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Old 02-22-2009, 02:40 PM   #1
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Lightbulb chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

Hi,
i have suffered from chronic pain for the past 10 years, i have my own business working as a beauty therapist and nail technicain, had to close down my business in sept 08 so that i could have the spinal cord stimulator implant surgury, which didn't work and am waiting to go back and have it done again in april 09.
I really want to go back to work because i love my job but the pain is just to much and i get so angry, frustrated & upset all the time and if i work then i cant have a life doing any thing else outside work because when i work it makes my pain sooooooo much worse so when i've been working i can do nothing else once i've finished work, i can't decide what to do about going back to work, i'm only 29 and really dont know what to do, i feel that i'm a bit too young to stay at home for the rest of my life, when i 1st broke my back i didn't work for 6 years and suffered from depression, but dont think i can carry on with the work pain routine for the rest of my life, has anybody else had this type of dilemma before who could give me a bit of advice on how i make my mind up

 
Old 02-22-2009, 04:31 PM   #2
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

If you can get good treatment for your pain, there's no reason why you can't work.

Without going into a three page story about my feet, let's just say that both of my feet have been reconstructed. The hard part of which is after the operations and after the recovery I was still in pain. I waited 9 years to have the operation and could only have one foot done at a time. The recovery on each foot was minimum one year, so all in all I was in pain for 13 years. Anyway, I'm now seeing a pain management doctor, taking Oxycontin and working. I work in IT in a very stressful, intense thinking type of job and I'm doing fine.

So yes, you can work! The only thing I can't do is stand on my feet all day, they just won't let me.

Dave

 
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:04 PM   #3
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

In case I wasn't clear. What you need to do is get your pain under control. If you've exhausted your options with your regular doctor then you need to find a pain management doctor. Chronic pain will eat you up from the inside out.

Dave

 
Old 02-22-2009, 06:16 PM   #4
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

Hi. I hear ya.
I am trying to find work right now just so we can get by financially, and I still don't know whether or not I can do it! I've applied for 5 jobs over last week and if one calls me back for an interview, I'm not sure if I will sabotage it subconsciously because I'm not sure if I can hack it.
But I also know I can't stay here with a toddler all day every day because I am going crazy quick. And if I can't earn more money, we can't hire the help I need here, and my stress levels are going to either stay this way or rise even further.
Try and try again, though, and if you have the pain under control, you can do anything (unless what's causing you pain is limiting your mobility - then, it's only limited to what you can do still)...if you're like me, you might struggle to get someone to help you get the pain under control, but continue struggling until it's no longer a struggle.
I don't know if I made any sense just now.
Chin up.

 
Old 02-22-2009, 06:42 PM   #5
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

I don't know how things are down under, but the job market is really tough here in the USA. Very hard to find a job right now.

Dave

 
Old 02-22-2009, 06:52 PM   #6
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

I am working. I had spinal surgery and went back to work at 9 weeks. It was incredibly difficult because I had very severe pain. It was by far the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. I couldn't stay at home, though. When I was at home I had nothing to do and I just dwelled on how much pain I was in. My boss knew what I was going though (he admitted to me that his wife has a 'pain condition') and was very understanding. The only thing is that I have my own office and if I need a minute to compose myself, I can close the door and be quiet for a minute and then re-open it with a smile. My staff are aware of my issues and also know when to just leave me alone. If you are working with clients and interacting with them all day, I would admit it would be tough.

When my pain was averaging 8 every day, my work definitely suffered. If I didn't have such an understanding boss, my slip in work performance would have been much more noticeable. I am doing somewhat better now (averaging a 5-7), and I find that my mind is not focused on pain during the day because I have so much work to do. It is often not until the afternoon that I am thinking about my pain.

I hope you are able to stabilize your pain to the point where you can work, even if just a bit. I think it will really help you keep your mind occupied and feel productive.

 
Old 02-22-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

I have a similar situation at work. Everyone there knows of my operations (seeing me with crutches for 12 weeks each foot helped). In fact, my pain levels are currently in the 2-3 level, which is quite tolerable. People at work have told me that they could tell when I was in pain (which surprised me), they said they could see it on my face. Still there are some people who think of me as a "pill popper", but there are always going to be people like that.

The worst for me was my wife took a long time to come to grips with my chronic pain, she thought I was "milking it" for the longest time and gave me a hard time about taking the meds. It wasn't until I went to a pain management doctor and he talked to her that she finally realized that I really was in pain.

 
Old 02-23-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

My pain is in both of my feet as well. There is definitely a dilemna because you need to have your pain treated and get it down to a manageable level to have some level of productivity at work. Then there is the other side where you can not be so "out of it" from the medications that you are not productive either. It becomes a gentle medium. There are many people out there that do decide to go on disability which is fine if it is justified. There is no way that I could do a job where I was on my feet all day or walking around alot either. I have thought about doing different jobs but I have been limited due to my pain. I should be grateful that I have a job and I am but I do want something more.

brian

 
Old 02-23-2009, 03:21 PM   #9
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

Well what I've found is that I really don't get loopy or high or anything from the meds anymore. I've been taking them for about 3 years now and they really don't put me "out of it" anymore, all they do is dull the pain down to a level that I can tolerate. I'm just glad that I live in a period of time where Pain is considered to be a treatable problem. Ten or fifteen years ago we would have been expected to "tough it out". I really can't do that, I've had my fill of pain and really don't want anymore. I feel so much better (more like myself) since I've gotten the pain under control.

Dave

 
Old 02-24-2009, 12:16 PM   #10
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarcus48 View Post
If you can get good treatment for your pain, there's no reason why you can't work.

Without going into a three page story about my feet, let's just say that both of my feet have been reconstructed. The hard part of which is after the operations and after the recovery I was still in pain. I waited 9 years to have the operation and could only have one foot done at a time. The recovery on each foot was minimum one year, so all in all I was in pain for 13 years. Anyway, I'm now seeing a pain management doctor, taking Oxycontin and working. I work in IT in a very stressful, intense thinking type of job and I'm doing fine.

So yes, you can work! The only thing I can't do is stand on my feet all day, they just won't let me.

Dave

 
Old 02-24-2009, 12:29 PM   #11
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarcus48 View Post
If you can get good treatment for your pain, there's no reason why you can't work.

Without going into a three page story about my feet, let's just say that both of my feet have been reconstructed. The hard part of which is after the operations and after the recovery I was still in pain. I waited 9 years to have the operation and could only have one foot done at a time. The recovery on each foot was minimum one year, so all in all I was in pain for 13 years. Anyway, I'm now seeing a pain management doctor, taking Oxycontin and working. I work in IT in a very stressful, intense thinking type of job and I'm doing fine.

So yes, you can work! The only thing I can't do is stand on my feet all day, they just won't let me.

Dave
Hi Dave, thanks for replying, I have been seeing a pain management doctor for nearly 9 years now and even he can't get my pain under control, i've tried all the methods they have sugguested and am currently using buprerophine 35mg/hr patches which aren't even touching my pain, i've been to the drs this morning and he won't increase my patches but have tripled my anti-depressants from 1 a day to 3 per day to see if he can reduce my stress levels and hope it calms my pain down a little. av got everything crossed hopeing that the pain clinic don't put my surgury back any further than the beginning of april. I did manage to work in my salon for 2 years, but didn't have a life outside of work because when i'd done a few hours work I'd have days after of hurrendus pain, and i just couldn't handle it any more, its so hard trying to explain to family why i don't visit very often or why don't i go out anymore, i think my family just choose to ignore my pain, am not too sure why! I got to the point where i'd put my clients off having extra treatments or tell them i didn't have the correct products in stock to do it because i was in to much pain to do it and started to really dread it. thanks for listening and thanks for your reply x

 
Old 02-24-2009, 12:42 PM   #12
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

Wow, I am really sorry that you're in such pain! There's nothing I can even think to say.

People who haven't experienced chronic pain have no idea what it's like, NONE. And I say this as one of those people. I could never have imagined what it was like until it happened to me. Whenever I run into one of those people I always say (to myself) "I wish you could know what it's like for a month or two, and THEN tell me it's in my head".

I HOPE that you find some relief soon.

One thing though, have you ever seen ANOTHER pm doctor? I say this because I was seeing one guy and wasn't getting much relief, my friend's wife is a nurse and she suggested another doctor. It's been much better since I've seen him. Sometimes the doctor just doesn't know how to handle your case. It's not that he's (she's) a bad doctor, it's just beyond him.

I went to nine doctors before I found one that knew what I had (with my feet originally), it took three years.

You've got nothing to loose, if you want you can even be honest with the first doctor and tell him you want to just try someone else. Get a referral letter from him. If it doesn't work out, go back to him.

Last edited by dmarcus48; 02-24-2009 at 12:46 PM.

 
Old 02-24-2009, 01:21 PM   #13
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

Wow I feel your pain. I too have chronic pain from many back issues including a failed surgery. I had to go back to work tho, I realised that I was in as much pain at home as I do at work. It sucks but we have to do what we have to to not go crazy. Do all you can to get your pain in as much control as you can and try as much as you can to get thru each moment and keep your sanity. I know it's not easy, just know that you are not alone. I have four beautiful little angels under the age of 9 but had to go back to work for $$ and my mental health(talking to grownups really helps now and again). Best of luck!

 
Old 02-24-2009, 01:51 PM   #14
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

robochick:
It definitely sounds like you should be on some type of opiate/opiod medication. Have you ever tried the fentanyl patch? It is a very strong opiod medication that treats pain. Of course you would have to be taken off the buprenorphine?sp patch since it would make you sick to take both. I know that there is a limit on that patch you are wearing and it is known that it does not treat severe pain very effectively.

brian

 
Old 02-24-2009, 02:14 PM   #15
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Re: chronic pain & working!!! can it happen?

Wait, you're not on any opiates?

 
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