How do you deal with being fragile? (c3-7 adcf 2009, l4-5 l5-s1 af 2013)
I've been dealing with chronic pain issues from severe degenerative disc disease since 1999, exacerbated by car accident in 1999. I had awesome surgery at c3-7 front and back in 2009 after it got so bad I had cord compression there. Miraculous surgery, allowed me to return to work in 2011-12 and most of the time since, although I did require an additional fusion at l4-5 and l5-s1 in 2013. I worked in 2013-14, all of 2015 til now. I've been having very successful results from epidural injections at l5, s1, and my piriformis muscle which have helped me put off additional reconstructive fusion at those levels in the posterior, where I have vertebrae still resting right on l5.
I've had a recent bad flare after slipping (not falling or even catching myself) 3 weeks ago. I'm frustrated trying to get the right treatment fast enough, or really now the right diagnostics (new MRIs) fast enough, both for my own health and pain relief as well as to make the decision about whether I can even think about returning to work shortly. I'm a contractor, jobs can't be held open indefinately.
What do you do when you feel fragile like this, trying to succeed or even advocate properly for yourself, deal with the pain, call with the Healthcare system and approvals/noncommunications... How do you communicate to lovedones, family, friends, coworkers and medical folks that you're not flaky, you're frustrated and trying to get answers?