Posted 5/6/2009 5:30 PM (GMT -6)
I agree wholeheartedly with everything that everyone has said on this thread, everything! We really do care about you fatherjohn!! We want to help. Like White Beard said, it's not easy! A lot of times we feel helpless, I know I certainly do & it isn't easy to write posts either, especially about yourself! I too have done the post, edit, delete thing, just because it is so hard to put your feelings into words. I am very self sufficient, and I generally care more about what is going on with others than with myself. I feel uncomfortable asking for help, or even really letting people see how I truly feel, that is perhaps my biggest fault. I almost never let my guard down, and certainly not around other people. But as I too am learning, it is okay to do so here! Everyone here UNDERSTANDS and doesn't judge. We all can relate to what you are experiencing, and only wish that we could do more for you, than just letting you know that we are here, listening & that we care. I consider myself so fortunate to have found this forum, as do many of us. We are like family, and I can at least speak for myself in saying that I don't know where I'd be or the state I'd be in without you all. Everyone here has helped me through so much. You guys are a large part of what keeps me going everyday!

You'll be in my prayers fatherjohn. Sending you lots of big hugs! I hope you are doing alright, my friend! (((((((((((fatherjohn))))))))))).

Posted 5/7/2009 1:00 AM (GMT -6)
I will start by saying thanks for the caring and thoughtful words and the heart behind them. The reason that I stated I had written but deleted was not because people here don't care of say things that hurt or take things wrong. Actually just the opposite. I wrote a post so long the other night, I did not realize how long it was until I stopped writing, and then listened to myself as I reread it.
My life has been a mess lately. I have been working 12 to 22 hour days. I am not exagerating. It has been a living hell and then the pain does not take a vacation to allow any relief. The job has taken on a life that I cannot control. I talked to my wife as she works with me and she says that we should keep trying and see if there is a break. I have not had a day off since I went to see my son several weeks ago. Even then I was on the phone, resolving difficulties, counseling, problem solving etc. I got back in town at 9pm from that trip and a staff member called sick so I had to go to work. That was a nightly routine. I was either covering for staff or runnning students to the hospital or drugstore. I made a trip 7 hour drive, spoke to a mens recovery center and then got back in the car and drove 7 more hours home. Slept 2 hours and went to the office. I have our biggest fundraiser (banquest/auction)this weekend and I am working way to many hours to make this happen. The corporation knows that if I leave they will close the school as they could not find someone else to do this job. I can't hire the staff I need until I raise the money. Fundraising in this economy is not the easiest task. I am to have my trial stim in next Tuesday. I had to get special permission to leave a meeting at noon to get to my dr by 2pm 40 miles away to have it implanted. I am due to leave the next day,  Wed. morning on a road trip for 2 days. Does this sound insane. I wrote and deleted because I am in big trouble and there does not seem to be a way out. I am good at helping others but very poor at helping myself. People here are so real and genuine but I am stuggling even writing this as there is not much anyone can do. I should resign but with no plan we could be in big trouble. I wonder why my dr was concerned that my BP was out of control. Talking to those I answer to is of no value. By the way, how are all of you tonight. Thanks for caring.
Posted 5/7/2009 1:04 AM (GMT -6)
Just one more short statement. The deleting was I was afraid my frustration would not be a good thing to others who are also struggling. My pain is increased due to work and this is a cp forum not a work problem forum so I was protecting the site from my frustration. Thanks to all and I will try and stay in touch and open.
Posted 5/7/2009 2:36 AM (GMT -6)
It's late and there's so much I want to say but I'd better not try because my pain meds are starting to kick in and I'll be mumbling - less productive than rambling! ;-)

You ask if it all sounds crazy, and you don't need for me to answer that. Yet I know the feeling - the reality (it's more than a feeling) - of being up against a wall, especially where finances are concerned. Yet with the way you're working you're probably not going to be able to think clealry enough to see any options that might be there. But it just seems to me (and I'm guessing to you, too) that you can't keep this up for long. Just the idea of going on a trip the day after you SCS implant - well, those who have them can speak to that, but my guess it it's not a good idea, to say the least.

I do want to emphatically say that talking about your work stress is as much a part of this forum as me talking about my financial stress. We can't separate these things from CP; they're part of the package. So please, please don't feel it's not appropriate for this forum. Or that we who are also struggling don't want to hear of your struggles. That's what this website is all about! I have a hunch some things in White Beard's post might speak more to this point - perhaps relating to the difficulties sharing certain aspects of your life, especially as a male. And you and I know the occupational hazard of being a helper. (ahem)

Is there any possibility of you applying for other jobs; you have D&A experience and there are many programs around. Yes, I know you're attached to this program and have put much of yourself into it, but what you're doing now isn't healthy for you, and I suspect also not healthy for the program overall. By that I mean the program itself probably needs to be examined. Maybe some restructuring. I don't know, but I sure don't want to see you collapse and that's what you're headed for. 22 out 24 hours on some days? No days off in weeks? We care too much about you to not say something. I know it's not easy, but maybe if you keep writing here and not worry about whether it's ok for the cp forum some solutions will emerge. I know that has and continues to help me find my way in the darkness.


Posted 5/7/2009 2:28 PM (GMT -6)
FatherJohn, As always I agree with PALady.She stated everything quite well. I worry about you having to work that many hours. I know it is expected of you. But that is asking so much of you. You can't keep going on like that. And to not want to discuss your pain or problems because you think they are work related at the moment and not a part of a chronic pain forum...That is really kind and considerate of you. But ofcourse you can discuss it here. I know I probably broke rules for discussing my personal situation with my husband and then the problem with my husband and my mother and then the other day when I spoke about my son. Ofcourse, I thought all of those things were wrong for me to do. But I was in such a state, I didn't know where else to turn or what to do. I needed to vent. I found so many caring people. I found such understanding. And most of all, I felt not alone in this world of craziness I was living. When you are upset or worried, your pain levels increase. I know I had just had surgery, and ofcousrse pain goes with back surgery. But I was in agony. I didn't know if I could tolerate the physical pain that was so great. Looking back now, I was in just as much emotional agony as physical. It felt good to have the people in the forum reach out to me. And honestly, I think it really helped me. No, I am certain it helped me. It gave me hope that things would get better, and they have. It gave me strength to keep on going, and I did. That is one reason I am so grateful to be in this forum. I pray at night and I thank God for each and every one of you. That is the very least that I can do, for all you have done and given me. So, FatherJohn you post away.
Posted 5/7/2009 10:07 PM (GMT -6)

You amaze me, you really do. Despite all of your personal health issues you refuse to give up. Not many people would have hung on as long as you; not too many people would have cared so much about the people they work with and the people they help to sacrifice their own well being. Twelve to 22 hour days is barely doable for someone in good health, let alone someone with CP. And certainly no one can keep that up forever! And that's not even taking into account sleep. 'Normal' people would sleep no problem during the few breaks they got, but I know that that is not the case with you, not with the pain. So add even more sheer exhaustion on top of everything! You are going to run yourself into the ground if you're not careful! I know you mentioned that money is tight, and staffing is scarce, but is there any possible way that you could take some time off? Just one day? A day where you don't have to go anywhere, or do anything, and can just spend time taking care of yourself! At the very very least, you should try to give yourself five or ten minutes every hour or couple of hours to just put everything down & have some quiet time to yourself in which you can regroup, or mediate, or do something to de-stress. I know that I don't need to tell you that stress makes everything, including pain, worse . Are you seeing a counciler, or do you at least have someone who you can talk to about your situation and your frustrations (I know, you probably don't have time, AND you hate to sound like you are complaining, BUT I can tell you from experience, that you can't keep everything inside forever. It just keeps building and building until one day you finally explode).

I wish that there was something more I could do or something more I could offer you, but as you said, our hands are pretty much tied & all we have to offer is words. Please do feel free to post about anything any time you need to! We are here to help, and at the very least we can listen & offer you our support.

Best of luck with your stimulator trial next week! I hope it provides you with some much needed relief! I will pray for you that you find the strength to keep you going & that your pain stays at a minimum! ((((((((((((((fatherjohn)))))))))))))))).
We are here for you!

Posted 5/7/2009 11:50 PM (GMT -6)

I left work early tonight (10 hour day) and thought I would take a break. Then I spent 2 hours on the phone. Yes I needed the break but the phone calls were from students who have made major break throughs and victories in their lives. Now I will take a break.

PAlady, I appreciate your upfront and honest views. As somebody said recently, they expect nothing less from you. Yes, the thought of reorganization has been discussed. Yes, the whole issue of is it healthy for the school to be in this kind of situation has been addressed. We are asking alot of questions and not coming up with the answers that are making since yet. We continue to ask more questions. The part that the Corp. does not acknowledge is the CP. That does not come into the equation. They take a very firm stand on opiads as they are the number 1 misused medications. That is why I am not even sharing what I presently take as I don't want it to be an issue. They have other directors who face difficult seasons but without the CP. I try hard not to allow that to be an issue.

Skeye, Thanks for the encouragement. I can say that the thought of giving up does creep in but as the possitive side emerges, like the phone calls tonight, it fuels my perseverence. Yes, I know I can't keep this up. My age and my disability are factors but I know I am overdoing it.

Anice, I try hard to build people up and not tear the down. I felt that my work issues are irrelevant to this fourm although my pain is. I also know that my work does cause my pain to increase but no one here can change my work schedule.

I know people care and the fact that I make the decision to try and help others at the expense of myself, I deserve to be addressed. As I stated, we have our major fundraiser this weekend and the a directors meeting Monday and Tuesday as wekk as the trial stim implant Tuesday. I have made the decision to cancel my trip Wed. and Thur. and take the consequenses. As I said, they don't deal with the CP so from their view it should not limit me. I have purposely not mentioned the organization that I work for as I don't want them to get a bad name as they do great work all over the world helping addicts. I hope that you all know that I am not afraid of being real, I started several threads that made many of us wet our keyboards with tears. Thanks for caring.

Posted 5/8/2009 12:35 AM (GMT -6)


When I read your last thread, I felt like there was someone out there like me. I get angry about the CP and feel I can't help me and I go work that much more to try to forget about the pain. I help other people and care for them, work many hours to run myself past exhaustion. The bills barely get paid and the pain always seems to wake up and say helloooo, I am back. Its a demon sometimes, but I do think you need a break sometimes to breath and enjoy life the best way your body will allow. Take care cshelp

Posted 5/8/2009 2:47 AM (GMT -6)
I want to apologize to you for my post. As I reread it even earlier today I thought it was too harsh and I should have edited it. Should have known better than to be writing that much in the middle of the night anyway. I am sorry.

I hope your implant trial is a success and am so glad you're taking those days off.


Posted 5/8/2009 8:32 AM (GMT -6)
Father John, I hope the implant is a success for you and that you can
get some relief from it...I'm also glad you've cancelled your trips for now.
Don't over do it on the fundraiser and if I could contribute I would...
Lots of soft hugz
((((((((((((((((Father John)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines


Posted 5/8/2009 10:23 PM (GMT -6)
PAlady, you don't have to worry about your post. I know that you care and sometimes we need it straight. I appreciate that you are honest. Thank you.
Char, I am going to try and allow the stim to have a chance and to do that I know I can't over do it.
Saying that, I just got home from work and I have to return for awhile tonight. I met with our Corp. Board today and presented a 5 and 10 year plan for the school and made it known that this has to be a partnership or it is not goiung to work. I have directors meeting the first of next week and we will see how that goes. They are the ones that have to show their support. They liked my plans today and were very pleased with the the growth elements for the future and the plan to hire adequate staff so I can have a break. They asked about my health and if it is going to limit me from doing what needs to be done. Afre I explained where I was and the stim and possible pum the room was rather silent. I will have to wait and see what that meant. I will check in with all of you latter. 
Posted 5/9/2009 12:29 AM (GMT -6)
Sounds like you're moving in the right direction. Maybe I missed something but what is a "pum"?

I wonder what you pain and health would be like if you were working reasonable hours. How much they might improve. Especially if the stim is successful. I hope your directors are taking a breath and realizing that you can't do everything. Maybe this is an incubation period for them.

Hope this is a successful weekend, but that you get a chance to take a breath now and then!

Posted 5/9/2009 12:40 AM (GMT -6)
PAlady, sorry about the misspell (pum) is pump. My fingers have a hard time spelling correctly. I have large fingers and I type with just two of them. I have never mastered the keyboarding thing. I am not sure that the pain would be much different. My doctor says that the reason that I am able to go the way I do is I deny the pain all day by keeping so busy that I don't acknowledge it. It is when I stop that the pain level is noticed. After going to the office again tonight, I noticed that I was having trouble walking but when I kicked into gear at the office I did not notice it. But after getting home, the pain becomes so real. It is possible that a 40 hour work week or even less would make it better but the doctor even thinks that it could make it worse as I would be aware of it more during the day. Maybe I will attempt to find out someday.
Posted 5/9/2009 12:43 AM (GMT -6)
So you're getting the stimulator and the pump? Guess I'm confused, but don't worry about responding tonight if you're too tired!

Denial has its place. I really do believe that. I sometimes wonder if I don't use it as effectively as I could, if that makes sense. Balance. Ah, that tightrope!

Posted 5/9/2009 2:09 AM (GMT -6)
PAlady, don,t worry I was probably not clear. If the stim does not work, they have talked about trying a pump next. I hope the stim works as I have not quite decided I would try the pump. I have had a 10s unit but it does not give me any relief so they are not sure the stim will work. When the PMS is already taking about the next step it makes you wonder how possitive he is about the first step.
Posted 5/9/2009 3:04 AM (GMT -6)
Fatherjohn I am so impressed with your stamina!!! There is no way I could work such hours and carry so much stress and so much pain. I am truely humbled by what you are trying to achieve or what you are actually achieving. What a wonderful person you must be to help so many and ignore your own suffering. I really hope your co-workers appreciate you for all you do and don't prove to be narrow minded over your need for pain relief. I really hope either the stimulator or the pain pump works for you, it sounds as if you deserve some luck to come your way. best wishes, golitho.
Posted 5/9/2009 4:03 AM (GMT -6)
Golitho, Thank you but I don't think that I deserve luck more than anyone else. I have spoken to many people about this forum and one reply was its probably a bunch of people trying to prove they have more pain than some one else. Even though I work in the drug/alcohol recovery field, there is so much misunderstanding about chronic pain and the treatments for it. After meeting with my board yesterday, several came up to me and asked if the stim or a pump would take away the pain. It was hard to explain that people like us don't look for something to take the pain away, we just try to find some relief as pain will probably be with us the rest of our lives. None of us deserve it, but it is life. It is not that a pill, surgery, procedure or appliance will heal us. We just want enough relief to try to regain what we once thought of as normal, knowing that it will not be that way again. I struggle with the overworking but I also know that if I try and just lay around the house, I am aware of the pain so much more and work is an escape. Maybe the stim or the pump will give me enough relief to be able to relax. I am just wandering as I celebrate another sleepless night.
Posted 5/9/2009 6:40 AM (GMT -6)
Father John,
You are a Saint and I'm not using the word just to describe you. You are in ever definition of my Catholic upbringing a true Saint. You constantly put others ahead of yourself with your own heath constantly being pushed to the backburner. You say it's because your afraid about your financial well being if you leave but I do not buy that one bit! I'm sure w/ your experiance and intellegence you would have NO problem finding other work with anyone who would sit down with you and discover what kind of person you are! I have wrote here before that you and I are alike. How wrong could I be! Trying to put myself in the same leage as you took a really perverted ego on my part! Your selflessness humbles all of us here but we all worry for you. Your last post showed a glimmer of hope that you may be going in the right direction by cancelling your post surgery trip and talking to the powers that be about the future. I truely hope you follow through and don't just get pushed back to the same old routine because they know that you can and do somehow get the job done! I'm so sorry I haven't been around much and when I am, it's always all about me. I respect you so much and someday when I grow up, maybe I can be a little bit more like you! It starts right here with helping others instead of constantly dwelling on myself. I truely want to be more Father Saint John like in my life. You are such an insiration to all of us here, we are dam lucky to have you!
Your Brother,
56 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 1/2 years of depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy> new 2/6/09> 400mg injections once a month. 56 and so glad to still be here to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men. They are both serving in the US Navy, one on the aircraft carrier USS John Stennis in port in Singapor and the other on a Gator Freighter USS Bataan stationed in Norfolk, Va. to be deployed to the Middle East in early May. I am one very proud (what they call me)> Big Pops! 

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