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It’s simple, the pain was so ubiquitous that I defined myself by my pain! Not a single day without pain for 22 years, not one! Whether cervical, dorsal or lumbar, no matter where I was touched, I had pain. Muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, you name them, they were all seized up and full of knots!! The first injury happened in 1999, at the age of 31: a C6-C7 herniated disc. The pain was so intense that my back was literally on fire. This same burning sensation went from my elbows to my hands. While looking at the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the neurosurgeon I was consulting at the time told me quite bluntly that my neck could be compared to that of a 65-year-old for whom there was nothing to be done!! That was instilled in me and was so harmful!


My 2nd injury happened in 2000. I sustained a violent check to the head! Another visit to the emergency room and with the neurosurgeon. Result: a 2nd herniated cervical disc, C5-C6, with a diagnosis of Arnold’s neuralgia, which explains the headaches. The pain is even more intense and constant (see the list on the right or at the bottom of the page for mobile). After a year of intense pain, the military doctors advise me to get used to it because I would be like this for the rest of my life. That was also instilled in me and was also so harmful. They told me to do whatever I wanted as long as I could handle the pain. From then on, without realizing it, I had given up. What a mistake on my part. I will talk about this during my conference.


Attacks of Pain 


Of course, some days were better than others, but I would say that on average an attack of pain could last from 2 to 3 weeks, sometimes a few months depending on the extent of the attack. I can’t tell you exactly how many attacks per year I had, but I had at least 3 or 4 small ones as well as 1 or 2 intense ones per year. By intense, I mean that I’m either on the floor and can’t move or my back and neck are on fire and I can’t lie down or move my upper body. I would go to the hospital again! Once, I waited 4 hours for the ambulance while lying on the ground. My mistake: I was still breathing, so I was not considered urgent according to the dispatcher! LOL! I have read somewhere that a herniated disc that bursts was as painful if not more than childbirth. Well, I should have one of the biggest families in Quebec! What people have difficulty understanding is that you are exhausted after an attack. I would need several weeks or even months to recover!! Doctor, neurosurgeon, physiatrist, osteopath, chiropractor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist, homeopath, massage therapist, I consulted them all and I would even say I took advantage of them; that’s how often I used their services. To be honest, I was lucky I had them!!


In 2009, I can’t take it anymore! I left for India at my own expense for a C6-C7 cervical surgery. It was wonderful! Quite a lifetime experience! But the effect only lasted a year!


Headaches! Headaches! Headaches!  


My head felt like it was constantly in a vice. During a physical assessment, I was asked to rate my pain between 0 and 10 during a headache attack. I have to admit that I first asked the practitioner how she would rate a migraine since I had already had a few. She answered that she would rate it as a 10, so I honestly answered 20!!! LOL. You should have seen her face! She replied that 10 was the maximum and that 20 was impossible!!!! And I replied that my pain was my pain, and that, for me, a headache attack that lasts 3 to 5 days, even after taking morphine, Dilaudid or whatever medication, nothing could remove this intense pain that I estimated at 20!!


Taking a Shower: my Own Everest!


You look at the shower and you can push the thought away but you eventually have to wash yourself. You will suffer, you know it, but it is a necessity! Why not take a bath? Forget it because you have to be able to get out of it afterwards!! Even getting undressed was a nightmare, especially when I could not lift my arms because I had too much pain in my shoulders. Once in the shower, well, you have to be able to wash yourself. It’s crazy how you realize the importance of each muscle in your body to do the simplest movements when you are in pain. Often too exhausted after my shower, I had to sleep in order to recover before getting dressed. It was my own Everest! Unfortunately, I was too proud to ask for help at home.


Trigeminal Nerve Neuralgia


I don’t wish that even on my worst enemy! It is extreme facial pain that is characterized by attacks of intense facial pain, similar to an electric shock, that occur without warning and are most often triggered by touching specific areas of the face. When I had too much tension in the neck, I sometimes experienced these symptoms.


Days Come and Go, but Each Day is Different


In addition to having my daily pain, I constantly had new pains in different places. My doctor thought I had fibromyalgia. I have also heard several times that I probably had rheumatoid arthritis. Some examples: for a year, I could not lift my left shoulder (capsulitis); the following year, it was the right shoulder. Same thing for my ribs on the left side and then the right side afterwards??? One week, I had additional pain in the upper left and the next week, it would be in the lower right!


I would like to modestly tell you that one of my worst flaws and, believe me, I’m not proud of this, is having a very high tolerance for pain. Today, I say to myself... what a fool I was! You don’t have to be in constant pain! However, in my defence, no matter how much I mentioned to the doctors during attacks that the dosage was insufficient, it was only in 2020 that my family doctor agreed to increase the dosage.


In Short

In the fall of 2020, I can’t take it anymore. I’m starting to prepare my family for medical assistance in dying when I’ll be 65. In February 2021, I was placed on the emergency list for a double lumbar surgery because the L5-S1 hernia that I had had since 2006 had become dangerous. In mid-April, I cancelled everything!!! My life had just changed and I was on the road to recovery!!

The beginning

List of Pains and Consequences:


  • Herniated discs C6-C7, C5-C6, L5-S1

  • Cervical surgery in India in 2009

  • Repeated pain attacks

  • Numbness

  • Loss of sensitivity

  • Burning sensation in the hands, legs and left foot

  • Endless muscle tension

  • Multiple vertebral, rib cage, hip and sacroiliac blockages (frozen)

  • Intense headaches (Arnold’s neuralgia)

  • Shoulder capsulitis

  • Trigeminal nerve neuralgia

  • Tenosynovitis in the hands

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Loss of energy

  • Loss of joy of living

  • Messy house

  • Wounds of the soul

  • Medical assistance in dying



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