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Chronic Pain and Depression

For anyone not familiar with my history my name is Denise Parker and I injured my back - ironically - while exercising, trying to stay in shape. My left foot slipped from underneath me and I fell straight down on my coccyx. In the immediate onset I experienced excruciating thoracic pain, but over the years I began to also have terrible lumbar pain and sciatica down my right leg. I managed to continue working for a little over one year post-injury with the treatment received from a pain management practice. I eventually had to take a leave from work because of my chronic pain. Dating prior to my injury and for many years post-injury I was the person everyone came to for anything and everything. My parent's - who are divorced - used me for their medical appointments, surgeries and other procedures; even though that meant I had to 'push' through my pain to help them. Others would state they needed 'this' or 'that' and since I was home anyway, would I mind. I have always had trouble establishing boundaries and wind up pushing myself beyond my limits to help others out. Within the past 3 1/2 years, in addition to my chronic pain worsening I had to deal with my mother's mental illness. I'm an only-child - and single - as is my mother and my mother never remarried so I've been trying to juggle my personal and medical needs with trying to get my mother the needed help. I turned to extended family members and friends for help and emotional support and got no such support whatsoever. This year I went through an SCS trial which did help and so I had the permanent SCS surgically implanted on May 10th. My mother who'd been in a long-term care facility since 11/2012, was sentg home 4 days after my surgery. It was too much, I couldn't do as I'd been physically able to do prior to my injury. Within one week my mother was back in the hospital and then back to the same long-term care facility she'd been discharged from a few short weeks prior. Two weeks after my surgery I began looking for a suitable place to relocate as I can NO longer help my mother out and the block in which this house is located is deteriorating rapidly and I need to start taking care of me. It's been a long and hard lesson, but I realize that the ONLY person I have to rely on is ME, MYSELF and I. This past week has really overwhelmed me as I try to cope with my mother's list of 'needs' - which are really wants - as well as try to get moving on moving, try to keep myself motivated day after day through the pain, fatigue and lack of sleep, as well as having had my banking information and computer compromised. It's been quite a week! I had been in therapy with one therapist for 5 months and another therapist for only 2 sessions and have yet to find a therapist who can wrap their minds around what it's like to deal with chronic pain and the modalities used to address chronic pain. It's also difficult for some therapists to truly grasp the profound efffect one family members mental illness has on family dynamics and one's health and well-being. With the levels of stress I've experienced these past 3 1/2 years as I deal with my chronic pain and my mother's mental illness I'm surprised I'm not in a padded cell somewhere. There are - and have been - so many times I wonder how much my shoulders can bear. Currently, the only outlet I have is this forum. The 2 therapists I've seen don't get IT and family/friends don't get IT. I'm not looking for someone to take care of me, I just wish someone would show they care FOR me.
Denise Parker


  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    edited 08/07/2013 - 4:57 PM
    Denise ... There are many of us who understand what you are talking about .... and there are many angry ... egotistical self righteous people also. It takes many varied and strange animals to make a good zoo. http://www.spine-health.com/forum/mind-body-and-spirit/depression-and-coping/inside-outside-upside-down-left-right-forward-back Stay tough or toughen up some more.

    Warmest Regards

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • I'm sorry that you have so much on your plate right now. I'm surprised that the LTC facility sent your mother home knowing that you , yourself were recovering from surgery just a mere 4 days after you had it done. They never should have allowed that to occur , knowing that you were unable to care for yourself, let alone be responsible for an elderly parent as well.
    As far as your therapists go, it sounds strange that out of two of them, neither one is familiar with therapy for a chronic pain patient, and helping you to learn some coping mechanisms and strategies. I might consider finding a new therapist if they are that incompetent.
    Have you seen a psychologist who might be better equipped to help you learn some coping strategies and use other types of cognitive therapies? What about using medications to help treat the depression? Is that something you are willing to consider?
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