Tag Archive | Pain Toolbox

Bad Days, Sad Days, Bad & Sad Days

Some days I have bad days where I want to remove my left leg with a chainsaw.

Some days I have sad days where I grieve for the life I once had.

Then some days like today I have bad and sad days all rolled into one.

Sad because 11 years ago today I had to have my ankle reset in plaster and, I honestly believe, that was the start of my CRPS journey, a journey that took away the life I once had. It ripped out the very being of me for a long time. It took time to heal mentally, knowing I’d never properly heal physically. It took time to accept the new disabled me. It took time to find me again, and some days even now, even after years of psychology and counselling, I still feel a part if me is lost. That feeling of sadness becomes more prominent on days like today, big anniversaries, when grief strikes, when I literally become overwhelmed with sadness, and hurt, and anger, the why me!

Bad because my foot is not in a good place with regards to pain. When socks and shoes hurt, when the brush of trousers over an exploding knee is excruciating yet I still put on that “face”, drag my backside out of bed, and turn up smiling. I often wonder how I do it over and over again especially on bad days like today. How do I do it! Is it some kind of internal resolve that life has to go on? Is it me being strong? I don’t feel strong. Is it just simply that many years ago when going through therapy to help me understand my condition, the effects it has on my life, and a process of acceptance, I made a pact with myself that I would never give up, I would never let CRPS beat me, and I would never go back to that deep and dark abyss that swallowed me up for years before therapy. Or is it just a mixture of all three and more. My physical and emotional pain are as excruciatingly painful as each other, and both can seriously conspire together to make a sad or bad day turn into the double whammy of a sad and bad day.

Sad and bad because there are days like today that are more challenging than normal, a simple task becomes a whole drama. Emotions run high caused by pain and fatigue. My mouth runs faster than I can think and everything I’ve been bottling up just pours out with no filters, and boy does it pour out. All those internal frustrations of surviving in an inaccessible world have to come out. It only takes one simple thing for the touch paper to be lit and once it is then all hell breaks loose and I spew words and feelings out that I would normally keep segmented away. Days like this I wonder what I did wrong to deserve all this pain and additional challenge. Physical disability doesn’t just affect the physical body, it affects the soul of that body too. It is draining physically and mentally, and sometimes there’s just no more room within the body or soul to cope with the challenges a disabled person faces daily. There’s no more room to be patient with others who don’t see, or can’t see, those challenges; who don’t understand or are not willing to understand the challenges. No more room to meekly smile and just suck it up buttercup and get on with cards that have been dealt. No more room to let things shrug off like water off a duck’s back. Days like today can very quickly escalate to a sad bad day like today did.

I may not have all the answers to my questions, however I do have all the tools in my toolkit to help me overcome days like today. Tools provided from years of therapy. Writing about my feelings is one of those tools in that toolkit, I don’t write for sympathy, I write to get things off my chest, to put the self destruct thoughts to bed, to allow myself to be patient and kind with myself. Another would be my mantras, one being that before I sleep I reflect on the day I’ve had and say to myself that tomorrow is a brand new day.

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Pain Management

“If you injure your toe, the nerve endings in your foot fire off electrical impulses to your brain: Something bad happened down here. Your brain works with specialized nerve cells in your cord to figure out a response. Was that a burn? Better get that leg out of the fire pit. Did we just break our ankle? Let’s turn the pain dial up and make it ache for a couple weeks so we’ll stay off it. Once the injury heals, the brain turns the dial down and stops sending these amplified pain messages to your body. The hurt, blissfully, dissipates. But with chronic pain, the neural circuits stay amplified—your brain has actually rewired itself—keeping the pain dialed up to 11, even if the damage has been repaired.”

Great article on pain management – click here to read. This makes so much sense to me having taken control of my pain management and gone through a multidisciplinary approach. What is in this article is what gave me the strength to get up everyday, to go out to work, and follow my dreams. It’s also why I have been described by many in the medical profession involved in my care as a successful pain patient, along with being able to reduce meds and finally get my brain back from the medication induced brain fog. All I would say to anyone in pain reading this is to go into any pain management programme with an open mind, follow what is being taught, practice, practice and more practice, and you too can start living again. It’s not easy, there’ll be tears and tantrums, bad days and good, however you’ll wake one morning, read an article just like this, and think to yourself wow this actually works!

I’m not pain free, probably never will be, but I have accepted it into my life, and have learned to live with it and when you can get to that point that’s when life gets better for chronic pain patients. For the most I control the pain it doesn’t control me, yes it makes life extremely difficult but humans were made to overcome adversity and adapt to ever changing situations. It’s learning to adapt that gives you your life back albeit a different one to that you once knew.

Missing from blogging – a quick update

Hi

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and never got round to publishing it.  I wasn’t quite ready to hit the blogging world with a blog entry at the time, however I thought it important to write a blog post for potential publishing at a later date.  I am glad to say that today is the day that I feel like publishing this particular blog.  Please bear in mind that this was written a couple of weeks ago and I have moved on a little since writing this, an update will be at the end. Continue reading

My multitude of panics!

I could not resist using this picture of Jack Sparrow at the top of the mast.  Those who have been following my blog will know that this is the place on a tall ship that I would love to get to!

I could not resist using this picture of Jack Sparrow at the top of the mast. Those who have been following my blog will know that this is the one place on a tall ship that I would love to get to!

I went into full blown panic mode the other night about my upcoming tall ship adventure.  I imagine it is only natural, with all the excitement and adrenaline, to suddenly hit rock bottom real hard and start doubting myself and the trip. Continue reading

Be Brief – The Letter

The writing 101 prompt for this assignment was you stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

I found this letter I wanted to return.

However, so that everyone can learn

I thought this letter needed a share.

It’s about CRPS, a disorder that is rare.

To raise awareness is now my plight

After living with this illness day and night.

Take a moment to click this link

It will be informative I think

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Alaska: Earth’s Frozen Kingdom (and the Circle of Life)

I was watching a programme on BBC this evening feeling very sorry for myself as all the office germs have finally caught up with me.  Actually that’s a bit of a lie, I wasn’t feeling very sorry for myself, maybe just a little bit.  I am just very uncomfortable, full of a head cold and the general aches and pains you get with such germs – all this on top of my “normal” medical issues, which when added together means that I eventually “fall over” when others with a heavy cold would be able to carry on.    Continue reading