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'I've Been Bedridden Since January 2018'

Saturday 16 February 2019


From Times of Malta:


(Photo: Shutterstock)

'I've been bedridden since January 2018'

The chronic pain surrounded in stigma

Saturday, February 16, 2019
This article first appeared in Pink magazine
Copyright © 2019

Trying to be a good parent is a tough job, and to be a good parent with chronic pain is even tougher. Antoinette Sinnas is one mother living like this, and she knows the emotional side of it can cut even deeper wounds. Here, she opens up about losing your life, but still existing… From fibromyalgia and myalgic encephalomyelitis to spinal stenosis, this is what it means to suffer – and survive – such silent but excruciating conditions that are still surrounded in stigma.

I’m no stranger to chronic pain. What I suffer from is spinal stenosis, a condition that narrows the spinal canal, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

The left side of my body is most affected, and until my recent surgeries, I experienced excruciating pain that originated from my neck, shooting down to my foot. This used to be accompanied by numbness, tingling and a terrible burning sensation. Although my symptoms are gradually decreasing, my leg is perpetually weak, my knee buckles quite often and I feel like I was being skewered and grilled.

Year in, year out, full-blown flare-ups would put me totally out of action. This worsened each year and disrupted my family life, sleep patterns, emotions, stomach, menstrual cycle and made me lax as a wife and mother.

A copious amount of drugs and numerous conservative methods of pain relief couldn’t take it away. I was advised that the risk of surgery at my young age may do the trick, or I could end up in a wheelchair… or worse. The strong painkillers were eating into my body due to their harsh side effects. It was a catch-22; we didn’t know whether to wind the watch or bark at the moon.

Since January 2018, I have been more or less bedridden. Much as I try, the pain is hard to hide from my children. The guilt monster emerges from under the bed and plagues my feeling of being an incompetent mother. I am in no contest, aiming to be a super mum, but I find it heart-breaking that my young daughters are more attuned to my pain and always put my needs before theirs.


Full article…



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