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starting over after a successful L5 fussion need help with disability questions and domestic relations

Started by rayg2011 on 03/07/2012 5:44pm

well i had a successful L4 stablization and a L5 fusion. but i'm on health sustaning medication.
the big problem i have is i'm on a very low pain medicain that is stopping me from findind any gainful work.
i was even turned away from a temp agency. i called a law office and i was told by them i'm screwed.
do to the med i'm on plus the fact what they did to my back no one will hire me. if i'm lucky they said i might be able to go to school for a desk job. i have had a life of over the road driving and contruction cdl driver. this realy is all i know how to make a living. i have two girls to support from a failed first marrage. even domestics is given me a fight. they haven't stoppped my rears from the day my unemployment stopped to if and when i may return to work. i was told from the law office to talk to my surgan and explain all that is going on and see if he will back me up. then i have to file disability that same day to stop domestics from makeing things worse. has anyone been in my shoes. the surgery improved my quality of life but it also handycaped me in being able to get back to work. any help i would be very greatful. also i'm from the state of PA.

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hi ray longtime no talk to I couldnt get my heart surgeon to sign my disablty papers i had to go and fight the jerk that kept denying me through the state i lived in they dont know what you go thru or who you are sad to say we have this insurance and have to pay extra to get it you should get it .trouble is do you know how much a month you will get. its hard to live on nothing specially if you pay support course u could go in and tell them about your back and disabiltys. i use to truck they started getting up tight about the meds i take. Im 60 now so there ya go good luck I know if you get on it you should get your insurance from them also witch should help you also

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hi ray me again dont feel bad about the nice thing is when you filed they have to pay you from the time you first filed. they had 3 years around 27,000 bucks i got you will get it.

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Thank you LARRY.
Yes I just have to go threw it like everyone else.
My doctor put me threw two tests already.
One for my asthma. And a functionality test.
Did bad on the functionality test. Man I was hurting after that.
Plus my asthma was so bad the doctor wanted to admit me.
Got advair and lungs are clear now.
I'll get it. Just the waiting is killing me. I hope you are well.
And in good spirits.
God bless everyone on here.
Ray.

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Well crap the bed Fred. Does EVERYONE get denied 1st time round? Knowing you'll get denied still doesn't take the sting out of it does it? Nothing like a little salt in the wound. I know they have to weed out the fakes but surly they could do that with a psyc eval, no-one in their right mind would put themselves through this, more pain than gain. Just doesn't make sense to me.
On the up side, I'm trying a new pain med. Butrans. it's a patch, it takes about three days to get in your system, but it does give relief. I can take lortab for breakthrough pain. I was concerned about liver and kidney damage. Been on pain meds since my first injury in 2005. I used to joke that Id'e rather be a good liver than have one...I was younger then. Back on subject, I actually got 6 hrs of sleep, (in a row, at night), for the 1st time in years...I'm hooked on a feeling. Who would've thought that sleeping 6hrs could bring me such happiness. I've come a long way baby! It's all about the small stuff. Pain has a way of bring perspective to living. Iv'e given up, (well almost, at least the big stuff, like ruling the world etc), the allusion that I have any control over my life. If any of u have come off morphine cold turkey, you know what it's like to be totally aware that you are losing your mind. Took me a long time to trust my mind after that, knowing your subconscious can take over at random is worse than terrifying. Wow, talk about rambling, no wonder I don't post much. I blame it on one way conversations, I tend to slip into "Janet land." (That's my name by the way, Janet ...not upanddown, that's just my state of mind).
Well, hang in there peeps. Keep postin', if for no other reason than it helps others, (OK, me), not feel so isolated, knowing there are others going through similar circumstances. Guess misery does love company after all!
Live forever, or die trying,
Jan.

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Hey UPANDOWN.
Good to hear you found a new med that is working for you.
Yes we are all still here.
I'm just trying to make the best of things right now.
Tired all the time.
But other then that it's one day at a time.
Hope all is well for you.
Ray.

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HI Ray,
One day at a time indeed. Or one pain pill at a time. How is it we can send men into space and we can't even fix the human body? Is it me, or is there something wrong with that? Wow, I think I need to go to bed, the ol' "down" side of me is rearing its ugly head.
Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow will be better, right?

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nurse nancy I was wondering how you get along with your back now. I know that being a nurse pays betr then about anything i had someone come in for a month just checking up on me and different things nothing like lifting or anything that would really cause you problems. if you are better you mite check it out. anyway good luck

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ray have you ever thought about being a disbatcher that prob pays pretty good and its alot of sittinghope you are betr with your back.

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Tomorrow will be a better day. I tell myself that every night. Sometimes it is and some worse.
It turned out that I haven't been denied SSI just yet. I was misinformed. Doctor sent me our for a
Functionality test. Was a hour and a half of pain. My rasistance test was bad with my legs. They shook.
Need less to say they agreed I would never drive truck again. Lost 10 pounds now. Plus I was told they couldn't even think of something for me to do for a job. Can't set long or walk long either. She told me from knees down I'm good. Ribs up I'm good. Not a core issue. It's a PAIN issue. Still trying to adjust the meds to see if it can improve anything. But one minute it makes me do nothing but sleep. The next I hurt all day and have to lay down to ease the pain. Hit me today. My girlfriend isnt happy. I'm not able to help. The state is stopping cash assist August first. But will still give me medical help. Makes no sence.
No money. No gas. No doctors visits. No co pays. No way to pay for Medications. My girlfriend has been very supportive. But I think even she has her limits. First time in my life I'm scared. I understand her side. But if this ends. I'll be out in the streets. I'm so lost. I'm depressed but the Zoloft won't let me cry. But inside I'm at the end of my rope. I've stopped praying a while ago. I don't think god knows what to do with me. The surgery was a sucsess. No I didn't fuse. But as long as I just exist and don't do anything I'm ok. But if I try to cut grass or go for long drives. Or even clean the house. I pay for it with the new pain. Surgery fixed the pressure and knife stabbing pain. But left me with weak shaking legs.
And a stead aching pain that gets worse the more active I try to be. After the functionality test I was Layed up for three days. Where is the peace. I'm no longer able to take care of myself. I hate to burden others. Only person I have in my life is my girlfriend. How this has let the both of us down. Very depressed. Funny the government will give disability to a alcoholic in seattle and house them for a $150.00 a month. But won't help us. I watch it on tv. They say people that end up with a drinking problem get it from there parents that drink. A genetic DNA problem. Funny I was born with this spondy.
Maybe I should take up drinking. Just a thought. Our government SUCKS. Tired. Angry. In pain. I hope tomorrow will be better. I do. Something has to give. Just hope it's not me.

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I'll be ok. Just need some sleep. Hope everyone is doing ok.
Sorry I'm being a debbie downer. Just tired. In many ways.
Thanks for the posts.
Let's try an keep our chins up.
Ray

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Ray,
I think we must be in the same chapter of the same book. I was so sick of staying in my bed I did what I think all of us has done...take more meds than prescribed, and went outside. I didn't do a lot, but it doesn't take much. I'm paying for it today. I do understand where you're coming from. I'm there.
I haven't filed for social sec yet, thought I'd see this work comp thing through 1st, by the time it's done i'll be 50. I hope age helps. I do need to get my ducks in a row though, I just don't know where to start the process. I'm scared, really scared that I'm not emotionally strong enough for the whole soc. sec. thing. It seems like they are calling most people liars! Anyway, I have to get off here or i'll start to panic.
Please keep us up to date, even if you just want to scream and cuss. It's all part of being human right?
Maybe I should change my name to "ridin' the roller-coaster"

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hello ray weed how have you been feeling betr i hope. i wanted to tell you my pain seems to be gone it dont hurt witch feels so good. I have been reading about breakage of rods and screws. the one went skeeing and broke theres i think that our backs are better with minor pain but if you get to rough with it you could mess it up again. prob one of the reasons they dont like taking hardware out. my doc told me to be careful e ven with my fusion at 78% i hope in the future you and all back patients could have the same out come take care.

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Hi Ray, just reading your post now. Nothing from you for awhile. Wanted to see how ur doing? I've had extensive surgery back in feb of 2010. Took awhile for fusion to really heal whole. About a year. I'm soooo much better since my surgery! My dr refused to give me any more pain meds after 3 months with the exception of gabapentin. I've took that for an additional few months...then have been off everything ever since. There IS hope my friend, one thing that helped me is to change the way I thought. I refused to let what I went through define me or my abilities!! Anyway, I hope your doing well, take care. Oh and one other thing, with spondylolisthesis, it can remain unsymptommatic for ever in most people, so being diagnosed with this really doesn't mean much until one becomes symptommatic.

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Hi all,
As my screen name suggests, I've had 3 lumbar fusions, all unsuccessful. That being said, I am so
grateful that I am able to work and to live a pretty normal life. This is primarily due to the prescription medicines I take, in limited doses during working hours. As several have mentioned, it is a real roller-coaster: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. There are times that despair takes over. Like the rest of you, I try to keep that to myself. If someone hasn't dealt with chronic pain at this level, they can't understand. For years I was told that my back pain was due to anxiety/depression. When the correct tests were done, I had a grade IV lithesis. Details aren't important to the point I would like to make. I'm praying the Lord gives me the right words to say. I have a relative in the same situation. Like me, her hardware is broken but so is she. She has become consumed with anger, rightfully so, for the insurance company, attorneys, the legal system and just about everyone else. Because she is unable to work, her life has become a nightmare of hatred and resentment. I've tried to help her but it is too late. I have no health insurance left, no intention to file for SSD (God willing) and no attorneys to deal with. What I'm trying (and badly) to say is please, please, whatever your medical or legal challenges are, please do not allow them to control your life. I do online research and check message boards (without posting 'til now) but I set a limit on myself. I know this sounds preachy, but my intentions are to help, not harm. My prayers for all of you for healing and peace.

Lisa

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Hi Lisa,
I hear what you're saying and agree, (for the most part). What I mean by that is, when I do get relief from the pain I agree with what you're saying, those times don't happen often, and not at all without narcotics, which lends to, " foggy thinking".
It is unrelenting, or so it seems, this internal fight to to remain hopeful. To accept what IS. I'm not so angry anymore, and I do know that, "If, ifs and buts were pots and pans, there'd be no need for the Tinker-man." So I, like most of us, plod along.
I will speak only for me when I say the hardest part is accepting the fact I have no control over this. What's worse is I'm at the mercy of whoever is writing my prescriptions. Having to, "prove" that my brother has a brain tumor, and is in another country, (England), and still not be able to go to him and help because the Dr, and insurance will not fill more than one month at a time, and I may need to be gone for six months. None of this is my fault. I understand regulations are there for a reason, but this loss of control in my life is the part that is so hard to accept. I'm not a criminal, but it feels like it, and let's face it, emotions rules over logic 99% of the time, especially when the, "logic", is flawed.
I do want to thank you for your post, what you said is not lost on me. Anger is a very strong motivator, it fuels wars, and change. where there is injustice, there is usually anger and of course fear. Fear I believe is the strongest of human emotions, ( Yeah, I know it aught to be love).
Wow, talk about rambling, I forgot what I was trying to say, ( I used to be able to articulate), oh the power of pain!
I think we all strive to avoid the abyss of turmoil and hopelessness, some are more fortunate than others, for a multitude of reasons. This site is a comfort to me. It helps me feel less isolated, even though I have never met anyone here, and probably never will, circumstances have brought people from every walk of life together. I'm thankful for places like this. I'm thankful for everyone that posts. because good or bad, up or down, we continue, like good little soldiers, we fight the fight, run the race.
Thank you again Lisa, I for one needed to be reminded of what you said. Sometimes, help comes from the most unlikely of places, (or people). Sometimes, one word, one smile can make all the difference,
Keep postin',
Janet.

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Hello all.
Thanks for the posts.
I know I'm not on that much.
Sorry about that.
Nice to hear some are doing well.
Make me sad some aren't.
Had to increase me pain medication.
Have my good and bad days.
All we can do is hope.
They are still worken on my disability.
Seems to be a good sign.
Finally got medication for me asthma.
Got real bad and almost ended up in the hospital.
I'm hanging in there. One day at a time.
I don't have allot to write about.
Nothing posative anyhow.
God bless you all.
I'm praying for all of us.
Hope I have something good the next time I'm on.
Talk to you all soon.
Ray

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Ray, even if u don't have anything good to say, post anyway.
Janet

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Hi again,

Forget most of what I wrote. "Lisa" is a fake. She's the actress I've become. In my family, we were not encouraged to show pain or weakness. I've spent the years with the intention of keeping my pain and the sadness and anger that comes with it to myself. I can only pretend for so long and it's wearing me out. When I'm alone, I sometimes cry out loud, into a pillow so no one will hear. I fight every day to be a positive influence. Right now, I just want to play in traffic. The main reason I limit myself reading other's posts is I hate to think of such warm, decent people being assaulted by pain and the life it can take away. Not going to post anymore now but wanted to say that I hope I didn't say anything that would make anybody feel worse.

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Hi All, (the real reason for this post is at the end of it, I got a little carried away sorry)

I read all the posts (by the way, I have 7 herniated discs 5 in my neck and 2 in my lumbar)
Had an operation on my neck a fusion on one disc. The doctor (a neurosurgeon) said it would
be a very big, long and serious operation to try and fix me and relieve the terrible pain I'm in and
that he thought it more then likely wouldn't help. I am in terrible pain all day it just seems to
get worse. I fell off a high window sill in the bathroom trying to hang curtins in 1992. Since then
I have worked had the operation, worked, many jobs in fact and have been fired by most of them
because they would say I was too slow or make up some other reason but it is true that I tried to\
do the jobs but my body hurt so much I was very slow .
I use to be a travel consultant and site inspector for American Express and they where great, very
understanding. They even had my physical theirpet come and look over my work station to make
the neccessary changes to help me perfrom better and not be in so much pain. But then I married and had to leave the job and move w/my husband to a city where Amex didn't have an office and there was no need for corporate travel consultants or site inspectors so I took whatever jobs I could
get ie:cashier, customer service, sales ( I know what Nancy meant when she said it was demeaning
to have to take a job for min. wage when you had a career) The pain got worse and worse and my
husband was not an understanding man. Needless to say we Divorced in 2008. Anyway I decided to
apply for SSDI but had to work since I had no other means of support. Of course I was denied.
I applied again and was denied again. Then in 2010 I was fired from a job as an evening hotel clerk
because I could'nt do the job was too slow. I collected unemployment but jobs were hard to come by
especally in my condition. I applied again but this time I obtained a disability Lawyer. I went through
all the testing from the goverment's doctor. The disability office recieved all the information about
my condition from all my doctors (as they did two times before) and I was approved with no court hearing or anything. The only thing is they didn't give me any back pay because I held down all
those jobs. (bummer--- it seems they turn you down if your working they fiqure if your working \
you don't need disability) Hell! I didnt have anyone to help me out. I had to work even if I couldn't
really do the job or I would have been homeless. It came very close to that in fact I was checking
out homes for homeless women because my unemployment would be running out in one and half
months and I still didn't hear from disability. But thank GoD it came through even though it cut it close.

SSDI did not give me any medical insurance, I hhad to wait two years to get medicare. I had no ins what so ever after I lost my last job, I had to go to a free clinic (never thought I'd ever be in that position, very humbling) I thank God the clinic was there for me or I would have not care and no meds Oh I forgot to mention that I had a heart attack in 1997 and had two stents insterted into a heart val I was taking alot of meds and needed to continue taking them.

NOW FOR THE REAL REASON I STARTED OUT TYPING A COMMENT.
Has anyone heard of the Office or Dept (depending on where you live they call it office or dept)
of Vocational Rehabilatation. If not, get the phone number of your local office, give them a call,
make an appointment. They help people out with disabilities find work or new vocations.\
They pay for everything, testing, school, college. even give you a stipen in some cases if you
go back to learn a new vocation.
They are trying to find me a good job where my disabities wont effect my performance and they even
work with the employer. that's if you really want to work. Now once your on SSDI they allow you
They meaning Social Security allows you to make a certian amount of money this being
up to $700 a month gross on top of your SSDI check without being penalized. SS also has something called a trail work period - this allows you to make as much money as you can for a certain period of time above the check you get every month from SSDI. They do this so you can save for
retirement. But they also do it to enable the disabled person to see if they can return to full employment again. After the trail period is up there are some other steps to take and if the
person on disability feels they are able and want to do the job full time the disabled person
could go off disabilty but at anytime that person feels they can really no longer work and
needs SSDI again they wouldn't have to go through all they did in the beginning they would
just be reinstated to SSDI. I don't know all the details - but it's is an option.

Right now I am collecting SSDi and working part time in a Family Christian Store no more than
20 hours a week and more like average 11 hours a week but the income helps out and my
manager is very understanding about my disability and works with me. She knows I am in pain\
and do alot of things and she doesn't have me do much of anything that would make it worse.
She also sees I am slow but works with me with that also.
My Voc Rehab councelor assigned me to someone who I meet with twice a month and he had been
trying to find me a job that I can do that pays well and wont make my pain worse. So far he hasn't
had any luck but we are not giving up.

Don't any of you give up either. Just pray and give God all the Thanks and all the Glory, and
keep on keepin on and things will turn out for you. l am a witness to that. Like I said I was
a month and a half away from being homeless, I couldn't pay my rent, or utilities I had no money
except for my small check from unemployment that was just about to run out and had no one
to turn to except God, the church and one friend and I learned that I really did have someone
I had God the Father and like it says in the Bible - He takes care of his children and
lo and behold it was down to the finial days and SSDI came through.
God Bless you all and have Faith

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FUSIONX3 it is ok to post what ever you are feeling.
When I'm down and very depressed I like to read up lifting words from other members.
I like when some people can answer some of my questions.
Also this is a site to just get it off your chest.
So it is ok.
UPANDOWN thanks for the post. Little hard right now.
My family is falling apart. So no family support.
My girl friend is starting to worry about our future.
I get depressed and just set and I don't talk.
This makes her upset. I now have no income thanks to Tom Corbet.
What little I did get was just enough not to bother her for gas an perscriptions.
Im at the bottom. No more help. She is all I have. For how long I just don't know.
I'm trying my best to hang in there. Just every tommorw is uncertain.
LARRY I'm very glad to hear you are doing so well.
I hope you are able to return to work. I have been praying for all of us.
NURSE NANCY hope you are well. Havent heard from you in a while.
I'm still waiting on SSDI to make up there minds.
Think if they turn me down I'm going to be out of home.
But I'm still trying.
I hope my Three pages of posting at least helps someone that is thinking
About surgery. Think of what all will happen before during and after.
Surgery will affect the rest of your life even if all works out.
I just miss all the things I can no longer do now.
And I'm greatful for what I can.
God bless you all.
RAY.

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Just wondering how everyone is doing. Haven't seen any new posts in a while.
I'm thinking about forming a third personality...Not up or down but somewhere in the middle where I should be, ( good luck w/that right)!
Looking forward to your posts,
Janet

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HI everyone,
Looks like this discussion went cold...( but I know you're out there, still fighting, still suffering).
I am scheduled for a C6-7 fusion on the 14th of this month. I've been in pain so long now, what with one thing or another, that pain simply part of who I am, (the monkey on my back). The relief I got from the lumbar fusion (L4-S1) in 2007 has run its course, I'm back having pain in my lumbar region along with my new friend, sciatica. T-spine pain, (which I don't know the cause of), and of course, nerve pain from torn and bulging discs at C5-7, (they are only replacing C6-7, I don't know why, I get tired of being lied to, so I don't ask many questions anymore).
I'm optimistic about the outcome of the C-spine surgery, ( I wouldn't be doing it otherwise). But the pain in my lumbar and thoracic spine is just as debilitating. I will start the long process of applying for disability when I've reached M.M.I. from the upcoming fusion. I hope and pray I can make it financially, ( I know this is familiar for most of you, so you know what I'm up against). Ain't life grand!
I was wondering, for those of you who've had c-spine fusions, what was the toughest part of recovery; what tips can you give me for when I get home? Any advice, no matter how small, would be appreciated. :)
I want to end this post by letting all of you know that I come back to this page over and over again, hoping to see how everyone of you is holding up.
My thoughts and prayers are with each and everyone of you,
Keep on keeping on,
Janet.

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Lisa,
Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. I reread your last post and grinned. I know what you're saying, I lie to myself too. Sometimes, it's all we can do. Just because things could be so much worse, doesn't negate the misery, ( at times all consuming), that's our constant companion.
One of the reasons I keep coming back here is that most of us are in the same reality. Not having to "act " is refreshing.
Hope you're holding your head up,
Janet.

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Ray,
How are things with you? I see there aren't any new posts from you. I hope you're hanging in there, let us know will ya?
Janet

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hey janet
taken one day at a time.
things are bad right now.
all of my family has rejected me.
none of them will help me in any way shape or form.
my girl friend is also at the end of her rope with me and the problems of all this.
one day at a time.
ray

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Ray,
I'm so sorry to hear things suck so bad. Have you heard anything from disability? I know people get tired, not of you, but of the situation. There just doesn't seem to be any way of separating the pain from the person. How do you get through to anyone that the "pain" isn't who you are? It would be easier if it was a gaping bloody wound, sometimes it bleeds profusely, sometimes it just seeps. People tend to believe in what they can see. If they can't actually "see" whats causing the pain...well it must not exist.
In the same boat Ray,
Janet.

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hey janet,
yes i got a letter after six months and like everyone i was denied.
its apart of there prosses its there way of keeping law offices in busniess.
but i have no choise i have to keep fighting it.
now days its a dog eat dog world.
the state rep for PA tom "shit head" corbic made so many cut backs that there is only six court judges in the whole state working on disability cases.
i was told it will take 9 to 12 months before i get a hearing.
then then another six before i get the word.
mean while the state isn't helping me at all.
as i said my family turned there back on me.
and my girlfriend is so stressed over me and all this she isn't sure of us anymore.
grant you she is one of the best persons i have met and she has been as supportive as she can.
it takes a toll on her and me.
she just can't take me being so depressed.
so i talked to her and now i'll just hide it the best i can.
i wish i had some good things to say on here.
grant it yes the surgery really helped what was going on.
but its been a year since the surgery and i'm limited to just quality of life right now.
i can't do anything.
i have tried to do some prodjects but after i do them i spend two days on the couch in pain.
people can get the disability its just you have to jump threw there hoops.
what makes it harder is if your single live alone or have no income.
here is were they force you to try to work and then they use it against you.
i'm taking it one day at a time.
if i end up in the streets ill be sure to have my cardboard sign in front of the social sicurities office.
begging for money and food.
i'm trying not to let things get to me.
i know i'm not on much anymore.
i think its i'm like everyone else on here that was looking for answers.
now that i know what i'm up against i just don't have allot of posative things to say.
i don't want others to feel down reading my headaches.
and i find it hard at times to help others on here.
i can only tell them what i know from going threw it.
i check from time to time because i know what its like to have no one to talk to who understands.
i can only hope the good lord will continue to help me and others get threw this time of need.
i have lost so much in my life and now i'm lossing the smallest of things and it just down right makes me mad.
but thanks for staying in touch.
keep your chin up.
one day at a time.
god bess and talk to ya soon.
ray.

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I used to go by upanddown.

Damn Ray,
What can I say other than, there is no bottom to human suffering.
I get tired of running the gambit of emotions too, but you have it much worse. I don't know what I would do in your situation...I'm so sorry. I know it feels hopeless Ray, but it isn't. It's f@%king hard, but not hopeless. Just keep on breathing through the worst parts. (It will be ok in the end, if it's not ok, it's not the end.) I don't say that lightly either Ray.
This site is a place where we don't have to lie, to ourselves or anyone else. It makes me laugh and sometimes cry, but it is REAL. it's people like you that makes this place work.
Thank you, and keep posting,
Janet

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I also had the fusion on C,6-7 in September. The pain in my left arm is gone but the pain between my shoulder blades is still there (don't know what's causing that), along with the lumbar pain that'll be there for life. So, I guess this is as good as it gets, now I'm going to my Dr. and hopefully get meds sorted out to get me out of the constant "mid-grade" pain. I mean, constant pain is NOT a natural state of being.
Anyway, I'll keep checkin' for new posts,
Keep on keepin' on,
Janet

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