"Only one life, 'twill soon be past
Only what's done for Christ will last."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pain Management 101

My husband and I were talking last night about my pain issues and how they seem to have overtaken my life: I'm beginning to have more days characterized by pain than not.

I have learned some things about managing pain, and for that I am grateful. I am NOT grateful for the lost energy, lost time, and lost industry.

This is life, after all. We will have trouble.

I thought I'd share some of my ways of coping.

After a visit to the neurologist a few years back he prescribed a narcotic, and said that that was that...  I use it as a last resort.

There are plenty of other things to try first.

I have tried many things, but for me this seems to be my pattern of working methods.  I'm sharing these because I know so many people have pain and must deal with it on a daily basis. Probably my pain is not so severe as that, but I'm giving my help.

The muscles in the back of my neck are starting to tighten: First sign of pain onset.

1. Pray
2. Drink full glass of water. (Keep hydrated through the pain)
3. Food? Do I have any hunger? Eat a banana preferably. Good source of pain fighting minerals. (Starting a stress pain with any other discomfort doesn't work, it exacerbates the pain)
4. Two aspirin, and if I can, a Coke. Rarely, this is as far as I need to go!
5. Light, upright work if possible----No Bending!
6. After two hours, two Ibuprofen (continue this cycle every two to four hours---aspirin/ibuprofen with water. Don't exceed the recommended allowance if possible. No more Coke!)
7. If necessary lie down. (It seems better to keep moving, even a gentle walk outdoors, or swim in warm water)
8. Have someone knead the tense areas (I have my 9 year old daughter walk on my back or pull my hair steadily)
9. Do you have a dry seed corn or dry rice filled cloth bag? Heat in microwave and place on the throbbing area.
10. Sleep if you can. This may or may not relieve the pain.
11. Pray hard, quote Scripture, plead with God to help!

A few days ago I was in the nauseated pain stage, where I was about to lose my breakfast over the pain (though I hadn't eaten any yet!)  I called my prayer team and had them pray for me. I think I must have been like Peter's mother-in-law! I got up from the lying down stage, and started working, and the pain left. I attribute it to the mighty power of prayer.

The Lord wants to help us! Ask Him! (And sometimes His answer is "My grace is sufficient for you!")

I always keep in mind that my suffering is not God's fault. Blaming God is counter-productive, but easy to do.  I focus on the hope of His healing, and giving Him the glory for renewed strength and freedom from pain when it comes.

Believe me, when you are in pain you get very philosophical and theological!

I have also been much helped by swimming regularly. Keeping my muscles in shape seems to be key to less pain. I also visit a physical therapist regularly.  She works on my spine and my hips.

Medications are wonderful. I'm so thankful for them. I simply prefer to use fewer. One time I heard that if aspirin came out today it would be a prescription drug. It is a powerful little pill. A gift. Use it wisely!

Today, I do not have pain. Today I want to continue doing school, spring cleaning, and swim! Praise God for His goodness. Pain free days are just full of praise! It is the little things that can be so important.

1 comment:

Arch Caron said...

Your story is amazing! You’ve gone through a lot with your condition, and it’s sad to hear that you have to bear with the pain. The things you’re doing can really help you, but I think it would be best to get a real pain management. That way, you will be given the right medication that can help relieve the pain that you’re experiencing.