Have you tried…..

Nothing annoys me more than the have you tried question! Have you tried yoga? Have you tried healing stones? Have you tried a change in diet? Well no random person i have not tried anything, in fact i rather enjoy sitting around in pain all day every day! Its so enjoyable that i let it destroy my career and my mental health because hey why bother trying! Its always the same people that come up with miracle cures. They think they know what your going through without taking a week to read your medical history (yes it takes that long) and cant even pronounce what is apparently wrong with you!! But hey random citizen an army of specialists cant figure out what to do with me but im sure you know a quick fix? Where did you get your doctorate again?

Seriously though these are the least helpful people i can ever come across! More so than the you cant people (more on them later). Im going about my day, struggling on, trying not to let my pain effect me. Trying to make sure my pain levels dont mean i get to see my breakfast cookies again (yes i know cookies for breakfast not healthy blah blah blah my body is already fudged a few cookies for breakfast isnt going to make a difference). And up comes the noble samaritan offering a stretching exercise that has cured everyone she knows. A certain stretch i regually preform but has so far produced no miracles! But that doesnt stop the rant infact it moves on to being told its all in my head! Oh yes excuse me im imagining the lack of sleep, the struggle to tie my own laces up and the constant pain! Then upon saying i didnt want to talk about it and walking away (i was on the verge of crying) i was the told i was being to sensitive! Excuse me! There i was minding my own business attempting to go about my day (all be it unsuccessfully) when you approached me with your jesus theory! So you can take my sensitivity and shove it where the sun doesnt shine!!

As for the “you cant do that” people….well im perfectly aware of what i can and cannot do! Im aware ive already lost one career to this pain and im not about to loose another one! I am awear that what im doing right this second is probably not good for my back….but it is good for my mental health! Because im not done until i say im done! Im not beaten until i say im beaten! And im not quitting until i say i quit! I know people are just looking out for me but just stop! Im awear of my own limitations and unless i cant walk i will work! Fact! This pain has taken enough from me so i now own it! Were done when i say we are done! Until then we slug on!

I know people only offer suggestions and help because they mean well. I ignore my pain as best i can and i just want others to do the same! It makes it a million times harder to cope when others bring it up! If i want to go cry in the corner for 5 mins and then pull myself back together just leave me to it! Dont suggest some miracle cure that ive probably already tried and that’s clearly not worked for me!

I havent written for a while because i thought i was coping…..clearly i was wrong!!!

One step forward 20 million steps back!

Having not written since August its safe to presume everything is going reasonably well. The back pain whilst annoyingly constant has been bearable. A combination of working hard at my physio exercises and keeping more active thanks to my lovely puppy dog has been keeping the pain to a steady limit. Don’t get me wrong I still wake up every day in a lot of pain, whether I’ve learnt to live with it and ignore it or it has genuinely improved I have been a lot happier these past few months. Even contemplating getting back on a horse and training to go back to my proper job. Up until Sunday anyway when the latest fun and games started and my hopes and dreams where yet again flushed away!

So I wake up, do my stretches take the dog for a walk as per normal in pain but a low-level. Sit on the sofa and enjoying a cup of tea and boom! The biggest back spam and cramp I have ever had! Persistent agony soon followed so intense it made be physically sick and no amount of codeine would touch the pain! Its horrific! Being the pure idiot that I am after only getting an hour of sleep off I went to work on Monday morning. Safe to say I was home again by 3. This is the first time my back pain has stopped me at work. Already losing one career because of the pain, this scares the life out of me I will not lose this job too!

So with all this obviously a trip to the Drs was in order. I don’t know why I do it but I always do. I go to the doctors full of hope that they will turn around and say they have a magic cure or a back transplant I can have. Obviously this never happens. In his own words “there’s nothing we can do. You just have to live with it and what exactly where you expecting to get out of coming here”. Well I don’t know genius maybe some f***ing help!? Oh and I can sign myself off for a week if I want. Well cheers love that’s going to help with the next 40 years of my life being in agony. Leaving the doctors and picking up prescription to add insult to injury i bump into Kevin.  Now Kevin is a waiting room regular. While i pay for my prescriptions for my drugs so i can drag my ass to work to pay my taxes, lovely kevin can have his methodone on the house. This makes me so angry!!

So yet again back to square one. In enough pain to make me vomit. With no help from any medical professional. Physically and emotionally exhausted. Not sure how I can go on. This journey has already lasted 3 years and looking at facing the rest of my life in pain fills me with dread and anger. To be perfectly honest I’m not sure i can do it. I should be looking to my future with joy. But instead i go to bed dreading how much pain i might be in when i wake up.

Planning anything seems impossible. I’m at that age where i am starting to think about kids. As much as i joke about having puppies not babies i would love to have my own little chunky monkey. But the very thought of being pregnant terrifies me. God knows how much pain i will be in and i wont be able to take any of my pain killers. I know Rich would love a baby (as much as he also pretends he wouldn’t). The feeling that i may not be able to give him this is horrible. All i want to do is make him happy and i feel totally unable to.

 

Pretending to be OK all the time is exhausting. I pretend mostly for myself. If i can convince myself that I’m alright and I’m feeling better then maybe one day it would be true. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. So ill stay inside my little pain bubble, smiling to the world, crying on the inside and trying to figure out how to muddle through.

For now though I’m official done. How I’m going to cope with this forever i don’t know.

It is defiantly back pain 1 pathetic loser 0 this week.

xxx

Me again!!

So I haven’t written in a while! The main reason for this being I have been feeling alright! I only ever write for myself, I am useless at talking to people and expressing how I feel. My go to is to battle on and pretend I’m ok and let everything just build up inside. I only write when I can no longer bottle things up and need to get everything off my chest. If no one reads this is does not matter to me! Getting everything out of my head does me the world of good! And as I’m in the middle of a mini break down now seems like a good time to get writing again! A lot has happened in the last few months so where to begin….

Since I last wrote I have been referred to a physiotherapist at the hospital! My initial reaction was amazing! I was full of hope that this would make a difference. That maybe I would begin feeling better and go back to my proper job working with horses. initially the sessions where making a small difference which filled me with hope! Hope is a dangerous thing! When you lose it the crash back to reality is painful to say the least!

The physio sessions have been happening every other week. I have now been going to physio for 6 months. And can safely say I’m in as much pain if not more than I was at the start. I’ve been doing all the exercises I’ve been set as often as I physically can praying that one morning  I will wake up pain-free. Safe to say that has not happened! And the doctors still continue to fob me off at every visit convinced the physio will find the answer. “Find a new job” “find time to rest and relax” “just take it easy”. If I have to hear a medical professional say this to me again I may punch them in the face! I’m sure that all sounds great from their 9 to 5 job at their nice comfy desk and great salary. Unfortunately in the real world it does not work like this!

The pain is becoming unbearable. Even the most simple of tasks are exhausting. I spend all day exhausted and all night staring at the walls trying to get comfy enough to sleep. The lack of energy is seriously doing my head in! I have hardly any social life at the moment. Even the thought of leaving the house on my day off fills me with dread. What if I do go out with my friends for a drink and there’s no where for  me to sit. What if I’m in the middle of asda and I get a spasm in my back so bad I can hardly walk. This has left to becoming somewhat of a recluse. Leaving my house to go to work and any other essential trips. I used to meet up with my friends at least once a week. These days I’m lucky if it’s once a month. I’ve found myself becoming a rather miserable old bag!

Another very major thing that has happened since I last wrote is that I got married to the most amazing man in the world. The build up to the wedding provided a fantastic distraction from the pain and a motivation to get up, go out and sort wedding stuff out! Rich is amazing! He always manages to make me smile while I’m bawling my eyes out because of the pain I’m in! Why he has tied himself to this cripple I will never know! The fact he has however scares the life out of me! He deserves so much more than a crocked wife! I’m always thinking about our future wondering what if my backs to bad to have kids and how long will it be until he has to push me around in a wheelchair.  I know he knew all this before he married me. But I can’t help thinking he deserves so much more than miserable crippled me! At the moment our work schedules are very conflicting which is leaving me feeling very miserable and lonely! More often than not we will go days without seeing each other! I get home from work and he’s in bed ready for his 4am start. I get up he’s already left for work and this cycle goes on for days at a time. I miss him. After a bad pain day all I want is a cuddle with the man I love (I know I’m a pathetic soppy marshmallow), but often I find myself sat on my own in the evenings feeling exceptionally miserable which is not doing my mental health any good at all! I’m not suggesting he got another job and I never would. Despite the slightly unsociable hours he enjoys his job and I would never ask him to give it up for me! But perhaps its time I got some company. The four legged variety with a waggy tail may just cut it!

Work continues to be a struggle. But I must work I’m not a secret millionaire so I will have to battle through. The most irritating thing at work is to hear “don’t let her do that because of her back” “ill do this you rest your back”. While I’m at work I want to be treated like everyone else! The day I feel as though I cannot do my job properly I will leave. Hearing things like that is just a constant reminder of your pain. And it makes me so bloody miserable. So until I look up and say I’ve had enough please treat me like anyone else. Don’t get me wrong I have bad days where I find tasks at work harder than I normally wold. But unless I say its too much just let me battle on.

So as you have gathered by now I’m having a pretty tough week! The pain at the moment is unbearable. I dread waking up in pain and having to drag my ass to work. Where I go from here I’m not sure but something defiantly has to change soon!

 

xxx

 

 

 

Relaxing week off……as if!

So last week I had a week off from my full-time job and only one shift in my part-time job. This should have meant a relaxing week off right? Think again! This week consisted of flat pack building, hair cutting, car servicing, house cleaning, clothes organising, wedding notice meetings and a 600 mile round trip. Throw in attempting to catch up with a few friends and you have a week of madness. I almost looked forward to going back to work!

The week started with flat pack building! A wardrobe and chest of draws from Argos. For the last 6 months I have had a fabric wardrobe that suffered from major subsidence leaving me a floordrobe! I decided to set about putting my new wardrobe together on my own and with no tools. Being an inventive soul I used a knife as a screwdriver and tin of peas as a hammer! This proved very successful! The only thing I could not do was hang the doors on my own! But I am still the flat pack queen, who says only men can do DIY! However my tin of peas did not stand up to the test of being a hammer so I have invested in a few tools for my next DIY mission!!

 

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At the weekend we went up to Loughborough to visit Rich’s family as it was his dads 60th birthday. Normally the journey for me is fine. It can be very boring as it is 3 hours on the same stretch of motorway but Richs singing keeps me very entertained. This time however it was a journey I was dreading. With Rich still not having a driving licence it fell on me to be the one to drive. Normally not a problem at all. But a 3 hour journey on tablets that make you stupidly drowsy is not a good idea! So I opted for skipping my tablets. Facing a weekend in pain seemed like a better idea than falling asleep while driving on the motorway! Safe to say by the time we got to Loughborough I was in agony! This is something I am used to tho so smiling through the pain I got ready and we headed to the pub for Richs dads birthday party. It was a great night! It’s always lovely to see the in-laws! They are just great! Very warm and welcoming and funny! After a good night we got back to the hotel I was looking forward to getting in bed and resting my back. But could I sleep…..of course not. It seemed by brain went hey no sleeping pills to force us to sleep! lets take advantage of that and stay up all night long! It was hideous! And driving back to Taunton the next day was just horrendous! In pure agony and exhausted I rolled into our flat took my meds and passed out! I did really enjoy the weekend but physically it was bloody hard work!

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I had my first day back at work yesterday which went really well and was actually a really good laugh! And to top it off I was in considerably less pain than normal! Today I had the day off and had the worse pain day I have had in very long time! With Rich at work I felt very alone. I found myself crying into my cup of tea at 9am seriously fed up with the amount of pain! When other people are around putting a front on and acting as though everything is ok is fairly easy! But the second I am alone everything ive been hiding from others hits me like a tonne of bricks. My friends have been brilliant recently. Always sending messages asking how your feeling ect but I know they will never understand how exhausting mentally and physically it is to be in constant pain. I am still having people tell me “it will be ok they will fix you soon”. And I just feel like screaming at them. Because it will not be ok, they will not find a magic cure for my chronic back pain. It is something I have to deal with. I can be in a room of 100 people and still feel alone. In my own personal hell of pain, misery and depression. Most days I manage to find a goal to focus on like getting married or buying a house. This keeps me focusing and moving forward. However on bad pain days it is impossible to look forward to anything. I dread waking up the next day and still being in pain. But its something I know is going to happen and I have to face. Some days it’s a lot easier to be strong than others. And the days I cant pretend to be strong I am just a misery. I have spent the majority of the day lying on the sofa in to much pain to move contemplating how the rest of my pain cloaked existence will play out. All in all not the best day!

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Lets hope the next few days improve!!

 

xxxxx

 

 

Balancing Act

Juggling a healthy work life balance is difficult for most people. Throw in suffering with pain and you have a circus worthy balancing act on your hands! I have always been taught nothing in life comes for free and you will never be handed anything on a plate. Everything I have I have worked hard for and earned for myself. Something I am very proud of and wouldn’t change for the world. This has led to me having a great work ethic. Currently I am balancing two jobs. My main job is as a support worker. I work 3 days a week doing 12 hour shifts. This leaves me 4 days a week I can pick up shifts in my second job working in a pub, where I aim to pick up about 10 hours a week. I love both jobs, don’t get me wrong neither are my dream job but I do enjoy them.

This week my combined hours from both jobs where over 60. Before my chronic pain I would have no problem doing this. With our wedding in July, a dying car and saving for a house 60 hours a week is what I need to be doing to get everything I want. And I’m not shy of working after all nothing in life comes for free. However throw the chronic pain into the mix and 60 hour weeks are all of a sudden a daunting and impossible task. Knowing you’re going to be agony by the end of the week is a horrible feeling and entering the week with a positive attitude is just not going to happen! Throw in the new pain meds which make me stupidly drowsy and finishing one job at 10pm and then getting up for the other job at 6am is grim. I finally make it to a day off only to spend the entire day running around cleaning the house, doing the laundry and making sure there’s food in. Basically this week I have been a groggy, grimacing mess. I do my best to smile at work and pretend everything is fine. Taking it out on my co-workers in not an option. It is my choice to work so much and saying no to work is almost never an option for me.

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I’m a workaholic! However I am facing the fact that with this chronic pain being unfixable I am going to have to think about cutting my hours down a little. This is something that fills me with dread. I have always worked hard and been proud of what I have to show for it, whether its something as small as I have treated my self to a new t-shirt or that my new car saving pot is getting bigger. The thought of cutting my hours immediately makes me worry. I want to have money and be comfortable. To achieve that to me means working hard. Cutting my hours makes me worry I wont have the things in life I want. Earlier I found myself ranting to my husband to be about how we will never have any money, we will be stuck with my s*** little car and we will never have the money to move out of our little flat. The truth is that cutting my hours a little will make very little financial difference but will make a massive difference to me. It will give me that one day a week to sit around and do nothing and rest! I need to convince myself to stop being so pig-headed and give myself a break! We are not going to face bankruptcy if I work 5 hours less a week!

Another kick in the teeth this week was seeing my old job advertised. Working with horses was more than just a job, it was a way of life. And loosing that because of this stupid chronic pain feels like loosing a part of myself. I got very upset seeing the job advertised, I would give anything to be pain free so I could go back to it. But the job is just to physically exhaustive for my back. And with the doctors saying there is no cure I need to get my head around the fact the career I have worked so damned hard for is over. Working with horses was my entire life for so long that initially I felt so lost without it! I think this is why I throw myself into work so hard, as working 7 days a week and being on call 24/7 is all I have ever known.

My partner, Rich, is a great support in my life and I do not know what I would do with out him. Unfortunately for him he gets the brunt of most of pain endured anger rants. He’s learning to smile and nod and let me get my anger out! Getting married to him sometimes fells like the only thing keeping me going! Roll on July!

Until then I need to learn to slow down and give myself more me time! Everything I’m working towards will come in time but it’s not worth getting physically and emotionally exhausted over! I am defiantly no longer the hare! But this crippled tortoise will win in the end!

 

 

 

xxxxx

 

 

 

 

 

I’m washing my hair that night!

I cannot believe the response I received from my first blog! I have had loads of people contact me sharing their stories and their tips and tricks to make it through the day! Knowing there’s people out there in a similar postion makes me feel far less alone and having people to talk to for help and advice is incredible. I cannot thank you all enough!

Making plans is tough when your in constant pain. I was always the one in our friendship group organising the nights out and the day trips and I would spend every day off seeing friends and family. This has almost come to a halt. I now find I’m the person who says their busy when plans are made or backing out at the last minuet. This is because my back hurts or my pills are making me drowsy. After spending a whole day at work grinning and bearing and pretending to be fine the last thing I want to do is go out for the evening and try to convince all my friends I’m fine too. It is so much easier so just go home after work and wallow in self pity. I find making plans really difficult. If it was a case of I had twisted my ankle I would know that a plan to go to the zoo in two weeks time would be fine as my ankle would be better by then. However with back pain I don’t know if on that day in two weeks time am I going to be having a good pain day or a bad pain day so its easier not to make plans at all! I’ve found I’m not getting out and having fun half as much as I used to. In fact I have pretty much become a recluse. Going to work, come home and repeating that process everyday. Why? Because this way I only have to hide my pain while I’m at work, I don’t have to try and hide it when I’m outside of work to!

Thursday night however I did go out. It was a friend from works leaving do. I had a good night and laughed more than I have done in a while. But not being able to have a drink sucked. While I’ve never been a big drinker I have always enjoyed a few beers when out with friends. Having to sit there all night sober and drowsy due to my pills was just miserable. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed my night out but found myself shedding a few tears on the walk home as I realised my days of dancing the night away until 3am are well and truly over!

This week I’m also struggling with the drowsiness caused by tablets. I have always prided myself in my work ethic (something that was drummed into me from a young age) and have always had a very get up and go personality. I have never been lazy and I detest laziness. These pills however are making me so drowsy they have destroyed all my motivation to do anything! I have found I have had to drag myself to work and I have even struggled with the motivation to take the dogs for a walk! I love getting out and about so not having the motivation is very rare for me! Doing the house work seems like a herculean task at the moment! This is really getting me down. I’m finding myself sitting around not achieving anything on a day off and then kicking myself for it at the end of the day. In order for me to stay happy I need to stay active, but my get up and go has got up and gone.

I still haven’t got the hang of timing when to take my pills either! Take them to early and I pass out by 9. Take them to late and I’m drowsy at work the next day. All in all this week I have been a permanently exhausted pigeon. To make matters even worse these pills are doing sweet f*** all for my back pain. I’m still in agony. Why take them then? Because if I don’t finish the course the doctor will prescribe them again saying I haven’t given them enough time ect ect. Very frustrating!

 

So all in all many ups and downs this week! But still pushing on determined not to give up!

 

xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Playing the pain game

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….

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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!

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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!!!

 

Goodnight

xxx