Completely Useless

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 9/15/2010 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel like I've been completely useless lately. I go to work -- when I can -- but am not very productive. I get home, barely can help with our daughter, and then do no chores around the house. I feel like everyone is frustrated with me and I am so frustrated with myself. I'm close to tears most of the time. Work especially is becoming more and more of a struggle each day. I feel so hopeless and scared and alone. I'm here now because I need a friendly ear who understands what I'm going through. My family and friends try to be understanding, but they don't really seem to get it.
Scoliosis fusion w/rods - 1992; herniated disc - 1996; partial removal of rods - 1997; microdiscectomy - 1997; sudden inc. in pain - 2008; tried the following non-pharm treatments: PT, aquatic therapy, TENS, acupuncture, piriformis injections, selective nerve root blocks; other: depression, anxiety, add; current meds: lyrica, baclofen, vicodin, topomax, tramadol, welbutrin, ativan, ritilin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 9/16/2010 8:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning damgalnuna,

I'm sorry you're feeling so's hard to get our loved ones to understand how we physically feel, day in and day out. I don't think others can truly fathom the pain we're in.

Is there any way you can look into modified duties at work, or even a different role at work, that might make the job easier for you? I don't know what you do, but would an ergonomical assessment help you at all? Are your meds working for you, or do they need tweaking?

When you do get home, would you be able to grab a nap for an hour, and then have a bit more energy to do things around the house? I'm really just throwing ideas out, because I know that feeling of being "useless". I worked in the Executive Offices at my company and generally put in 10-12 hour days, right up until I left on medical leave. It was such a struggle in the end, but I have excellent support from my company, which made things so much easier. I hope you have that kind of support at work as well. Is there someone in your HR department you can talk to, or do you have any type of Employee Wellness program? They often have a number you can call for free counselling and other information.

I am praying for you, that you can find a middle ground that will allow you to feel more useful, without physically overdoing it. Hugs to you...I know you must be feeling a lot of emotions (I've cried twice in the last two days at each of my medical appointments...didn't even realize it was going to happen until the tears started pouring down my face - so trust me, I have a pretty good idea on how you feel!)

Thinking of you today my friend...and sending a hug and good thoughts your way!

Pam smilewinkgrin

Post Edited (MsBunky) : 9/16/2010 7:40:16 AM (GMT-6)

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 9/16/2010 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   

Good afternoon Damgal!

Oh Yes!....your plea sounds very familiar to most all members here.

     Most all business worldwide, are based on production cost, and the ability to turn a profit after the investment of such. Each employee is considered an investment, weather they produce a product, or support personal who do.

     While there are some laws that protect an employee from, ……..shall we say unfortunate health problems…..reality is, that after the requirements of the law have been met by the employer….it will then be up to the employer to determine if there is any value in retaining an employee who cannot produce the standards set by them. Most standards are set, bearing in mind that the employee is in good health, and can produce a profit for the company.

     As, the economy has taken a hard hit the last few years, many of these companies have trimmed their workforce in order to maintain their profitability. Thus the gold standard is “Business is Business”   This does not fare well with an employee who suffers health problems, but has some productivity left to offer, but not at their full potential as when they were hired. 

I believe part of your fear, or the word you used was “scared”, is due to the well known facts stated above. You said “I’m not very productive” and that word is tied to value, not only to the company you work, for but in self worth as well.

At times, a company will actually look at your past work record. A weak past performance or absenteeism problems can come back and haunt a person.

Now, I will say that there are companies that are sympathetic, and will place an employee in a better suited ergonomic position, if available. In fact many companies hire disabled members of the community, and God Bless them for it! 

So!...we can be an optimist here or a pessimist.   I used to ride with a fellow shop employee, and he told me….” Michael! have to be the biggest Pessimist I know”…..I simply replied “ I doubt it!”J

Damgal, please keep your chin up, and look for every resource available to you at work, such as MsBunky suggest. Use whatever tool you can to make your job easier, weather it is a better chair to sit in, or a position change within the company.

If you have a good relationship with your boss, simply have a good chat with them, and explain your health problems. Also ask if there is anything you can do to remain a valued employee to the company, but in a position you can handle, even to the point of a flexible work schedule if possible.


Now for home life!.....I would give anything if there was a Chronic Pain counseling program for whole families, and even for Employers. Oh!.....not your average counselor program! where you could select a #5 or a #7 pain shot that each  non/understanding member of the family, could receive in their rear….and  could experience pain for about a week!....oh!.....and then have them go to work…..come home and do chores……and then have a family member tell them that their just using CP for a crutch! (Yep! 16yr old Step daughter told me that! Grrrrrr! Grrrrr!)

This same step daughter, has decided to partake of an illegal drug on a daily basis!....she is so smart! Skipping school, sneaking out at night…..and hickys that looks like she was strangled!

Yes…we here at HW CP understand what you’re going through…..we will listen and learn together, but you will need to listen and learn with us as well.

Damgal, I can assure that you have worth in this life, maybe not the kind that you expect or an employer….but never tell yourself or get to the point that you believe you are worthless. If you post here, and encourage other members…you are contributing and that is worth something….and many will tell you that is worth a fortune.

One last thought! I’m very willing to bet that when your time here on earth is done, you will not be judged on your work performance as much as how you treated others. I have attended many funerals, and while work history was recited as a life accomplishment….what usually stands out the most, is ones character and how they handled themselves within society. It is not my place or any others, to judge your worth.

     Bless you, and keep the struggle headed in a positive direction!



Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 9/16/2010 1:50:32 PM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 9/16/2010 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Damgalnuna, first thing I would like to ask is if your pain under control? If not what steps is your dr taking to try and get better control of it. I see you are on Wellbutrin and you probably already know depression and CP go hand in hand for some reason. If you have been on the Wellbutrin a while it may no longer be working for you or not enough, but I hear a lot of depression in your voice. When I was working and my pain was so out of control I sounded and felt exactly as you do. It is really hard to hold down a full time job out of the home, and then come home to the full time job there and deal with CP at the same time. Only a strong person can do this. Please don't be so hard on yourself because what you are doing is an extremely difficult job juggling both.

As good as our families and friends say they understand, they don't unless they too deal with CP. No one else can understand this animal except another CPer. Just take lots of deep breaths and cut yourself a whole lot of slack and just take care of what you can. Learn to pace yourself. When you get home each evening make a list of things you want to get done at home. Only do one or two of things each evening and mark it off as you get it done. Work from one list not several that is too overwhelming. Give yourself the well deserved break that you need. Take care.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3089
   Posted 9/16/2010 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
((((((((((damgal)))))))))). Sounds like you're having a really rough time lately. We all go through these periods, and yes, anyone who has CP really does understand what you are going through. Try to keep the faith. Things will get better. I wish I had some great words of wisdom, but I don't. Just try to take things one day, one hour at a time. You'll get through this, as hard as it may be, you're going to make it through.


Retired Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 9/17/2010 6:27 AM (GMT -6)   

I was just thinking about you and your post.

You, my friend, are not useless. You are having a hard time right now and you are obviously needed (perhaps a little too much by family). I have a similar situation at home, but I medically retired a while ago. That was the best decision I ever made! It gives me more time to accomodate my needy family and, on occasion, I quit for a while and let it all pile up just so they can get a taste of what it feels like to have to clean up a big mess they made.

Don't get me wrong, why should they do it when good old Mama will? I mean, why worry about anything? Mama does all the bill paying, cleaning, organizing, whatever...the only problem is that I can't lift the clothes, put the pans in and out of the oven, stand up to cook very long, vacuum the room....little things like that ...

No, you are not useless! You are just slightly underappreciated right now....this too shall pass.

All my best!
Retired Mom

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 9/17/2010 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Damga,
     Good morning! *hugg* How are you doing today? I hope you are doing a little better than last night. I wanted to apologize for leaving so early but I had to help my daughter with her social studies project. I wish I had more time to chat with you!!
     Last night, you were in a LOT so pain to say the least! Is that easing up at all? Have you had a chance to talk to your doctor about being out of meds? I sure hope you can get ahold of them today. I could tell that you were exhausted last night. I hope you can get some help with your pain soon.
     You are not useless! You are just having to deal with incredible amounts of pain the last few days. That would bring anyone down. It is very hard to see the "good" in yourself when your days are filled with pain and your nights are endless. Once you and your new doctor are able to control your pain somewhat, you will be able to get some of your life back.
      Please, know you are in our hearts and prayers. Stay strong!!!

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

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