Not trying to hijack your thread here, but I just wanted to say a little more on this subject. Fortunately for me, I haven't suffered for nearly as long as you have (I'm on 4 years). I've been able to continue working through all this, though admittedly it has been very difficult and my effectiveness as an employee has been severely diminished. After numerous procedures and 4 surgeries, I can honestly say the toughest things to deal with have been the perceptions of others. I've always been a high achiever, from grade school all the way through 20 years of my career. I've been married 20 years to my high school sweetheart, I have an excellent reputation in my industry and the community, and heck, I've only had 1 speeding ticket in my life! Yet, I get funny looks from the pharmacist when I refill scripts. They regularly "miscalculate" the number of days my medication should last, requiring me to call the pharmacist and my insurance company to get it cleared. When I explain that 90 pills, taken 2 at a time every 4-6 hours, won't last me a month, they say, "Well, MOST people don't need refills that quick." Really. Yeah, and most people don't have to wake up 1 hour early every day so I can take pain medicine just so I can physically get out of bed.
I've been seeing my surgeon (now my EX-surgeon) for over 2 years, and he's cut on me 3 times. I ran out of meds ONE day early ONCE, and I had the audacity to think that asking them to call in my script 24 hours early shouldn't be a big deal. I got a nasty call from his nurse grilling me about my drug use and told me I was "breaking the law" by "abusing" my meds, and that they would only prescribe them for me until they could transfer me to a pain management clinic. And this after I had reduced my medication, on my own, to a third of what I'd been taking 6 months previously. In retrospect, I realize I most likely didn't run out of meds early; it was more likely another "miscalculation" by the pharmacy.
Shortly after my first surgery, I got a big promotion at work. It ended up being bad timing, as I had to have surgery twice more in the next 9 months. Shortly thereafter, I was "transferred", effectively stripping me of my promotion. Although I had only taken ONE WEEK off for each surgery, my employer began perceiving me as a "slacker", and accused me of searching for another job when I had to be out for doctor's appointments.
My point here is that although I've endured so many painful procedures, injections, and 4 surgeries, the most difficult and painful things to deal with has been how others have mistreated and mis-perceived me, my condition, and how much pain I suffer daily. I'm a businessman, and I'm accustomed to dealing with people in tough situations and not taking it personally. But when you look to your caregivers to help you (and you pay them well to do so!), and they treat you poorly and question your integrity, it's hurtful. We all hurt bad enough without having to deal with this crap. And, all this I've described doesn't include the strained relationships with family, loss of support group of friends due to my inability to join them at get-togethers, loss of self-esteem, depression, anxiety, blah, blah, blah......
I wish I had some great advice I've learned from all this that I could pass on so others don't go through all this, but I don't. I'm sure many of you reading this have experienced far worse than I have. I know I've ended up with far less tolerance of other people, and my faith and trust in other people has been severely damaged. I currently have a very dim view and general mistrust of others. Previously in life, I've always refused to let the actions of others damage my ability and willingness to trust people and look for the good in everyone. Hopefully, this will heal as my body does. Good luck and God Bless, everyone.
Post Edited (A. Nonymous) : 5/15/2008 11:48:57 PM (GMT-6)