What is the best way to maintain mental focus with chronic pain? I need ideas....

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/17/2010 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Long story short. I'm in intense pain all day every day. Been like this for a while. The last few months have been unbearable. The months before that, I thought, were unbearable. Hard to sleep. Doctors hypothesize a pinched nerve in the neck. This bestows me with a backwash of neck, facial and arm pain. Monotonous, yet untiring pain. I think this all stems from my posture. I'm taking active steps every day to rid myself of this colorlessness.

Lately I've really been noticing my thoughts going unnoticed. Long bouts of memory lapse. I feel like I'm losing it. What makes this so noticeable is the moments where I can really concentrate and harness my thoughts. It gets harder every day though.

I need mechanisms. Tactics. Plans and backup plans to stay sane. Anybody have any wisdom for me? Having hope helps sometimes. But not enough. What else is there?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 8/17/2010 9:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Get some sleeping pills before you go totally psychotic. Then learn about what to do to get better sleep at night: same bedtime, cooler bedroom vs. rest of house, no caffeine, no alcohol (short term), exercise in mid-day & I'm sure there's some others. Usually the sites selling sleeping pills suggest some ideas.

See if your pain gets better after you are sleeping. If not, you could try accupuncture. It sounds like they don't have you on any meds. Are you able to take Advil or Motrin? If so, start with that and then try to find a pain doctor. They can do shots if it's a pinched nerve & that should help.

Hope that helps.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9258
   Posted 8/18/2010 12:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jo!

And welcome to the Chronic Pain family! And it truly is a family around here because we care about each other and help out any way we can. I have a few questions, if you don' t mind. Is your doctor trying to treat your pain with anything? Do you have pain medications or any way to relieve the pain? If not are you OK with that? If not you certainly can change your doctor any time you wish. You deserve the respect of being offered some pain relief of some kind. If there's a problem then you need to advocate for You!

about the 'distraction'? I use distraction all of the time to not think about the pain that is always there. My constant pain is likely less than yours as I can often work through it but there are times when it totally overtakes me. At those times it's much harder to focus on something else but that's exactly when I need to the most.

For me it's either sewing, working on photography with some computer software or going outside to take some pictures. I also love plants, volunteering on this forum, and cooking. I read and read and read. The library mush shudder when they see me coming. I return and check out stacks of books each time I go but it's such a great deal!! All of those things to use for free...where can you get a better deal than that? Head down to your local library when you feel up to it. Check out some movies, music DVD's, magazines, books, talking books, or whatever strikes your sense of fun. Get some books on a hobby that interests you. Doesn't have to cost a fortune like maybe carving. It's something you have to focus on intently. Maybe you think you don't have any talent to carve something...well, have you tried?...lol Give it a go~

Keep us posted on your progress. We're here and I, for one, care that you're OK!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 416
   Posted 8/18/2010 9:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to this wonderfull forum. The people here are amazing and through experience I can tell you support one another through every trying, turmoil going on in each others lives. I am so sorry that you have to be a memeber though. It is not a fun club to be a memeber of.
I agree with Chutz...any number of hobbies can definetly pass the time and help to distract you from the pain. Exercise helps as well, I hear. haha! I haven't gotten to that point yet but am looking forward to joining somewhere that has water aerobic. I know it will help with my added baby fat, release those pain fighting indorphines, and help with the pain levels..and hopefully by the end of the month will have the extra money(if there is such a thing) to be able to join. I am also seeing a new Rhuemy Friday so I hope to get my pain meds. worked out so they can begin to help me. Those are just a few things that are helping or will be in the near future. i am so sorry you are having all the pain and hope that maybe you can speak with your Dr.'s to get your pain under control. Good luck and post or vent often. We are all here for you. Heather
Big Hugs, Mama6

DX. with Fibromyalgia, Narcolepsy, Poss. RA or Psoratic Arthritis, Herniated disc 3x in last 7 months
Meds: Nuvigl, Cymbalta, Tramadol

Mother to 5 wonderfull kids. Oldest is 18 and just left the nest for animation school. Youngest just started 2nd grade. So I am crazy, and feeling my age plus some.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 440
   Posted 8/18/2010 11:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Jo, sorry you have a pinched nerve..that is no fun at all!.... and quite wearing!
I spent a year in bed with a pinched nerve and ended up having surgery it helped but it was about another 6-months to a year of BORING!!! ...I'll share with you a few things that helped with me:)
Having a Schedule. If I had a schedule it really helped me get excited for certain things. I picked up the schedule after coming home from the hospital. Just kept it going. Being bed ridden you can still have a schedule! Just doing the simple things like making a bed or getting dress can be on your schedule. I read a book once about a paralized lady who woke up and sang her favorite songs..ALOUD! just to keep sane and mix it up!
For me 3o'clock in the afternoon I'd do something I really wanted to do...like read a new magazine, or listen to books on tape...Or have a visitor. I would even plan a call to a friend for a cup of coffee ...and chat. It helped me look forward to it by putting it off. They are little mind games you have to play with yourself to get through. When the pain gets really bad...surfing the internet or t.v.helps alot. keeps your mind stimulated. SUDUKO game really helped me too. I would time myself and try to break my record.
We all are pullin for you. It is tough and the little things really help you get through.
Take Care and let us know of your progress.
Heather June
Crohns, Diabetes type 2, Fibro, (Depression and Anxiety..who wouldn't?) Back surgery on herniated L-4 L-5 and S-1. Total of 13 surgerys!

Imran 200 mlg, Asacol, Colestid, Bentyl, Lamotil, Paxil, Amitriptlyne, Nexium, Probiodicts, Vit D, Folic Acid, Lots of Potassium, Fish Oil, up to 6 Immodium a day. Oh, and one Giant Pill holder!
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