Living with chronic pain

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Living with pain day in and day out, the source of which is a complete mystery to doctors, life can get pretty bleak. Feeling of anxiety and hopelessness can overwhelm you sometimes and it can be hard to know what to do.

Are there any other ILXors who suffer from this condition?

president of the people's republic of antarctica (Arctic Mindbath), Thursday, 2 January 2014 23:19 (seven years ago) link

a very good friend of mine does, they've never been able to properly diagnose her. I think she does online writing, I'll try and look it up when I get home.

sleeve, Thursday, 2 January 2014 23:25 (seven years ago) link

I have chronic back pain that showed up with my tinnitus. it's localized in my left shoulder for some reason, doctors/therapists/yogis etc have no explanation. it was worse before and kind of comes and goes now but I dunno if this is going to be with me the rest of my life or what. meds, exercise, etc. make pretty much no difference. I just try to ignore it.

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 2 January 2014 23:42 (seven years ago) link

xpost: thanks sleeve, I'd be grateful for any extra info.

president of the people's republic of antarctica (Arctic Mindbath), Friday, 3 January 2014 00:33 (seven years ago) link

five years pass...

hey so this sucks.
new mri suggests that my four year chronic neck pain has gotten worse from a labrum tear and the discs are bulging bad enough to discuss surgery. i'm getting by on like three hours of sleep a night for the past few weeks. trying to keep my good humor.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 19:49 (two years ago) link

I usually wake up starting around 3am, off and on, with a pain in my left side/flank. I've tried everything from new mattress to chiropractor to ultrasound. Pain goes away within an hour of waking up. Best theory is that it's somehow muscular. Most recent person I saw summed it up as "you're getting old, man." Sounds about right.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 6 August 2019 20:02 (two years ago) link

all this "it's getting old" and "you should do therapy" shit drives me nuts. I got an mri and they found a problem and ignored it for several years and now it's bad enough that i'm being taken seriously. i don't think i can chalk that up to "getting old"

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 6 August 2019 20:43 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

so here i am two years later

the surgery worked fine for like two months and then this fucker re-tore. I'm making everyone around me miserable with my bitching. it's sapping my fucking joy is what its doing.

i mean fuck this is what i'm getting at

I'm so sorry, that sucks. I feel like I'm sort of half-in, half-out of the whole chronic pain thing, because I have migraines roughly once a week, sometimes more, and for years I had them more often than that. So I'm in pain a lot but I also get breaks, sometimes as long as two weeks if I'm lucky. I can feel the effect on my personality when I have a lot of them back to back, and I have huge sympathy for anyone who has to deal with this without getting breaks.

Lily Dale, Saturday, 4 September 2021 15:27 (two weeks ago) link

i'm sorry, forks and lily. on days when my back pain is bad it puts me in an awful mood. it's really hard to just go about the day feeling like that, especially when medicine that kind of helps also has the effect of making you really tired or queasy or floaty.

Karl Malone, Saturday, 4 September 2021 15:42 (two weeks ago) link

Fuck. No joke, I just threw my back out. 4th time in 8 years

Karl Malone, Saturday, 4 September 2021 17:35 (two weeks ago) link

Leaning over to pick up a piece of laundry

Karl Malone, Saturday, 4 September 2021 17:35 (two weeks ago) link

Oh shit! I'm sorry. It's always something that stupid that sets it off, isn't it? Once I messed up my back trying on a dress.

anyway, I'm lying here with a migraine looking at ilx, so solidarity to you both.

Lily Dale, Saturday, 4 September 2021 18:20 (two weeks ago) link

I started teaching again in person September 1st, and my migraines have shot up from once a week to pretty much every day. I'm starting to face the possibility that I may genuinely not be able to work, at least not this kind of job. It's too soon to tell; migraines don't like change and maybe they'll stabilize once I get used to this schedule. But it's alarming. And of course one of the things about chronic pain is it doesn't give you a lot of downtime to calmly take stock of your situation because you're always dealing with a pain crisis.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 12 September 2021 14:46 (six days ago) link

oof, i'm sorry lily. i don't think i've ever had a real migraine. i imagine it's just impossible to work through? or do you just sometimes get through it somehow? either way, i'm sorry.

"HYYOOOOOOONK!" is the sound I make (Karl Malone), Sunday, 12 September 2021 15:31 (six days ago) link

It kind of varies! Some of them start mild and get worse over the course of the day, so I can get some stuff done early before they really get bad. And there's a performance adrenaline thing that kicks in when I'm actively teaching, where I can teach through a moderate migraine and not really feel it until the class ends and it all comes rushing back. Doesn't work with the really bad ones, but it's gotten me through quite a few teaching days. Sometimes I actually feel like I teach a little better on those days because I have to keep the energy really high or it all collapses.

And I do have migraine meds, but they work slowly and I think they might be causing rebound headaches. There are more migraine prevention drugs I can try, so I'm going to keep working on it; maybe there's a solution out there. I'm lucky in that my migraines don't come with an aura, so I don't have visual disturbances and I don't feel all that sick. They're mostly just like a really bad hangover headache.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 12 September 2021 15:43 (six days ago) link

I was in a college relationship with a chronic migraine sufferer, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
I got a nerve block in advance of potential radial ablation in my neck and that helped a bit. Anyone with experiences?

I recently read Joan Didion's The White Album and there's an essay in it about her experience with migraines. (It's here.) She says she learned to live with them, but it probably helps to have a writer's schedule rather than a teacher's. I've never had one, it sounds awful.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Sunday, 12 September 2021 22:30 (six days ago) link

That essay is very similar to my experience, right down to the habit of denial. "I sometimes have headaches" sounds way better than "I have chronic intractable migraine," and I have never once checked the "I have a disability" box when applying for jobs, although I always think about it.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 12 September 2021 22:54 (six days ago) link

And the whole frustrating thing she talks about where people assume you did something to bring on the migraine, and in a sense you know you probably did: you slept too long or too little, ate too late, ate too much, exercised too hard, got too stressed, had one coffee instead of two, drove west when the sun was setting, etc., and maybe if you hadn't done one or more of those things on this particular day, you would not currently have a migraine. But the key point, of course, is that you are someone who gets migraines in the first place, and that is something you can do little to nothing about.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 12 September 2021 23:36 (six days ago) link

(I think I meant to write "ate too little" rather than "ate too much," which is not at all a migraine trigger for me though it may be for some people.)

Lily Dale, Sunday, 12 September 2021 23:38 (six days ago) link


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