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leh09 (@leh09)

Chronic pain - Let's talk

Chronic Pain | Last Active: Aug 25 11:31am | Replies (310)

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This is a wonderful discussion. So many pain sufferers need to know how pain affects people differently. Managing pain is more of an art form than science, but the two go hand in hand.

The four biggest areas of pain management I always look at for myself are:
1) Brain receptors
2) Targeted pain on areas of the body
3) Stress relief
4) Diet and exercise

I mean when it comes to the “science” of pain, we could simply take medications that disrupt pain receptors in the brain limiting neurons from firing, but in my experience (i.e. opiates, and the like) also have a negative affect on the quality of life, giving pain patients what is known as “brain fog”, loss of memory, sleep disorder and so on.

On the flip side, attacking the areas of pain alone is sometimes not enough. So I’m constantly asking people, what’s their “perfect” mix of the two. Being unbalanced with either one can label you as an opiate user, abuser of the system, but not taking the right combination can play a huge role in the quality of life that you have and your mental state as a hole.

Then there’s the debate about over-the-counter vs. prescribed medications. Which ones do you chose when your pain meds don’t work? Is it appropriate to go out and add Tylenol, Aspirin and Aleve to the mix? When is it acceptable behavior or not? What affect will it have on your system, especially your stomach and the increase of acids.

Now one of my favorites and often overlooked is more natural ways to conquer pain, specifically meditation. Since pain is all but managed through the brain, then in my opinion meditation is the method underutilized to “clean up” the junk in the mind that’s coming in. Or another way to put it, when you meditate, it’s like “cleaning up” your computers hard-drive so that the computer itself goes much faster afterwards.

Daily medication doesn’t mean sitting in some spiritual room with candles and scented incense. No, for your it could mean having some quiet time with tea in the morning reflecting on your day, outlining your goals for the day (as the pain allows, or as others would call “the # of spoons), and allowing your mind to filter out the stuff that increases your stress in order to tackle the pain coming in.

Stress I find goes hand in hand with pain as well. Finding “me time” is so important to decrease pain on a daily basis. Less stress = more active, better sleep, and easier to manage pain. Do whatever you need to relax your mind and body on a daily basis (I understand hard to do while in pain, but daily rituals will help eventually).

Most people are shocked when they hear that i’m in chronic pain. I rarely show it to people around me. Sometimes it’s hard not to show it, which can be exhausting depending on the level of pain you have and what’s affected.

Over the last 20 years, I’ve survived multiple blood clots throughout my body. I’ve had massive open wounds for 10 years straight, my legs are constantly wrapped with bandages and compression bandages. Rarely does anyone see me with shorts so I don’t have to explain to them what it is and what they’re for. But over time, I’ve found that by hiding my pain only increases my stress and doesn’t allow my brain to release it, talk about it, or be ok with asking for help.

I hope this peaks more discussions on “daily tips” or “rituals” that you do which helps to decrease pain. I think it’s obvious here that we all have experience with meds and our own pain management, but I’m really interested to hear what else I can try from your own experiences!! 🙂

Martin R. Lemieux

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Replies to "This is a wonderful discussion. So many pain sufferers need to know how pain affects people..."

It sounds like you have been through the mill, you might want to try acupuncture and even hypnosis as possible alternatives. There are a lot of options, but that only supports that no one really knows what causes pain and what to do about it. If there were one method that worked better than ever it would lead the pack, but there are none and with the current attack on opioids it makes it even worst.

I try not to show my pain, but when the sciatic pain hits I can not hide it. I just get away from others and take what I can until it passes, the best I have found so far is a muscle relaxant which I only found out about in the last couple years of the last 40+ years of pain. 19lin

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I’m so glad you brought this up. I’ve noticed these posts seem to all share one thing, we are all in pain, tired of it and want better quality out of life.
Like other I have tried most of the same medical procedures, some with better results than others. I enjoyed reading your post and spouted a loud YES!!
I believe no matter what I take or put on my body if my frame of mind is negative than more times than not my results are negative. So I try some things several times to rule it out completely. I have a very specific morning routine.
1. I take my morning meds with a full glass of water and refill the glass a second time and try to drink that too. My glass is 16 oz so I try to start my body off with 32 oz of water to flush out the gunk my body has tried to get rid of while restoring at night.
2. I usually lay or sit back on my bed and wait for my meds to work. But while they are working so am I. I meditate and do positive affirmations. Even if all I can do is 20 minutes of broken time and only 1 positive out of the 3 I want to do. I still think this gets me in a more positive frame of mind and I can talk myself into handling more than I normally have in the past. Some days the pain is so bad in the mornings that I convince myself over and over that I can do this. Other days I just need to go back to bed and try again after my second dose of meds. The less stress I put on myself the better I am to myself. I really don’t need anyone to tell me how bad I am, because like most other chronic pain sufferers, I get depressed easily and I am my worst critic.
3. I do all I can in the day and do my very best. If it is a job, a project, or just housework I work until I need to rest and then work some more. At the end of the end I go over what I’ve done and I’m grateful to God for being able to do it. I try not to criticize myself on what I didn’t get done, or how much or how little I’ve done. I say a prayer to have the strength to start over the next day and I close the chapter on that day. I try not to revisit it unless I need to keep a pain log for my doctor.

Pain isn’t something that is the same for all of us. What I think is unbearable may be nothing to you or vise versa but it doesn’t make it any less painful to those who are feeling it. I listen to my doctor and I work hard with him to find a plan to work for me. But mostly I try and I say TRY to stay positive. Anger, bitterness and regret lead to depression for me and it only makes my pain worse. So if I follow my 3 steps each day to the best I can I help manage my pain the best way I can.

Martin if you have other way you cope or can share more that helps you I would love to hear them.

Thank you so very much for the excellent post for discussion.

Agree. The self talk is so necessary
I feel then,we are whole. I too,feel
relaxed after meditation.
After that I have my cup of coffee
when everything is quiet.
Just starts me out better.

I also found that regardless of my attitude,i must do my leg exercises
It, has to be a part of my morning



I completely agree with you that exercise needs to be a part of my pain management regime. At this point right now it is not part of my morning “to do list” because I am at a point where I had to stop for a brief period. I have seen a physical therapist at my pain clinic and I am hoping and praying that after this months recheck visit I can go back and resume that part of my care. Exercise is what keeps my joints moving and loose and I make sure to drink at least 5 glasses of water (I have a large glass I drink from) to help my joints too. Stretching and exercise go hand in hand for me too. I stretch out the areas I need to exercise before I do my PT exercises and I feel amazing afterwards!!

I pour a big glass of Dr Pepper to get my caffeine buzz. It’s a guilty pleasure for me. I have never liked coffee. ❤️

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