hello, I really am glad to have found this community. I have already read so many helpful and kind posts.
I have been dealing with chronic neck/back/arm pain for about fifteen years. It started with carpal tunnel like symptoms that were painful but manageable. Then I was in an accident, where I was thrown over the hood of a minivan and landed on my right shoulder, and from there things got exponentially worse. I had to change careers because I could no longer physically handle the work I used to do.
I won't bore you with all the tests and doctors but I've had all the x-rays and MRIs and CT scans. I had ACDF surgery in 2013, c4-c5. Unfortunately that did not help me at all. I am currently on a lot of naproxen, gabapentin, and norco.
The new post guidelines ask what is the recommendation or action plan from my doctors. It's very frustrating because I feel they've just shrugged their shoulders and said they can't do anything else. Of all the treatments, medical massage was the most helpful for me. Unfortunately I had to move and leave my awesome massage therapist. While I was seeing her the pain was manageable but now it is unbearable again.
I guess what I am looking for here is just some advice on how to deal with the knowledge that I'm going to be in pain for the rest of my life. I worry there's no way I'll ever be able to have children, do physical activities like ride my bike with my husband, etc. It's also difficult because people often don't believe me when I say things like I can't stand on the bus, I need to sit -- I look "normal" and healthy. Which I am very thankful for, but in some ways it makes things difficult because I have a hard time getting anyone, doctors and otherwise, to believe me.
Is there anyone else here that has had a similar experience? My family tends to be very long-lived and the idea that I might be dealing with ~60 years of ever-worsening pain is terrifying. I'm having a lot of trouble finding hope, and most of my peers don't understand and get frustrated that I can't keep up.
To end on a bright note I will say that I think dealing with this has made me a better and more compassionate person, and I am grateful for that.
thank you if you read this far, it means a lot to me.