YOU CAN ‘LIVE’ WITH CHRONIC PAIN…
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 20s 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 Ive 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 doesnt 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 dont 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 didnt know hurt could hurt but hey .. the good news is Ive lost half a stone. Maybe the power of positive thinking does work after all, or maybe its 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.