A challenging day, now a new day!

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”  ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

In many of my posts and ones that I read I find myself believing that I have done my grieving, that I try to embrace the new things in my life that ‘chronic pain’ has brought, rather than what I have lost.

This is no easy thing to do though, it takes hard work, for me it does anyway, to ensure that you don’t slip back mentally, putting yourself in to a place of fear, anxiety and depression.

Yesterday was a huge challenge for me.

facet joint injection
This is the name given to an injection into the small linking joints of the spine, the Facet joints.

I have been seeing a Pain Consultant who said to me the last two times that I have seen him that he would work down injecting my spine until he found the place that would react the best and use this also as a form of diagnosis.  So far I have had two injections on my thoracic spine.  The first gave about a 20% improvement.  The second nothing, however I have reduced my drugs which is great and am on anaesthetic patches much to the GP’s disgust due to the expense.  However, my pain levels are probably the same or a touch less than after the one that made a difference.

In my mind though I had a plan, I have more spine, it wasn’t done yet, there were other areas he could inject and see hopefully if an area reacted better.

This time however, I only saw his Registrar who was there on the last injection.  He said due to the injection making no difference, there was nothing more that they could offer me, unless…

no medication
“We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.”
― Santosh Kalwar, Quote Me Everyday

I took more drugs ~ really, I have spent so long reducing them, my weight has piled on, my eyesight deteriorated, my stomach swollen and painful, I get a foggy head and I really really need to be composmentos for my children and I also need to find work.


So this was a no, no for me.

He said to me that there was only one more vertebrae lower down that was in my thorax, the rest was lumbar spine, and though I feel pain there, the majority is in my thorax, so they would not touch my lumbar area.  There are a few thoracic vertebrae left higher but seeing as I don’t indicate the pain being there they won’t try there.  He explained they don’t inject the same area more than twice a year and it runs risks the more they inject.  I didn’t know this.  Due to the risks they won’t inject where they don’t think it is going to make a difference.

tears_in_eyes-1280x960I was trying to get my head around all of this.  Because you see, I went in having options borne from the conversation I had with the ‘Specialist’ there was more to do.  The conversation with the Registrar was taking away those options.  I understood why when he explained it, but you don’t just get your head around it.  I found myself weeping uncontrollably, the weeping you do when you grieve, it was a shock for me, it felt like the end.

I asked him was there not a cause, a ‘point’ that they could find and fix, I just didn’t understand how there can’t be something physically wrong that they can’t find, the ‘starter’ of it all.

He explained to me that ‘acute pain’ is sudden and intense and normally if treated it goes away.  I had this pain, but all i was given were drugs, it took months of me being in bed, popping pills before anyone would do anything.  Maybe I missed the time to do anything.

He explained that ‘chronic pain’ is different.  It is the pain further down, where it has been long term.  Your nerve endings send mixed confused messages that aren’t necessarily right, to the brain.  IE, it is saying “it hurts, there is damange” when often there is not, however the brain gets this message and reacts, the person feels the pain, the body responds.  It is very real. But this is down to the nervous system.  This doesn’t mean to say that it is in someone’s head, far from it, the existence of pain is real and the problem is very real.

So how does one treat this?

One way is drugs, I have been on so many facebook pages, chat places seen what this does to people, I want my mind, I want to keep what sensory pleasures I can to enjoy life.

So he has offered me an alternative…

To go to the Intensive Pain Management Clinic, which is where you attend full time for three weeks at a centre filled with specialists to help you manage your pain for a better quality of life.  It is the last port of call so to speak in this journey.

I will go, it brings with it challenges and fears, just physically to get there, a whole day somewhere fills me with anxiety how I will react in public if in pain etc, I don’t have my safety  net of being home.  But as and when they offer it to me, I will take it up, if I pass the ‘interview process.’

So yesterday was a hard day.  I cried most of the day.  I felt morose, like everything was pointless, that I was useless.  I felt like all the doors had slammed shut.

There is hope
There is hope

You see you want those pockets of light guiding you somewhere with supporting hand of confidence that they will help you feel like they just disappeared. Those little snippets of possibility just to reduce the pain.

I felt guilt for my children, I hate that feeling and I just felt like a waste of space.  Yes I was in a bad place it happens, like plummeting down a hole.  I didn’t fight it because I knew the next day would be a new day.  I wanted to be on my own, to cry, to grieve and that is what I did.

So now it is starting over again, it is a process with a new plan, I will have hiccups I am sure, but I am trying to see what is in front of me, to take the new path with a positive mind!  All working progress 🙂

Justine x

© Justine @ It’s a lonely place

Retro eclectic odds n sods-002 retro button Living in East Sheen (2)

Let’s keep connected!



35 thoughts on “A challenging day, now a new day!

  1. I haven’t worked my way “backwards” through your pain blog to know all the details. But I understand the grieving process & chronic pain.
    And wanting alternatives to medications! I’ve tapered off opiates (my choice) because, like you, I felt fuzzy and unsure of my balance. Finding new ways to deal with the pain.
    Good luck with the pain management. I hope you find viable alternative options.

  2. It has been quite awhile since I’ve seen your blog. I’m glad you let yourself feel what you felt. You are a good role model. I see it was written on the 16th. Do you know yet when….or is it if….. you will be admitted into the program?

    1. No idea yet still awaiting a letter I hope it doesn’t arrive in the middle of the summer hols as simply cannot afford to send the kids to camp for three weeks plus don’t really want to and time is getting nearer to the hols! Thank you for asking karuna x

        1. No as don’t have family anywhere close by and my husband constantly loses money with my back and him having to do school runs etc so will need to see if they can delay if it does get offered in this time span! Xx

          1. I hope it gets offered before the holidays…. or you think of friends that would be willing to do it. I wish you lived in Seattle. We have quite a support network here.

  3. I`m playing catchup…taking a day off. I can see how you must be disappointed and worried too. What I admire about you is that you understand what chronic pain is. It took me 15 years to `start`getting it. Hoping you will figure out how to work the 3 weeks…what if this is helpful? I`m wondering IF you have day camps for the children, so it`s like being in school all day and staying a bit later for the working parents and your husband could pick them up at the end of his work? Just a thought. Big (((((((( hugs )))))) Oliana xx

    1. hey there, yes they probably have day camps its not that really its the money side too. Money is flodding out and not much coming in. I am trying to get work but every corner i take even with volunteering my back comes along and messes things up gets very frustrating. i went for a two hour volunteering job with age uk yesterday but its sit down admin data entry, but for me would get my foot in to the door of a charity that does such great work but they are worried about my back so dont know that i will get it but fingers crossed, we shall see xx 🙂 huggle s

  4. I totally sympathise. Injections into the spine are terrifying and very painful. I decided in the end not to have any more and to cut down on medication. I now walk as much as possible, do yoga and reiki and have cut out dairy, wheat and avoid additives and processed food. Relaxation is key for me.Stress is bad so meditation, yoga and swimming help. I decided to become a friend to my pain and work with it to make it better (sounds a bit weird) but it works for me. Take care. Hugs 🙂

    1. awe i wish you lived near me, I am in the UK. I too am having no more injections really and am trying meditation, i used to practise Reiki but not found someone to whom i can go but the thing is it all costs money having alternative therapies, but walking is a must for me now, am working up to 2-3 miles a day 🙂 so lovely to meet you xx

  5. I’ve been living with chronic pain for years; here in the U.S. and with that being said the first they offered was medication, then the pain clinic (very far away & expensive), and as a last resort they have shots and certain surgeries. I couldn’t fathom the last ones being options.

    After a lot of research I opted for finding alternative ways of dealing…supplements, changes in diet, exercise, meditation and the list goes continues.

    I’m wishing you the best in these endeavors. Finding homeopathic remedies to dealing with chronic pain can be painful and disappointing at times. I would love to encourage you to try each day on a positive note, and I know it’s not easy. Some days I try and don’t always make it – it’s a daily endeavor.

    1. I would like to concentrate on my diet. I am using a diet ap and pedometer, trying to keep a track on things as I am desperate to lose weight, the meds really dont help with this. Also I think diet can help reduce pain for some, I would be very interested to learn what has helped you on this front if you have time, or even a post already writen on it. My email is eclecticoddsnsods.@gmail if you don’t want to write it all here, prob best hehe

      1. I would be more than happy to share my experience. Yes, probably not suited for a reply box though; too lengthy- haha.
        It’s a great idea for a serial as well on my blog, however, considering time constraints at present, there’s no telling how long it would take me to get them all published. All that to say – I’ll send an e-mail. x

        1. ah well bit by bit, you should write it like a journal otherwise you forget bits, well i do anyway 🙂 memory like a seive its the meds i have bright yellow post it notes everywhere anyone would think i was at uni!

          1. Very good suggestion – thank you!

            I used to live by post it notes in different colors to help me organize my “to do” list, “don’t forget” list, and with those I also had bullet lists in my notebook. It sounds a bit much when I type it hear to read, but it’s the truth, and I needed them.

            Since being able to lower my medication a little my memory has been vastly improved. I’m down to a daily list now. The post it notes are on standby just in case though! All days can’t be perfect.

          2. oh no, coloured post it notes, now you gave me an idea, bad girl! lol….mine are green at the moment a dash of pink wouldn’t go amiss! Something else to put on the shopping list now, hehe

    1. I got it, hehe, I start in March 😉 Nervous about it but will think about the challenges of the practical sides of being there nearer the time, meanwhile I want to get my mindfulness act together…wish you lived closer we could meditate together…yoga is beyond my reach at the moment, but maybe one day. My goal is to bellydance hehe…would be fabuloso!

      1. I’m so happy that you got it!
        Think positive and all is going to work this way.
        I loved the idea of meditating together. Shall we plan a cyborg meditation online?
        Ref. yoga, you can do it at home if you wish. Have you tried Yin? It can’t be more relaxing than that. You may have to select which poses you can do – just as I do – because of my neck, but mostly it works fine.
        It’s the most relaxing therapy I found, since i broke my neck. It reduced my headaches to 25% of what I used to have.
        I have tried everything and nothing was so effective in combination with meditation.
        Bellydance….hehehe i would need lots of cabbage as am no dancer!
        Tell me more..xx

        1. Thank you I am nervous and excited at the same time about the course. I discovered Yoga Nidra which is the first Meditation I did, I found I loved the mans voice, it was just neutral, no music and I can do it lying down which in fact is the way one is meant to do it. I tend to have a horribly busy mind and was very adamant it wouldn’t do anything for me, but oddly from the first time I listened to it, it was like someone just pulled a switch and I went ‘off’; somewhere and wasn’t aware I had done taht until I came back. I thought it was a one off and did it again and the same thing happened. My issue is I need to do things like any exercise or yoga etc lying down, sitting is an issue for me and not much really caters for that, or standing up i can do obviously. I am still searching for something I can do at home though so the door isnt closed on that front 🙂 I do gyrotonic which has helped enormously and before this Alexander technique which got m out of bed and walking yay. Now I want to move on from this and try to get some strength within me and be able to do more and hopefully have less pain but we shall see.

          I didn’t acknowlege you breaking your neck last time though inside I did and wow, that is just terrible, how did you do it again? I can’t even imagine what that must have been like. I know a few people that have conditions that give them headaches, some have to wear glasses constantly etc, I cannot imagine what it is like daily, so I really admire you and it looks ilkeyou are in a far better place than before 🙂

          What is the difference in time zone between us? So yes meditating together would be ace, not sure how we would accomplish it lol maybe in the New Year we can organize to do it at the same time, with or without a CD accompaniment hehe.

          I havn’t given up the dream of bellydancing..wniks…lots of cabbage!! xxx

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