Ever since a spinal injury four years ago, I’ve been in debilitating chronic pain every single day. The recommended spinal decompression surgery terrified me and I opted not to take it. I also declined opiates (didn’t want to get addicted/zombified) and nerve pain meds (which incapacitated my mom).
Instead, for several years now, I’ve undertaken a range of conventional and alternative medical therapies. I have made significant progress, extending my ability to stand or sit up straight and/or walk without pain from about 15 seconds to 15 minutes at a time. (Note: sitting at the computer limited to 10 to 20 minutes at a stretch makes it painfully slow to work on this site, but I’m doing it as best I can.)
These days, lately, I’m not in so much pain that I want to scream, but I am in so much pain that I want to cry much of the time.
This has been an extremely challenging journey and I still have a long way to go. A huge part of the challenge is mental: I have been in near-perfect physical health my entire life with only minor illnesses or injuries. I’ve never before been faced with a health challenge that did not resolve in a short time. I don’t seem to have the emotional resiliency to go through my days graciously, but I do the best I can. Along the way, I have taken notes, photos, videos to document my process and progress.
“The brain in pain goes mainly down the drain.” – Ned
Recovery Journey Journal
For about two years now, I recorded updates on my recovery process. Those videos are collected here. At some point, I shall organize all these in related storylines, but for now this is just a list with the most recent stories listed first
3 years ago today police called by neighbor hearing my distress from pain and my improvement since then
Sharing a doctor's essays on ineffective treatments for back pain and the dangers of spinal surgery.
Thoughts on getting a disabled parking placard for the first time.
I asked the doctor treating me for my painful low-back injury, "Tell it to me straight, Doc, what's my diagnosis?"
I take you with me on a blue sky rambling nature walk through Ragle Park where I opine on reality and recovery and horseshit on the trail.
Trying to exercise after taking a fall resulted in soul-crushing pain that forced me to bed.
Expressing my gratitude for being able to water my small garden while standing up the whole time.
Thrilled and grateful for being able to complete an hour-long exercise class.
Cupping therapy uses suction cups to stimulate blood flow, but can leave bruises as shown here.
Curled up in a fetal position around pillows, I lament my persistent pain