Tuesday 6 November 2012

And I've done my back, because I had nothing else going on: Day 6 NHBPM

Day 6: News-style post: Warning this post is written whilst on the good pain meds. No coherency, grammar or spelling guaranteed. Stubbornness means I'm not going to let a little thing like being flat on my back and whimpering each time I move, get in the way of NHBPM. Huzzah!




(le sigh)

Dear lord, that's not much of a news story but it's my crappy story. You see I collect chronic diseases/disorders like other people collect salt and pepper shakers. Because one is just never enough.

I've been doing my back since my early 30's. One moment I was fine. The next I was in the middle of my pilates class and heard a sound that no one should ever hear from their back. 24hrs and 4 popped discs later I was told that I had the back of an 80 year-old-woman, otherwise known as Degenerative Disc Disease. Just what every girl wants to hear. A haphazard mix of physio, pain meds, hydrotherapy and crying into my Cornflakes got me through those months, but unfortunately did little to reverse the underlying condition.

Since that time I have popped multiple discs, suffered through sciatic pain more times than I can count, and been felt up by way too many physios. I had to laugh that my last MRI showed a bulging thoracic disc, but that was inconsequential according to the Radiologist. The near constant pain radiating from that same spot would lead me to disagree with his finding of inconsequential!
Makes me want to attempt a Sheldon Cooperesque head explodion on that particular Radiologist.

Today I am lying in bed flat on my back praying that the meds will at least take the edge off the pain, although all my past experience tells me it wont. Yet again I just have to wait it out. Until the pain becomes bearable and I can start the usual round of back exercises. You see adequate pain meds for discs that simply refuse to stay put and enjoy jumping on and crushing the nerves leaving your spinal cord, are pretty much non-existent. Nerve pain is a bitch. Be it the knife in your back or the molten lava of your feet. Or the near constant tasering and cattle prodding of various parts of my body. I've yet to find an adequate method of relief.

I live in pain daily. I have for years. I don't talk about it much as it's just one more thing on the list. I can't really recall a time when I wasn't in pain. From Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was a kid (thankfully I grew out of that in my early 20s), to severe endometriosis (which ended with a hysterectomy when I was 25), my frequently popping hips and knees and ankles and jaw and..., migraines and headaches, my stenosed and spasming jugular, my back, the inexplicable chest pain of Dysautonomia, and the neuropathic pain that has taken up residence over the past 6 years, my life seems to have always been tightly wound with pain.

I'm not sure why I don't really talk about this one aspect of my life more. I am very open about most aspects. I think in a sense in and out of all the various medical problems I have had over the years, it has simply become white noise. It isn't confined to one condition. Like fatigue it peppers pretty much all my various conditions. It isn't an entity unto itself.

And I have so many different types. When you head to a doctor and say it's not this type of pain or that type of pain, but a new or different type of pain they look at you like you are crazy. But say that to another chronic pain sufferer and they know exactly what you mean. My pain is just as complicated as all other aspects of my presentation. It's exhausting just thinking about it.

I know it's something I need to get better control of as pain spikes just make my autonomic symptoms worse. But where do I start? What first? Do I want more doctors? Or more meds? And do I really want to spend more money to be told by yet another doctor there is nothing they can really offer me?

Being chronically ill is an exhausting business. Every day my body plucks a new challenge from its repertoire. And every day I have to find a new way to manage it. Consistency would be a nice a change really. At least then, or so I tell myself, I could learn how to manage it all better. But for now I need to be able to think on my feet (or back, as the case may be) and be flexible and ready for any contingency. Some sort of rapid response, SWAT unit for what ever my body throws at me.

Or simply, as Mr Grumpy says, just tell this body of mine to get its shit in a pile.

funny gifs

Or even better, maybe I can just twirl around like Linda Carter/Wonder Woman. And Shazam! All the ill health is gone. At least in that version I might end up with some cool boots.

Michelle :)

Day I: Why do I write about my health.
Day II: Find a quote and use it as inspiration.
Day III: I don't know about this, but I'd like to.
Day 4: A chronic handbag
Day 5: Health Activist Soapbox 

I was going to add Johnny Cash's cover of The Nine Inch Nails, Hurt as the title is so apt, plus it's a fantastic song. But it's dark nature doesn't really fit today. I need a kickarse, sing it loud song to motivate me so I give you Basement Jaxx, featuring Lisa Kekaula, Good Luck.


  1. I've been reading for a long time but never comment because I'm shy - had to on today's topic though! I'm 26, have had DDD/80-year-old woman back for just over 4 years and am currently awaiting my second back surgery of the year (I like to refer to myself as a crippy overachiever).
    Just wanted to commiserate - I hope the worst passes for you soon, and until then you find lots of good stuff to watch, preferably on a laptop propped on your boobs, flat on your back with pillows everywhere :)
    Also, totally with you on the types of pain thing - every time my partner has a sore anything I start quizzing him with 50 questions as to location, depth, sensation, pattern, responsiveness to movement and medication... What, normal people don't ask these questions?!

  2. Wait. do you have EDS? Or have you long since mentioned it and I'm just sounding totally ridiculous? I know what you mean about the pain being white noise though. When you've had it for so long, it's almost baked into your life like flour in a cake.

  3. Once again, a stellar post. You and sure do share lots of ailments in common. Please look into the pssibility of getting an MRN. It's like an MRI, but images nerves. I had FIVE unnecessary back surgeries - then I found the guy that invented the study 20 yrs ago (Dr. Aaron Filler) and he discovered the TRUE source of my pain. I am 70% better than I was for 14 yrs after his neurosurgery... Before this dysautonomia crap hit, this back pain issue was my major topic in my blogs. Yes, I had all the autoimmune, endometriosis, and pituitary tumor weirdness, but the back was the worst. I have a ton of research collected...trying to figure out this dys is killing me. Today, my husband told my doctor his patience with me is wearing thin. Most pain I experienced all day. It really bites that something I have no control over is destroying my life.

  4. You said it Michelle, chronic illness is an exhausting business! And pain is a tricky monster. So sorry you're having such awful pain, you're right, nothing is worse than nerve pain and we're all much too young to have to deal with all this crap. I am in my 20's and the gynecologist has suggested the possibility of a hysterectomy for years now. It is interesting so many of us share such similar issues. I hope something brings you relief soon but I applaud you for soldiering along and composing such a brilliant blog post! Hugs to you my friend!


All who are lovely enough to comment should be showered with cup cakes, glitter and macarons. I promise to use my spoon bending mind powers to try and get that happening for all who are lovely enough to share their words. Those who go the extra step to share posts should really get a free unicorn. Or at least the gift of finding the shortest and quickest line at the supermarket on a regular basis. xx

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