What do you do to distract yourself from the pain?

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skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/25/2009 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi friends,

I've been thinking a lot lately about the things that I do (both the good & bad) to try & get my mind off of my pain and thought that might be interesting to see what others do. I'm not talking about taking meds or using ice, heat, etc., but more about activities or actions. So, what do you do to try & distract yourself from the pain?

I've come to notice that I clench my teeth when I'm in a lot of pain. This worries me a bit, because it can't be too good for my mouth. Yet clamping down on something seems to help me anchor myself & "fight" the pain.

Lying still, closing my eyes, and focusing on the pain & my breathing will sometimes help me to conquer some of it (I believe this is essentially the technique of "mindfullness"). Also trying to slow my heart rate & decrease my bp can help.

But in general, I try to give my mind something else to focus on. If I have the energy, I'll try to get outside, or spend time playing with my dogs. Sometimes I get so uptight from the pain that running helps me to face & deal with the pain as well. At least it helps me to deal with the emotional side of CP.

Watching TV or a movie will give me something else to think about, but doesn't usually help me "ignore" the pain any. It's too passive. I find that I still tend to dwell on the pain. A lot of times when the pain is bad I want to talk to someone. That's where you guys come in, in addition to select family members or friends. Coming here & trying to help others is also therapeutic to me.

I'm sure there is more, and I probably even do things that I don't realize, but that's all that I can think of for now.

Skeye

Pete trips again!
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 8/25/2009 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Since I'm not employed anymore and live in the country, I've been watching the birds at our feeders in the sicamore tree in front of our house. We have so many but I especially love the huming birds here! I just love watching them and seeing how close they will let me get to them. I move my chair next to and almost under their feeder and I'm up to about 4'~5' away while they are feeding now. Sometimes they will just hoover in front of me and look me straight in the eyes as to say, " Your not going to hurt little old me, are you mister?" I've identified 4 different kinds so far but I'm pretty sure there is at least one more and maybe even two more kinds living here for the summer! We even have little babies. Oh they are so cute!!! They make my pain dissaper!!
Thanks for letting me share Skeye>
Big Hug coming your way!!
Peace & Love.
Your big bro!!!
56 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 1/2 years of depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy> new 2/6/09> 400mg injections once a month. 56 and so glad to still be here to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men. They are both serving in the US Navy, Joseph is on the aircraft carrier USS John Stennis back in Bremerton, Wa. after 8 mo. deployment! and Pete Jr. is on The Asault Ship USS Bataan "The Jaws of the Fleet" somewhere in the Persian Gulf w/ 2,000 Marines aboard. I am one very proud (what they call me)> Big Pops! 


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/26/2009 12:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Skeye,
My first thought was to say I come here and read or post! If I can, I love curling up on my tempurpedic mattress, which is one of the places that feels most soothing. It scares me, though, because I spend way too much time in that bed because it is where I feel the least amount of pain.

If there's a favorite tv show on that's a help, but there aren't that many I like.

Of course, I go and visit the cats and dogs at the Humane Society! I even bought more treats at the store yesterday, even though sometimes I shouldn't be spending even the $5 (because now I buy for both the dogs and the cats!), but it makes me smile to walk down the aisle where the treats are and decide which ones to buy (usually the ones on sale!).

I can't believe it's nearly 4am. But I have the news on in the background about Ted Kennedy's death. I am a political junkie at heart - although not as energetic about it as I once was!

I'm rambling. Ok, I ramble. Let me fingers roam over the keyboard without thought of you poor souls who have to read it, but at least I'm not thinking about what hurts!

Enough!

Oh, and Pete, it sounds like you're developing a new hobby!

Hugs,

PaLady

SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 8/26/2009 2:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I have pain every day from osteoarthritis,but my pain tolerance is very high so I rarely take anything stronger than a tylenol.....Had carpel tunnel & now that hurt but had surgery on it 3 weeks ago & now no pain,numbness or tingling after nearly 8 yrs.....I have it in the other hand too but it's not bad enough yet...........
I also bowl in tournaments online at Pogo.com


SnowyLynne

Post Edited (SnowyLynne) : 8/26/2009 8:55:16 PM (GMT-6)


bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 8/26/2009 4:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I enjoy going outside and pulling weeds or grass from along side the house. Of course now I have to sit on my rear cause bending over too much is a no no. This has always had a calming effect on my mind. Never was one to use a weed wacker, then I'd have nothing to pull. Winter will be here soon though and being cooped up in the house is not something I look forward to.
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


Draka
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 8/26/2009 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I exercise..... pilates, Yoga, tennis or a strength building routine..... and recently began running again..... I like to do this all at night when it's dark.....

I can clear my head and just focus on the workout..... I feel so strong and proud of myself when I finish a routine..

This of course is all cleared by my Dr..... I know when to stop or skip to a certain pose and I don't do anything where my head is tipped backward (like overheads in tennis)

I then like to do a five minute meditation.....
Lisa


Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 8/26/2009 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I play my games on my Wii......paint when I can.....sketch....take short walks (usually only a block) and sit outside watching the birds fly around the feeder. I also, when I am feeling good, go around and take pictures of buildings, people, animals and such to distract myself from the pain.

These things seem to help along with my stretching....meditation (I'm really into the Tai Chei meditation style) and try to focus on blowing out the candle that is my pain. But too since PA has given me a new task of talking to my pain that too has helped focus the thoughts off of my back and my legs.

The left leg is the worst. It's always very vocal and I hate it.

Hugssssssssssss

Scarred
What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13461
   Posted 8/26/2009 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   

This is a great topic. My 4 yr old grandson is my very best source of medication, or getting out of the black mood thing. He is wonderful-yes, I know all grandmothes say this but he is so special to me, he is my glue. When I have Cole with me, I am concentrating on him so hard I can block the entire world out. But unfortunately, I cannot have him 24/7 because I am not physically capable of that.

I am an outdoor person. I am outside every morning just as the sun starts to come up. I am with Pete, I love to watch & hear the birds early in the morning. I grab my cup of coffee and outside I go. I usually stay outside till 10:00 then I have to come because of the heat. I have a couple local squirrels that come down the fence to antagonize my 3 dogs. I usually have the water hose going watering the plants, flowers and banana trees. I am curious to see if I get a crop of bananas this year. I do not think my trees are as tall this year as in the past. This years trees are about 16-18 ft which is on the short  side. They do take alot of water. I have a lime tree that I have been nursing back to health. No limes on it this year. Last year I had 18 limes and they were so sweet. I used them in my tea. I shared with my neighbor across the etreet and he asked this year about them. My young female gold retriever decided last fall to eat my tree, it was in a pot on the back porch. I had to do some major trimming on it. I also moved it to the front yard. Even tho I have scaled back the plants and flowers I still have alot of watering to do daily. I am now back to mowing my yard again. I got permission from my PM dr to do this. First time in 7 yrs. It makes me proud to be able to mow again. I have always been the one that took care of the yard. Sometimes I have to get hubby to start the mower because I don't have enough umph to get it to fire off. This has always been my stress reliever working in the yard. I cannot begin to fathom the hours I have put in on yardwork. I also get in the pool to relax and get my mind off of things. I like nothing better than to get on a float and read a book. I also do some water exercises, the best to do.

I love to color in coloring books-so I have a private stash along with my private craysons. My little grandson was quite shocked to discover granny's coloring books and crayons lol.

Many times I will get in the car and go to Home Depot or Lowes and walk around their lawn & garden center. In the winter I use Walmart as a place to walk out of the cold. Its very important that we get out and move around.

I also have three dogs that keeps me busy. They are indoor dogs so I do brush and comb them to help keep the hair down in the house. They love it outside early in the mornings with me. They get on squirrel watch while I water lol.


Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Centurion45
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/26/2009 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I play online video games - hence C45 ,

I take my wife out to a nightclub. I can't dance anymore but I enjoy the loud music and a coke. No I cannot drink - it would kill me.

I exercise, on my recumbant bike and walk as much as I can.

Do research on the issue, medical journals and the like and try to read up on the latest pain and back care work that I can find.
25+ Years, Sciatica, Lumbar back pain, Severe Stenosis L3-L4, DDD, Chronic pain - because the acute pain was never treated, Duh!


ahuffman
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 8/26/2009 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I tend to either play my video games, play around with my virtual machines or work on my screenwriting.

ahuffman

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/26/2009 6:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I think that there is something about being outdoors that is very invigorating & healing. I tend to spend a lot more time inside than I used to before the pain because I feel lousy and have no energy, but even if I have to force myself to go outside, I'm glad I did. There's nothing like the vibrance of nature! Spending time on the farms that we service at work is heaven to me. I don't think that I could ever be anything other than a country girl.

I took one of my dogs hiking yesterday & we had such a fabulous time - best thing I've done in a long time. This little boy has helped me so much in only the short 7 months that I've had him. He's my guardian angel. Pure love & joy. I'm going to miss him terribly when I go back to school in another week or so. He gets me through each day. He keeps me going.

Skeye

ps. Susie, I am very jealous of your banana & lime trees! I wish we could grow tropical fruits here! I am a self-proclaimed "fruit-aholic."

Post Edited (skeye) : 8/26/2009 7:31:15 PM (GMT-6)


Draka
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 8/26/2009 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Centurion45 said...
I play online video games - hence C45 ,


Wow... lots of gamers.... how could I forget that too..... I'm a gamer and play Word of Warcraft.... hence... Draka!

Hey Centurion45.... is this from World of Warcraft also?
Lisa


bluejet2
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 487
   Posted 8/26/2009 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all:

I love to make jewelry with beads, hemp, silk thread, etc. Many people have encouraged me to sell them, but I like to give them away and bring a smile to someone else which in turn makes me feel good.

Like Susie (Straydog), I also love to color in coloring books, or I when I can, I buy those posters that have the areas to color, and the areas that you don't are like a black felt - that way, if you color out of the lines, no one will ever know. I do these with my 2 son's. My boys (age 16 & 12) also like to make beaded bracelets with me as do their friends. One night, not to long ago, my boys had about 6 friends spending the night and I had all of them and my 2 boys all sitting on my king size bed making bracelets for themselves and their Mom's. It was adorable!

I used to love to read, but I find my medications make it very hard to concentrate on reading. I'm trying to get back into it, but I find myself reading the same paragraph over and over and can't tell you what it was about even a little bit.

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3610
   Posted 8/26/2009 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Pain for me always seems to be worse for me at night, often to get my mind off of it I will rock in my rocking chair, sometimes I will even use my cane and push on it to make me rock, but when my pain is at its worst I have a high back wooden rocking chair that I push my back against the back of the chair and then rock like crazy, and then just try and let my mind wonder to pleasant places, I always remember when I was stationed out in California and I would stay at a  friends house up in the foot hills outside of Placerville, anyway I used to walk up  to the top of this one hill  that over looked this valley and I would watch the sun rise from there. I have that image forever engraved in my mind!  I was only 19 at that time but even now I can close my eyes and see tha sunrise and smell that air and hear the birds, all in my mind of course! But when I am in pain, I rock in my rocking chair and in my mind I transport myself back to that hill top watching the sun rise over the mountains and seeing that valley below, the beauty and peacefullness of it all, it was a peaceful solitude that I can not adequately describe, but when I go there in my mind,   I am that young man again and I have no pain,  and I am at peace! and even though it is  only for a brief time, usually untill my pain meds take affect, it is MY place that I can go  to escape my pain!
 
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!--Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV


fatherjohn
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 8/26/2009 11:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Skeye, well it is no surprise that one of the things that I do is work. It is not just a job but I get totally engrossed in the lives of others to the point that I am mentally exhausted. This may not be good but it is better than sitting around thinking about my pain and what I would be doing if I diddn't have it. My family is also very important to me and being with them is always a way of diverting the pain focus. At night I will turn the TV on but there is very little that seems to be worth watching, maybe a ccoking show, but TV does not present a lasting respite from the call of the pain. When all else fails, I just endure and know that tomorrow will be another day.
 
I hope you are finding some relief these days. I will be reading some threads tonight and possibly late tomorrow as I am still on the road and have not had internet access since last Friday. I will be home this Saturday and will be busy catching up on all the things going on. The diversion from pain.

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13461
   Posted 8/27/2009 1:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Skeye I have to be outside, I could not live anywhere but Tx mainly because of the climate. At least here I can get out nearly year round. I just hate being couped up in the house. I do have a high back rocker that my hubby made for me and I do like WhiteBeard, I get in that thing and rock like a crazy woman sometimes, lol. He has tried giving it away numerous times with me kindly telling the person its mine and its not to be given away lol. I also have another chair out there that is a swivel rocker that I really like. I do love to read but find it hard to concentrate and about 5 minutes of holding a book and my hands are curled up. My daughter-in-law said she would teach me quilting which I would love to learn, just don't think my hands will handle it. I use to do alot of crotcheting but no longer able to do it. I have a terrible fear of getting down and not being able to get back up. It happened once and I nearly lost my mind. That is one reason I push myself so hard.
Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 8/27/2009 10:41 AM (GMT -7)   
 
   Dear Skeye,
 
     Took a very long time to find my "pain distraction hobbie". But mine is now jewlery. I make full sets. Anklets, bracelets, earring, necklace. Soo I hope to start on hair accessories. I cannot seem to do much right now thou the medicine I have to take for just a short while has rendered me "silly & slow".
 
*warm huggs*
     dani
 
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,  
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/27/2009 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Dani,
I've got the "slow" part down, but I need your help to work on the "silly"!

Susie - you're so right when other parts of the body don't work, like hands, arms, etc. then other activities get so limitd. I used to love to read but neck problems put a real end to curling up with a book. Can't really enjoy that anymore as that's a quick way to numb hands and a neck that will hardly move.

PaLady

BionicWoman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 8/28/2009 1:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Tonight, eating seems to be my modality of choice. smhair smhair smhair

edt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 773
   Posted 8/28/2009 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   

Great Topic,

Most of the time keeping my mind occupied keeps my mind off the pain!  I no longer have the body mechanics to do things I used to, my family and friends call me polly polly sunshine...their comments are always, geez Mom, Patti you like everyone...when I go to the store etc. usually in line someone will tell me their life story...I have been told I have "talk to me" tatooed on my forehead....I think thats a great thing! I love people and everyday I meet people who have it so much worse than me, hearing these stories help me be grateful that even though the pain is unbearable most times, I CAN do alot especially help others with a smile or kind word.  I find that on the days I think I can't make it, someone calls just at the right moment and helps me realize it could be so much worse.

I also play wii games with my husband,  I read (even though I may have to reread something 10x's to absorb it lol), water exercises 4x's a week and Rebound. I have 2 wonderful dogs who seem to know when I need them for comfort....!

PA can I borrow your Tempurpedic mattress?

XXOO
Patti


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/28/2009 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Patti,
Well, I dunno!! Come on over and you can try it out, though! I am so glad I bought it while I had a little bit of money; one of the best investments I ever made. But I spent most of a day at the furniture store lying on the different ones, because it was a big decision. But they do give about a 3 month return time - and if you get it from a local store they'll set it up (& take it back, if necessary) for you, rather than via the mail/internet.

PaLady

skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/28/2009 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I just picked up my flute & piccolo tonight for the first time in about 4 or 5 years! I had to spend a little while "relearning" the fingerings & reading sheet music, but it all came back to me pretty quickly. It was a lot of fun! Great distraction, minus the fact that holding the flute up for more than a minute or two hurts my shoulders. Like anything else, I just had to adjust my body position to try & accommodate.

Skeye

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3610
   Posted 8/28/2009 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
skeye
What a good way to distract your self from your pain! How is you Eye anyway? Any news on the stimulator or anything?  Or is that a no go? I do hope they can do something for you soon!
 
Anyway I do wish you well on your going back to school! Have you started yet or are soon going to? Is this  your junior or senior year of college ? I forgot what you said before!
 
Anyway Good Luck to You
 
White Beard


Moderator Chronic Pain
 
I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!--Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV

Post Edited (White Beard) : 8/28/2009 8:36:34 PM (GMT-6)


pandacrazy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1326
   Posted 8/28/2009 10:38 PM (GMT -7)   
My latest thing as of this week is my new amazing Env touch phone. My phone was so old it didn't even take pics or have speaker phone so this one amazes me. And my thing as of today is gazing at and showing off pics of my brand new as of 9:31 one this morning new grandson. He's 1200 miles away and it amazes me that I can see pics 1/2hr after he is born. It's been very distracting to be playing with my phone and learning all the new things. My grandkids when I'm with them are an awesome distraction from pain. Well I am off to bed. Hopefully a pain free night. Barb
My laundry list of diseases include, Ulcetive Colitis, GERD, Asthma, Alergies, CAD stent to LAD 1/4/05, Fibromyalgia, TMJ and a deteriorating disk in lower back and cysts on ovaries. Also chronic pain from a moped accident 11/9/07 which left me with back, hand, knee and foot problems. 
Meds, Nexium,  pepcid, carafate, Advair 250/50, Pro air inhaler, Plavix, Nitroquick, Benadryl, Natural progesterone cream, fish oil, calcium, lecithin, biotin, flax oil, magnesium, CoQ 10, vitamin C, vitamin D.
Proud Mother of a US Marine Seargent (son) & a daughter who is a certified dog trainer! Also furry children Abby(rat terrier) and Gizmo(chihuahua)
Proud grandma of Isabella Rose, Keegen and furry grandchildren Kayu, Sophie, Abby & Lucy.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/29/2009 12:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Barb,
Congratulations on the new grandson! That seems to be going around these days - Chutz (one of our moderators here at CP) just had a new grandson. I can't relate to the phone thing as I don't even own a cell! But I'm sure glad for you to be able to see the new baby so soon! Technology can do some neat things!

Hope your hand is doing better!

Hugs,

PaLady
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