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Am I coping? Should I just 'deal' with it?

I'm a 22 year old female, who over the course of 7 years has dealt with a number of orthopedic injuires. ACL tear, torn cartilage to knees and hips, sciatica, shoulder dislocations. The list goes on. I'm hypermobile, scoring 8/9 on the Beighton score.
Thankfully, a lot of my injuries have been fixed with surgery and physiotherapy. I'm currently waiting for an operation to sort my shoulder out as well as a minor operation on my wrist to remove a ganglion cyst.
My biggest problem at the moment is my sciatica. It is now constant every day and I'm hardly getting any relief. I'm taking 60mg of codeine when required but this is now up to four times a day! Although it takes the edge off, it doesn't get rid of the pain. My job involves standing on my feet for up to 10 hours a day, which as you can imagine only causes my sciatica to worsen. The pain is so distracting from my job as my whole left leg, from back to toe burns!
Last year I had two sets of steroid injections which worked amazingly, unfortunately due to my age my PM doctor won't do them anymore :(
I'm so fed up, I've had enough.
I'm thinking about pain all day, every day. It interferes with nearly aspect of daily life. Sometimes I don't feel like people even believe how much pain I'm in. I don't feel like anyone can see it from my point of view.
I'm also taking propranolol 40mg, twice a day for anxiety. My pain makes my anxiety worse because I don't know when the pain is going to hit, it's like I'm scared of it!
Recently, I've felt so low all I want to do is stay at home. I feel like giving up my job and just 'dealing' with it because nothing seems to work. I'm fed up of pills, I'm fed up of pain, I'm fed up of hospital appointments!
My sleeping is terrible, last night I had 2 hours sleep due to my pain. After another 60mg of codeine, trying several sleeping positions and hundreds of tears I finally got to sleep. Just what you need for a 10 hour shift!
I just feel like I'm not coping anymore and it's finally got the better of me. I'm physically and mentally drained. I don't know what to do.
I feel as if I'm going to be wasting my GP's time if I go and see him or he's not going to believe me and then what do I do?
I'm at my wits end and just wish I was free of pain and pills!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    You emotions are really not much different from any other who as started to experience chronic pain.

    It tends to consume so much of your life. You wake, you feel the pain, during the day, you feel the pain, same at night and then when you try to
    sleep so much is interrupted.

    Those of us living in chronic pain are also faced with the fact that people do not understand us. Normally, we do not show any visible signs of a physical problem. When there is a cast, a splint, a bandage, so physical evidence then people see that you are in pain. We dont have that... But perhaps the only really physical sign comes from our eyes. Eyes can not lie.

    But others may not see that in our eyes. I think those that have already experienced what we have can see it so much easier.

    Its a tough road, and we get tired of all the doctor appointments and medications that we are on. They has to be a better way.

    One potential path is described in The Blend

    This was something I wrote several years ago. But the overall concept is still true today. Medication alone is not the real answer.
    Read about the blend. Some form of that is valid for everyone. But its not the exact do this or do that. Its the concept. Our minds are our most powerful source. Train it to look for ways to help you feel better and it can be your biggest ally. View it as your pity party, to feel sorry about your condition, and I can almost guarantee you that slowly you will be heading down that slippery slope that is so difficult to climb out of.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • So once again I cried my eyes out to the GP!
    He's referring me for more physio, still no chance of having the steroid injections done.
    His answer was 'let's see how you are in a few weeks and if you're still the same we'll look at depressive disorders'
    I'm willing to try anything at the moment to give myself just the smallest amount of confidence and happiness back.
    Let's see how I get on!
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    I took myself to psychiatrist with symptoms of depression and very happy I did that!
    To this day, despite the pain and limitations, I am able to feel content and even happy, actually better than ever.
    The "tools" I learned have helped with other situations that may pop up, not only pain and coping, but the relationship difficulties that often accompany a chronic pain sufferer, etc...

    So, I personally would/did choose specialist with treating my depression. They more current on diagnosising, treatments, and follow ups, my opinion. And the whole healing process moves along more quickly.

    The last talk therapist I worked with specialized with chronic pain and depression.
    There was much more feedback and talking from her side and within a year I felt better than ever.
    I still have all the materials for review whenever I may feel it necessary.

    I may have missed it, but are you seeing a pain management doctor?
    My primary tried to work with my pain about two years before referring me to pain management.
    Best thing for me!
    He did other testing on me that was most revealing of my issues and then he able plan treatments and a plan, A, B, ....

    My primary was not comfortable prescribing the meds she thought I needed and the higher dosages and all the follow up of such.
    I appreciate she knew her limitations and cared enough about my painful situation.
    I truly believe in specialists with their expertise including current treatments for my best care!

    I, too, had period of not sleeping and it made me wide eyed, wild eyed, irritable and confused.
    PM doctor did sleep study and even though I didn't think I slept well, he found something and was able to medicate me.

    I feel so grateful whenever any symptom can be lessened, as they seem to feed off each other and just spiral out of my control.

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

  • mrslytlemmrslytle Posts: 2
    edited 12/06/2015 - 1:07 AM
    Hi Charlie,
    I can totally relate. I am 31, and two years ago I survived a head on collision on the hwy, where a car had pulled out in front of me, braked and ended up bumping me into an oncoming semi-truck. I suffered 15 broken bones, and sustained several other injuries. Here I am almost 2 years later, and the everyday pain is so consuming. I have tried this whole time to not let it define me, but as you know, there are just some days, or multiple days in a row, where you feel like all you can do is be defined by your pain. You go through an ebb of not sleeping well with break through pain all night, and it starts to wear on your mind, and it literally makes you, well me anyways, feel like I am going crazy! And the effect on my relationships...so wearing! I know that everyone loves me and supports me, but I feel like I am still a burden, I am still the reason we have to leave the dinner party early, the reason we show up late. They will tell us a thousand times over we aren't a burden, and of course we see their logic, but it is so hard to not feel like we are.
    I don't mean to take away from your pain at all, but I find that sometimes in relating to one another we can find some relief or solace...
    No one, but us, the people in pain know what it is like to be in the other room and scream out in pain, and our loved ones have gotten so used to it...its just second nature...WE are so used to it, it is our second nature. That is enough to consume me on my good days, and on my bad days, like today, it is all I can do to not feel like I am only a product of my pain. I am so done with letting it define me, and I know only us, the people who have to live like this are the only ones that understand what it is like to feel so cornered and closed in by something we can absolutely not control or conquer!!!
    And yes! Pills and remedies only go so far. Have you tried Acupuncture at all? If I didn't have my weekly session I do not know if I would be able to have made it this far, if anything, at least acupuncture will definitely help to resolve sleeping issues. I am sure you know about it, but voltaren gel, it is a strong pretty hard core prescription-only gel, it is only short term, but it cuts through the killer bone pain in my ankle and leg for about 30 to 45 minutes and probably gets me feeling about a 3 pain wise, from my regular 5-6 (with spikes of 7-8s). Being from a career background of Social Science and Mental Health Counseling I am always an advocate for objective therapy, such as group counseling or traditional one on one...as well. Our loved ones tend to come from a place of sympathy most of the time, which sometimes we need an unbiased outlet on which to vent...this forum is a nice opportunity for that. I know that coming online to these communities tends to help me feel better on my harder days.
    And my last piece of wisdom, even though I have only been living with my pain for a couple years compared to probably many of others, but you are allowed to feel crappy, and shitty about it at times! None of this is easy, and if we cannot express our anger with pain when it gets to a point where we feel close to its defeat, how will we ever possess the fuel and motivation necessary to continue battling it? Anger with pain is part of our strength to keep fighting it.
    Hyatt Lytle
  • Charliecharles I can completely understand what you are feeling. Not long ago I spent months on months cooped up in my dark basement, battling bad bouts of depression. My GP doing next to nothing for me. Just like you, I've been dealing with back pain, worsening by the months, for the past 6 years, and I am only 21 myself. Disc herniations, protrusions, spinal cord compression, ddd, and all the bells and whistles that go with it. I had a good 3 months of sleepless nights, where I would get to sleep at 9-10in the MORNING, and then get up at 3-4in the evening, only to feel just as spent, tired, and in pain as I was before finally falling asleep. 
    I worked my backside off for years, on the honour roll, to get into a very good university, for a very good program, only to have to drop out after my first year. My LOVE was bodybuilding and fitness, something would feel off if I missed my work out for the day, today I would not even dare lift even five pounds. It hurts to be unable to do what you love, to be unable to do most basic, simple daily tasks. But the key is to Never Give Up.
    Codeine would not even touch my pain, it was like I did not take anything. FIRSTLY I want to tell you this, you are not wasting ANYONES time going to an appointment, that is what they studied to do, that is what they wanted to do (referring to your GP not taking you serious)? If you seriously feel they do not care, go to someone else, get another opinion, and another and another.
    And SECONDLY, I would really recommend you find someone who you can talk to about how you are feeling. This place IS a great start! But getting your feelings off your chest really helps!
    And finally, if you can take some time off from your job, stop pushing yourself through the pain and try to get some rest. Yes, I remember working, being forced to do things I probably should not have been doing, working 12 hour shifts to the point of feeling dizzy, seeing doubles and some real weird feelings I hope to never feel again, it's really not worth it in the long run.
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