Near the end of my shift at work a colleague asked me to help her with a client. In doing so I’d an accident at work injuring my shoulder. My life has changed dramatically since then.
I never imagined at the time I’d have to make so many changes and adjustments. Living with chronic pain wears you down physically and emotionally. You crash at the end of each day. People don’t understand what you’re going through or why you’re so drained most of the time. Trying to find an even balance with your life is difficult, managing pain, it’s not going away. Everything has a knock on effect on you. You’re out of work due to your injury, you’re in pain. Depression sets in. Your whole outlook is bleak. You feel hopeless. This was me. Trying to find answers from doctors, changing medications. This lasted quite a while. I no longer could go back to doing my job that I loved, as a caregiver.
One day I was thinking and said to myself “I’m tired of existing, just getting by” I need to do something to get out of this. I spoke with my doctor again. Told her I wanted referrals, answers as to what was causing all of this pain. “Soft tissue injury” just didn’t cut it for me, not at this stage. I was persistent. Determined. I asked about returning to work. We spoke about my capabilities and what was suitable. I got another job, working part time, less strenuous but in the same line of work. I asked my doctor to refer me for an MRI. The shoulder MRI didn’t show anything significant other than what the doctor already knew. I went back to my doctor. She sent me for a neck MRI. Finally, a diagnosis! Loss of normal cervical lordosis. C 5/6 Significant disc protrusion with central annular tear. Right sided cord compression.
After 4 years I’ve been referred to a pain specialist. I’m managing a lot better than before. I have to take each day as it comes. Some days my body dictates to me what my day is going to be, but I’ve learned to accept that now. A strong mind is more important than a strong body. You will learn along the way how to cope. It is tough in the beginning, but you will get there. Keep believing in yourself.
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