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Old 05-23-2011, 07:57 AM   #1
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carscheles HB User
Does anybody else ever feel like this?

I'm always in pain but the severity varies. I take OTC meds daily to function. Most days my pain is tolerable with the OTC meds. The pain is still there, but only in the background, and I can deal with it.

Then there are times that the pain increases in severity for a few days/weeks (almost always weather related). At first I can somehow manage it but after a few days I start getting really exhausted from the unrelenting pain. It gets so tiresome and pain is all that I can think about during those times.

When I'm suffering the most, I start to panic about how long it will last and how will I get through it. I sometimes want to go to the ER and ask them to do something for me but I know the ER isn't the place for chronic pain patients.

I once told my PM doctor about this and he basically said suck it up when that happens.

Does this happen to anyone else? What do you do during those times to keep your sanity?

 
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:07 AM   #2
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smithesque HB User
Re: Does anybody else ever feel like this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carscheles View Post
I'm always in pain but the severity varies. I take OTC meds daily to function. Most days my pain is tolerable with the OTC meds. The pain is still there, but only in the background, and I can deal with it....
Does this happen to anyone else? What do you do during those times to keep your sanity?
Yes, story of my life

I'm not keen on the 1 to 10 pain scale precisely because it focuses on pain intensity and not duration. My pain is rarely very high, but it is constant. I've had it (lower back) since I was in my late teens, so it's just part of daily life now. It spikes every so often, but between spikes it nags me and tires me out.

I think I've realized that a key aspect of such pain is, am I "attending" to it. I can be sitting on the sofa watching TV and I'm fine. Then for some reason I notice the pain -- like noticing a distant noise at night -- and then it bugs me. It hasn't got worse, and it's not *that* bad, but suddenly I'm miserable for a while.

Your PM's "suck it up" sounds a bit unenlightened. I've never been to a PM -- my own GP prescribes vicodin and as yet that's been sufficient. Maybe he/she is too focused on the pain intensity thing. Find another doc maybe?

Meantime, have you considered something like mindfulness meditation? I've been trying that out and ... OK, honestly I can't say it's helping yet. In fact, it hurts my knees too! But the theory is, once I get into it, it definitely will help the kind of "keep your sanity" thing you asked about, in the sense that it will train me to be able to control whether or not I do attend to the pain.

 
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:38 AM   #3
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Re: Does anybody else ever feel like this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smithesque View Post
Yes, story of my life

I'm not keen on the 1 to 10 pain scale precisely because it focuses on pain intensity and not duration. My pain is rarely very high, but it is constant. I've had it (lower back) since I was in my late teens, so it's just part of daily life now. It spikes every so often, but between spikes it nags me and tires me out.

I think I've realized that a key aspect of such pain is, am I "attending" to it. I can be sitting on the sofa watching TV and I'm fine. Then for some reason I notice the pain -- like noticing a distant noise at night -- and then it bugs me. It hasn't got worse, and it's not *that* bad, but suddenly I'm miserable for a while.

Your PM's "suck it up" sounds a bit unenlightened. I've never been to a PM -- my own GP prescribes vicodin and as yet that's been sufficient. Maybe he/she is too focused on the pain intensity thing. Find another doc maybe?

Meantime, have you considered something like mindfulness meditation? I've been trying that out and ... OK, honestly I can't say it's helping yet. In fact, it hurts my knees too! But the theory is, once I get into it, it definitely will help the kind of "keep your sanity" thing you asked about, in the sense that it will train me to be able to control whether or not I do attend to the pain.
I'm not sure what mindfulness meditation is but I do use some basics I learned in childbirth class. The one thing I noticed is that when I'm in pain, but distracted by something else, I tend to hold my breath. I try to be aware and make sure I'm breathing. Sounds kind of silly, I know.

I've gotten so used to living with my "regular" pain that I don't even realize I furrow my brow from pain. My sister is the one person that always notices and says something to me. Then I try to relax and breathe.

I'm sorry that you have to know how I feel (but sort of happy somebody can relate).

 
Old 05-23-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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smithesque HB User
Re: Does anybody else ever feel like this?

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Originally Posted by carscheles View Post
I'm not sure what mindfulness meditation is ...
It's a form of meditation originating in India, often associated with religions and belief systems such as Buddhism. However, increasingly it's now being subjected to modern scientific investigation and appears to be showing promise in various areas.

It's not something I could explain in a short post (even if I fully understood it myself!), but essentially it consists of sitting quietly and gradually training your mind to just be "in the moment". That means, increasing your ability to just observe your own thoughts without judging them or being distracted by them. It's hard to do.

The connection with pain is, I *think*, that the discomfort of pain has two components. The pain itself, and our *reaction* to that pain. And it's often the latter that is more debilitating. Pain itself isn't going to be fixed by meditation. That's where all the usual remedies come in - exercise, medication, and so on. But our reaction to pain can be controlled by a skilful meditator.

There are reports of people living with the pain of terminal cancer and using meditation to manage that. And I know of one person who used to have dental treatment such as fillings without any anesthesia, controlling the pain by meditating. This isn't new of course. I've read reports of a urologist who used hypnosis to allow male patients to undergo vasectomies without anesthesia (shudder).

It all adds to the idea though that there is pain, and there is our mental reaction to the pain. With training, we can do a lot about the latter.

If you're interested in finding out more, the best way is probably to find a local class. Ask your doc perhaps?

Last edited by smithesque; 05-23-2011 at 06:14 PM. Reason: Typo

 
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