- What was my best business decision?
- What was my worst decision?
- Did I have a light bulb moment?
I do sound pretty awful recorded though!
Spinal surgery due to chronic back pain in the under 45s is rare. It is a common surgery for those in later life. This means that consultants are used to dealing with the older generation and there is lots of emotional support out there for those patients. Also, when you are younger, whilst you have the advantage of youth the recovery from the surgery is quicker, emotionally it is much harder as we tend to slow down in life as we get older so you do not feel as debilitated. When you are younger and working 50-60 hours a week, socialising, running around bringing up young children etc. the impact of living with such chronic pain or following surgery can be extremely emotional as there are so many things you find a struggle.
If you are physically able, I would recommend finding a 'distraction technique'. This is usually something creative like baking, painting, drawing etc.. it should give you a bit of a rest from the pain or stressful surroundings for a moment.
I was quite fortunate to have permanent health insurance included in my work package so whilst I was off, my employer was considerably supportive as they had no costs to support me. However, I have been told I can only work part time and my employer has just terminated my contract as they could not make reasonable adjustments to allow me to return part time. This means I am now unemployed and looking for part time work (which is scarce) whilst trying to cope with my pain and adjustment to a new life.
Don't be fooled though - I have been through some really dark times over the past 2 years fighting such pain and then the adjustment of a new life and mourning my old one. However, I have been extremely fortunate to have had 12 months of therapy where I have been taught how to focus on the positives in my life and not dwell on negative things that I cannot change.
I also attended a 6 week NHS course in my local area called The Expert Patient. This course teaches those with chronic illnesses how to manage their days. It teaches how to be positive - you even get a course book. Again, although I was the youngest in the group by about 40 years, don't be put off by going if you think it may help. I ended up having a lot of fun with the group.
So many things I can't even begin to list them all, but here are a few: