Allan from the Gold Coast Australia and my journey
Hi guys, I am fairly new here so I will give you a bit of a background on why I now suffer from chronic lower back pain.
I grew up around a group of friends who lived a life of escape and self abuse. So I suppose I was an alcoholic and a drug abuser from my teenage years. I was not able to stay in school because of my feelings of fear, self-consciousness, and poor communication skills.
My choice of work was what I could find at the local hotel, which was usually labouring and then concreter. Though I had trouble holding down a job, when I did work I had to better others so as not to feel less than, which I normally did anyhow. So when I had money, that was spent in the hotel and on drugs, then motorcycles.
I have always had some pain in my back, but over the years it got worse and I just drank harder and withdrew more into myself.
At age 30, I new I had real problems with drinking etc so I did my own detox on a property out west where there wasn't the money available to me, to be able to drink every day.
So my life did improve for a bit, and I meet my wife to be. She kept my drinking and drugging down to a semi manageable level, but I had to work twice as hard to try to make a normal life. So as I was approaching 40, she was not yet 30 and I could not work that hard (concreting) and go out to night clubs all weekend without something giving.
First it was my marriage then depression set in, but I could still not admit that my problems stemmed from my addictions. So after a breakdown and 2 years of trying to just go back to the life I thought was me, I got to my rock bottom.
I did find AA and stopped drinking and I was helped to get back into work, though not really the job for someone with back problems. That's when my back gave out. I have suffered from chronic lower back pain ever since.
I did the rounds of X rays then CT scans with no sympathy. Finally after an MRI they found that the 2 lower disc's were a different colour (black). One had a tare in it and the other was herniated.
After a 6 month battle with Social Security I was given a Disability Pension, and some decent pain relief, also treatment for depression. Ever since I have been to several Pain specialists, Physiotherapy, and had many injections, along with 5 years of Tramadol, Naproxin and various anti-depressants. Finally I have found a Doctor (Muscular Skeletal Specialist) who has given me the chance of trying the patches I am on now. I am also seeing a psychologist.
Hope I haven't rambled on to long, but this is the short version of, at some times a difficult but adventurist life. I have over that time lost a lot of close friends to suicide, death by misadventure and from the effects of alcohol and drug abuse.
Sometimes I have felt very alone in my fight to stay alive and have some sort of happiness. Just to have some good days when I can smile and be there for my Parents, Brothers and Sisters.
My younger sister's children (21 & 23) lost their father late last year (a man I rode motorcycles with, and partied with years ago). He committed suicide, (He also suffered from chronic pain from a Motorcycle accident, and still suffered from addiction).
I really try hard to be the man in the family but sometimes I just don't have the strength to be the person I may have been able to be, only for my own misadventures.
25-Nov-2010: ALIF fusion L5-S1. 9 years of Chronic lower back pain. Nearly 18 months of pain across my upper pelvis, through my butt and down my left leg into my foot. Sciatica relieved by surgery.