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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Living in/with Pain, Always and Forever?

Good Saturday, everyone! Hope and pray you're all doing well.

How am I doing? Not good, my dear folks and friends. I'm still having back spasms, despite being on prescribed pain medication and bed rest for a couple of days now. In bed resting my back is what my body needs at this time. When in upright position for a long time, an hour or more, I feel so uneasy and uncomfortable. Yes, I can't tolerate standing or sitting for a period of time. Gravity and lots of movement somehow aggravate my condition. Lower back pain and back spasms continue and I feel so helpless that I have to resort to prescribed pain medication to help me. Having this intense recurring chronic lower back pain, I feel as if I re-injured my bad back again, especially my lumbar down to sacrum area. As of now, I haven't been to the doctor/hospital for check up. I'm still observing my condition. If I were to go to the hospital, I would surely have MRI/X-ray of my lumbar spine, which I haven't had for a year or two?

Living in/with pain is not a laughing matter, my dear folks and friends. Especially if you have degenerative discs disease (DDD) and degenerative joint disease (DJD), and herniated discs, like yours truly. Fyi, I have had seven invasive procedures done on my lower back way back in 2002. I have had physical therapy, and even chiropractic sessions done including acupuncture of my lower back. I have had temporary relief from these sessions. But later on, the lower back pain became so chronic and unbearable. Tingling and excruciating to the point that I have had sciatica. Even with ongoing intake of prescribed pain medications and no heavy lifting of things (over ten pounds), and strenuous exercise, I admit I have had good days and bad. There have been moments that I feel so helpless and hapless. But I never lose hope, even if my lower back has been "damaged." At first, it was so difficult for me to accept the fact that I'm already disabled, physically. Eventually, I accepted my condition and that I belong to this group of disabled or people with disability. It was tough and difficult for me to take, I tell you guys. From the outside, I look good especially when I go to church dressed up. People don't only know. But the reality is, I'm damaged physically, internally. My lower back is bad or diseased. That's why I retired from work early unexpectedly.

Surgery, you say? My orthopedic surgeon, when I was still US Navy active duty, initiated the move for me to retire permanently after a couple of years of being on limited light duty at work. He said, eventually, that surgery is not an option in my case. Why? Because those invasive procedures didn't help me at all. My condition got worst. Because my back has already been damaged and to do surgery will do more harm than good. If he recommended me for surgery, I would be having second thought, too. Will I be paralyzed if something went wrong on the surgery? That's a possibility. I still have in my possession my wooden cane, back braces, and that TENS unit. Mind you, I've had moments of feeling so humiliated or stigmatized each time people saw me with my cane, or with a back brace. And I'm not that too old yet to be using these orthopedic devices or equipment. But I have had to, to help me function. But then, in addition to having DDD/DJD of my lower back, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia that up to now is ongoing. So, I ask myself, each time, this question; will I be living in/with pain for the rest of my life? Only our gracious and loving God knows! But the reality is that pain is a part of life which I've already accepted it. This has been my case since I retired from work. As I've said, I have good days and bad. I have had fits and moments of unpleasant emotions and thoughts. My faith, complemented by prayer, is the one that's keeping me alive and going. Despite the pain I've been having, I thank God that I'm still alive. Thank you, Jesus.

Did I expect to be like this? To be physically disabled? Not at all! I have had plans continue working after retirement from the military service, to probably teach, like my wife, in a public middle/high school because at that time, after retirement in 2005, I've got also my teaching license, with endorsement in English, K-12. But I learned as I continue living that there are plans in life that, even you've made/set them for you to do in the future, don't materialize. So, what matters to me at this time is to live life in the present moment well, without any regret or reservation at all. That's it.

This is all for now and until next time around. Take care and have a peaceful and wonderful weekend, everyone! As always, I pray, "May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 04 May 2013

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