When I had severe chronic neck, shoulder and back pain myself in the 3-year period between 2010 and 2013, I could actually only lie on my back. But I can’t really sleep on my back. While your body needs that sleep so badly to be able to restore the muscles.
Yes you read that right, I’ve also had chronic pain myself. And not just a bit. I really couldn’t do anything anymore.
At the time I worked at a travel agency and had just been working for a new employer for 1 month. I had a great time and enjoyed going to work every day.
Suddenly out of nowhere my right shoulder started to ‘bother’ me. It went from ‘bothering’ to severe pain and not being able to use my mouse anymore with right. Then I’ll do it with the left I thought. Then I got the same complaints left. I got painkillers from the doctor, but when they ran out, I was back to square one. It got so bad that every day I was near to crying from the pain during my tram ride to home after work. It was unbearably painful, but I had never given up on anything in my life, so I didn’t want to give up on my new job.
My physio gave me muscle strengthening exercises but that only made everything worse.
After six months of pain, I threw the towel in the ring for the first time in my life. I quit my job, it was no longer possible due to the pain. I was officially declared unable for 83% (because of chronic neck, back and shoulder pain AND visually impaired) and received a WIA benefit.
So there I was, 27 years young, at home, rejected and on benefits. Just recently with a new rental home, but no more job. And when my doctor and physio told me after a long time of research and many different treatment methods that I had to live with it that it might never get better than it was now, I was also without a future. At least, that’s how I saw it at the time, of course. Because well, I couldn’t work anymore, I was just at home all day, I just wanted to sleep in bed all day because when I was sleeping, that was the only moment I didn’t feel the pain. I no longer participated in society, going out dancing with friends was just very painful, I could no longer exercise (which was/is my biggest hobby and outlet), the household was barely doable, I could not even lift up a glass to drink something without pain!
The situation was not only physically very difficult because of the constant pain, but mentally it was also very difficult. That is something many people often don’t realize, that chronic pain is also mentally very heavy for you.
Maybe now you think, geez Karlien, how unpleasant for you all of that (or maybe not haha). Anyway, I can tell you that I am really EXTREMELY grateful that I got to experience it! REALLY THANKFUL. You may think that I am not quite right with my head, but that is not so much the case. It’s just that this pain period has taught me so much! And it has brought me where I am now, as a chronic pain specialist with my own pain experience! So I know EXACTLY what it is like! And what I can do to fix it!
Eventually, contrary to what my practitioners and specialists said that was no longer possible, I relieved myself of my pain for 100%. Because what I learned during my own pain period and also experienced and learned in my practice in the years that followed is what all these practitioners and specialists said was the cause of my pain, was not the real cause at all! It was the CONSEQUENCE, it was symptoms, pain symptoms, but not the CAUSE. And because of that I was presented with the wrong treatments! Namely treatments aimed at the CONSEQUENCE, on the SYMPTOMS! This is also called symptom relief or sympton treatment…
So I myself was my very first client. I have never had any pain since 2013, not even a headache anymore!
Despite the pain, I wish you a nice day today! (and today think about what lessons you can possibly get or maybe have already taken from your own pain period and let me know in a comment below this blog)
PS: below you can see my personal AFTER photo. It was a great victory and milestone for me which I was very happy with.