I Miss the Person I Used to Be

By Deanna Singleton, Guest Columnist

I'm not the same person I was 8 years ago. It's not because I went through a tragic life experience or that I finally figured out the point of life.

It was that one day, all of a sudden, I opened my eyes in the morning and both my legs were in pain. And over the course of the last 8 years it keeps getting worse. I have advanced spinal stenosis, three bulging discs and degenerative disc disease.

It’s now to the point that at the age of 36, it takes everything I have to get in the shower or to just make a dinner for my kids and hubby. And if I actually do take a shower or do dishes, I'm usually in tears from the pain. I can't move the rest of the day from that small activity. Some days, just the water hitting or running over my skin is enough to make the average person want to die.

I want my life back. I didn't ask for this daily pain.

The first thing I think about when I open my eyes in the morning is where are my medications. I have to take pain medication just to walk through my house or to play with my children.

DEANNA SINGLETON

DEANNA SINGLETON

I used to have a very clean home. Now, not so much. Now it’s normal to walk into my home and see a mountain of clothes filling one whole couch. I loved to clean my house and make it a beautiful home for my family. I used to be out in my garden or flower beds, because that's my happy place. But I can no longer go there.

I used to be able to take my three girls on a walk to the park. Or walk the mall. Now I'm just lucky to be able to walk the grocery store, using the cart as a walker just long enough to get stuff for dinner.

Last but not least, I used to be a great wife. Smiling, happy and at the door to greet my husband after working a long hard day, with makeup and hair done. To make sure he remembers why he comes home every day. 

It's hard to feel pretty when you hurt so bad. Now I'm probably on the couch or in bed with my pajamas still on. With no makeup and hair in a messy bun. No more greetings at the door. And a smile no where to be found.

I used to be a great partner who was loving and affectionate. Who made sure my husband was happy in every way. Now it hurts so bad that we both just feel terrible afterwards.  Me because of the pain level, and him because he feels bad and that it's his fault now.

I used to work at two jobs, until I lost my pain meds due to my doctor not being comfortable any longer prescribing opioids because of the CDC guidelines and our local DEA. I was told by the doctor that he could no longer prescribe my medication.  And just like that, I went from 190 mg of oxycodone a day down to zero. No tapering.  My body then went into massive withdrawal.  I thought I was going to die. And since then I can no longer work.

In the state of Oregon we find no relief or sympathetic doctors who are willing to prescribe these life saving opiates that have been proven to give me my life back. And it's all because doctors are too scared of the CDC and the DEA to treat us patients, who rely on these meds to have any function or quality of life.

I have never wanted someone to cut into my body so bad. But no surgeon will do my surgery till I turn 40. My primary care provider will barely give me tramadol.  I've been to every specialist possible. And gone through countless medications, physical therapies and injections.

I'm just asking our medical doctors to do the job they once probably loved and not be so afraid to treat their patients as they know best. And let me be the mom and wife I used to be, and know I can be once again.

I just want my life back. For my kids, my marriage and for a somewhat active life.  I will start my life at 40.  I will probably be the happiest woman ever to return 40.

Deanna Singleton lives in Oregon with her family.  She is a proud supporter of #PatientsNotAddicts on Facebook and on Twitter.

Pain News Network invites other readers to share their stories with us.  Send them to:  editor@PainNewsNetwork.org.

The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Pain News Network.