What Distracts You From the Pain?

Posted by Jen, Volunteer Mentor @sandytoes14, Oct 4, 2016

Hello!
We share what works (and what doesn’t) for us as far as medicines and surgeries,etc.
What works for you to give yourself a little break? I’m presently researching family history from the comfort of my recliner.

@ed32

Mindfulness meditation helps. But, I hace had 2 surgeries for achalesia. POEM.and Fundoplasty. The.last has left me with continued chronic pain but als incessant intense long burps to relieve pressure. This makes it very difficult to control my breath as I was taught in my classes. I was also exposed to walking meditation. I do that when I can. I have difficulty reading because the pain distracts me. I have seen people posting hobbies to keep their mind off it. I cannot think of one. Not sure i could paint or color. Mayb someone has some other ideas on meditation. Seeing a pain clinic, pain psychologist and recently a psychiatrist to help deal with the anxiety
It took over 2 and a half years to diagnose the Achalesia and I thought the first surgery would cure it. No and neither has the second. The long term of it all ( nearly 4 yrs.), and lacking hope that further treatment will help is making it difficult to deal with the pain.
I apologize for rambling on, I would just like to get to the point where i could do some work from home to alleviate the extreme financial problems this has created. I could do some now- but cant find anything. The pain is really difficult when coupled with financial pressure like fear of losing our home.
I may try writing to distract me.

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Thanks. I do a little yoga and I do meditate. Getting out does help. Sitting in my back yard looking at the Mountain now. Thanks again

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Knitting is my big stress reliever. While I’m knitting–if I’m not working on a complicated pattern–I listen to audiobooks on my Kindle. I’ve never knitted with 100% linen yarn before, and I’ve had some in my yarn “stash” for years. So now I’m knitting a summer top out of it. I kind of make up my patterns as I go along. Sometimes I borrow details from patterns I see in knitting magazines, and sometimes I just grab a stitch dictionary, page through it, and find something I like. The backs and the fronts of tops that I make are usually different but complementary, so that I can wear them front to back or back to front. Right now I’m using a really easy stitch that I found in a knitting magazine and listening to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which I’d never read before. I normally knit in the evening and look forward to it all day while I’m working. Currently I don’t have any freelance projects to work on (I’m a freelance editor, proofreader, and translator ((German/English)), and I work for various publishers in the US), so I have time during the day to knit, also. Yaaaaay!

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To the group ::: to try and get my mind off the pain, I go to the pool at my gym and meet some wonderful friends, but I am worried that when September comes they cover the pool. We are able to use it when it is covered but not many people go and I am someone who needs people around to talk to. It gets myself out and I am not home getting depressed because my chronic pain and surgeries have taken all my hobbies, especially dancing and aerobics away from me.
I know the best thing is to get out of the house but boy is it hard to get motivated when you can’t do anything physical. By the way, today is my 72 year birthday and I have been married for 52 years next week and he has been so supportive and I have felt so guilty for what I have put him through. So if I can get some positive feedback from the connect group for feeling so guilty I would appreciate it. And yes if the situation was reversed I would be just as supportive but that doesn’t make me feel better. Thank you Marield65

Liked by HazelBlumberg

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Marie, CONGRATULATIONS on your birthday AND on your anniversary! If you can, please try to lose the guilt. It is a soul-eater and a soul-destroyer. It does nothing good for you–or for your husband. Have you tried therapy for the guilt? I hope you have or that you do. I think we ALL have something(s) that we feel guilty about, and it’s SUCH a wasted emotion. It just eats you alive. As you say, your husband has been so supportive. And as you say, you’d do the same for him if the situation were reversed.

Are there any other hobbies you can get involved with, other than dancing and aerobics? Do you paint or draw or sculpt or knit or crochet or do other needlework? Have you tried kumihimo (sp?), an astounding kind of beautiful braiding? Look into the art classes available at your local art museum (if you have one) or at your local senior center. (I’ve taught knitting at our local senior center, and my students ranged in age from 11 up to about 90. So, no, not only “old folks” go to the senior center. I tried out tai chi at my senior center. I was one of the youngest people in the class, and everybody else was astounding at it–except me.) There’s also chair yoga, which is very gentle yoga, and you might be able to do that. It does wonders for limbering you up. Is there a musical instrument you’ve always had a hankering to play? I’ll bet there are group lessons available. Anyway, PLEASE explore some creative outlets. You may think you have no talent, but, yes, YOU DO. We all do!

Please do get help about the guilt, if you don’t already. It’s taking up too much real estate in your brain, and it needs to be evicted.

Hugs to you,
Hazel

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@marieheld65
Marie
Let me first wish you a happy birthday and happy anniversary! It is so difficult to lose the active life we once had. I used to feel guilty about the limited things I could do. Like you I heard the ‘shoe on the other foot’ theory. As time passed I felt more depressed. Then my sweet husband said to me that he was grateful for the days I could do something fun outside the home. I realized I wasn’t feeling as much guilt as I was loss of what I had, who I was. I mourned the loss and began self- affirmations at the end of each day and soon began to feel better.
Phrases such as:
• Yay! You took a shower today!
• I’m proud of you for getting dressed/making dinner
• I walked the dog to the corner!
It was around that time I was introduced to the Spoon Theory. Simply put, we start each day with a number of “Spoons”. We use the spoons for everything we do. For those of us who are limited, not by our mind but by our bodies, use ‘spoons’ at a faster rate and run out. Here is a link to The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino
https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

One of the things I love about our community on Connect is the cyber friendships we develop. I’ll bet you don’t give yourself credit for what you contribute to these boards. Each of us is learning by sharing. While it may not be face to face contact that you are used to by going to the pool, dancing, or aerobics I think it is better than walling yourself off from the outside. Is there a local library or daycare where you could go and read to children? Or maybe a Veterans home to go to visit those who have no one?

Jen

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Hi, Jen,

Like your posts a lot. My partner has MS and introduced me to the Spoon Theory. She reminds me of it when I nag her to do something. Mostly, I remember. Thanks again. Michael

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@sandytoes14

@marieheld65
Marie
Let me first wish you a happy birthday and happy anniversary! It is so difficult to lose the active life we once had. I used to feel guilty about the limited things I could do. Like you I heard the ‘shoe on the other foot’ theory. As time passed I felt more depressed. Then my sweet husband said to me that he was grateful for the days I could do something fun outside the home. I realized I wasn’t feeling as much guilt as I was loss of what I had, who I was. I mourned the loss and began self- affirmations at the end of each day and soon began to feel better.
Phrases such as:
• Yay! You took a shower today!
• I’m proud of you for getting dressed/making dinner
• I walked the dog to the corner!
It was around that time I was introduced to the Spoon Theory. Simply put, we start each day with a number of “Spoons”. We use the spoons for everything we do. For those of us who are limited, not by our mind but by our bodies, use ‘spoons’ at a faster rate and run out. Here is a link to The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino
https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/

One of the things I love about our community on Connect is the cyber friendships we develop. I’ll bet you don’t give yourself credit for what you contribute to these boards. Each of us is learning by sharing. While it may not be face to face contact that you are used to by going to the pool, dancing, or aerobics I think it is better than walling yourself off from the outside. Is there a local library or daycare where you could go and read to children? Or maybe a Veterans home to go to visit those who have no one?

Jen

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Hi Sandytoes thank you for the good wishes. And you are right, I don’t give myself enough credit and I never thought about my contribution to these boards. I am on my iPad a lot to write on these boards when I could do them so much easier and faster on my laptop. But to sit at my laptop for any length of time pushes on my sciatica and the pain is terrible. See, I don’t even give my self credit for that.
You have enlightened me so much that you lifted my spirits because we are going out to dinner for my birthday tonight and I am always afraid that something is going to happen and I am going to disappoint my family.
Do you know that I celebrate my birthday in honor of you and the fact that I went through more than my allotted spoons this year. I am sure I used up more than 4380 spoons this past year. Because I can do so much more than I give myself credit for. Thankful I am and thanks to my cyber friend. When I can figure it out I will put my picture in the circle instead of the pink. Again thanks! Marie

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@hazelblumberg

Marie, CONGRATULATIONS on your birthday AND on your anniversary! If you can, please try to lose the guilt. It is a soul-eater and a soul-destroyer. It does nothing good for you–or for your husband. Have you tried therapy for the guilt? I hope you have or that you do. I think we ALL have something(s) that we feel guilty about, and it’s SUCH a wasted emotion. It just eats you alive. As you say, your husband has been so supportive. And as you say, you’d do the same for him if the situation were reversed.

Are there any other hobbies you can get involved with, other than dancing and aerobics? Do you paint or draw or sculpt or knit or crochet or do other needlework? Have you tried kumihimo (sp?), an astounding kind of beautiful braiding? Look into the art classes available at your local art museum (if you have one) or at your local senior center. (I’ve taught knitting at our local senior center, and my students ranged in age from 11 up to about 90. So, no, not only “old folks” go to the senior center. I tried out tai chi at my senior center. I was one of the youngest people in the class, and everybody else was astounding at it–except me.) There’s also chair yoga, which is very gentle yoga, and you might be able to do that. It does wonders for limbering you up. Is there a musical instrument you’ve always had a hankering to play? I’ll bet there are group lessons available. Anyway, PLEASE explore some creative outlets. You may think you have no talent, but, yes, YOU DO. We all do!

Please do get help about the guilt, if you don’t already. It’s taking up too much real estate in your brain, and it needs to be evicted.

Hugs to you,
Hazel

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Thank you hazelblumberg,this is Marie. Over the years (I am 72) I have been very active and did every kind of thing you have listed except for the braiding which I will look into and the gym I belong to has everything you mentioned but I have to get motivated. Most things are in the morning and my bones have to get well oiled. But I will kick myself in the butt to get going. I used to do these things but I think I got kicked with some kind of surgery and lost my momentum every time I did something. But I am a much stronger person and I will do it. Check on me later and hopefully I’ll have good news. Thanks Marie

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@hazelblumberg

Marie, CONGRATULATIONS on your birthday AND on your anniversary! If you can, please try to lose the guilt. It is a soul-eater and a soul-destroyer. It does nothing good for you–or for your husband. Have you tried therapy for the guilt? I hope you have or that you do. I think we ALL have something(s) that we feel guilty about, and it’s SUCH a wasted emotion. It just eats you alive. As you say, your husband has been so supportive. And as you say, you’d do the same for him if the situation were reversed.

Are there any other hobbies you can get involved with, other than dancing and aerobics? Do you paint or draw or sculpt or knit or crochet or do other needlework? Have you tried kumihimo (sp?), an astounding kind of beautiful braiding? Look into the art classes available at your local art museum (if you have one) or at your local senior center. (I’ve taught knitting at our local senior center, and my students ranged in age from 11 up to about 90. So, no, not only “old folks” go to the senior center. I tried out tai chi at my senior center. I was one of the youngest people in the class, and everybody else was astounding at it–except me.) There’s also chair yoga, which is very gentle yoga, and you might be able to do that. It does wonders for limbering you up. Is there a musical instrument you’ve always had a hankering to play? I’ll bet there are group lessons available. Anyway, PLEASE explore some creative outlets. You may think you have no talent, but, yes, YOU DO. We all do!

Please do get help about the guilt, if you don’t already. It’s taking up too much real estate in your brain, and it needs to be evicted.

Hugs to you,
Hazel

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I know what you mean, Marie. It’s hard for me to get going, too. I used to be a morning person, and then I got fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The fibro has, thank goodness, mostly faded, except that I do get pain in my legs in the winter. But the CFS has remained the same. I used to be so energetic!

Anyway, my husband and I were going out to lunch, and we passed a shop I’d never seen before. They offered mosaic, pottery, and glass fusing classes. WOW! So, I went in and signed up for the glass fusing class. I’ve taken one class in making glass beads, and it was probably the most exciting, fascinating classes I’ve ever taken. Not that I made beads again, but I learned a lot! So, today was the last day to sign up for the glass fusing class, and I did. It meets during the week, once, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Now, those are hours I can deal with! AND it’s not too far from my house, either. Being chronically fatigued, on top of everything else (just took my first pain pill, tylenol + codeine, in about two weeks!), doesn’t leave one wanting to do much.

I hope you can find some afternoon or early evening classes!

Hazel

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Hi everyone – I had an experience last week that provided temporary relief. A cupping massage. It was amazing but I was not stiff the following morning! Sore in certain areas where the focus was with the cups but did not feel the overall stiff, flu-like feeling the following day.

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Sauvee, I’m so glad to hear about this. My primary care has recommended that I go to a woman in her office. The woman is an RN, a physical therapist, and a licensed massage therapist. She does cupping, as well as quite a number of other things, based on what one’s condition is. My primary care said that this isn’t like regular physical therapy. I won’t have to keep on going back and back and back. One or two visits should suffice.

I had been pretty much pain free for two weeks (yay!), but the TMJ pain started up again yesterday. First it was just a little bit, and I ignored it. I’ve had some breakthrough pain during the pain-free times, and it’s gone away. But it continued, and I reluctantly took half of a tylenol + codeine tablet; the ones I have are 5 mg. That helped, and at least I didn’t wake up in the night in agony, which has happened way too often. But as soon as I eat breakfast, I’ll be downing another half tablet. The pain has moved from my jaw to my ear, and that pain is probably the worst, at least for me.

I was so (over-optimistically) hoping that, after two weeks or so without (much) pain, the TMJ pain would go away completely. Hah! It’s interesting: you’d think that the pain would kick in when I’m stressed. I’ve had a VERY stressful two weeks, and little pain. As soon as the stress lifts, then the pain zings in. This has happened a number of other times. I don’t know why this is, but perhaps you folks can tell me.

Anyway, off to send email to my primary care’s wonderful receptionist and make an appointment with the RN/LPT/LMT. So glad you got relief from the cupping!

Hazel

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@hazelblumberg

Sauvee, I’m so glad to hear about this. My primary care has recommended that I go to a woman in her office. The woman is an RN, a physical therapist, and a licensed massage therapist. She does cupping, as well as quite a number of other things, based on what one’s condition is. My primary care said that this isn’t like regular physical therapy. I won’t have to keep on going back and back and back. One or two visits should suffice.

I had been pretty much pain free for two weeks (yay!), but the TMJ pain started up again yesterday. First it was just a little bit, and I ignored it. I’ve had some breakthrough pain during the pain-free times, and it’s gone away. But it continued, and I reluctantly took half of a tylenol + codeine tablet; the ones I have are 5 mg. That helped, and at least I didn’t wake up in the night in agony, which has happened way too often. But as soon as I eat breakfast, I’ll be downing another half tablet. The pain has moved from my jaw to my ear, and that pain is probably the worst, at least for me.

I was so (over-optimistically) hoping that, after two weeks or so without (much) pain, the TMJ pain would go away completely. Hah! It’s interesting: you’d think that the pain would kick in when I’m stressed. I’ve had a VERY stressful two weeks, and little pain. As soon as the stress lifts, then the pain zings in. This has happened a number of other times. I don’t know why this is, but perhaps you folks can tell me.

Anyway, off to send email to my primary care’s wonderful receptionist and make an appointment with the RN/LPT/LMT. So glad you got relief from the cupping!

Hazel

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St first I thought I was imagining things but I actually had a day without stiffness where I could move fluidly and stand up straight! But back to the meds today. Have had a lot going on and live with a complete nut. Looking forward to my new home in South America!

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@hazelblumberg

Sauvee, I’m so glad to hear about this. My primary care has recommended that I go to a woman in her office. The woman is an RN, a physical therapist, and a licensed massage therapist. She does cupping, as well as quite a number of other things, based on what one’s condition is. My primary care said that this isn’t like regular physical therapy. I won’t have to keep on going back and back and back. One or two visits should suffice.

I had been pretty much pain free for two weeks (yay!), but the TMJ pain started up again yesterday. First it was just a little bit, and I ignored it. I’ve had some breakthrough pain during the pain-free times, and it’s gone away. But it continued, and I reluctantly took half of a tylenol + codeine tablet; the ones I have are 5 mg. That helped, and at least I didn’t wake up in the night in agony, which has happened way too often. But as soon as I eat breakfast, I’ll be downing another half tablet. The pain has moved from my jaw to my ear, and that pain is probably the worst, at least for me.

I was so (over-optimistically) hoping that, after two weeks or so without (much) pain, the TMJ pain would go away completely. Hah! It’s interesting: you’d think that the pain would kick in when I’m stressed. I’ve had a VERY stressful two weeks, and little pain. As soon as the stress lifts, then the pain zings in. This has happened a number of other times. I don’t know why this is, but perhaps you folks can tell me.

Anyway, off to send email to my primary care’s wonderful receptionist and make an appointment with the RN/LPT/LMT. So glad you got relief from the cupping!

Hazel

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Sauvee, yes, such days are indeed possible, and I’m glad you had one!!!!! I had over two weeks of little to no pain, and it was a thrill.

Can you possibly ditch “the complete nut”? That might ease a lot of your pain!

And where are you moving in South America?

My husband and I have been exploring other countries in which to live. We were in Canada, in Nova Scotia, for ten days a couple months back, and we loved everything about it and the people we met. (One was a friend from a knitting list, and we’d chatted only online. Meeting her and her daughter and their lovely cat face to face was such a thrill!) We’d have to learn Gaelic, which would be delightful. And learn to dance so that we could go to ceilidhs. (We went to several, and the dancing was amazing.) And/or learn to play the fiddle. I’m up for all that!

A number of our friends have moved to or are moving to Panama, so we’re thinking of exploring that, too. The heat is a big negative factor for me. But one of our friends lives in the mountains in Panama, where it’s windy and much cooler. And I love learning languages. I’ve studied Spanish before, and I can read it, but speaking and understanding what’s being said to me are something else, again. Would definitely need to enroll in Spanish classes. I’m fluent in German, but that, alas, would be no help in Panama.

Hazel

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@hazelblumberg

Sauvee, I’m so glad to hear about this. My primary care has recommended that I go to a woman in her office. The woman is an RN, a physical therapist, and a licensed massage therapist. She does cupping, as well as quite a number of other things, based on what one’s condition is. My primary care said that this isn’t like regular physical therapy. I won’t have to keep on going back and back and back. One or two visits should suffice.

I had been pretty much pain free for two weeks (yay!), but the TMJ pain started up again yesterday. First it was just a little bit, and I ignored it. I’ve had some breakthrough pain during the pain-free times, and it’s gone away. But it continued, and I reluctantly took half of a tylenol + codeine tablet; the ones I have are 5 mg. That helped, and at least I didn’t wake up in the night in agony, which has happened way too often. But as soon as I eat breakfast, I’ll be downing another half tablet. The pain has moved from my jaw to my ear, and that pain is probably the worst, at least for me.

I was so (over-optimistically) hoping that, after two weeks or so without (much) pain, the TMJ pain would go away completely. Hah! It’s interesting: you’d think that the pain would kick in when I’m stressed. I’ve had a VERY stressful two weeks, and little pain. As soon as the stress lifts, then the pain zings in. This has happened a number of other times. I don’t know why this is, but perhaps you folks can tell me.

Anyway, off to send email to my primary care’s wonderful receptionist and make an appointment with the RN/LPT/LMT. So glad you got relief from the cupping!

Hazel

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You are a knitter??? I am too but kind of a newbie. Yes, going completely nutless.

I like Brazil from what I have seen but not sure about the safety aspect. Do you know about it?

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Sauvee, yes, I am an obsessed knitter! Learned to knit when I was a little kid and found it the most boring thing ever. When I lived in Germany, though, everyone was knitting, and I took it up again. And haven’t stopped since. I make up my own designs or borrow bits and pieces from patterns. Sometimes I do follow patterns, but not often.

Being a newbie is good. It’s exciting. It’s fun. And it’ll become so soothing and such a way of life. And you will develop a Stash Beyond Life Expectancy, if you haven’t already. 😉

SO glad you’re going to go away nutless!!!!

I, alas, know nothing about Brazil. Except that Portuguese sounds amazing to me! A friend has lived all over South America. Let me send her a note and ask her if she’s lived in Brazil, and how she liked it if she did.

Hazel

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