My Life Is Not My Own

My Life Is Not My Own
By: Michell Freeman


My name is Michell Freeman, I am from a small town in Bennettsville, South Carolina and this is my story. On November 4, 2013 I was in an automobile accident that involved a fatality. I was hit by a car that had ran a red light. I was unable to walk without great pain. When I arrived at the hospital my legs felt very cold and I had lost feeling in my saddle area and later down my left leg. The Doctor came in and told my family that I had a disc fragment that sequestered. The doctor told my husband that I was to lie flat on my back only to get up to use the restroom and if I lost control of my bowel or bladder to call 911. I was released the same day with a follow up with a Neurosurgeon.


I was able to see this neurosurgeon on November 5, 2013. I was instructed to take a steroid for seven days and given opiate pain medication. He wanted to get the inflammation down. On November 12, 2013 I returned to his office unable to walk. The pain had me screaming for help. I was told that I needed to undergo an emergency Laminectomy/Discectomy.


On my follow up I let my surgeon know something wasn’t right. I was leaking and having sudden urges to urinate. I was having electric sensations go down my back and legs. I was burning. I had another MRI and was told I had a lot of inflammation involving the nerve roots. I was referred to pain management for a series of selective nerve root Injections.


On my first appointment with pain management I was nervous and was given a Valium. I laid flat face down and the nurse said that she was going to walk me through it. The doctor didn’t speak only to say who he was. As the procedure began the pain was terrible. The nurse said he was about to inject the Depo Medrol steroid. I felt a shock of electricity go down my leg and I began to cry. The nurse assured me this was normal and the doctor cleaned my back and walked out the room. I had no feeling in my leg and was placed in a wheelchair. My pain relief was not better but increased and my head would hurt so bad I would put an ice pack on it. For a while my body ached. Two weeks later I went for a second injection. On my third injection while on the table my doctor started the procedure and inserted the catheter. It was very painful. He moved the table up higher with the needle inserted to get a better view using fluoroscopic technology. Tears were falling and the nurse said its almost over. Just as she said that I screamed out loud as my back jerked. The pain was excruciating. The doctor finished and walked out the room without speaking.


July 2014 I went back to my neurosurgeon for him to tell me that this pain may possibly be permanent. He said he was out of options and my primary care physician would need to take over with either helping with pain or a referral to another pain management specialist due to I refused to continue to get anymore injections. The neurosurgeon, imaging and pain management were in the same complex.


February 2015 I was diagnosed with Adhesive Arachnoiditis. I sent my MRI scans to be reviewed. The MRI two months after my surgery (January 2014) it was confirmed that it had already advanced to adhesive stage with Empty Sac Sign. I have since developed colitis, bradycardia with syncope, and fluctuating blood pressure. I no longer can go to activities with my children at home nor play the same with my four grandchildren. I break plans often due to relentless pain. Days of not being able to get out of bed. My life is no longer my own. I have lost control of deciding what I am able to do each day. I live a life of having to take opiate medications in order to have some life, relief and function. Before finding the correct dosage and keeping it as low as possible I would constantly cry out and beg to die. Pain altered my brain in which I had thoughts of suicide daily. I lost the life I once knew as an employee with USPS, an active wife, mother, and grandmother. I now live a life of having to learn how to adapt, improvise and overcome.


Michell Freeman is a member of the Social medial support groups: Together We Fight, ARACHNOIDITIS, and Arachnoiditis Everyday. She is also an International Delegate for the International Pain Foundation.



2 thoughts on “My Life Is Not My Own

  1. 2011 gran mal seizure found arachnoid cyst on brain. Scoliosis low back pain, epidural pain injection 2013 went horribly wrong. The Dr. said you have scar tissue down here on butt, I told you guys that already so he struggled to get in spine once in he says you have a crooked spine,I told you guys that,so he tries one way “Ouch” I punch wall in pain,Let me try this way “Ouch” I punch wall in pain, OK let’s try this “OUCH” Get out Damnit get out of my back I said. He walks across hall to tell wife I put him in distress and she said I heard him. What now she said Dr. I will check on him tomorrow. Now I hurt between shoulder blades, hip pain,neck,shoulder right side. Left side has been numb since April 23, 2014 after 5th seizure 3.5×3.5×3.0 arachnoid cyst. I really need a support group. No support at home 6 seizures 6yrs hemiparesis, dizziness, nausea, chronic pain, falling to lft,personality disorder. Wife keep telling me to get a job,if I cry go walk it off she says,you need to do something. I have no pain medication hospital gave me fentanyl patch it burned skin so the last thing offered acetaminophen. I told him get out of here with this crap. I have 3 kids and no pay since 2009 when it all started with gout and back, knee pain surgery knee in 2010,life stinks. 8 psychiatrists, 4 rheumatologist, 4 orthopedic, 3 neurologist. I’m sorry the next time I go in 3 months 8TH psychiatrist. Sorry for the rant goodbye.

    • Michael Langlois

      I feel your frustration man. I’m sorry you don’t have a good understanding support system at home. it makes dealing with pain no one can see. i moved away out to the country to live alone 2 years ago because i had no support system. my wife changed overnight it seemed after my intractable pain went out of control following another level of my spine herniated and compressed the nerve root coming out of L3/4. here it is 4 and a half years later. herniation started at 3.2cm, its now t7cm and i cant seem to get the attention of anyone that im dying from the pain. so the pain meds which are just barely enough o take the edge off leave in so much pain that i will go without for a day just so i can have every other day with my pain at a level where i can get up and move. hell on earth is what it is and i know what its like not to be understood, by family, by friends, by doctors. one day soon this is going to come to a head. USA is one of the worst places in the world to live if you suffer from IP or any other invisible pain condition. Love you brother of pain. Hang in there and pray a lot, that really helps/ And pray like you mean it God loves you and doesn’t want you to suffer, believe that if you don’t believe anything else, hes right there with you and he hates what you are going through. He will comfort you, just pray and let him know you believe in him and you will feel his presence/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Translate »