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Getting bold Here! Pain and the Physical Relationship

Mods, please redirect this if it has a place to be or help me out with private messages. I'll be adult and discrete- promise!

The last time I was in an "adult relationship", 9 years ago all parts of that relationship could not be possible because I was in excruciating pain. The guy I was seeing was nice enough but clearly was not going to hang around for a relationship based on picnics and pony rides!

I'm sure most of us know that physical exertion creates spasms, increased pain, fatigue, and most importantly, a desire to get away from what is causing pain! My initial injury occurred when I was 8 years old. When I was in my early 20's I was in athletic condition from riding and training horses but again, that takes a toll on our bodies as well. But I had some wonderful relationships!

But in December 2006 I was pretty sure I was just going to die. I didn't want my partner to know my agony and it's become obvious to me that by avoiding talking then, the pain has taken on a life of its own. There are gentlemen I like now, we dine, flirt, have fun.... and I bolt. Most know I am a chronic pain sufferer but I've never been able to tell another human being that my romantic life is also affected by my pain. Aside from spinal injuries I also have centralized pain. A caress to my arm can feel like it has been set afire.

Needless to say I feel, more and more like I am going to be very alone for the rest of my life. I remember one former friend referring to me as being a prude! These people who equate physical love with pain and anguish- sorry, not for me!

I never had kids. I like kids- some more than others. I like physical closeness but I cannot help but stiffen in anticipation of pain. Has anyone over come this? Any tips, support, commiseration, sympathy, empathy..... I am on a few dating sites. I often get asked out and then I have to get creative. I don't want to be in pain and I don't want to be alone. I really want to be like everyone else!


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,468
    What a bummer! Your former friend calling you a prude! Ridiculous!
    Curious if that was female friend being totally without understanding!
    Or a possible relationship with male friend being totally selfish!

    I'm glad to hear you are able to go out, flirt and have fun!
    That kind of attraction to another sounds like wonderful "distraction" from the pain issues... :)...to say the least!

    As a woman, those kinds of positive feedback ...etc...are so uplifting and can keep a person smiling and feeling encouraged for couple days!
    My experience anyway! :)

    It seems understandable about your feeling "to bolt."
    Relationships are a lot of work! And add to that some physical limitations, ....sharing your painful conditions, I think for myself to being vulnerable and open for rejection....and no one really looks forward to that possibility.

    I do empathize with you. I am alone, also. Long time divorced, after 20 year marriage.
    ILater, I was engaged couple times..during my late forties, I broke it off.

    Then I was with loving guy in my mid 50's, but I broke that off, also.
    For me, I didn't have the strength needed to even show I cared for this person whom I loved.

    The daily face to face interactions... sharing meals, family blending, friends visiting or our hosting, going to families weddings, birthday get togethers...etc....
    I felt they were obligations or fun things to share and I hated when he would need to go alone due to my unpredictable issues.
    And I also sad for I knew I missing a good time with him.

    When the stars... like all aligned ....and I was able to attend, we had much fun!
    But I did grow weary and ready to leave before he was, and of course my body paid for it next couple days.

    But I think there is always hope!
    My friend, whose issue escapes me, has pain when touched, hugged...she so extremely sensitive.
    We can see her pain and see her fear of even possibly beimg bumped into.

    But with these conditions, she married most friendly and attentive husband..without his being controlling.
    Wonderful couple!

    I am mostly housebound, and often bed ridden, so I no longer date. But it's nice to have the memories of loving and being loved.

    Personally my experience was, when I was resigned to being okay alone....without my looking, men popped into my life!
    Wonderful men who wanted to be there for me! I felt like a teenager. :)

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,858
    dealt with chronic pain for more than 5 or 10 years can hear exactly what you are both saying.

    Several months ago, I was asked to write a blog about "more than physical pain" The word masters at Spine-Health took my writing and published it here. Chronic Pain beyond the physical impact

    Sheila and Sue, I believe that your posting what you did just proves how strong of an individual you both are. Thank you for sharing this with others.
    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: 5,468
    ....for your blog.
    A moving read
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Ron, thank you for sharing. I feel like this part of chronic pain or recovering from spinal survey is often neglected by doctors, making patients and caregivers feel completely alone. Knowing that emotional issues are normal in these situations is very helpful in itself.
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 496
    edited 12/18/2015 - 8:44 PM
    I surely wouldn't throw in the towel though....I would pray for the best, no matter what that entailed. In the relationship realm, I have faith that people are brought together for a reason, but sometimes those reasons can be misunderstood, abused, or rejected and avoided for many reasons. So, like you indicated earlier, communication is key.

    I was married for 19 years, had two children, and since my divorce over a decade ago, I believe I'm doing well without having to be in a relationship, or even dating. That doesn't mean I haven't met a person during that time I would have considered there ever being more, there has been, just didn't work out that way, for one reason or another. But I also haven't given up and resigned myself to forever being single the rest of my life, not that that would be a bad thing, cause that's my point, it wouldn't be. There are pros and cons for both.

    It seems to me as people get older, and wiser, they learn how to appreciate people, their relationships more, though there are those that will forever seem immature and selfish in their expectations of others, forever intent on using and abusing others. Thank goodness though, not all people are like that.

    Basically, as people age anyways, there is so much more to a loving relationship than physical sexual pleasures...there are so many other ways people can give and receive love from one another....it all takes the right combination, respect, communication, and commitment.

    I have no problem waiting for that significant other person to be weaved into my life, and if that doesn't happen, I will still appreciate all the other people in my life along the way, enjoying what time I have with them.

    And for those that have given up dating me because I haven't wanted to jump into the physical part as soon as they, so be it, I know I'm better off without them anyhow. There are so many other things in life to keep me busy; with or without I know I'm blessed.
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