I’ve been moving things round on this blog. The reason is because I am finally putting up a separate site/blog containing the extended chapters from My Little Book of Pain: A Practitioners Experience of Pain Management. Whenever more is to be done, it will be added there rather than here.
General comments and observations on Pain Management will still be placed here, of course, but any lessons from them will be carried forward into the relevant chapter in My Little Book of Pain. Some external links on pain still remain here, as does the general page on Pain Management as a lifestyle. Alternatively, an interested person can always search the ‘Pain Management’ category for relevant blog posts.
I hope those supporting or suffering from Chronic Pain will find it useful.
I missed the Creative Non-Fiction seminar yesterday due to breakthrough pain. This is pain that somehow gets through all the training, all the routines, all the distraction and all the painkillers. For anyone suffering Chronic Pain it is a frustrating phenomenon that has to be accepted and dealt with to make sure it is kept to the minimum. If the breakthrough pain is not brought under control you find yourself falling back into permanent, uncontrolled pain.
That control is not easy to reassert.
In my case it means swallowing my pride, reaching for the more powerful opioids and making sure that all the relaxation, meditation and transference exercises are brought to the fore. Whilst some rest is really useful to let the worst of the pain die down and the analgesics take effect, over the course of the day resting becomes both exhausting and ineffective: exhausting because I have to focus on the exercises all the time; ineffective because that focus is impossible to keep up for very long.
So what to do?
Pain – or Life – Management is an ongoing effort, a framework that often results in a daily management plan. It may seem a burden, but you get used to it. You know what you want to achieve so you work out what you may be able to do in a particular day or number days, work in rests, distractions, possible medication, relaxations and end up with a plan. Being a writer helps as the physical work can be wrapped around the vital task of reading.
But then the plan hits reality and has to be adjusted. That’s fine: the phrase ‘no plan ever survives contact with the enemy’ comes to mind. You adjust it, add in more medication, perhaps, more breaks, even a deliberate, full lie-down/meditation. That tends to work, and you adjust the plan.
But then life really kicks in and stomps all over the new plan, all over the intentions. Life Management becomes a real struggle.