Well, here goes:
Started having back problems during the 4 years I took care of my mom, who had Alzheimer's. She wasn't ambulatory the last couple of years and it did a number on my spine. Multiple bulges/herniations, sciatica, spondylosis, stenosis and neuropathy. (I'd do it again, in a heartbeat)
In 2000, I injured my lower back pretty badly and it was never diagnosed or treated. I had a lot on my plate then, so I guess it's partly my own fault.
All of this triggered the chronic myofascial pain. It was explained to me by my current PM doc, that trauma to the body that is un-treated, or under-treated can cause this.
It's a musculoskeletal disease, where the fascia (a web-like structure that we all have that covers the entire body, that basically holds in our bones, muscle and tissue, so we aren't just a "jiggley bag of jello") becomes hardened and stiff and loses it's elasticity. This causes pressure on our bones etc. and triggers pain in pretty much every part of the body at one time or another. (sometimes several places at once)
There's really nothing that can be done surgically and most physical therapy modalities, just aggrevate it. There are some great therapies that do help, like myofascial release (it's a massage therapy) and aquatherapy (the pool).
I try to utilize these as much as possible. And of course, there are the meds.
I have a great PM doc and have seen him for almost 8 years now. I have good days and bad days like the rest of you. (I'd love to be able to remember what "pain-free" and a full nights sleep are like) I do travel a little, and I try to spend as much time as I can with my family and friends. I am happily married to a very supportive hubby and we have a 23 year old daughter, who is preparing to leave the nest soon.
I truly appreciate my support system in the outside world as well as the one I've found here. CP is such a hard life to live and there are so many who don't understand it at all. I never thought in my wildest dreams, I'd be doing this at middle-age, but I'm just going to fight the good fight and try to live the best life that I can.
Thanks for all the advice and support, cmpgirl