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PTSD and Chronic Pain

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by kguyton, Jan 13, 2007.

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  1. kguyton

    kguyton New Member

    My husband was a paratrooper and had a terrible accident where his chute partially opened. He was lucky to survive it - let alone walk again. However, his lower back was pretty wrecked - and he began jumping again right away (apparantly - this is procedure to not allow them to get too scared to go up again)

    Anyway, he was in chronic back pain for years. Which guess what? Lead to depression and a raging Vicodin addiction. Before he finally totally lost it - he had gone through a partially filled prescription of 90 pills in seven days. Obviously, this was killing him - and he was detoxed at the VA hospital. Well now he has a banner on his computer file at the VA - "Opiate addiction" so no more painkillers from the VA. Naturally he was panicked (and I was gravely concerned) at the thought of going through life in excruciating pain.

    Fortunately, we live in Houston Texas - which has a world renowned medical center and doctors that switch out from VA and Baylor school of medicine. So they went to work fixing his pain. They did the most amazing procedure where a team of docs did a nerve block as the chief surgeon directed it from a live, "real time" MRI on his computer screen. AMAZING.

    Then poof! He was out of pain for the first time in years. He looked panic stricken because his former docs in another city (I wont name names) told him he would be in a wheelchair in ten years, he would loose control of his bodily functions, and the best he could hope for was pain management through painkillers.

    The Houston docs, said "Go on with your life young man - we'll see you again when you are ready" You will not be in a wheelchair in years,, you are in good shape, you are young - and you have a full life ahead of you." We will manage your pain.

    The thing is - i saw him look as though someone had literally pulled the rug out from under him. He had no chronic pain to blame for everything that was wrong. He was angry - that he had been sold a dead end story - and now was being told - "oh nevermind that". He said things like, "I'm not making it up - I really have been in pain" as if no one believed him. This wasn't true - no one thought he was "faking". He looked physically unsteady as all his "crutches" had been removed.

    It's not to say of course, that he didn't have other problems (It took getting rid of the physical pain to find the PTSD) But he panicked - and I saw it happen. All of a sudden he had to "be normal" and I guess that was the first time that both of us knew there was something else....what could it be that is wrong? (PTSD)

    When his counselor really pushed him to recognize potential cases of the trauma....he panicked again - and said, I have been making all this shit up - there is nothing I can think of that has made me like this????I didn't see enemy fire! Yes, we took hostages, but c'mon - thats nothing....I said, "Honey - what about your parachuting accident?" He said, Nah thats just part of the job. It happens. It's no big deal!" Then when I convinced him that his stories were making me physically sick (others dying around him) - he wrote it all down - and now they are getting somewhere.
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  3. johnny_longtorso

    johnny_longtorso New Member

    yay!! It sounds like there is progress being made!
    Wow, with the surgery being such a success, he is going to have to unlearn all of his previous beliefs about what he is capable of accomplishing and start to go out and live again---a sure source of stress and fear. I'm not trying to pee on your parade and I am really happy that progress is being made with his counselor.
  4. wildcritter44

    wildcritter44 Active Member

    glad yr hubby had positive surgery

    my hubby is jumping thru the VA hoops doing testing for his back.

    His parachute was under cut, dropping him 70 ft. Drs said he was "lucky to be alive" but he's saying he isn't so sure. Having PTSD problems from drug interdiction situations. VA doesn't really want to help.

    feel helpless sometimes
    being on the forum helps

    take care

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