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Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 1/28/2011 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
 What advise would you give to someone new to Chronic Pain?
What would you suggest to someone struggling to come to terms with their life as a chronic pain patient?
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 1/28/2011 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
1. Grow a thicker skin. You are going to run into people, be it family, friends, medical professionals, who will look upon you as anything from an attention seeker to a big baby to a druggie and all sorts of other things.

2. Don't be afraid to try new treatment options, especially those that are non invasive and non medicating such as learning and mastering meditation and/or relaxation techniques. While they may not alleviate all of your pain they may know it down a point or two, or even 1/2 a point, and in this game every little bit helps.

3. When it comes to pain medication it has very little to do with how "strong" a medication is but rather it is about how well it works for you. They same applies with all medications. You may find relief from medications that are not "traditional" pain meds.

4. Do not expect those who do not suffer from CP to truly understand what you are going through. Some will try and for those that do be grateful and cut them some slack because all they can really do is try.

5. Cut yourself some slack as well. Do not stress out over what you can't do anymore. Be grateful for what you can do, even if the only thing you can do is open your eyes in the morning.

6. Organize and prioritize your day. Do what you MUST do first, then if possible do what you NEED to do and then finally what you WANT to do. At the same time though make time at least once a week to do something you truly want to do.

7. Don't try to go it alone. There are plenty or support groups, both online such as here, and in person that can help you make it through.

8. Be honest. Be honest with yourself, with your doctors, with the people around you. There is little to no reason to overstate your issues or to understate them. As Sgt Friday would say, "Just the facts".
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15830
   Posted 1/30/2011 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
1. If you find yourself overwhelmed and a lot of sadness creeping in that seems to hang on, do not be afraid or embarrassed to seek professional help. Depression and CP go hand in hand. A good psychologist or psychiatrist can work wonders. It does not mean that you are crazy or weak if you need professional help either. It takes a very strong individual to live the life of a chronic pain patient.

2. To avoid having a lot of people wanting to give you advice that you don't need on what dr you should or should not see, or what medications you should or should not take, limit the outsiders from knowing your business in this area. Many times well meaning people can create so much turmoil and confusion to a person, especially if you are new to CP. And of course, they always want to make their story a horror story and they always suffered more than any human could possibly suffer. Limit who knows your business to your family and maybe your best friend and no one else. This will save you a lot of anxiety and worry. If you have questions about your treatment or medications ask your dr or his nurse, not your neighbor.

3. Educate yourself on your condition. Get on the internet and visit reputable websites and read about CP and what other condition you have that caused the CP.

4. Stay as active as possible. Don't lay in the bed or in a recliner letting life pass you by. You still have a lot of life to live you just have to go about it a little differently than before CP.

5. Meltdowns and pity partys are normal, just don't let them last long. Dwelling on your pain will not help, if anything it will only make things worse. Learn new things to help take your mind off the pain.

6. Take your medications as directed by your dr and show up for your drs appts.

7. Life is not over, you have started a new chapter.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 1/30/2011 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Jim and Straydog...Very Well said..There isn't anything I can add to what you have already said...But I'll try H a H a So, you've been told you have Chronic Pain? Don't think you are alone, because you are not. there are so many of us that have been in the same shoes you are in right now, taking these very same steps into the unknown. You will have days that SUCK!! and you will have days that are Fantastic!! Focus on the Fantastic days...try to remember that you aren't in the ground yet...you may be moving slowly and painfully but you are moving. Make sure you move forward. Looking behind you will always make you falter.

Life as you know it over...Things will change...people will change...YOU will change...but not necessarily for the worst...Just always make sure you learn about your problems, medications, and procedures. Never go into a Dr. appointment blind. Always have your ducks in a row. Print out stuff from the internet and bring it with you. Ask questions.

This is scary. Very scary. Don't let it overwhelm you. If you start to feel depressed talk to your Dr. As they said CP and Depression go hand in hand. Who wouldn't be depressed in this situation? I know that I am. Never give up. Who knows what will happen, everyone is different. That goes for every part of the process...


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 1/30/2011 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I will agree with what's been said, especially about keeping your health business to yourself. It can come back and kick your behind if you begin to share.

Also, be exceptionally good to yourself. Don't feel that you're unworthy of special care. You are in a situation that most others will never know or understand. Pamper yourself every time you have a chance.

Keep your mind and hands busy. Take up a craft. Learn to sew or knit. I'm a quilter/sewer and I can get buried in what I'm working on. Try a new hobby, something that you've always wanted to try. Give your time to others. Read to children at your local library, volunteer at a school or give however you can to help others. I find when I focus on someone else that my pain is lessened.

Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Daily Donnybrook: Fibromyalgia, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Ulcerative Colitis, Rare form of Dermatitis, Collapsed Disk, Osteoarthritis (especially in right hand and neck) and a couple of other adjunct agitations.

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." Albert Einstein

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 1/31/2011 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   


 1. Change your environment. You have changed. Your body has changed. It will never be the same. So, change your environment to be as easy to manage as possible. Make a project out of it. Carefully think out each area in your house from the linen closet to the entry way. You are never going to be the old you... So be the new you, who has a comfortable environment, so you can enjoy your life. Your time. Instead of trying desperately to keep up with an environment that is a "ghost" of who you were in the past.

  2. Learn to communicate your pain effectively. Don't just say, "I'm in pain!!!". Instead, be descriptive. "I am having a flare today in my lower back. It is a level 7 today.". Being able to effectively communicate your pain to others will help your relationships. Inside and outside of your home.

  3. Change your meals. If your pain is inflammation based, add in fruits and vegetables that will help you fight inflammation. Remember, the darker the fruit, the more natural anti-inflammatory properties it has.

  4. Sit! So, you are out shopping with the family. Your half way through the store and your back is screaming. So, SIT! Do not keep going. Take rests as soon as you need to. If you are with others make sure you keep a little hand held cooler with you. Sit and have a snack and bottled water with friends / family. That way you don't have people "waiting" on you. You would be surprised how much communication happens when you take time to "sit and rest your body" (you know, smell the roses!).

  5. Very important. Include your spouse in your care. Bring them to your appointments. Schedule your appointment around their schedule when you can. Make sure you sign releases so your spouse can talk freely with your care providers. To have understanding, you first need to give them the knowledge they need to understand. Include your spouse in your care decisions. "I have been experiencing this flare for over a week now. It isn't getting any better. What do you think *we* should do?". You are not the only one sick.

  6. It isn't just you who is sick. Your whole family is. Focus on whole family wellness. Don't let your pain dominate the lives of your family members in a negative manner. Put yourself in their shoes. Communicate with your family. Explain what is happening to your body, to your children, in terms they can understand. Use *we* when referencing your pain. You are not the only one sick. It takes a village to raise a baby and it takes a strong family to over come chronic pain.

  7. Last but not least.... If you can, then do. So, you cannot stand? Grab a stool and help wash the dishes. So, you only were able to wash 2 plates and 1 fork? That is okay. You did what you could. Alright, so you were able to dust off one book shelf. Then you did great. You did as much as you could and that is what matters. Do not look at what you didn't do, look at what you were able to do.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

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