pain med and pain wits end

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sbar
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/2/2008 6:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Last October, to make a long story short, I got sick and thought it was the flu. Turns out it was the shingles. he put me on oxy and the usual treatment drugs for shingles. After a month, the rash left and the pain got much,much worse. Well, I was one of the unlucky 5% that developed PHN. this is pretty much untreatable and the pain that comes with it is way off the scale. It's runied my life. I am sure after this long my job of 25 years is toast. He sent me to a pain clinic and all they did is turn me into an addict. I hate the patches, oxy, and everything else that comes with it. I have tried everything I have found on the net and been to doc after doc and every snake oil thing I could find. It drives everybody away from you. Even when I try to quit the drugs, the pain is so bad you want to just die. I am47 years old and had everything in the world going for me. so..... now i'm just a addict in terrible pain with no hope in sight. I knew life could get bad but geez... I dont know why I am writing this really but just wanted to say my peace I guess. I just wanted to tell all to count your blessings. My hand I was delt is nothing but foldable.

Raven67
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 2/2/2008 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi sbar

Welcome.  I can definetely sympathize with you.  At 35 I had Breast CA. I currently have Diabetes and Rheumatoid arthritis.  Don't give up!!!! There are many drugs out there to help.  Has your doctor tried Lyrica.  This seem to work well with another member in the Arthritis forum.  she had shingles as well and has +++ pain. 
 
I take oxy as well. I have felt the same way you do many times in the past year.  I'm not where I want to be but you have to take it one day at a time.  You will find so much support  and a lot of information from everyone here that will be able to help you in the coming days.  Remember as well that there is a difference between an addict and being dependent on something.  You need these meds to function and to help with the pain. 
 
Hang in there and let me know how your doing.
 
Raven
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!!!
 
Current Diagnosis-Rheumatoid Arthritis, Insulin Dependent Diabetes, Osteoarthritis right knee, Osteoporosis. Stress!!!!!!
Current Meds-Methotrexate 20mg s/c weekly, Plaquenil 200 mg BID, Celebrex, Folic Acid daily, Cesamet, Oxycontin 20 mg BID, Lorazepam 2 mg dly Actonel weekly, Insulin-Humalog 35 units TID and Lantus 40 units BID, Calcium, Vitamin D


xpixiedustx
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/2/2008 7:42 PM (GMT -7)   
My Mother also had shingles. In fact, she has had it several times, and now, also has PHN.  Her doctor has her on neurontin and an anti-viral that she'll take for the rest of her life, but she has had no active shingles in about two years, and her pain from the neuralgia is very well controlled.
 
 


-Born with Spina bifida 
 
-Dxed with hydocephalus @ 3wks of age.  Shunted with a V/A shunt since age 6.
 
-Dx'ed with unilateral hip dysplasia since age 6.
 
- Dx'ed with fibromyalgia in 2004
 
- Dx'ed   Depression/GAD/PTSD since 2000
 
- Dex'ed  * "Learning disabled"-age 9  "LD" translation: ADD and Dyslexia
 
- Dx'ed * IBS-C  a few months ago
 
* I'm currently untreated with medication for the ADD and IBS-C. However, my current med regimen seems to help with my concentration. My IBS is managed  through diet and softeners when needed.
Current meds:
 
Paxil 50mgs
Risperdal Consta 25mg
Trileptal  900mg
Atarax 25mgs
Ketoprofen 200mgs
Lorcet 10mgs (PRN)
Xanax  2-6mgs (PRN for acute anxiety or panic attacks)
Flexeril  10mgs for muscle spasms and pain


sbar
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/2/2008 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   
wow, somebody was out there. I have never wrote on anything like this and really dont know how I found it but your quick return was a comfort. Its very hard not for me to feel sorry for myself. It's been 4 months and I still stand in disbelief. I was a very active person, a firefighter, rode dirt bikes hard and just a basic irish redneck. My ego I guess is part of this but the pain just grinds me down to nothing. It never stops, and I drive 100s of miles to have docs say more drugs. The part that is also weird is its like my family treats me like a mental case. all in all, I had no idea there was pain like this. Lyrica helps some I guess, sure gets to my eyes though. well, bad day for the great alpha male I guess. the suicide rate for this is 80% and I can see why. one thing this has brought me to God. After all my years in fire rescue, I always thought it was strange that is when we ask for help and we judge how good we have it by looking at the tragady of others. well, thanks for lending an ear and gods speed on your quest. thanks Raven

Raven67
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 2/2/2008 8:13 PM (GMT -7)   
sbar, hang in there.  Man, I know exactly how you're feeling. I too was very active.  I live in Eastern Ontario, Canada.  Extremely cold but good for skiing and hockey.  I work in Ottawa which is 1.5 hours drive daily (currently on long term disability with not much chance in returning to work) and as a widow since 2001 with 3 kids going to basketball, hockey and dance and my own activities I know how it is to be stopped in your tracks.  I don't deal with it very well either, but trying to take it one day at a time. 
Your in my thoughts and prayers!
Raven  :-)
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!!!
 
Current Diagnosis-Rheumatoid Arthritis, Insulin Dependent Diabetes, Osteoarthritis right knee, Osteoporosis. Stress!!!!!!
Current Meds-Methotrexate 20mg s/c weekly, Plaquenil 200 mg BID, Celebrex, Folic Acid daily, Cesamet, Oxycontin 20 mg BID, Lorazepam 2 mg dly Actonel weekly, Insulin-Humalog 35 units TID and Lantus 40 units BID, Calcium, Vitamin D


sbar
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/2/2008 8:22 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks raven. i am kinda glad i found this site. this will be good to talk wth others. god works in funny ways

hazelB
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 2/3/2008 12:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I completely know how you feel sbar. When my life got flipped upside down I
 Interstitial Cystitis and Endometriosis
 


hazelB
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 2/3/2008 12:15 AM (GMT -7)   
was only 26. Just got my degree, worked my way up from the bottom to gain the respect of my colleges because I was so young for my field and I had just gotten engaged. I felt like in one moment it all got taken away. Sometimes it has been very hard to even open my eyes in the morning. There are times it feels so comfortable to just lay down where I am and say 'forget it' I still deal with that everyday. The jelousy and resentment I have tword those who can do the things I cant. When I found these boards, I had never even thought of trying to find a chronic pain forum. It was completely by chance that I found it. I even visited for a while before I decided to post. But it has been so wonderful talking to others who understand just how desperate it can feel to deal with pain everyday. I find it a little easier everyday having somewhere to come. I'm glad you stumbled upon the board.
 Interstitial Cystitis and Endometriosis
 


Hound-Dog
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 2/3/2008 1:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hang in there sbar.After a botched operation eight years ago, I woke up screaming in pain from pudendal nerve entrapment causing a pelvic floor spazm that only a fair jolt of morphine was able to somewhat control.Three weeks later, with higher doses of morphine,I was able to put enough weight on my legs to be able to walk with short crutches.I was 45 then and my dirt biking,4X4ing, elk and moose hunting,river fishing days were over,just like that.I am 53 now,have to take about approx 400mgs of morphine a day just so I can put weight on my legs and more if I want to ride in a vehicle.Since my pain is under control most days,I've found other enjoyable ways to fill my time.Do I miss my old life ? You bet,but I know that there are plenty of people in wheelchairs who would give everything they own just to be able to get out of their chairs and have the mobility I have.I sure hope you don't give up and continue to keep looking for whatever it's going to take to make you feel better.May God Bless You and give you strength.Take care.............Rod

sbar
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/3/2008 6:08 AM (GMT -7)   

I want to thank all for the instant support I have found here. I have never used or been a fourm person but I am sure glad  I stumbled across this in my endless quest of finding a "magic wand" that is not there.In a way, your guys instant support at this time and space is a main reason I am not room temp. today(man, I never, ever thought I would even think that) besides my family would kill me :) the never ending fire just has  ground me down to nothing, really. I dont feel so alone now but its sad that there is a "club" like this but today, I take the drugs and keep breathing and stop asking why.   thanks all. your words last night is why I am still here today   really.   thanks all,

me

 

 

 

 

 


TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 2/3/2008 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   
SBar-

Admittedly I don't have time to read the whole thread, I'm sure there have been a couple great responses.

I just wanted to say that no, I don't feel your pain, I've never been in your situation. I do understand living in pain though. I'm 27 years old and my back pain started in 2000. Less than a week after I got married.

You keep saying that you are an "addict"... I have news for you... YOU ARE NOT AN ADDICT!

There is a huge difference between being addicted and being dependent. You are taking your pain medication for a legit medical condition, you aren't taking it for a high, or a buzz, you are taking it to help relieve the pain that you have to live in. You should look at your pain medication the same as a diabetic looks at his insulin, it's not something for fun, it's something that allows them to live as close to normal as possible, something that keeps them functioning. Believe me after almost seven years on pain medications, at such a young age, I've had a few moments where I wanted to throw the pain meds out the window, I don't like the way they make my head feel, I don't like the occasional feeling or rubber arms that my muscle relaxer gives me, I don't like NEEDING anything. I'm a very independent person, and needing pain medication, and lots of help from my husband sucks. But the way I see it, I take the pain meds so that I can live better than I would without them. Three weeks ago I went in to see my PCP for an emergency appointment, when I did so I had been in so much pain for two weeks my blood pressure was at 150/110 - from 110/70. I very well could have had heart problems if I didn't get something to help with the pain. So it's very similar to my dad taking his blood pressure medication. Please don't ever consider yourself an addict, you are very far from it, if you take it to decrease your pain. If you are taking the pills for a high feeling, then you should consider seeing a psychologist to help you get around that.

Also, and please don't have me for stepping up to say this, but you sound like you might be suffering from depression. It's perfectly normal for someone living with chronic pain. At my last PCP visit I finally admitted that I think I might be depressed. I let her know that the "happy" "well adjusted" patient that she see's is a front that I put up so that other people don't have to live with the pain that I fight every day. Don't be afraid to bring this up.

I wish you the best!
Healingwell is a great site full of support, and great advice. PLEASE continue to reach out here. We are here for you. Some days are less busy than others and it might take a bit to get back to you - but we are here for you, I'm here for you if you need help! Just email me.

Take care,
Tammy
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
_____________________________________________________________________________
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)


TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 2/3/2008 3:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Sbar -

Just wanted to add one more thing to that, now that I have time.

It is quite sad that there is the need for a forum for people who suffer anything, let alone chronic pain. BUT Healingwell is a family for me, beyond my own. Here I know that there are people that deal with pain every single minute like I do. I know that here I wont be judged, and here I can find real comfort when I'm having hard time coping with the struggle that chronic pain bring about. Finding healing well was like finding a home, where the people don't just say they know how you feel, they really do. I am lucky enough to have a very supportive family, and a husband who loves me and deals with me in good times and bad. (You never realize how lucky you are till the bad hits)... but at the same time, I dont explain all my pain to him, I hide alot of it, just to avoid causing him pain from my suffering. My mom gets to hear some of it, so does he, but here, it's not "just another painful day" the people here understand what we go through. Here I don't have to hide the bad days, here I don't feel I need to be superwoman. Here I'm just Tammy, another person who suffers pain every day.

Whats so funny, and I use this saying alot of time when trying to explain living in pain to people... I tell them imagine waking up with a migraine (for example, depends on what I think they can understand the pain of)... and that migraine NEVER going away. It gets to the point where having the migraine isn't something to be surprised about, the surprise is if at any point you end up with a brief, however tiny moment where the pain isn't there.

I get told a great deal of the time that I am "incredibly well adjusted" considering the pain I deal with daily. The one thing I have that keeps me still dealing with this is that I found that I'm stronger than I ever thought I could be. I have so many people tell me that they can't imagine living the way that I do, or how I'm not a grumpy mean angry person. I tell them the truth, statistically one of so many people have to have this problem. If I had to choose for me to have a bad back, or my husband, my kids to come, my parents, or friends, I'd rather it be me. I've learned I can take it.
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
_____________________________________________________________________________
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)


TexasJen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 649
   Posted 2/3/2008 5:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi sbar, glad you found a forum to let off some steam. Chronic pain is just like any other major illness. It changes your entire life. Because this thing hit you so fast and so hard, you haven't had a chance to wrap your brain around it. Every last person here wishes for the magic pill to take it all away and restore us to our normal lives. Ain't gonna happen. Does that mean our lives are over? Not by a long dam shot!

I see treating chronic pain as a 4-way proposition. One doc to diagnose and treat the underlying disease; a second doc to treat the physical pain issues; a third doc in the form of a psychologist who specializes in pain issues; and fourth - a patient willing to put up with all the cr*p the doctors ask us to do. Being a CP patient isn't for the faint of heart. We have to redefine who we are WITH pain as our constant companions. What we can't do is allow our pain to write that definition. I am not my pain. I am a person. I have a life, and that life still has meaning and joy. I refuse to let my pain steal my joy for one more minute.

Dealing with pain is far more than taking ever-increasing amounts of meds. With a little work with a proper pain shrink, you'll be surprised at how much you can do mentally to deal with it. There are all kinds of relaxation techniques and meditations to learn that will be an adjunct to the medical therapy. No doubt you're already saying, "I'm not crazy. I'm in pain darn it!" Yep. You're right. Look at mental therapy as putting just one more tool in your medicine chest. I was extremely skeptical when my pain doc asked me to see a shrink. I figured I'd go a few times just to satisfy the doc that it was a waste of time and money. As it turned out, it was the best thing I could have ever done. If you want to look at it another way, eventually you'll likely be asked to see a pain shrink as a condition of treatment, so you might as well get started. If you need to file for a disability claim, having a statement from a psychologist will be a big help proving that you've done everything you possibly can to get back to your life.

I know you're still in shock over this bodily betrayal, but try to look at the bigger picture. You're still here, and your going to be here for a long time. You are obviously in a family who loves you very much, and they want to keep you around too. Your life has meaning, and you WILL have joy again if you accept that the pain is going to be with you and work with it instead of against it. :-)
Living in the Republic of Texas minus a gallbladder, a couple of cervical discs, appendix, uterus, and 18" of colon; but still alive and living with my husband, 2 dogs, 1 cockatiel, and 2 gold fish. 


sbar
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/3/2008 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
wow, this is a good deal for this whole thing. If antbody woud have told me I was be here now writing this I would have never , ever bought into it. for me, I have a zillion things to say, all self centered complaints would be my guess. This really bites. pain of biblical preportion or door 2, so drugged I cant enough type. yep I am really feeling sorry for myself today. There I was , minding my own biz and zapo. I was at last making good money, got a new rig I cant afford now, and just looking great. ok, I know, what makes me so above it. above you people, well, dumb me, nothing but maybe dumb. Yep, I loved the action figure life and firefighting was just my EMT firefighter sideline in the little tiny town I live in. My real job is I am an engineer. and if I told everybody what I really do for a living no body would believe me anyway but I had a very very cool job and I was at this place over half my life. but I am sure that will be toast when I get back. thats biz I guess, Yep, its poor me day I guess. Boy, I sure I was so cool I was above all this. yep, whatever. It's runied my life and bottom line I need to stop the high dose oxys, patches and the other bag-o-bottles of drugs and take the pain long enough to make sure I am clear I am screwed and thats that. reality,, gezzz, I thought that was what happened to other people. today, after 4 months, I lost my last attempt to remount my high horse. Im tired of sitting here, i'm trired of the pills and all the crap of going through the script process, i'm tired of "I stand higher then you" pharmisists or however you spell the little overepaid, powerhungry nerds that all they have to do is count pills and look at the label for problems the other 100 pills the factory line pill mills hand out that they dont get right anyway most of the time or bill right(theres always a problem) and last, my favorite, the bubble headed "Pharm TECH. now here's the real brian power. And of course, after their class of Tuesday degree, they know more then Ortho about chemicals.
while their money goe's to daycare for their 20 kids(but wait, I think we pay for that) anyway, I am on fire all the time it hurts worse that a elm street movie and I bet I never get invited back here again, but you guys are caring, real people and now that I do pray (yep took this I guess, sad but typical for our speices) Iwill indeed pray for you guys too. you are brave and resolved. better then the former too cool for that ego me. gods speed to all of you

Mochiah
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 2/3/2008 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
sbar - you are invited to post here any time, we don't take that right away from you. You are suffering just like the rest of us and we have all had that poor me day (or week). We have all dealt with the pharm tech who acts like they know better than our doctors, yet they aren't even old enough to drink...or sometimes even VOTE for that matter! We are all in this together and the support here is top notch. I don't even want to think of where I might be had I not found HW and everyone who understood exactly what I felt and what I meant even if I worded it wrong.
Mochiah/a.k.a. Sue
cervical fusion 2006, with great result
L4-5 surgery with cages, plates, and screws in 2005, I have continued pain 
MEDS:  Fentanyl patch, Norco, Celexa, trazodone, and Parafon Forte
 
To handle yourself, use your head...to handle others, use your heart
 
I'm going to smile like nothing is wrong, act like everything is perfect, and pretend its not hurting me.


TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 2/3/2008 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Sbar - Feel free to vent, and believe me, we all have "poor me" days. Sometimes a lot of them, sometimes few of them.

I personally go through stages... it starts with the pain, that slowly builds up, I try doing this or that, things that I SHOULD be able to do, and then after awhile I get MAD. I get mad and I try to not need my pain meds, I try to pretend that the pain isn't there, and then I end up in the REAL pain. The ER trip type of pain. Getting mad never gets me anywhere.

I have to agree with Jen above though, this hit you so fast that you haven't (probably) had time to get past the mad phase. Which is okay. I spent a great deal of time royally hating things right after my back pain got mad a year post surgery. It was like the surgery had never happened. I was mad at everyone, every doctor, my dogs, my cat, my husband, my family, God, and myself. Thing is, I didn't get anywhere being mad. I've found, honestly, knowing that things could always be worse, help. I know there are days where it doesn't feel like they could be worse.

I'm a very faithful person, it was my pain that brought me to God. Once I got past the why did you do this to me, I got to see that He didn't do it to a family member, and honestly that would have hurt me more than my pain does. He didn't take me away from my husband, even though sometimes I feel as if I'm more of a burden to him than anything else. My husband loves me, and wants to be with ME. Despite everything else, I get to sleep next to him, and on nights when I'm in too much pain to sleep, I get to listen to him breathe, and thank God that it's me not him. I've also found that the strength that people see in ME is helpful to them. There are people at my church that tell me I'm so cheerful for someone so young dealing with so much. One person told me that "I" helped her realize how good she has it, she prays to God for me to be in less pain, and at the same time, admits that she thanks Him for not being in my shoes.

You have strenght Sbar, you've made it this far. Healingwell and it's members are more than happy to hear you vent, and help you in any way that we can. To be honest though, the one person that is going to be able to help you the most, is you. You have to make the decision that you are stronger than whatever pain your in. YOU have to decide that you are not the pain, YOU are a person, the pain is just part of your life. You said that you pray, so the last thing that I can say to you, is pray. It's okay to get mad, it's okay to vent, and God does listen. If you don't goto church, consider visiting a pastor. God is there for you, and He believes in you, even when you don't have faith in yourself. When my pain gets unbearable, I pray for strength, and I'm still here. Find that pool of faith, jump in. Your already drowning, and if you believe in God, any God, have faith that if you just wait, He'll show you the reason for such things. I don't always understand things, and I know a great deal of the time, God is screaming at me, trying to teach me something, and I'm hitting the mute button to dwell in self pity. Finally, when I take the time to listen, that pity that I'm drowning in has a hand, His hand, in the form of a friend, a website (healingwell) a family member, is reaching to pull me up for air, and all you have to do, is reach up and take the hand He gives you.
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
_____________________________________________________________________________
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)


sbar
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/3/2008 10:03 PM (GMT -7)   
well, even though Iwont admit it to family (who seems tired of it already) and yes, I do pray and talk alot with my pastor, I start to think that if a animal is suffering, we do the humane thing and put them down. not to sound selfish but then pain is getting so bad and I am not getting any better and PHN is THERE forever, then I ask myself, what is the point? more drugs, more no sleep nights, more bills for false hope doctors no I really believe I have exhausted all options. I can find no good hope anywhere for PHN, nowhere. my time on this earth draws near but like I said, you people are very cool and brave. I'm jut tired of chasing a rainbow,

peace alll
gods speed

sbar
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/4/2008 6:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Afterthought:
I really do want to thank everybody for taking the time to type out your suppert and share you stories. I again, would like to say I am sorry for the never ending poor me I have shown during my short time at this forum and after much thought last night have decided to stop asking why me. to be honest, I am tired of even hearing myself whine about it when after reading some stories that you all shared and relized that it could be alot worse. My kids are fine, I can walk, i can see and so on so it occured to me that it could be much much worse. yep, this hurts real bad and it has really messed up my life but I still have life and life brings hope. I need to pray more and count my blesssings more. Thanks all.

TexasJen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 649
   Posted 2/4/2008 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Sounds like a breakthrough in your thinking sbar! You're getting the idea. :-)

Right now, you can't let yourself get caught in the trap of looking at your life long-term. You CAN survive this, but you have to start with baby steps, one day, even one hour at a time. A big part of learning to deal with pain is training yourself to ignore it with various distractions. For me, getting lost in a good, long book does a world of good. If you can possibly lay down and do some controlled, relaxation breathing, you may even find that you can take a nap and sleep through some of the pain.

There's a whole lot of trial and error involved in getting your life back, so you might as well get started on it today. Have you noticed that you take shorter, faster, and shallow breaths when the pain is at its worst? That's when controlling your breathing becomes so very important. Breathing that way makes you tense your muscles and actually makes the pain worse in a vicious cycle that's difficult to break. If you can slow down your breathing, and consciously relax every part of your body, you may be surprised that your pain levels drop a couple of notches. These are the kinds of things that a pain psychologist can help you learn.

Think of learning how to live with this pain as your full-time job now. The time for mourning your past life is over. Now is the time for some real courage and action. Like I said before, pain relief doesn't just come in a bottle. So much involves what you control in your head. Somehow, you have to step back from looking at what you can't do, and start to figure out what you CAN do.

If you find yourself in whining mode with your family and friends, try to make a conscious effort to stop. They want to help, but they can't. My mother-in-law drove me crazy sending Get Well Soon cards every week for months after my last failed surgery. I had to have a heart-to-heart and tell her that it was part of my therapy not to focus on my illness, and she could help me by not sending me weekly reminders. I had to work to get people to stop seeing me as my illness, and to see me as the same person I've always been.

Yes, you've had a huge pile of doo-doo dropped on your head, but your life isn't over by a long shot. You've got some work to do, which I why I say to start looking at this as a full time job. You'll be surprised how quickly your life will improve with a few more tools in your pain toolbox.
Living in the Republic of Texas minus a gallbladder, a couple of cervical discs, appendix, uterus, and 18" of colon; but still alive and living with my husband, 2 dogs, 1 cockatiel, 1 quaker parrot and 2 gold fish. 


Joan M
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1973
   Posted 2/4/2008 6:08 PM (GMT -7)   
HI SBAR...HERE I AM JOAN FROM BROOLYN AND LET ME TELL YOU DON'T LET ANYBODY MESS WITH YOUR HEAD. Pain just is and as far as the shingles I take elavil to sleep...very little and I take lyrica for the whatever it is...burning skin, stabbing and spasms in my back.

I think engineers are very important ... after all who built the brooklyn bridge, the manhattan bridge and all those gosh wonderful buildings and car designs, trailers...I mean my goodness...are we suppose to live in caves?

I also use the lidoderm patch which is not narcotic which you put directly on your most sensitive spots where the shingles happened.

Was born with dislocation of the hip and kept telling the docs...if I lie in bed (I am 62 years old) and don't move a muscle...the osteoarthritis is not so bad. They tested me and thank god I came up with the ruematoid factor...finally saw the ruematologist and found out about mobic so now I am able to handle that problem better. Have another very painful condition with my feet but I use special inserts for that.

The main point is that I cannot handle darvon/codeine because I have IBS/constipation so DEM DE BREAKS.  O well depression, doesn't that just happen at some point in our fabulous lives????

You take care...you are not alone. eyes eyes eyes

Post Edited (Joan M) : 2/4/2008 6:13:05 PM (GMT-7)


Hound-Dog
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 2/5/2008 12:58 AM (GMT -7)   
sbar....I hope you're having to deal with less pain today.I am able to give myself strength on my worst days by thinking about the things that I still have to do.Now that my kids are in their early 20's, it's likely I'll soon have grandkids that will need grandpa around to fuss over them. That sort of thing.TexasJens advice about controlled breathing has been right on the money for me too. I learned the technique at a pain management clinic about five years ago.I welcome every little bit of relief I can find and I'm still always looking for anything new.May God Bless You and take care..........Rod

sbar
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 2/5/2008 6:36 AM (GMT -7)   
hi alll. well, another day of the battle against PHN. I went 160 miles yesterday to buy a TENs unit and took it for a test drive last night. I figure today I am going to try to wear it most of the day on a low setting. what a weird feeling. I dont know if its just in my head but it did seem to help some last night after wearing it for a hour. The little panic attacks, which I never had in my life before this came on a little this morning. I am trying to stay away from the poor me today bu it remains a battle. unclouded thought process is rare between the pain and drugs but your guys advice and input helps. I often wonder how the really old folks that get PHN cope. Taking into considertion the different degrees of how bad each case is. wish me luck, another day has arrived. thanks all

TexasJen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 649
   Posted 2/5/2008 8:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Good job! Don't give up on the TNS unit too soon either. It's probably going to take a combination of various things to really get you moving again, so don't give up.

You mention you're getting panic attacks. A panic attack is just the normal "fight or flight" response run amok and your body is flooded with adrenaline. All dressed up for a fight and nobody to punch and nowhere to run. One way to deal with a panic is to first notice when one is coming on. As soon as you notice it, pay attention to how you're breathing. It's likely fast and shallow, and completely ineffective. That's why people experience chest pain and pass out for a short time. It's the body's way of regulating breathing to where it's supposed to be. Try to make an effort to sit up straight, slow your breathing down and get the air all the way down to the bottom of your lungs. Exhale slowly. If that doesn't help, breathing into a paper bag will knock that panic attack in the dirt. :-)
Living in the Republic of Texas minus a gallbladder, a couple of cervical discs, appendix, uterus, and 18" of colon; but still alive and living with my husband, 2 dogs, 1 cockatiel, 1 quaker parrot and 2 gold fish. 


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13461
   Posted 2/5/2008 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
SBar, I too wanted to welcome you to HW/ When I first found HW I had been dx'd with crohns disease and had undergone surgery to remove 12 inches of my small bowel. I never did well after the surgery and just became sicker. I finally found a gastro who took me on as a patient and he is a blessing. I was in denial that I had crohns even after surgery. Then a multitude of different problems came up and I ended up crashing. I too was sent to a physchologist who was familiar with auto-immune diseases and chronic pain. I was put on an antidepressant which really helped. My visits with the physchologist was extremely valuable. She explained to me why I was having the thoughts and feelings, very similar to yours. When something happens in our lives that alters our ability to carry on as usual whether its due to an illness or accident. The first thing that happens is we actually grieve for our old life. Believe me, I think everyone here can attest to that one.
 
She says we then have to learn to refocus as Texas Jen said. Its hard no doibt about. But, I made a promise to myself that I would not let chronic pain or chrons disease rule my life. I am 54 yrs old now and have a hell of a lot of life left in me. I had to have a pain pump implanted 2 yrs ago as I was having too many issues with oral meds. Its strange how we can feel like our lives have been snatched from us one minute seems like it takes forever to get it back. But, trust me you can get some sort of a life back. You mentioned you have children, they will always need their Dad no matter what. You can do it, you took the steps to come here and post. That proved right there you are much stronger than you think. Also, talk to your dr about maybe switching you to Neurotin to see if it will help better than the Lyrica. We do have to be very proactive with our care we get from our drs.
 
Anytime you need to vent, come here and do it, thats what we are here for. Susie


Joan M
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1973
   Posted 2/6/2008 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   
hi sbar...believe you me...I am 62 years old and it ain't no fun...my shingles experience...but I chalk it all up. I don't know if you can dig where I am at but I just want a complete body transplant or an open portal to heaven. You take care and don't let anybody mess with your head...just tell them to refocus...you are doing your best...once you are in control of the pain...you will be able to reassert your career goals.
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