For the past several months I have been dealing with chronic pain. An old back injury had turned into new constant battle.
I pulled my back several years ago. I’m a nurse, I’m hard headed. I simply took some meds, a little heat, some rest, call it a day. I never got it checked out.
I regret that.
Pulling on unconscious trauma patients has aggravated that old back injury. It’s inflamed with a bulging disc just for added pizzazz. I, in my hard headedness, decided I was going to ignore it. Again. Because I’m an idiot. Yeeeeeeah, no. This time I had to go see someone. I can no longer lie flat on my back or my stomach (which is how I used to sleep). I can only sleep on my side now. I have trouble standing up if I have been sitting for too long, my lower back will spasm. It’s affected my life. I’m always tired because I don’t sleep for more than a 2-3 hours at a time, the pressure on my hip wakes me and I have to reposition to the other side. I’m always in pain. Always. I refuse to take narcotics. I have an addictive personality and I know that. I’ve struggled with alcohol before and I don’t trust myself. I’ve seen my spine patients. I’ve seen them go through withdrawal after surgery waiting for us to hang their opioid tolerant PCA. I don’t want that.
So the ortho-spine doc sent me to the pain clinic. She wants me to have an ablation where they burn the nerves in the inflamed area for longer lasting pain relief. Yay!
Except our hospital insurance is a hater. I can’t just go and have the ablation on both sides like we want. No. I have to go and have one side temporarily numbed up. Then schedule another appointment to have the other side numbed. Then schedule to have the ablation on the side that was first numbed up and then schedule another appointment to have the other side ablated. Four different procedures for one problem. Awesome. I’ve had the first numbing procedure and it helped… For a few weeks. They basically injected lidocaine into my back near the inflamed nerve. My back muscles spasmed so bad during the procedure that it moved the needle each time they inserted it, so it took multiple attempts and hurt like hell. The doctor told me it was the hardest one he had done and wrote me a prescription for a muscle relaxer. That was in October. I can’t get any of the other procedures until January because that’s the next opening they have. So I’m waiting on that. I’ve dealt with the pain this long what’s a few more months right? What I did not realize is how inflamed the nerves on that side would be once the numbing medicine wore off. Let’s add constant sciatic pain from the low back to the calf muscles to the party.
Fabulous. Another spine appointment, another med. I’ve gone from taking no prescription meds to taking baclofen and neurontin. Nothing hard core thank goodness but I don’t like being on meds. It could be much worse so I’m thankful that at least we have a plan in place to try and help me get better.
To all my chronic pain sufferers, I feel you. I understand your frustration. I get what you’re going through. You are stronger than you know. Don’t give up.
If you are honest with yourself are you angry or are you bitter? Are you holding on to something that hurt you? Are you holding on a situation that went wrong? Are you telling yourself you’re “just angry” or are you truly bitter?
There is nothing wrong with anger. Anger is a natural response to certain situations. However, holding on to this anger is where things go wrong. That anger slowly becomes bitterness. Bitterness destroys people. Bitterness causes you to take negative feelings associated with a prior situation and apply those feelings to every future related situation. Bitterness causes you to expect the worst from others. Bitterness causes you to retreat inward. It is an ineffective coping mechanism. Anger is a feeling but bitterness is a state of mind. I have been able to use anger to push me forward. Anger made me feel like I had something to prove to the person that hurt me. Anger helped me get my BSN. Bitterness has never helped me get anywhere.
I have been able to use anger to push me forward. Anger made me feel like I had something to prove to the person/people/situation that hurt me. Anger helped me get my BSN. Anger pushed me to find a better job. Anger made me walk away from a dying relationship. Bitterness has never helped me get anywhere.
Bitterness kept me single for a long time. I had faith in no one. Bitterness kept me inside of a self-imposed prison. Why venture out when things are just going to go wrong anyway? Bitterness kept me emotionally unstable. Bitterness didn’t push me forward, it held me back.
Step away from bitterness. Be angry. Be hurt. Be sad. Feel all that you need to feel. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling all of those “negative” emotions. You have to learn to ultimately let those emotions go.
I really need to work on my body mechanics. I have no idea why but my back has been in a continuous spasm since last night. I picked up an oxygen tank to mine ur and almost dropped to my knees from the pain. Typically my back only bothers me if I’m constantly moving heavy patients, which is unavoidable since I’m a nurse.
I think it’s time for my first deep tissue massage. Or is it time for me to stop pulling on patients?
I’ve ventured into the shoe store. A bit over whelming but I know what I’m looking for so I head straight to the flats. Walking… Walking… Looking… And I pass them… The Jesus Christ 5’s, the Moses “let my people go” 11’s, the calf high gladiator sandals.
“There’s no way anyone would actually get those.” I say out loud as I walk past. I was wrong. I continue my shopping trip with the “thotiator” sandals far in the back of my mind. And then… HER! Apparently it’s never too early for ratchetness. SHE walks in, on her phone, talking loudly. Just ignore her, I tell myself. She stops… “OOOOOOH girl I just found some bomb ass sandals!” She’s not talking about… She can’t be talking about… Noooo, not the thotiators! Yes, the thotiators. She proceeds to find a box and sit down to squeeze her cankles into these sandals. They fit… Sort of. It’s kind of like, well, you know when you make s’mores and the marshmallow is all warm and gooey and it oozes out of the sides of the graham crackers when you squeeze them together? That, but in a tall sandal. I want to tell her “NO! Don’t do it! You can do so much better!” But I don’t. I just watch her put the sandal back in the box and proceed to continue shopping, still on the phone. I do the same, all the while hoping she changes her mind. She doesn’t. We both get in line and I just stare at the box silently. I wanted to say something, I really did. However, she was bigger than I am and looked like she could fight. I can’t. The safety of her cankles just isn’t worth me getting my ass kicked.
I wonder if I will see her, her cankles, and the thotiator sandals this summer?
It happened. Someone I love dearly was taken from me by cancer, again. 14 years ago I lost my mother to this evil disease. Yesterday this villain of all villains, this evil of all evils, stole my grandmother away from me. It hurts. The pain is unimaginable. Seeing her suffering reminded me of my mother’s suffering all those years ago. Cancer doesn’t care about riches. It doesn’t care about age. It doesn’t care about gender or race. It doesn’t care about how love ones will be affected. No. The only motive cancer has is it kill. It steals joy. It brings pain. To me, that is a super villain. However, there is no super hero taking on the good fight. It’s Bane with no Batman. It’s Doomsday with no Superman. Magneto with no Xavier. Loki with no Avengers. No one should have to go through such loss. It’s not fair. My heart has yet another hole in it. My mother was the love of my life. My grandmother was the only grandparent I had still alive and though she wasn’t mine by blood, she was mine by love. She loved me the moment I became a part of the Reed family. I know she isn’t suffering anymore. I know she gets to see grandpa again. She will even get to meet my mom for the first time. I know it was God’s plan. That doesn’t take away the pain. It still burns. The tears still flow. I know I just have to let myself go through the all of the emotions. Someday acceptance will come. Until that day, the tears will freely flow.
How much is someone supposed to take? How strong is someone supposed to remain in the face of adversity? Everyone tells you to remain strong. If not, pray. Ok, then what? I prayed for my mother to live. I prayed for her to win the battle against her cancer. Instead she died in front of me when I was only 16. It’s been 14 years and the hole in my heart that losing her has left is still there. It’s a sadness, a pain that can’t be described. Yet I have put on that I am strong. I have everyone believing I am healing. I hide the desperation. Can no one see the pain in these eyes? Has anyone ever looked long enough to actually see through the facade? I guess not… So I soldier on. Pick up the smile, put in on, make sure it’s straight, and make believe.