Feel the Fear

I had my first appointment at the pain management clinic this morning. They hadn’t been told yet that I’ve opted for surgery to try and sort the worst of the pain out, so it was a bit of a different appointment to the one they expected to have with me. 

In part it was brilliant. It felt like there was a team of people taking me seriously. They consider not just the pain itself, but the impact on every part of my life, physically and emotionally. 

It feels surprisingly difficult to spend any time considering the impact that chronic pain has on your life and your emotions. You become adept at just getting through the day. You don’t dwell on how exhausted you are and you try to find different reasons for your 4 year old than ‘my back hurts’ to not do something, so that she can hear a different excuse / reason once in a while. To focus on the impact, to think about the things you are missing out on and to list those, and to list the hopes of how life will change is a tough exercise. Painful in an entirely different way. 

It also made me feel the fear. Talking about the amount of pain I am still likely to have made me frightened that the operation won’t work, or won’t work enough, and this evening it’s sent my mind freewheeling. Here are some things I am frightened of: 

What if it doesn’t work? 

What if it doesn’t work? 

What if it doesn’t work? 

Can my emotions cope if it doesn’t work? 

What if I wake up during surgery? 

What if something  goes wrong during surgery? 

What if it doesn’t work? 


2 responses to “Feel the Fear

  1. I remember my first trip to pain management following 3 back surgeries, 2 of which were failed fusions. My doctor was a delight, I was clearly under medicated. When I walked into his office a year ago, I was skating at an 8 or 9 each month on the pain scale. Since then, I’ve had a spinal cord stimulator installed, several injections for coccydynia (which no one else had diagnosed) and although my stimulator took care of almost 100% of my leg pain, it did nothing for my back and butt pain. So while many people are able to reduce their meds after having an SCS installed, mine went up significantly…. Likely because I had gone through all of these expensive procedures, And had yet to get below a 6 on the pain scale. I still couldn’t perform hardly any activities of daily living so after things had calmed down post SCS installation, we really attacked the residual pain with long acting opiates and Oxycodone for breakthrough pain. Now my pain is down between a 4-5 on a normal day. I can dress myself with just a little help, I can spend a few hours out of bed each day and my spirits are up as well

    Anyway, I was glad to find your blog and I wanted to share part of my story and invite you over to my blog to share my story with you. Thanks for sharing your story!

    CHRONIC ERRATA | Explorations in chronic illness and chronic pain http://bit.ly/18TkZG1

    • Hi,

      Thank you for reading, and for taking the time to comment. It’s both daunting and reassuring to read other people’s stories and experiences isn’t it? I am glad for you that your spirits are up. I hope they continue to be so. Take care!

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