Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chronic Pain: A Three Year Retrospective

Well, friends, I try so hard to be chipper, and sometimes it is really tough. As you may know, I was in a serious car accident, and have been working hard to heal since then. Today is the three-year "anniversary (yay?)" since my accident.

So, three years ago, today, I was visiting my family in Chicago to see my youngest brother star in his high school's production of Bye, Bye, Birdie. I was so excited to see him, particularly since I live so far away most of the time. I was driving my mom's car (alone), and I was on my way to pick up my grandmother. I needed to take a very busy street (Milwaukee Ave, for those who know) to get there - it is often a 45 or 50 mph speed limit.

I stopped in the left lane, because the driver in front of me was making a left turn (there was no official lane for it). I guess the guy behind me never saw me sitting there. I watched him approaching, in the rearview mirror, completely disbelieving the possibility of him actually hitting me. Which he did.

The trunk wound up in the backseat. Apparently, when you are rear-ended, the airbags do not deploy. Hence, my foreheard slammed into the steering wheel.

There is so much to be grateful for: I was alive. I was able to walk from the car to the ambulance. Other than a concussion, there was no head injury. My grandmother wasn't in the car. I can walk. I can still sing karaoke.

Then, there is my kvetching: I am in constant pain. I can't walk long. I have a herniated disk, a slipped vertebra, nerve compression, stenosis, and disk degeneration. I can no longer dance, bicycle, swim, jump around, or any of the other wonderful things I love. I can't hold a Torah, and have to limit my time standing on the bimah. I walk with a cane half the time. I am on pain killers at all times. Bleh.

Well, luckily, everything else in my life is going really well, and this allows me to focus on finally fixing this. I am working with a new batch of doctors, and they are conservative AND proactive. I have a facet injection on Friday (have had three epidural injections which didn't have any effect). Then we see if it works. Then we try more drastic measures, because there is nothing else left (and trust me, I've tried).

Figured I would bring you up to date, and share some more of my experience with you. We chronic pain sufferers need to unite - it can be so demoralizing, but we can stick together and get through it!! And, even though they can't directly relate, my family and friends have been terrific.... though I HATE complaining.... (and I can't even believe that I wrote all this tonight). However, it feels good to let it out!


Sarene said...

Chin up and stay strong! I wish you all the best on Friday!

BipolarLawyerCook said...

Holding you in the light. Your spine may be hurt, but you're still one of the most upright people out there!

i beati said...

your blog not only is alliterative but stellar in content may I link ?Sandy

Melinda Zook said...

I am so sorry to hear about this. It is good though that you remember what to be thankful for through all of it. Hopefully they will find a solution and you can start doing those things again soon. Thanks for visiting my blog. Yours is great reading as well!

ZILLA said...

Unbelievable. I would never have guessed you to be suffering chronic pain. Your positive attitude is amazing. Your gratitude is inspiring.

I'll keep a good thought for you, especially on Friday, and always...

Jerseygirl89 said...

I had no idea. I'm so sorry. Good luck on Friday, my thoughts will be with you.

The Egel Nest said...

Kvetching is actually really healthy :) Especially amongst friends!

The Egel Nest