Struggling over the holiday

Sorry folks, I am all for positive thinking but I am struggling. I have been struggling with chronic pain arising from osteoarthritis in my lower spine for over 2 years now (also have it in my shoulder diagnosed in 2014, but I am coping with that more successfully) and am currently waiting for an appointment with my local pain management clinic to help me manage my condition for the long term - I think I am still adjusting to the idea that osteoarthritis is a chronic condition which you have to live with. I'm finding that thought very difficult emotionally. So I have 2 questions today:

1) Does anyone else have experience with this NHS pain management service? Did it help?

2) Is it normal to feel on a constant emotional rollercoaster ranging from 'I can live with this, it could be worse' to 'I really can't live with myself, it would be better if I wasn't here' (Difficult to post that - it's a grim thought to have as I have a wonderful family who love and care for me and me them). As I adjust to my 'condition' will this balance out?

Comments

  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 36

    Hi Soozie, I have a friend who was referred to NHS Pain management Clinic and she was really pleased with the results. She’d been suffering with fibromyalgia for quite a long time and was on quite heavy duty pain killers etc. She now uses a TENS machine which has made all the difference to her.

    I’m waiting for both hips to be replaced (NHS). I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis and avascular necrosis in September and was put on a priority waiting list for surgery within 12 weeks. Well, that 12 weeks has passed and I’ve been told that list is now 72 weeks long.

    The second part of your letter could have been written by me. It’s an absolute rollercoaster. I haven’t been able to leave the house for a couple of months now, so feel stir crazy. There have been a few times in the last few months when I thought about taking every tablet in the house, but the thought of what that would do to my husband and grown up kids stopped me. I actually talked to my GP about it and my husband and since then I’ve felt a bit better. I know that my problem is easily solved, the issue is the waiting time.

    I try not to set unrealistic targets each day, to avoid the disappointment of not reaching them. Some days if I manage to get dressed by lunch time I consider that to be an achievement, I can’t walk without a walker, so I’ve learned to carry a bag on the handles and make sure I’ve got my mobile, glasses, house phone, tissues etc to hand. Not forgetting of course my trusty ‘picker upper’. I’m lucky in that I’m retired so do t have to worry about getting to work etc, my husband cooks all meals and gets my socks on for me!

    I can’t do anything to make you feel better, but you are not alone.

    Patx

  • Thank you so much Pat, your post has made me feel better. Knowing you are not alone does make a big difference.

    Learning how to manage expectations is really good advice too. It seems it can be applied to being on ever lengthening waiting lists too ! I hope you get your surgery soon x

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Hi Soozie, my five penneth worth:

    1) Does anyone else have experience with this NHS pain management service? Did it help?

    Yes and yes! I found the pain clinic very good as I had several treatments such as spinal injections and nerve denervation operations as well as working my way through the meds available. The only problem is that I was discharged from them about 10 years ago as they said that there was nothing else they could do for me and they put me on Morphone.

    2) Is it normal to feel on a constant emotional rollercoaster ranging from 'I can live with this, it could be worse' to 'I really can't live with myself, it would be better if I wasn't here' (Difficult to post that - it's a grim thought to have as I have a wonderful family who love and care for me and me them). As I adjust to my 'condition' will this balance out?

    It is not unusual at all, in fact as I live on my own with my cat (Vixen) I have often said that it is only because I have Vixen to look after that I am still here! I find that it is much easier to drag yourself down than give yourself a kick up the backside. The "festive" season has been particularly bad.

    It is good that you have a loving and caring family around you, accept their help gratefully although that in itself is not easy. My Home Help regularly tells me off as she offers to do things to help even if it just making a brew and I normally say "no" as I can do it myself and would have to if she was not there but, as she says, why struggle if you do not have to.

  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    yes I found the pain clinic very useful. They explained how the drugs work and how to use them to get the very best results ( I was guilty of trying to under medicate) they ran through other methods of none drug intervention that helped and options for devises.

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