I'm sure if I sat there dwelling on the "fun fact" that my Dr.s are all of the unanomous beliefe that my spine will just continue to fall apart & give me more & more pain til I finally throw in the towel & allow them to put rods into my back.....I'd turn into a complete basket case. I'm only 36(almost 37) & have been dealing with increasing pain since I had my accident when I was 14.
You have to find a balance that suites YOU! I have quite a few meds at my disposal & could get stronger ones.....but to ME....it feels as though all those meds just mask over the pain & make me sleepy enough to knock me out (which at times IS a "blessing"), which is sometimes the ONLY time I'm not activly dealing with the pain. So for ME the balance is dealing with the pain til it's at a point where I either need to to drug up or else it will just keep gettting worse & worse. I don't like taking the pain meds when there is something I WANT TO DO.....cuz I'm rarely able to do what ever it is I HAD wanted to do all doped up on pain meds.
I find distraction to be one of the best techniques. I can play a game like bejeweled or pop-it which are made by "pop-cap" games. I'm also a big pogo goer....lots of those puzzle games are "easy" to start playing & loose track of time. It's those loosing track of time activities that are easiest to use for distracting your mind from the pain.
I also have a TENS unit that I just LOVE! The settings are something you have to play around with. When they 1st hooked me up to it @ the PT's office I about hit the roof with pain, but they fiddled with the settings & the way I have it set up now is an abolute GOD SEND! If you get the chance to use one.....don't give up on it if the 1st setting is "bad" or even the 2nd or 3rd.....stick it out & try a few different settings before you cast your yay or nay on it.
I use meditation as well. Meditaion for pain is NOT something you can pick up in a few hrs or even days. It is something you must 1st try when you're in relatively little pain & you'll need to be practicing every day....as the weeks go by if you've been practicing the meditation you will notice your "places" are more & more vivid each passing week & they come more fluidly (er at least that's how it worked out for MINE anyway....took about 10 wks before I could use it when I was in pain). I think my absolute favorite is to take a mountain walk (I can include sounds/smells/sights/sensation/& sometimes even taste if I happened along the right berry bush or fruit tree in my walk); I try FORCING my mind to put into this "walk" as many details as I can (the details are what keeps your mind occupied/busy enough to not answer those "OW-mails")the smell of pine trees + the crunching of the fallen needles under my feet + the sight of mist up in the faraway trees, the sights & smells of meadows full of wild flowers, picturing wild animals crossing my path with a mother doe & her fawn in a clearing or a hawk soaring over head. I often try to encorporate that into anoter favs of mine which is the beach. So I like to picture the way Torrey Pines goes from hills & mountainy terrain leads down to the beach. I then can picture all the sights/sounds/sensations of the beach including wrigeling my toes in the warm sand. I like using Boudecia from Enya set on repeat for the mountainy portions & for the sea/beach I like using Sailing from Christopher Cross. I also try to imagine myself as a dolphin swimming along coral reefs & playing with other sea creatures, & racing along side sailboats.
Many of us find that having a nice warm shower helps.
My B/F when he & I 1st got together had to learn how to touch me in my bad owie times.....but he learned the do's & dont's of ME & MY hypersensative skin.....and now he's actually better at massaging without hurting me than is my mother who is a trained OT & has been around me ever since my accident at age 14 (22yrs ago). So again....just because try #1 at your husband/wife or anyone else doing massage is fingernails on a chalk board......try again & take note of what didn't work from the last try.....eventually you may find what YOUR ways are.
Best of luck.
Edited by wheeliebear75, 23 July 2012 - 03:53 AM.