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Old 05-01-2008, 07:24 AM   #1
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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.
Allan.
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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.

 
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Old 05-03-2008, 04:58 AM   #2
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Re: Allan from the Gold Coast Australia and my journey

allanbruce,

I have led that life of drugs and alcohol myself and I do believe that the 118 or so years of drinking and drugging did take its toll on my body.
I got clean and sober the first time in 2000 and then relapsed for 60 days and came back. I now have almost 4 years again and fully understand that I can never drink or drug safely again.

All those years of the crazy lifestyle and many accidents and events have taken the toll on me physically.

Unfortualtey what led me to chronic pain was the work related injury that happened the second time out of treatment and lasted until july of 2007. Right as that workers comp was coming to a close I was in an accident that injured my neck.

I have posted my story on here as well and it goes into more detail, but I can say that despite all the pain and physical ailments I am blessed to have the life I have.
Thanks for sharing your story and welcome to the board.
Chrissy

 
Old 05-03-2008, 06:40 AM   #3
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Re: Allan from the Gold Coast Australia and my journey

I was sober for nearly 6 years, then at a memorial for my ex brother in law last year I was very depressed and had some drinks, but I have gone back to some AA meetings and hope not to drink again. But I am an alcoholic and it can happen. Having to take the medications I do I can't really drink anyway, but I know I have to be careful with my meds. Though I don't really feel any high from them as they barely give me relief from my pain.
Thanks for your support.
__________________
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.

 
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