Don't Know What To Do anymore

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 9/24/2010 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so tired of being in chronic pain that I think I am actually developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

When I am absent from work due to the pain (I missed yesterday. I'm here today but in considerable pain) I'm not proactive - making appts. getting things accomplished etc. I instead, stay in bed all day sleeping the pain away.

The last PM doctor left me in tears. My only recourse is to go to a Neurologist or another PM doctor.

Work is getting more difficult to do. But I'm a teacher and in TEXAS so that is a double negative for getting on SSD. It's different when you're a teacher because you don't pay into SS AND in Texas, it's hard to get approved.

I just don't know what to do.

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3686
   Posted 9/24/2010 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   

It sounds like you are getting very depressed, depression is usually "part in parcel" with having chronic pain! I know this is easy to say, but you really should go and talk with your Doctor about this, maybe he/her could help you, by maybe starting you on a mild antidepressant or something like that, or maybe counseling. I know all to well how easy it is to just stay in bed and sleep to escape it all! But you know that is not the answer, it wasn't for me and probably it is not for you either! I know it is hard and difficult to be pro-active in our medical care, but if we don't take care of our selves, who pray tell who willl??? I know how hopeless you can feel after seeing some of these doctors! Allot of times I know I come away feeling belittled, berated and confused, and more than a little bit angry, and sad! I just want to "run away from it all! and say to heck with it! stay in bed and just sleep it all away!" But I know that is not the answer! and from your post it sounds like you know it is not the answer too! Yes you need to be more proactive, and talk with your Doctors, and get a new and different PM doctor if you need to, maybe find a counselor that you could go to, that might help you allot! I know when I was going through my divorce, I just felt over whelmed! mentally, physically and every other way! I talked to my pain doctor, and he got me a referral to a counselor that would take medicare and tricare, I had went and seen her for close to two years, at first weekly and then every two weeks and then monthly, I also got put on a very very low dose antidepressant, ( just enough to take the edge off, as like I told my counselor, I just felt like I wanted to cry all the time, I didn't, but..... I felt like I did!) You know it all helped me! along with all the support from the people here on this forum, I made it through a very very rough and rocky period in my life. But I had to make it happen! With the proper help and support you can too Elenor! You are not alone, you have all of us here to give you help and support!

I do wish YOU well!

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9661
   Posted 9/24/2010 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm in Texas too...yeah things can be harder here that's for sure...but then each State has
their own little problems... I would say to look at getting another PM Doctor and maybe look
into a good pain management psychologist...everyone gets frustrated but chronic pain sure
can make it harder.... Hope you can get a low pain day soon...Please know we care
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 9/24/2010 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Eleanor,
I can totally relate to the exhaustion of trying to teach while in severe pain. I had to leave the profession b/c it got to be too much being on my feet all day.

Can you talk to your union rep about what options might be available to you? Sometimes there are options -- shared sick days, protection & pay for disability leave, partial pay during leave or access to special union-supported programs. I know the one year I was able to get regular pay for 12 weeks of disability leave from my union. It's not a long-term solution but if you can find some sort of assistance it might be enough for you to figure out if there is a treatment that would allow you to continue teaching or if you need to change to a more sedentary position (there are a lot of companies that will hire former teachers for all kinds of work, so don't despair if you do need to leave the classroom).

CFS occurs in people who have had mono. They can test for it by testing for the mononucleosis virus. Your PCP should be able to run that test if you think you might have been exposed. There are a few other problems that can cause exhaustion, but I agree with the others that often we CPer's struggle with depression/anxiety. Teaching is so demanding to begin with and then when you add on chronic pain, it just gets to be too much. You miss a few days & come back and your students are behind. So even though you are exhausted you continue working until you are about ready to drop b/c who knows whether the sub will actually teach anything or whether s/he will let the kids run wild and refuse to follow your lesson plans. I understand all too well. I kept at it until I was so sick my PCP gave me about a week to live if I didn't get off my feet. I miss teaching, but now am looking at some options where I would at least be in the education field and could teach a class a handful of times a year. It's been 6 years since I left the classroom and my pain is so much more under control. I do still have some bad patches, but nothing close to what I went though before.

take care,

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15872
   Posted 9/24/2010 1:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Aw Elenor, I hate to hear you are struggling so, but I have to agree with what WhiteBeard says. Of course laying in a bed sleeping all day is not good for anyone whether they have CP or not. I remember all too well the days I stayed in bed and slept and slept. It was like I could hide from the world if I did that. Depression was really eating my lunch. It took getting on medication to help me out in that area and it worked. There are many available and you just need to find which one works the best. I did not realize you are a fellow Texan either. Is there a reason for not wanting to try to find another PM dr? You may have had a bad experience with one but that does not mean they will all be that way. There are some good ones out there we just have to find them.

It does make it tough about SS when you work for a school district in Tx. I am sure Frances has no idea that teachers here do not have a union nor do they pay into SS. I never knew that some states have a union just something I never thought about. Learn something new every day.

Is your health insurance available online where you can go in and see what PM drs are on your plan? I would then call and sort of interview the receptionist about the dr and see if they are taking new patients, if a referral is needed, how long to get an appt scheduled and things like that. If you find one that sounds promising then get your PCP to make the referral. But seriously you really need to consider asking your PCP to put you on a mild antidepressant. I have no problem functioning while taking one so it should not interfere with your work. Take care.


Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 9/26/2010 2:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all of you for your responses. I haven't been on the computer since Friday morning. After I posted that, I had to get a sub to cover my classes that day -- the pain was just too much. I couldn't even talk.

I'm just now reading the responses. Good advice on so many levels. Made me start thinking about "depression" and I've been through all the Pain Stages and eventually got on Paxil in 02. Changed my life! But I've been on it since then. I got off it when I was pregnant, then immediately got back on it after my daughter was born. So that brings up another depression meds wear off after so many years or do they keep working?

I went to a 'pain psychologist' and it was a waste of money. All he was in to was Bio Feedback --- which did nothing for my pain.

I do need to reconsider a lot of things to try to TRY again. I;ve just done it all to no avail.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15872
   Posted 9/26/2010 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi ElenorRigby, to answer your question, yes we can and do many times become tolerant to our antidepressants just like any of medication taken over time. This even happens with my blood pressure medications. I have been on several of the antidepressants and have lost track of blood pressures meds I have been on the past 27 years, lol. I know it gets real frustrating trying to find a decent dr of any kind anymore. There are tons of drs out there but the problem is so many of them are not worth spending the co-pay money to see them. But, when you have medical problems and issues we just have to keep searching till we find the right one. Use to a dr took pride in his work and in helping his patients, but wait, that must have been back in the 50's, or the Marcus Welby days, right, lol.

I do hope by taking the day off you were able to get a little rest and maybe get some of the pain level down. Please take care of yourself.
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