All posts by Survival and sufferer

Neck, back, shoulder pain

I also suffer from chronic pain from a car accident. I had chronic low back pain before the accident with a surgery for a larger herniated disc. At that time I had a large one, a small one and a 3rd one going. I have suffered back pain since I’ve been 21 (got hurt at work) and am now almost 54.

In 2012 I was involved in a car accident that wasn’t my fault. I t-boned their car because they came very fast through a divided hwy.

At first the Dr.’s thought I had whiplash. After many physical therapy sessions with no good results, I was finally able to get a MRI of my neck. I had 3 herniated disc’s and spinal stenosis.

The pain in my neck and arms was unbearable. Again, back to PT for my neck. After a year and a half of that, I was finally sent to a neurosurgeon. He wanted me to have the epidural injections. At this point I was willing to try anything to reduce this pain and avoid surgery. I had two bilateral injections and the last one I had the Anesthesiologist hit a nerve, twice. I thought I was going to die! I was still working at this point, but I knew that my employment was not going to last. I just couldn’t work with the amount of pain I was in. The injections did not work at all. The neurosurgeon suggested pain management. My Dr. was already prescribing me pain pills and I was not about to go that route. I ended up seeing a different neurosurgeon and he suggested a 3 level cervical fusion. After careful consideration, I decided to go ahead with it. After a follow up with the surgeon I told him I still had arm pain and shoulder pain in my right shoulder. I couldn’t even hold a cup of coffee at this point. Off to see my primary care Dr. She examined me and thought I had rotator cuff issue. More PT, another MRI and sure enough, I had a full thickness rotator cuff tear. Off to yet another new Dr. for a orthopedic opinion.

Needless to say, I had yet another surgery. The second major surgery in a span of 8 months time. More PT after surgery and now I have a bit of frozen shoulder. I am scheduled for a injection in Jan. Great way to start off another year in chronic pain. I have tried not to take a lot of pain pills because I don’t want to live on those, but living in this kind of pain isn’t working for me either. It’s a double edged sword. I can’t get in to see the Dr. until the end of Jan. for her to see me for this chronic pain.

I have heard so many ignorant statements such as, I don’t complain about it and try not to think about it. What? How can you not think about it when you’re in pain 24/7? Just stop thinking about it and move on. You look good. Ect……..

I used to have a lot of energy and now I’m just tired all the time. I have to have comfortable chairs to sit in when I go to someone else’s house. Driving anywhere for long periods of time is out of the question. Lifting babies, out of the question.
This letter really hit home for me. I’m hoping that people will read it and try to understand what it’s really like to live with chronic pain. Thank you to the author. You hit the nail on the head, so to speak.