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End of my rope (vent)

I'm sorry, I just really need to vent. This back pain is ruining my life. I've tried so hard to keep my chin up and be positive, but it's so hard when things keep falling apart. I feel like I have no control over my life. My pain rules most things - it's "well I'll have to see how my back feels," "i don't know if my back will tolerate that," etc etc etc. I can only work part time, so at 30 I have to live with my mother which is volatile -- all we do is fight. I spend my days cooped up in my bedroom hiding from her and because I need to be laying down so I can't leave the house. My relationship was supposed to be temporarily long distance until I finished grad school in May -- well I had to put school on "pause" ( I can't say quit yet....) so now it's just indefinite (there's some other factors contributing to that too related to my back). It's just all so out of control. My friends are all gone, I have hardly any support system. Everything is just so hard. And nobody seems to understand. Somedays I can't even figure out why I bothered to get out of bed. What's the point? Constant pain and a life that is crap. And everyone calls me a cry baby. I'm just so tired....


  • No doubt living with chronic pain is difficult.......and it changes so much about how we have to go about things. Living with your mom sounds challenging. Do you/have you considered finding a room mate, that you can get along with, and sharing expenses? Or maybe a couple of roommates?
    Have you had surgery or what treatment options have you been given for your condition? What is the actual diagnosis?
    What about going to school part time? Or online?
    Sometimes, we can allow ourselves to not see the choices to get done what we need to, because we feel trapped.....and we aren't, not really, if we can find a way around the obstacles.
    Hang in there.....one more suggestion, chronic pain does in fact, worsen any depression and isolation we feel, so have you given any thought to seeing a therapist to help you learn to cope with your life as it is now, and work on making changes to get you back out there ? It is worth thinking about.
  • It was incredibly helpful when I was seeing a chronic pain therapist. Primarily we concentrated on the activities that I found the most difficult to deal with. She offered very practicle advise & taught many different types of coping mechanisms that have been life savers. Although her job wasn't really to offer depression counciling it was a great help having someone so knowledgable & understanding to talk to.

    Sandi's right, chronic pain does worsen depression & depression amplifys chronic pain. It's a vicious cycle. Your situation is so hard. I'm glad you've found this site to get your feelings out. I moved from England to Texas, USA & I've found isolation the hardest thing to deal with. Being trapped within your 4 walls, without personal conflict is hard enough. I truly feel for you.

    All I know is my pain became so much more manageable once I had an action plan. A full understanding of exactly what was wrong with me & possible treatments to research & discuss. A list of what I wanted to achieve in my personal & educational life so I could start planning how to get there despite my limitations. Hobbies, interests..anything to keep my mind off of my unrelenting pain. Life's a journey & we're on a bloody hard path but it is possible to find joy & fulfillment. You do have control over your life, I know it's hard to see that when pain has the upper hand. Cut yourself some slack, I find it impossible to stay positive all the time. You're only human. Sometimes I need to get really low to truly processes what's going on in my life before I can move forward. Change is never easy & chronic pain is a monumental change.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Until someone has experienced spinal problems for an extended period of time, its almost futile trying to explain yourself.

    It helps us here to know as much about your medical condition. Would you please provide us with

    • - When did the problem first start? Was it an accident or other trauma?
      - What doctors have you seen? Assume, your Primary Care physician and then a specialist
      - What diagnostic testing did you have? And what were the results?
      - What conservative treatments have you had? ( Physical Therapy, Traction, Ultrasound, Spinal Injections, etc)
      - What medication are you currently on?
      - What has been the recommendation and action plan outlined by your doctor?
      - Have you ever had spinal surgery? Is spinal surgery one of the actions your doctor has recommended?
    Providing us with this information, puts a person behind the member name. We get to know you this way.

    Dealing with spinal pain, being acute or chronic is not easy to deal with. Dealing with this myself for over 30+ years, one thing I can say for sure, you dont want the pain to rule your life. Sure, you may be down a bit , cant do some of the things you want to, but you always need to strive for more. Never give up in searching for the correct action plan that will help you manage your pain.

    The sky may look very gray and gloomy for you right now. You cant eliminate the pain yourself, first you need to understand what is the root problem of your pain. Then you can start working on how to address that.
    Though it may sound difficult, and perhaps impossible for you right now, but those skies need to become clearer with bright sun. Part of making that happen resides in how you handle all of this.

    So many new members here talk about the lack of a support system. Believe me, we all understand this. Spine-Health, besides being an outstanding resource for almost any spinal problem, we can act as a support system. Folks here understand pain, they understand how difficult it can be Here you may receive a lot of hugs/kisses and the easy approach, but you will also find some cold harsh, but true dialogue.

    Looking for the best
    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
  • They just dont know how to wrap their heads around the difference between you and your issues. were they inclusive/ up until a while back?
    pain IS intensely personal, so much so that we begin to isolate and insulate ourselves away from the world to avoid it, unconsciously..or not. its a siege mentality, and to Alamo up now can be counter productive.
    It takes a lot of courage to face the Beast for the first time, it is all unknown and full of evil surprises, and it will be..
    until you find the nature of it.
    "Be Gentle with yourself" as My esteemed friend John would say. there is only so much you can do now, vs the old you. Leaving that which was the unessential you behind will be hard, but is a task to be faced.
    Learn what the nature of your beast is, whats your injury? what happened and why?

    dont give up to the black, dont give in to the despair,dont give the darkness a chance to root about in your spirit
    you have all the tools to fight this, right there iside

    this isnt a one battle win all event
    and to think so is foolish and self defeating
    this is death by a thousand little cuts
    one way

    you can let it cut you down a little more each day in a cascade of emotional overload
    or decide to stop..
    and take control back..
    oh yes, you still,have control, whether to believe it or not.
    what do you want?
    to be a slave
    or to fight to freedom/

    its all up to you.

    There are three fronts your gonna be fighting on
    The spiritual
    The emotional
    The Physical
    all tied together
    all doomed to sink if you dont decide to stop, and fight.

    If your spirit is broken so follows the emotional side, and soon there after, your body
    Yes its your body killing you, but what bothers you?

    You will get through this
    there will be sunlight again
    its never left, its just the clouds are in the way!

    one moment at a time
    one hour at a time
    you will fight the darkness and win
    you were in the light once, you never forget the feel of "Being"

    Be"" once again
    feel once again
    do once again
    Live once again
    but you have to grit your soul and hunker down into the Spiney Fu stance
    chin up
    fists up
    grit teeth
    and fight.
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Thank you for your replies. I couldn't get up this morning, between sadness and pain I just needed to call out and spend the day with the heating pad.

    As far as my injury, I won't go too much into what happened as it was a work injury that is currently in litigation. Suffice to say I had a very active and physically unpredictable job. I had two specific I juries, and then a million smaller things that I'm sure contributed like lifting heavy things, slipping, etc. this was a little over 2 years ago. I was in really good physical shape at the time of injury, as time has passed that is no longer the case and I'm sure that's not helping my pain levels.

    My MRI shows a disk bulge at l5-s1 and fluid around my facet joints l4-s1 and my EMG shows chronic s1 nerve damage (the EMG just was done a few months ago). Basically I'm in way more pain that my studies indicate I should be.

    I have had several rounds of PT. 3 SI joint injections, at least three s1 epidurals, 4 l4-s1 medial branch blocks, and SI joint RFA. Next week I'm having more medial branch blocks as a prep before possibly having RFA on my facet joints. I haven't decided if I want that done yet. It was my last ditch effort at avoiding a discogram and a possible fusion.

    The injections usually take the edge off somewhat, but never enough to get my life back. Although the last ESI I had has kept my leg pain away for over 2 months which is amazing!

    My first doc said that my disk was definitely not the problem. Did all these SI joint procedures with minimal success. He was ready to send me to either get my SI joints fused or to get evaluated for disability. My new doc is a surgeon and he said it's definitely NOT the SI joint, it at least not the SI joint causing all this pain on it's own. His focus had been on the disk and the facet joints. I would have sworn on my life it was my SI joint, but the MRI of my pelvis/SI joint came back 100% normal.

    I currently take tramadol 50mg during the day. I limit it to that small amount bc more gives me headaches. At night I take 10-20mg of Percocet and 350mg of soma. The night time regime is good. The tramadol has got to go, but my doctor says if I don't want the tramadol I can take Percocet. But then I won't be able to drive or work. And I have to be able to drive my self - my job isn't accessible by public transportation.

    Sandi, as for school I can't go part time or online because of the field I'm in. Unfortunately it's a medical field and it's all or nothing. It's heartbreaking to see my peers passing me by while I lay in bed. One girl, who almost failed out, who had to be given chance after chance to prove she could stay in the program just started internship. I was top of my class.... And I'm laying in bed watching reality tv instead. It's very, very hard. Yet my friends and family think I'm the bad guy for being sad and bitter. I have to plaster a smile on while their lives go on. Promotions, graduations, engagements, weddings, babies.....all I get is pain. Life seems unfair doesn't it?
  • and yes, it is hard to see others who are doing what we feel we should be. I am not discounting that, and I also am not discounting that dealing with chronic pain is difficult on good days and seemingly impossible on the bad ones. But, having lived with chronic pain for more than 20 plus years, I also know that we, the patients need to help ourselves and stay moving, no matter how bad the pain is. Giving into the pain is tantamount to giving up.
    There are always other means to manage the pain- not eliminate it, because it wouldn't be chronic pain if we could.....but we can learn to collect tools to manage it. At some point, we have to learn to live with a certain level of pain, and continue on with our lives, and treat it when it rises above those levels.
    Inactivity, only serves to weaken the muscles, strength and endurance of our bodies, so moving is the best tool to fight that.....proper pain management should enhance your ability to get those things done in your life you need to do....not over medicate you to the point that you can't function or do what needs doing.
    The RFA may in fact offer you great relief if it is indeed the facets that are causing your pain. A discectomy may offer you relief if the herniation is the problem. Or if it is a combination of the two, then both procedures may bring you far more relief than where you are now.
    I know it's not easy to hold on to hope, but having hope that you will find the right answers and be able to resume your lifestyle and work dreams can get you to where you need to be to find the answers.
    Hang in there, and keep fighting.
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