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Thursday, April 5, 2012

More Reading and Thoughts

I am continuing to read the book The Chronic Pain Care Workbook" by Michael J. Lewandowski, PH.D. It looks like there is going to be a lot of record taking. Tracking pain levels through the day, as well as graphs for activities and pain level on the same graph (to show correlation between the two), tracking flare ups daily, and weekly, as well as individual write-up for each flare. The idea behind all of this tracking is a good one and I am sure it will help because I agree with the statement that the more I know about my pain and how it affects me, the easier I will recognize areas that I can change to gain better control and less pain. But wow does it look rather overwhelming to just keep all those charts every day, almost a job in and of itself LOL 

I've gotten to the part about setting goals, I am thinking I will set 2 to start with. The first is to help me feel like I'm actually achieving something every day, so I will try to do at least 1 to 2 loads of laundry per day. The second will be to fill out all these charts LOL 

Because my depression and apathy are so deep, and my ability to move around is so low, I am taking the advice from one of the other books regarding pacing from a place a being bedridden. It basically said that I may have to start out with something very small, that someone else may not see as a big deal, but since I've been doing almost nothing for 18 months or so now, it is a big thing. It is important to help re-build the desire to fight again, to get better, especially for those like me who are coming at this from a place of having given up and letting the pain run my mind and my life for so long. This will take a while, one small thing at a time because if I try to change lots of things at once I will set myself up to fail.

Interesting statement I just read. I did some of the exercises that are on the book, on the website for the book. I did one about activities and avoidance of those activities due to pain. There were a couple that have not changed due to my pain. The comment was that even though I am thinking I do nothing, those couple things prove that this is not true, that I am still doing something. When I read that it kind of gave me a little jolt, one of those "duh! Missy!" jolts. I've been so focused on what I haven't done every day, that I ignore what I have done.  

Gosh I feel like I'm having to learn how to live all over again. hmmmm...I guess in some ways that is exactly what I am doing. 

My pain wasn't too good today. We have bad weather this week and stronger weather moving in today, which is what woke me at 4AM. All the muscles in my back and pelvis were tight so I took muscle relaxers and applied the heating pad, which has helped. I also took my meds, which has helped as well. I did some mild stretching that the physical therapists taught me to help release the tension in my back and pelvis muscles, this also helped. I did some breathing and am refusing to let myself think the catastrophic thoughts I usually have running in my head. I'm sitting at a 7, but it is not rising like it normally would be. Instead of just letting it run rampant, I tried doing things to help control it and it is helping. Usually when I wake up this way, by this point (2 hours later) the pain has gone up. But so far, I am controlling it and who knows, if I continue to do that I might actually make it go down and not hit a 10 (pain crisis) when the thunderstorms go through today. Does this mean that I am doing it? I think so!

Today will have to be a rest day with the exception of filling those forms.

My brain is still working over the fear. I will probably do some stream of consciousness writing in my written journal to see what comes out, then hopefully I will be able to post something here in a couple days that talks about more reasonably than stream of consciousness writing allows.

Edited to add at 6:47AM: I just took the test about how my husband's response to my pain issues affects me and possibly our relationship. Finally, a really GOOD score! It asked me to rate by frequency on 0-10 how often he does or says things like "Your pain interferes with my life", "you can't be in as much pain as you say" and similar negative things. It then asked me to rank whether I liked or disliked when he says those things. For the entire list I got to say 0, because he doesn't say those things to me. This doesn't mean that he never talks about being frustrated or concerned, but he never throws it in my face, tries to make me feel guilty, or anything like that. He has been so immensely supportive, understanding, and helpful. We've talked about this many times, and he does express that he occasionally feels a twinge or frustration or similar emotional reactions, but it doesn't go beyond that twinge because he knows this is not my fault and he loves me the way I am.

It felt good to get a good score on something! LOL

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Thank you for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog. For people who are chronically ill and/or in constant pain, it can be difficult to socialize as frequently as we would like to do so. Talking with others online is a way for us to socialize, chat with others, make new friends, reach out to others in similar circumstances and many more positive effects.

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