Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Colin Richardson on Pain

Continuing my interview project, I spoke with Australian Colin Richardson, who I've never actually met; we know each other through Facebook. Colin's story is an amazing one. No background information is needed.

Here, 10 Questions for Colin Richardson:

One: Can you tell us what you’re injury is and when you got it?

Lower back disc and sciatic nerve root damage. It actually happened 23 years when I was a storeman working for a mining company. It was nothing but a slight twist in the wrong direction, something went "snap" in my lower back. I haven't had a day without some pain since.

Two: How much pain are you in now, and what do you do for it?

I'm in constant, severe pain. I have a "Spinal Stimulator" implanted, and I wear "Norspan" patches that feed a measured dose of heavy analgesics into my system. I also take anti-depressants.

Three: How has your injury affected your life?

My injury has gradually taken away all but a small part of my former life. I have not worked for 10 years, and am told I never will again; something that breaks my heart. I can't even do the smallest amount of gardening anymore, and can walk only with the aid of a stick, and no more than 100 meters.

Four: You’re a gay man over 50, who suffers from chronic pain; what kind of social life do you have?

I have no social life at the moment.

Five: How social were you before you hurt yourself?

I was an extremely social person both on the gay scene and in other circles.

Six: You have a child, I believe. How old is she, and what is the status of your relationship?

I have a daughter who is 26, she has a daughter who is 3; we speak occasionally on the phone. She doesn't have a problem with me being gay, but she lives a long way away and has a life of her own.

Seven: When did you come out?

I didn't come out till I was 30; a combination of being a farm boy, fundamentalist Christian childhood, and self-denial, I suppose.

Eight: What could President Obama learn from Australia?

I'm not sure what President Obama could learn from Australia, because even if he wanted to implement the social and financial policies of my nation he would be strung up as a "Socialist" back in the USA!

Nine: What’s the best thing about life in Australia?

The climate and the philosophy of a "fair go" for those who have had the misfortune to have problems both with their health and/or finances.

Ten: What do you do for fun?

Fun? I'm not sure computers and reading could be called fun, but it keeps my mind active.

--david toussaint

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