After more than a nearly uninterrupted 22 years of being unable to work, I recently went to work as a contract psychotherapist for a very good clinic in Chicago.
I was able to do this after a fall on unseen ice in 2013 led to a 3 month bout with the worst sustained pain I’ve ever experienced. When I fell on the ice I landed with a shattering jolt on my back. The pain was finally figured out by both my neurologist and pain docs who after looking at the results of an MRI found that the force of the fall jammed several bolts implanted during spinal surgery 12 years before into the surrounding tissue. In addition the same happened with the battery to my spinal cord stimulator and its wires threaded upwards on my lower spine.
I submitted to a dual surgery with both docs, one removing the hardware from the previous spinal surgery and the other removing the spinal cord stimulator. When I woke up in the recovery room the pain was simply and astoundingly gone. For good.
It took me a while to get the other pain under control but got it when my regular doc upped upped the fentanyl to a dosage high enough to quell the worst of the pain.
As it became clear that the reduction in pain wasn’t a fluke of…well…pain I began to work on getting my license to practice reinstated and then talked to the clinic and we decided on the contract.
I am also restarting a small private practice where I hope to work with people who live with intractable pain.
Even though I’m now in my mid 60s it’s been a thrill to work again and to find the work as invigorating as I did in my 40s.
The last issue I had to deal with was the recognition that my pain had up until then not been treated as aggressively as it should have. I was only mildly pissed off about that as I was so thankful to be able to work again.