Re: Reach??? Dealing with pain without narcotic pain meds...questions??
Hi. yes, Chrissy, I do have chronic pain issues and it may well be a fact of my life forevermore. Will just have to wait and see.
What did you go through to get to a place where you are accepting of this?
I went through a self-induced Hell ultimately although that was never my intention. I tried to accept that DRUGS for pain would be a forevermore fact of my life and I was simply ignorant and uneducated enough in opiate painkillers to understand that this just could not be for me. In retrospect, the long term chronic pain I have gone through pales in comparison to the slow, at first, and then eventual fast spiral down into a complete breakdown of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual horror. yes, it started with cancer that took 1/2 my thigh, but more sadly, nearly got my whole soul.
do you have to constantly practice this acceptance from day to day because every day is different?
Yes, Chrissy. This is a forevermore fact of my life. Everyday is, indeed, different, but everyday I must practice so many things that I have learned.
I have learned that opiate painkillers eventually cause more pain than we initially had.
I have learned that opiate pain killers are sometimes necessary, but that the course should seldom be long term or life long.
I have learned to fear them in a healthy way, embracing then only when in true pain.
I have learned that pain is relative.
I have learned that how we think about pain has much to do with how we feel pain.
I have learned that opiates do not alleviate the initial problem of pain, but mask the brain sensing the pain. I did further damage to my lef by overusing it when I could not feel the lymphedema swelling up the leg and so I still walked all over on it.
I have learned to appreciate the wonders of Western medicine and conversley, the wisdom of Eastern medicine.
I have learned just now that the list of what I have learned is just too long to post!!
Changing the thinking: it is not so much negative vs positive for me about pain. It is a change in the way I rate pain and how I think about it. Earlier, I rated pain as anything that annoyed me. I was so use to feeling little pain, that when my tolerance built, when the opiates started to actually cause me to feel more pain than existed, I was already habituated totally into popping a pill to stop ANY sign of pain. I have unlearned how to deal with pains that I had dealt with earlier in life. Stubbed little toe hard? Okay, pop a percocet extra and don't be annoyed by some temporary pain. (As a side note, I broke my little toe three weeks agao.. hurt like the dickens and is still swollen, but I have not taken more than a couple of aspirin total for it). Now, when I rate pain, I don't say so easily a 5-6 when I now can rate that same pain a truer 2-3.
Also, it was truly an amazement to me to discover once I was almost done with the opiates that my true pain levels were so much less than I had been perceiving for so long. My amazement, however, was not a new discovery for others and they shared that with me.
Pt does help greatly. I actually had a good period when going through PT. Little, little pain by the end. I got lazy, did not keep up the PT on my own, the scar tissue built and I ended up back on square one and back on pain meds. So now I do a self PT at home with exercise and walking, carrying and haging out laundry and stuff like that.
There have been lots of things involved, Chrissy, but I believe the main thing is the reprogrammimng of the brain. it can, without a doubt, be done. Whether drugs or some other issue in our lifee, it can be done. I am reprogramming many things right this day... some have been reprogrammed, some I must work longer and harder on. However, once we experience success in reprograming for one issue, there comes a confidence that we can do it for any issue.
Fingers tired, eyes blurry... sure same is true for you. Smiles.