As a young child, I was taught that if you worked hard you could achieve anything. So, that’s what I did. Put myself through school, worked very hard at a computer job spending countless hours in front of the keyboard. Soon, I was in pain. Not knowing anything about ergonomics, I didn’t know the damage I was doing to myself. All I knew was that I had ‘made’ it – a great paying job that afforded me a life that seemed too good to be true. A nice house, someone who loved me by my side—and that job that made it all possible.
Eventually, the pain was too great and I had to tell my employers. My whole world came crashing down on me in a very short time. I went from being their bright and shining star to the bane of their existence… someone who was a burden. Despite the fact that I worked HARD, even through the pain, they knew I needed surgery and looked for a reason, every day, to toss me out. Finally, when they could find no fault with my hard work, they laid me off.
I was in pain, scared, angry, sad, everything was upside down. I had to say goodbye to my beautiful house. The man by my side couldn’t take the pressure of a ‘sick’ person, and became depressed himself and eventually we parted ways for good. I waited and waited for my miracle, some way out of my misery. Friends and family didn’t understand me, why I had changed, who I even was anymore. They judged me behind my back, didn’t offer as much as a listening ear, because my problems were too big to listen to. Eventually, I stopped calling them and they turned their backs on me.
Finally, after years of waiting, I got my surgeries, two for the nerve in my arm and one for a disc in my neck, but by then it was too late. Things only seemed worse. The doctor that was supposed to help me shouted in my face, “You should be better by now.” It felt like an accusation. But, of course, I wish I was better! Who would want this life? This suffering? This pain and loneliness?
Thankfully, I finally found a doctor who understands. He diagnosed me with intractable pain. He’s managed to patch me up and help me deal with the pain enough to get back to working, but it’s hard. I come home in so much pain and have to be silent about my ‘issues’ so no one at work finds out!
To this day, I have severe pain from discs pressing on my spinal cord in my neck, constant headaches and nerve problems down my arms. Sometimes the issues in my neck/shoulder go down my right arm and I cannot even use my hand properly. It locks up. They say I need more surgery, but I am so very afraid. I will have to deal with this the rest of my life unless someone can come up with a way to regenerate damaged, dying nerves.
I survive every day, because I’m strong, a fighter, but so many times in the past, I wanted to give up, to just die. Being alone dealing with this, has at times been so difficult, crushing, impossible. I keep going, surviving, trying to find the joy in the little moments of happiness. Focus on the bright spots, not the rain…