Limping Along with Chronic Pain

Neuron Pattern

I want to thank the many of you who kindly offered support and sympathy in response to the recent newsletter about my problem with chronic pain. My case of lumbar spinal stenosis sometimes gives me an aching back but more commonly either weakens or sends a lot of sharp pain down my right leg. This time it happens to be an especially disabling pain that just won’t go away. I am hobbling about with the aid of a cane but find it hard to get much done or focus on anything for long. Even producing a weekly newsletter has proven to be difficult, and I have to suspend its publication for another couple of weeks.

I’m waiting now to discuss the results of an MRI with a neurologist and to find out if an operation might be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerve root. I wish I could speed up their process, but medical bureaucracy takes its own sweet time. If you’re interested, here’s a background piece on lumbar stenosis.

Fortunately, I continue to be free of problems with depression. In fact, I’m excited about starting a new writing venture into fiction. This will take me away from blogging about depression for a while but only because blogging has brought me so far in healing that I want to focus on what lies ahead rather than all that I have been through in the past.

I’ll talk more about this change when I have a bit less pain to deal with and can get back to a regular writing schedule. In the meantime, here are a couple of posts by Dick Sederquist about his experience with spinal stenosis, and about the day his post-surgery pain broke, as well as an inspiring piece by Dan Lukasik about resilience. These have been helpful to read in the past week.

Thank you all for your support.

4 Responses to “Limping Along with Chronic Pain”

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  1. Dave says:

    Hi John,

    I can really sympathize with you. If your neurologist suggests surgery, you can be confident of good results. I had spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis and ended up having a spinal fusion and laminectomy. The surgery went well and the PCA pump (morphine) kept me relatively pain free the day after surgery. Within a week of going home, I was walking a few miles every day (partly to keep from going stir-crazy) and was able to use just tramadol for the pain. Within three weeks I was off pain meds. I am very pleased with the outcome of the surgery and consider it well worth it. The recovery is long, since it takes about a year for the spine to fuse comepletely, and it is certainly not fun, but it’s not that bad. Personally, a major depression is much more difficult to go through.

    Best of luck,

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Dave -

      Thanks for letting me know. I’ve heard about good results from operations like yours from others as well, and it’s so hopeful to know that things can get better. Going for long walks is my number one day dream at the moment!

      My best to you –


  2. Thinking of you, John, and sending lots of positive thoughts for healing your way….

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Thanks, Janet -

      All my best to you. It does help having some experience at living with a chronic condition.