Chronic Pain Testimonies

Real stories of individuals dealing with chronic pain

My Name is Anne-Marie, and this is My Story...

My Story Testimonial

I am among the millions of people whose lives have been affected by chronic pain...

I’ll never forget that day on March 29, 2009. I woke up to the most severe pain in my legs and lower back and could barely manage to walk. It came on suddenly, without warning, and intensified so quickly that I had to call in sick to work. My husband rushed me to the Emergency Room. After a series of tests such as x-rays, blood work, and other procedures they sent me home with undefined muscle pain. Nothing could have prepared me for what was yet to come...

In the years to follow, I underwent test after test, such as bone scans, nerve conduction studies, brain scans (to rule out MS), x-rays, and other procedures but because the doctors could not find the source of the pain, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I went to chiropractors, physical therapists and tried alternative healing methods but to no avail. I went from doctor to doctor desperate for answers. I knew there had to be another reason for the pain I was having, but no one would believe me.

Eventually I had to quit my job at Hanford and go on disability. I had to file for bankruptcy because I couldn’t keep up with the medical bills. For the next six years, I struggled with the most terrorizing pain imaginable. I couldn’t dress myself or leave the house, or drive anywhere and was completely bedridden. I was in agony 24 hours a day, and no one could tell me why. During this time I depended solely on my husband to care for me which became a heavy burden on him and affected our marriage in every aspect. The world was going on all around me, but I was not part of it. Fentanyl and Methadone were becoming my only friends, and my worst enemies.

Finally, in December 2015, my surgeon ordered an MRI of my lower spine and found I had spinal stenosis. At last I had a reason for the pain! Finding the source of pain was vital and the first step to my recovery. Immediately I had a Laminectomy surgery to clear out the spinal stenosis. It helped alleviate some of the pain, but after a couple of years it became a welcome mat for severe arthritis and disc degeneration to develop in the L2 through S1 vertebraes. At the same time, my knees were also deteriorating from the arthritis. 

Once the pain came back following the Laminectomy, I then had a Lumbar Ablation procedure in which they cauterize the affected nerves responsible for the pain. It took 4-6 weeks for the nerves to die before I got some relief, but I highly recommend this surgery because it reduced the pain by at least 75%, and was well worth waiting for. It was the first time in 9 years that I finally got some relief from the constant pain. Living with arthritic pain, or any kind of chronic pain is very difficult and challenging.

Today, after 6 years of narcotics addiction, depression and anxiety I am no longer dependent on opioids and have learned to better manage my pain. Sometimes our tragedies can provide opportunities that we never saw before and hope can be restored. I pray my story will serve as an inspiration to others who may be living with chronic pain and to know you're not alone.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.. Philippians 4:13

— Anne-Marie Nelson

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