It's like that sound when you turn on the television and there's no signal. That's what it does to you, chronic pain. It's just like this distracting noise in your life that never goes away.
Socially it's hard. I have to stand in the back of my classes and do physical therapy. Everyone is looking at me thinking, "what the funky thing is he doing?" And moreover, I strut down the street sporting a rolly backpack and I get all these looks like "for real dude? A rolly backpack?" I wanna be like "hey, I got back problems," or put a sign on the rolly backpack explaining things. But perhaps that would just draw even more attention so I guess I won't do that.
There was a while when I was taking upwards of 25-30 painkillers a day. I didn't have health insurance at the time so I really didn't know what else to do. And I thought, well maybe I should just rest some more. So I stopped going to class, and I stayed inside all day. But things just got worse. So then a good friend of mine, who had dealt with similar issues, encouraged me to look at the problem holistically. I had no social life to bring me any pleasure. And by not going to class I was dealing with more stress from being behind in my work. So I changed things up and things got better. Much better.
And of course it's still hard. But through eating well, and working out, and hanging out with friends, and studying, and praying, and even getting matching boots with my girlfriend, I'm doing so well for the first time in a long time. And I've discovered that the louder I make the sounds of the joys in my life, the more seemingly mute the static becomes. And so until one of my doctors can figure out what's going on I guess that's how you get through it. I guess that's how you don't let the pain hurt you.