NURSE CHRISTINE THE PATIENT

nurse Christine
Posted July 5, 2016 from Kenya

Being a nurse and doing the nursing work has been my greatest fulfillment,with the ups and downs of everyday it never gets boring. Being a patient on the other hand in the hands of ones colleagues and in the midst of those that you have been taking care of is something different all together.It all started with a sort of cold feeling kind of pain around the neck,my right hand had a kind of numbness and my shoulder got easily fatigued.It became impossible to carry my handbag,by evening my shoulder blades and entire hand was on fire.While i first sought medical attention,i had a plain Xray of the neck that revealed Oesteophytes (this are bone spurs or abnormal growths that appear where the joints have wear and tear).After several sessions of physiotherapy and no actual relieve,i sought more help.The neurologist i saw had me do an MRI,which revealed a nerve compression along the cervical (neck) vertebrae.I was put on thousands of pain killers,physiotherapy sessions that i do to date which include neck traction,ultrasound,heat therapy......The cold makes me sick,i hate July,i hate evenings,i hate stress the pain is unending.Have you met someone with similar complains?Its rather exhausting and depressing especially when people do not understand what chronic pain does to a client.I have heard words like ....you are always sick?its that headache of yours again?yours is chronic there's nothing we can do... Chronic pain has its acute phases too and the difference between acute pain and chronic is that chronic pain doesn't just go away.Cervical spondylosis is also cervical osteoarthritis and can affect anyone especially after the age of 40.patients experience arm,hand or finger weakness,neck pain radiating down the arm and headaches. My journey with the cervical spondolysis,nearly took me to a depression. I often came to work pain free and due to work load I would end up with a numb hand and with no one to turn to.....people hardly understood what I was going through or maybe just did not want to understand. I often found myself walking with strong oral pain relievers and when it got worse I found my way to an injection. Spending hours in the MRI tunnel with the accompanying noise everytime the doctor needed to know if my neck was getting better was not my cup of tea. Having to wear a neck collar was yet another bitter pill to swallow.The thing does not allow easy movement, it does not allow you to turn the way you want neither does it allow you to work which means I had to defy the doctors orders and stay without. I have since almost developed coping mechanisms, I have learnt how to keep the smile even when my hand is numb or when my neck is burning in pain. I have also learnt to understand my patients better, I now know what it really means to say pain is what one says it is and where one says it is. There maybe no permanent cure for cervical spondylosis but there definitely is a way towards living positively. I may never be able to live up to my dream of living in Canada but I will have lived my dream of encouraging you and another person going through the pain of arthritis or any kind of chronic pain

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Tamarack Verrall
Jul 05, 2016
Jul 05, 2016

Dear Nurse Christine,

You have given me an important look within the experience of chronic pain, what courage it takes to continue to do what you can despite such an ongoing draw on your energy. I trust that your words will lessen the unhelpful and hurtful comments of others, and create better understanding and capacity for compassion and support. I'll keep your message in mind that going through tough times can at least make us helpful and aware of how to be helpful to others. If you ever get to Canada I hope to meet you.

nurse Christine
Jul 05, 2016
Jul 05, 2016

Thank you Tam,thank you for your kind words and i surely hope to meet you in Canada one day

helen.ng
Jul 08, 2016
Jul 08, 2016

Thank you for sharing your story. I truly admire your strength, courage, and persistence throughout your painful journey with cervical spondylosis. You sharing your voice in what it is like to live with chronic pain has opened up my mind to what I could never imagine. 

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