I’m no stranger to chronic spine pain. I’m no stranger to watching someone hold back tears from it. Struggling to get up for work. Struggling to be some what comfortable in absolutely every position. Trying to find some sort of relief and getting anxiety over medical doctors and procedures.
Watching my father suffer from debilitating chronic spine pain as a kid growing up has definitely familiarized me with what it’s like to be a parent and put your own pain aside for your kids. Every day he’d wake and immediately grab, massage or put his hand on the area that hurt. As if that was going to help but it’s a reflex when you’re someone whose in pain all the time. Every day he’d take a few minutes to actually move from bed or the couch or a chair. Every day he’d ask us kids to massage his back or karate chop his leg muscles. At first I didn’t realize why he was always asking. At first I thought it was annoying that I always had to stop what I wanted just to help him. After awhile I realized why. He was always in so much pain that anything we’d do for him helped and he’d even pay us a few dollars to massage longer. I loved karate chopping, it was my favorite of the two. I also loved laying back to back on top of him because I knew the weight from my body felt good for his pain. Like pressure points and weighted blankets work for some. I cried at times because I just wanted my dad to feel better. I still cry. I remember him being so upset because he was medically retired due to his disability. I remember being there at the hospital when he had to have work done on his veins in his legs because they weren’t circulating enough.
My father suffers from chronic Degenerative Disc Disease, bulging discs, herniated discs, sciatic pain , Cervical Radiculopathy, Nerve Damage, Restless Leg Syndrome and much more. He still got his butt up every day and went to work! He still made sure we had everything we needed and that all the bills were paid. He never wanted us to struggle and he never lost faith in our Lord and knew GOD has a plan for him.
To this day, my dad still suffers. To this day, he yells out if he moves wrong or his muscles cramp in his legs from lack of circulation. To this day he holds his neck trying to rub it and help hold his head up. To this very day, he doesn’t sleep much and can’t sit for more than a few minutes. My dad showed me what it’s like to suffer and for it to be invisible. My dad showed me what it’s like to have doctors not know how to help you and to not know what to even ask of them. He didn’t know what was wrong. My dad also showed me that avoidance doesn’t help anything and that acting like the pain isn’t there doesn’t make it go away. He tried to ignore his own body. He tried to fight it off and it ended up becoming angrier and more violent for him.
My poor father. He now has to watch me walk the same walk with my spine. I have developed all his issues + extra and at a younger age. My poor father now has to watch me ask all the questions and try to decipher what’s best for myself.
Even so my father also gets to help me and I have someone to turn to when it comes to experience and how to get by in life. I hate that he has had to suffer, I hate that he even developed these issues. I hate that he’s the one I have to turn to. What I don’t hate is that with the new technology and new studies I get to help him as well. What I don’t hate is that I’m much more assertive and questionable when it comes to my doctor visits and that I not only research for myself now, I do it for him now too. My father is finally going to try and undergo a procedure that places electrodes(similar to a tens unit) along the spine where the nerves need it. It will allow him to control the electrical current with a wireless remote sending signals to the cords in his spine. Which will allow him to help his pain when he needs it most.
I’m so proud of my father and how much he’s endured and the fact that he still keeps his faith and he still perseveres. God knew that we were going to need each other. God planned this. So Like Father Like Daughter, we trust Him and we will continue to walk with our heads up. We may complain from time to time and we may ask for help along the way but we are both still Badass Spine Pain Warriors! 💪🏼
To my Dad💙-The Chronically Ill Queen.