Friday, March 29, 2013

Things People Shouldn't Say to Someone Who Has Chronic Pain

Upset Business Man
If you stumbled upon this blog, you probably are dealing with some type of chronic pain or illness.  Many people don't understand or fully comprehend the pain that we go through on a daily basis.  Most people with chronic pain have altered our lives to accommodate the our pain.  Chronic pain is referred to as pain that is felt on a daily basis for 6 months or longer and it lasts longer than the normal time that it should take for your body to heal.

Disclosure:  This post is for informational purposes only and the statements in this post were problems that I encountered or heard about.  

I have dealt with my chronic pain for almost 4 years now and it steadily seems to increase.  The things I used to be able to do are now a long distant memory, including working at my former job.  I wasn't one to always discuss my issues with chronic pain in the workplace and always did my job to the best of my ability.  On bad days, I would either take my heating pad or ice pack to work.  

If you choose to share your journey you can expect to hear phrases such as:
  • I understand I had x issue before.
  • I can related to your pain.
  • You don't look sick or like your in pain.
  • They might not treat you the same as they did before.
  • Don't understand your problem because you don't look sick or like you are in pain all the time.
  • You seem to be coping well.
  • They begin asking questions to determine if I am really in pain or if I just don't want to do something that day.  It is very rude and it's not their job question me when I tell you I am in pain because when I say I am in pain I really am.
  • When my doctor or I tell you that I can't do a particular task due to my limitations don't expect me to come tell you every moment I can't do something.  I wouldn't have taken the time to go to the hassle of getting my doctor to say I couldn't do something if I could do it without pain.
  • Never lecture me about my pain and my treatment.
  • Never encourage me to exercise or do other things to take my mind of the pain.
  • Never tell me to just deal with it.
  • Don't suggest alternative treatments, you don't really know my condition and you aren't a doctor.
  • Accept me for who I am.
  • If I seem moody or touchy about talking about my pain, it is because I am.  I am trying to live as close to normal of a life as possible.
  • I am sure that I have missed some things that you might be hear from those who don't understand what chronic pain suffers go through on a daily basis.
What has someone said to you that has struck a nerve or annoyed you?

Join in the conversation with me on TwitterFacebookPinterest, and G+.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Car Accident Left Me With Long Term Low Back Pain

Car Accident
I created this blog to share my journey and struggles that relate to my journey with chronic low back pain.  My pain initially started in 1998, when I was involved in a car accident.  I sought treatment a few hours after the accident.  My x-rays should some mild trauma,  typically, known as whiplash.  Whiplash is normal after an car accident and with treatment most people can return to a normal life.  I  initially sought treatment from a chiropractor.  After I completed treatment with the chiropractor, I still noticed symptoms in my lower back and  I was then referred to an orthopedic doctor.  He sent me for an MRI.  My MRI didn't show any problems with the discs in my back and he released me after several rounds of cortisone shots.  He told me, "that I was young and that my back pain would go away."

In the summer of 2009, I was working on the yard and somehow flared up my back again.  I was in agonizing pain and was taking over the counter medications for the pain.  I decided that I needed to get my back checked out since it has been over 10 years since my initial injury.  This was when my real problems started.  The doctors put me on several medications to help reduce the pain and inflammation.  This helped somewhat but it didn't fix the root cause.  I had several MRI's, CT Scans, and a discogram before doctors determined that I had a problem with my disc at L5-S1 and slight abnormalities with L3-L4.  

The one thing that I learned getting to the bottom of my low back problems is to never let doctors discount what you are feeling and to press them to figure out what is wrong.  If I know what I know now, I wouldn't have let the first doctor get away with his lack of treatment and telling me that I was young and would heal.  WRONG!  

Trust and listen to your body, after all, you are the one who is suffering and in pain.