I'm not feeling very witty or wordy today so you'll have to pardon my dry straight-forward and totally unimaginative writing for the moment.
There is no way to describe what it's like to have chronic pain unless you're living it yourself. I know, many of you do understand it. Many do not. *nods*
My issue is two bulging disks for a lack of anything more creative to say about it.
My symptoms and pain kicked into high gear about 6 months ago but have been off and on for the better part of 10 years. Obviously it was just all building up to these moments of my life when I would never ever underestimate the power of pain or is weight on someone's life again. Including my own.
I've been in a sort of denial for the duration of about 6 months. I didn't want to admit that just because I could turn the wrong way and throw my back out and be bed ridden for two weeks was any sort of sign that things were worsening. I just thought well, I need to do more yoga and well I need to ride more.
More yoga and more riding I did! Instead of taking it easy I was determined to get STRONGER and even added in some free weights to my regime. Did it work?
No. Sadly it did not.
The frequency to which I was injuring myself was becoming alarming. I could no longer grit my teeth a bare it.
That moment happened where everything sort of just fell like a house of cards and a crushing realization was upon me in a split second;
I was putting groceries away, carefully (im no idiot, I know what I can and can't do by now and bending at a 45 degree angle is always a game of Russian Roulette) into the car and BLAM!!!! I was seeing stars and the urge to throw up hit me so hard I had to hold into something and before I knew it huge, hot tears of frustration were streaming down my face.
I don't think until that moment I had ever once shed a tear over my back. Not even when I threw my back out horribly and couldn't get off the couch to even make it upstairs for 2 weeks - I think it was always just waiting ... buidling.. as true frustration does, for last straw.
I calmly wiped my face and threw the rest of the groceries in the back of the car, eggs be damned and drove home. Hot tears still pouring from my eyes.
It felt good to get mad and sad and just let that shit GO! When I got home my face was red and puffy and I just knew there was no hiding this from the wife. I admitted to my emotional break-down and hated to worry her. But I knew I was in trouble. Big trouble.
I iced my back as I always did and started the healing process but this time I was going to ask for help. I had enough of going it alone - I finally got hooked up with a doctor, got an xray then an MRI and then got scooted off to a pain management doc where I was to get my first of 2 steroidal epidural injections for my bulging disks.
Yay! I was going to FINALLY be out of pain and FINALLY be able to stop having to be at the mercy of these asshole doctors that load you up with super addicting drugs and then treat you like an addict. Jesus what a wonderfully shameful feeling THAT is. Can I have more please?
So I digress - I got my shot.. it was wonderful for the first 2 weeks until I got into some horseplay with my brother who is a brick shit house and innocently pushed me onto a couch where my epidural shot undid its self in a single second. Gah.
2 days later I was 10 kinds of fuckered up and my leg was back to throbbing. Not so much my spine just yet - it always starts with the leg and then just gets all crazy painful everywhere.
So in the meantime I was on a pain pill strike that I had to give up or surely someone was going to end up divorced (me) or dead (me) due to the fact that we were headed out of town for two weeks. Two weeks of sleeping in someone elses bed and two weeks of sitting in chairs Im sure I wont be comfortable in and two weeks of being in shit fuck pain again ... gah!
The pain pill strike ended and I caved. Good thing because I did another sweet ass 45 degree back blow out right before we left loading the car up. But this time? I was able to be quiet about it and just grit my teeth - pop a pain pill and no one had to know. And no one DID know until we came back ;)
So we get back and I get my shot and I wean off opiates once again. Woo Hoo.. I feel better and I got my tooth problem fixed pretty much at the same time. Might as well right? I used the lortabs from my tooth to finish my pain pill addiction. Nice. I was set. No pain in the tooth and no pain in the back ...
I worked a nice long 8 hour shift on the torch about 2 weeks after my shot - see? I gave myself a good long break before I went back to work. I AM responsible about my back - and I didn't even yoga or ride even though we had 70 degree weather for 2 weeks.. I was good.
Saturday we go to the store. I merely GET OUT of the car and something went wrong. Felt some grinding and a pop of sorts and almost fell from the pain. OMG what did I do now?
I walked up to the house where the wife was opening the door and as hard as I tried I just couldn't stop the tears - fuck.
So I just cried it out. Let it come. Not so much over the pain but for the pain I knew was to come and the total agonizing frustration of being off work yet another week or two. I can't take it. What can I do? I JUST GOT OFF pain pills I AM NOT going back on. Fuck that. Suck it up. So that's what I did and I proceeded to take groceries in with an icepack in my shorts. Might as well be a productive invalid while I could still walk - it was going to hurt either way what did it matter now?
It didn't really. The damage was done. The swelling was starting and there was precious little I could do.
I used heat and ice and everything else I have at my command (which is an outright arsenal of creams and OTC pills and a back brace and a tenz machine) and pretty much just had to try to accept that this? Wasn't going to get any better - in fact it would prove to get far worse before it got better.
So what does one do when all the nice, easy conventional ways of managing pain are gone? Shots don't work or they do but they're so easy to screw up and for me the diabetic person, having steroids in my system was like trying to manage my blood sugars while someone is feeding me spoonfulls of honey. Sugar spikes if I even thought about food. The cost vs benefit (30 day periods too) wasn't working out anymore.
So I decided I'm done with the shots. Im done with narcotic pain pills and I can't see a chiro. They wont even touch me with two bulging disks. No massage nothing. So now what? Well theres a procedure that.. EH! No. NO FUCKING NO. No one and I mean NO ONE is allowed to touch my back yet. Not yet. NO NO NO because once that starts its all downhill. I've heard the horror stories. I've seen the results and they're not very promising.
Now mind you I know bulging disks are not considered to be at the top of the list of worlds most painful back issues - I know. But Im a someone that can tolerate LARGE and I mean LARGE amounts of pain without even flinching but this was kicking my tough little ass.
I see my pain doc Monday of next week but Im not hopeful. I am going to ask for intensive PT if I can afford it - I've heard it can be super spendy like as in 50 each time you go. But if Im not working that is probably not going to be an option.
Oh yea - we didn't even touch upon that part of this - the guilt of not being able to help support my family is just too much for me. And really if I don't work - we struggle. Hard. I hate it. Everything about it. I wish I had a job where we could get some sort of disability thing going ... but then I'd have to work a 9-5 lol Nah.. ;)
yes, I'm whining. I've earned the fucking right to whine. All i want to do is sit down, create and be happy. Make a little money for my efforts and just go on with things. I've had more down time due to my back in the past 6 months than I've had up. Im real over it.
So what now you ask? I'm asking the same thing. I heard something about lido patches? Numbs the affected area? I dunno? Worth a try. Yes, I know my pain could all be over if I would just take the fucking pain pills. I know. And they're not that bad. That's not the issue. The issue is that I can't seem to find a doctor moral enough to actually really and truly help me get off of these. They want to put you on but they never want to take any responsibility and help you to come off. Fuck that noise. I wont give my power away like that. And even if I did find a good doc that had a set of morals, I still wouldn't. I am just done with that for now and maybe forever. There has to be better ways. Like maybe acupuncture? Something? Some alternative healing ... its out there I just have to find it!
I think everything will work out in the end I just have to continue to be patient and right now Im thin on that. I do have hope still but every day that I spend in severe pain that dwindles. And every day that I can't create I become less and less connected with my light source. I need to work to be happy. Getting on that torch is the ultimate anti depressant for me and allows me to get a sort of meditation that I can't find anywhere else. Not even beautiful Yoga!
So in a way I wrote this post for you, the reader so you could know what I've been struggling with. From your perspective you might have heard about this shot or that.. my back hurting here and there and wondered why in the hell does Payton take so much time off? Slacker!! Heh. Lately that's exactly what I've been. And I wish I could say that I've done more than just build a website with my spare time but no, not really. I did read some good pottery books? Does that count?
I'll be back in the game soon. bare with me. I'm really doing all that I can.
I miss my life. I miss me. Pain free happy go lucky me.