Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about coping with chronic pain. Everything from diet changes to forms of exercise that can help me either cope better with pain or reduce levels of pain.
I haven’t been coping very well. I go through these phases:
– Okay, I can feel a bit of pain so I am going to ignore it and focus on accomplishing planned tasks for the day.
– Shhh… If I ignore it just a little longer I can finish this up before it gets really bad.
– It’s getting worse. Now I’m running a little fever. (My pain is often accompanied by low grade fevers.) Maybe a quick shower, a drink of water, have I eaten?
– Can’t ignore this ish. A walk, play with Guillermo, something anything to distract me.
– I can’t think. This is bad. Stop banging doors! Just shut up! Don’t talk to me. I can’t stand the pain. Ok, I have to take the pain pills now. Clearly the daily prednisone dose is doing nothing.
– Curls up on the floor and try to rock sideways. Generally helps me endure for an hour or so. I hate everyone and everything at this point. Occasionally pain episodes also trigger migraines. That is a trip on its own as in addition to pain I start getting visual hallucinations – I see sound.
– I’m sweating by now, the pain is one long sound now. More pain pills. I take a combination of analgesics, antipyretics, anti-inflammatories and Vitamin B combinations which are good for nerve pain.
– If I’m lucky, I’ll fall asleep for an hour or so. When I wake up, I’ll either continue with the pain, or it will have passed and I’ll be left wondering if I imagined the pain.
So yes, I’ve decided to be just a little more pro-active about managing my chronic pain.
One thing I’ve realised is that it is not my journey alone. The people living with me try really hard to understand what I’m dealing with. But even I can tell that it is quite a strain on them just understanding my rollercoaster rides with pain.
My mum has tried her very level best, including offering to drive me to and from work appointments which is not something small as it takes a huge chunk of her time. But I can’t safely drive myself anywhere, even less so on longer distances. It means a lot that she can make this sacrifice so whatever else, I am truly grateful for this.
It is a long journey.