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Hi Everyone

My name is Sue & I've been suffering with back & leg pain for over 5 years. At first the pain was controlled by facet joint injections which would give me a couple of months relief alongside medication. I've now been told by the pain clinic that these injections would no longer be beneficial & I'm waiting for the results of an MRI to find out if anything can be done. The reason I've come on to this forum is basically in the hope that talking to like minded people will help me deal with the situation better. I'm now in constant pain in my back, legs, left arm & neck. I have to use a stick to walk & find that I'm limited I the things I can do. I'm lucky in the fact that my work has been incredibly helpful & understanding of my condition & does all they can to support me & help me stay at work. The hardest thing to come to terms with is that I'm now seen as disabled, a label I never thought I'd have. It's really hard for me to accept & I feel almost embarrassed about it. Does anyone else feel like this?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Jonny ZeroJonny Zero Posts: 69
    edited 09/25/2014 - 7:35 AM
    I totally feel your pain and embarrassment. I was involved in a serious car wreck that broke 3 vertebrae in my neck and upper back (one was a burst fracture that could have easily damaged my spinal cord but didn't). I had a 4 level instrumented fusion done and have weakness in my left arm due to nerve damage. Due to the trauma involved as a direct result of my accident, I will never be the person I used to be.

    My embarrassment kicks in when I realize just how athletic I used to be reminiscing about it all and looking at pre-accident pics of myself..... I look at myself in the mirror and in pictures and my body looks and feels "wilted" to me. It's like I can't get my head on straight.... It looks like my head has been cut and pasted on in every pic I see myself in, and I can't seem to straighten my torso out properly without pain. I wonder if everyone else can see it too.... Not to mention, it looks like I got hit in the back with an axe! HELLO!

    That being said, in my situation, I just have to be thankful that I am still alive and am able to spend time with my young kids....I'm sure in time, things will gradually get better.... We all need to remember that looks are only skin deep and as we age, we need to ensure that we have other characteristics within that are considered "beautiful" as well.... Our looks wont be around forever.

    In your situation, I think you need to focus less on your current state (it can and probably will get better for you), get a proper diagnosis and fix the situation as best you can because it's clear that something is wrong. You will have many treatment options to explore once you figure out what's going on! Please keep us posted and try to remain positive as best as you can! When the going gets tough, deflect! Do something you enjoy, even if you don't want to.

    I encourage you to try to remain strong, focus less on the now and to try not to forget that you aren't ashamed, to be the person that you are today! Sending well wishes and healing vibes your way ~

    4 Level (C5-T2) Posterior Instrumented Fusion w/ Decompression (Car Accident in January 2014)
    And I can't forget that I'm not ashamed, to be the person that I am today.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    It would be very helpful if you provided as much information about your condition. This way, other members will be able to better respond. Its difficult for anyone to comment when we dont have all the information.

    If you can, please provide:

    • - The exact condition you have (as you have been told or experience)
      - List of medications
      - Results of any diagnostic tests (MRI, CTScans, X-Rays, etc)
      - List of treatments
      - Doctor's recommendation
      - Any action plan set by your doctor
    I think the more appropriate word right now for you to use is impacted by and not disabled. So many members here have been through years of chronic pain, surgeries, treatments, etc and still move forward.

    Keeping a positive attitude and outlook is a major ingredient in dealing with any type of pain.
    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
  • It's good to meet you. Five years is a long time to be in pain isn't it? I'm sorry you are hurting Sue. It does get depressing hurting all the time and feeling helpless about your situation. But you aren't, helpless are you? Nope, you are taking action and that has to feel good. You've had your MRI and will follow up on that. It's a good first step. More will follow on your road to wellness.

    Let's hope the doctor can give you a good treatment plan and something to help with all the pain you are dealing with. I hate taking pills myself but I have learned that if I want to function better it's a necessary thing. And like you I use a walking stick to help me walk easier.

    Has anyone told you you are disabled or they think of you that way? Or is it some nasty little voice in your mind saying those things? I ask because my mind has this annoying voice that says lots of less than helpful things to me, and worse they aren't true! I am not a burden and I am not disabled. I am in pain and working on getting better. No one actually thinks less of me at all. They don't pity me either. They do sympathize and want the best for me. I am thinking your bosses and co-workers feel the same way and only want the very best for you. And they likely feel you are an asset hurt or not. And that is why they are making accommodations for you so they can have you there working along side them.

    Give it some time. The doctors are only just getting started and so are you. I know it's been five years of pain, but this is a new road for you looking for new ideas and help. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. (((gentle hugs)))

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