People have been so kind in asking how I’m doing. It is so hard for me to keep talking about the pain, like most. But when they keep asking or insist, I reply with hesitation due to the severity of what I am going through.

I don’t look for sympathy and don’t want to delve into every detail, but lately, a lot of friends and family have been pushing me because they remind me I have a platform that may help people with this blog and an upcoming podcast.

Boy, I had procrastinated doing this blog, but then I remember this is why I started it. I wanted to help those who experience pain or family and friends of those who sufferwho may not understand fully what their loved one is going through and find alternatives out there to help or advise those to cope. I also hope someone out there can relate to what I go through and give them the knowledge they are not alone.

How do I feel today? I feel exactly how I feel when I get to this stage where the only option now is surgery. My spirit feels hopeful for the surgery working, I feel thankful for the second opinion surgeon that was passed on from my provider I was sent to that opened my eyes to new technology, surgery and prognosis.

My body, on the other hand, feels tired and unrested. I start every morning taking a minute to build up energy to mentally prepare myself to wake up to fight the grogginess as it can take up to a full hour, if not more. I deal with this, even more, every time I have an increase, change or a time difference in my medications.

At this particular time, we are trying to lower my blood pressure before the XLIF surgery, and I am still working on the three-year-old problem of substituting statins because of being allergic to that particular drug.

After taking three doses, a severe “Charlie horse” pain began to disable me and it progressively got worse as I was placed on statin medication given for the lowering of cholesterol, risk of further heart disease and stroke. The surgeons explained they like all post-heart surgery patients to take this for the rest of their lives because it has great past results with their patients. They immediately stopped the drug and said I was allergic and would have to be placed on alternative meds to replace the statin.

The cardiologist explains the unfortunate problem is I would have to take 5 prescription medications to replace that one statin. I was so frustrated taking all these extra pills but he explained how imperative it was. I am on four and I have not been introduced to the last one because of all the current problems with my back and they try to introduce each medication slowly by adding one once the body has had time to adapt.

The day is up and down in mood when the medication starts taking effect. I try to reposition on the floor or up a vertical wall to try and unlock the trapped nerve, by moving my body in different positions that have relieved it in the past.

The first time it happened, I was at my favourite restaurant with friends, and I ended up most of the evening stuck outside up against a wall, because I couldn’t move, being paralyzed by the pain for, four hours. Later that night I ended up in the emergency department with a lot of those friends and family in support. The unforgiving pain was so merciless that I was passing out and vomiting in the car ride over and then in the hospital.

I’ve been through this kind of pain before and what seems to help me in several circumstances of severe pain is to try and focus on an imaginary point. Taking that point with my minds’ eye, making that my visual subject. Continuing to use my minds’ eye, I imagine moving that visual subject over the point of pain, then essentially erasing that point. I keep imagining erasing that area until it fades.

The residual pain stays around, some days more than others, leading to headaches and nausea that set in usually every day. It is a drag taking opioids, they make you tired, constipated, and give you short term memory loss. Wait… where was I?


Photo by Andrea

Edited by Shane Bingham