Living A Normal Life With Pain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Living A Normal Life With Pain!

    Pain that lasts for a long period of time even with proper medical management can be categorized as chronic pain. This kind of pain can cause serious challenges to a person's day to day life.

    People suffering from chronic pain find themselves battling with other aspects of life that normally would have been easy to cope with. The result of chronic pain can lead to a more damaging problem even after the pain is gone. People suffering from chronic pain find it difficult to function normally due to the psychological damage resulting from months or even years of endurance.

    Some symptoms of psychological damage that chronic pain can cause comes in the form of anxiety, depression, anger, sleeping disorder, sexual problems, and drug dependency.
    These problems not only tend to affect the person suffering from chronic pain, but also the people around him/her. Family and friends will surely take a part in this suffering psychologically.

    Although it is a very difficult situation to handle, people experiencing pain need to be strong and look forward to living life as best they can.
    Below are some tips to help chronic pain patience live normal life as much as possible.

    1: The first and most important part is to make sure you get the proper medical attention:

    Maintain regular contact with your physician, be open minded and let him know how you really feel, take proper medication as prescribed by your doctor and try to avoid “medical shopping” moving from doctor to doctor in the hope of an unknown miracle; you may end up hurting yourself further when hopes shatter.

    2: Accept Your Condition:

    You have been given a very difficult cross to carry, and no one except you can understand what it feels like.
    Keep in mind that you are still alive and you can still live a normal life even in pain.
    The first step to living a normal life even in your condition is to accept the fact that your health is not going to improve over night. By feeling sorry for yourself you will not only make your situation worse, but also affect the people around you.
    Accepting your condition is the first step to happiness for you and your family. Understand truly what has happened to you and find positive ways to deal with the situation.

    3: Don't complicate your life with harmful Drugs

    Because chronic pain is so unbearable, we tend to try out anything to get rid of it, but in the long run we can end up causing more pain.

    Try to stay away from the use of harmful medication that can cause adverse side effect, and addiction, the long term effect can on its own cause a new challenge in your life.

    There are many safe and effective ways to manage your pain, some products just don't work, while others in the long run cause your more damage--that is why people are opting for natural herbal formulas that do not have side effect and work in harmony with your body.

    4. Sitting at home and avoiding activities will not make your pain go away, but on the other hand will cause you more harm.

    Lack of activities will in the long run lead to muscle deterioration and a build up of waste in tissues, which can lead to enhanced pain.

    Get support from friends and family as well as support groups on how you can live an active life by managing your activities in such a way that you do not suffer more pain afterwards.

    5: Learn How to Relax

    Try to relax yourself as much as possible. Worry and anxiety can enhance pain.
    Learn to relax the mind and reduce the pain!

    6: Keep in-touch with people

    Isolating yourself will only worsen your situation. The mind is very powerful, and if you do not keep it busy with positive thoughts, the negative will take over to lead you into a deep depression, which will lead you to more suffering.

    Talk to your friends and family; this will not only help you but also make things easier for them. If you isolate yourself and moan all day, the emotion will rub off on everyone around you as well and this is not a healthy way to live.

    CONCLUSION: The power of the mind should never be under rated; by learning how to cope with your situation you will remove negative thoughts and feelings and better direct your body's positive energy. By keeping a healthy mind we can easily raise the levels of brain chemicals that cause pleasure such as serotonin, decrease anxiety and increase the effectiveness of our immune system. A combination of proper medication and a healthy mind will go a long way in helping you cope with pain


    [This Message was Edited on 11/01/2005]
  2. nanna4550

    nanna4550 New Member

    Thanks jlh for the pain relief study info. Sound advise,
    especially the part about keeping in touch with friends.
    I need to be a better friend and call and get together with my friends more often.
    Thanks, Nanna
  3. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    out the whole thing just based on the idea that pain medication is dangerous or more so than other medications prescribed. It's simply not true. Also sleep disorders are usually part of the cause of these dd's and not a result of them. I can't even remember all it said because once I got to the nonsense about the pain medications I didn't absorb the rest.

    It is this sort of psychiatric mumbo jumbo that keeps so many suffering needlessly. A pain patient with relieved pain has LESS depression and all the symptoms that accompany chronic pain. Pain on it's own KILLS, people die from shock from untreated
    severe pain, they commit the unthinkable and it's hard on your entire system.

    I don't mean to be mean but this sort of around about "it's all in your head" without coming out with it is so frustrating when so many are suffering and dying from lack of true information.
  4. JLH

    JLH New Member

    to see what others think ....
  5. juliejo

    juliejo New Member

    Sorry but do you suffer from chronic Neuropathic pain by the way 24/7.
    If you did you would take anything to try and get even just a few minutes free from pain.
    I take Prozac, yes an anti-depressant, not because i am depressed but because depression is part and parcel of my illness.
    Secondly i take Diazepam too as i suffer from dreadful muscle spasms in my neck and back some night's without these i just could'nt face another day.
    I also take Lyrica now, a newish drug for Neuropathic pain.
    I also take strong pain meds when required too.
    Personally i hope i have found the right combination that will give me a better quality of life.
    Yes i know they are addictive and maybe cause other problems long term but i live in the here and now.
    I am now 52 soon and have been like this since my late 20's.
    I am still here and could'nt give a toss about addiction etc or side effect's as long as they are minimal.

    2 years ago i had a nervous breakdown and i did'nt want to be here anymore but having found my own way of coming to terms with my illness i now have a wonderful life but i certainly would'nt call it "NORMAL" as you put it as things will never be normal for me again.
    I found the above very patronising too.
    Sorry you live in our shoes with unrelenting pain like this for just a hour. You may have a different perspective on things.
    Sorry to offend anyone but post's like this make me so mad.
    Off for a Valium now to calm down!!!.

  6. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Although I personally think it is almost impossible to lead a "normal" life with pain, I think all of the above points, except #3, had some merit.

    Number 3, "Don't complicate your life with harmful Drugs" is a very personal issue. Only you know how much pain you are in and if you need pain control. In fact, when I read this article, I was shocked to read this, since this article was on a "Pain Site"!

    It's not easy to live in pain, and we need to do what we feel necessary to relieve it and be able to live a managable life. Anything legal, that is!!! LOL
  7. browneyes259

    browneyes259 New Member

    This whole article is a bunch of crap! I'm sorry. I am in the midst of my worst flare EVER, pre and post DX, and I don't think the majority of this article is looking at pain realistically.

    But it sure sounds pretty on paper. This website needs to borrow someone's pain from this board for a day and 'walk in our shoes' then make some revisions to this article.

    They just have no clue!

    Sorry to vent so badly, but I am ripping my hair out from pain right now.

  8. CarolK

    CarolK New Member



    To accept it is to give in or give up!! To accept it is to allow "IT" to conquor me!! To accept it is to say... "THERE IS NO HOPE"!!

    I live everyday believing that there is a cure possible. I live hoping, believing and praying that the time will come that not only a cure is found, but the source of this terrible disease is discovered!!

    Even though I have times of great discouragement and great pain, I cannot allow myself the option of "ACCEPTING THIS DISEASE"!!


    Self pity does me no good... but to say that we must accept this in order to not be in self pity is WRONG!

    IN CONCLUSION... while this list may have some merit... I think it throws a bucket of cold water on our hope, our faith and belief that someday there will be a cure .... and in the meantime.... I FOR ONE INTEND TO FIGHT ON!!OH YES... AND USE WHATEVER PAIN MEDS I CAN TO TRY TO LEAD AS PAIN FREE A LIFE AS I CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    PS...SORRY JLH, NO OFFENSE INTENDED TO YOU!! THIS IS NOT MEANT DIRECTLY TO YOU, BUT AT THE "PAIN STUDY" ITSELF. It is good you posted it... makes me realize just how much fight I still have left in me. Thanks for posting it!!

  9. LollieBoo

    LollieBoo New Member

    "Don't complicate your life with harmful Drugs"

    That makes sense. What are harmful drugs, though? Especially when faced with chronic pain? I am seeing more and more that the more harmful 'drugs' in a chronic pain condition are the lower-end pain-killers like Tylenol. It's great to pop a couple for acute pain, but if you take it every day, trying to chase away acute pain, it builds up in your system, toxifying and potentially damaging your kidneys. In a chronic pain condition then, Tylenol would be a harmful drug.

    I would also reference this to alcohol and nicotine, as well as caffeine. All of the crutches that those of us with chronic pain and fatigue tend to lean on. They do complicate our lives; that I certainly concede...

    I could also see this as a reference to illegal drugs. There are many potential impurities and variations that could make even a natural drug harmful. Not to mention potential situations one might have to enter, or acquaintances that would likely be made in order to maintain a steady supply. The fear of getting caught weighing heavy over every move... whatever relief from whatever symptoms is not worth the inescapable complications of turning to illegal drugs.

    I guess because my personal experience with pain-relieving pharmaceuticals is limited, I do not feel that a chronic pain sufferer is at great risk for harm when taking prescription pain killers as directed. So that necessarily excludes such medications from this statement.

    "Because chronic pain is so unbearable, we tend to try out anything to get rid of it, but in the long run we can end up causing more pain."

    Too often, that IS the case. We are easy targets, wearing our desperation on our sleeves like a glaring neon sign screaming, "I Need Something- ANYTHING That Will Help _____" Fill in the blank with any of the endless maladies associated with chronic pain from pain to sleep, to depression, anxiety- you name it, there are competing products to 'fix' it. By falling for gimmicks, whether it be in the supermarket, the health food store or the doctors office, we suffer both the continued pain, as well as the disappointment of another failed attempt at relief.

    Do your research. Know your facts. Be prepared when you go to the grocery store, the health food store, and your doctor's office. There are days when I'd do just about anything to end my misery. But I know which route I want to travel to get me out of it. If you are knowledgeable, it will help you to make informed decisions when confronted with promises of help.

    Even well-intended treatments with natural medicines can be harmful. It is important to know what to avoid, as well as what to look for. If your doctor seems to be working for a pharmaceutical company and is offering you a prescription to try 'the latest treatment', do your research before filling it. If you can't find out enough information to make yourself comfortable with it- don't fill the prescription. They pay people to participate in drug trials. You don't need to be a guinea pig.

    "Try to stay away from the use of harmful medication that can cause adverse side effect, and addiction, the long term effect can on its own cause a new challenge in your life."

    Of course, you should try to avoid any side effects of any medication that would cause a new challenge in your life. If it makes you feel nauseous, itchy, lethargic, dizzy; makes your heart race or your head spin- it is certainly not worth taking. If you are tempted to misuse a medication, it would be wise to avoid having it around- try to find another option. Addiction can happen with almost anything that causes a physiological reaction in the body. If one is addicted to sugar, alcohol, or any other chemical, it is advisable to not have it in your easy grasp, to allow you the time to thoughtfully consider the long-term implications of giving in to any craving or desire. If needed, a doctor should assist in helping one rid one's self of any addictive substances that are problematic.

    We don't need any additional challenges in our lives!

    "There are many safe and effective ways to manage your pain,"

    Yes, again: research. When you research, the assumption (in my mind) would be that you start by trying to find the most effective path that is the safest way to manage your pain.

    "some products just don't work,"

    Be aware of this in all settings. Your best friend may have found that x new herbal combination allowed her to finally get restful sleep. That doesn't mean it will work for you. If you are sitting up, typing a message onto the board at quarter after one in the morning because you are not sleepy at all... it may not be for you. Don't take more. Don't feel bad. The exact same thing goes for prescription medications. If you find they are not ameliorating the symptoms you are taking them for, tell your doctor. If no relief is found by taking what worked for everyone else, say so. Don't feel guilty. What works for one may not work for another. Especially when it comes to chronic pain!

    ..."while others in the long run cause your more damage--"

    Yes, many therapies can throw off the delicate balance of the human body. From a well-intended aspirin-a-day, to laxatives to antibiotics. There is a risk that more damage than good may be caused- especially with careless use. Do your research. There are often methods to counteract the potentially damaging effects of an otherwise helpful therapy.

    ..."that is why people are opting for natural herbal formulas"

    I can't say for sure that that is why, but there is something to be said for the numbers of people seeking natural medicine for chronic pain issues. Even balancing, strengthening tonics to support the system, as opposed to actually relieving the pain. Many people seek out natural medicines to complement other modalities of treatment. Herbs are naturally-occuring plants that, by nature, are designed to align with an individual's body to amplify the healing energies within both the plant and the individual. Obviously, this is an attractive way to treat any chronic issue. Once a person realizes that they are facing a life-long battle, they want support. Natural medicine provides that in a unique way. It aims to be nourishing and strengthening. Every body is different, so what is needed to nourish and strengthen one may not help another who has deficiencies elsewhere in the body. This makes finding the right herbal formula a potentially painstaking endeavor.

    ..."that do not have side effect and work in harmony with your body."

    Yes, one would look for herbal preparations that do not have side effects- HOWEVER, no herbal preparation should be assumed to be free of side effects simply by virtue of being an herbal formula. I would suggest implementing as much caution with natural medicine as I do allopathic medicine. Herbal preparations may also make you feel nauseous, itchy, lethargic or dizzy; they could easily make one's heart race or head spin- such negative side effects should be treated the same as if it is a prescription drug.

    Mother Nature makes some strong medicine all on her own. There is a lot out there that can have major, dramatic effects that make living with chronic pain easier. Some of Mother Nature's medicine is subtle and over time, helps your body to become a fortress, more resistant and stronger.

    Many companies these days, have taken Mother Nature's wisdom and tried to capitalize off of it. This can have its major downfalls. The most important of which is, in my opinion- 'standardization'. Companies spent a lot of money figuring out the 'active component' of a plant that served some useful function. If the plant's chemical composition is zxcvbnm, and scientists determine that v is the active part, they will amplify it, providing the consumer with a product 'standardized for v', but deficient in zxcbn and m. Mother Nature has a reason for all of the components of every plant. Once standardized, it is no longer Mother Nature's- it is scientist's, just as much as any pharmaceutical drug.

    If the argument is that the concentration of v is supposed to cause a result greater than the benefit of the entire plant, I concede. More good = Better.

    However, the problem is that in large quantities, v is potentially toxic. Mother Nature had that taken care of by balancing it delicately with x. x helps the human body to process the v more effectively, reducing the potential for toxicity. Each plant has a purpose. Looking over the composite of a plant, one might find several components high in value to the human body in various amounts. One might even begin to make sense of the synergy and interdependence of many of the present components. However, there are many more chemicals listed in any plant composite whose purpose remains unexplained. I maintain my belief that it is impossible for the human mind to fathom the intricacies of nature, let alone replicate it!

    So, White Willow bark is an effectie pain killer? Excellent! It is 'essentially' acetylsalicylic(sp?) acid that acts upon the body, providing a benefit, says helpful dr/ scientist person... But aspirin has many unwanted side effects that White Willow Bark does not. St. John's Wort was marketed extensively as helpful for depression, after scientists published a paper saying it was so. To assist cosumers, doctors advised patients to look for products standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin. Once the studies further clarified that hypericin alone was not the causitive factor in the benefits shown, they suggested that consumers look for products standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin as well as 3% hyperforin. Which is the most helpful? Is it the combination of both? Nobody can say, so they recommend standardization for both when treating for depression and other disorders. I do not disagree.

    But it is clear to me, that by taking a standardized herb, one is actually taking a pharmaceutical preparation as opposed to a natural herb, or plant. I want to stress here, that I only used St. John's Wort as an example because it's properties were so well-publicized. Taking the whole plant of St. John's Wort is a wonderful thing, but if one is taking a standardization of ANY herb, they need to treat it as delicately as a pharmaceutical preparation, and check with their doctor before considering any changes in their medications.

    So, yes, seek out natural medicines "that do not have side effect and work in harmony with your body." And keep your mind open and well-educated.

    This is like the Hippocratic Oath (which doctors are no longer required to take!), in that our goal is to 'first: do no harm." I am comfortable saying that I think it is a natural tendency to treat a chronic condition this way.

    Whoo. That was good to get that all out. I also would like to add that I see acceptance as merely a tool to help one move forward. You can accept that this dd is your future, but the future is still ripe for change and accepting of hope. I love the strength of your faith, Carol! Rock on! I'm glad Jlh reminded you of the 'fight' you have in you! But I accept what I have TODAY. Today, I look at what is before me and I deal with it as that. Looking toward the future, I still have hope, and a drive to move forward consciously toward that hope.

    That said, I concur... with all notations, of course, included!

    Thanks for the brain food, Janet!

    (I am so sorry this is so long!! I only meant to stick in quick little blurbs following each section, but my blurbs took on a life of their own! For those brave souls who stuck with me to the end of this: Thank You! Now rest your eyes and take a potty break!)
    [This Message was Edited on 11/02/2005]
  10. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Hey girls, no offense is taken by ANY of the comments here!

    Like you said, I was just posting some "brain food"!!!!

    Oh, Lollie, you mentioned that doctors are no longer required to take the Hippocratic Oath -- I don't know anything for certain; however, my daughter is a physician who graduated med school four years ago and she WAS required to take the Hippocratic Oath. Maybe it was just her school--I don't know, but everyone in her graduating class took it!

    Today, I'm also in so much pain that I am in awful shape--I am sick to my stomach from the amount of pain. I am definitely NOT living a "normal" life today!!!!

    Hugs to all,
  11. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    So here's another one. I agree w/ a bit of it. I mostly agree w/ #1, take proper medication as perscribed by your doctor. I think people who were so offended by the staying away from harmful drugs maybe missed that part, I only caught it on the re-read though. I dont' totally agree w/ #1 though, because doctors can be well-meaning and overmedicate people and not listen to the patient whent he side effects are too much.

    We need to do our own research and make decisions sometimes that less is more. I've refused many perscriptions and reduced several last year, and it's helped. Wherever possbible, I replace an Rx w/ a natural alternative.

    I find the article really unbalanced though. It must be written by someone NOT in chronic pain. It sounds like the pov of someone who wants to create the perfect world for people not sick and suffering where they don't have to be burdened by the non-normal chronic sickies.

    A healthy mind and attitude do go a long way. To be consumed by bitterness, negativity and self pity will poison you and anyone near you if you wallow in it. And so can clinical depression if you don't acknowledge and treat it. Not amount of positive thinking can chase that monster away. I've had to learn this and not to drive my support away. But to be more realistic, we are all going to slip into this sometimes, at least a little, it's human. And it's humane for people to cut us a little slack and understand that, and also to give us a good loving kick if we wallow in it too long. That seems more like life w/ chronic pain, in the real world, to me.

  12. chopindog

    chopindog New Member

    I tell you one thing that I find is so amazing about this web board, is that the people on it are so smart!! Lollieboo you amaze me with the elaquince(SP) you wrote your post! The knowledge so many of you have. I am a nurse and I'll tell you I feel like an idiot compared to many of you! (although I think the brain fog is really effecting now!) I just think it goes to show and further prove that those of us with this DD are not drug seeking idiots, but people who are probably in the 80 To 90 percentile in our intelligence. That despite brain fog and pills and illness and pain, so many here can still be so intelligent is special. I think we are a special group! There must be some larger reason for us to have these illnesses! Keep researching, keep fighting, and remember how special we are!! Love, Joy
  13. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Now, if we could only convince our docs that we are not drug seekers, but intelligent, "real people" who are very sick and in chronic pain and just need some pain relief!
  14. Sachmo

    Sachmo New Member

    I tried that, I worked past the pain and pushed myself.

    It took two weeks to come out of that flare.

    I have finally come with a way I can live. I try to make backup plans whenever I want to go somewhere, or do something with people and just don't know how my body is going to react.

    Also, I have found that if I take a pain med when I can catch the "aura" of a flare, I can lessen it or not have it.

    There is a book, called "Living with Fibromayalgia". It has a lot of good points and helps you come up with alternative plans which will help you accept but also able to do the things that are most important to you

    Just my $.02
  15. Sue50

    Sue50 New Member

    I find that if the pain gets really bad sitting at home quietly by myself for a couple of days with very limited activity lessens my pain, it's about being able to relax in a quiet enviroment with no demands put on me except from my furbaby :)

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