I live with pain. Punishing pain that won’t let me forget about it for one second.

It steals my breath. It robs me of experience. It snuffs out my joy in a matter of seconds.

I used to hike miles. It was so centering; free, peaceful and meditative.

Now, post fusion? Walking further than a block is work. Hard work, especially when trying to keep up with anyone with two straight legs.

I try though. I try to stuff those distracting ugliest thoughts down. Not give them the power. To steal the small collected moments of joy that I’m trying to string together.

To track in my “coloring” as it’s so (not) kindly referred to, by those in my life. Those close, who claim respect, love and all those other whispered lies. My memories are shades of gray; often times I can’t bring them back up. They mutate if I don’t write them down.

Living in chronic pain is exhausting. Some task as simple as going to the drive through pharmacy can take me days.

It robs me of my memory, my love, my


I can’t find my way out some days. I don’t know how to ask for space. How else to word it?

I have spoken it. Wrote it down. Begged. Forced it. Never getting it consistently. Not without a fight.

Organizing a home? With at least two with ADHD? (One of them me?) I got all the kindergarten stuff set up, taken care of. Rides, after school program, all of it. Lunches made, dinner heated, clothes washed and set out. Money in the school account for chocolate milk.

With a consistent electrical current running my entire sciatic nerve? And a numb foot.

Oh, and both feet now swell to the point I cannot wear socks or shoes at night. They cut the circulation off, aggravating the pain.

This takes some kind of mental prep. And lately, there’s something else off. Contributing and magnifying the daily pain levels, making each day more difficult than the one before. It’s brought more nauseousness. Sent my appetite and desire to be in the kitchen, packing. Me! The foody. The organic non gmo freak.

I just want to wakeup from this nightmare; pain free. Be allowed to enjoy one day. With no shame or guilt for my physical (in)abilities

I don’t tell people this stuff. They are sick of hearing from me. I am sick of it.

The most obvious symptom of failed back surgery syndrome is persistent, chronic pain that is not associated with the healing process. Other symptoms associated with FBSS include:

• New pain at a level different from the location treated

• Inability to recuperate

• Restricted mobility

• Sharp, stabbing back pain

• Numbness or pain radiating through the lower back into the legs

• Back spasms

• Anxiety, depression and sleeplessness

• Potential dependence on pain medication

And so on and on it goes. This back surgery? I put it off. For 2 years and 3 months.

I had a six month old when my spine literally broke, separating the vertebrae at L5 and S1. But

I couldn’t have surgery with a six month old. I was primary caregiver; I aced human growth and development. I knew just how important responding to each cry or noise was. My job was to nurture.

I wanted to give my little boy the best I could. So I tried.

So I waited. Until waiting became impossible. And then? I had to wait more. For the insurance to approve it. (They tried like helll to find a way to deny it. Sat on it for six weeks.) For the surgeon to arrange his golf games; and speaking arrangements for Medtronic.

My pain management doctor when reviewing my MRI said he remembered my spine from two year prior. He called it “remarkable” how my spine just literally fell off of my sacrum.

In all this waiting? I lost some things.

I lost the ability to walk proper. I developed foot drop literally overnight. I woke up one morning; and could not get my right foot to cooperate. It was as if my lower right leg; from the knee down was permanently asleep. It woke up about 20%, post surgery. (Getting ahead of myself though.)

My darling mom (RN) who listened to each and every complaint, watching helplessly, had enough at this point. We got in first thing to the surgeons office. He said “yeah, that’s foot drop. Want stronger meds?”

I was flabbergasted. Literally. It was acceptable to allow a patient to lose the ability to walk? I dared not mention the other odd symptom that had crept up that morning. I just recently told a doctor about it last week. Three years after it appeared.

The other damaged nerves. The ones I never talk about. Those were damaged during surgery. I didn’t have that problem pre-op.

Two and a half years out. I think I’m being poisoned by all the abdominal surgeries. That my body is rejecting the hardware.

The newish pain is vice like. Running from under the ribs to just below my hips. It’s some sort of spasm.

About a month ago, after three months of it; I called the doctor. Tests, referred out for more tests; and to another specialist.

Nothing found with that torture device; so on to CT Scan. Nothing found wrong with my kidneys or bladder. Urologist (who I loved) recommended I seek a second GYN appointment… and around the merry go round we go.

I know others go through this too; and I’m not the only one. I’m appalled this is acceptable.

Meanwhile, I have to keep pushing through; even feeling as I do. As if I were

The magicians assistant; split in two; at the core.

Even with the hardware store bits.

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