It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Chronic Pain Message Board

  • Need Help Living With Chronic Pain?

  • Post New Thread   Reply Reply
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 12-21-2014, 08:14 PM   #1
    imadork
    Newbie
    (male)
     
    imadork's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Dec 2014
    Posts: 1
    imadork HB User
    Need Help Living With Chronic Pain?

    I'm new here! I wanted to see if anyone suffers from a similar condition or just advice with living in chronic pain. Here is my story. Six years ago I fell and did a backbend. I immediately felt a sharp pain extend from my xiphoid process to my navel. The pain was brief, but when I woke the next morning I had a sharp pain just under my xiphoid process (the piece of cartilage just below your breastbone in your upper abdomen). The pain was disabling and lasted for several days. My doctor diagnosed me with acid reflux and the pain would appear about once a year and last for a couple of weeks each time. I would just rock in bed and gut it out, it was brutal. Multiple medical tests followed (endoscopes, colonoscopies, CT scans, etc). Two summers ago they removed my gallbladder suspecting this was the problem. Following the gallbladder surgery I experienced about eight months that were pain free.

    This past April I exercised pretty intensively and when I woke up in the morning the pain was back. An endoscopy and colonoscopy followed and were normal. Mentally I was not doing well and the pain was literally continuous and I was not getting relief from the Tramadol they were prescribing. Believing the doctors that it was just acid reflux, basically I was scared to eat and lost a lot of weight. I was in pain and became depressed. I am 5'9" and went from 182lb to 145lb. I lost about 37lb and as I lost the weight, my xiphoid process was just sticking up pushing my skin out. When I pushed on it, it would click and the location of my pain was just behind it. Losing the weight was a blessing because it made the fractured xiphoid visible. The pain is intense and has been unrelenting. It has completely shut down my life and I basically live several hours at a time. My local doctor who had diagnosed me with acid reflux for years then referred me to Mayo clinic where I was immediately diagnosed with a fractured xiphoid process and nerve damage in the muscles below and around that area. The doctors at Mayo told me I had been misdiagnosed for 6 years with acid reflux. They believed that I had fractured my xiphoid process 6 years earlier during that backbend and suffered nerve damage in that area at the same time. I had surgery at Mayo the following morning to remove my xiphoid process and am now home receiving trigger point injections to hopefully locate the nerves that are entrapped. Radio frequency and/or Botox injections are possible future treatments if they can locate the right spot. Basically, I am in constant pain and can't work. I feel like a complete loser because I can't support my family. I have drained my retirement and am in medical debt. The continuous nature of the pain drives me crazy and I just look forward to sleeping at night and not existing for a little while. When I wake up in the morning I'm just wanting it to be bedtime again.

    I have to take Ambien to force myself to sleep and am taking hydrodone/Acet 10/325 twice daily. It may help a little, but not much. I am currently trying Lyrica and previously tried Gabapentin with no relief. Sorry that was so long - It feels good to just get all that off my chest. I have been to an acupuncturist and chiropractor in addition to my current pain management doctor.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to live like this?

    Last edited by Administrator; 12-22-2014 at 12:03 AM.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 12-23-2014, 12:56 PM   #2
    gmak
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Oct 2012
    Location: USA
    Posts: 2,649
    gmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB Usergmak HB User
    Re: Need Help Living With Chronic Pain?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by imadork View Post
    I'm new here! I wanted to see if anyone suffers from a similar condition or just advice with living in chronic pain. Here is my story. Six years ago I fell and did a backbend. I immediately felt a sharp pain extend from my xiphoid process to my navel. The pain was brief, but when I woke the next morning I had a sharp pain just under my xiphoid process (the piece of cartilage just below your breastbone in your upper abdomen). The pain was disabling and lasted for several days. My doctor diagnosed me with acid reflux and the pain would appear about once a year and last for a couple of weeks each time. I would just rock in bed and gut it out, it was brutal. Multiple medical tests followed (endoscopes, colonoscopies, CT scans, etc). Two summers ago they removed my gallbladder suspecting this was the problem. Following the gallbladder surgery I experienced about eight months that were pain free.

    This past April I exercised pretty intensively and when I woke up in the morning the pain was back. An endoscopy and colonoscopy followed and were normal. Mentally I was not doing well and the pain was literally continuous and I was not getting relief from the Tramadol they were prescribing. Believing the doctors that it was just acid reflux, basically I was scared to eat and lost a lot of weight. I was in pain and became depressed. I am 5'9" and went from 182lb to 145lb. I lost about 37lb and as I lost the weight, my xiphoid process was just sticking up pushing my skin out. When I pushed on it, it would click and the location of my pain was just behind it. Losing the weight was a blessing because it made the fractured xiphoid visible. The pain is intense and has been unrelenting. It has completely shut down my life and I basically live several hours at a time. My local doctor who had diagnosed me with acid reflux for years then referred me to Mayo clinic where I was immediately diagnosed with a fractured xiphoid process and nerve damage in the muscles below and around that area. The doctors at Mayo told me I had been misdiagnosed for 6 years with acid reflux. They believed that I had fractured my xiphoid process 6 years earlier during that backbend and suffered nerve damage in that area at the same time. I had surgery at Mayo the following morning to remove my xiphoid process and am now home receiving trigger point injections to hopefully locate the nerves that are entrapped. Radio frequency and/or Botox injections are possible future treatments if they can locate the right spot. Basically, I am in constant pain and can't work. I feel like a complete loser because I can't support my family. I have drained my retirement and am in medical debt. The continuous nature of the pain drives me crazy and I just look forward to sleeping at night and not existing for a little while. When I wake up in the morning I'm just wanting it to be bedtime again.

    I have to take Ambien to force myself to sleep and am taking hydrodone/Acet 10/325 twice daily. It may help a little, but not much. I am currently trying Lyrica and previously tried Gabapentin with no relief. Sorry that was so long - It feels good to just get all that off my chest. I have been to an acupuncturist and chiropractor in addition to my current pain management doctor.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to live like this?
    Yes I live in chronic pain too as all of us do here and I'm so sorry that you have had so much suffering and loss of income and misdiagnosis. I also lost my career of 33 years and your story really touched my heart.I've been in pain mgmt since 1998 and it took 2-3 years before my dr found the right combinations of meds to get me to a 50% reduction of the pain so that I could function better. I can't work but I can stand to be alive because my pain is intractable and my condition progressive and I can totally relate to what you are saying about your pain. It doesn't sound controlled by 50% yet. Lyrica really helps my nerve pain tremendously but I also have to take a long acting timed released narcotic med to truly control my pain because I used to take short acting meds, Norco 10 mg before I found a dr to really help me and that was the day I began to truly be able to live with the pain because it is managed now. Pain mgmt drs are all so different in their approach to managing pain as some are interventional and don't prescribe narcotics and only use procedures like epidural steroid injections, radio frequency ablations etc and some are pain mgmt anesthesiologists that prescribe narcotics, adjunct meds, do procedures and put in spinal cord stimulators and intrathecal morphine pumps. Both SCS or spinal cord stimulators and pain pumps are put in by surgery. Many people find great relief from the implants. My dr is a Physical Medicine and Rehab dr and they treat both acute and chronic pain to increase their patients functioning to the highest achievable level attainable for them depending on their disabilities. Being in pain all the time is not a shortcoming or something that you can fix yourself and nothing to fault yourself about because if we could fix it we already would have the very first day we had the severe pain!! Right? !! Is Mayo still where you go for monthly pain mgmt? If not if I were you I would see a different pain dr that will treat the pain more aggressively & not just with upcoming procedures but with meds and procedures for chronic pain that would help me right now as it is pretty standard pain mgmt protocol to be prescribed a long acting timed released narcotic, an adjunct med such as lyrica, gabapentin, cymbalta, topomax, etc and a short acting narcotic to be taken on an as needed basis for breakthrough pain and after the severe suffering is down to a tolerable level then the pm dr does PT, TENS or procedures to try and lessen the pain and need for narcotics. I hope that you find a better pain management plan and pain relief and I hope I answered your original question about how I live with chronic pain. Welcome to healthboards, the people here have been a major source of support, strength, comfort to me and have helped me beyond measure and I am eternally grateful to each and every member who has taken the time to post to me, enrich my life and help me to make it. What I have learned on this journey is too numerous to count but I know that the pain always gets better. Always. It doesn't leave but it does lessen in severity and also I know that talking and sharing with others that truly understand and have CP was a life changing for me! The first time I read " Me, too. I'm hurting too" from a CP member here instead of getting another " I'm sorry" from someone that doesn't have chronic pain was a moment I will always remember!! So I'm saying " Me, too! I'm hurting too" to you right now in hopes that you will feel the support that I felt and I'm being sincere. We are here for you. Anytime. God bless you! I'm using Ima for your name because I'm not calling you a dork like your username says! Thank you and God bless you!

    Last edited by gmak; 12-27-2014 at 10:41 PM.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 12-26-2014, 11:49 AM   #3
    tortoisegirl
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: Washington
    Posts: 1,204
    tortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB User
    Re: Need Help Living With Chronic Pain?

    It took me many years with chronic pain to get it under control. Like most of us, way too many doctor appointments and failed treatments/meds. That initial part can be very frustrating. It is common to try many things before finding anything that helps. Often you may find things that help, but pain levels are so high that it is tough to even notice. Once something is found that significantly helps, it is easier to add in things that help smaller amounts. Doctors need to try the conservative stuff first before considering opiates or surgery.

    Getting on daily opiate pain meds was the thing that has helped me most (Methadone), about 50% pain relief. The rest is from lifestyle changes (ensuring I take care of myself with sleep, healthy food, keeping my blood sugar high enough, staying hydrated, resting and taking meds as soon as pain spikes) and little stuff (adjunct meds like a muscle relaxer, massage therapy as needed, ice/heat as needed, etc).

    I do wish however I would have stayed away from the daily opiates, as it is nearly impossible to get off of them, between withdrawal and increased pain levels. Plus, tolerance can be a big issue, as over time you need higher doses to get the same pain relief, but doctors often have a dose ceiling they are comfortable with.

    A big part of my improvement as well was attitude. Mostly accepting that I will be in pain everyday and I need to do my best to learn to live with it. Over time it has got easier to cope with. I've learned that few people truly "get" it, so I tell very few people. For those who I had previously told, I never bring it up, and if they do, I give a simple statement and change the subject. Best wishes.
    __________________
    Kate
    constant headache since 2006

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 12-27-2014, 04:15 PM   #4
    karlee1010
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: May 2014
    Location: USA
    Posts: 144
    karlee1010 HB Userkarlee1010 HB Userkarlee1010 HB Userkarlee1010 HB Userkarlee1010 HB Userkarlee1010 HB Userkarlee1010 HB User
    Re: Need Help Living With Chronic Pain?

    Hi Ima. (good idea, gmak) Welcome to the boards. By sharing my story, and reading other people's stories here, it's really hard to explain to you just how much, mentally and emotionally, I've been helped. Even though physically, my back pain hasn't really lessened any over the years, I had come to a point in my life where I'd just plain had too much mental, emotional, and physical pain in my life, and didn't think I was able to take any more. The worst of it happened when my baby boy died at 4 weeks old. That event had forever changed me, even years and years later, and when my back pain added to this, I was falling deeper into depression. This started a couple years ago from now. When I started coming here, to share what's going on with me, and also responding and trying to help others, little by little I started feeling like I'd be able to handle it, since I wasn't alone anymore. It was about that time I also started going to my current pain clinic, and getting narcotics, to lessen the physical pain. Since then, I'm learning more and more other little ways to work with the narcotics, rather than adding more and more, to benefit and work together with all of it. So, now I realize that actual pain meds are only a small part of the many other things I need to be doing to work on myself. Today, I know I'm not the same person I was before the car accident when I was thrown across our car, and not the same person I was before my baby boy died from SIDS. I'm also not alone though. When my physical pain, or my emotional pain gets too much for me, I have options now. I am so grateful for this. There are people who have it alot worse than I do, and I want to keep myself up, so I can do something to help them learn more ways to cope. I hope you know you're not alone, and thank you for listening to me here.....

     
    Reply With Quote
    The following user gives a hug of support to karlee1010:
    momzworkin (12-29-2014)
    The Following User Says Thank You to karlee1010 For This Useful Post:
    gmak (12-28-2014)
    Old 12-29-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
    momzworkin
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: Kansas City, Kansas
    Posts: 845
    momzworkin HB Usermomzworkin HB Usermomzworkin HB Usermomzworkin HB Usermomzworkin HB Usermomzworkin HB Usermomzworkin HB Usermomzworkin HB Usermomzworkin HB Usermomzworkin HB Usermomzworkin HB User
    Re: Need Help Living With Chronic Pain?

    Hi Ima,

    I understand how you feel. I truly do. I have been a CP patient for 7 years now. I use a daily narcotic (3-4 Norco 10/325) along with Cymbalta for the depression that goes along with chronic pain, and lyrica, tramadol and celebrex as adjunct meds that help keep my pain to a level that I can at least keep my job, keep a reasonably clean house and care for my family. I was lucky enough to find a great PM who was willing to try different things to get me where I am today. I also swim 4 days a week, and get weekly massages-which help tremendously.
    Before I actually get up in the morning, I have an alarm that goes off 45 minutes earlier to remind me to take my Norco, then I doze till it is really time to get up. That 45 minutes is like night and day-it gets me up and moving in the morning. I take the PM OTC med made by Tylenol that doesn't have acetaminophen in it-that helps get me to sleep at night, along with a mild muscle relaxer so that my body can take full advantage of the hours I am sleeping to truly rest and recoup from the day's activities.
    One of the hardest things to learn was to GIVE MYSELF A BREAK. I don't have to throw down dinner 7 nights a week, my house doesn't have to look like Martha Stewart lives here, and I bought enough underwear to make sure I only had to tackle laundry day every other week. **smile** Give yourself a break. You can only do so much, and staying on top of your meds and slowing down on your expectations of yourself will do wonders for your quality of life.
    These boards have been my lifeline since 2006 when I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and had back surgery. The understanding and ability to understand things in laymen terms was invaluable. I hope we have helped you, and that you continue to come back and share.
    __________________
    07/2006: A/P fusion L4-S1; DX DDD
    09/2009: started PM
    04/2011: Right rotator cuff tear
    09/2011: re-tore shoulder in PT- lost 30% function in shoulder
    06/2013: diagnosed with failure of L2-L3-L4

     
    Reply With Quote
    The Following User Says Thank You to momzworkin For This Useful Post:
    gmak (12-29-2014)
    Old 12-29-2014, 10:21 AM   #6
    tortoisegirl
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: Washington
    Posts: 1,204
    tortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB Usertortoisegirl HB User
    Re: Need Help Living With Chronic Pain?

    The advice to give yourself a break is quite huge. We cannot have the same expectations on ourselves as someone without health struggles, even if our pain is under good control, as its easy for the tables to turn. Best wishes.
    __________________
    Kate
    constant headache since 2006

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 12-31-2014, 08:12 PM   #7
    tbmbjm
    Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Mar 2005
    Location: Corning,Ohio
    Posts: 71
    tbmbjm HB User
    Re: Need Help Living With Chronic Pain?

    You definitely are not alone. Have been in chronic pain since 2004 after failed back fusions of L4-5 & S1-2. The pain is 24 hours a day, every day. The intensity is what varies. There have been times I could just be on non narcotics & function with a pain level of "5". Then times where even strong narcotics don't hardly touch the pain. Besides my husband, who has witnessed daily what I go through, I feel like the people on this board truly understand. I lost my career that I loved & the income that went with it. Although I had insurance, I also have accumulated more medical bills than i'll ever be able to pay. I am thankful for the days when my pain level is a "5" and I'm able to do a few things. I still get depressed every time my pain is an 8-9 because I can't do anything then. Then to try to get an increase in pain meds when the pain is higher, is very difficult. I called my pain dr & they said he wouldn't prescribe anything without seeing me & their earliest appt is in 2 weeks. I'm like-are you kidding me? So, I may have to go to ER before that if it gets too bad. Yes, it's very difficult to handle on a daily basis. Whoever handles your pain management- you need to stress to them the level of pain you are in & that your current meds aren't enough to function. Take one day at a time. Hang in there!

     
    Reply With Quote
    Reply Reply




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:03 PM.





    © 2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!