Patient & Physican Feedback
My Chronic Pain Journey — Joy P.
Greetings! My name is Joy, and I have been living with chronic pain for 50 years.
My average pain level is a 9 or greater out of a ten scale. I have dealt with migraines for most of my life and developed daily headaches. I also deal with spinal stenosis that affects the nerves in my lower back, including my sciatic nerve. If the pain is bad enough, I cannot stand. My neck is permanently fused as a result of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), or Forestier’s disease. I experience pain in many other areas of my body; however, they are simply too many to list.
Chronic pain affects all parts of my life, including my work life. I am a teacher, and I cannot teach in the way I would like. Instead of being able to stand, walk or move in the way I wish, I have to use a wheelchair. Over time, I’ve lost friends and family due to my chronic pain. This is very frustrating; however, I’ve learned on whom I can rely as a result.
My life is very hard right now. Even though I still work, I need assistance to do many things. I can no longer drive. I must use my wheelchair, and I have to depend on medication to feel well enough to function. If I could go back to when all of this started and give myself one piece of advice, it would be, “You can do this.”
I find the PainScale app to be helpful. It provides information about pain, medications, and medical help. Furthermore, a community is available on PainScale, giving me access to others with similar conditions. It helps to know that I’m not in this alone.