Sunday, April 20, 2008

Oh, My Achin’ Back!

Having been plagued with upper back pain for the last thirty four years, and since I am just finishing up with a seven day acute phase, its on my mind....so bear with me!!

When it is acute, I suffer. When it is chronic, I am thrilled.

Much of the time I control the pain with a TENS unit which sends electrical shocks to four patches which I place on my back. This is supposed to “scramble” the pain messages to the brain. Well..................sometimes it doesn’t work. I pump it up to level ten, my back and shoulders jump in protest, but, alas, it doesn’t do its job.

This looks like my unit, only I use square patches. I own three of these machines, and sometimes wear two of them (8 patches) when my pain level is past bearable.

The acute phase is awful! I just hunker down in my “nest”, turn up the heating pad with a wet cloth on it,don’t move to avoid the spasms, knock myself out with muscle relaxants and pray for the pain to abate. (Pain meds do not work--doesn’t even phase nerve pain)


I become a little more intimately acquainted with my family room, every time I have a flare-up, My view from the “nest” follows................


 I wish I felt more like reading, better yet, using the cookbooks!


A nice fire would be nice........too much work


I watch too much television during these times--Fortunately a friend brought me the first series of Tale of Avonlea, which turned out to be a great bunch of simple little stories and helped pass the time.

Since 1988 I have been with a pain-management clinic and they have sent me to every kind of specialist, had many tests, x-rays, bone scans, mri’s, cat scans, you name it----I’ve had it.

I’ve had botox injections at the site, facet injections, trying to kill the nerves with radio waves, facet steroid injections, and a trial implant for a spinal cord stimulator. All have failed and I’m through exploring further avenues. Prior to this latest episode, I went six weeks relatively pain free, and had eleven days not wearing my TENS unit which is a record!

Today this latest acute phase is winding down and I am thrilled, looking forward to getting back into “action” and thankful it is a new week beginning. I am learning to “be thankful in all things”, to count my many blessings, and rejoice with pure joy on the days that are pain free.


This week, Lord willing,

Monday, I will have my weekly lunch date with sister, Carol
Tuesday, Bible Study and errands
Wednesday, care for two little boys to give their Mom a break
Thursday, lunch with my sibs and spouses, since brother, Bernie, is in town
Friday, to be announced

So, in the scheme of things, these flair-ups are just blips on the timeline of my life, but I do fret against them when they happen.

Sorry to be sharing my bad back woes, but it is such a big part of who I have become, and it is very much on my mind today and the last few days, so........

Tomorrow will be the beginning of many good days to come, I trust.

3 comments:

Amy said...

Wow Joan! Thanks for sharing that with us! Seriously, I will pray for you as the Lord brings it to mind. I've had some weird physical things in my life, and have "bouts" with hip pain, but nothing that severe. May you have a wonderful week full of all the things you love to do!!!!!

sister sheri said...

Sorry to hear about your chronic pain... glad to see it isn't interfering with your blogging. Hope to set up time to meet soon. Still catching up from Israel and Christopher turns 9 on Wednesday... just a bit busier than I like to be...

Gina@Chats With An "Old Lady" said...

Do you know what causes this? This sounds awful! I have some issues and when the Lord gives me a few weeks break when I am not in pain I almost forget what it is like and then it comes back and goes on for a few weeks and then I forget that even had a break! It is so hard. Won't it be fun when we have our new bodies in heaven!!!???

Keep clinging!