Friday, March 5, 2010

A Typical Day with Chronic Pain


Kelly over at Kelly's Corner is doing a meme today on "Typical Days in our lives" and I thought I'd participate, since I'm sure my situation isn't common.

First of all, does anyone else suffer from chronic pain that limits your life?  It can get to feeling really lonely, I'll admit.  But I'm still "me", with my loud mouth running all the time and my mind it's all good!
My boys are now 21 (in a week) and 17, so they don't need much mothering anymore.  lol  I do help them with homework and we chat a lot.  I'll tell you one good thing - I'm ALWAYS available!!  lol

Due to an injury in 2005 and subsequent surgeries, I now have permanent nerve damage with lateral numbness hip to toes on both legs and muscle weakness and atrophy (deterioration).

After a bit of a battle, I now have had a SCS - spinal cord stimulator - for just over a year.  This is like a pacemaker for nerves, and I feel a constant buzzing/massaging on the inside of my body (like a massage chair at a salon) and this is blocking some of the pain signals from my screaming legs from getting to my brain.  It is heaven!!  I have my own remote control - what husband doesn't want a wife with that!  LMBO


However, I no longer can bend, lift or twist for the rest of my life. Since I fall very easily due to the numbness and balance issues, my husband respectfully requests that I patiently wait for him to accompany me at night or weekends and asks that I venture out sparingly.  One more fall and I'm probably done for, so I understand his fear and concern.  I can't even go for a walk by myself.  These limitations are some of the hardest issues to face with this.

The good news is, though, that I still have my mind and my mouth (and obviously typing fingers!!), so I get to balance the frustration of wishing my mind and body matched with the realities that things could be so much worse and how grateful I truly am at the end of the day.

So a typical day starts like this:

Bed time:  3AM or later
Wake up:  11AM at the latest, usually

(Hubs does wake me up when he goes to work to give me my morning meds that I must take every 8 hours.) 

Lunch:  Noon or so.  We choose to live close enough to hubs work so that he can come home for lunch almost every day.  This is a love of his and I am happy to oblige.  Such a great time together and to look forward to.  

1 to 5PM:  I get any housework done that I can do - laundry, dusting, Swiffering or vacuuming the hard flooring, sinks, counters, anything I can reach.  Since I am unable to BLT (bend, lift or twist), I cannot do the dishwasher, the toilets or the tubs I have grippers/grabbers all over the house, and this is how I pick things up that drop and also how I do the laundry.   These are around $9.99 at Walmart.  Heavier duty ones are at Walgreens and medical supply stores for a bit more.  These babies will pick up a bobby pin off the floor, so they are very helpful!

I can only do a bit of housework at a time and must rest frequently.  Takes very little to "overdo" and then that affects my time with hubs and the boys.  So I MUST be careful.   When I am not up doing things, I spent the majority of my time reclined, with my legs up.  This keeps the pressure off the S1 nerve and keeps it from flaring.  I still have good and bad days, and know what I need to do to try to avoid flares.  

I have an adjustable laptop desk that pulls right up to my chair, and I use the Internet as distraction from the pain and to keep me occupied, as sitting can be quite boring.  But I must do it.   If you look in the far corner of this photo, you will see my "set up".  I have a printer there and everything (under the gold blanket)!
Although I spend so much time reclined, I CAN go and do things now with the spinal cord stimulator.  No cure, but it did give me a lot of my life back.  Yay!!

Sometime around mid-afternoon, I will get my shower.  I usually wait as late as possible, as hubby really likes that fresh clean hair and skin (truth), and shoot.........if I've already waited THIS long, why not wait until he's almost home.  Right?  lol

6:00PM - Usually eat dinner around this time.  Most often, just a light dinner as we eat our heavier meals at lunch.  A few times a week, I will cook a full dinner for everyone, but they have to help finish. I'm not able to stand up that long for hte full prep, cooking and cleaning.

7 to 10:30 PM - TV time with hubby
10:30 - 11:00PM - Time to tuck hubby into bed, snuggle and chat some more.  Once he's fallen into a deep slumber, I'm back out to the living room, where I usually read voraciously online for many hours.   Current topics: EFT/Meridian Tapping, EMDT - Eye Movement Desensitization Response, and learning how to thread my own eyebrows!

I do miss the "old" Cheri's life.....I was such a hyper girl, always buzzing here and there.  Never did I have a clue that in my late 30's, life would take such a turn.  I'm now 43 and wish my body looked it!  It is humbling, knowing this isn't exactly why hubby signed up for, let alone what I deal with every day.  But I put that smile on because things could be SO much worse, and I know that.  

I have the most amazing husband, who has stood by me through all of these surgeries and procedures, and is an excellent nurse.  He is my best friend and just an amazing support for me.  Without him, I don't know where I would be today.  He's absolutely the best. 



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi Cheri. I'm so sorry you live with all this pain. A co-worker's friend has this same SCS for post-polio and it has helped her some. I have FMS but am not nearly as limited as you.

    I saw your link on Kelly's Korner and the Chronic Pain thing hit a "nerve" (sorry, couldn't resist!)

    Hang in there and I know you praise the Lord for your husband and family. (I'm single). Thanks for sharing your story--yours matters! :)

  3. Wow, it sounds like you are making the best of the limitations you have. You are certainly blessed with a wonderful family.

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Thanks so much for your lovely comments!