Toni you may not be able to do any more damage to your back but you sure can self inflict a lot of pain by over doing things, then pain causes more limitations then a viscous cycle starts and you seem to be on a merry go round with no way of getting off. Having a positive attitude is great, but having a routine that takes into account your limitations is what all of us have to learn, that's why we recommend pain clinics and group therapy to learn the tools you need to try and live a normal life with the least amount of pain, medication alone in not the answer.
I must agree a having a pet around when pain strikes is very comforting, and they do know what is going on they seem to have a sixth sense when you are not well or in pain, since having the implant our cats and dog will not leave me alone, the cats are always wanting to sit on my knee and the dog rests up on my left side it is as though they can feel the electrical pulse that runs up and down my leg and spine.
Been in vicious cycle for 12 months some days I feel like light at end of tunnel and next day someone empty their bloody semi making dark. I always pushed through and really am looking forward to getting some tools to try and stop the emotional roller coaster I am on. But I can only live moment by moment hey. That all I got to deal with
Toni that's the hard part waiting, the lists for patients to do a pain management course are huge, here in SA alone to get into the public system pain management course can take over a year depending on which hospital you go to. At the one I attended there was only one group of three specialists that ran the course, each group was limited to 10 patients and ran for 8 or 9 weeks, so you can see demand out strips supply. You will be glad once you have attended, getting all those feelings into perspective helps immensely, and you will find you are not alone with those feelings we all have been through them and still have them, but see them in a different light and are able to process those feelings for what they are.
Hang in there it is tough when you are handling it all on your own, you have made the right move in going, it will get easier as time goes by once you have the support you need, and that will not be that long even though it seems like a life time.
Remember when you go in to the group therapy go with an open mind.