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Where do you go when you have no happy place?



  • Js,
    A happy place is what you make it and that in itself is difficult when all our hopes and dreams are thwarted in the onset of pain. You have to learn to love and be kind to yourself, enduring constant pain and an unknown future is a new entity for us all and those most able to cope are those who develop some form of additional plan.

    Vocalising our angst is therapeutic and not “making it a career” as Sternbach called it more relevant over time. Many here are now stronger through adversity than they ever imagined, they see things with new eyes and appreciate all those little things we all once missed.

    Pain teaches us about ourselves, as never before and even seasoned patients with experience learn something about themselves everyday. We all had some happy events prior to pain and the key is to transpose and develop new accomplishments over our daily challenges. We are living our own “wonderful life” some good things are with us and we need to search more effectively with help support and encouragement.

    Perhaps others should say where that happy place is for them.

    Take care. John
  • Great post as always John...

    Honestly it was amazing timing also. I am kind of tired thinking about my pain and my business which is also giving me pain.

    I need something positive to do that does not involve anything too physical. I really want to make a short movie but not sure if I can do that now. I have to think about it.

    But I wonder am I just running away from the pain in my life, in the hopes I could outrun it?

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  • I don't think that setting new goals and working towards them is in anyway running away from pain.

    Part of the amazing powers of the human body is to allow the brain to over-ride the messages the body is trying to send.

    Very similar to how my daughter can be unable to hear me ask her to help around the house yet hear the faintest hint of her cell phone ringing!

    I think your making a movie is an excellant idea and although I can't stand in one place for long~I'd stand in line to buy a ticket to it! :)

  • Maybe you said it best "...it's all about learning to dance in the rain."

    Thank you for the kind words. I always have to produce such whacky movies maybe I can finally do a romantic comedy.

    I will personally hand deliver the ticket myself..

  • Why not run away from the pain? Some monsters do not need to be faced.
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  • My lower back pain began to manifest in 1991.
    I'd had arthritis in my left knee, ankle and wrist, and hand for many years.
    It was assumed, therefore, that the pain in my back was an extension of arthritis and for two years, I was taking anti-inflammatory drugs (Brufen, mainly).
    I developed gastro-intestinal problems and had to stop taking the Brufen.
    In 1997, when the back pain became debilitating, I was referred to the local hospital for X-rays.

    They showed that I had Spondylolisthesis - mild at that juncture. I was prescribed paracetamol.

    Over the next few years, the pain ranged from minor to severe: I'd have periods of major pain, that could last from a few hours to a few weeks, but they didn't seriously impact on my life.

    Beginning of 2008, the pain was crippling me, causing mbility problems in my left leg and foot and not responding to the paracetamol.

    My GP decided to refer me to a consultant spinal surgeon.

    She declared that the vertebral displacement had reached, 'critical,' point and I should have surgery.
    A simple microdiscectomy, she said, should solve my problem - but she referred me for an MRI, just to be sure.

    That was a truly HORRIBLE experience that left me in agony for days.
    The results, sent to my GP, showed that the microdiscectomy wouldn't have the desired effect- that what I, 'needed,' was fusion surgery.

    I was given three months in which to think about it -during which period, I researched the procedure and spoke to my GP. He recommended NOT having the operation.

    Co-incidentally, a friend's brother underwent fusion shortly afterward - and, all this time later, is STILL in agony, unable to walk without crutches and STILL having to take morphine derivitives.

    I decided NOT to have the surgery.

    In this forum, I've been villified for declining surgery and called ignorant for not knowing which number vertebra is causing the problem.

    Well, in the UK, we have no automatic right to view our MRI films. Indeed, they aren't sent to our GPs. All they receive is a written report from the consultant.

    To be honest, I can't see what good would it DO me to know which number vetebra is out of place......

    I live with constant, chronic pain, have very limited mobility and sleep very little.

    I'm addicted to the Co-codamol - despite them not bringing much relief.

    There are days when I cry because of the pain and my inability to function.

    Does that make me, 'stupid,' for having declined fusion surgery.....?

    I think not, but certain people within this forum have dismissed me as such.

    I don't ask for miracles, I don't ask to patted on the back.

    I made my decision and I must live with it.

    All I ask of this forum is that SOMEONE will try to understand why I declined surgery and won't judge me lacking in intelligence for that decision.

  • I can not see why anyone would call you stupid for not deciding to have a fusion. There are many here as your friend's brother where a fusion actually made the situation worse. The people judging you are stupid. I nor anyone else here really knows the amount of pain you are in.

    You have been down a very long and dark road and I am sorry you have still found no relief. In the end the decision is yours to have the fusion. I do believe though you have to continue to try ways to make your life have value, importance and some moments of joy however brief they are.

    I recently had a discogram as the op post indicates cause I want answers. I believe if you are destined to not get the relief you need than you should get answers. The answers in themselves will provide relief. The procedure was a torture but they have now given me answers and some options. As many here you will now when it is time to reconsider your options. I commend you though on not just jumping into any procedure. Early on in my process I was offered a micro-d and now I look back and glad I did not do it as it definitely would not have worked given what I know right now.

    You need to find something other than pain to think about when you get up in the morning. Since the discogram I still waking up in the middle of the night with a couple muscle spasms. I just turn over, go to the fridge, get my ice pack and go back to sleep. I will not let the bad experience ruin my day. I refuse...to me now it is kind of routine.

    I now also feel bad about my opening line here as I do produce horror movies and unfortunately can get a bit dark. Someone I care about wrote me an email and at the end she said that part really bothered her. I am sorry to all who found it a bit too dark.


    I believe straker may be a better candidate to respond to this post as he is from the UK and seems to be closer to your situation.
  • LOL, horror movies. My son saw the trailer for Nightmare on Elm Street and had nightmares for a week. "How do you wake up from a dream with Freddy Kruger in it?" he asks? "You don't worry about it, because he's just in a movie meant to scare little boys" I answer.

    But a couple of nights ago when he had a nightmare about impaled babies, I told him that I think babies represent something innocent he wants to protect, and I think the symbolism is that he wants to protect me and is worried about my health. He had no trouble agreeing with that. I'll get his permission to use impaled babies in a movie, if you like ;) He'll airbrush up a concept sketch even.
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    In chat we were asking you where your spine issues were, this is a normal question so at least one of us can identify with what you are experiencing, we can then support you. One of the things we always say is surgery as last resort, you explained fusion was out and we all respected that. I personally don't know of any other procedure used for Spondylolisthesis, that doesn't mean we expect you go down that route when it was offered.
    I myself have declined knee surgery, also an ESI, choices are with the individual.


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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