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"You're young, you do it."

GM12GGM12 Posts: 99
edited 06/04/2015 - 2:02 AM in Chronic Pain
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I'd be rich. I am a 22 year old female with chronic back pain: bulged discs, misalignment, enlarged vertebrae, tumors (neurofibromas) throughout the spine and back muscles. I've had back pain since my teens; it is not due to any accidents. I recently had an MRI and I've been passed around between my PCP and specialists to see what to do about it, good ole insurance makes it so quick and easy (insert sarcasm here). I have a slim/athletic build (i.e. I "look healthy"). It's so frustrating being told to due things I can't physically do without causing even more pain because "you're young and healthy." I also have thalassemia which causes me to be fatigue quite often. Even walking downstairs to help with groceries is mentally exhausting and physically painful. The frustrating thing is the lack of understanding from others and/or people not believing me.

My father for example, he knows the results of my MRI. However, it's "I'm old, you're young, you can handle it better than I can" but when I say "I can't my back hurts," it's "oh please!" or older women at work saying "can you do it? you're younger than me"

Just because I'm young and look healthy, doesn't mean I'm not in pain.

As for treatment, the neurosurgeon said since there's nothing obstructing my spinal cord, surgery isn't necessary; but said to take the muscle relaxer as necessary for spasms (which I get almost daily) and to keep Lortab on hand for the really bad days.

Thanks for listening.
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Comments

  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    Young may heal faster, may not have as much other things going on as older person but pain will never discriminate . Many people on here probably have prints that get along better because they are healthy,.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Many of times, unless people experience for themselves, the can not relate.
    They have no idea, and even doctors may often times judge by how a person "looks"

    You certainly have your doctors on your side with all your issues being seen from testing.
    Having docs understand you is very good, and important.

    But loved ones, often will not understand. Even close friends who will try to understand and support you, and we all could use those kind of friends, but even they can't really imagine what you are going through.

    Chronic pain can be quite isolating. Not only physically, but in emotional, feeling tired of having to explain ourselves over and over. It's a part of us that will not be fully known by another.
    Sorry that lesson you experience at such young age.

    You said you had a job. That's great! You are able to keep in touch with what is going on in other peoples life's and it gets you outside of yourself and your pain, if only for a short pleasant distraction.

    Try to understand the family and friends who care for you that they just don't understand. I know it's difficult.
    But you and your doctors know the truth. And we at this site know!
    You are not alone!
    Keep us posted on how you're doing
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • itsautonomic said:
    Young may heal faster, may not have as much other things going on as older person but pain will never discriminate . Many people on here probably have prints that get along better because they are healthy,.

    Specialists say it's a permanent condition and I'll most likely need to be on pain killers and muscle relaxants for the rest of my life. If anything, it'll get worse over time, which I am not looking forward to. That's one of my main concerns about being young.
  • Savage said:
    Many of times, unless people experience for themselves, the can not relate.
    They have no idea, and even doctors may often times judge by how a person "looks"

    You certainly have your doctors on your side with all your issues being seen from testing.
    Having docs understand you is very good, and important.

    But loved ones, often will not understand. Even close friends who will try to understand and support you, and we all could use those kind of friends, but even they can't really imagine what you are going through.

    Chronic pain can be quite isolating. Not only physically, but in emotional, feeling tired of having to explain ourselves over and over. It's a part of us that will not be fully known by another.
    Sorry that lesson you experience at such young age.

    You said you had a job. That's great! You are able to keep in touch with what is going on in other peoples life's and it gets you outside of yourself and your pain, if only for a short pleasant distraction.

    Try to understand the family and friends who care for you that they just don't understand. I know it's difficult.
    But you and your doctors know the truth. And we at this site know!
    You are not alone!
    Keep us posted on how you're doing
    Thanks, it's great to communicate with people who understand. Right now I'm a student, and work in retail which requires standing the whole shift, prolonged standing makes the pain much worse. Thankfully I'm almost done with school and will be in my professional career which I predict will be much easier on my back.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    edited 06/04/2015 - 9:04 AM
    Doctors are not always right, but it may get worse or it could get a bit better. Make sure you are doing everything in your power to get better ( PT, exercise, etc ) that the doctor has recommended and dont feel guilty being on pain meds if you need them. I was a student in chronic back pain and I can say work , while to me is more stressful a bit, is much easier on spine than school was sitting and studying all day. Educate yourself on your condition and options, being your own advocate helps to regain control of your life somewhat. Good luck
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
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  • itsautonomic said:
    Doctors are not always right, but it may get worse or it could get a bit better. Make sure you are doing everything in your power to get better ( PT, exercise, etc ) that the doctor has recommended and dont feel guilty being on pain meds if you need them. I was a student in chronic back pain and I can say work , while to me is more stressful a bit, is much easier on spine than school was sitting and studying all day. Educate yourself on your condition and options, being your own advocate helps to regain control of your life somewhat. Good luck
    I go to the gym and/or do yoga almost everyday. PT hasn't helped at all on its own, I dislike taking meds, but it's the only thing that has made the pain manageable. But I want to try PT again in conjunction with the meds and see if it makes a difference. I have an appointment with my PCP next week, so I'll see what happens.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    edited 06/04/2015 - 9:24 AM
    Yoga helped me very much, and PT was hit or miss due to some are better than others and alot depends on what doctor wrote on the script for PT. You have to look at it as meds keep pain manageable until you find something better and hope there is something that can help. But its much easier to say that than do, i had a hate obsession with pain killers in school, long story, but I hated when I would have to take to. Silly now looking back, but i was affected somewhat by stigma I felt just to be on them, how I felt asking for something to help with pain and past history in my family of drug abuse.
    I myself would not want PT script for spinal issues from my PCP, ive had it through several doctors and PCP was always the least helpful script in explanation of issues and areas to focus on. Thats just me though. The neurosurgeon would be who I would want.
    What are you going to school for?
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • I am in school for forensic psychology. I've been worried about "what if these people think I'm a drug addict?" When I go the backroom at work to take medicine. But I told myself I can't let the stigma keep me from taking my medicine.

    For my insurance, referrals have to go through my PCP. If I contact the neurosurgeon, do you think he would be able to tell my PCP what do write for PT?
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    Wow cool degree path. The easy answer is if you had diabetes no one would blink if you were taking insulin, but the real world answer is its tough to keep those thoughts out. What could it hurt to speak to neurosurgeon nurse just to see if you should go through PCP for PT therapy ? Just a phone call.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • I think chronic fatigue exacerbates my situation. Like I said earlier, I have an underlying medical condition that causes fatigue. But l was wondering if any of you also experience frequent /chronic fatigue, and how you think it affects you.
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