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Day 8 Connecting pain and emotions

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Bowen, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Bowen

    Bowen New Member

    I am having trouble connecting emotions to pain levels. My pain is widespread and there all the time no matter what I am doing. It always seems to be physical things that flare it up. For example going for a walk it will get worse the longer I walk. I can acknowledge the fear that it will get worse, think about if I am angry about something or try and stay relaxed or step into the now or just accept what it is but is doesnt make any difference to the pain.

    Another good example is laying down. When I am laying down and am still my pain is intense and I use icepacks and heatpacks alot. I can be laying down and fully relaxed and peaceful and it makes no real difference to the level of pain I am experiencing.

    Any help is appreciated. This is a a big one for me.
  2. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think the clue here is you are still treating your symptoms as physical by using ice packs and heat packs a lot. It is absolutely natural to have doubts and cling to these treatments that we think are helping but in the long term are keeping us stuck in a perpetual pain cycle. When I had severe sciatic pain someone suggested I use those stick on heat pads. I struggled at work while sitting in my chair and getting up off the chair was even worse. What harm could it do? I was reading about TMS through Dr Sarno's books and the wiki at the time. I thought if I just had some relief I could focus more on the psychological. My brain was hearing completely mixed messages. On the one hand it was shouting at me to relieve the pain. On the other hand it was saying, "Hey, you have to stop using these heat pads if you really want to prove to me that you believe 100% your pain is from TMS."

    I was reading The Great Pain Deception last night in which Steve Ozanich writes:

    You will know when it's the right time for you to let these things go, Bowen.
    Susan likes this.
  3. Bowen

    Bowen New Member

    Thank you for your response yb44. I think I need to read that book by Steve Ozanich. I definitely hear what you are saying.

    What would you say about pain killers? I think about this also sometimes.

    I have been on heavy duty painkillers daily for years. Morphine, Tramadol 200mg which is an opiate and also Valium. I have tried to come off tramadol and my body absolutely freaks out. I couldn't get off it for even a day as the pain was too intense and fear that it was going to make me worse for good kicked in. The tramadol I have been taking for about 9 years. It doesnt really do anything anymore. But my body is dependent on it though so I cant get off it. The other pain killers only really take a tiny bit of the edge off the pain. The docs call my pain syndrome a wind up, as over a 14 year period it has been winding up and spreading and intensifying. I am 34 years old now. My biggest fear in coming off tramadol is I know that my body will react in a big way and because my pain is wind up in nature the increased pain whilst coming off it will stay there for good which I dont know if I could handle. Over the years I have had flare ups and wind ups. Flare ups are just flare ups that eventually return to normal pain but occasionally I have a 'wind up' which is when it flares up but never returns to normal levels of pain. It stays there for good and I have to completely adjust my life to handle the new levels of pain. When you feel like you are already at 110% coping with your current pain levels and you have a wind up it is very scary.

    Would really like to get your thoughts.
  4. spiralgirl1

    spiralgirl1 Peer Supporter

    Hi Bowen,
    Re painkillers etc.. just wanted to say that if you are taking opiate based medication and / or valium (diazepam) I would advise that you get advice and support from someone/ an organisation that has specialist knowledge about the meds. As you say you are 'dependent' but please know that you CAN 'get off' them. But it is not advisable or useful to just try to stop dead.. As you are no doubt aware these drugs are both physically and psychologically dependence forming and you need a supportive and planned reduction programme (reducing by very small doses over a realistic period of time) that you feel is manageable.
    Some people do manage to reduce on their own but with the complications you have re the pain and fear I think a source of knowledgable support and advice would be really helpful for you..
    maybe you have tried this already but don't give up and don't feel that the task is impossible!!

    Good luck with it all..
  5. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I won't reiterate what spiralgirl has said. It's good advice.

    So you have flare ups and wind ups. What is happening in you life apart from the physical stuff when these occur? It sounds like your mind is revved up. You are fearful, anxious. When we start thinking and speaking in absolutes such as "I will ALWAYS be in pain" or "This pain will NEVER go away" we are sending our brain the wrong message and it is reacting accordingly by giving us further pain. By re-adjusting our life to accommodate the pain we are allowing it, unwittingly, to remain. Some people rage against their pain, fighting back, shouting at it, pushing through it. For me this method didn't work. It would create more tension and pain would crop up or spread somewhere else, just like your flare ups/wind ups. The trick is to achieve the calming effect of the drugs, without the drugs. This can be something like listening to soothing music, watching a funny movie and laughing, meditating, taking a walk or a relaxing bath, basically anything that will stall the revved up mind.

    I am not that far in to Steve O's book but I know it is packed with suggestions on how to heal. Have a listen to the webinar that he did recently. Forest posted it on the main forum.
    Terry likes this.
  6. Bowen

    Bowen New Member

    Thanks guys for your advice. I will speak to my doc and make sure I do it the right way. I have a few ideas already.
    I am going to make a list of all the adjustments I make in life and gradually try to reduce them.
    I do do a lot of relaxing things like meditation etc but they dont seem to have much affect on the pain.
    Continuing to work though this. But I know I need to really start thinking differently and sending my brain new messages and actually believing them. When I think about the what is stressors are happening in my life when I have a wind up, I can identify them but then I am not sure what to do with them. Work in progress I guess.
    Thanks! Bowen

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