In 2003 my life changed in a way I could have never expected. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, 3 weeks early, 5 days of labour and an epidural gone wrong. When I got pregnant with her, I was in the best shape of my life. I was healthy and happy and ready for the new bambino. My 6 lb, 9 oz bundle of pudge was dropped into my arms and ate right away. I had struggled to hold on to this baby. I had RH negative blood and she was RH positive. This means that my body thought she was a foreign object and was trying to get rid of her. In the first trimester, I was taken to the hospital to ensure she would stay with me.
She did. I made a promise that I would hold onto her no matter what. After 5 days of labour I was exhausted and ready to get the epidural. It was my 33rd birthday. I felt the needle go right through my spine. I said to the Dr. “you did it wrong”. He said “Nope”. It was my second baby and I knew what it should feel like.
During labour I felt the epidural tube twisting in my spine. After she came out – only 14 minutes of pushing – they pulled out the needle. My husband almost passed out. Blood and fluid shot across the room. It felt like someone had beaten me with a baseball bat.
My back felt bruised and a little broken. I went back to work 14 days after she was born. Took no help and pushed myself too hard.
In August (just about 3 months after her birth), I was walking my dog and children. My eldest ran out in the street. I grabbed her and all of a sudden felt like I had been shot. My legs went out from under me and I was blinded with white hot pain. It took me 45 minutes to walk home. Since that time, I have been on a long, complicated and hard journey to fight and stop the pain.
My family has been forever changed. I have lost friends, I have gained friends. My marriage has been tested and survived. I have struggled with mother guilt. I have learned what I am made of.
Here is what have I learned about pain:
- Pain is invisible.
- Pain is misunderstood.
- Pain is forgotten.
- It is hidden
- It is difficult to treat
- It is difficult to diagnose and prove
- Pain thresholds are different for each person
- Pain tolerance is different for each person
- Pain is misjudged
- Pain is exhausting
- Pain is an evolving monster
- Pain takes over your brain, body and soul
- It changes you
- It changes those around you
- Pain is dismissed
- Pain studies/medicine is underfunded and underpromoted
- Pain patients make professionals run in a different direction
- Pain patients are a liability, not a person
- Pain can happen to anyone at anytime
- Pain does not discriminate
- Pain changes
With the population growing older, the demands of chronic pain will increase. The Government has recently slashed pain clinics and studies. If you are in your 40s’ or 50s’ get ready to take care of your family members and their pain. Our health care system will not support you. Treatments and therapies for pain are expensive.
I am hoping by sharing my story, I am able to help someone else. A life in pain is lonely and misunderstood. There were few places I could go to find stories about coping with day to day life. Lots of sites offered treatments, advice and warnings, but not many where someone just said what it was like.
My family also did not have any resources available to them. How do you live with someone in pain? Where do you go? What about your kids, friends, in-laws or co-workers? What resources are available to them? I wanted to put in a section dedicated to these folks.
Readers are welcome to participate, contribute, distribute and/or share this Blog with anyone. If you have any ideas or topics you want to share, please contact me.
For what it is worth, I hope this is helpful for all concerned. If Chronic Pain affects your life, make sure you consult a medical professional. This site, is for social and supportive uses only and not in any way a substitute for medical advice or care.
I hope this provides you with a little help. We need all the help we can get.