Nerve Endings

I have experienced back pain for as long as I can remember. The pain centers on my upper back, shoulders, neck, and jaw. My TMJ has resulted in a bite-plate lost somewhere in my closet, and a long trail of failed dentists. When I am happier, my jaw feels better. It’s an easy equation.

My back, however, is not simply a matter of stress. For about ten years, my upper back has been a mess of knots, pulls, and strung out nerves. It could have been the car accident in 2001, when my best friend flipped her tiny Mazda over into a pile of rocks, or the time in 1994 I fell out of that same friend’s second floor window onto a hard pile of mulch. It could be the double D’s I carry on a five foot three frame, or the posture I’ve taken on to hunch over. There’s the way I slump over the ubiquitous keyboard that has been under my hands since my first hp 386, or the handbag that must, absolutely must, carry reading materials.

More than likely, it’s my desk job: the crappy, wobbly chair that was built to comfortably seat a 250 pound 6 foot two man, the crappy 14 inch monitor, the keyboard raised so high it strains my wrists…

So I’ve been in pain for years. How shitty is that? I rarely have a day my back doesn’t hurt. Maybe it’s why I drink as often as I do. I shudder to think the amount of times I’ve gladly gone for happy hour after a particularly painful writing session. I have no problem popping muscle relaxers or vicodin or ativan — anything to help calm my back. I will melt into putty the second a boy offers me a massage.

(Too much back story, I know.)

Today something snapped. The pain is radiating from my back, starting at my shoulder and sending shock waves down my arm, snapping into my wrist, and pooling in my thumb. The whole hand is pins and needles, half numb, weak, and somewhat burning.

It hurts to write, which is unfair and cruel and bullshit. That’s my job. And it’s my fucking love. Take it away, and I am useless. I am the other kind of putty.

The agony is embarassing, because you can’t even see it. I wish body pain were bloody, because I think my coworkers think of me as a whiny brat. And I am. But I usually only tear up when things get too excuciating to bare. And I’ve hit the breaking point.

It’s taken too long to write this. It’s taken hours, tiny little bursts, which has made this fragmented and lame.  Moreso than usual.

As if the pain wasn’t bad enough.


4 responses to “Nerve Endings

  1. That sounds like either a pinched nerve or disc problems… egads. Back pain’s the worst next to tooth pain. So sorry… I’ve had back pain as long as I can remember, too, but it’s my lower back. I can’t drive a car longer than three hours without shooting pains in my lower back that travel down to my legs and then my feet go numb. I blame it on the boobs (DD’s here, too) and writing, too. And this godawful chair I sit in 8 hrs a day. I keep saying I am going to get a deep tissue massage. Maybe that would help you? That, and copious amounts of muscle relaxers and single malt. This is my recommendation. :)

  2. My boobs are not DD (more like a small C). My lower backpain is due to a preponderance of adipose tissue on my lower abdomen. Regardless, I’m sure my pain is not quite the level of either of yours. I would only entreat, nay plead to you, Ms. Subway, that you seek some medical attention. And threaten your employers with workers compensation claims if they don’t provide a more ergonomic workspace. Seriously. D0n’t be a fricken martyr.

  3. Pingback: Irony & Wine « Subway Philosophy

  4. ( am bit dyslexic but please read) I have had facet injections & three Epidural blockers, I am constantly in aches & pains more then i can remember, It’s only late’ly I have been trying to think the last time i was actually happy. Now it feels like im invisible no one really cares about my ordeals of pain and days i have jus done nothing all day except for being in pain now inital prognosis was disc degenertive disease as i had 2 Mri scans But i knew i was still in moderate-severe pain where it feels like my back is constanly burning but the aches travel to my Left foot which makes it cramp up & aches, my othr foot aint as bad just like radial pain i dont knmy knee well both knees then i sometimes get leg cramps. I am now 30 and have been going thru this ordeal fro 5-8 years first five years i jus took it in my stide with pride as it was mild – slighty moderate say scale of 0.9-4/4.5 but after while it was always same most of the time i didnt feel it as i was drinking alcohol to numb it goin out with mates but now my life feels likei t’s disappearing in front of me because I am sure that all this pain is from a RTA i had in March 1989 I got ran over well i actually saved a boys life, Tina witness said she could rmember seeing me dive & push barry out of way, i was in coma for 3 months had fractured skul Fractured pelvis broken ribs &left sided nerve palsy & I am getting more deaf in my left ear i have been suffering frm tinitus ( where you hear sounds from hearing tests ) I just dont know what to do anymore because it feels like I put all my faith in the nhs specialiststo make me better as they have expertise & special equipment except for them discograms my consultant said they are not scientifficly accurate as the Radiologist relys on me to pinpoint the source of pain i can show them but it does’nt tell them what they need to know So there i am sedated trying to rely on them pinpointing it but after that i had another epidural blocker now they tell me i have lots of dead nerve endings from which i have done some research to which i am now dismayed as, There is no way to restore life to dead nerve endings, Apparantly Hydrotherapy maybe the next answer or me being another statistic, so now i have dead muscles which can be restored i think, two worn & torn discs diagnosed as degenertive disc disease and this burning i am on pethedine but they dont really help same as them garbapentin, aslong as ican get good bit of sleep which i do from sleeping tablets but now i think im immune to them now as they only work if i drink alcohol or just take couple extra zolpidem & amitriptyline i just dont seem to have a rythem as my mind is consumed with pain through this endless strain to much on the brain feeling like im in segregation or summit just in degradation feels like total isolation thru this anialation its like some sorta new education which should be some fucking vocation. I am sorry about my grammer/ spelling mistakes. I would really appreciate being told at face value rather than put myself through years of misery. So plaese if you have any helpfull & insightfull knowledge of pain in your veins does actally get better or worse, Any types of treatment i have not tryed or had offered to me? other medications except pethidin which started of workin because i remember washing dishes in my kitchen & just for that once i realised i was actually pain free minded, Now this i was actually excited & started to feel optimistic again onlyfor short period now i am strting with painkillers i am currently taking my doseage is 3 * 50 mg pethedine, between 8-12 50 mg tramadol I was told up to 12 a day ( they done me no good & i was not comfortable to being told to take 50% more than the recommended highest doseage of 8 capsules, 100 mg NEURONTIN garbapentin daily, then there was naproxen last took in new year as i could drink alcohol and i drank loads over xmas & new year diclofenic to which i also take up to 3 * 50 mg plus thers cocodamol & paracetomal to which i jus dont find scratches the surface of pain & I am starting too feel like some sorta Lab rat thanks for letting me rant would like to hopefully hear from you soon.

    thanks for taking time to read my story


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