So this is my first throw into the wonderful world of blogging!! I have never really understood blogging but after another pointless trip to the doctors, where I ended up bawling my eyes out but more on that later, I think I finally understand. I, as I’m sure many other chronic pain suffers do, have a lot I need to get off my chest. As I am rubbish at actually talking to people this seems like a good way to do it!! Even if no one reads it getting it off my chest makes me feel a lot better!! So here is my story…..
I’m 24 and live the very quiet and frankly dismal town of Taunton. Taunton is known for a few things but mainly being that boring town worryingly close to Bridgwater! My chronic pain journey started a few years. I used to work with horses, every little girls dream job. My dream job. I loved every second of it!! I started working in a racing yard at the age of 17 and at 22 was running a polo yard. To most people this would not seem like a “proper job”, but to me it was everything! I worked exceptionally hard and would not be shy to say I was bloody good at my job!! About 2 years ago I started to struggle at work with back pain. In my line of work this was not exactly uncommon!! But mine progressed getting worse and worse until I could no longer do my job properly! So a year ago I made the heart breaking decision to quit my job and get one of these “normal jobs” everyone was banging on about!! My theory being a 6 month break from working on the yard would sort my back out and I would be back to my wonderful love in no time! Obviously this was not to be….
So here we are, a year down the line. I should be back at the polo yard cantering the horses around the woods and smelling of horse poop. Instead I’m lying in bed with chronic back pain. Things are not exactly going to plan. My back pain has not got any better since my decrease in work load! In fact its got worse. Every week it seems to get worse. And my dreams of going back to the best job in the world seem to have slipped away entirely!
It’s very difficult to explain chronic pain to some one who doesn’t suffer it themselves. The best way I have found is to imagine watching twilight over and over 24 hours a day 7 days a week. But without ever feeling it yourself it is impossible to identify with someone who does. Chronic pain is exhausting both physically and emotionally. Having to do everyday tasks while it feels as though a burning hot knife is in your back is bad enough, let alone having to work a 12 hour shift with it. You get into bed exhausted from the day willing yourself to sleep. But you can never get comfy as where ever you lie feels like a bed of nails. So you lay there all night thinking of how it would be if you where pain free. how you would skip through the corn fields and get your dream job back. Then get up in the morning to repeat the same process again on 2 hours sleep.
Emotionally chronic pain is indescribable. I have never felt so alone in my whole life! I spend my days pretending to friends and work colleagues I’m fine. I don’t want to be treated like I’m incapable. There is nothing worse when you have chronic back pain than someone saying “sit down for a bit” “ill pick that up” “watch your back”. I am not injured. reaching to pick up that pencil will not hurt my back more and you doing it for me will not make my back hurt less. It hurts all the time. If I’m carrying shopping bags, if I’m doing the dishes or if I’m sat on the sofa watching TV. The level of pain changes everyday, but it never goes away. Pretending to be ok to avoid acts of sympathy and then locking yourself in the bathroom for a mini breakdown seems to be current meathod to get through the day.
I am very lucky in that I have an incredible fiancée Rich. He is my rock, he never pesters me asking how my back is. I think he has realised now that the answer is always the same. My back is bad!! He does pick up on the times I’m struggling more than usual and without making a fuss or pitying me he helps me through the rest of day! How other chronic pain sufferers cope without someone like him I will never know. But even with him around this pain is making me feel so alone. People ask “whats wrong with your back” and you can’t answer. People expect a clear answer. “oh ive slipped a disk” or “I just slept funny”. When you try to explain you have chronic back pain, it has no explanation, no cause it’s just there and it’s getting worse people don’t believe you. I have been called lazy and its been said I’m just trying to get out of work. Or its been said it’s all in my head and I’m making it up. The latter of which has been said by family members, this huts more than anything you could ever imagine. Your battling constant pain 24/7 and because you have no bruise or cast ect people don’t believe there is anything wrong with you at all.So you stop mentioning it, you hide it. But bottling up never ends well!! Everyone knows that!
Today I had a very miserable trip to the doctors. As any chronic pain suffers know your pain meds are your life line to a normal existence. So visiting the doctors once a month for a top up of meds has become a regular thing. I always find dealing with the GP difficult. I have the up most of respect for GPs but they are always so rushed to see the next patient they can hardly see the one sat in front of them. So today I saw a doctor I had not seen before. After a quick run down of everything that had been going on to this point I asked him where do we go from here. After over a year of consistent back pain I was hoping for more than being chucked some pain killers and being shown the door. But lucky I know better than to hope for too much. “Well there’s no point doing more scans, ill write you a prescription that should see you through the next month, but I would say you defiantly wont be going to work with horses and should never ride again” Just like that not only did he crush all my hopes and dreams of regaining a normal life he admitted they would never find the source to this pain. So at 24 I am looking at being in chronic pain for the rest of my life! Not exactly the prospects every 24-year-old would like to face. While I sat there head in my hands crying my eyes out I decided one thing……
This chronic pain isn’t going to own me……
I’m going to own this chronic pain.
These new pain meds however are making me exceptionally drowsy so that more than enough blogging for one night!!!