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chronic pain and isolation

At the beginning of my chronic pain journey, I refused to except my situation. I turned over every rock, tried every therapy, was put on and taken off all pain related medications. Making every attempt to reclaim my life as I knew it. I think the worst day of my life was when I was told that there was nothing left.. My pain was indescribable, my life was spinning out of control. The only salvation I had was to seclude myself from the world. I became nocturnal, made every attempt to avoid people, decision making, always having to explain myself.
I pushed away most of my friends. My family were sympathetic, but I knew that it was killing them, watching me go to pieces, not being able to help. In my previous life,( before CP) I was very outgoing, always positive, always making people smile. Now I conformed to a piece of matter, that just existed.
One day I was, as usual feeling sorry for myself, secluding myself to my comfort zone. Not giving a shit about anybody or anything. My daughter entered the room, approached me, and asked if I could help her on a school project. After several attempts to get rid of her, I gave in. She definitely inherited my, never take no for an answer genes.
A few weeks later , still secluded, still feeling sorry for myself, my daughter burst into my room, stood in front of me, a smile from ear to ear ,we got an "A" she roared! If not for you I would have failed.
I realized right then there, my life still had purpose. It was like a bolt of lightning hitting me. I stopped thinking of what I lost, and started thinking of what I still had. I finally saw the future with me in it. I started slowly rebuilding my life, this time installing safeguards, so my physical needs were not over taxed, my sleeping/resting periods were respected. I reached out to others, for the first time in a long time.
As humans, we need two essential things in life to live, first; we need to create, and second, we need to assemble with others.
It is so important to take charge of your life, find that internal strength, pick yourself up, and move forward. Find that purpose of yours, it's there, you just have to find it.
If you are a survivor of a chronic illness, and found your way out of this dark period in your life.
Please reach out and share your story. If nothing else, others will see that they are not alone...
please share!
fight on!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    There are thousands of reasons why all of us should do whatever we can do push ahead. We all do have purposes, so major purposes and we have to forget that chronic pain is just an excuse to withdraw and wallow in self pity.

    I am so very happy for you that you find that purpose so now you can go on enjoying life to the fullest. Now, does that mean not having any pain? Of course not. We learn to accept the pain.. We have to... There really aren't many other valid choices.

    I hope others read your thread and understand its meaning
    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
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 06/18/2015 - 1:33 AM
    ..your lightening bolt moment!

    Aren't kids great?!
    Your daughter forced her way into your space and insisted that you enter hers!
    Which then led you back to being with people! "And a child shall lead them!"

    You have encouraged me immensely and I'm sure your story will benefit many others!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • jj, your story has made me want to tell mine too. It's been a long while since I posted on these forums, and my life has also changed dramatically.

    To preface, I had one 3-lvl cervical ACDF in 2008 and 2 1-lvl lumbar TLIFs, each surgery two years apart. The report from my latest MRI shows that I need another surgery but it'll be a biggie and life-changing, so it's pain management until there's no choice. The levels above my last surgery at L3-4 are very bad with bone edema, stenosis, facet hypertrophy (swelling), desiccated discs and a grade 2 retrolisthesis.

    A little over a year ago, I had no choice but to change insurance companies because of a new job. I could no longer see my surgeon who I'd had for all these years and had to start new again. Going in to my new doctor, I was taking 10/325 Norco, 5-6 a day, and 5mg valium whenever I needed it. I had been taking these medications for 4+ years. The new doctor would not prescribe pain medications under any circumstances, so he worked with me to titrate down over a period of four months.

    I was terrified of what level of pain I would be in without the pain meds and muscle relaxant, and coming off of them was terrible, but I did it.

    Consequently, after I was off of them I realized how much more energy I had, which may not be a great thing considering my pain levels go up the more I do, but where I once thought I couldn't vacuum or scrub a bathtub, I can do those things now. Where I realize now my mind was in quite a fog, I'm actually answering questions on Jeopardy now. LOL On Saturdays and Sundays, I could sit in my recliner for hours in the mornings and dreaded getting up to face the day. Now, I'm up and walking my dog by 8 or 8:30. It's really amazing!

    My husband is totally thrilled that he has the woman back that he had before all this began and I'm excited because life is so much more enjoyable.

    So today, after going to the neurosurgeon who said she'd help me with pain if my doctor wouldn't, I've been prescribed 5/325 hydrocodone for use as needed and found a doctor that agrees with my surgeon that it's cruel not to have something to help. One 5mg pill actually makes a difference now. I'm careful not to take the max and purposely have days where I don't take them no matter how I feel because I refuse to go through what I went through last year.

    I'm considering this spring and summer my first "sober" ones in years and feel wonderful, despite the pain. I guess you could say that mentally I can handle the pain better because I'm not in a fog.

    I'm glad you've found your life again and know exactly how you feel. It's good to be a part of the game of life again, isn't it?

    Take care,
  • Jj and Cath,

    I saw myself in your stories! Thank you for sharing these deep parts of your pain journeys with us. I love positivity in the midst of the pain!! :)

    I spent a few years in a fog. I am thankful I have been given a new view of pain management after those years. As with anything else, that experience is 20/20 vision now. I can say that it was the actual medication and amount I was prescribed that began the way down, I am not against opiates for the management of chronic pain, I need them to function physically. At that time, I was taking what was prescribed, not what was needed. Huge distinction yet an easy road to go down. After all, we're the patients simply following our doctors orders.

    When I began to seclude myself, lose interest in things that were once important to me, and just didn't feel good anymore, I knew things had to change. Funny how life works sometimes, it was a revamping of insurance plans by my pain doc, not taking mine anymore, after 7 years with him, that left me hearing my primary doc say 'there's no way I will prescribe this amount of this medication' to make the change begin. The process was not pleasant, but it gave my quality of life back. After choosing to stop that particular medication altogether, I struggled to find who I was again.

    Being dealt the hand of ongoing, daily pain is a challenge and we are some of the strongest people I know. All we really want is to have the pain monster go lie down for awhile...none of us set out to have our lives change negatively from any treatment for our pain.
  • Betty65BBetty65 FloridaPosts: 83
    Even on bad days, when I want to hide and sit on my ice pack, I love how I can still reach out on this site and interact with people who understand. Thank God for technology and for everyone sharing their stories.

    Hugs to all!
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