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Thread: How do you manage your physical pain?

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    Default How do you manage your physical pain?



    Can you tell me how you manage your pain when medications are not enough? How do you many muscle spasms and nerve pain? It makes me so worn out.

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    I don't have any pain meds, besides Tylenol and occasional Advil, so I must not be anywhere near your pain level Tammy. I do know from hurting my back from time to time that for me muscle spasms and nerve pain are the worst. I'm totally laid up and can't think of anything else when that happens, and I think that if I had to deal with it for a long period of time I would go crazy. So, that is my long winded way of saying that I am sorry you are in so much pain and have been so sick.

    The following recommendations come from having a daughter with chronic pain:
    1) There are quite a few options when it comes to pain meds. For some people one thing might work great and not work at all for another. Call your doc tomorrow morning and see if you can try something else - preferably something that gives you some flexibility to take a little more for breakthrough pain. If he or she can't help you, ask for a referral to a pain management doc or rehab specialist. We've had the best luck with rehab docs - plus they see a lot of nerve pain and muscle spasms.
    2) Most docs are reluctant to prescribe narcotics for chronic pain, but are more willing to do so if it means you can get up out of bed and be more active. If your pain is from your female parts- then that is acute pain and they theoretically should be more willing to give you something strong because it will be short term.
    3) The worse your pain gets, the more medication it takes to control it - and we've been told (by the good pain docs) that people who have chronic pain have a higher tolerance to narcotics and therefore need and can handle higher doses. Most GPs and rheumy's have a threshold for how high a dose they are willing to prescribe.

    Do you have access to a hot tub and can you tolerate the heat? Have you tried acupuncture or massage? My daughter gets very busy with crafts when she is hurting, trying to distract herself and engage a more pleasurable part of her brain. Funny movies - laughter is supposed to release endorphins that decrease pain. If you aren't taking narcotics, I bet that bottle of wine will make the movies even funnier! Rubbing the affected part, or the unaffected part if that is too painful, is supposed to help by giving your nervous system another sensation to process.

    That's about all I got this morning, Tammy. I hope you are able to find some relief today, both physically and mentally.

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    How do I deal with the pain? I avoid painkillers and use them as a last resort only. I meditate. I visualize. I distract myself usually with knitting (unless my hands and/or wrists hurt then I find something else). Immersing myself in a good book is a great distraction (works with housework too). Heating pads are a lifesaver as are hot baths.
    "I'm going to get healthy or die trying"

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    Wow this is awesome Gizmo! I will listen to all of this. No I am not on narcotics. I am however in cymbalta, lyrica, lodine, & skelaxin. To me this seems ridiculous especially since pain breaks through. Do you want to know when I don't have pain? When I am Lieing flat. Lol That does not work so good driving clients around, making dinner, or handing wash.

    Thanks again dear. I am not sure what that pain is from. I can't sort it out just yet. Upper back helped by cymbalta, low back pain relentless. The BF did get the wine after my fit (grin). I call myself "Cranky Pants" lately.

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    Hi Tammy,

    I honestly don't exactly know how I manage much of the pain I have. For the low grade constant stuff I take Naproxen when needed. Being an anti-inflammatory it doesn't directly work on the pain, but it calms down the inflammation causing it. As you probably already know, this stuff can be hard on your stomach if taken without food, and sometimes even with.

    I have taken Neurontin in the past for neurological pain, and it worked fairly well. Makes you kinda loopy though.

    My neuro gave me a prescription for 20 Oxycodone/Acetaminophen tablets, but those are only to be used if I have another Trigeminal Neuralgia flare. They take a little edge off of that pain, just enough to get me through until I can get to the ER and have something more powerful. Other than for that one thing, I don't touch opioids unless absolutely necessary.

    The rest of the pain, I, well I suppose I disconnect from it mentally. When I was in the Army we'd go on some really frakking long roadmarches (20-25K) with full gear, up and down hills. I would get myself into a state of mind, kinda like I was on autopilot. I was aware of the pain in my feet and legs, but it was like it was off in the distance, not getting to my brain enough for me to pay much attention to it.

    I basically do the same thing now for the pain that can't be dealt with effectively, or practically, with meds. I tune it out, but I have no idea how to explain how I actually do it. I hope this makes sense.

    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovedbyHim View Post
    Wow this is awesome Gizmo! I will listen to all of this. No I am not on narcotics. I am however in cymbalta, lyrica, lodine, & skelaxin. To me this seems ridiculous especially since pain breaks through. Do you want to know when I don't have pain? When I am Lieing flat. Lol That does not work so good driving clients around, making dinner, or handing wash.

    Thanks again dear. I am not sure what that pain is from. I can't sort it out just yet. Upper back helped by cymbalta, low back pain relentless. The BF did get the wine after my fit (grin). I call myself "Cranky Pants" lately.
    Do you think the low back is related to your female problems? That is a common place to have referred pain. Remember when you were in labor ;o)? NSAIDS are what they usually prescribe for that type of pain, but as Rob says, they are hard on your stomach. Voltaren comes in a gel form now, and since it goes directly on the affected area, it bypasses the stomach. My daughter got an Rx for it and my husband and I tried it too - it's good stuff. Not quite as effective as oral, and you have to put it on all the affected areas, but I think I'm going to ask for some for my achy joints. Not sure if the gel would work for organ pain (if that's the cause).

    Once the dust settles on your abdominal problems, if you still have that pain, you might want to try to figure out the cause. Maybe PT would help the upper back pain and muscle spasms.

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    Thank you Rob. I think it does makes sense. I used to run 10 miles a day. The first several miles were sometimes a painful experience and then I was on auto-pilot. I believe it is a meditative state of being if I can get there. Tonight I decided to go on a picnic next to the river and try to walk a little more. Nature is very good for me.
    Thanks Rob for the help.

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    Gizmo honestly it feels like back labor all day long. Ugh! Won't know if organ related or fibromyalgia until biopsy comes back I guess. Ibuprophin helps a little but at 600 mg. Grimace...... doc put me on high dose for a week only. Tomorrow I am calling PCP to get water pill script to remove most of the fluid in my abdomen. Can you believe 5 pounds in one day? How crazy is that? I look great when I wake up. Lol Too bad my boyfriend only sees me after I swell.

    Thanks again for your wisdom everyone. I'm getting lost in the distraction of the pain.

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    Tammy, I'm so sorry you're hurtin' so bad. Distraction is definitely one way to go. For me it comes in the form of Netflix and Sharpies. I tend to spend a whole lot of time these days watching Lost and coloring. Sharpies really do save. . .

    I've been avoiding talking about the pain aspect of this whole thing for so long because, well. . .because I'm ashamed of it. Sort of. And I'm also really defensive about it. It's complicated. Narcotics. That's how I deal with the pain. Vicodin. And boy, do I struggle with it.

    When I worked in the ER we had so many frequent fliers and seekers. They knew which doctors would give them their drug of choice, and what those docs drove. They would scour the parking lot for their favorite doc's car, and come on in for their fix when they saw it. I should also mention that I worked there at a time when most nurses and docs were completely ignorant about fibromyalgia. I remember once asking a nurse what it was. She said, "It's a diagnosis for people who want drugs all the time." Idiot.

    So my shame in taking narcotics is two-fold. I feel like such a jerk for judging people who were in real pain, because I know what that feels like now. And I feel like wuss for thinking that I need the vicodin. I have valid reasons to be on it, and I remind myself of that often, which just makes me feel like I'm justifying an addiction. I don't think it's an addiction yet, but it's definitely a dependancy. I have an extra vertabrae, and a buldging disk in my lower back, and all this pain that comes with The Mess, and something still unknown going on with the middle of my back. I have my very qualified Rheumy telling me to take 600mg of ibuprofen 3 times a day, along with the maximum dose of vicodin. But all of that still doesn't lessen the shame of using narcotics.

    I think I'll feel guilty about it until the day I can stop taking them. I can't pick up my niece without taking vicodin, but I also wonder if I should be holding a baby while I'm on vicodin. I definitely can't take it when I'm at work, so I can only work maybe once a week, because of the flare the pain of a day without it sends me into. Lots of me wishes I had never started taking it. And lots of me knows that for right now, at least, I'd be absolutely useless without it. And lots of me thinks that if you guys can get through this AI business without narcotics, I should be able to too.

    Man, I just spilled my guts all over the internet. Sorry internet; I'm probably high.

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    Oh bless you Sharpie (grin). Your forthright words are balm to my soul! I know they are to many others who are reading this now. We all have judged others and had to step in their shoes. Thank God we ate never to old to learn, but even better when we share what we've learned. (((hugs)))

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