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Contest Entry:  Write “CONTEST” at the start of your entry below.

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2 Comments

2 responses so far ↓

  • Carolyn Robinson // Apr 29, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I’m new to this. How do you submit your entry for the contest? Or is this for people who have already submitted How To Cope With Pain articles before?

  • Carolyn Robinson // Apr 29, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    CONTEST

    How to Cope with Pain

    When I was 17, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis and watched for six months by orthopedic surgeons to see if the curvature would continue to bend. (The joke was on them. It takes longer than six months for the spine to bend!)
    The doctors dismissed me and said I was good to go. Twenty-eight years later, married with two children and living in the Boston area, my husband and I were in the office of a Scoliosis specialist for children. He saw me because a friend of my husband’s told him I had Scoliosis. When I walked into the room, he took one look at me and said, “You don’t have Scoliosis.”
    “Yes, I believe I do.” I didn’t know what else to say.
    “Well, we’ll see about that.” Then he ordered a set of x-rays.
    After a little while, his assistant called me back into the doctor’s office. “Mrs. Robinson, you most definitely have Scoliosis, and you need surgery as soon as possible.”
    I stared at him for a few moments and said, “I need my husband in here if you are going to talk about surgery.”
    From that point, I had Harrington rods placed along either side of my spine to help the 65-degree curvature of my back. It was less than ¼” from my lung, and if we waited too much longer, I wouldn’t be here to write this article. During that surgery, arthritis was found in the lower part of my spine, but nothing it wasn’t mentioned to me. I heard about that from my priest.
    Since that surgery, I have never had problems with my upper back, and the fused rods of my spine. My problem has always been in my lower back. A neurologist in Raleigh, NC, who promised me, he could take my pain away, performed Lumbar fusion on my lower back. And that didn’t work.
    Five years ago another doctor in Hickory, NC performed a Sacroiliac Joint Fusion on my lower back and told the insurance disability company that he cured me. But he gave me a paper of notations of different activities I should not do including I should not go back to work. That ended up with me getting a lawyer and paying him one month of my disability payment for the insurance company to begin the payments again.
    Now, I have a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted in my body. A Spinal Cord Stimulator is an interesting instrument and has given many people their lives back. I did a lot of research on the SCS and interviewed people who had the SCS implanted to find out how they were doing. Everyone seemed to be pleased, so I decided to take a chance on it.
    First, you have to go through a psych test to make sure you understand what the SCS is and what the doctor will be doing. Before the doctor implants the SCS, you go through a trial of the SCS. The trial worked wonderfully for me. Although the doctor was only able to get one lead along my spine, I had no pain, not one single bit of pain on my right side. But my left side was a different story because the lead was not hitting the nerves on the left side. I was on cloud nine. Finally, here was the hope.
    Do you know what it is like to have Pain, Chronic Pain and how it changes your life? I use to teach, choreograph, and dance line dancing. I worked out and walked. I played with my granddaughter and enjoyed picking blackberries for pies. I vacuumed, mopped, and dusted the house. But I wasn’t doing much of anything now. And I was mostly depressed.
    So, after six months we finally found a doctor who agreed to put the stimulator in my back. Every doctor before this one was afraid to put it in my back due to the instrumentation and scar tissue. But this guy said he didn’t see a problem.
    That was a year ago, and I can say with full confidence that it didn’t work. Oh, I may have 20% less pain, but that’s on a really good day. A few weeks ago something happened with my lower back. The pain was worse than it has been since before the stimulator or even the SI Joint Fusion. I saw my doctor, and he decided to put me on the Fentanyl Patch along with hydrocodone until my brain understood the patch was taking over. I don’t like to mention the patch even to my family. There is so much controversy over the patch due to the misuse of it; most people don’t follow the instructions and end up using the patches more often than they should.
    The patch wasn’t in and wouldn’t be in for five days. I was in the worse pain I have ever been in since this episode began four years ago. It hit me from the lower part of my back straight down my legs. It felt like knives going in and out and sometimes it was throbbing or aching or stinging. There are days I don’t even remember because of that pain. When the patches came in, and I started the hydrocodone, it took several days before the pain became tolerable. And I was crying non-stop. You can ask my husband how much fun I was to be around.
    It’s been a week now, and I finally feel like this might be the ticket. But the pain can change so fast that you learn to enjoy what you have today and try not to worry about tomorrow.
    How do you cope with pain? The best way you know how. And if you don’t know if that is the best way, then you ask for help. Because there are people who can help you. Check out The American Chronic Pain Association. If you can’t seem to get help from your doctor, then go with the ACPA. But get help.

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