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chronic pain and returning to work

MingMMing Posts: 1,127
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Chronic Pain
Have any of you been forced to go back to work even though you are still suffering with your chronic pain because you have no other choice financially?

I am curious to hear your stories because I lost my job after working there for 11 years due to being on disability for so long. I now have been offered a great position with a wonderful insurance company. I finally accepted the offer today but I am so afraid I won't be able to do it. I am going to give them a start date of mid Jan but I still haven't resolved my pain issues from 5 mos post op l5 s1 fusion. I'm having si injection on thurs hoping this is going to be the answer. I am so scared that I am going to mess up the greatest opportunity that I have been given because of my pain. I can't imagine working everyday right now as it is a chore just to get to the grocery store when we run out of bread and milk. Not only to I live in constant pain but I am exhausted all the time due to the pain.

I will be selling insurance so I will be on my feet traveling to homes frequently which means I must dress up and I dread thinking about putting dress shoes on.

Anyway, I just wanted to hear some of your stories as well as vent some of my fears and frustrations to those who understand.

Thanks for listening.

With love,


  • :) hi! :H well, i could never work a full time job and admire you for trying. =D> perhaps you need to be very realistic. one issue to think about is you don't want to do any more damage to your back. could this job do that? you seem to be aware of the other issues. :? i can tell how badly you want this and maybe if you don't try, if you can, you will have a big regret later. regrets can never be taken back. neither are those great opportunities that come along only once in awhile. the kind you have to grab like a brass ring. so think long and hard. look at all the angles. and if you know, and you do know, you can't do it, that is another issue altogether. and honesty may be the key there! best of luck! Jenny :)
  • I wish I could work, but it's out of the question for me. That's one of my many guilts. My fusion hasn't worked out for me and the pain is intense, nonstop. I admire you for having the charisma to tackle this. The only way I bear my pain is to take medications, lie down, and use ice packs and heat to get by. It has been so long since I've been able to sit comfortably.My life has changed drastically and hope for better days.
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  • I do have the luxury to do a lot of work from home and do all my continuing education and additional education, which they pay for online so I will be home. I do realize to be successful I need to work at least 40 hours at this per week and make several appts per week. I really hope that I can do it. I have one month to get back on my feet. I don't want to regret not trying but like you said, I hope I'm not going to do more damage to my back. I don't have to worry about heavy lifting so that's a plus and I can do my appt setting and calls while I am reclined on the couch being iced or heated or both.
  • I have the feeling you'll manage very well. Just be careful and take things one step at a time :)
  • thank you for your kinds words of encouragement.
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  • when you start this job and maybe all will go well. I agree with you that if it is that great of an opportunity you must at least try. What is the worst that can happen? If you can't do the job you will be back to where you are right now. But, since you are only 5 months post op you may be alot better in a month and continue to get better from there! Keep a positive attitude and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish!
    BTW- I have no problem dressing up and wearing comfortable flat shoes! With lots of support and shock absorbtion. I think that it would be very important not to wear any heels or hard soled shoes at this point. I have seen lots and lots of people even wear tennis shoes with dresses. I have done this on occasion myself. Good luck to you Michele
  • Michelle I know that you've been looking forward to returning to work and it just may be exactly the thing that that you need. Getting out of the house may be a great experience for you and it's great that you can do some of your work from home!

    I agree with painintheback, the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work out.....yet. You may just find that little niche' in the insurance world that allows you to do MOST of your job from home, who knows? Sometimes opprotunity comes from the unexpected.

    I am soooo lucky that I don't have back problems. I couldn't give up my heels! They don't affect my neck at all but some days I have leg problems and have to wear "sensible" shoes....yuck LOL!

    Good luck, I can't wait to hear all about your first week on the job!

  • I do understand - I have severe chronic pain but I also have to work, no way around it. More days than not I do not feel I should be working, well not working is not an option. I try to be upfront with the people I work with that when I am having an especially bad day for them not to take it personally. Fortunately I do not have to wear dress shoes - I have worn a 2" heel once for a dinner since my fusion and it was dreadful. Try looking for some stylish Aerosole flats or very low heels- they seem to be the most comfortable. This time of year you can probably get by fashion-wise with a low-heeled or flat rubbersole boot.
  • You know it at once. It may be the fiery sensation of a burn moments after your finger touches the stove. Or it's a dull ache above your brow after a day of stress and tension. Or you may recognize it as a sharp pierce in your back after you lift something heavy.

    It is pain. In its most benign form, it warns us that something isn't quite right, that we should take medicine or see a doctor. At its worst, however, pain robs us of our productivity, our well-being, and, for many of us suffering from extended illness, our very lives. Pain is a complex perception that differs enormously among individual patients, even those who appear to have identical injuries or illnesses. :))(

    Ancient civilizations recorded on stone tablets accounts of pain and the treatments used: pressure, heat, water, and sun. Early humans related pain to evil, magic, and demons. Relief of pain was the responsibility of sorcerers, shamans, priests, and priestesses, who used herbs, rites, and ceremonies as their treatments.

    The Greeks and Romans were the first to advance a theory of sensation, the idea that the brain and nervous system have a role in producing the perception of pain. But it was not until the Middle Ages and well into the Renaissance-the 1400s and 1500s-that evidence began to accumulate in support of these theories. (|:
  • if you have read any of my comments the past few months, i was cooerced to going back to work when i was still on disability. had my 4th back surgery in april, went out on catastrophic leave, teachers donate i day of sick leaave to a bank and draw on this. i went out in april. i got a note from head of specia ed and my principal saying it would behove me to take a class in sra reading since i was the only one qualified to do this. well they can't force teachers to work in summer, but i said yes due to fact that i thought i would not be working in my school or even get laid off. i wrote back saying i was still on disability and it takes at least a year to recover from fusions. nothing happened. i went back to work and back got worse. i was forced to do things my dr did not want me to do. i had noted from dr stating what i could and not do. when i got back at beginning of year, you would think that i was the incarnate of satan at school. my principal even mad a comment that i went out last year and this for surgery at same time. she was inferring that i went out so i would not have to finish school year. yes it does and will and will always happen where our jobs make it tough for us

    good luck and pain free holiday to all

    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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