I am 34 years old, and have been a recording artist and a performer professionally since the age of 15.
I had the opportunity to audition for a touring show, and was picked as the lead singer and dancer for an international ABBA tribute band four years ago. I was elated and challenged all at the same time at the opportunity. I was getting married for the first REAL time (after a failed first marriage full of violence and abuse) to the man of my dreams on August 28, 2004. I was so excited, I worked out at the gym, pumped iron for months to prepare for that special day.
I was probably in the best shape of my life. It felt so good to be alive. I needed my energy, as we both have three kids from previous marriages, and I have since written an album and a romance novel called ‘Second Chances’ to help people overcome abuse and give hope. My husband had also been abused with his ex, being a gambling addict, alcoholic and committing adulterous affairs.
Although I still love my ex-husband and kids, and am pregnant with my husband’s and my first child together, not all worked out to be the dream. It is a miracle I was able to get pregnant because of a painful condition that occurred to me three months after getting married. My ABBA tribute band promoter/boss decided to shave the heels down in my stage boots to make the other girl and I the same height. No matter how I begged him for new boots that fit me, or that were orthopedically correct, he refused to spend the $1000 on the boots and I had no wardrobe control. Not wanting to lose my job, I kept performing in these bad, orthopedically incorrect boots. Finally, on a four week tour stop in Toronto, after singing and dancing in those bad heels every night, I herniated three discs. We were on a flight to England, and I was in so much pain I could barely walk.
I am presently pregnant with my fourth child, but have been on a painkiller narcotic for four years to help me live my life relatively pain free. The pain is unbearable without my medication, and surgery didn’t relieve the pain. I believe I have nerve and joint damage now. I do have a wonderful pain therapist who gives me cortisone shots, but my family doctor moved away, and the new doctor thinks I am nothing but addicted to my painkiller. He has prescribed me different drugs, all which do not help my pain. They make me sick and hurt my stomach or my lungs. My old painkiller is the ONLY thing that has ever worked, but it’s a new drug, and there is not enough evidence on how it affects my fetus.
All I know is that on that med I can function with purpose and hope and my fetus looked fine in the ultra sound with no complications. I have faith I am listening to my body and very aware of my own truth. Just to check myself and see if I am addicted, I went off the medication on numerous occasions, only to be in so much pain I was tempted with thoughts of suicide. I don’t want to hurt my baby, but I was told by a specialist and my father who is a pharmacist, that many of these warnings are issued on drugs to ‘protect’ the drug companies from lawsuits, so pregnant women often suffer for no reason. What they mean is there is already a percentage of babies who will inherently have complications, and IF the mother was already on a prescribed drug, the drug company can be sued. They want to avoid this, so simply categorize it as ‘Do Not Take’.
I believe in knowing one’s own body, and IF I as a woman want to take that risk to stay pain free and feel I am not doing any harm that is MY choice. I shouldn’t have to beg a doctor for my life back when all facts are pointing to my baby being healthy.
I hate having to find doctors who understand my pain before I run out of my last prescription. If they think I like being on painkillers for the rest of my life, they are wrong. I just want to function as a purpose-driven human with hope, to enjoy my children, to have enough strength to carry out a healthy pregnancy, and to love my husband and my singing career. Without the amazing science of modern day medicine, I would probably not make it in life. I don’t think anyone wants to live in that much pain. It is depressing and suicidal.
We recently had an ultra sound for my baby boy, and he is healthy and kicking, and on target for size. Yet, some doctors told me my pain medication would hurt the fetus. My faith and my trust in listening to my body helps me, but I wish more people would understand that it is not in my head. I tried acupuncture, massage, chiropractors; I even spent four grand on back therapy with a special IDD treatment in Nashville, TN. Nothing worked. My pain med has given me back my life. But because it is a new drug, and a category ‘c’, doctors are afraid of it and rarely listen to me. I have never experienced withdrawal symptoms when I forget to take my medicine; only severe debilitating pain when I go off the drug.
How can we find doctors who understand? I am a Canadian, and I grow weary of looking for a doctor to meet my needs and stick beside me. Your site gave me hope that I am not alone in my pain and my daily struggle to maintain my sanity, energy and life. I wish I could take back the past injury, but I cannot. Back surgery did not even work. I have realized that if my destiny is to be happy there is a drug that can help me and I will be allowed to stay with what works. How do I convince a doctor I am not crazy?
Thanks so much for creating this hopeful website.