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Chronic pain and transfer addiction



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Tldr: fat guy got thin, chronic pain derailed him, now drinks and can’t move much, doc and therapist say suck it up. Feels lost and confused and has developed a slight booze issue, that thankfully is not a full blown problem, yet.

Not asking for sympathy or prayers, just want to know if anyone is going through something similar and how do you deal with it.

Hey everyone, I’m in a downward spiral here. The background is that I got my sleeve in 2018, lost about 100 lbs, got a new job with more more money, and I actually liked it, I felt awesome and was looking great.

Fast forward to present day. I’m currently living with chronic back pain, the result of injuries about 20-30 years ago. Coupled with arthritis in my spine and neck, late developmentof scoliosis. Daily pain is a 6-7 on the pain scale and 1-2 times a week it can get to 9-10 on the scale.

I still work for the same company but now work 100% from home, that part I love, but I no longer move as much and i can't travel like did. Honestly I can’t really, some days just showering and dressing is a challenge.

I used to play pickleball, take light hikes etc. All gone. I’ve been told I’m too young, 52, and my condition is not severe enough for surgery yet. I do stretching and some pain management drugs if I get to a point I can’t cope with the pain that day but mostly I suck it up and deal with it. I have turned to liquor as a crutch and ashamedly can be a nightly thing.

I’ve gained about 30 pounds back, I feel like a total failure and have lost my direction. I’ve talked with therapist, and doctors but kept being told, in short, “when live hands you lemons…”

Honestly, I feel like life has kicked me in the balls and told me to piss off. I started this journey to improve and heal my life. And now I feel that my opportunity is being taken away. The daily pain and slow stripping of my thinner life has been a real mind f**k.

I’ve been trying hard to get back on track and have had limited success but I try. But I’m tired, so tired of the struggle, it’s been nothing but since I was a kid.

Sent from my SM-G970U using BariatricPal mobile app

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I have not been in your position with the pain but I have been depressed in the past and I can feel your struggle in your words. I would for sure get a new therapist if they are not listening to you and realizing that you need help and not telling you to just deal with things. As far as the weight gain, the lack of exercise usually isn't the biggest cause. Some people can lose without any exercise at all. I totally understand your frustration to have your options so limited but you can only control so much. You are doing the best you can. I would look at your calories and you'll probably have to lower them to get the weight to come back off again. Alcohol is usually pretty high in calories, so it might be the main culprit. So for motivations sake, quitting the alcohol might make the weight gain stop and then when you feel better in control of your life you can make more diet changes and then lose the weight too. Sometimes just having something that you can control when everything else feels so out of control helps ground you and give you the mental stability to deal with things. So controlling your diet and calories could be a good start. I wish you the very best though and take care!

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I have not experienced this but this is my sons exact story, only he was never overweight until now because of the pain. Find a different doctor and therapist. Chronic pain is real and many drs just dont feel like it needs addressing. There are many things you can. Your first step is finding a pain managment clinic to help with your pain. Next stay away from the alcohol. There are lots of calories in most alcohol. Next track your calories again. Do what exercises you can, even if its chair exercises just to be able to move. Its very difficult with back pain. You can do this, but you need the help of drs willing to help you. If a dr has a cavalier attitude about your pain , that is not the right dr for you.

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With a few minor differences, I probably could have written your post. In addition to the back pain from multiple herniated disks, I was having sciatica so bad that I needed a walker to even walk at all. This was a chronic condition that I lived with for over 30 years. It tended to get a bit better for a while, but I could go downhill really fast. When it was at its worst, I retreated into the bottle to make it through the day.

I agree with @The Greater Fool that if you have not worked with a Pain Management Specialist, it's worth a try. That said, they tend to focus on medical treatments (such as different pain medications, epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, joint injections, radiofrequency ablation, etc.). Those may help you, but didn't do all that much for me. Before anyone asks, I tried 3 different pain management docs and over 25 different treatments and never got any lasting relief.

I don't say that to be discouraging! I mention it because I held out high hopes for pain management to be the "fix" for my pain. When it wasn't, I retreated even more into the bottle. I'd hate to see you have the same experience.

Because of that, in addition to pain management, I would encourage you to look into physical therapy, especially physical aquatic therapy, which should be available in most major population centers. I found this really made a big difference in my sciatica frequency, even if it didn't exactly eliminate the pain.

Other things to try include massage therapy (which I recommend via a physical therapy office, not a massage therapist as they will have more experience working with chronic pain patients), acupuncture & chiropractic care. Finally, don't neglect psychological therapy. Among other techniques, "Cognitive Behavior Therapy" can really help. Many people don't realize that pain is simply a sensation. It's our brains that actually determine how we respond to that sensation and CBT can help tremendously.

Bottom line, don't give up! There is no one-size-fits-all treatment, so you have to be your own advocate and continue to try things until you find what works for you.

I'm living proof it can be done.

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Also if you can and it’s not a financial burden, try physical therapy or a chiropractor. I was skeptical about them but they can help tremendously.

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I appreciate it.

Money is an issue so options are a bit limited. I've tried physical therapy at 3 different providers but it made things dramatically worse.

I've not done the pain management option yet, as I worry about my natural addictive personality taking over, food addiction is part of the reason I was/am overweight.

I'm currently looking for a counselor. I'm big on talking though things. Without getting on a soap box, I'm amazed at the expense, how many of the want to bring religion into it (I'm not overly religious) or even politics (their views not mine). I'm going to checkout some of the virtual counselors this week.

Basically, I feel like everything that I did and spent on getting thinner and healthier was for nought. Almost like the universe said "Yeah, that's cute, nice try!" and then changed the rules on my. I feel robbed of things.

I get it life happens but (as im.sure lots of you can understand) when you spend a lifetime being heavy and working through the ramifications of that, being picked on, not getting jobs, feeling unloved, trying desperately to not call unneeded attention to yourself and you finally find a way to "fit in" it sucks to have a setback.

Sent from my SM-G970U using BariatricPal mobile app

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Have you looked at Holistic Medicine, Functional Medicine, Integrative Medicine or seeing Naturopathic doctor? As a healthcare provider I know that the current state of medicine is in shambles. Providers are burnt out and cannot care for their patients as well due to the demand of insurance companies and performance metrics. The healthcare industry is a business; patients have suffered and providers are emotionally bankrupt because of it. Productivity goals have made the level for care, and time to spend, and talk to & examine patients horrible. There has been a wave of healthcare professional leaving the constructs of the healthcare corporations and opting for lower pay, to get their lives back, care for patients and use their expertise to its highest potential. A lot of these top tier professionals are opting to go into holistic medicine/functional medicine. The providers have the freedom to help patients get to the root cause of their ailment. It would be worth it to give these providers a chance to look into your case. I know this has lowered your trust for healthcare professionals but give one of us the opportunity to gain your respect back. I want to encourage you to overcome all the limiting beliefs and not give up. Help is out there. There is someone who will hear you and has the skill and expertise to aid you in your recovery. Do not stop talking about this and do not stop looking for help. I know it may be hard to see right now but You Got This! :1007_hearts:

Edited by Bee kami

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As a fellow back pain sufferer I understand your struggle and how it can mess up your life. I too have a few herniated discs from a bad car accident but I’d encourage you to explore the dr sarno method. When pain becomes chronic- this method has been a new lease on life for many who had given up on ever feeling better. It’s easy to look up on the web or you can order the books online. I pushed a friend to do it recently after her foot pain could not be helped by any specialist and she’s pain free. It’s not for everyone but thousands have used this method to change their lives and rid themselves of chronic pain and it’s free

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I’m a big fan of acupuncture. When I did my back & ended up with oozing discs, I did three sessions of physio over two weeks & no real help - she just gave me exercises which I religiously did. Went to my acupuncturist & had a dramatic improvement after one session. He used heat lamps & electroacupuncture. Worth a try.

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