Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Then I lied to the Doctor

Today my back hurts. When it doesn't hurt I work on the 17 year story of how I ended up applying for disability at 26 years old. So on days like this I can just hit the submit button.

Now that I am 26 years old, I have decided that the chronic pain I have been suffering isn't going away. I have been bloggin about my fight with the pain. To see the first two posts on my struggle of 17 years, check out the first one and the second one.

So I had to go to the doctors for a basic physical to get on the high school dance team, I was probably 14 years old. Dancing was everything to me then. It was a time I didn't feel the responsabilities that my mom dumped on me, the regular stuff a kid has to deal with and sometimes, I would be so caught up in concentration that my pain would even disappear, to of course reappear tenfold later on. Afraid that now I am showing a history of the pain, I would not be allowed to dance. So, I lied. I told her I still had pain but it was no big deal. This pain would go away with a few advil.

The truth of the situation was so bad, I look back and think why in the world would I lie. By the end of my freshmen year in high school, I had sought "other means" to deal with my pain. I was addicted to sleeping pills that I should have never started taking. I was slacking off in my school work. I was dancing three times a week for dance team for 3+hours, followed by classes, followed by working and then I would come home make dinner for the family, do the dishes, wash all my cloths and then I would go to youth group or a dance class. Finally, I would be able to sit down and do my homework but the pain would be so bad that usually, I would sneak off to find better pain killers.

I regret that I lied to the Doctor then. I felt at that time that it didn't matter. They couldn't make the pain go away. It was just another hurddle in my life other people have hurddles and this was mine. I had already been looked at by more then half the physical therapists in town. I was too young for them to consider chiroprator. I was never offered anything such as an X-Ray or MRI to see what was causing the pain. Most of that was correct, they can't fix me, but they can help me. I don't have to deal with the pain on my own.
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  1. No, we do not have to deal with the pain alone. I've lied to the doctor's in the past myself and now at 38 I am ready to be honest and hopefully find the help I need to live a fairly eventful life...if not for me, for my children at least.

  2. N A Mama,

    You are never too young to see a chiropractor.

    There is help out there; but, you may have to look long and hard for it. You will have to take control of your own treatments. It takes trial and error and you have to be your own advocate. You have to be honest about your problems.

    I too have had long term back pain and have gone through every test and treatment imaginable.

    Chiropractic adjustments do help. Get regular treatment from a chiropractor who treats the whole patient, long term, and who does an extensive history with xrays. A chiropractor who does short term adjustments can provide only limited help.

    Other medical interventions can help, too. Many do not. Until you have tried it all, you cannot say nothing works.

    Be honest about every detail about your symptoms, first with yourself and also with your doctors and other health care professionals. You probably have additional symptoms by now. Don't ignore them. There might be other forms of help available to you.

    The first big help for me was spinal nerve blocks, performed by a pain management specialist in a hospital like setting on a computerized x ray table so he can see exactly where the problem is and where he is injecting.Once the cycle of severe pain was broken at least temporarily, other treatments were helpful.

    Yoga and stretching really help a lot. Being consistent helps.

    Aquatherapy and swimming really helps. Don't assume you can just do it on your own. Doing the motions correctly, so as not to aggravate your injury is very important.

    Walking helps. I take a muscle relaxer and a pain killer so I can get through my walk with as little pain as possible.

    The exercise may seem impossible when the pain is bad; there are times when you can't do it; but work at doing it most days and when necessary give your body the rest it needs.

    Getting out is good for you, too. Chronic pain can cause depression.I bet you are depressed. Look at the focus of your thoughts and try to imagine how you could possibly not be depressed. The whole mind numbing (but not pain numbing) legal, insurance, disability circus of chaos is also depressing. You probably need some professional support, or at least some great self help books.

    My advice is to stop spending your time writing the story of your disability. If you continue to argue for your limitations, you will stay there. You need to believe you can and will get better, maybe not perfect, but better. Be proactive for you. Recognize the power you have to heal yourself. And recognize the power of whatever healers you encounter and accept their help. Remember your native American roots and know that healing can happen in many ways.

    Don't give up. If you believe you are doomed to a life of pain, you will be. If you believe you can manage your pain and your disability, you can do that. Take charge and good luck!


Thanks for your comments!!!