My experience with chronic back pain for over thirty years has impacted on many areas of my life, which I am sure has also affected other back pain sufferers. So many of the everyday activities of non back pain sufferers can be crippling for someone with a back problem.
I had to sell my business as I just could not manage the work even though I employed staff to take the most physical tasks off me. The follow on from your job is the drain on your finances which can also affect your family. No matter how supportive they can be, when you are struggling to make ends meet your disability goes out the window.
Friends, come and go, you lose some and you make some but one thing is for sure you definitely find out who your ‘true’ friends are. My Mum used to say to me, ‘if you can count your true friends on one hand, you are lucky’. She is so right.
For some people there favourite hobbies are affected by it. I miss knitting but then on the other hand my blogging has filled that void for me.
Holidays are without a question of a doubt affected by back pain, from the length of your flight to the mattress and pillows. I also find that because you tend to eat out more when you are away that I also have problems due to the different chairs you seat on in the restaurants.
Every-day life is a biggy with back pain as you need to plan your life around your pain. I have now learnt how to pace myself and get around the jobs that would trigger of a spiral of pain but without the help of my husband and a lady who comes once a fortnight for a few hours, I know I would end up in pain. It comes naturally for a woman to do her jobs and the trouble is the bell rings ‘after’ the job is done and not before.
Shopping is another but with technology nowadays you can order online but it’s nicer to see and touch and feel, but I used to buy it online until my husband retired and now its a team effort which works perfectly.
Finally, sleep, which to most people comes naturally and a full eight hours of it but for back pain sufferers you are lucky if you can get three hours. G P’s are very strict about not giving sleeping pills but you can get muscle relaxants which are supposed to help you. They do help me go off to sleep but I wake up constantly during the night, probably every time I turn over. But again, I have learnt to adapt my day to having a couple of hours sleep or just rest every afternoon.
I guess it’s just a case of getting on with life as best you can. As they say, ‘The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t’. Henry Ward Beecher