"It doesn't pull out, there's no way (that I can figure out) to get the bulb through the fixture, it's totally attached to the ceiling...????" We can totally empathize with Abbey and her frustration with home repairs. Luckily, Facebook friends came to the rescue explaining that the previous tentants (or landlord) probably painted over the outer ring--which was preventing Abbey from being able remove it. A simple scoring tool will loosen the old paint and outside ring--therefore allowing the lightbulb to pass through the space. We also did a little more digging on our own and found another tip via This Old House. They mention that because there's not a lot of breathing room between the bulb and the ring, getting a grip on the bulb can prove difficult (sometimes making it impossible to unscrew). This Old House suggests taking a piece of duct tape and pressing it on the bulb. Make sure there's enough space on the ends to fold back (making a handle). You'll now be able to twist the lightbulb with the assistance of the duct tape.
How about our Apartment Therapy readers? In the past, have you had difficulty changing the bulb on recessed lighting fixtures? What are your tips when tackling this chore?