Pain is my constant companion. It is always with me and after all this time we have become quite well acquainted with each other.
I cannot think of a 24-hour period in the last few years where I have not been in pain. Some days it is merely a twinge and a twitch, but most days it is a nagging constant. It gnaws at me grinding me down until I am weary.
I sometimes wonder if there are tiny teeny creatures inside of my bones eating away and snagging my nerve endings until I have to stop and simply sit waiting for medication to kick in.
Each of us feel pain in a different way, and nobody can really know how you feel.
A frenemy (it is a real word), is a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry. A combination of a friend and enemy.
Pain has become my frenemy because I cannot avoid it – it is closer to me than my partner, family and friends and although I don’t like it I have to learn to live with it.
The primary source of my pain is Arthritis in my hands. In addition I was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia which is also sometimes called the chronic pain disease. Add Pernicious Anaemia a blood disorder that leads to neuropathic pain and you have a good cocktail.
This post is not about my pain, but rather my relationship with it. It is part of my life now, and so I need to make a friend of it (or frenemy).
I am determined that my life will continue to be full despite my friendly enemy.
These are a few of the techniques I am using to deal with it.
I find that this is probably one of the best sources of pain relief. The pain doesn’t go away, but as I absorb myself in other activities my mind begins to wander and I am able to deal with it better.
I am not always very disciplined but I have found that when I stick to a routine as far as using my splints, taking medication and rest, pain is easier to get along with
Unless I am in a very bad way, I tend to take pain meds when I need them. I am conscious of my overall health and try to limit what I do take. Once again however, keeping pain at bay is all about being regular with medications and other pain management aids such as topical pain relief in the form of sprays, gels, Versatis plasters and more.
I used to be one of those people who boasted about getting on well with only 6 hours sleep a night. A wise physiotherapist reminded me that the body heals while it sleeps. I can honestly say that despite waking in the night in pain, the longer I sleep the better it is.
My pain is primarily in my hands and arms which makes things a little awkward. What I have figured out is that I can do about 40 minutes with my hands without too much pain. Then I rest – and return to my task a little later. This has not only taught me patience but it also means that I get things done despite the pain.
My journey with my frenemy pain is exactly that – a journey of getting to know pain and to understand it. To work with it and not against it.
Each person’s pain is specific to them. If you have any tips of techniques on pain management I would love to hear about them.
A while ago I was interviewed on CRCFM a local radio station – some of what we discussed is very relevant to this post. You can have a listen here.
Thanks for reading.