Chronic pain shatters productive lives. Chronic pain almost always is accompanied by depression, anxiety, frustration, fatigue, isolation, and lowered self-esteem.– Jed Diamond
I have lived with chronic pain on and off again. As a kid, I played outside as much as possible. I would climb trees, ride a bike, fly a kite. or many other activities. My parents left myself and my siblings with my aunt and uncle while they went to look for a place to live in London, Ontario. They gave us instructions about what we could or couldn’t do while they were away, one was not to climb a tree.
Well, my sister and myself decided to climb it anyway, typical kid stuff. I climbed up ahead of her and on the way up I told her not to step and the same branch that I was on. She did the complete opposite, the branch cracked and down I went unto a pile of stones that surrounded the tree. My left arm hung in an almost ninety degrees. So, my uncle comes out and he tries to set my arm. Off to the emergency room and sure enough I broke both major bones in my arm in two spots.
The cast was removed just before returning to school. The new school year started and for gym we were outside playing baseball. I am not sure exactly where I was standing, the next thing I knew there was a bat flying towards my face. My instinct motion was to put my right arm up to protect my face. I went through the day without thinking much about it. The next morning I woke to find my hand and wrist completely swollen. Once again, this kid breaks another arm. I had snapped my wrist backwards and it caused the break.
Moving on towards my mid to late twenties, I was the passenger on a motor bike. A beautiful clear sunny day and the driver plows into the back end of the car in front of us. It sent me sailing through the air finally landing on my butt. To make a long story short the result was that I had torn everything away from my spine. Somehow, I was able to walk out of the hospital without the aid of a wheelchair.
It was near the turn of the twenty first century when I saw a doctor for severe pain in my back. This was my introduction into pain opioids. It started with a very mild dose of Oxycodone, which gave me some relief for a period of time. My back pain was growing worse and every time I saw the doctor the medications doses were increased.
Eventually I was taking the maximum amount of Oxycodone that was allowed. Next, came Fentanyl transdermal patches. One patch was good for seventy two hours and after that you replace it with a new patch. Finally, a new doctor suggested cortisone injections. I had two treatments and for at this time they have worked. Thus, the long term affect of long use of opioids created an addiction. I voluntarily admitted myself to the mental health ward to break the addiction.
Chronic pain demands your attention, it affects how you do anything. You do anything possible to have some relief, to have even just a couple of hours without the pain. When one part of your body aches it sends ripples out throughout your entire body.
Everyone deals with chronic pain differently. There is no one thing that if it is done will bring total relief. Also, tolerance with pain is different. Some of a hi tolerance level with pain. For me, I do not handle the chronic pain very well.
This hip pain is probably the worse that I have ever experienced in my life. I do have some relief during the day with a high dose of a pain killer. The only relief I get is when I sleep. I take an opioid, a sleeping pill, and two Tylenol 4’s.
I have become very limited in what I can accomplish on my own. The effort of just getting out of bed has me screaming while trying to maneuverer my legs to the side of the bed. I no longer cook for myself because I am afraid that I may not be able to respond if something went wrong. The task of getting a cup of coffee requires taking very careful movements using my walker.
I went on a search about managing chronic pain and found very little information that I didn’t already knew. For some I could tell by their writing that they have not encountered chronic pain.
When I read other’s blogs about having pain I can empathize with them. Even when watching tv if they have someone who has fallen and broken an arm, my response is, “ouch”. I know how that pain feels and would not wish it upon any other person.
So dear reader, I thought I would share my experiences with dealing with chronic pain. When someone describes pain, whether physical or mental, they have my sympathy.