You can ‘live’ with chronic pain, you just have to adjust your lifestyle to it. They say back pain affects 80pc of the population at some point in their lives. Mine, started in my late 20’s with extremely debilitating low back pain. Treatment in the first years consisted of physiotherapy and manipulation by an osteopath and chiropractor but eventually surgery was the only option. It was my fourth operation that soon made me realise that time is a gift. Many a day I’ve felt despair, rage and profound disappointment that I could not do certain jobs. I look like a question mark, bent like someone 20 years older, I feel like an object of pity, an old women in black. Pain is introspective; it doesn’t give a dam about the rest of the world. I’ve said many times that pain is not life threatening but its is life changing.

I love writing things down and have kept many a diary. Some diary entries would make me laugh with one such entry “Monday 21st January – I really am lousy today. I don’t suppose I can blame the discs in my back really, after all for the last 50 years they have been in the same place, at the bottom of my spine, doing its job but today everything hurts. My chest, my neck, my arms, my bum. I hurt every inch of my body like I didn’t know hurt could hurt but hey ….. the good news is I’ve lost half a stone. Maybe the power of positive thinking does work after all, or maybe it’s just my morphine kicking in”. The simple act of writing my thoughts down seems to help me and gives me a sense of purpose, to pursue my goals.

There is plenty of help available if you know where to look but one of the most important things you should do is to tell everyone about your pain. Inform your boss and your colleagues, your family and friends then when you are going through a really rough patch they will understand why you need to rest. Unfortunately most people have no idea what chronic pain is like but with the advent of NHS pain clinics and support groups opening left right and centre, it does give us other places to go and talk about our pain.

Another point to remember is to keep a regular diary of your pain symptoms and what triggers it off and how different treatments help or do not help it. G P’s and Specialists are not mind readers and without this information it can sometimes make finding out the right drug or treatment for you a lot longer.



  1. hi barbara

    I should be keeping a diary, I’ve tried several times and never keep it up, I plan to make more of an effort!
    I’m now taking the nutritional route, and taking it pretty seriously, I ‘refuse’ point blank to take perscription drups – you’ll see why when you get that DVD I’ve sent you!
    Been vegetarian for 5 years, tried many times to go vegan but failed until now, I’m in my 3rd month and there’s no turning back!
    I’m starting to take some natural remedies – this is why I’m going to make more of an effort to keep a diary so that I can pin point any changes that hopefully take place!
    Hubby is amazing, he supports me 110% but it’s hard to get the rest of the family to understand, especially the fibromyagia stuff, I’m having a really bad week this week, so tired it’s unreal and my daughter asked this morning, well, what hurts? I replied, what doesn’t? would be more appropriate! muscles worn out, tired, burning, tingling, well you know!
    My mum is 84, full of arthritis and it really upsets me sometimes cause she will say when I’m huffing and puffing “whatever’s up with u?”, it’s like banging my head against a brick wall, I feel like screaming, I feel like they think I’m lazy or summit and they don’t take it serious! People wanting me run them here, run them there, in the car but sometimes I need to rest, I need to look after myself, hubby says tell them NO, but I hate disappointing people!
    sorry for that rant barbara,,,needed get that out!

    xx Susan


    • Hi Sue, Sorry your having a hard time at the mo and yes I do understand, I’ve also had a terrible two weeks, change of seasons and all that but your hubby is right – the only way you will rest, which is what you need is when you say ‘no’. If you find it difficult to say ‘no’ then how about getting your husband to explain it to your family how poorly you are. The more they know the more they will understand you. Good luck with everything else that you are trying and congratulations on giving it a go. I would be very interested to read your diary after you have finished it so do keep it touch and ‘take care’ and rest up at the moment while the seasons settle down.

      Oh, and Sue you have no need to apologise to me that’s what I’m here for – if you need a rant, then rant away.

      Bar xx


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