How to explain chronic pain to boss?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  lc 6 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #46300

    Fliss
    Participant

    Hi All,

    I have just joined – I’ve suffered with back pain for 12 years, since I was 21 and fell down a flight of stairs.

    I have had 4 MRI’s, a number of X-rays, multiple rounds of physio / acupuncture / laser acupuncture/ chiro / osteo, and nothing has provided anything more than very temporary relief. The best disgnosis I’ve been given is a hazy “degenerative disc disease”.

    I have finally been referred to the pain management clinic, and had an amazing first session, which explained the physiological differences between acute and chronic pain – all of which just made so much sense, and it was just phenomenal to finally understand what was going on.

    Unfortunately, I am in the middle of a flare-up, and have had to call in sick to work for the last two days. I got a response from my boss this morning, saying “Hopefully you can get to the docs and see what they can do”. I don’t know how to respond to that – she knows how long I’ve had back pain, she knows I have been referred to the pain management clinic, and I just feel as though if I don’t go to the GP (which would be an enormous waste of their time), I am going to be looked at as though I am not doing enough to be present at work.

    Does anyone have any advice as to how I can best explain to my boss that it is not as easy as just going to the GP and being given a fix – that there is so much more going on, and that texts like that, however well meaning, are not conducive to me getting better, as now my anxiety has kicked in!!!

    Sorry for the long post – I have no idea if this is ok to post here, but am hoping that someone might be able to advise me, or if anyone has had a similar issue!

    Huge thanks in advance,

    Fliss

    #46302

    lc
    Participant

    Hi Fliss, welcome to this site, there is a lot of info on coping with pain , just click on the link Pain relief. Sorry to hear your in pain.
    I would explain to your boss like this: when they say degenerative disc disease it basically means your disks have deteriorated so that there is no sponginess left,this is normal wear and tear of the spine,and ageing, and over time can cause, as your experiencing a lot of pain by nerve irritation and trapped nerves which as you know can be very debilitating and painful. most hospitals the way they are going is gentle exercising and core strengthening exercises, also need to pace yourself in what you do to try and avoid flare ups, surgery is the last resort ie when you can longer walk or lost bowel and bladder control. at your present stage they will not do anything until that happens. so we all have to suffer, but by exercising as described or gentle swimming can help a bit by keeping your spine more stable. people that do not live with constant pain have no clue about how you feel and what it is like to live with pain.
    it can make you angry,and depressed .Have you done CBT and mindfulness as this can help you mentally cope with living in pain. Hope this helps you explain to your boss that at present they will do nothing until absolute necessary. Let us know how you get on. Take care and best wishes.Lee

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