Sorry..need to vent.. Chronic Pain sufferers I'm sure You can relate!
So.....I have chronic pain.
I am not faking or trying to abuse the system or trying to get drugs. I have pain...real pain.
I'm 44 yrs old and prior to a motor vehicle accident 8 yrs ago I was a fitness consultant, exercised every day, was perfectly strong and fit, (did not smoke, use drugs, had the odd glass of wine), not a pain in the world.
Now...I have intermittent pain shooting down my arms and severe headaches in the back of my head that radiate to my forehead, and a constant burning, twisting the nerves kind of feeling in the back of my head and neck. Sometimes it feels like I have a strap running over the top of my head ear to ear.
I was sent for an MRI, the results came back as: Advanced DDD with moderate central canal stenosis with a dessicated L4-L5, L5- S1. I also have had a lot of problems with my neck over the years. My most recent MRI revealed the following: Degenerative changes of the ADI are evident, straightening of lordosis. Dessication of C3-C4 intevertebral disc. Annular bulging and broad based posterior disc protrusion of the C3-C4 disc with posterolateral marginal osteophyte demonstrated. Bulging of C4-C5, C5-C6, C6-C7 intevertebral discs identified There is facet and uncovertebral joint hypertrophy at multiple levels and osseous encroachment on multiple neural foramina bilaterally as described. Prominent neural foraminal encroachment upon C3-C7 bilaterally.
On another post I asked: My questions are how is it possible for someone so young, who was so fit, to have so much degeneration?
and the reply was: From the research that I have done and stories I've read from others, the only commonality is that we are very active, hard working people that just hit an unlucky patch in life. The prognosis: you will most likely not be able to do work that you did previously - no lifting over 20 pounds, no repetitive type jobs (including secretarial or administrative work unless you can find a job that allows you to take frequent breaks), and no high impact excercise.
I'm currently in a rehab program that my long term disability insurance provider is sending me to. According to them I am fit to work and to return to my previous type of employment which is secretarial work, and get this I used to clean the offices (vacuum, clean 4 flights of stairs, etc) at the same law firm for extra $$$ and the insurance company says I can return to that as well but modified duties. My physiotherapist says my pain is all in my head and that my negative thoughts are creating my pain so I have to change my thought if I think more positively my pain will go away. He gave me a form to fill out daily describing a time when I had a significant pain experience, what I had to stop doing because of it, write down my negative thoughts; what I was thinking, what I did about it and what I could have done differently.
So it goes like this,
pain exp: sitting at the computer trying to post a msg, my neck is on fire, there is a corkscrew in the back of my head twisting, grinding the nerves, my head feels like it's going to explode, eyes hurt, feels like someone poured sand in my eyes, my latest Botox injections (for neck pain and migraines) were put in to low and I have a hard time opening my eyes because my forehead is paralyzed and no matter how hard I try I can't raise my eyebrows to take the weight off my eyeballs, my back feels like it's going to break, my leg is numb...I have to type this out as fast as I can so I can go lay down.
What I did: stopped typing, got up from sitting tried to stretch, cried, went to lay down.
My thoughts: the pain I don't think about it, it's just there, it is what it is. I want to lay down to get this pressure off my neck. Writing this down is frikin stupid (well this is negative..but seriously), I do not have negative thoughts about the pain. I try to deal with the pain by not thinking about it...this is making me think about it...I am not going to write down negative thoughts because that is what you (the therapist) says I have and want to read.
Sure sometimes I feel sorry for myself, I think it is completely normal, for all of us suffer in pain every day, and lost a part of ourselves, the healthy active pain free part, and for some of us a lot of other things that go with chronic pain, divorce, financial issues, sexual health problems, etc.. to feel sorry for ourselves once in a while. It doesn't mean I dwell on it.
So you, Mr. Know It All physiotherapist who says he is there to help me (and doesn't just work for the insurance company...ha... and provide them with the result that they want, double ha), and without even having my MRI's goes ahead and designs my strengthening/rehab program without even knowing what is wrong with me tell me that I'm in pain because I'm just weak and not trying and my pain is in my head....well F*%^ You....
Seriously..are you kidding me. Let's give you a spinal problem. You try being in pain from the moment you wake in the morning and get out of bed (if you can even get out of bed), until you go to bed at night, all day every day.
You try to deal with it day in and day out and after you go through it.... then, and only then, you can tell me my pain is all in my head!
What I have done for the pain so far: I have tried physio, acupuncture, acupressure, traction, nerve block injection c-spine, cortisone inj L-spine, IMS, Biofeedback, relaxation training, meditation, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, narcotic pain killers (helps), Botox( this one works) to name a few, most have not helped, it is a reality, and I still have pain.
So when my physiotherapist asks me, what I could have done differently excuse me if I find this question ridiculous to the Nth degree.
What I could have done differently: I don't know????
Get away from you.
Chop my head off
Get away from you
Botox my whole body
Get away from you!
How about this ....Treat me like a human being...Have some compassion....
and the kicker......Be innocent until proven guilty!
Thanks for listening...I'm going to go run around the block now!