decision making 101.

Have you ever gotten to a point where you’ve made so many bad decisions that you don’t trust yourself to make any decisions at all? I have.

Do you find yourself thinking ‘I don’t know what to do’ all the damn time? I do.

Whenever I have to make a decision of any kind, I’m buried in a flood of memories of past decisions and the regrets I have today because of them. Seriously… before I even come up with solution options, I’m drowning in past mistakes.

The current situation is related to my back pain… the subject of my secret post a couple of weeks ago. What I said in that post… was that I was waiting to see my physical therapist again before deciding what I should do next. I’m still doing the stretches and exercises she has given me. I’m still not getting better. I wasn’t expecting a miracle but after six weeks, I hoped I’d see some improvement. I really haven’t.

Today, I told her that I think I should move on to a specialist. I will continue doing the exercises, but clearly I need something more. My PT contacted my regular doctor so my doc could set up a referral for me. That’s it. Sounded like my doc would get me an appointment with a specialist… and I’d get that injection (or injections?) that both my doc and my PT had mentioned.

This afternoon, my doctor called. She told me the next step would be to have an MRI. Whoever she refers me to will need that. She still mentioned injections but she also told me that the curve in my spine “complicates things a lot,” and she started talking about surgery. I started sobbing and I’ve been a mess ever since.

I was left feeling more hopeless than ever… because I don’t think I would ever consent to surgery. So I will be in pain forever.

I think my pain is contributing to my depression more than I ever realized. When I feel less pain, I feel emotionally better… and when the pain is bad, I experience such deep sadness that I can’t help but cry.

At this point, I feel like the choice I made today was wrong. Telling the PT that I thought I should move on to something else… was that a mistake? Because now I’m scared and totally freaked out. I don’t want the MRI. And I don’t want to go see someone who’s going to try to push me into having surgery that may leave me paralyzed for the rest of my life. I know that sounds overly dramatic, but that’s my fear. And it won’t quit. I cannot imagine ever having back surgery of any kind. If that’s my only option, I’m just going to be in pain for the rest of my life. Does it even matter? I’m in pain all the time now and I manage to live a normal life. I’m not climbing any mountains or staying on my feet for hours at a time… and I don’t know what it’s like to be pain free… but I’m okay, I guess.

I feel helpless and hopeless about this. It has totally ruined my day. I want to curl up in my closet and hide from the world.

And I want someone else to make all my decisions for me. Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.

Well… if I can. I’m self-aware enough to know what I am and am not capable of…

 


©2017 what sandra thinks

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About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Hawaii where she could learn to surf. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
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50 Responses to decision making 101.

  1. mandibelle16 says:

    Hi Sandra. I don’t know everything about your situation, but I was sharing with another blogger, the other day, about using these bags (fabric essentially) filled with flax. The bags last a long while and the flax is excellent b/c the oil within them hold heat well or can be put in the freezer. If you check Etsy there’s a lady on there who makes them. I had one before that was similar around my neck, shoulders, and back and it did wonders as my medications at one time led to terrible muscle joint pain and the heat helped a lot, even if I had to use it 3 or 4 times. If I told you this I’m sorry to repeat but I was able to not have to take muscle relaxants except on my worst days. I don’t have this pain as much now but the flax bag works wonders when I do need it, as with the Chronic Fatigue it’s kind of always a dull ache that gets worse after hours writing or doing errands.

    Second, I think I told you massage before. A deep tissue, amazing really. If your insurance doesn’t cover, check out Groupon for spa places nearby or easy to get to, as you can save a great deal of money that way, especially this time of year. This did wonders for me as well when I had to take meds that made this pain/stiffness worse and if I went once a month my neck/back/shoulders were so much better, if I skipped a month I noticed it a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wish I could afford to get massages, but I can’t. I’ve tried to find deals and discounts around here but I’ve found nothing. I’m not sure how it is in other parts of the country (or world) but around here, it would be at least $100 per massage. There’s no way I can do that.

      The fabric bag you describe sounds like something I was given when I was pregnant. I still have it but I haven’t used it in a long time. Maybe I will pull that out and try it.

      Unfortunately, because of the underlying problem, even if I can get some pain relief, the problem will never go away so the pain will always be back…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mandibelle16 says:

        I understand about the massages. Try the bag it might alleviate or relax muscles temporarily even and yes it would probably be something pregnant women would find very useful too so I think it’s the same. Is your back like Sciatica, a pinched nerve? Or your spine is out of alignment? I hope you can solve the underlying problem. I just thought Massage might be cheaper than having medical stuff done if it works. Sometimes there are many Groupons out with certain deals and others none at all, just depends. Sorry You couldn’t find one currently.
        Hope you aren’t in too much pain and keep up with your stretches or some yoga if possible, I know keeping moving helps if you can. Merry Christmas anyways.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you. The PT did say pinched nerve… and my spine has a curve so that’s messing things up. I’m going to try anything I can…

          Liked by 1 person

          • mandibelle16 says:

            Yeah for sure you got to. My ex had Sciatica which is usually what that is, massage helped a great deal along with the chiropractor. But if you choose a chiropractor to realign your back, be really sure, they can make it worse too. You should be able to find more medical type places that don’t charge as much as as say a spa. Maybe at a chiropractor or naturopath for massages I mean. Or my other idea is that some places whether medical or spa offer shorter massages sometimes for 30 or 45 minutes which cost less and might be more in your budget and would just focus on your problem area of your back and around it. Oh I see, about the curve, no that doesn’t help eithor. Best of luck. If I think/see anything that could help I’ll let u know.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Marquessa says:

    On the massage point, years ago I put my name on a list at a “beauty” school, meaning that when their massage therapy students needed “live bodies” to practice on, they charged $20 per massage. Maybe you have something similar. Kind of like getting your hair done at a teaching salon with students for $8 (they are always supervised)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marquessa says:

    I have a relative with severe scoliosis so I understand the fear of surgery. On someone else making decisions for you…I often wish that too until I realize that I’m the only one who can decide what feels right in the moment and for the future. No surgery means looking into alternative therapies…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chronic pain can absolutely affect depression. As for the PT and/or surgery, as a therapist myself, I can attest that there is sometimes nothing more we can do. Sometimes the specialist is needed. And sometimes surgery is needed. At least go get the MRI and consult. At least you’d know what you’re looking at. And you can always say no to whatever they suggest. But the not knowing is is what I’d hate.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Meg says:

    Beach is right. The MRI is a test, a tool to determine what to do next. Surgery may still not be the only option available to you. The MRI will help with the best diagnosis and treatment plan going forward. It will show you what’s happening to all the nerves, soft tissue and muscle in the area. And it will give your doctors more information to work with. Like Beach said, you get to decide what to do after that. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I finally made myself okay with the idea of injections but now I’m worried they’re going to skip over that because my curved spine “complicates things a lot”… I don’t know how to deal with any of this anymore. My chiropractor doesn’t even think I should get injections… He thinks that would only mask the pain, if it helps at all, and I’m too young to rely on that for the rest of my life. But he hasn’t seen the x-rays. And I wish I could get some relief from the pain. I’m tired of wanting to die after I stand in the kitchen make dinner or doing anything else on my feet. But if surgery is all they offer, I guess that’s just how it will be… the constant pain, I mean.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. jackcollier7 says:

    The MRI is just like an x-Ray, nothing to worry about. The injections might hurt a tiny little bit, but I’m certain they will make you feel better ❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The V Pub says:

    I had chronic pain in my left arm. It was debilitating. I wouldn’t go to sleep – I’d pass out from the pain. Then after a few hours, I was awake and in pain. PT was the worst for me. Then I went for cortisone shots – they didn’t last. I finally went to a neurosurgeon who recommended spinal fusion. After an MRI and myelogram, I was scheduled for surgery. That was 6 years ago. To this day, I don’t have any pain. My only regret was not doing this sooner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you were able to get the pain resolved. It sounds miserable. Sleep is not a problem for me as lying in bed is where I’m most comfortable (how convenient… ha). I think the PT exercises have “strengthened my core,” as they say. I’m going to keep doing them but they’re not helping my back pain. My fear is something going wrong… anything spine-related scares me to death. I know I’m crazy, but all I can think is… what if I never walk again? But knowing that you see pain free gives me some hope. I can’t even imagine being without this pain…

      Like

  8. Start with the MRI and find out what’s going on. Try not to let the anxiety get the best of you. Just one step st a time sending gentle hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ogden Fahey says:

    I had to have an operation one time and I was terrified I’d die on the table, but they talked me into it cos they knew what was needed and I had to give in in the end, it was such a drag, and I’m not proud I made it thru, not really, cos I was such a wuss about it, but the instinct about trust is a bit odd with me, maybe for others too, but if its fight or flight, for me its flight – until I finally realise and accept wisdom I guess. Good luck, I hope you find the solution for your woes XX

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Simon says:

    Hi Sandra, huge hugs to you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hunida says:

    I always make bad decisions, too. Like you, I don’t trust myself to make them anymore! I can never make up my mind about anything. I know how you feel. They should give you OxyContin lol, jk…hope the MRI goes well. If you are scared to do the surgery, don’t do it but you should at least find out if you need it! Best of luck. ❤ *Hugs!*

    Liked by 1 person

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