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.
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…
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.
I 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.
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 @ It’s a lonely place