Welcome to “Living With Chronic Pain!” As a new blogger at PsychCentral, I wanted to take a beat to properly introduce myself and tell you a little bit about how I became a Chronic Pain blogger.
First and foremost, I must say that it is an honor to be writing for PsychCentral…as a Licensed Social Worker (LSW), PsychCentral has been one of my go-to sites since graduate school, and being asked to host my own blog here is exciting. It’s like asking a music professional to write for “Rolling Stone!” In other words, for me, this is a big deal for me!
A little about me: I am 33 years old and I am married to a patient and loving man who, when he said “I Do” to “in sickness and in health,” probably had no idea the “in sickness” part would happen so soon. I also have an amazing lab mix named Coco, who has helped in my recovery in so many ways. Prior to becoming disabled I worked as an LSW in a nursing home. I loved my job and I love to help people. Since having two spinal surgeries, however, I am not able to work a 9-5 job. So now I am a freelance writer and a blogger.
These past 2 years, the PAIN and FRUSTRATION have affected every area of my life. Living with chronic pain is difficult because there are many times I find myself having to smile through the tears and pretend I am handling everything with ease, when that is far from how I really feel. I should have won an Emmy by now for leading role as “Stable Disabled Woman Who Does It All.”
I will be writing about the many issues that accompany living with chronic pain, including its affect on moods, relationships, work, health, etc. This blog will be no-holds barred. It will be an honest (and hopefully sometimes humorous) look at how to live with chronic pain.
As for the reason I live with chronic pain, it is…complicated, to say the least. In short, I had an emergency hemilamenectomy in July of 2011 when I herniated a disc in my back and lost function in my right leg. During the recovery period, additional tests revealed that my lower spine (called the lumbar spine) was degenerating. So, seven months after the first surgery, I had an extensive, three-level spinal fusion. Despite a lot of pain, a lot of PHYSICAL THERAPY and so many scans and X-rays that I have a glow to me, I have learned a lot about living with chronic pain and hope that I can share some of that with you.
Please feel free to comment and share your stories and I look forward to our journey together!