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Dealing with back pain
Barbara is a successful blogger who writes about back pain, she has also released a book. Today she is giving the community tips as well as how she has benefited from writing.
Hi, I’m a 65 year old with two married children and a ‘grandog’, but hope for grandchildren at some stage. I took up blogging in 2007 and haven’t looked back since.
They say back pain affects 80% of the population at some point in their lives. Mine, started in my late 20’s with extremely debilitating low back pain. Treatment in the first few years consisted of physiotherapy and manipulation by an osteopath and chiropractor, but eventually surgery was the only option. It was my fourth operation and two life threatening incidents that soon made me realise that time is a gift.
Many a day I’ve felt despair, rage and profound disappointment that I could not do certain jobs. I looked like a question mark, bent like someone 20 years older. I felt like an object of pity, an old woman in black. Pain is introspective, it doesn’t give a damn about the rest of the world.
Then I took up writing a blog, I can escape into another world with my blogs. I write several of them, but my ‘Back Pain Blog’ is the one that I am most passionate about. I have awards for my ‘Back Pain Blog’ and I have been nominated for a Wego Health Award this year. I have made lots of friends through writing blogs and I truly think that ‘blogging’ should be included in the list of therapeutic therapies for chronic pain.
The simple act of writing my thoughts down filled me with a sense of purpose, to pursue my goals. I would read inspiring stories of people working from home and knew I had the ability to do something with my life. I have no paper qualifications, no special skills but a notion that I could write. I constantly scrutinized magazines for ideas and inspirations on what I could write about.
I love writing things down and have kept many a diary. Some diary entries would make me laugh with one such entry being this: ' Monday 21st January 01 – I really am lousy today. I don't suppose I can blame the discs in my back really, after all for the last 50 years they have been in the same place, at the bottom of my spine doing its job but today everything hurts. My chest, my neck, my arms, my bum. I hurt every inch of my body like I didn't know hurt could hurt but hey ….. the good news is I've lost half a stone. Maybe the power of positive thinking does work after all, or maybe it’s just my morphine kicking in'.
I took on numerous home-study courses on ‘pain management’ so that I could understand my body from top to toe. It has been a long, tedious and at times an expensive journey for me over the last thirty years to research and find help for my pain, but thinking positive is something I have always tried to adopt.
For me now, my pain is controlled by juggling with a gambit of drugs and injections as there is nothing else they can do (surgery wise) to help alleviate my pain so it’s down to me to pace and maintain it the best way I can. The surgeon who performed my first spinal surgery over 30 years ago said I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was in my late 50’s. I am now in my mid 60’s and nowhere near ready to end up in a wheelchair.
I must have a daily afternoon sleep to help me get through the rest of the day, but I don't mind. I've made my bedroom into a sanctuary just for me to enjoy (hubby doesn't mind) and after a couple hours of rest, I'm like a new person. I think one of the hardest things to deal with apart from the pain is the perpetual tired feeling which makes things more difficult for me, many a day I could go back to bed at 11am but I try to wait until after lunch. A healthy body is less susceptible to stress and the best treatment to help my pain is to channel my energy into my body to produce endorphins.
Why don’t you have a go at writing a blog? It’s completely free and there are numerous free online courses to explain how to get going. I personally use Wordpress for all my blogs and would highly recommend this platform.
Can you relate to Barbara's experience? What advice would you give? Let us know in the comments!