You're not alone. That's the big thing I have learned in the few short days I have been here. This is a good place, filled with caring, loving people. They are a shoulder to cry on, or sagely advice when you feel lost.
While back pain is not something I have to deal with I do empathisize about the pill issue. The thing is I learned when I was still on vicoden... if you think you're addicted, if you're worried you're addicted, more then likely you are not. You do build up a tolerance to them though, which is why you feel you need more, or they're not as good -- I go through that same issue constantly. Infact I just started a thread the other day about me and my med issue. I can remember in that first year though, when they ceased to write a script for me for my vicoden (cause some bozo said "I can't find anything wrong with you, their for your fine.") and when I ran out, that was it. I didn't get to wean myself off it, I went cold turkey and my family suffered my withdrawls as a result. But worse was the pain without any sort of buffer.
You mention your marriage, and that's where I can empathisize. I was 34 when I was first injured. I'd been dating a man for 3 years at that point, infact that Christmas he proposed to me. But as the pain got worse, and I didn't get any closer to a diagnosis, my relationship started to fall apart. One day we had it out, infront of my son's school. He called me a hypochondriac, said I was faking it, I was being lazy, and so forth. Painful things that only made what I was already dealing with feel impossible. Eventually he would end up wrecking my truck (which at the least it wasn't his fault) and right before he got his massive settlement from his accident, he cut and run. Two months later he was married to some girl he worked with. Eventually I would meet another man. He knew going in what he was getting involved with, I made sure to tell him everything; my condition, what it meant for my future, etc. He said he understood, he said he cared, he said he'd be there for me, and on and on. Of course I'd gotten my disability, and he'd convinced me we needed to buy a house together. I felt so calm around him, so at peace, so loved and cared for. It wasn't till after we were married that he started yelling at me. All the time. He justified the emotional abuse with "How am I hurting you? I'm not out at bars all night. I'm not cheating on you." And then one night my pain was so bad... it was living agony. I'd doubled up my dose of loritab and taken a morphine to try and sleep. As he draped an arm over me I whimpered in pain and pushed his arm away. "Don't touch me!" I cried, "It hurts to much." And that was a breaking point for him. He started yelling at me there in bed. "You need to quit doing things that hurt you! You need to quit putting yourself in more pain!" I reminded him as part of my condition I have to put myself in pain, I have to fight my condition. "I can't even hold my own wife!" he yelled at me angerly, and instantly I was in tears. Don't you think I want to be held? Don't you think this hurts me? I tried to explain this to you, again, and again. I don't like this anymore then you. Of all the things I would like when I hurt this baddly, I would love nothing more then to be held by my husband... but it hurts to much to even be touched. In the end I was told that my pain got in the way of his happiness. That combined with one other big issue led to our seperation, and in a few months, our divorce. From the time of our marriage, to the time of our divorce was 5 months; and most of that was spent seperated. We did try to see a councelor, once. He denied things he said to me, complained once again about how my pain got in the way of his happiness, that he was tired of my pain being an excuse for things. All it did was lend weight to the very sentiment I had said to my friend when I first found out I was going to be permanently disabled. I'm a single Mom who's permanently disabled, who's going to want me? My exhusband proved that he didn't, he just wanted me for my money and for a cook and babysitter for his two boys.
But! Yah, a big ol' but. Do not dispair! For starters alot of those meds they put us on for pain does have a tendancy to cause depression. That's a big fight, and I know I have my bad days. You need to find things that make you happy, do things that make you happy, and on your bad days, talk to folks, don't be affraid, talk to us, we're here for you just as we're here for each other. You're not alone.
Oh yah, the big ol' but. I forgot to mention, that light at the end of the tunnel... it's not a train. I ran into an old friend I've known for 15 years. We'd not seen each other for the last 10, but we'd been in touch off and on. He recently convinced me to agree to admit we're dating. He knows about my condition, he know about my up coming surgeries. "Scars are cool!" he tells me when I talk about my surgical scar I know I'll end up with. He's willing to come and spend the two weeks at my parents house to take care of me while I go through my trial basis for my SCSU. When I have my bad moments he holds me if he can, and if he can't, he tries to find other ways to comfort me. He always makes sure I've got my pills with me when we go out together, and in general, he's been the best medicine I could have asked for. I'm not saying my pain is gone, but to have that happiness in my life, to remember what it's like to smile, to laugh, and to be loved has really helped my outlook. I still have my bad days where my depression gets a strangle hold on me, and he'll call. If my funk gets to bad he'll inevitably tell me, "Go to the HealingWell forum, talk to them about it, maybe they can help." Supportive and loving...
And that's what the people are here. Supportive and loving.
Remember Steve, you're not alone. *hug*
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Spent next year seeing specialist after specialist; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 I was finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled and on Percoset for pain.
Hoping 2011 will see my spinal cord stimulator unit finally implanted.