Chronic pain: is it for you?

Here’s how I see chronic pain. Let’s say you take it into you head to help the poorest people on earth, and you are sent to a city dump in Cairo or Mexico City. An hour after you fold the seat-table on the 747, you are standing amid Third World filth, smelling the overpowering stench and looking at the emaciated children with maggot-filled sores, and you think, “My God, I can’t take this.” But you discover that you are stronger than you thought and, after a few months, you get used to it. You still hate it, but you get used to it.

Today, I went to see Shan, my number one physical therapist (I see three in all). If I don’t have less pain in the next two weeks, Mark will want to do a joint replacement on the same shoulder that he did the decompression and tendon repair on in March, so Shan suggested a drastic approach. His “drastic approach” was to stick needles deep into my muscles and tendons. This made them twitch so violently that I bent some of the needles. Every time I thought that he surely must be finished, he would have me change positions and stick me some more. Sweat poured off me, yet the pain still wasn’t as bad as much of what I experience everyday. I tried to carry on a normal conversation. “You handle this better than anyone I’ve ever seen,” he said, and I took it as a better than average compliment. Afterwards, I was sore but a lot more limber.

I realized some time ago that if I want medical people to take my pain seriously, I have to hang tough when they hurt me. As an ob-gyn nurse, Peggy often gets patients in early labor who claim that their pain level is a ten on a scale of one to ten. Peggy will say, “Ms Babymaker, you need to pick a lower number because you’re not leaving anything for later.” I always try to leave something for later. Not that I would act any differently otherwise; I’m too macho for that. Sometimes, macho is good. Of course, emoting is good too. It’s just a question of when. I cry easily (real easily) when I’m touched or grieving, but never when I’m hurt or angry. That’s just how I am, and I like it.

The last time I cried because I was hurt or angry, I was in the fifth grade, and got into a fight with a former friend, Jack White, after school. Jack brought three other friends to the fight, and when they saw that I was winning, they penned my arms so Jack could beat me up. Only he never threw the first punch because I began sobbing at the recognition of such treachery as I had never thought possible. Aghast, they let me up without a word spoken, and I walked home still sobbing. My best friend, Grady Green, was sitting on the porch, and he consoled me. I’ll never forget that, although I don’t even remember what he said. For all I know, he didn’t say anything. That afternoon contained one of life’s saddest moments followed by one of its sweetest. I wish I had a male friend like Grady today. But I digress.

I was dizzy when I left Shan, and that wasn’t good since I was on my bike and a half hour from home with a lengthy errand to do en route. I knew it would be better to skip the errand and go ice my shoulder, but macho kicked-in again. When I finally got home, I iced my shoulder for ten minutes and then ran another errand, followed by more ice, and finally a third errand. If not for ice, I don’t know how I could bear the pain. I try to limit narcotics to the nighttime, yet I still have to get up every two hours for a new ice pack. Demerol, Vicodin, Percocet, Norco, Dilaudid; none of them are sufficient without ice. It’s quite the experience to be passed out on narcotics and sleeping pills, only to be instantly awakened by a pain that comes screaming through the darkness like an arrow out of nowhere. Fortunately, I can usually get by on either the one or the other as long as I supplement it with ice.

A lot depends on how bad the pain is, and that varies, but I would say that what annoys me worse than hurting all the time is not being able to do so many things. Even small things like running the vacuum cleaner. I’m still hoping that I’ll be back to normal in about a year, but if I have to have my right shoulder operated on again (before I have the left one done), it will be closer to two years, and there’s even the possibility that the left shoulder will require two surgeries too since it and the right one look like mirror images on an MRI.

I wish I could have avoided all this, but it hasn’t been a total loss, although I can’t think of much good to say about it either. Really, the only thing that comes to mind is that it has shown me that I’m tougher than I thought—and more adept at suffering. I might hope that it has also made me more compassionate, and maybe it has.

Despite my toughness, I think about death, a lot. It all comes down to how much pain and disability a person is willing to tolerate. I’m not near my limit because I still have hope, and I also have Peggy to consider. Death does seem like an easy way out though. I think that, well, what if I lose hope that things will ever get any better? What if I come to believe that I will always need someone to mow my fucking yard and vacuum my fucking floor, and what if I conclude that I will never pass another day without significant pain? That would be a hard row to hoe, but I could do it. I just hope I won’t have to.

I roofed a dentist office in the early ‘80s alongside Jack Tindall, the sixty-year-old man who owned it. Out of the blue one day, Jack turned to me and said, “You’re a master, and I’m a past-master.” I thought it was a strange thing to say because he was a rich man, and he didn’t have to be on that roof if he didn’t want to. Now, it’s Jack’s turn to be dead, and my turn to be a past-master, and the fact that I have the money to pay someone to mow my yard and vacuum my floor isn’t enough to compensate. Money seemed more magical when I was young and strong. Now it’s mostly good for paying medical bills. That still makes it my best friend, because without it I would be left to suffer and die like so millions of others in “the greatest nation on earth.”

If all I had to look forward to was a continual downhill slide, health-wise, I wouldn’t want to live that way, and if I didn’t have Peggy, I don’t know that I would. Some days, it’s hard to see the point, and my fantasies turn toward how I might escape. I’m only sixty though, and I do have hope for a better tomorrow, if not next year, maybe the next.


Kelly Kilmer said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm going to scope out your blog...Loved your post on followers and your blogging pet peeves. I can relate to some of them.

Sorry about the chronic pain. I do hope things get better for you soon-and fast.


rhymeswithplague said...

Somehow I have never thought suicide was the answer because it is so irreversible. You can't change your mind later.

I don't mean to sound flip. I do wish better days ahead for you.

Marion said...

Dear, dear Snow: When I read your following statement: "It’s quite the experience to be passed out on narcotics and sleeping pills, only to be instantly awakened by a pain that comes screaming through the darkness like an arrow out of nowhere," I was shaking my head up and down in agreement. Pain, she is a mean, bitchy, unwanted friend of mine, too.

A few days ago I helped my husband paint our laundry room. No lifting, no moving heavy objects, just me sitting in a chair moving a little paint brush up and down and a small roller in the corners for less than 30 minutes. He did 99.9% of the work, bless his heart, and put up with me wanting to feel helpful. Little did I know----

I kept him awake all that night and two nights since crying, moaning and talking in my sleep from the excrutiating pain I experience every time I move. I had back surgery over a year ago which deadened my right foot/leg, therefore making me walk with a limp and causing me severe knee pain on top of the sciatic pain which was supposed to be cured. Sheesh, what a friggin' mess!

I said all this to say, I truly understand where you're coming from and I wish I knew the answer. I refused more surgery because I don't trust the doctor who made my condition worse, much, much worse. And my case is comp and I've been trying for TWO YEARS to get a 2nd opinion which is my legal right---in the mean time I get worse and have to beg for pain medication much weaker than what you're taking. I'm so depressed and fed up with the system that I could just scream. It's not a system that favors the injured party.

Sorry for my long rant. I hope and pray that you find relief soon. Some days it's just good to know there's someone out there who understands and relates. Thank you for sharing your experience. It really helped me. Blessings & Healing to you!!!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

I feel for you..
When I had two ruptured discs in my lower back, and laid around for three weeks, before I could get the appropriate medical attention (doctor on vacation), I thought I wanted to just slowly leave this earth, and never again deal with physical pain.
I had reached a point where my pain toleration level had bottomed out, I truly didn't know how much more I could stand.
Ironically enough, my employer a veterinarian I have worked for, some thirty years, also had the same problem, withing three months of mine.
We were discussing our surgeries a few months later, and I mentioned, I was ready to just pop my clogs, and what did people our age do back in the times, when they didn't perform any surgeries for pain relief. His answer, simply die.
Complications set in, and people took their own lives, due to the cronice everyday pain they endured.
I'm grateful I made it through, you question your immortality when the pain one endures is an everyday factor.
I hope they get your pain taken care of, either by another surgery, medication, or simple exercises of mind over matter. I have read your writings, you are a strong, compassionate man, your Peggy will always be at your side, and encourage you to forge ahead, there is no greater reason in this world, to grace us with your presence.
Best wishes...

Unknown said...

Snowbrush, your frustration is so evident. I am so sorry about your pain.

I'll be praying for you...

Unknown said...


One no easy way out period. Remember what John Wayne said. Two you know Peggy would never want you to do that even if she was not there. Three if ya do...ever get that far talk to someone anyone...Otherwise Im gonna find ya and kick ur ass. Its annoying, depressing, aggrivating, etc....Life is short lived and goes by too fast. I coomend you on dealing with it..being your own advocate with the doctors, and biking still...Shoot not many would do that. You are a tough Bird, and crying is an emotion we all must do. vacuuming can always be done, and whatever else. Money does not buy painless anything.

Now if I have to come hunt ya down on this world or the next...Im gonna kick ya...Be the tough bird I admire...

Hugging ya...
Sonia ;)

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine a life with constant pain. Here's hoping that the "drastic measures" will have some postive impact!

Snowbrush said...

Thank you, Kelly, for stopping by, and even for going back through some past postings.

Rhymes "I have never thought suicide was the answer because it is so irreversible"

Yes, Rhymes, it's a permanent answer to a temporary problem as I've heard it put. I think it has its place though, and Oregon recognizes that with an assisted suicide law. Washington State recently passed a similar law. In the rest of the country, people euthanize intractably suffering animals and call it mercy, then leave intractably suffering people alive and call it God's will. This is why the least religious part of the country was the first to legalize suicide. I should think that New England will be next, whereas the Bible Belt where you live never will.

Ah, Marion, I am just heartsick over your pain. I'll be thinking I know something about pain, and then someone like you will remind me that I'm like a first grader. Have you, Dear, gone to a pain specialist? If you can afford it, please, please do. If not to a specialist, then at least to some local doctor who will prescribe narcotics. They are cheap compared to most drugs, yet so many doctors are reluctant for various reason to prescribe them.

I've thought about seeing a pain specialist myself as I'm aware that pain control is not my orthopedist's forte, although he is quite willing to prescribe pretty much anything I ask for--short of morphine, maybe. Yet, I AM getting SLOWLY better. I still think I'll need that same shoulder operated on again, yet the pain level now is definitely down from what it was a month ago.

Another question I have for you is what position you sleep in? I bought a 3 inch memory foam bed topper last week because I pretty much have to sleep on my back (I spent the 3 previous months in a chair), and a firm mattress is no good for someone who has to STAY in that position (forget the common belief that a firm mattress is good for a bad back). The memory foam really helped. Sometimes, it's easy to overlook seemingly obvious options.

Have you tried heating pads and/or these oversized blue ice gel packs? I have 3 of the latter that I trade out during the night. By the time I'm ready to start back through them, the first one is good and cold again.

Darn, Brit, I was saddened to read about your pain, but am very glad you are over it.

Brit "what did people our age do back in the times, when they didn't perform any surgeries for pain relief."

He was right--suffer and die, which is the same thing they do today in much of the world including the U.S. It really takes some of the steam out of my patriotism to think that, if my suffering can't be used to add to certain peoples already excessive wealth, that I am valueless and will be left to die as unceremoniously as a bug on a windshield.

Sarah "I'll be praying for you..."

Thank you, Sarah, I appreciate that. I really do.

Let me get this straight, Sonia. If I kill myself, you're going to pay me a visit--somewhere, sometime, when I least expect it. But if I don't kill myself, you're just going to sit at home. So, if I want to meet you, I have to kill myself. What kind of a raw deal is that?!

Audrey "I cannot imagine a life with constant pain"

Well, at first, you're indignant that the whole universe including your own body has failed you so outrageously. At some point though, pain starts to feel like the status quo, and that makes it some easier. It really is a two part phenomenon composed of the pain itself and how we think about the pain. I say this from my honest experience, yet there are a few people (like Marion--see her letter above) who read my blog who know far more about it than I.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Oh Snow, I sounds like we've all been there. I had one of my dearest friends tell me the other day about a time in our friendship that she found me unbearable. When I pinned her down to the date in question, I realized it was the pain that made me that way. Pain, constant pain, changes who we are...

I do hope you get some relief soon!

Unknown said...

I knew when I wrote that..ok after I hit submit...You would find a way to reverse it damn it. I ever come to Oregon...I am going to meet you no matter what...and vacuum, walk the dogs, and give ya a swift kick in the ass...LOL..
Dear friend ..I cant say I like a whole lotta ppl on this earth...But I can say you are considered a friend to me and I like ya. Because you can take a joke, not get offended easy and are very down to earth honest.

Hugging you again...

Sonia xoxo

robert said...

Good morning Snow,
first of all allow me to bow in respect of your honesty and the way you write.
There was once a day when I made a bet about whether being alive the next month or not - soon after my son was born and luckily am still here, he somehow 'made' me to study again and trying to obtain a MSc within the next two years.
About 'being tough', well, walked with two broken rips and only half a lung half a mile back home...guess many times we are able to carry more than we ever thought of - ever since nothing is heavy enough for me.
Wish you a nice start into the new week and hope to talk about you still when there's snow around.

Strayer said...

When you can't mow your lawn, just drop a match on it, mid July. Some neighbor will call the fire department. Your house won't burn. Your lawn will be scorched perfect!

As for vacuuming your floor, get one of those robot vacuums. I know people who love them and their cats sit atop them as the machine bounces around the floor vacuuming. Or just let it pile up. One day you'll be on the news, when they pull your body out of the muck that was your home, but that's a long time off and a lot of dirt accumulation off. I bet you can still block your number and make prank phone calls. You can prank call me, if you like, but make it good.

Mim said...

First off - you made me laugh out loud with your comment on KJ's blog about the headless man. It was exactly what I was thinking. So please don't kill yourself cause not many people make me laugh like that.

have you tried "tens". Hubby just got it for his back and it's helping. Chronic pain from scoliosis, getting worse - and on pain meds also but the "tens" machine is helping alot.

I think more surgery is a sucky idea - unless you get a second and third opinion - I think this guy pinched a nerve or something and screwed you up.

I wish I had something really impressive to say - but I don't. Just wish you get a tiny bit better every day and that it all passes.

Michelle said...

Shit Snow....I never know what to say about your pain, its just so much and you are obviously so me, I'm just sending you love XXX

Anonymous said...

Snow, I don't have chronic pain myself, but have a close friend who does... similar to your own. It's his constant companion and his life revolves around it. He knows exactly how many days he's lived like this, but not how many more. His philosophical challenges mirror your own. He will be heartened to read your post. Thank you for sharing and prayers/meditations for whatever peace and relief you can find from the battle.
-- ananji

Diana said...

I loved your comment about money only being good for paying the medical bills! I believe truer words were never spoken! It's a good thing that you can afford them. I can't, so I am forever canceling tests and turning down surgery's. Saving it for what is absolutely necessary!
Chronic pain does suck and I do feel for you as most of my days are spent feeling like crap or in pain!
I have come to the conclusion that aging ain't for sissy's! I always think of it as a test to my will and fortitude. I can lose the battle if I choose but I have never been one to give up. And as I've said in the past, no one ever promised me things would be all sweetness and light! So I just put my kick ass attitude back on and keep going.It sounds like you do the same!
As for thinking about death,I too think about it probably more than I should but it's hard not to when you feel like crap all the time. I just keep telling myself that my husband and my daughter still need me. And I get up and do what I do best, take care of my family.
Was the needle thing that they did acupuncture? And did it do any good? I'm sorry if I missed something. What caused your shoulder pain? My husbands shoulder is messed up too but not that bad yet!

Unknown said...

Snow, so glad to hear that you're getting better, albeit slowly! A couple of thoughts for you to chew on follow.

One word: stress. This is what the researchers feel is causing so much pain to us Americans that require pain management centers. Well, at least that's what they think it is today; tomorrow, who knows.

I would love to see a study of today's pain compared to pain experienced, say, 50 years ago, or 100 years ago (if a study were possible) because I'd love to know if people of yesteryear could BEAR pain better than we do today, OR, are we actually having more severe pain than our forefathers. Is our pain worse or have we turned into a country (a world) of wimps?

What do you think Snow? Totally off the wall?


Joe Todd said...

Money seemed more magical when I was young and strong. Now it’s mostly good for paying medical bills.Pretty much says it. Am sitting here at my desk writing checks to the doctor and hospital. When I was younger and really foolish sent a few checks to lawyers to.

Snowbrush said...

Creekhiker "Pain, constant pain, changes who we are."

Yes, it does wear a person down despite his or her best resolve to carry on as always.

Sonia "if I ever come to Oregon...I am going to meet you no matter what"

Oh, great, now you're going to come up here and eat me out of house and home. Hugs back at you, sweetie.

Robert, thanks for writing. Last night, I was reading Carl Jaspers biographical sketch of Socrates, and thinking of you living way over there in Athens where it all happened.

Strayer, I like two out of three of your ideas (NOT vacuuming NOT being an option), and both are even workable, although I would need to set two fires--one for the front yard and one for the back. I don't have a cat to ride the vacuum though...would a 23 pound schnauzer do?

Mim, I haven't tried tens. I'm still going with the theory that I can ride this out and get over it. I guess I'm also leery at this point of doing too much to relieve the pain since it could lead me to injure myself.

I continue to believe in my doctor--Mark. I had three others before him whom I didn't believe in, and I wouldn't be quick to go to a fifth and risk souring my relationship with him unless I thought it absolutely necessary, and in all honesty, I don't. In fact, one of the factors that makes my ordeal a lot less odious is that I trust Mark.

Michelle, sending me love is always good! Large gifts of money would be great too, but I've learned to not expect it. I mean, someone will often ask what he or she can do, and I will say that money would be nice, and what do they do? Why, they just smile and walk away. I mean, why ask if you're not willing to do the one thing that the person requests?

Ananji, I would love to think that your friend might gain something from my post. It hardly contains any answers, but sharing such things helps to make people feel less alone. I sometimes debate posting a particular piece because it seems so depressing, but then someone will say it helped them, and I will feel very good about that--a bit surprised, but very good.

Diana, Jane, and Joe, I'll respond to you later--got a physical therapy appt this morning.

patsy said...

People who have never lived with pain can not know what a drain it can be on the spirit as well as the body.
I will give you my sister's poem about pain of the spirit and soul.

Copyright © 1994 by Fleta Aday. I have walked the halls of darkness In the deepest valleys of despair Where a single ray of sunshine Can bring joy beyond compare. For it is only in its absence, We can appreciate peace of mind. The simplest little pleasures are turned to ecstasy by the climb.

Renee said...

My dear friend, I hate that you are in so much pain. It drives me crazy when people I care about can't get a break.

But I am encouraged because you have Peggy and you have hope and it will get better. I beleive that maybe right now this is the bottom before you start going up hill once again.

Also please forget about the yard and the vacuming.

I once was crying because I had to get a maid to come and clean and one of my daughters, Nadalene, was laughing 'Mom, seriously, most people would love to have a maid, it doesn't define you whether you are the one cleaning up or not.' And I laughed so hard and it felt so right, because I knew she was right. I was holding onto something that wasn't important at all.

Love to you dear friend and I'm hoping the needles helped.

Love Renee xoxo

Snowbrush said...

Diana "I always think of it as a test to my will and fortitude."

I can see the truth in this, yet it's not just the mentally strong who live to be old. No one would have thought that my mother-in-law would have made it to 79, but she did. Sometimes, there's just no accounting for why some survive and others don't.

No, the "dry needling" wasn't acupuncture--I did that last year in at attempt to avoid surgery. After paying $60 a visit for ten visits during which nine needles were stuck in the same places every time, I bought my own needles and stuck myself. The PT put his needles way, way deeper than in acupuncture.

Jane "Is our pain worse [today] or have we turned into a country (a world) of wimps?"

Many people used to survive a lot of age-related pain simply by dying younger than is the average today, and I don't know that we're even any healthier for the time we're alive. It seems to me that modern medicine drags many of us into old age despite or failure to take even rudimentary care of ourselves by exercising and eating right. Walking, for example, is a very beneficial exercise that used to be common before the automobile, but has largely been abandoned today. As for being wimpish, maybe we are due to advertising that makes every little pain seem like a disaster that can be dealt with by throwing money to the drug companies. Whether we're actually under more stress today, I wouldn't know, since there is a tendency in every age to see the previous age as being slower paced. In the 1840s, for example, Thoreau complained of the "busy, bustling 19th century" as he watched the daily passing of a 20 mph train.

Joe, I don't which is worse, the exorbitant fees of doctors or lawyers, although I'm very clear on which one I hate more. If all the lawyers were lined up and shot, I don't know but what we wouldn't be better off.

Patsy, I enjoyed your sister's poem. Thank you for sharing it.

Renee "I beleive that maybe right now this is the bottom before you start going up hill once again."

I never lose that hope, Renee.

Renee "Also please forget about the yard and the vacuming."

Not likely. It's not just that I'm a cleanliness freak--though I am. It's that Peggy makes the money, and I keep up the home front, so my inability to do that equates with my inability to carry my share of the load. Also, I need to do physical things in order to stay strong and interested in life.

Nancy said...

I had shoulder surgery a couple of years ago, and I can honestly say the pain was so bad before the surgery it equaled labor pains. My husband has never seen me cry with pain until then, and that was after two babies, one C-Section. I am so sorry you are going through this. I truly am.

I liked the comment you left on my blog about my blog name! You are right - it could be Life In The Last Ten Minutes! :-)

Hope you get the pain under control.

Natalie said...

I SO get you.
I am not articulate enough to tell my story like it was.....
But I know what it is like to flirt with death, to romance the notion, because it is easier than staying, and braving what befalls us everyday.
I don't know why I stayed.....I guess it was the children, I didn't want them to find me dead.
At the time ,I was completely alone. No family, no husband, no God.
At least you have Peggy.
Really, she is a gift.Please remember that. It could always be worse.xx♥

"Bella" said...

chronic pain? ugh! I think we get used to a certain amount of it, but pain is like a slap in the face telling us to fix it. too bad the doctors can't or won't.

kj said...

snowbrush, i've been rushing around and not visiting my favorite blogs very much. i need to carve some time to come back and read this post and the last few. i know this post is about pain and i know i will have something to say. but for now, i've wanted for days to stop by and tell you that i am really glad you visit my blog and i am glad to get to know you. i love your blog and who you are.

you make me laugh, you make me sad, you remind me we are all both brave and fragile. you're a good good guy. that's what i've wanted to tell you.


Teresa said...

Just a few months ago, I had pain every day, then I started doing YOGA and I am pain free.

marianne said...

Thanks for your visit Snowbrush!

Are you always in pain? Must be dreadful..........

I wish you a rainbow day!

Renee said...

Thinking of you.

Love Renee xoxo

Snowbrush said...

Nancy, thanks for sharing your experience. My last orthopedist was supposed to be one of the best, surgically, but he thought I had another issue that precluded surgery, and he wouldn't give me anything in the interim for the pain other than Elavil (an old style anti-depressant that also has pain killing properties). He might as well have given me an aspirin, and that's why I now have a doctor who is willing to let me experiment with anything that might help.

Yes, Natalie, Peggy is a gift. I always enjoy hearing more of your own story.

Bella, i have every confidence that my doc is doing all he can. It's just that neither he nor I are eager for a second surgery on the same shoulder if it can be avoided, and finding out takes time.

Thanks for dropping by, KJ. I hope you do find time to come back.

Teresa, ah Bikram. I tried that for a few times for my knees, and ended up taking another kind of Yoga, and THAT (and my inexperienced teacher) was what screwed up my shoulders. Maybe all that heat really would have prevented the problem, but those BIG 120-degree classes with teachers who didn't know you trying to force everyone into a one-size-fits-all routine while yelling things like, "Bend your back! Bend your back! Bend it more than you ever thought possible," scared me a little. And then there was Bikram himself putting a patent on his Yoga routine, and suing anyone with a similar approach. It just all gave me a bad feeling.

Marianne, I am always in some pain. Lying down is the worst possible position for anyone with shoulder problems, so the pain is MUCH worse when I'm trying to sleep (which is why I've spent months in a chair).

Thinking of you too, Renee.

swan said...

My best friend got hit by a cab going full speed as she was crossing the street, the cab was running through the light. She died on her way in the helicoptor back to the hospital and was brought back to life, anyway she thought and they said that she would be on pain medication for her whole life and not able to paint or sit for long hours of time or even have a normal life. She now follows the raw food lifestyle which has complely healed her... She does yoga every day and can run faster than me. A good book to learn about this is called Hippocrates Lifeforce by Brian Clement you can find on amazon... Many blessings and I will say prayers for you. I am a 100% raw fooder... If you would like more information let me know and my mother also cured herself from cancer by following this way.

~Babs said...

Gosh, I hope you can recognize how important you are to so many people.
People who would miss you,,,
your humor,,
your honesty and wisdom.
I don't get 'round to all the blogs I'd like to all the time, but I do think of you, and wanted to say so.
I'm sorry you hurt, and I'm Expecting a Miracle. They happen, you know.

Chrisy said...

Well Snow I hope these injections's just not right that you've been in so much pain for soooo long now...something has to be done! Have they got a physio working with you.... I know these shoulder ops are supposed to be horrible but hell it's been so long it shouldn't still be like this...I'm sure I would have gone stark raving mad by now if I was you! Things surely have to improve soon. Wish we could do something for you....

kj said...

snowbrush, please come to my blog. there is an award there for you. i hope you will give me the honor of accepting it.


julie said...

My heart goes out to you...I have a hard time understanding why your pain can't be better managed...someone in the medical profession once told me that no one had to suffer excruciating pain with good pain management. I find it truly upsetting that you hurt so...and a bit scary to read how many people posting on your blog are suffering so much...I don't like pain...but it feels inevitable.
Swan has a point about diet and pain...things like sugar increase pain...thinking of you..

Unknown said...

Yay Snowbrush on the Award from KJ...You deserve it sweetie....How ya feeling no post lately...

Hugs xoxo Sonia

kj said...

snowbrush, i've seen dozens and hundreds of people heal physically and emotionally from terrible pain, and i can tell you with the certainty of my experience that you are still young and time and medicine are on your side.

and don't forget: you're one hell of a writer.


Caroline said...

Hello Snowbrush - I wanted to pop over to say a rather belated thanks so much for leaving a nice comment when you visited my blog a while back! So sorry to read about this dreadful pain you are enduring - i guess you have to take each day as it comes, but I sincerely hope that one day soon will bring some real relief for you.
I see you are a veteran blogger! Since 2005 - that's a whole lot of writing ! I'll visit again to dip into this vast resevoir!

Pat - Arkansas said...

I know it's not any comfort to you at all for me to say how sorry I am that you are having such pain. How you can write about it with such good humor (truly) is amazing. I do hope there are some better tomorrows coming soon.

Thanks for your continued visits to my blog; they are truly appreciated.

soulbrush said...

omg i remember that pain, had surgery in both shoulders, the right one worse than the left, in sheer desperation i turned to acupuncture, and after 4 months it worked...also damned shoulder was more painful than even back surgery, but somehow you find the strength you need. i was depressed for a year, wanted to die, now i am you will be too, i am wishing you wellness and SOON.

Snowbrush said...

I apologize for getting so far behind in my responses.

Swan "She now follows the raw food lifestyle which has complely healed her... "

I "ate" raw foods for years. Twice a a day, I would put everything into a blender and drink it. At the time, I was suffering from fatigue that was later found to be caused by sleep apnea. I honestly couldn't tell that I was generally better off on raw foods. Yet, I know that a lot of people think cooking has ruined us, and say that their own lives ARE much better.

I wish I could believe that being pain and disease free was that easy because I liked the simplicity of preparing a balanced diet (all in my blender), and I also liked not having to plan what I was going to eat since I ate pretty much the same foods every time-though with seasonal variations.

Babs, thank you so much for thinking of me.

Chrisy "'I'm sure I would have gone stark raving mad by now if I was you!"

Probably not. You would feel like it, but then you would think about what stark raving mad would look like, and realize that it would only make a bad problem worse. This experience HAS made me tougher if only by leaving me no other reasonable option.

Julie "no one had to suffer excruciating pain with good pain management"

I have five kinds of narcotics and three kinds of prescription sleeping pills. I take one or the other or both when I can't sleep otherwise. Of course, the narcotics only work for 4-6 hours, so I'm always running ahead of the pain, but never really escaping it. As for avoiding sugar, I do. I have an exemplary diet by most standards.

KJ "you are still young and time and medicine are on your side."

Funny you should mention that. On one visit, the doc said that, after all, I am sixty so what do I expect. On the next, he said I am still young enough that I will probably get through it all.

Caroline "I see you are a veteran blogger! Since 2005"

I started my blog last fall, but I wanted to put all my journal entries onto it, and they go back 30 years. The problem is time and desire. It's easier just to go with the present since few people read the old stuff anyway.

Pat "How you can write about it with such good humor (truly) is amazing."

Hey, thanks, Pat!

Soulbrush " turned to acupuncture, and after 4 months it worked."

It didn't work for me. My best understanding is that acupuncture might help with pain (it didn't even do that for me), but that nothing short of surgery can repair a torn tendon.

Soulbrush "i was depressed for a year, wanted to die, now i am you will be too"

I hope. I've been in some degree of pain for three years. I'm actually doing better now emotionally because I have faith that, eventually, the surgery will help (most people report that it takes a year, although most people don't have so much pain four months post-op), and I have faith in my doctor. A lot of people must think that my doc is a moron, but I don't blame him for anything. I would do the surgery all over again--with him.

swan said...

Snowbrush, I would not say that the raw lifestyle has completely healed everyone... It's a lifestyle that MAY help some people... It has helped some people that I know but I don't think it's for everyone. I live in a state of good health for the most part but was that way before I started raw. I do hope you find something that will work for you.