Learning to live with pain

After 4 major spinal surgeries in the last 7 months, I am still left spasms in my back and legs that can bring my pain level to 15. I had the first surgery to help stop all the spasms and pain, but now I have the scars,implanted devices as well as the spasms and numbness with proprioception problems with my left leg.

Every day I get up hoping that today will be the day with less pain,  but that comes to a sketching halt as soon as the spasms hit. Most of the time my pain stays around a 5 which I can manage, but often they hit at such I high level that doing just basic activities almost impossible. I take medications to help with the pain, but that often doesn’t really work.

I realize that I am only one month out of the last surgery, but I have been living with pain off and on since 2001 when I had the original spinal problem. Even though the pain does affect my family, I am the one that has to deal with it all day every day. They all have an escape, be it school or work , they can get away, whereas I am home most of the time alone with the dog to deal with the pain. Day by day I am learning of ways to deal with the pain. Sometimes getting up and moving works. Others times just resting or finding a certain sitting position works. I also use CBD rubs to help.

I just have to keep trying. Each day has to get better. So for now I just have to learn to live from day to day.

days after 4th surgery
This was taken about a week after the 4th surgery in 7 months. the small scar to the right is where the device is implanted.

Published by Denise Rogers

I am a wife, mother, stepmother and grandmother who enjoys spending time with family and friends, crafting, gardening, and I am learning to live with being disabled. In 2017, after my 8th thoracic spinal surgery, I lost all feeling from the waist down as well as losing my proprioception on the right side. This has made it difficult to stand without assistive devices and made it, so I am having to relearn to walk. Plus, I have another uncommon condition called Chiari Malformation Type 1 which also creates balance issues as well as many other health issues. Because of the Chiari and the spinal cord injury, I have been left with severe nerve damage which causes a great deal of pain (5 and greater on pain scale) as well as spasticity, muscle spasms, and allodynia (burning) in various areas of my body. I have endured 8 surgeries on my Thoracic Spine and will probably need more as the drain that was placed will eventually clog and require replacement. Currently, I have a spinal to pleural cavity shunt, which drains the CSF from my arachnoid cysts into my pleural cavity. Professionally, I am a retired Health Care Professional with over 26 years of experience. I have worked in the Public Health realm as well as in Long Term Care and Acute Care. I have a B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work. It is my hope that through sharing my personal trials, experiences, and triumphs that I can help others keep moving forward. No matter what life throws at us we can always tell a better story. I know that God is with me and because of this anything is possible. His promise to be by my side every step of the way helps me to keep pushing on even when there are setbacks.

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