new here..please answer

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 1/1/2010 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
I used to post on here but for some reason I stopped,  but I miss it and I have to admit that Ialways kept on reading you. However, if there is no real interaction then it is a bit pointless I realized.
Basically I am from Canada, in my late thirties and haven't worked for about a year and a half now. I mention it because of a previous post about working with chronic pain and I though that it was relevant.
Basically , my main problem is in the back. Three disc herniation in the lumbar area. I don't know how it is in the US but where I come from, if you can walk, no matter the amount of pain you are in, no surgeon is going to touch you with a ten foot pole. Mind you all, I read so many posts of people whose surgery caused them to be in more pain that frankly I wonder if they are not right.
To answer the post of someone whose post title was "working with pain" or something like that, well...I have slightly the same problem. Being home all the time can most certainly be a downer. Downer being a euphemism to say downright depressing. I feel useless and really bad especially you you see people around you going about working and living a meaningful an fulfilling life. It a double-edge sword: staying home alone is harmul mentally and depression exacerbates pain.
On the other hand, if a work (which is coming soon since I found a job) I cannot say that I'm in pain ( or else I would not have been hired in the first place) and thus I have to pretend, which can be quite burdensome. I am also afraid that I will have to take more drugs than I would if I staid home because I will have to PERFORM!  How do you keep up to par if you in pain?? How do you focus enough to get the job done? The more i will take drugs the more I will develop  a tolerance and then you get to the limit of your dosage and then you have to wean it off to get back on it. How do you go through withdrawal while you are working?? I can't take a vacation if it is a new job, I'll get canned! But I have to. In Canada, if you don't work, you get squat! Barely enough to make your rent let alone eat. I really want to work though but not sure how to.  So hopeless!
Ouf! So sorry!...I'm rambling on but I am so worried!
Is anybody in a simular situation and how do you cope?
Thank you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/1/2010 1:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Here in the USA it seems like the docs are surgery crazy. If they can't cure it with two aspirin then they start pushing you towards some kind of surgery. That is my perspective anyway.

As far as working with chronic pain some do and some can't. A lot depends on the job itself and then you have to factor in what is causing the pain and the severity of the condition.

I don't work myself. It started off by choice when my son was born my wife and I decided we didn't want to raise him in daycare and in many ways she had the better job at the time and since she was, and still is, working towards a BSN (nursing degree) and I was a truck driver I really was the only one who could stay home with him.

It wasn't too long after I became a SAHD that I started having back problems and as result a lot of other health problems so now I really can't go back to work. about the only job I would be able to do is recliner tester for some furniture company. I am still physically able to drive too, but thanks to my diabetes being out of control and being on insulin now I am not medically qualified. Of course trying to get that through the governments head is next to impossible.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 1/1/2010 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Frenchie,
Welcome back. I agree with Jim that sometimes here in the US surgeons are a bit too eager to jump to major surgery. I nearly went through with a disc replacement surgery a year ago, but got too panicked & backed out at the very last possible minute. After that, my doctor suggested trying Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation (RF). Between that & the home traction unit my back has finally started improving. I quite literally went from being in horrible pain every day (& sometimes unable to get out of bed) to being able to work in a moderate amount of pain after the RF -- we did 6 lesions at L5/S1 and 4 lesions at L4/L5. My PM considered doing 2-4 more at L3/L4, but insurance wouldn't cover it. So we waited a while to see how I responded to the RF & after 6 months (it takes 2-4 months to get the maximum benefit from the RF), he ordered me a home traction unit. Honestly, it has been a godsend. I can now go to work & not be in horrible pain & bent over all day. I can go up a flight of stairs without pain. I can go down 3 flights of stairs without pain. And after months of core work & some light weights (3 pounds for arms & just a resistance band for my legs), I have been cleared to start a land based light aerobics routine. :)

I know other members have posted that they were able to get RF procedures covered in Canada, so perhaps that is one way to go. I don't know what options they have for traction. For that matter, it would be better to try it out before trying to get a home unit. I had been in an auto accident several years ago & one of my muscles was determined to be "atrophied" and not able to recover function. But ever since the traction unit, I started getting sensation back in the muscle. It is no longer drooping down, but matches the glut muscle on the other side of my body. :) My next goal is to be able to walk half a mile 3x per week. It sounds so small, but as everyone here understands those small things can sometimes mean a lot.

best wishes,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 1/1/2010 2:09 PM (GMT -6)   

I just want to welcome you back to the board, and hope you'll continue posting and being a part of things here...

I'm sorry for all the things you are dealing with... I can hear your "worry" in your post... Wish I had more to add...but I'm disabled and cannot work, due to multiple health issues....I'm 36 years old.

I know more will come along w/ things to add... but, again, I just wanted to welcome you back to the board!
Take care... Tina
Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; I also have Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; etc etc

Meds: MS Contin; Dilaudid; Actiq; Soma ; Neurontin; Atenolol; Midodrine; Phenergan/Zofran/Reglan; Effexor; Synthroid; Prednisone; and on the list goes...

Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial; awaiting my decision for implantation

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 1/1/2010 2:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi and welcome to HW. I am excited to see a Canadian join on Chronic pain as there are no others but myself. Where are you from? I am in Ottawa. I was showing your post to my husband your post as I know he has a friend who'name is Frenchie and has problems witth his back, but it doesn't seem to be you.
I too am not able to work. I have continuous severe headaches for ten years. They are quite horrible now. No meds help, no therapies help and the doctors don't know what to do. In the meantime i keep researching and at the moment i am trying to find out if some of the procedures that are done in the states can be done in Ontario. You'll see a post i have made on that topic.
Good luck with your searcher here. Glad you joined.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16796
   Posted 1/1/2010 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Frenchie and welcome back to Healing Well. I do hope you will hang out with us continue to post.

It is very difficult living the life of a CPer and I guess there is no real cut and dried way of trying to figure out how to survive it. I think for most of us its all trial and error. Finding way to deal with and learning how to accept things as they are.  It tough I know that and a very long process.

I do hope for your sake you are able to handle this new job you have coming up. Please let us know how things go for you.


crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 1/1/2010 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Frenchie, Welcome back....I know what you mean about being at home 24/7.  I haven't worked in over 8 years....I know, it's too long.  But I have a 16 year old son that I have been taking care of by myself since he was 4....and I know all about Depression.... Some days I don't even take a shower and get dressed...just because I really have NO REASON to.  This life of CP can send you down a long and dark tunnel....spiralling so fast that you feel like there's no way out.  I feel that way alot.  I also have dreams....weird dreams.  Sometimes I dream that I am in a World in such turmoil but the only thing I worry about is finding pain meds...I dream about going into Pharmacies and bagging up every narcotic I can find....just so I'll always have them.... I know it sounds very much like an addicts behavior..but I do worry about it.  I think it's the depression. 
We are here for you....just like they are here for me...The people here have helped me through some pretty bad times.  If I didn't have this forum to run to I would go crazy..

I have been a spectator for so long..Now it's time to participate.......
Post Lamenectomy Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, DDD....
1999 Hemi Lamenectomy/2005 Spinal Fusion(L4-S1)
Methadone 120 mg. a day/  30 mg. Oxycodone as needed(up to 4 x a day)
High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril HCTZ 10 mg. daily
Type 2 Diabetes: (March 16, 2009)
Metformin HCL ER 1000 mg. at night..Glipizide 10mg. 2X in the morning
Lantus 35 units at bedtime with Solostar Pen                                                                   


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 1/2/2010 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for your replies. It made me feel better somehow. Knowing that I am not alone in this situation does make a difference as such.
Uniquelyme, I find your reply quite refreshing. The sincerity with which you convey how you feel and what you really think no matter what is quite amazing. I have also that habit of keeping all my meds just in case I ever need them again and believe it or not, I had the same thoughts about breaking into a drugstore and looting all the narcs just to make sure I would not lack any ever and that I wouldn't have to beg my doctor every time I need something. I know it's insane but pain can drive you to that sort of foolishness.
Suzane, I am from Quebec, Montreal, hence my username "Frenchie". I am perfectly bilingual though. Headaches are a tough one. I think of all the place of experiencing CP, the head must be quite gruesome. My heart goes out to you. I hope you have some support, a hubby, parents etc. to help you through that. As for me , I am alone, Which makes it all the more challenging. I heard Ottawa was a beautiful city, very clean and safe. Hope I can visit some day...
Tina, when I read you I though, including myself it goes without saying: how young to suffer so much!  When people tell me: "don't worry, ou are still young! I just feel like telling them morons: precisely, that means I still have a long road ahead of me dealing with that calamity. What's so positive about that? Let me ask you though, what kind of help can you get in the States if you can't work and have no trouble proving it?
Frances, thank you for the input and all the good tips. They did not fall in deaf ears.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 1/2/2010 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Nice to hear back from you Frenchie. I am going to see a specialist in Longuieul on Jan 20, is that near you.
Tell us more about yourself. Did you have a injury to have backpain. How long have you been in back pain. Are you see a pain management dr.? What do you take for your pain. Sure hope things will go ok for your new job. What is the job?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 1/2/2010 11:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Do you have anything like the FMLA laws we have here in the US (Family Medical Leave Act)? Under that law, after 12 months of employment with an employer with more than a handful or so of employees, people can take unpaid time off for up to 12 weeks. That's what I've ended up using once a year for 2 weeks to keep my tolerance in check. You're absolutely right that it is downright impossible to go through a short-term withdrawal from medication (even with the best of intentions) and go to work.

I will say that the one time when I didn't qualify for that protection, my doctor put me on a shorter "drug holiday" for 3 workdays + a 3 day weekend (over Labor Day). 6 days is not as good as 2 full weeks, but it worked out okay. He wrote me for Catapres patches (generic=clonidine) which help with most of the symptoms -- still had the creepy crawly feelings on my arms & legs, but at least I didn't look like I had the flu with runny nose, watery eyes, etc. :) It was not fun & I was not a peak performance, but it did work out okay. I made one mistake (I worked in financial services, so details were super important) & my boss did talk to me about it, but at the end of the day, I stood on my record of great work & he just said that everyone has an off day once in a while, just not to let it happen again. So I just wanted to encourage you that it's not easy, but it can be done. Hang in there! :)


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 413
   Posted 1/3/2010 12:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, working FT is a big, BIG challenge for anyone with CP and something I've been consistantly writing about and worried about for awhile. I work FT and the past four years has been difficult with a hospitalization, a surgery, another possible surgery coming up (not ready to talk about that one yet) and all my sick/vacation days go to dealing with bad CP days--vacation, what's that? The best advice I have to offer is that if you are going to attempt to work FT then you will have to alter your lifestlye to maximize resting/sleep; I actually sleep 14 hrs a night 2 to 3 nights during the week and I have to absolutely rest one weekend day, letting chores and errands go. The psychological part is challenging, ironically, when you don't work you think life if passing you by, but when all you do is work and rest, you also feel life is passing you by. I too am on pain meds and haven't found that to be an issue for me because I take an ER med and try to limit my BT med as much as I can to avoid high tolerance issues (don't get me wrong, I have high tolerance, but I put up with more pain than I probably should rather than up my meds). Oh, and what's really helped is I don't pretend to be something I am not at work, I'm not one of those perky, "Good morning" people, but I'm respectful, do my job as best as I can and for the most part keep to myself, it's actually worked to my benefit, I've stayed out of the gossip pool.
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