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Reach??? Dealing with pain without narcotic pain meds...questions??

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Old 07-20-2007, 08:45 AM   #1
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Reach??? Dealing with pain without narcotic pain meds...questions??

Hello Reach,

I would like to know...Do you have chronic pain issues? I was reading in one of your other posts and it sounds like you have had many surgeries of various types. You also had cancer is that correct?

What is going on with me is my arm has now been classified as maxamally medicaly improved meaning no more treatments at this time. So I will now complete 2 PT visits for that and then I will have a PPD to rate my percentage of permanent disability. I still have pain and more than likly always will in that arm.

From my car accident I have now been put into PT for my neck. This morning was the first one for that.

I thought I was done with all the pain junk!! I guess that is what I get for thinking!
In recovery and in the Big Book it says that acceptance is the key to all my problems!!!
At some point there has to be an acceptance of the way things are with our bodies and our injuries and pain levels. I talked about it in a post somewhere.

What did you go through to get to a place where you are accepting of this? Or do you have to constantly practice this acceptance from day to day because every day is different?

I am working with my sponsor on negative input and programing in my brain. If I program in the negative this is what I will I am working hard to try and have acceptance that things are the way they are at this time and program in the positive that this will not be this way forever. Also to see how much of improvement I have from all my injuries and pain, not to mention all the growth and spirituality that has come from dealing with all this stuff.

I have no desire for any pain meds because an anti inflamatory helps me right now and an occasional flexaril for the mucle spasm in my neck.

I just wanted to hear some words of wisdom from you Reach because you are very good at reminding me of things I don't know yet and things that I need to remember.
I have come so far!!!!!
I am excited that workers comp stuff is coming to an end and I have a healthy fear of what my future will bring.
So what do you think about all this stuff and please share you experience strength and Hope with me!!!
Thanks Chrissy

Last edited by skych; 07-20-2007 at 08:47 AM.

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Old 07-20-2007, 02:00 PM   #2
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Re: Reach??? Dealing with pain without narcotic pain meds...questions??

Missy Chrissy

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.


Old 07-20-2007, 02:25 PM   #3
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Re: Reach??? Dealing with pain without narcotic pain meds...questions??

Thanks Reach,

I agree with a lot of the things that you said! Especialy about how we rate our pain on the 1-10 scale.

As an example the issues with my neck are normally about a 3 but can spike to a 4-5. That is a pretty toerable level for me now. It is when it gets to be in the 7-10 range that I can't hang.

I am a bit concerned about my wrist. I did notice it was sore after the car accident but just sore not lke a bad type pain. It was never really that big a deal.
I have since been to the ortho and the PM doc who have basically signed me off there case load which means workers comp is coming to an end..yeah!
The thing that concerns me is yesturday at therapy for my arm I used a heavier weight than I have used in the past. A three pound and I did more repitions with it than normal and now my wrist really hurts in the 4-5 range. Kind of scary. They never had a reason to x-ray it after the car accident.
I am really trying to keep the 2 cases workers comp and car thing seperate because it could make everything a mess.
I am not willing to use and opiate unless I have some constant pain in the 8-10 range and like you said not as any long term thing. I did not even want the one shot of a narcotic in the hospital but we did try all other solutions first. My sponsor was with me and really had to get me thinking on the right track with that deal.
Anyway.....I guess I just gotta stay in today and not program in the neg's for future stuff! HAHAHAHA I am only here in today. But I am human and I go there sometimes.
I like what you said about once you program in the good stuff and it proves to work for you it will be easier the next time. I really needed to hear that so thanks a bunch.
I gues it is practice practice practice....right?
I am a willing participant today and I know that is a blessing because I at some points in life have not been willing or open to anyone or anything.

So, for the rest of today I will just take it easy and focus on the things I need to do....nothing really excep tonight a meeting and then afterward I will be meeting with a sponsee in one of the 12 step groups I attend. I am sure that I will find something I need to know about myself when we meet...thats always what happens....I work with someone else and learn more about myself. Kinda cool like that.
Thanks again and we will talk soon.....Hugs Chrissy

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