I think most of the blog posts on here are when my Pain Management fails. It’s not through self-pity, but because at those instances you really have to focus on management and run through the techniques you know to apply them. Right now I’m on the tail end of a couple of weeks of unfortuante events and I’m, well, ouch and trying to sort out how to deal with it without resorting to myriads of opioids.
When running through the techniques and applying them, it brings to mind some odd, quick-fix things that can help. There’s a few here coming from my experience. Of course, as ever, the are always limited by what the pain sufferer can physically do, but it is worth making the effort.
An easy one to forget. I have a timer by my PC but occasionally I forget to set it. Forgetting to time things can really kick off pain. Sometimes switching between ver different tasks realy helps – providing they really are different tasks and not jus ttwo things that need doing at the same PC (for example).
Occasionally, just getting back into the pacing habit really helps put things back on track, but it will take a few days.
For me, distraction is always a first turn-to and often pretty effective. Doing something absorbing but easy is a great way to take the mind off pain. Watching TV rarely helps, reading does so more frequently, a lightweight hobby can be distracting (don’t forget the timer and breaks!) and even a quick walk in a nice place can help – especially if there’s loads of green.For me, sometimes writing a blog post is a good distraction but it has to be accompanied by pacing.
Obviously, it’s not a good idea to distract yourself with something that aggravates the cause of the pain in the first place. Which leads us on to…
Sex is another physical activity can be thought of as a great distraction and, frankly, pain can disappear whilst making love. I guess it’s the huge amount of pleasure chemicals released. Unfortunately, it’s often the case that you really don’t feel like making love when in pain in the first place, so you need a very patient and loving partner. 😦 Further, for some there are movements that aggravate the pain so the distraction is brief – and the recovery non-existent, if not worse!
It’s worth being aware that pain resistance seems to lower when hungry or when not having eaten for a while. I also have to keep in mind that if I resort to any NSAIDs, whether over-the counter anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen or Diclofenac or those on prescription, food is an absolute necessity. Making sure I eat properly helps me able to resist breakthrough pain.
As a quick-fix, though, I found that eating chocolate helps. I have no idea why scientifically, but it may be the sugar boost or it could be the body’s response to good chocolate. I’ve tried sugary sweets and they help, but marginally, and pastries are a little better, but chocolate appears to be the most effective, short-term, quick fix. Need I say it’s not a long-term help, though?
An odd thought. I don’t mean anything to do with the minor doses of amitriptyline (which work for one in four of us [Pain Concern]). I mean to be aware of when breakthrough pain seems to be occurring more frequently and work out if it is (a) due to bad habits or (b) depression sneaking up.
Depression can make pain worse. Not only are pain sufferers more prone to it as we don’t exercise, have often lost something in our life and have to cope with pain all the time, but depression itself worsens pain. It is, I believe, to do with the lack of serotonin and similar substances in the brain and may also be to do with reduced exercise opportunities. Substances like serotonin are needed to fight pain so, just as with any other injury or chemical inbalance (diabetes, thyroid problems, etc), I think that Chronic Pain sufferers need to be more aware of symptoms of depression.