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Positivity and Pain

I am new here, I am a 21 year old female with chronic low and upper back pain for over 5 years now (primarily due to scoliosis S curve) I really just would like to talk with people that understand living with chronic pain and maybe encourage someone to change up their attitude. I work full time at an office and I am also a single mother of a 3 year old. It can be very, very hard at times when even your parents don't seem to grasp what you're going through. To be in pain every single day and having to constantly go to doctor appts or take different medications can get overwhelming and it deff is not a fun way to live, BUT I am living and I am grateful for that. Some more info on my back.. I was braced when I was diagnoised with scoliosis (age 13), I did physical therapy and had very minimal pain and my curves were half the degree they are now. After puberty the pain was more noticable and its been a downhill struggle since age 16. I currently take oxycodone 3x a day, muscle relaxers as needed, I wear lidocaine patches daily, I get cortisone shots every 2 months and I wear a shoe lift in my left shoe to balance me out a bit. I do gentle stretches, use a heating pad at work and do yoga every night before bed and occasional TENS therapy and I have tried alot of natural remedies for pain.. Magnesium, fish oil, tumeric, willow bark...

Its a never ending battle of managing pain and it can get get VERY depressing at times if I allow it. But I try my hardest to keep a positive outlook. What works best for me on top of all the things listed above is keeping positive. A pep talk, inspirational quotes, good music, relaxing bubble baths, good smelling candles , snuggles with my daughter are some things that lift my spirit. We can't always control how we feel physically but we can control how we are feeling mentally and spirtually. Positive thoughts can go a long way and are super important for people that have daily struggles like all of us do. I know it can be tough to be joyful and grateful when the pain is really bad and we are really tired. I've had my fair share of moments where I felt like a lousy mother, a crappy employee, a flaky friend but we must make the best of it, thats really all we can do! Pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice. I encourage everyone to TRY to focus on the good and focus less on how crappy we feel. I promise it does help! Sending you all my positive energy and strength :)


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    I was asked to write about Chronic pain beyond physical impacts

    Chronic Pain beyond Physical Impact

    I do know that having a positive attitude and upbeat approach has been my biggest ally in fighting chronic pain.

    I have found that the external references (music, speeches, quotes) help but its short lived. Using some of the other relaxation techniques, such as
    relaxation music, aroma therapy, etc helps more and puts me in the right frame of mind.

    When it comes with totally dealing with chronic pain, you need to have all the ammunition to beat it. Narcotics is an approach, but it never was intended to be the cure all for managing chronic pain. Several years ago, I put together this thread The Blend That approach has worked for so many people. But keep in mind, its not a checklist for success, but a concept of what needs to be done.

    At times, you need to understand your chronic pain, not just what the doctors are telling you, but what it means to you... The BEAST

    Another view, but it can be a bit depressing but it explains what your daily routine seems like A day in a life of a chronic pain patient

    I love to write on this subject, because I've always believed that the emotional tolls of chronic pain are more difficult to deal with than your physical pain.

    Look upwards and forward.
    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
  • MarissaMMarissa Posts: 6
    edited 12/16/2015 - 5:33 AM
    At this point I have tried everything so I did some research on crystals that supposadly have "powers" or more so let off certain energys, I bought a "Chronic pain" bracelet as a Christmas present to myself, each gemstone is known for something whether it be its "healing" properties, reduces inflammation, body alignment, positive energy, good luck, inner strength.. etc. I am open to the idea and I know the mind can control how we percieve pain and it can't do any harm! They are really beautiful pieces to wear also! Just something I figured I would mention since I think its pretty neat and puts the mind in the right place! :)
  • Is endless
    The glass may be leaking
    But one,way or another it will be continually refilled!
    Its not easy, but its very worthwhile to smile in the face of pain
    Its a sign of strength
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    There are days when all I can ruminate about are the pains, the failures, the mistakes, the what ifs......... these are days that can kill a person. I suffered from depression and OCD for about 4 decades and the primary was getting these addressed. I thought if my pain went away the other would follow but no, life's not like that!

    I moved everything, sold my house and decided I was going to do whatever it took. And it took more than I thought I had! I moved to Philadelphia and changed my thinking. (And that took a few years! I am not my failing body! I have a brain, a spiritual self, a tenacity to embrace life and laughter!) I developed friendships- some really bad ones! Hey we learn from our mistakes! I tried different things. I ate new foods (Discovered I had Celiac Disease.)

    For the last month I have been in misery due to my body's revenge from over work. Autoimmune diseases are nasty! Coughing and wheezing caused more back pain. Lack of sleep made me groggy and icky. So I plugged in my aromatherapy aquafier- suggested with the blend. I watched comedies that left me choking- laughter is not good with asthma! Steroids to treat my asthma caused muscle aches.

    For each challenge I took it as that. I confronted the bad with the positive. A flower, a book, a new video, a piece of chocolate (or a pound!). Pain, suffering is possible only in a bubble. Force your pain to be crowded by those things you enjoy. Sure, it's difficult and frustrating at first but keep working at it. Allow yourself to dream- a puppy, a dandelion in the wind, a rainbow. Allow yourself to float on a cloud of contentment- for half a second, and then eventually longer.


    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)
  • eem1919eeem1919 Posts: 2
    edited 12/28/2015 - 10:35 PM

    I have been reading this site for a while but finally made an account to reply to this post. I have never found anyone who seems to have such a similar predicament as what I have. I, too, was diagnosed with a scoliosis "S" curve. I was eleven at the time and was preparing for a brace, but it progressed so quickly in half a year and so had surgery instead. After about four years of no pain, I had sudden, intense achey and inexplicable pain in my right shoulder/upper back. The surgeon suggested taking out the hardware he had put in, which he did, with no improvement, when I was eighteen. I'm twenty-two now and am finally admitting to myself that what I have is not temporary but a chronic condition that has advanced far beyond my upper back and down my to low backs and, recently, through my arm. That knowledge is somewhat hard to swallow. I was using tramadol once a day until about two weeks ago when I decided I didn't want to be living on pain killers, and am now attempting to manage the pain using over-the-counter products, muscle relaxants, and many of the more natural things you listed (fish oil, heating pads/ice, stretching). It's been...an unpleasant experience so far, and completely draining. The doctors have no explanation for me and it's exhausting to get my hopes up every time I find something new only for it to fail. I'm about ready to quit trying anything and just resign myself to this pain.

    Thank you for your post. Just finding someone who understands the pain - scoliosis related, in particular - has taken a weight off my mind. Net that I'm glad that your scoliosis has been so hard for you too - I'm very sorry to hear that, but I feel a bit less alone. Your positivity has made me smile.

    For helpful information please click on link
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Liz -Spine-health Moderator
    Erin Miller
  • William GarzaWilliam Garza TexasPosts: 2,353
    edited 12/29/2015 - 1:05 AM
    "Ready to quit trying"
    But your going to find you cant.
    Quit trying.

    That is, eaxh time you reach your limit..youve gone a bit further, a bit deeper
    And your a little stronger.

    Dealing with chronic lifetime pain is a process..
    You get stronger..in time and with practice.
    When your proactive with keeping up your spirit, working on strength everyday
    You will grow stronger.

    Keep fighting
    Get back up every time
    Is a champion
    Is a warrior
    Is what it takes..everyday
    And you Can do it.
    When you cant?
    We'll help where we can
    Spineys are good like that.

    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    edited 12/29/2015 - 1:20 AM
    poetic words that William uses.

    For positive outlook and never say die attitude, I always remember The Little Engine That Could

    A small sample of the early version

    A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches. One morning it was waiting for the next call when a long train of freight-cars asked a large engine in the roundhouse to take it over the hill. "I can't; that is too much a pull for me", said the great engine built for hard work. Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear excuses and be refused. In desperation, the train asked the little switch engine to draw it up the grade and down on the other side. "I think I can", puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."
    As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, "I—think—I—can, I—think—I—can." It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, "I thought I could, I thought I could."

    I know the overall concept and meaning is still so very true. It applies to everything we do in life , including managing our medical conditions.
    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
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    My main insult to my back was an injury occurring when I was 8 years old. (Figure around 1974!) The medical establishment didn't have any of the diagnostics we have now and my parents were told to give me "warm baths".

    I clearly remember doctors telling my parents that I had scoliosis "but that doesn't cause pain". Forty-one years later, I wonder how much the scoliosis contributed to my horrible pain?

    When I was away in college (away from parents) I had every opportunity to go through university medical services to have my back pain addressed. The pain was so severe I could not walk to campus more than once a day (I lived on campus but the dorms were away from the classrooms.) so I used to have to find a place to keep my books hidden on campus. I did all kinds of things to avoid the pain.

    What I really want to say to those of you in your late teens, and early 20's, you are NOT supposed to deal with debilitating pain! Please find someone to help you! I wish an adult had been able to tell me this! I wish I knew that I was not alone. Keep asking for help until you get when you need! Do it to make up for what I learned so you don't have to!


    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)
  • One of the barriers to staying positive is the reaction of others. People have poor understanding of spinal disabilities. As such, unless you seem to be on the brink of death and complaining, they assume nothing is really wrong with you. So it's hard to appear happy or to do things to make myself feel happy due to my fear of being judged by others and how such judgment will affect personal and business relationships.
  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    I KNOW that feeling. For 43 years I lived my life by the way I thought I was valued by others. Every criticism cut me to the bone. If some appeared angry or upset I was sure it was the result of something I had said or done. In 2005 I moved to the Great Northern Woods in Maine so I could avoid people. And I continued to be miserable because I like people and I wanted to be around other people.

    In 2009 I moved to Philadelphia for a bunch of reasons but one was to work with a therapist who was sure he could help me. I was pretty sure I was fine. I knew I had severe anxiety issues but I had no idea how he could change the way other people treated me. To this day I'm not sure how he did it. I'm the same person but I'm excessively happy and if someone doesn't like me- their loss. I have lots of friends and things I love doing.
    One thing I learned was that people are just too concerned with themselves to be thinking about others. I looked at my own thoughts and asked myself how much time I spent judging others- zero. I'm not all that different than others.

    I wish I had the magical words because surely they were magical for me. I definitely stay far away from people who make me feel badly about myself. I don't like being around people who gossip- if they'll talk to you they'll talk about you. I force myself to say "hi" to at least one stranger a day. I compliment others. And life is turning around so much. Yes, I'm still in pain but with so much less anxiety and no more depression.

    I wish you well,

    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)
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