Hello everyone, first time on the CP forum

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-Misunderstood-
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 7/28/2010 4:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone. I have been posting in the depression forum for a bit now, but I figured I'd finally make the jump over here. Part of my depression stems from chronic pain. Hehe if you read the depression forums and have seen my posts and replys then you will know that I write very long messages usually, so I will attempt to keep this as short as possible.

I am currently 25 years old and have been dealing with pain of some degree for about 8-9 years now. It all started when I fell from a ladder about 18 feet, straight down, in the dark, so as I approached the ground I wasn't able to prepare myself at all. When I hit my right shin broke straight through, landed on my butt and broke my T12 and sustained whiplash which damaged C1-C3 and also the very top vertebrae connecting to my skull. I then had the shin rebroken after a full 3 months healing due to doctor incompetence, then had a third surgery a few months later to remove the steel plate from the rebreaking and chisel down my shin some because my bone was growing around the plate itself. I was on crutches for about 8 months, which did damage to the hip on the opposite side of the leg injury, and also both of my knees sustained some damage from the fall.

Since that time I have dealt with pain of varying degrees, but in the past year or so it had become so acute that I went to a chiropractor to get some xrays. I am a taller guy so I have always had some lower back pain, and I guess that over the past 8 years or so it had just gradually become more intense...but slow enough that I was becoming used to the pain as it increased. The chiropractor of 40+ years told me that he had never seen a 24 year old (at the time) with a back as defunct as mine. I have about 50% degeneration of the disc between my lowest vertebrae and my pelvis. When I hit the ground my pelvis was knocked crooked (and missed by the quack of a doctor that messed up my leg) which caused my lower back to curve more and more over the past 9 years. The center point of my spine on the x-rays, at the worst point in the curve, is about 1 inch to the side of where the center point should be. I have constant pain my lower back, sometimes just a 4-6 on a scale of 10, sometimes very near 10. I also have pain at the middle point of my back, near the T12, and also pain in my neck.

After my leg and back broke, my head snapped down. When that happened I had whiplash damage(which was also missed by Mr. Quacktastic). When I went to my second chiropractor, he found that my skull was actually connected in a slightly crooked manner in comparison to the next vertebrae. It was causing such pain in my neck that it would (and does still to a somewhat lesser extent) flood up into the back of my head, go around my temples, and at times would climb around and I would feel shots of pain in my cheek bones and my forehead (which, Thank God, has not happened for a while). It would feel like my head was on fire, filled with pressure like an air tank, and I would have everything from dull, aching, squeezing, sharp, shooting, and tingling sensations all throughout my head and neck. When the second chiro found that he performed a procedure to fix it (which was surprisingly easy for him to do) and immediately afterward I had some instant relief. I still cannot look down, like when doing paperwork, for more than about 10 minutes without some significant pain build up. I also cannot look to the left or right for more than about 30 minutes before the same thing happens. I always have some amount of neck pain, usually above 5 on the scale, which will go up into my head and temples when I have to use my neck a lot, but luckily has not caused the tweaks of pain my face since I had my head put on straight (hehe literally).

A recent addition to my plate, which is not chronic, but is most certainly quite painful right now, is that I am dealing with what I believe is a hernia. I am in the process of getting it figured out, but this is definitely some serious pain. Since I have been dealing with pain on the level of my back injuries for so long, my pain scale is totally screwed. I am by no means immune to pain or like it any more, but long lasting type pain has a way of being pushed to the edges of my attention as much as I can...a sort of defensive mechanism of mine from the past 9 years. This what I am feeling right now is most definitely a hernia or muscle tear, based on my experiences of what the different pains feel like.

Hehe so all in all, I am quite a mess, and especially for only being 25 years old. My hips and knees bother me, my lower back is just twisted and is constantly in pain, my middle back is in pain often, and my neck/head are constantly in pain. The pain in my neck is probably the worst, most acute and most difficult to get around. You don't realize how much looking around matters until it hurts to do it. That keeps me from so many job possibilities simply because I cannot do desk/paper work for more than 5-10 minutes at a time, I also cannot do heavy lifting anymore (which I used to be very capable in doing)...so that doesn't leave many options. On top of all that I deal with everything with no pain medication because I have no insurance. A friend was helping me in that department for a little while but it was short lived. With some pain medication it is a little bit more livable, but dealing with the bare pain and never ending discomfort is what has lead to part of my depression. A feeling of hopelessness creeps up on you after so long of dealing with constant pain, pain that you know you can't relieve in any way...no position, no amount of over the counter pain meds, no amount of "taking it easy", not even sleep can relieve the weight of the pain.

I know I left some stuff out, but I was trying to keep it a reasonable length. I need to get some insurance soon so that I can find a way to relieve this mental pressure and the pain that is causing it. Thanks for reading about my problems.

antbuggey
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 594
   Posted 7/28/2010 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Misunderstood, welcome to the CP section, but I am sorry that you have a reason to be here! The people in this section are amazing! As you know, we are not doctors and can not give medical advice, but we are here to listen and possibly help with ideas. I also have chronic back pain....most of my back problems are lower back and nerve impingement. It sounds like you sure have a lot of pain you are dealing with. You indicated that you do not have pain meds due to lack of insurance....is this because you can not see a doctor to have them prescribed or because you can not afford the meds themselves? Please know that I am not advocating the use of pain meds....as adults, we know they are addictive. That being said, there are some that are quite inexpensive, even without insurance. I was without insurance for a while and it is rough! Also, are you taking an antidepressant? Again, I am not a doctor, but I take Cymbalta because it also helps with nerve pain. It is quite expensive, but they have an assistance program for people without insurance.

Anyway, I hope that you are able to find a way to get some relief from your pain! Please keep us updated and know that there are people here that understand and do care!

Take care of you!
Beckey

MIKEL99
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 914
   Posted 7/28/2010 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Misunderstood , welcome to the Chronic Pain Forum , I'm really sorry your dealing with so much at such a young age , that is tough . Have you tried getting on medicaid , that may be the answer for you , that will take care of all your medical needs , get you a home attendant if you need it , access-a-ride for travel , dental , everything .Think about it at least you won't have to worry about that stuff and you could see a therapist for the depression too , they can help guide you through your difficult times . Let us know how you are doing , Mikel

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/28/2010 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   

 

   Dear Miss,

     Good morning! Welcome to the Chronic Pain forum. *hugg* My name is Dani. It is very nice to meet you. I hope you find the CP forum a fun, relaxing environment to be in. Were an odd bunch, but were all family. We are glad you could join us. I can see you will fit right in.

     I have to say I sure am sorry you suffered so much damage in your fall. Having damage at all three major vertebre areas is, no doubt, causing many of the problems you have been experiencing. I think the hardest part about having hip and back damage together is that even something simple like sitting, is hard to accomplish.

     I know you have no insurance, but I wonder if you have tried some other options. For instance, all major university hospitals offer insurance on a sliding scale fee. A friend of mine was able to get insurance for 15.00 a month. But, one draw back was the two weeks it took her to gather all the information that was required to get it.(she didnt have a car) Medicade is a good option aswell, but again, the same long list of required documents applies.  I think that at this point, seeking out the assistance of a Pain Management Specialist will be a good idea. Once you get in with low income insurance or free insurance with you state, you will have access to one.

     In the "CP101" topic you will gind directory of hospitals, perscription assistance programs, and much more information you might find useful. You might want to check it out when you get a chance.

     You said ~~> ".....On top of all that I deal with everything with no pain medication because I have no insurance. A friend was helping me in that department for a little while but it was short lived. "

     I know the pain seems hopeless. But, do not take pain meds from friends. Once you get in with a pain management specialist, they will test your urine and sometimes blood for all types of druggs and medications before they begin perscribing you medication. It can be done monthly, quarterly or yearly depending on the facilities and policy. Mostly it is to make sure you are taking your medications as perscribed. Also, they will often times make you sign a contract with them as well. There is no doubt that you will require multiple types of therapies, not just medications. Often time cortisteroids treatments, physical therapy, pain psychology (after care support group), TeNS stimulation and sometimes surgery, is needed to help aleviate the pain/restore functionality.

     ... pain is going to be life long for you. You will probably be in pain the rest of your life. I don't want you to think I am being dramatic. It is just that at its best, pain managemet will get you down to "livable" levels of pain. To restore some (emphasis on some) quality to your life. I was 27 when my troubles began and understanding that pain would be with me (and they told me all along "it will get much worse") the rest of my life, even in the best of circumstance, was a hard reality to swallow.

     Im sorry, here I am chatting away! I want you to know I am very glad you came over to join us too and I look forward to get to know you better. Hang in there!

*hugg*
   dani


 
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
 
Chronic Pain Moderator


mama6
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 416
   Posted 7/28/2010 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome missunderstood,
So sorry you have to join. This is a great place to come for support, advice or even just to vent. I am so sorry to hear all of that which you are having to go through. I see you have already gotten some good advice and since I'm in a heavy pain day I'm gonna leave it to those that can help. Nice to meet you, though. Hope to chat soon. Heather
Mama6


-Misunderstood-
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 7/28/2010 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for the welcome :). I have had medicaid suggested a few times before, that is something that I am currently looking into. What I meant by having no insurance keeping me from any sort of treatment/medication basically applies to every aspect of the process. The treatments that have been suggested as far as physical therapy and disc pressure reduction are WILDLY expensive with no insurance. I've found that even seeing a doctor for 10 minutes costs a minimum of about 150 dollars, let alone prescription costs, ect. I do hope that I can get medicaid working for me though, that would make many of the possible treatments doable. Also what you said Dani, about your friend getting insurance for 15$ a month sounds fairly appealing, lol, that is a much lower number than anything I've found.

I do know that taking meds from others can be unsafe, and in most cases I would probably respond in the same manner that you did Dani. In my time dealing with the pain I have had to find ways, when it was at its worst, to simply make it through the day. When my neck pain really kicked up I would literally only be able to look forward, and even that would only keep the pain at about an 8 (before the procedure to straighten my skull/top vertebrae). I would sit trying to keep my neck as stable as possible, trying to find the right positions (which I found none existed). I ended up basing the decision from past medications I had been prescribed, what worked and what didn't, and other study done into the subject. I know it is not the preferred situation *shrugs* but i am sure you all know that when your pain is at an 11 on a scale to 10, AND you know what can help, not doing so is practically masochism.

I appreciate all the info Dani, I will definitely look into that really low cost insurance at the same time as working towards medicaid, if one falls through then the other is at least in the works. What I would really love to achieve from all this is to be able to get the super expensive therapy treatments, be able to see my chiropractor regularly without going way into debt, and I am just going to leave surgery out of my considerations at the moment. I have come to the realization that I am going to be in pain the rest of my life, and I have come to terms with it. The majority of my frustration lately though comes in not being financially able to treat the injuries, but I will hopefully being able to work that out soon. In the past I would freak out, had a lot of anxiety, depression, from all that comes with the pain...the uncertainty of what is actually wrong, worry of surgery, all topped off by not having the money to do all I can to help it. In the past 6 months or so though, I have come to these realizations about my situation with pain, my life now, and my life in the future. I don't know if anything necessarily got better, but I found some ways to look at things in a different light. I can't let myself focus on the negative, the pain, the stress, or I will be swallowed up by it. Rather than regretting what is (which is pointless because it IS), I need to keep moving forward...use what I have to the best of my ability, concentrate on what I have left instead of what I have lost. These things have brought me out of the hole I was falling into, the hole is still there...but at least I am not currently plummeting down it.

I appreciate all your advice and caring words. I believe that some of these things have happened in my life because God is steering me in His direction. I had been a physically capable person before all these problems began to crop up, I had planned to move to Alaska with some relatives and work on a fishing boat. It wasn't more than a few weeks after I had finally made that decision that all these things began to flare. I was going to waste the gift of intellect that God gave me, I was going to make myself money and not help others...since then I have found a calling of sorts in counseling. I find that I am using a more important gift than my muscles, I am helping more than just myself, and I can support myself in doing it (while not furthering my injuries). I'm glad I started posting over here, even just after my first post I can tell that I will find great help with advice and support.

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/28/2010 9:04 PM (GMT -7)   

 

   Dear Miss,

    Well that was why I suggested your local university hospital. Often times, they carry insurance just for their facilities. My friend had to see all doctors and specialists affliated with the university. But, one of the nice things was that she was able to gain access to all sorts of therapies. Aqua fit, personal physical therapy, psychologist, myofascial therapy and they even had a pharmacy on the ground floor. She loved that she could go to the doctor, fill her meds and eat lunch all at the same place. The down side was all the required documents. Even I was stressed, and I wasnt the one applying! In the end it was worth it though.

    Hey speaking of chiropratic therapy, you should find if it is being taught at your local university, or somewhere else. Could get in you in with students atleast until the insurance gets sorted?

     Hope you are able to let your body rest. You are in our hearts

*hugg*
  dani


 
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
 
Chronic Pain Moderator


White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3611
   Posted 7/28/2010 10:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Missunderstood

I am certainly glad that you have come here and posted, You have gotten some excellent advice! I can understand how all of this can seem a bit overwheming for you! But I think you will find that you have come to a place with lots of people that care deeply about each other and understand what it is like living with pain. Just maybe we can help make it just a little easier for you, at least we can listen and give you our support! One thing for sure is you are not Missunderstood here at this forum! and your not alone either!

Welcome to our Family!

White Beard

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/29/2010 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Missunderstood,

Welcome to the CP forum! I'm glad you decided to join us, although I wish it was under better circumstances. I'm sure the people on the depression forum are great too (I've visited there once or twice myself), but the folks here are amazing. There are the kindest, most supportive people you'll ever meet. It's like one large family.

I'm only 22 & have been deal with pain of one kind or another since I was 15 (although my real CP stared when I was 18), so I know how hard it is to find proper treatment when you are "so young." Hopefully you'll get some answers & some help soon!

hugs,
Skeye

Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 7/30/2010 3:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Missunderstood...

Welcome to the CP board... I'm sorry for how much you are going through, though.

I really liked the things you said in your posts. I laugh because I, too, am very wordy in my responses :) so don't feel bad :) I also have depression related to my pain/health issues, so I definitely understand that aspect, too.

I can tell you've learned that, unfortunately, life is not "black or white"... lots of shades of gray... and sometimes you do what you have to do in order to survive each day. I really hope you can find a solution to the insurance and such, so you can get to a doctor and get what you need - just to make things more bearable.

I also liked what you wrote about being led to counseling. I think that's great. God has changed the direction of my life many a time, so I can relate.

Anyway, I guess that wasn't as wordy as I normally am :) I really just wanted to welcome you and hope to get to know you better.
Take care, Tina
Main Health Issues: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibro; Chronic Pain (back issues, migraines, carpal tunnel, among other things); Chronic Hypertension; Hypothyroidism and Hypoadrenalism; Mixed Sleep Apnea (on BiPap); Depression/Anxiety; Vitamin D Deficiency.

MAJOR surprise - Pregnant, w/ twin little girls (after six boys). Due Sept, 2010. Praying they are healthy. YES, you can have chronic pain AND have a successful pregnancy - not easy, but it can be done. :)
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