    I did not arrive here easily! I kicked, I screamed, I cried, I ranted, I raved! I thought of death - a LOT! I had many many pity parties by myself.

    Then I find this site & just knowing I am not alone & that others REALLY DO "get it" and are here for me was/is a life saver!!!!!

    When I found this site I had made up my mind if I did not find at least a string to hold on to I was done living, in the literal sense!
    Thankfully the members came to my rescue (I did not share my dieing plan with them until I decided to live) and were so supportive!!! :

    I still have bad times but now I know where to turn.

    They told me I HAD to find a NEW reason & a new way to live. They held my hand & walked me through the depths of hell, for which I will be forever grateful !!!!! :)

    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.
  • Hi Tuffluck , hope you are feeling better today ! I like MSHumptyDumptys post above she is so right ! You enjoy your weekend and your family and no frowns lol , today I came into work and they told me my face had a hideous twist to it yesterday I hurt so bad I imagine it did look funny lol Im going to try and go see a movie this weekend but most of the time I end up leaving because I cant sit that long ..But I will enjoy what I can ...:)
  • I can completely feel from what you are saying. Everything you have said is exactly what I am going through. When I injured my back I was training mma. I love jiu jitsu it is a passion for me, the science and patience it takes to be successful in this sport is very rewarding to me. I love the thrill of battle and long to be back in there training again and not just to fight but to help others on their jounrney to find peace with themselves and myself as it gives me great pleasure and peice of mind helping others achieve what they want most in life and when I found this sport it changed my life. Being stuck on the sidelines now has deeply wounded my heart for I know I wll never achieve what I wanted so badly. As far as letting go I still haven't been able to this and fear I will not ever let go of my training. I currently train my little brother on my good days and its those days when I'm able to do somethings I once could that I get that hope and drive back, only to be shot down the next morning or sometimes right after with that pain I almost forgot about . I know I shouldn't be doing these things but I do it anyway out of stubborness and pay the ultimate consequence for it everytime. I think this past week the pain has become bad enough to where I can't even bend over to tie my shoes so I started searching and found this place. It has given me hope that maybe someday I will be the old me, not so much physically but mentally. I want so badly to be the old me that it completely takes over sometimes and I lose the thoughts and feelings of what is most important in life, my family. This place is awesome and yes kentuckygirl65 I am still smiling, you all have given me hope and for now that's all I need to make through each day. :) thank you all for everything!
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 118
    Welcome aboard Tuffluck! You will find many kindred souls on these boards. Me and and many others here feel your pain, both the physical and the emotional! My story is similar to yours - on top of the world, fabulous job with lots of respect, great wife and kids, amazing home and cars...then cancer, followed by gastroparesis, had to go on permanent disability, numerous medical procedures, 6 weeks of home care by hospice, feeding tube and pump for almost 2 years to keep me alive,my wife, now ex-wife, had all she could take after 4 or 5 years and I found myself living in a bedroom in my brother's house with a couple of suitcases of clothes and not much else except my Marine Corps retirement stipend. Miraculous recovery that still has my docs shaking their heads in disbelief but less than 3 months after going back to work in 2005 my back pain that had been nagging me since the mid 1980s became intense and brutal. I managed to work through everything, including 2 fusions of the L5/S1 and all sorts of other procedures, an accident where I ruptured my urethrea, being lad off twice in less than 2 years and over 5 months that neither my new wife or I had a job then a great new job and back on to disability this past August.

    So, yeah, there are quite a few of us on these boards that can really relate to you so, by all means, use us as you need. I know that for me, sometimes just reading what others are dealing with really helps my attitude. My wife is NOT a nurturer and has no sympathy or empathy, my daughter has her work, marriage, 3 kids and lives a good way away from me and my son is on this third combat tour, this time to Afghanistan, and his family is in Colorado but they have their own loads to carry. Consequently, these boards are a godsend lots of times.

    Anyhoo, welcome aboard and sorry to hear of your misfortune. It sounds like you have a great and supportative wife and family - I think you are really lucky too! and I urge you to tell them how important they are to you and how much you love them - every chance you get!!!

    I expect it may sound wimpy coming from this old Marine but I have found that a good hug has unbelievable recuperative powers and, even though they are usually addictive, there are no negative side effects. BTW, I do not care if it makes me sound wimpy! LOL :)

    On more thought before I close this note. During my time in the Marine Corps (20 years), one of my favorite sayings that I still use today is:

    "Every day is a holiday and every meal a feast!"

    I must admit though, that I frequently find it difficult to live that saying - see my latest whining on this message board around 7:30 AM today LOL!

    Semper fi, Jerome
  • The problem for me is money lol, they have lots of it I have none of it :). I will keep training the things I can do because its really all I have left. Its kind of funny how I can still train jiu jitsu but wrestleing and muay are out of the question. Even though I can still all of the above muay thai hurts the most from the leg stretches and being able to get your hips around for most kicks. I can't do it anymore but I can train others, I primarily train my brother because he's having trouble with kids in school, not so that he can go and kick their butts but so he can have the confidence to go to school and not feel threatened by people that are bigger than him and try to bring him down and he gets it. Ill be going in to see my third spine doctor (can't have too many opinions right) in december who is going to be doing a discgram (think that's what he said) to find out the grade of the tear I have at l5s1. I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen yet, as I've started getting really bad pain in my left hip/groin area, which is making work and everyday tasks very unpleasant let alone trying to train. I wish it was december already so I can find out what my future holds lol
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • There is nothing whimpy about what you said in fact I hold you in high regard for your response. First and foremost, thank you for your service to this country and your son as well. I appreciate everything you have done for us. Secondly this may sound funny but I tried to join the marines with my spine issue, needless to say they found out and I was dropped from enlisting. My whole family is military and I wanted to join for my own personal reasons. This is also where I picked up my training background. I am sorry to hear about everything that has happened to you and I wish it none of us had to go through this. But seeing as how we do we have to keep fighting and keep on keepin on right? I gotta get back to work but I will be back on shortly. Again thank you all for your help, wisdom and conversation. I really appreciate it
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 118
    Tuffluck...I use to be a fairly competitive runner: 10K PR of just over 34 minutes, half marathon PR of a little over 1:13, and marathon PR of 2:34 but no matter how hard I trained or fueled my body, there was always someone faster than me! Always! I carry that understanding and thought here too - no matter what I have wrong with me, how much I hurt, what I have to deal with, or what I have lost - there is always someone that has more issues and is worse off than I. Sometimes it helps to think about this and other times it does not help. The old half empty vs. full glass question I suppose. Sometimes though, positive thinking can do nothing for me you when we hurt for hours and sometimes days without any relief. Hmm, maybe I'm losing my train of thought and rambling - must be my pain meds! LOL What I was trying to say is that it can be really hard to find something positive when you are in our predicaments but I am thankful that I have disability insurance through my company and I have my Marine Corps retirement benefits so I can make ends meet. I probably struggle more with tying to figure out what I'm going to do with myself in the long run. I don't have hobbies outside of work and working in my yard and garden and as I can no longer do either of those things, what do I do with myself? What are the effects of taking pain meds for 10 or 20 years, etc, etc? Sorry if this sounds depressing but I've always been goal oriented so to be without goals, objectives, deadlines, etc I feel like a ship adrift at sea with no power or a rudder.

    Hope everyone has a minimal pain and groovy day!


  • My mri shows an annular tear at l5s1 but they weren't sure of the actual size, I did the esi injections and had very little pain for about 4 months, but because of the type of work I do (constantly bending over, lifting heavy things) I was right back in pain. I would get my injections on a Friday afternoon and be back to work on Monday. I too feel like I am just delaying the inevitable and feel just about as trapped in this life as I can be. It sucks knowing that everyone I know is doing all these great things with life and having an awesome time with life while I'm stuck here in pain everyday and just trying to figure out what I'm going to do to make through each day. I'm tired of being tired and I'm tired of living this way and forcing my wife and child to live it with me.
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • I don't know if any of you have had to deal with this, but this is my current situation. My injury took place approximately one year before coming to work for this company. I had to wait one year almost to the date before recieveing insurance (not that great by the way but still I have insurance). My work does not know about my injury as I fear I will lose my job because of it. At the same time I know this job is destroying my back everyday I come to work it gets worse. After seeing this new doctor I'm going to try and see how I would about getting on disability because I'm pretty sure I'm looking at surgery and will have to take time off of work for pt and rehab. So I'm going to have to spill the beans eventually right? I can't afford to lose this job or the insurance so this is why I feel so trapped and helpless all the time. I don't know what to do or what's going to happen and the stress and anxiety from this is killing me. I just want it to be over
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • After my discogram and find out what my future holds I'm going to tell my boss about this injury. He's a pretty understanding man and I feel like it will go well I just want to know as much information as I can before telling anyone about it. Trying to find a job out here in southern cali is very difficult. If you have a job out here you can't quit and need to do everything possible to keep it, because there are thousands lined up behind that will take it in a heartbeat. I also feel like if I quit working (I know gonna have to eventually) now I will completely lose my mind being stuck at home with nothing to do and no one to talk to, woudl just be too much to handle right now. I was off work for just over a year and was already showing signs of severe manic depression and actually made my pain worse. Like I've stated before I'm just not ready to give up my old life and don't know if I ever will be :/
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • Hi tuffluck hang in there ! Im still fighting hanging on to my job but like you I know im going to have to let go sometime, its so cold here today and cloudy we had snow down on black mountain yesterday !
  • Tuffluck, I hope your doing OK today? I remember those days when i didn't have work, i was out of work for 13 months and i did everything possible to shield my son from it, to this day, he never knew how bad it was. But i kept on going, never gave up. However, this was before my pain / back issues came about, I just wanted to let you know that i know how you feel about losing everything. I still to this day do not own a home, in debt from student loans up the rear end; but luckily in my case I have a desk job so i don't have to worry about that, my boss told me that if/when I'm no longer able to walk, he will by me one of those scooter things to drive me around the office. I guess my point is, perhaps look into re-training or maybe going back to school. Doing a "manly" job doesn't have to involve physical labor. i wish you the best of luck!
  • tuffluck13ttuffluck13 Posts: 36
    edited 10/31/2012 - 8:01 AM
    I'm doing better, in a lot of pain today but that's life with this right lol I wrote this huge post but my phone froze so ill just keep it short, I'm doing good now, just in a severe amount of pain today. Knowing that all of you are hear to listen and talk has helped me realize that life isn't over yet. In the words of my good friend joe dirt: "lifes a garden man, DIG IT" HAHAHA thank you all for everything :)
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 118
    Tuffluck - your post yesterday is great! It is encouraging when people write about their good days or something positive instead of only commenting when we are in pain. It is probably human nature to speak up when you are really hurting. The attitude is my difficulty. I suppose I've always been a bit of a cynic and with what I've had to deal with for over 12 or 13 years certainly did nothing to help me improve my disposition! LOL
  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 118
    Tuffluck - your post yesterday is great! It is encouraging when people write about their good days or something positive instead of only commenting when we are in pain. It is probably human nature to speak up when you are really hurting. The attitude is my difficulty. I suppose I've always been a bit of a cynic and with what I've had to deal with for over 12 or 13 years certainly did nothing to help me improve my disposition! LOL

    I'm in the metro Washington, DC area, Virginia side thank you, and our weather has been very depressing because of the clouds, rain, and wind from hurricane Sandy - interesting, that is my wife's nick name; I wonder if there is some type of relationship between the two? LOL :) I think these cool or cold days when it is completely overcast, rainy, etc and the dampness just permeates my bones makes for rough days. Oh, well, it is all about the attitude, right?
  • I feel that the mornings I wake and try to atleast smile once or twice at myself in the mirror makes my day go a lot better for reason. Don't get me wrong most the time I wake up and can't even look at myself in the mirror but I have been trying lately and it helps tremendously! We are who we are and while we are suffering in pain the person we are inside is still there everyday trying to come out as the physical person we used to be. I don't want to be sad or depressed anymore I want to be the person I used to be but I know I can't. So here's my plan, seeing as how I can't be the physical person I used to be, I can still be the me inside that everyone knows. So my plan everyday is to try and make atleast one person laugh or smile. I really enjoy helping people and it makes me feel better to be around people that are happy even though I'm dying on the inside. That one smile or one laugh can completely make me forget about my pain even if only for a moment. So just try it once, put a smile on and tell some jokes to your friends and family or even a complete stanger. Just try it one time, this is my plan each day. I know I will always be sad and depressed about our situation but we can't change that now but we can change our attitude towards it. I really hope you all are safe on from that storm and how ironic about the names being the same that made me lol! So you have already made one person laugh today jerome try and get a few others!
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
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