Pain relievers. Pain relief. I could go to the trusty dictionary and find the definition of relief, but I think most of us can imagine what we believe pain relief to be. Yet, for most chronic pain patients, there really isn’t any relief. The goal of pain relief should be the cessation of all pain. Except, what we’re doing either with pharmaceuticals or with other methods is to distract us from the pain. And for people like myself who have been medically abandoned, we don’t have any prescription pain relief. Even if we had a doctor, we probably wouldn’t receive any due to the “opioid hysteria” so that even alternative methods aren’t being looked at.
So I, like many fibromyalgia patients, spend the bulk of the day trying to distract myself from the pain. That means scrolling through Twitter, looking at horse news, petting the office (or the home) kitties, etc. My own personal regimen involves sending electrical signals through my muscles for 6-9 hours on a work day (TENS unit) to distract them from the pain. At night, I apply capcaisin (ben gay) cream to my shoulders and upper back to let the hot/cold sensation distract me from the pain. It’s a constant battle.
Too much pain to think/write/blog. Distract myself for a while. Do a bit of work if I can. The cycle repeats itself.
Coloring, meditation, different practices like yoga and tai chi, reiki, EFT…all of these serve to distract someone from the pain. Some, like EFT, CBT, and other behavioral therapies, can help try to retrain the brain, but there’s something sneaky about pain. The longer you live with it, the more entrenched it gets in your muscles, your nerves, your mind, your very body. And the harder it is to distract yourself from it.