I’m Not Lazy…I’m in Pain

4 min readJan 12, 2023
Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

I follow Shannon Ashley on Medium and this post really hit home:


I’ve been dealing with pain for most of my adult life. It started when I was a young RN. In the 1960s-1970s there were few ways that patients were transferred from bed to stretcher or bed to wheelchair without the use of a nurse’s strong back and since I was a “big girl” I was usually given the big patients.

By the time I was in my late twenties I had back pain that limited what I could do. I went to an orthopedic surgeon I knew from the hospital. This was before MRIs; he did a cursory look at me –saw I was overweight — did some review of how my joints were and gave me the name of some fibro disease he told me was called “the malingerer’s disease.” He probably thought I didn’t know what the word meant. And that was it.

Back to work on a very busy Med-Surg unit with limited staffing with nothing but aspirin for the pain.

Of course, the pain continued, and I returned to that physician and he decided he needed to “go in” and see what was going on. So, at age of 29 I had back surgery — two large lipomas were removed. They had been pressing on both sides of my spinal nerves.

From mayoclinic.org: lipoma slow-growing, fatty lump that’s most often situated between your skin and the underlying muscle layer.

A few hours later, the orthopedic resident who had assisted in the surgery came to see me. He said he’d come to apologize. He hadn’t thought there was anything wrong with me. But once they had me under anesthesia, both lipomas on either side of my spine popped up. I never heard from the surgeon.

I went back to work on a unit in the hospital as soon as I was allowed. I was the major breadwinner for the family; therefore, I had no choice. Unfortunately, I still had back pain. I just suffered with it. I didn’t want to return to that orthopedic surgeon, so I tried to work around it.

And finally, after many years, there were MRIs. I decided to try a different specialist and went to a rheumatologist. I sat in her office as she looked at my MRI and then looked at me.




A 70+ year old retired RN who’s following her 60 year old dream of being a writer, one interested in everything unusual. www.facebook.com/MitziFlyteAuthor