Thursday, July 15, 2010


That's a funny word. It almost sounds like a sneeze ... "ouch". Am I right? Yet, it conveys that we are in pain. We utter it when we hit our thumb with a hammer, or hit our funny bone. And we also utter it when we are in extreme pain. The word conveys that there is pain, but not how much pain. 

A few weeks ago, I started withdrawing from my morphine and Tylenol 4 so that I could undergo a new treatment. During this process my pain level has increased. I miss my pain medications. Not because I crave them, because I don't like pain. Yes, it's that simple. I don't like pain.

Normally, pain is a good thing. It's a warning sign that our bodies are in danger. Whether it's touching a hot stove, to doing too much exercise. If we pull a muscle, or sprain an ankle, our bodies alert our brains using pain signals. God made our bodies so that we can protect ourselves. We can't see the inside of our bodies, but pain alerts us that something is wrong.

However, chronic pain overloads the brain with signals.  The brain increases the pain trying to get us to 'stop' the activity and ease the source of pain. But because the pain is from nerves or muscles that are permanently damaged, there is no "fixing" the source. Those of us who live in chronic pain, learn techniques to trick the brain and "confuse" the pain signals so that our brains believes that we are in less pain. We use things such as TENS units which send a variety of tingling signals that fill up the "pain gates" allowing few pain signals to reach the brain. Sound crazy doesn't it? But it works, some. We also may use ice, heat, or medications to cover up the pain. 

The past few days my pain level been the highest I remember. I just want the pain to stop.... but it doesn't. So, what do I do? I can stay in bed all day and cry....... OR I can CREATE A POSITIVE DAY!

Over the past 10 years, I've learned an important lesson about pain. When my pain increases, I first take inventory to see if it's a "new pain" or the same. If it's a "new pain", I check to see if I injured myself, and address the new injury.  If however, it's the same pain, I know that I'm not doing more injury to myself, so I can continue living my life. If I focus on the pain and feel sorry for myself, the pain increases even more!
However, if I do something....
my brain becomes preoccupied and
doesn't have time to focus on the pain. 

One thing which I really enjoy doing when my pain because "unbearable" is to encourage someone else. How can you encourage someone when you are in pain? It's actually easy! Send an email, an e-card, a card, call someone, .....whatever, and let someone know that you are thinking of them! Think of what encourages you... and pass it along to someone else! It will make you feel GREAT! and the receiver will have a better day too!!! 

There are 2 choices
when living with chronic pain:
1. Focus on the pain and be miserable.
2. Focus on others  and ENJOY the day!

ME—I'd much rather enjoy my day than be miserable! I think I'll go create some scrapbook cards and encourage someone's day.....
that will turn this unbearable pain day
into a very positive one!

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