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Pain that feels like “a burning sensation”: Joe's patient story

 

Video transcription of Joe's patient story:

My name is Joe, I’m 63 years old.

When I was young, I always accompanied my father when he was doing manual work around the house and I loved it; that’s why I decided to become a mechanic. In my free time, I maintain the house and our big garden. My lovely wife and I have lived here together for over 35 years. We have 3 children and 4 grandchildren, who visit us at least once a week.

However, since my lower back started hurting some years ago, I feel limited. Over the years, the pain has gotten worse and worse and now I get a burning sensation and sometimes shooting pains. The diagnosis was osteoarthritis, a disease which causes deterioration of joints.

The worst pain I feel is when I go to sleep in the evenings and when I get out of bed in the mornings. I feel tired all day long because I constantly wake up during night. In addition to that, I can’t bend my back normally because it is too stiff, so certain activities I used to enjoy like playing with my grandchildren are often not possible. I’m also not able to do my job or work around the house and garden. It’s really frustrating and I would love to simply get back to a normal life.

Over the years, I’ve tried different medications none of which improved my situation. For more than one year I’ve been taking anti-inflammatories, which have eased most of the pain but which have some very displeasing side effects, like stomach ache. Additionally, three times a week, I’m going to a physiotherapist but it doesn’t seem to be enough. I still can barely move and I don’t know if it will ever get better.

I can only hope that someday I will be able to enjoy time with my grandchildren and do some work around the house again… I’m really frustrated just staying at home doing nothing.

Later…

I was really depressed until my oldest grandchild Lara stopped by one day and told me about her research on the internet. She told me that there are many resources that talk about a “neuropathic component” in chronic pain. There are studies that show that many people suffering from chronic pain also have their nerves affected. Even though I was skeptical about what she was saying and whether that also affects me, she took me to the doctor. After talking with him about my current situation, which hasn’t improved for a long time, we decided to try a new therapy.

Today, I’m feeling better. Of course, I’m an old man and I cannot move like I used to at 16, but I’m able to do my work again, and most importantly, I can enjoy the time spent with my family.

If Joe's experiences are similar to your own, take the my pain questionnaire to increase your chances to get a correct diagnose and adequate treatment.