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    back injury
    shellie_54 posted:
    My injury has changed my life completely. Any pointers on how to start with changing my life after 58 years? Having a problem with that and want to hear from real people who have been through this. Not just doctors or people who don't understand.
    davedsel responded:
    Hello and welcome.

    I am sorry you have had a back injury. I fully understand and empathize.

    My spinal problems are genetic and started when I was in my late teens. My wife had a back injury at work in March 2011 and is now permanently disabled. We live with chronic pain daily and manage it the best we can.

    Keeping a positive attitude is very important. Focus on the good things that are in your life. Focus on what you still are able to do.

    Keep moving as much as possible. Being sedentary will only increase your pain and problems. Activity of any kind really does help physically and emotionally.

    Keep doing your research. Read through the Tip at the top of this WebMD Back Pain community that lists recommended steps for diagnosing and treating back pain. Within that thread are links to other websites that have good information about spinal problems.

    If you are experiencing depression, which is common, please consider seeing a therapist. There are psychiatrists that specialize in treating patients with chronic pain. Don't be afraid or ashamed to get professional help if you need it.

    Feel free to share more of your story and ask any questions you want. We understand.

    I pray you can find the support and answers you need.
    Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


    bj1208 responded:
    Hi and welcome to the support group -

    mine actually started when I was very young being bucked off horses and ending up on my lower back. however, my back problems did not start til 2006 when I was at the grocery store and bent over to get a bag of sugar (LOL) and my disc blew. went thru 2 yrs of every treatment option available before having surgery in 2/08 - Anterior Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 which they removed my disc and put plate, 4 screws and a cage in there. soon after the pains were worse than before the surgery.

    I am now looking at having more surgery, on L4-5 as the disc is moving and scraping against bone.

    You can read my story by clicking on my name or picture - I have not updated it with this new news but it's all there.

    Let us know more about your situation - what started yours, what treatments etc. we will be more than happy to help you.
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~
    shellie_54 replied to davedsel's response:
    I am depressed and I am not embarrassed to see a therapist but I always have handled things on my own. As you can tell I am a control freak. I know I will get through this, but I would rather talk to people that have been through this, like you for one. Therapists know about the schooling part but don't understand how it changes your life.
    Just sending me a response made me cry. A good cry because finally some one gets me and understands.
    I am all for use it or lose it. I do have so many bountries though. I have went from 100 mph down to 20 with being active. But I do keep pushing it. I am always in pain, so I get angry and do things anyways. Then I pay for it.
    I do have to change my out look. I have always been a positive thinker, but it has changed. One of the biggest thing that bothers me, is my husband, my best friend etc, think they know what I am going through and it makes me angry. They don't.
    But just getting back to me made me feel a little better.
    plance2905 replied to shellie_54's response:
    I know how you feel. I am new and still trying to figure out what is wrong but , since March my back and right leg has been in so much pain all the time. I cannt do the things that I want to do and have been able to do all my life it like wam bam all of shuddend super mommy or super wife is down for the count and no one knows why. I feel like I am in the black hole with no answers and no place to start my children are 7 and 3(twins) I cannt keep anymore with them and my husband does not understand. I am a full time student and my grades have dropped I am in so much pain I cannt complete my schooling for my RN degree. I now have to look into going into a other field. I want to leave my husband now because all the dreams/goals/bucket list we have made I feel hopeless and I dont want to drag him down with me. I know how you feel about being depressed and not knowing where to go from here.
    trs1960 replied to shellie_54's response:
    Dave said it beautifully. Practical knowledge may be good, but a good pain therapist can be essential to achieving the goals Dave describes. If you're a do it your seller at least look for books that speak to the whole picture and paint a path to what Dave describes.

    Right now I'm reading Michael J Lewandowski's The Chronic Pain Care Workbook. It seems like a really well laid out self help book to help understand and set goals.

    Bless you,

    aprilrose9 responded:
    Dear Shellie,

    I just turned 57 years old and have had a pretty serious chronic pain issue for 25 years. Has it been easy to handle? Heck no! I wanted to write to you since you sound a bit like me, a type A person who doesn't like slowing down and had a hard time dealing with an injury.
    It took me 3 years before I could accept the fact I could no longer work a fast paced career and it took me until 2006 before I quit pushing myself into extreme pain. Since I was always in pain...why should I slow down?
    Well, we all have to find what works for ourselves, but I can tell you it takes a while to try to manage your life and the changes chronic pain brings to most of the areas of your life. Clearly, I was a very slow learner.
    As for advice from an old time/slow learner, I hope it is o.k. to send this out there:
    1. Ask for help when needed and if people do not understand why you need help, try your best to educate them.
    2.Learn who your friends are and do your best to keep in touch in any way you are able via internet, phone or in person.
    3. Find the best medical care possible, and have a plan "B" for when your pain becomes unmanagable by this person. The last thing you want to have to do, is try to find a physician when you are in pain "out of your mind".
    4. As others have suggested, try to be as active as possible, but don't push to the point you are unable to sleep. This will only add to the pain cycles becoming difficult to manage for you and your physician.
    5. Finding people who understand what you are going through will be difficult. I have heard some stupid comments from medical personel and I am an R.N. who has a high regard for physicians and others in the medical/nursing and physical therapy professions.
    6. Speak to the people at this site for support. There are many kind and helpful people who understand what you are facing.
    7. People have suggested cognitive therapy to help deal with the physical changes and lifestyle changes you now face. As with medical care, finding a good therapist follows the same rules: a) education b) approach to care c) your own "gut" feelings about this person. Sounds simplistic, but I have not always followed my own advice and have been sorry I did not listen to my own negative feelings about a situation or person. We nurses do not want to make waves or be a pain in the you know what, and tend to accept more than we should in medical situations.
    8. Adjust your interests to your pain level. I don't necessarily do what I want to do, but what I and do. I took up knitting because it takes up time and makes me feel productive. Do I love to knit? No! It makes me feel like a Grandma in a rocking chair, but it allows me to see progress with a sweater, sock or whatever instead of sitting in front of the T.V. I have collected a small number of DVD's and books for the times I am completely stuck in bed or on the couch due to pain. I save this stuff for when I "down for the count". I even read cookbooks for when I am feeling better and back on my feet.
    I wish I could be of more help, but this is what works for me. Make your own path and how it works with your situation and pain level.

    Good luck and I hope you get some advice which helps you.
    shellie_54 replied to plance2905's response:
    Have they not sent you to a pain management place? Or have they not done an MRI? I am really not the one to help you with the depression part because I am trying to deal with that part now. After 2 years I am a little better but that is because of pain pills and a procedure I had done. It is not permanwt. I am just thankful my pain has been cut down to a 3rd of what is was. Sometimes it's even 1/2. But again, not permantne.
    Write me back and tell me if you have had these things.
    shellie_54 replied to trs1960's response:
    Thanks, I will take a look at that!
    shellie_54 replied to aprilrose9's response:
    you did help me with your words. You sound a lot like me. Instead of water and snow sking and dirt bike riding I have started working on craft things. It's not my favorite thing to do but I can do it. It has been a little over 2 years and I sometimes accept my change in life but sometimes (a lot) I just get angry. Just hearing from people that are going through the same thing helps. You understand.
    I read my first reply yesterday and cried because because there are other people to talk to about this that understands. It was a happy cry. Yesterday I felt better, lighter. I just have to change my thinking. Put myself in the positive. It's hard to see people doing the fun things I used to do. That brings me way down. Then they always feel like they should not be having fun in front of me and I feel bad about that.
    Yes, you have helped me.
    Thank you
    aprilrose9 replied to shellie_54's response:
    Dear Shellie,
    You are so sweet and one of the few people who have thanked me for writting to them on this site. So, thank you!
    At my age, I am looking back at the medical choices I made in the beginning and I want to KICK myself for making a relatively quick decision. You hear statistics about surgical outcomes with a 90% success rate and I always landed in the dreaded 10%. The statistics sound good, until you hit the negative pile. I have tried to suggest people think long and hard about doing anything which cannot be undone and have gotten some nasty responses. While surgery is important and a logical choice for many of us, cutting muscle, bones and nerves cause anatomical and physiological changes and some of the negative results do not become apparent for many years.
    It is not easy dealing with the changes which occur with an injury, professional, physical, financial, emotion and social issues all come in to play. Every relationship changes in some way. For many of us, the frustration of living with an injury and chronic pain is double the frustration. People understand the scary medical results of cancer, the pain of a heart attack or a broken bone, but a back injury is fodder for a comedy skit.
    How many of you have read the NIH study concerning longevity and chronic pain? The last I heard was a loss of 10 years of life due to chronic pain. Has anyone heard the latest statistics?
    Anyway, just wanted to thank you and let you know I am angry right along with you. I have to add, I once saw a Psychiatrist and she thought it was wrong of me to remeber the date of my injury. What! I heard when people loose their leg in a land mine incident, "they all have a date". Don't we deserve to have a date? I am not implying chronic pain is the same as loosing a limb, but an injury which causes the loss which many of us face is significant and should not be underplayed by medical professionals.
    O.K. everyone, I got SOME of my anger off my chest, but there is more!
    trs1960 replied to aprilrose9's response:
    April. Dec 23rd 2000. A day I will never forget.

    Perhaps I will read and learn how to knit
    aprilrose9 replied to trs1960's response:
    Dear Tim, You are such a smarty pants!
    fibrofran17 replied to shellie_54's response:
    Hi ya Shellie, sometimes I cry after reading posts here too, being ALONE with the pain and anger only exponentially ups the pain and saddness. I waas "THE Rock" for many, many, many people in my line of work and personally all my life. The hardest part for me is not being able to follow my heart and instincts anymore to keep on helping others and alleviating their pain. I don't know what please or fun means anymore. I try to occupy my mind, read alot , stay informed about the world, it's a mess now too,
    thank my blessings, much of this planet is starving, being brutalized, etc etc so who am I to complain? But I do anyway.
    And it really bothers me that not only do we lose any quality of life but also our standard of living because we can't work anymore. Poor and sick really sucks. So welcome Shellie, I care about you, if that helps a tiny bit, and watch alot of comedies on tv. later, fibro fran
    fibrofran17 replied to aprilrose9's response:
    April, I thank you for your words too! I had alot of surgeries when I was younger and kick myself now too, ya can't have nerves, and bones, and flesh brutalized and be ok. I have a list of surgeries that were real F quality!. I have fibro too, from all the surgeries, I wonder?? I look good on the outside, ironic isn't it?
    Only my husband knows how I suffer on the inside with never ending pain. My doc put me on Savella, I turned into a loony and told her. She wanted to send me to a psychiatrist because the meds didn't work? That did it for me. I took my sovereignty back and decide whats good and bad for me period. Humor is a savior too. Keep venting and we won't explode or commit heinous acts lol, take care fibrofran

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