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Sorry..need to vent.. Chronic Pain sufferers I'm sure You can relate!

From: Malli - on 06/15/2010 2:39pm

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!
Or...
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!

Mali

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on 06/15/2010 4:22pm

Mali:

I am very sorry. I am in chronic pain, too. Not quite the same as you, but pain is pain, right?!

Long story short (or kinda short) Had a spinal cord tumor in 1988. Had two operations to remove it. Suffered numbness in my left leg and foot and had to wear a brace, but other than that I felt pretty good. So-o-o-o 22 years later, I'm in constant leg and lower and upper back pain. Oh, I forgot! Also have scoliosis and osteoporosis probably as a result of my surgeries over the years and I'm also on thyroid medicine. I had a pain pump trial scheduled (have you looked into that or the spinal cord stimulator?) and I had a second opinion from a neurologist. He couldn't believe I wasn't on any pain meds, so right now I'm taking: Lyrica, Hydrocodone, and a muscle relaxer. I, unlike you, am not working. I don't know how I could on this combo of drugs. I still have pain and it's bad. Right now, my 9 year old granddaughter is here and I can't do too much. Hate that! And I'm suffering from paralysis and it's getting worse. So much so that I feel like a wheelchair is in my future. Unfortunately, my MRIs look the same so they don't know what's causing this. Probably scar tissue.

Anyway, I guess I needed to vent, too. In summary, I think you should check this site for info on the pain pump and spinal cord stimulator. Then research them on the Web. I wish you luck! Just know you're not the only one out there suffering. I know it helps me to know that, as weird as it sounds!

Take care.

Pam

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on 06/15/2010 5:15pm

Mali, I feel your pain hon.....well, kinda sorta...don't have all that you do, but understand the pain you feel towards those JERKS that think you are faking it. I'm soo glad that we all fake our pain to make their lives miserable because they have to deal with us. Kiss my butt people, we are paying your bills, so treat us with some respect!

I really don't have to vent at this time, I'm actually in a great mood and in pain, but I like the mood I'm in so the pain isn't getting the chance to bring me down right now!

Mali, do you have an attorney fighting for your disability? Everyone is telling me to get one and my disability will go through smoothly. I was told over two months ago by my ssi rep that she was sending me to one of their doctors for an exam, but I still haven't gotten a letter from her as to who and when. Damn, they must have a different mail system than we do. I can have someone mail me something from NY and I'll get it in two days and I live in Iowa. The SSA office this rep is out of is in Des Moines and I'm only 90 miles away, guess it takes months to get mail from that SSA office. I'm gonna call that woman again and bitch, and yes, I can be one, ask the hubby, he'll tell you! LMAO. I know that when I go to my next pain mgmt appt I'm gonna be a big bitch because they said that I was a "polite, blah blah blah, who obviously isn't in pain". Kiss my butt, I'm at an 8 every minute of every day!

OK...maybe I had to rant a little!

Wendi

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on 06/16/2010 7:06pm

I think its great to find people like yourself to vent to and share advice,so Im going to vent as well. Mine started when I was 19 ,I was just lifting a log at work when my neck and head area started throbing to the point where it felt like the back of my head was going to explode,I was affraid.Im now 29 this year and gyprocking,I know its a strange carreer to be doing with back and neck problems but the quack said I had to strengthen my neck. Yesterday at 9am Iwas putting a wall up when my head went cloudy and I felt like I was floating and nearly collapsed on the floor.I worked until 12 when finally a thought it was unsafe for me to be on a ladder.The result is sitting at home feeling like a soft c*ck at 5 in the morning because I had to ring in to say I couldnt work today,we've only just been able to get the internet due to living in a small town and finally had telstra build a mobile tower.I thought I'd try my luck finding info on the net and came accross your stories/vents.

My vent goes like this :" Mr Campbell I think you just want neck pain" ARE YOU FOR F'N REAL who looks up to the sky and says oh lord I would really love a bit of neck pain you f'n d*ckhead.Also if one more person calls me soft when I still do the more physical jobs than the younger guys because its to dusty for thm or they might have to get a bit close to the floor I might make a fist with their neck in it. Why is it that when back/neck pain is mentioned people think youre making it up ?.Im 6 foot 4 and unstoppable,at least thats what I'd love to think.My lower back is getting bad just sitting and typing this.The thing Im most afraid of is not being able to lift weights anymore and not being able to practice Wu shu and Karate, its getting harder to have a sunny outlook on life.My case is not as advanced as yours or everyones here yet , so I can only imagine what you guys are going through (you just cant describe back pain to somebody and have them understand) take it from me you guys are ledgends and an inspiration keep battling through life and dont give in ,dont listen to the doubters. You wouldnt think I am a quiet sort.

Thank you for listening venting helps

Lynton

P.s. Running water never goes stale so just keep on flowing

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on 06/16/2010 11:27pm

Lynton,

My hat's off to you, you kept going which is more than I can say! I wussed out and called the doctor after a week of pressure and an occassional stabbing down my legs, I don't work and I wussed out while folding laundry. You kept going until you almost blacked out..damn!
I'm sorry you also have to go through with the doctors not believing your pain and pretty much calling you liar and quite possibly a drug seeker. Some can be jerks, but then you may get lucky and find a good one who actually believes in the pain we feel. I found mine when I realized that my old primary care physician was the right one for thise job and he got a form filled out that nobody else would because I was too nice to complain and be a bitch.

Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing!

Wendi

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on 06/17/2010 3:21am

Get an atty for your SS case after your first denial. It won't be your last! It took me 3 denials and 3 yrs to get mine. Now SSD pays $977 and my LTD pays the rest for a total of $1267 monthly. It's not much, but it beats SSD alone. I get by.
Your DDD can degenerate quickly. 4 yrs ago I only needed L4-5 fused. Now I need 12 more levels fused. 4 in my neck and 8 from my sacrum to T3. The neck surgery is most urgent, as I have severe stenosis,spodylolisthesis,cord signal abnormalities,and cervical myelopathy. It's getting very difficult to walk even with the help of 2 canes.
Severe pain is something people just don't understand until they go thru it. It is most frustrating to be told it's in your head, or it's not really that bad. I get rather testy when I hear that crap, too. You have to take each day's pain as it comes, and learn to be good to your body. Give it plenty of rest. Don't lift anything over 20 lbs!
When you have had chronic pain for a while, it rarely goes away. You can tolerate it with meds, endorphins, and anti-inflammatories. Accupuntcure helps by flooding your body with endorphins, but it doesn't last long enough for me to be practical. You can try Lidocaine or Fentanyl patches too. The nerve pain is the worst. Smoking some pot each day has helped me cut way back on my pain meds. You can smoke legally in many states and cities now with a prescription or doctors note. I went from 75 mg. to 15 mg. daily. I was taking oral methadone , which is stronger than the oxycontin, but without the buzz. Very addictive, but most pain meds are. I feel so much better after cutting my dosage-I didn't realize how much it kept me tired, and sleepy. I found out that my heart rate was depressed, only 50 beats per minute when I was active. That scared me.
Last piece of advice: Educate yourself and learn the symptoms of your condition,. and what would happen if it worsens. Then watch for those sypmtoms. I did, and it has saved me from more permanent damage. My neck is so bad if I were to get in a car accident and have whiplash, my spinal cord could be severed by the bones pressing against it. That scared me too. So does the upcoming 2 part surgery on my neck in Sept. Fear is normal, but don't give in to it. Purposely turn your thoughts to something else. Fear only stresses you and it makes your pain worse. Depression is a given as you adjust to your disability. You grieve the loss of your body's ability to do what it has always done. It can feel as though a part of you has died. Dreams are way cool though! I can still run, and sometimes even fly, in my dreams.
I'm very much looking forward to the new bodies God has promised us. There are wonderful promises in the Bible in the Book of Revelation about no more pain, and running and not growing weary. I hold on to that promise. Guess that's only of interest to Believers though.
Good luck to you-I hope your situation has a brighter outcome than mine.
God bless you,
BJW

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on 06/18/2010 12:00pm

Malli, you have several levels of bilateral foraminal encroachment. This can cause severe nerve pain and weakness as the nerves are compressed comming out of the foraminal exits. Its most certainly NOT in your head!!!!

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on 06/23/2010 2:47pm

All I can say is don't give up. I have had three surgeries over the past ten years. The first was a botched job by the Army to remove the disk between C6/C7. A few years later I had to have C5/C6 fused and just little over 18 months ago I had C7/T1 fused. Each operation had advantages and disadvantages but I would repeat all three minus the botched part. The last procedure was a godsend. Recovery is up to the patient but within six months of my last operation I was back in the gym lifting weights. Within a year I was benching 350 and dead lifting 400. I am 42 years old now and am in great shape all things considered. My doctors with all their patients would follow my lead. I have also had a couple shoulder surgeries and for those of us who have neck and arm pain, experience has taught me neck pain is the shoulder and arm pain is the neck. When both are really PO'd, life almost isn't worth living but you still try. If you have surgery it takes a long time for the nerves to heal. Many of the posts are from folks who have an operation and expect instant gratification. A nerve may or may not heal 100% but that 100% can take up to a year or more to completely heal. Patience and exercise are key. Be in shape before any procedure and get back into shape afterwards. Hope this helps and that you had a great run around the block. :-)

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on 06/25/2010 9:24am

I can truly understand how you feel.
A little background...I had a car accident in 1991, struck from the rear by a vehicle which propelled a metal display that was on the back seat of my van into the back of my head/shoulders..other than the cuts to the back of my head, I was told I had whip lash, was off work for a couple of days, then back to work. I was fine...however, as the years passed, I began to have pain in my neck, mid-back and lower back. After awhile, I was not able to continue my normal occupation, outside sales (trouble getting in/out of a vehicle, carrying 40lb. sample case etc) I changed my occupation and began working in call centers in a sedentary position. Of course, unless you have done these types of positions, most just think you "sit there" and work.
By 2003, the random pains...the severe burning in the back of the neck, weakness in my arms, numbing sensations that run down into my fingers, feeling like my ribs are broken in the back near my waist, hips on fire, legs throbbing and numb, I went to my doctor who sent me for an MRI. This showed degenerative changes to the discs in the cervical area, thoracic and lumbar along with osteophytes. Tried physical therapy, massage therapy, trigger points, etc and the pain meds/muscle relaxers began. Next MRI in 2005, more degeneration, bulging and osteophytes. I continued working as along with everyone else I know with a family needs to. I saw a neurosurgeon who suggested surgery to remove some of the bone spurs, but after speaking to him and being told, it could or could not help or possibly make it worse. I turned to pain management and was told I had DDD which was causing nerve impingement in my spineand I began a LONG litany of epidural shots, facet injections, radio frequency on the cervical and lumbar areas, which sometimes did work for a short time, however the pain/numbenss never did relent. They explained to me that with degenerative discs, over time the discs would continue to get worse. Of course, the pain meds increased and I continued to work..sit in an erganomically correct chair, take breaks etc. In 2006, on my way into work, walking through the parking lot one second and finding myself on the ground the next. I still can not explain what happened except my legs simply refused to work. Reported the incident, only to be told that as I had not "clocked in" it would not be considered workman's comp...Still continued to work...more epidural shots, more facet injections, radio frequency every 6 months. The struggle to continue to work in pain finally became too much as I could not sit in an upright postion at a computer desk and I turned to long term disability. My last MRI in 2008 showed:

Broad based disc bulges covered by spondylosis at C4-5 and C5-6 Ventral thecal sac impingementat C4-5 and C5-6 due to disc bulges. Left lateral recess impingement at C4-5. Bilateral lateral recess impingemnt at C5-6 and bilateral neural foramen narrowing at C5-6.

Circumferential degenerative disc bulges of the L1-2 and lower thoracic discs, degenerative disc bulges at L1-2 and L2-3 impinging upon the thecal sac.

I continued with pain management and had cryoablation which did little to reduce the pain.

Now for the tricky issue...after being on LTD at half my pay, unfortunately I lost my home and had to move 600 miles away 6 months ago. I looked for an interventional pain management in my area and found one 75 miles from my current residence. My first visits there were no different than my original pain management discussion about the pain/numbness in my legs, hands and arms. Me, advising the doctor that the pain/numbness has been increasing, that I have extreme balance issues and have fallen several times simply walking in the yard. He did a nerve conduction test on my arms..according to him, normal..I ask about an MRI, but he wanted to do a bone scan.
Yesterday, I had my monthly appointment and was greeted by a PA, who is new to the practice. He stated he wanted to meet with me and examine me. He began looking through my file, talked about my last MRI and the bulging discs. I ask about the bone scan, which he stated were "normal" just arthritic changes. After asking questions about my symptoms and my sleeping habits, along with alchol and street drug use (are you sure?), touching different spots on my arms, neck and back...Advised me that I had fibromylgia and probably fatique!!! He advised me that my brain was overreacting and causing the severe pain and numbness. Stating that because I had problems sleeping, that my mind has taken over...He wants to change my meds to something for depression Cymbalta or Savella as the pain has nothing to do with my neck/back...I ask about the past MRI's and he advised "everybody has that at your age, I do too"
Believe me, I am dumbfounded! I finally got him to order another MRI..but found him to be on a different level than I am and my past doctors. Have the other doctors been wrong or is this just in my head as he suggests?

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on 06/25/2010 7:45pm

abbnel,

I can see the DDD bothering you do to age, because I think I saw that 95% of the population has DDD, but some go unnoticed and have no complaints, it's just like arthritis...

I can't see your other problems having to do with age....If everyone who gets older has the same problems, they why is he still practicing? He'd be out of a job, there'd be nothing for him to solve! I think you need to keep searching for someone who would care enough about you not to just jump in and say you are depressed with scary illness like fibermyalgia. I am almost in shock that he didn't say anything about having Lupus.

Sorry hon, but I don't think your last doctor was right at all. I'm depressed, ask anyone of us in here and they'd tell you that "yes, I'm depressed...I'm in pain all the time, what do you expect?". Our backs are filled with alot of nerves that tangle all around us, so your other aches and pains could just be in your back. Not everything shows up on an MRI.

Best of luck to you and please keep me up to date!

Wendi

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on 06/25/2010 7:55pm

Abbnel,

Just thought about the tingles and the pains in your arms and legs.... You stated that you went through a butt load of epidurals. Ask your doctor for a referal to a neurologist and talk to your neuro about the possibility of "Arachnoidosis" or "Arachnoiditis", I forgot how to spell it, but there's an article about it in this site. It is quite possible that this is your problem due to / or bone spurs or your past epidurals. Unfortunately, there is no cure for it, but it would help your head by knowing what the hell is wrong!

Just pitching a penny....sending my thoughts....I'm not an expert, just do alot of research!

Wendi

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on 06/27/2010 6:53pm

Would arachnoiditis show on an MRI? From what I've read about it, is it not a type of scarring near the nerves in the spine?
I agree that the PA I saw seemed to have no compassion. I just find it very strange that each doctor I've seen has always stated my problem stems from nerve impingment caused by the bulging discs and numerous bone spurs. Just the way he seemed so blaise about it floored me. Hopefully, the MRI I have scheduled next week will show something additional which will make him eat his words!

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on 06/27/2010 10:17pm

abbnel,

I don't remember if it would show up on an MRI or not, but I know that bone spurs will, so I don't know why arachnoiditis shouldn't show up if it was a contrast MRI. Don't know if they do contrast MRI's of the spine. I'd think it would be almost impossible to do considering how close you'd have to get up to the spine with the contrasting agent, but that's just me thinking. Let us know how your MRI goes and what the next doc says!

Wendi

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on 06/28/2010 6:52am

To Wendiann & Abbnel:

I just recently ran the arachnoiditis theory by my pain doctor/neurologist. I asked him if it would show up on an MRI and he said no, that it wouldn't. And they do do contrast MRIs on the spine. I think I've had 50 of them!

Just a little info re your discussion.

Have a nice day guys!

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on 06/29/2010 5:12pm

I Know how all you feel i had surgery on my C6,C7 in Feb 2009 . well after the surgery i was still in pain got told it could take a year to get better. well the year went by still in a crap load of pain. Was told that i was not healing like i was suposes to the top part of the bone was healing but the bottom part was not. so got sent to tharapy had the grasten teanch done help the first to times then after that did not help.. so did thaeraphy wich put me in more pain. so ever time i went back hear the same stuff over and over i have been on vailum and vicodent they stoped helping like they should asked for diffrent stuff got told they could not give me anything elise.. well one day i called crying my eyes out cause i was in some much pain for today and went and saw the doc and finnally gave me differnt meds and schduled me for another MRI.. So went and got the MRI which almosted killed me to have to be one my back for 45 mins with out moving.. so had to wait a week to get the results because my doc was gone. So when i went to get my results HE SAY I NO WHY YOU ARE IN PAIN YOU ARE NOT GOING CRAZY" LOL. Come to find out my C5,C6 is hurneated and he said he saw it when he did my first surgery but was not bad enough to do anything about. Well now it is bigger and worse then the first one.. He told me that i had to get the injections agine wich the first time i got them done it lasted a week. The 2nd time did not help at all.. but he said just becasues they did not work the first time does not mean they will not work this time... So i had my injuection yesturday and i tell you what id i could have seen the doc i would have kicked him in the nuts that was the worst injuection i have ever had it hurt so bad i cryed the hole rime and he had the nerve to ask if something was hurtting.. so he gave me more lidican and keep doing the procsedure as i was still crying my eyes out.. after he was done asked if i was still in pain and i said yes of course and then he told me there was nothing he could do. He said he probley hit the never that causes the pain and asked if i had pain meds and told me to taake the right away.. when i got home i was so tireded that i went to bed at like 8:00 and did not get up till 1:00 the next day i feel no pain yet but do not no if its because of all the numing med s he put in there or if it is the shot but usally the day after i am in so much pain.. So we will see what tom brings but to let everyone know that i am tired of being in pain and people always saying whats wrong with you now like you want to be in this pain all the time i would not wish this on my worst enamy.. And my job probley does not help as i am a CNA at a nursing home. Best of luck to everyone out there...

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on 06/29/2010 10:01pm

I decided to go in a different direction. Although I have never had much faith in chiropractors, after doing a bit of research. I decided to go to one for at least a consultation. One thing I failed to state in my original post, I am fighting to keep my long term disability. As I stated prior, each doctor that I have seen before all talked of/treated me for radiculopathy due to the bulging discs/bone spurs impinging the nerves in my spine, which of course quailfies for my long term disability to continue. This new "fibromylgia" diagnosis does not...go figure! The chiropractor has done xrays (going back tomorrow for the results), but she stated that of course the nerves being impinged would cause the pain, numbness/tingling and the balance issues. Really want to see what else shows on the film.
I also did a bit of research on arachnoiditis and from what I read, it would show up on an MRI. Hopefully, that is not what it is, what I read is pretty scary. \

Honestly, I truly worry about this. I don't have enough information in terms of if this (DDD) happens to run in families, but I have an older sister diagnosed with DDD and she is on SSD and already walks on a cane; my mother diagnosed with DDD about 10 years ago and she is on a walker. I'm only 51 years old...is that where I'm headed? OOPS! Sorry, I forgot...it is in my head! LOL!!!

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on 06/29/2010 10:02pm

I decided to go in a different direction. Although I have never had much faith in chiropractors, after doing a bit of research. I decided to go to one for at least a consultation. One thing I failed to state in my original post, I am fighting to keep my long term disability. As I stated prior, each doctor that I have seen before all talked of/treated me for radiculopathy due to the bulging discs/bone spurs impinging the nerves in my spine, which of course quailfies for my long term disability to continue. This new "fibromylgia" diagnosis does not...go figure! The chiropractor has done xrays (going back tomorrow for the results), but she stated that of course the nerves being impinged would cause the pain, numbness/tingling and the balance issues. Really want to see what else shows on the film.
I also did a bit of research on arachnoiditis and from what I read, it would show up on an MRI. Hopefully, that is not what it is, what I read is pretty scary. \

Honestly, I truly worry about this. I don't have enough information in terms of if this (DDD) happens to run in families, but I have an older sister diagnosed with DDD and she is on SSD and already walks on a cane; my mother diagnosed with DDD about 10 years ago and she is on a walker. I'm only 51 years old...is that where I'm headed? OOPS! Sorry, I forgot...it is in my head! LOL!!!

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on 06/29/2010 11:32pm

Sorry Abbnell,
But DDD is thought to run in families. In fact my mother, who is 85, has similar problems with her neck. I'm thankful hers are not as severe as mine, but she did have a lot of pain last year. Injections helped, especially after the 3rd one. But considering I'm worse than her at 30 yrs. younger should offer hope to some of you. If you're an optimist anyway!
One more suggestion regarding pain. I've learned over the years that the more I can do to turn my thoughts away from my pain, the less it bothers me. The more I rest, the less I hurt. You will always have bad days.On those days I rest more, & I use all my weapons against that pain: meds, patches, shots if necessary(cortisone is a blessing if you have arthritis or any other inflammation) biofeedback, funny movies-whatever helps.
Gabapentin has practically done miracles for the referred, neuropatic pain in my feet. It was making me crazy 24/7. I had tried it once for a few days, but it didn't help. Then I talked to another disabled person and found out I just needed to try it for a little longer. I did, and it works great now.
Good luck.

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on 06/30/2010 6:04pm

Update...
What I found out today was quite interesting. According to the xrays, the cervical spine is really bad. Not only do I have numerous bone spurs, but the spacing of the lower discs are almost gone. Same with the lumbar discs, along with scoliosis. Oh and something I had no idea of..I have a broken tailbone! No wonder the pain is so intense when I sit in an upright position. I really feel validated with what I have been telling pain management for the past few months. Now I don't know which direction to take. I know that I have an MRI next week that will show, I hope, prove that the nerves are involved beyond a doubt. I want to be able to make this PA eat his words!

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on 07/01/2010 7:25am

Abbnel,

I'm glad that you finally have some answers you've been seeking! I hope your MRI shows more and they will actually believe you from now on! Now you can tell them that it's not in your head but in your ass, they've just been looking in the wrong location! LOL!! Good luck to you hon...keep us up to date on how you are doing and what the course of action is now that they know it's real.

Wendi

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on 07/02/2010 11:52pm

Does anyone elese try and fake it around Your family for as long as possible and then have to do absolutely nothing for days to recover? Or take meds to function around them and get the drug talk even though u were having absence siezures and not passing out, do they not realize that 4 back surgeries in 3 yrs does not a healthy person make.
Dr are asses in the most part. Go to an er and explain u are not there drug seeking that u are trying to follow the contract. If u wanted drugs there are plenty at home but to follow the directions an contract u are there for help. A Tylenol and a saline drip is not going to cure a migraine or any other kind of pain that has u under it's grip. Yes I have been doing this for 10 + yrs and I DO understand the concept of a rebound headache but if u don't bite this one in the ass it will kill me for another 5 days.
My new, pain specialist, first time today, gave me an epeduaral shot and didn't have me out enough so I screamed through the whole thing. I could have done a better job anestitisng myself befor I left home. Sooo pissed. We are having a talk before next week and I might have to get new guy. Just moved so all new doctors. This one...and i have gone through probably 15 shots and 2 pain specs that did them and he was a fuck up. Things gonna change real fast. Stupid questions piss me off and to bad there isn't a pill for stupid. At least I am past the point of "it's all in yr head" took a MRI...nothing there...lol
Ok my vent for the night is over I think. Thanks.
Bec

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on 01/20/2011 3:43pm

Hi, my name is Jan, I want you to do these 2 things! First off, if you go to this site , and have an MRI, you will be able to decifer EVERYTHING your report says. You will know exactly what is wrong with you and it will describe everything (adriaanliebenberg Terminology). Next, I want you to go towww.ASAMS.com and also COFWA and then click on the links for (arachnoiditis), causes and symptoms. Then you get back to me and let me know what you think. I have this and there are so many people getting this disease and don't know it. It is caused by Drs. and the chemicals that they use for epidurls and spinals from childbirth and back surgeries. I didn't know years ago when I had my kids that a SPINAL was actually an epidural, and your choice was Natural Childbirth or a spinal! It was never explained to me that it could develope into a severe chronic pain in the future. Then I started having back pain around 5-7 years later. I just attributed this to tension from raising kids, an alcholic husband, sometimes no money etc..., LIFE you know! I just got done typing a detailed letter to someone else and then I read your letter. There are so many other people out there I wish would do the same as I just told you. This would help sooo many to find out the cause of their pain and answer questions and help them decide on their next move with there assinine Drs. Also, this disease is called DDD and Failed Back Syndrome. The Drs. and the technitions that read these MRIs seem to not want to actually type the word ARACHNOIDITIS because of the finality of this diease. The ASAMS website is soooo DETAILED on stuff from your back to friends and family that don't believe you, to incontinence. Pain is something your family or friends CAN NOT SEE. It's not like someone with a cast on their foot . That you CAN see and that person gets sympathy . People don't want to hear about your pains all the time and will start to shy away from you. Your're not the same person you were and the fact is YOU'RE NOT. You didn't plan on this in your future, and certainly don't WANT to be in pain and not be able to do all the things you once did. I know that people are so surprised to see me in the state I am today, with a cane and walk real slow and cautious. Hell, I worked like a man, from painting, wallpapering, laying carpet, crafts, landscaping business, making wedding cakes, etc.. and I moved like lightning, LOL. Now it's a BIG chore to just complete normal housework. Keep me posted on if you go to ASAMS and what you think of your pain now! I care! Gental painfree hugs, Jan

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on 07/13/2010 2:34pm

hi now i need to vent,what right do these people have to say its all in ya head,like you say if they lived with cronic pain 24/7 maybe they would,nt be so quick to judge,i,m sorry you are in so much pain and yes i can relate to you,what i would,nt give to be able to go out to work and do a honet days work,these people want to live in a body that wants but cant funtion like everyone else,i hope you find relief soon,take care x

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on 07/13/2010 2:43pm

this is for malli x

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on 07/14/2010 9:11pm

I feel your pain on a daily basis!! I've been going through a lot of what you have since the end of 2001. I've had cervical disc fusions at C5-C6 & C6-C7; have bulging and desicated discs in three out of the other five cervical discs and the same in all 5 of my lumbar discs. I've had 3 different rounds of injections and 3 rounds of physical therapy. Some helped temporarily, some didn't do anything. Most of the prescription meds don't help, sometimes I get more relief from Excedrin! I have pain all over my body. Social Security says I can still do administrative work; I did that for years and I know I can no longer do it. I sit at my desktop computer for a half hour then I have to go lie down from pain and lightheadedness. I'm in the process of trying to get SS Disability. It occurred to me 3 months ago that all my symptoms over the last few years are probably Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain, unfortunately I haven't been able to work for 4 years so I don't have the money or insurance to get this confirmed. I've been reading some books on these syndromes and they describe me to a T! Good luck to you.

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on 07/15/2010 9:36pm

Hi. I hope you are able to find relief long enough to read my reply. Tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. I am going to see a surgery doc about having emergency surgery sat or sun. tomorrow is friday. i just found this out this afternoon. first thought is: okay good. i know whats wrong ( bulging disk in lower back by my butt bone) so lets get it fixed. i come home and get online and find ur story after trying to simply look up "sex and back pain" and somehow ive came across this site and ur the first persons discussion ive read and now replying to. i got scared after i walked out of the dr. office and sat in my truck to drive home as the thought of not being able to do anything cuz my back is messed up. im scared because this pain i have makes me cry everyday as well since i went to the e.r. last month cuz of severe leg pain and back pain. its been coming and staying and going since. actually hurting and crying and feeling sorry for myself right now as i write this. its taken me 30 mins to get this far. wow! anyhoo...i have only done 3 days of physical therapy which was just mon, tue, and today, thursday. now i got to do this surgery thing. but im scared that i wont get results im expecting. i have a feeling i just may have entered into a piece of ur world. ive been to the e.r. 4 times for pain this month. they gave me a shot in the butt and a script for 12 vicodin. wowwww! but the pain returns like urs...from the moment i wake up if ive even fallen asleep from the nite before, its pain, pain pain. no matter what. it keeps me awake and steady trying to not think about it so that i too am not just making the pain up. it is real. and its real pain. i was in the e.r. on the 3rd time on my 32nd birthday, july11,2010. i cried from the inside for most of the morning cuz my kids were thinking i shud be happy on my birthday, not sad. but then by the afternoon i was tearing up everytime i had to move my legs. i stayed in bed till the early evening before i decided i shud go in to hospital to try to reserve some smiles for my babies while they tried to make me especially happy on my birthday. on the way tothe hospital, the sit in the truck on the drive there brought on so much pain as it does when i sit anywhere that i started crying so hard in front of my kids on the way there and the whole time waiting and until a while after i finally received my shot which was about 9p.m.. I came home and tried to sleep but i still cudnt which made me upset even more and irritated easily by everything. this is real pain. its a pain to me as well as my friends and family just like u said. the pain is real. i hope thingsget better for you sweetie. no one should have to live with pain like this and be expected to do everything...to do anything. i wish they wud let u rest and help make ur pain less by being less of a pain...a real pain in the ass.

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on 07/16/2010 2:34am

To: Mali, Pam, Wendi, BJW, and all the rest of you that had responded to Mali. Wendi, I think I have already talked with you. WARNING... this is a LONGGG one! First, ARACHNOIDITIS can only show up on a MRI. or CT. DDD, Failed Back Syndrom etc... can also be Arach. The Drs.don't want to talk about it because they cause it with epidurals and spine surgery. Arachnoiditis is what I'm talking about. It also is the first ailment on the Social Security Website that is a no questions asked for a perminent social security disibility. It is rated #1 on the list. Then comes arthritis etc...It is also listed in the medical journals under RARE diseases. There is no cure. The pain is like cancer pain only without the benefit of death. Every time you have back surgery you will get SCAR TISSUE. Every time a needle is inserted in your spine, the same thing. Evert time you had a baby and had a "spinal" it was in fact an epidurl. The medicine in epidurls cause arachnoiditis. Some of the symptoms are a numb leg and foot (usually started after a spine surgery) ,Siatic nerve pain in your butt and leg, weak legs, horrific back pain, usually on the lower left or right side,leg cramps , trouble with bladder and bowel later on, incontinence, especially when you cough, sneeze, laugh etc.... If you want to explore this further, please go to COFWA and click on the links and READ the causes, symtoms etc... You'll be shocked. Drs. lie about this all the time. You can also read up on your MRI of the back and learn all those phrases and big words in there. Just go to this site....... adriaanliebenberg terminology. This site will also explain symptoms and other stuff pertaining to your mri. I have done a lot of reserch and this is one of the best. Now a little about me: My name is Janice, I was married to an obusive alcoholic for 32 years, am re-married 9 yrs. now , have 3 sons, a dachshund, and Arachnoiditis. I have always worked hard, like a man. I painted, wallpapered, carpeted, landscaped business's, waitressed, factory work, unloaded phone booke from semis, did crafts, made dolls worked as the only cook in the Ohio State Lottery bldg. for 600 people and had to quit my job because of my back. I worked hard and nothing could stop me, or so I thought! I started having back pain sometime after I had 2 boys. I was around 30. Like many of you, no one took me serious. By the time I was 36 I was going to a spine clinic and found out I had Degenerative joint disease and had actually signed papers letting the clinic use my x-rays to be published in a medical journal. The reason being , my age and the condition of my spine at that time. Dr. said it looked like that of an elderly woman. When I was 48 I was seeing a Dr. that kept saying the pain was in my head. I wound up in the ER and had gall bladder surgery. That was on Mon. and I was back to work on Fri. at the Bar I worked. Now I have a rupture that's now the size of half a baseball because I didn't let it heal enough before returning to work. Needed the money though. That's when I left my husband. I walked away from him, my house, car, and a day care business. You do what you gotta do! Sept of 2003, I had stiff neck, left arm numbness and pain in the neck and shoulders. I wound up also with bone spurs that were closing off the spinal cord and had a spinal fusion of 3 disks with bone grafted from my hip. For that whole year of 2003 I had been suffering with siatic nerve pain on my left side. I had a ruptured disk and had surgery right after I had my brace off from neck fusion. After that surgery, my left leg and foot went numb. In January 2009 I had my first EPIDURAL. Again in June and then the best part! My pmr Dr. sent me for the 3rd. time and I asked the Dr. if he could shoot me up in another area because they haven't worked so far. He was ready to wheel me back and was pissed he had to pull up my mri to see if he could do this. I was getting a shot on each side of the spine (2) each time. He pulled up the mri on the computer next to me and got so red in the face and FURIOUS. He turned to me and screemed at me " I can't give you this shot, you have Arachnoiditis and it won't help". He tried to explain it to me but I couldn't figure it out. So I came home with the copy of the Mri Dr. printed and onto the computer I went. I found out that the mri was consistant with the previous one. I had this for a couple of years at this point. I couldn't hardly believe what I was reading, stuff like this happened to other people, not me! I then went back to my pmr Dr. and told him I was pissed at him. He says "what did I do?". I said it's what you didn't do. You never told me I had Arach. He says, "so, I have other patients with that and they're ok". Can you believe that? First off, I found out that once you have this you shouldn't have any epidurls because they cause this. And he just kept sending me. I am now thinking of suing. I can't get social security because I just couldn't get enough credits. The bar I worked was under the table. All the work I did and I screwed myself. All because I left my first husband.and needed a job asap. NOW, I want all of you to go to COFWA and explor. You just may have this and you need a Neurologist and a good MRI.I am trying to find a Neuro. to take over my Pmr Dr. Why have I stayed this long? Because I am now on oral Methodone, 20 mg. 3x a day for pain. It takes 2 hours after I wake up to take effect so I can walk, but I have lost a lot of weight. From a fourteen to an 8. I just bought my first cane. It's a dark blue with red and pink flowers LOL. My kids say it's so like ME. PLEASE go to the web sites I asked you to. It will benefit quite a few of you and you will learn so much about your spine and which path to go on the care of your pain. No my friends, it's not in your head,( would't that be nice)? I am praying for all of you to have a less painfull day. Jan

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on 07/17/2010 2:59pm

Hi Malli, first off, do you have any children? If so, did you have a "spinal" ? If the answer is yes to both of these questions, then YES it is common to have back pain and neck pain etc...etc... It is very common for people that have constant pain 24/7 to be depressed and every once in awhile to have negitive thoughts. That is why it is very important to be on some kind of anti-depressant. This is very NORMAL to think crappy thoughts! As for your Dr. asking what you could have done differently is bull sh_t. Does it really matter? NO! Of course if we had a majic ball then Yes it would matter. Yes we would do less strenious things, that we could change the outcome of our bodies falling apart. Read my other posts and check into what I wrote. severe DDD almost always IS Arachnoiditis. Check the symptoms against the sites I posted! If you would just go there like I've asked so many others. Myself, hell yes I'd do things differently. I wouldn't have married the nut I did and be pushed out of cars, strangled with phone cords,jerked around with arms twisted etc... this has added to much of the pain that I have now. Boy, I wish it was all in my head, LOL. Take care, Janice

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on 07/29/2010 8:46pm

Sorry...haven't been online for a bit of time. Well, finally got the results of my MRI. At C4-5 small left paracentral disc osteophyte complex slightly indenting the thecal sac and almost touching the cord. At C5-6 there is diffuse disc osteophyte complex with spinal stenosis. Th AP canal diameter is narrowed to 8 mm. There is neuroforaminal impingement, right greater than left. At C6-7 there is minimal left lateral recess disc bulge with slight left neuroforaminal impingement....
At L-5-S1 there is mild facet arthritis with minimal central disc bulge. At L2-3 there is small right foraminal disc protrusion minimally indenting the right aspect of the thecal sac. There is really no significant neural foraminal impingement. Disc fragment does extend slightly behind the L2 vertebral body. At L1-2 there is a very small central disc protrusion without significant mass effect....

Well, so much for fibro! I thought the P.A. was going to fall off his seat. Will say that very quickly his conversation changed from his fibro "chant" to well, maybe I should get a second opinion about possible surgery once he pulled out the MRI results and started to read them.

Of course, a few things worry me about the wording on the report..."almost touching the cord?" Spinal stenosis? My next step is to actually get a copy of the MRI film and get it to someone I hopefully can trust....

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on 08/13/2010 4:05am

Mali,

I am also an unfortunate neck pain victim. I am only 44 now. My pain was not a result of any accident or trauma. It just started happening one day in 1996. It began as the constant urge to crack my neck. It literally drove me insane! It made me very moody, clumsy, stressed out and unable to concentrate. As an accountant, being able to concentrate is very important.

I went to my family doctor, who ordered X-Rays that came back inconclusive. He suggested I see a chiropractor. I went for adjustments 3 times a week for about 3 years. The adjustments didn't help very much at all. It was very difficult to find a chiropractor who could actually crack my neck. Either that stopped teaching it in Chiropractic school or most of them were afraid they would cause severe injury if they made even 1 tiny mistake. They usually tried to crack my neck with some stupid little clicky thing that did nothing more than make a faint click sound.

But, even after the most enormous, earth-shattering adjustment, it only reduced my pain for about 1 hour each time

Sometimes if I was lucky I would get a deep-tissue massage on my shoulders that felt really good, but that did nothing to help my neck problem either. The appointments were very expensive and my health insurance did not cover chiropractic, so I finally stopped wasting my time and money and went back to my family doctor.

For the next several years I got a few more inconclusive X-Rays, Cat Scans and MRIs. I tried several different non-narcotic medications that did not work at all, including Relafen, Celebrex, Elavil, Tramadol, Methocarbamal, Skelaxen, Flexeril, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Tylenol, Aspercreme, Tiger Balm, Absorbine Jr, Ben Gay, and a few others. I used ice packs, heating pads, hot baths, massages, and anything else I could find. He gave me a Cortisone shot in my shoulder muscle which actually helped for 24 hours. I begged for more of them but he refused and told me that steroids would make me grow facial hair.

The pain finally got so bad, I bawled my eyes out in his office and he wrote me a prescription for percoset. They actually reduced the pain a LOT. Unfortunately, I was so excited about finding some relief after at least 5 years of constant pain, I started taking the Percosets every time the pain got bad, instead of at what time the prescription said I could take one.

I started to over-medicate and run out early and found I had turned into one of those dreaded patients who tried to get refills before I was scheduled and if he refused, I went to the nearest Emergency Room and fabricated a back injury to get more pain meds. It was really ugly.

The Dr. then added Tramadol and tried to put me on long-acting meds like the Fentanyl patch and Oxycontin to try to get me back on track. It was too late. I checked myself in to an in-patient detox for a week and quit taking all narcotic pain medications.

I tried to function on just Ibuprofen and Flexeril as long as I could, but I got pregnant and by the 7th month, the pain was so bad it was potentially harmful for the unborn baby. I kept them at a minimum, though and I have not ever abused my meds since then.

I started seeing a pain management doctor who tried several different procedures on me. These didn't work either: Prolotherapy, Epidurals, a TENS machine, etc.

A few more major life changes later and I am now at Phoenix Pain Treatment Center. My previous Pain Mgmt doctor was just recently shut down by the DEA and I had to jump through a hundred hoops to obtain my records.

My current Pain Mgmt ordered new MRI's which now show I have arthritis and degenerative disease, etc. I am scheduled to have Facet Joint injections next week and I am hoping and praying that they work the way they're supposed to.

I am currently taking TWO 80mg Oxycontin, FIVE 30mg Oxycodone, THREE 350mg Somas, and FOUR 400mg Ibuprofen a day.

I am interested in possibly trying Xanax to reduce my stress that causes more pain, but I'm clueless on how to even attempt to ask the Doctor to write me a prescription for them. Any ideas?

Keep me posted on how you're doing with your pain challenges and I'll post how the Facet Injections work for me.

Good luck to you and God Bless!

Karla

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on 09/01/2010 4:54pm

Hi All...I know it's been a while..right after posting my rant I lapsed into a severe depression and am just coming out of it now. I hadn't checked my email or this site for a long time and first off let me just say that I was shocked to see so many caring responses I wasn't expecting any and I WAS VERY TOUCHED...YOU ARE ALL THE BEST... THANK YOU, even though I'm just reading them now, it helps to know there are people out there who understand me...really understand...you know what I mean and it makes a difference!

Not much has changed for me. In fact some things are worse, my neck is getting worse, the left side of my body is numb, pain..lets not even go there but my mindset is better. One of the conditions for me receiving my pain meds is that I must follow Dr.'s orders, I must attend pain management classes including group sessions and Yoga for chronic pain. My prior experience with group sessions for addiction to pain killers was not good, I do not like to sit around and listen to the blame game so I refused to go, as for Yoga... my thought process was: I was a fitness instructor..there is nothing you can teach me that I do not already know thus I did not attend these either.

Then this happened: I had hired a lawyer to help me with both my disability and my personal injury lawsuits which are very complex because after the accident, I continued to work as a fitness consultant for approx 1 yr and eventually Iost my job and had to quit working in the field because the physical demands were too much and I couldn't do it, so then I went to University to get my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition...1 yr of studies took me 2 (the degree takes 4 yrs) because I kept dropping out due to pain finally after 2 yrs of struggling with the pain my Dr sat me down and said Look you just can't do it it is too much for your neck, I was devastated, having my head down studying, reading, labs, writing, typing, carrying heavy books well I couldn't take it anymore and I had to accept the fact that he was right and I formally withdrew form my studies in 2004, giving up my dream of becoming a Dietitian was one of the hardest things I had to do, from there things began a downward spiral. My husband left me while I was in school, I gave him the house (idiot..I couldn't/didn't want to deal with it), no alimony nothing, then self doubt hit hard I thought that maybe they(some doctors, husband and family members) were right, I was addicted to pain killers, I was convinced that I was a drug addict so I went to rehab got off all narcotic pain meds, 2 wks out of rehab had such intense pain I thought I was going to lose my mind landed in the hospital, I got out, went back on pain meds and I started all over from scratch.

In '04 my neck wasn't as bad as it is now. The only advice I ever received from any of the doctors was stay active don't sit. You have a bad neck..do not ever get into another car accident... another whiplash could be fatal (yeah thanks for that...like I even have any control over another person driving into my car.. what a stupid thing to say) but no other assistance for anything was offered. Anyway I went on.

A full 8hr work day was too much for me so I had a brilliant plan to be self-employed so I could juggle my hours and got 3 jobs contracts. I went to work part time as a process server (no set times 15-25 hrs/wk, legal assistant (Mon-Fri 11 am - 4:30pm) and janitor (2 hrs /day 4 day/wk Saturday 8rs), trying to manage this brilliant plan was not as easy as I thought, the pain increased 10x and my medications 10x, Dr's would not prescribe enough meds because they said although I have pain it can't be that bad, so I bought them. I managed all 3 jobs for 5 years, spent thousands of dollars buying the pain killers I needed to get me through the day until one morning, I woke up and literally could not move or get out of bed, my body just gave out on me. My Dr got me in for an emergency MRI hence my current diagnosis. Needless to say I got fired from my legal assistant position because I literally could not sit up in a chair..my boss, he knew my pain was bad yet he used to call me at home and ask me to do some work for him, and he told me over and over don't worry your job will always be here for you when you are ready to return, nonetheless he still fired me after 8 months (while I was on disability). Process serving contract gone... I still have the janitorial job open to me...LOL..and my long term disability insurers say there is nothing wrong with me and I can work...there's more but I better stop with this part now.

Anyway back to the lawyer part: my lawyer is/was also my brother in-law. 9 yrs ago after the accident, he offered to help, so I just gave him the information, did what my doctor told me to do and tried to go on with my life; I did not think anything of it. Over the last 8-9 yrs not only have I had major problems with my health, I have had major problems with my lawyer and the time it was taking him to do anything. I confronted him on many occasions asking him what the hell is going on? I told him I needed to take a break...I needed some help, I told him to just settle it and get me anything just to pay of my prescription pain medication debt and enough for a couple of months of work so I could rest. I pleaded with him. However, my lawyer he assured me everything is/ was under control it was just how things work. "Trust me" he said I'm your brother in-law.. "I have your best interests at heart" "I will protect you". It will be all settled soon. Even though I felt uneasy about it I was so screwed up with pain and pain medications, people telling me I was crazy and my pain was all in my head I lost trust in myself and just let it go.

The only thing that was progressing was my pain and my debt. 1 yr ago I had this conversation with my lawyer: Throughout the past 8 yrs I’ve been up front with you. 4 yrs ago when nothing was happening and my neck was getting worse I went to you and stressed to you that I was in trouble, and that I needed help and gave you an opportunity to get out. I said if you didn’t have time for my case I would understand and go find another lawyer. You called me an ungrateful bitch behind my back…to my face you said no. "It’s better that I do it, I don’t want you to get ripped off, I’ll do it." Countless times I told you I would pay you. I never expected anything for free. You knew my feelings all along and countless times I have given you the opportunity to cease acting for me. When I finally had to go on disability, I begged you to help me with my disability claim, I explained the trouble the insurance company was giving me, my doctor met with you and told you I'll never be able to work again. You promised me that you were getting things ready for trial. Yes after almost 9 yrs, I questioned you. I asked you if you knew what you were doing? Your reaction, I’m a bitch, I’m exasperating, I’m no lawyer, I don’t know what I’m talking about. I thought to myself, oh well he has his reasons for acting this way. Sometimes I do have a tendency to overreact, I do question everything, and as well I should. It is my LIFE…Not yours…mine. If something goes wrong whom does it affect? Me, not you, me, you wake up in the morning and your life is the same. You don’t have to worry about how you are going to survive, physically, financially and emotionally. You wake up secure in your house, to your wife and son, and go on to work. What is it that I wake up to daily? The only thing that is certain in my future is PAIN, uncertainty and pain. Once again my lawyer said it's all under control "Trust me I'm your brother in-law.". so...I just let it go and trusted him.

Now 9 yrs later, some days I can barely move, I've lost my jobs, my dreams of getting a degree, dreams of having children, lost my husband, most of my friends, I'm broke and in debt up to my eyeballs, I live alone and I'm in pain 24/7. If I get cut off disability I'll be out on the street...I'm not kidding! Anyway my lawyer/ brother in-law has been witness to all events that have transpired over the last 9 yrs, I was working at his law firm for a different lawyer, he saw first hand how much pain I was in at work and outside of work, how much I struggled, yet I never gave up. I kept trying everything, I did everything in my power to keep working and make it on my own until it became physically impossible and get this, about a month ago he decides to tell me that he does not have the expertise in this area (personal injury) and has informed me that he does not want to act for me any further. A few weeks ago he told his assistant to just leave the file alone and not do anything. She called me and asked what I wanted to do? I asked her what the status of my claim is and there was dead silence.......he has done NOTHING. 9 YEARS and nothing, nothing but lie to me. I freaked...the response I got from him and my sister..."Well, I guess you should have hired another lawyer" no remorse, no guilt, no apologies...NOTHING! WTF if this is my family..then who are my enemies?

Anyway after all of this I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and was going to pack it all in. I thought I was going to lose my mind and landed in the hospital and saw a psychiatrist who saved me and recommended that I be given a higher dose of pain meds that I was on previously and who told me that I was not a drug addict that my pain was real and that basically all the people who surround me are assholes for saying otherwise.

Through all of this I took a good hard look at my situation and tried to figure out how to help myself before I just packed it all in. I wasn't sure how much more I could take...seriously... so I opened up my mind to anything that might help, let go of my anger, I enrolled in a pain management class, I started looking in to meditation and mindful meditation, I swear... I don't know how but it saved me... I'm still here and I'll be damned if I'm going to let this pain and THEM win.

So.. after all of this drama I got busy. I found a kick ass lawyer, yes I was turned down by at least 20 lawyers first and it is going to cost me way more than if I would have hired him from the start but to be perfectly honest, I'm okay with it...plus, well actually I turned things around a little and fired my brother in-law..TAKE THAT ASS-WHOLE (how do you spell asshole anyway?) Him and my sister prance around like they have done nothing wrong. I would have disowned them except I have a very special relationship with my 3 yr old nephew, plus I am his favorite Aunt and so I choose to put it aside. I'll never forgive them but I will not let this whole ordeal destroy yet another relationship that is dear to me. I'm letting my sister slide because she is in a tough spot and I know she knows the truth she is just Mama bear protecting her brood. This is probably me just making excuses for her but I'm going to go with it. As for him... I never did like him and someday he'll get his..Karma is a bitch!

For now, I'm just going to live for today. I have learned one valuable lesson...Always trust your instincts and venting helps! Oh, I guess that was 2..lol.

Thanks for listening. Sorry it's soooo long but I had to get it all out and now I have to go for a wee rest...

Love U All...thank you, Pammy..xoxo, Wendi, Karla, Bec, Jwinck..lol, joelenaf..hope you are OK, Jan, BJW, Wolfman, alpierce, all of you... Thank you for posting!

Mali

P.S. BJW Sea was right when he/she said: One more suggestion regarding pain. I've learned over the years that the more I can do to turn my thoughts away from my pain, the less it bothers me. The more I rest, the less I hurt. You will always have bad days.On those days I rest more, & I use all my weapons against that pain: meds, patches, shots if necessary(cortisone is a blessing if you have arthritis or any other inflammation) biofeedback, funny movies-whatever helps.

I get my meds from a Dr at Multidisciplinary Pain Centre here in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, They also offer an eight week course (based upon teachings from Jon Kabat-Zinn) to chronic pain patients which combines pain management classes, meditation and Hatha yoga to help patients cope with stress and pain and it's free of charge. The course I took was great. Once I opened my mind to it I learned a lot of things not only from the literature that was provided but my classmates as well, it's where I found out about mindful meditation. I'm an optimist once again : )

I'm not sure where else these types of programs are offered but check your local area clinics, hospitals, pain centers etc to see if they are available. I highly recommend it.

I'm not one to preach but it helped me so I'm just putting it out there, this is what helped me find some peace, I'll always have pain but now I have a little bit of peace too : )

Jon Kabat-Zinn (born June 5, 1944) is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn was a student of Zen Master Seung Sahn and a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center. His practice of yoga and studies with Buddhist teachers, led him to integrate their teachings with those of Western science.

He teaches an eight week course which combines meditation and Hatha yoga to help patients cope with stress, pain, and illness by using moment-to-moment awareness.

He has written two bestselling books:
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (Hyperion, 1994).

His most recent book The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, co-authored with J. Mark G. Williams, John D. Teasdale and Zindel V. Segal (Guilford, 2007).

Kabat-Zinn has made significant contributions to modern health care with his research which focused on mind/body interactions for healing, and on various clinical applications of mindfulness meditation training for people with chronic pain and/or stress-related disorders.

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