I too suffer from chronic pain, due to Degenerative Disc Disease. I have had 4 surgeries directly related to this, and 6 surgeries for various other problems, though none were elective. I know I need another operation on my neck, which would be the 3rd there, because the fingers in my left hand are going numb.
I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 15 yrs old, and went through 2 1/2yrs of pain, which included getting weekly shots of Gold Salt Injections, and weekly blood & urine tests. That in itself was pain enough, but I also had to sell my horse which I'd only had for about 3 months (a childhood dream, unable to come true til then due to moving every 3 or so years as we were a military family), was in the hospital 6 times one summer, and had to travel by helicopter to Keesler Air Force Base by myself for a week of testing.
Now as an adult I've had a total of 10 operations in the last 15yrs, and believe me there's nothing I'd like better than to be free from all this pain. I'm on a prescription plan which includes Methadone, Lortabs, and various other pills, just to maintain the pain, but it doesn't really go away, does it?! I've applied for disability, as I'm a single parent, and haven't been able to work since last October, therefore I have no insurance for myself. I was denied the first time by the people who decide whether or not you're able to work, so I've retained an attorney to file an appeal, which takes anywhere from 12 to 14 months!! I now have maybe 8 months to go before the appeal. I now have been diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder, thanks to all the red tape. I am blessed enough to have a mother and an ex-husband who are helping to pay our rent and untility bills, (my mother is using her retirement savings which makes me feel guilty as hell), and we at least qualified for food stamps. What on earth do people do if they have no one to help them? I firmly believe that's where a lot of our homeless people come from, waiting on our government to help them.
I've lost 2 jobs, and a 2yr scholarship, so believe me when I say I DO understand your pain. All we can do is what we are doing, which is just getting through one day at a time. And pray alot. One of my doctors said recently that God must be preparing me for something special. I can believe and accept that, but I'd sure like to know WHEN?!!! Seriously, I'd like to go back to school and major in psychology, because I believe I could help other women in going through times and circumstances like ours.