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




  1. I know that pain where-ever it comes from changes your whole life in the way you describe. It must have been very sad for you to give up your business. I am very lucky I am healthy but I had to face my son’s illness. It changed everything about family life. His own hopes and ambition and our hopes for him. As he became less able to do shopping and cooking and looking after himself we took on the task of caring for him. He faced every day with great courage and good humour. As I know you do. I think of him and miss him dreadfully.
    Dealing with limitations is often frustrating and sometimes wearisome. I see that you accept what life brings with determination and cheerfulness.


  2. thanks Liz I do try to be cheerful. Really sorry to hear what you went through with your son. I cannot imagine anything worse than losing one of my children. May you always treasure the happiest of memories when you think of him. Take care xxx


    • The real friends I have now are totally amazing with me but I must admit if I didn’t take a happy pill I think I would be pretty miserable. Thanks hutt πŸ™‚


  3. Im experiencing it myself now with a fractured spine, i know your pain. For me this is going to be life changing but on a positive side. I feel so lucky that the break didnt interfear with my spinal cord, when i think i could have easily been left paralysed.

    Im sure i will suffer with back problems in the future when this has healed which will change my life. I know exactly what you mean.

    Hope your well Barmac.


    • Thanks, I’ve been thinking of you wildwitch, I do hope you are recovering well. Yes, I think you will have to take care of your back but like you said ‘it could have been worse’. Like I said to hutt I do have a handful of brilliant friends but I must admit that I think I would be miserable if I didn’t take a happy pill every day. You take care and get lots of rest. Keep it warm πŸ™‚ x


  4. I must agree with you, Barmac. Plus the fact that nobody can see your pain. You are expected to do ordinary things until you finally have to tell a ‘friendly person’ who wants you to be part of her group, that you can’t do what they plan to do. Same as this myasthenia gravis, the sparkle in a would-be friend’s eyes fades when I tell them I just don’t think I can. So embarrassing too!


    • You do as well as me Charlotte and have to cope with you. You are a very strong lady and I admire how you deal with it all. Take care and keep well πŸ™‚


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