My Story: Staying Strong with Pain

My Story: Staying Strong with Pain

Beth Powers

Beth Powers

I am 47-years-old and happily married with two kids. I met my husband at a gym. We both were body builders. We even went into one competition. But mostly we did it because we just loved it.

I was so strong and invincible. I was even in a bad car wreck and recovered quite well and was able to continue life strong and in shape.

Then in 2002, I was working in a hospital putting files away and the ladder I was standing on broke. I landed on my tailbone hitting concrete. I felt electricity all the way from my tailbone shoot up to the left side of my skull. I lost my urine and was in pain.

I went to the ER and was checked out. No x-rays or scans. I was told I would mend. I had no reason to think otherwise. The pain was terrible and I could not sit or walk, but I thought I would get better after a couple weeks. I was strong and invincible, right?

The pain would improve at times but when I would try physical therapy it would get unbearable. Now I am one to say NO PAIN NO GAIN! But I could not function. I no longer had that strength or energy, and the pain was so burning and sharp it took your breath away. I no longer had the control of my body that I had. I had to take pain meds just to get by.

I ended up trying injections and went to a pain clinic. I thought “this is in my head” and “I have to get over this,” and some of the doctors and nurses would make me feel like it was just me.

Beth and her husband were competitive bodybuilders.

Beth and her husband were competitive bodybuilders.

I am very lucky because I have a great doctor who knew better and a family that is supportive. But I was so low because here I was an ex-bodybuilder and I couldn’t work anymore.

It seemed like I had to fight everyday just to live. The pain was out of control and I was still in denial about my injury and why I wasn’t getting better. Then one day I saw an article in a magazine about Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) and cried. This is what I was dealing with!  It finally had a name. It was real!!!

And it wasn’t all in my head.

I am still strong and I am just fighting something that you really cannot fight. You have to learn to live with it and you have to accept this life change. My doctor and I sat down and decided to find a good fit in medicine and exercise for a better quality of life. It took a couple of years of trial and error with pain medicine and it was not easy at all. But I didn’t give up.

Eventually I found a time release medication for pain. With that and other medicines I have been able to have a somewhat good quality of life.

I have learned so much from this journey. I have so much I would love to share and I would love to help others. I have learned empathy, patience and true love. I have learned true friendship and to never give up.

Do not allow others to make you feel that this is in your head. Do not put limits on your life.

Find other ways to achieve your goals. Know that you are not alone.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeth Powers and her family live in Ramsey, Minnesota.

National Pain Report invites other readers to share their stories with us.

Send them to editor@nationalpainreport.

 The views, opinions and positions expressed in this column are the author’s alone and should not be construed as medical advice. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report, American News Report, Microcast Media Group or any of its employees, directors, owners, contractors or affiliate organizations. National Pain Report and American News Report make no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information in this column, and is not responsible or liable for any errors, omissions, or delays (intentional or not) in this information; or any losses, injuries, and or damages arising from its display, publication, dissemination, interpretation or use.

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Authored by: Beth Powers

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Beth powers

Good afternoon, Thank you so much for your post and comments. Your words are truly full of wisdom, and experience. I to am very thankful for this site. I feel that we really need to bring this to the public much more. we need to educate those who have Chronic pain but also those who do not. Part of this disease is that people do not understand it or do not want to. Like I was they see People with chronic pain as weak or it’s in their head. Or they try to compare what kind of pain they have had with ours and say well, I got over it. Or down play it. We do not want pity, we just want to be excepted as a the same as any other disease and we want only to improve or help have a good quality of life. people with RSD/CRP , at least those who are truly dealing with it do not abuse there meds. If there is a new option out there we have looked at it and never give up looking for a better option. I love your title given, Pain Warrior! thank you so much Lisa!!! Sorry I tend to be a bit overly passionate about this issue.

Lisa Eichelser

Hi Beth, Thanks for sharing your story and your journey! Its truly is an inspiration to others living life with chronic pain. We all have traveled a different road of circumstances to get where we are today, but ultimately have arrived at the same destination…Life with Chronic Pain! I am thankful for stumbling across The National Pain Report and the opportunity to learn from others sharing their stories, such as yours in our efforts in accepting the Pain and sharing our journeys of what has and is working in achieving the goal of living the best quality of life possible! We are Pain Warriors and can learn and share from each other. In empathy, patience, Love and Friendship, Lisa E.

beth Powers

Hello Nan Heidt,
I did eventually have a CT scan and they found nothing. It wasn’t until I had a injected bone scan. They found uptake in the tailbone area. That was about 6-7months later after the accident. This could be a “bruise”, or fracture. There isn’t much you can do. I am very sorry to hear about your injury. I am relieved to hear that it seems to have healed. Thank you for so much for taking the time to read my story and your comment. Please take care.

Nan Heidt

Falling on your tailbone is one of the most painful injuries you can have. I literally saw stars and couldn’t see straight for a while - my doctor acted like I was nuts. It was still painful to sit on upholstered furniture well over a year after the injury, and uncomfortable for several years afterwards.
I think they still should have done x-rays on you - it could have done something to your back/spinal cord.