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And life goes on...

lcarpenterlcarpenter Posts: 119
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Chronic Pain
I know that pain affects every single area of life and makes many things impossible. I'm a mom trying to encourage my 18-year-old son to function the best he can and move through life in the most positive way possible. I thought I'd start this post in the hopes that all of us can hear from others who have found ways (big and small) to move forward. So...any stories about positive coping out there??? Please post!!!
BTW - my son used to play baseball and wanted to play in college (that dream ended with his back injury) but just started a job at a skeet shooting range (he can shoot really, really well). I'm hoping that he can channel at least some of his competitive/athletic energy and drive into the shooting. Crossing my fingers!


  • Living with pain isn't easy nor does it getting your life back happen easy. I've been living with back pain for 30 years now and have learned much from others and from my own experiences.

    Finding things you love to do and doing them is very important. Often work helps as it keep one focused on something other than the pain. It also good to start acquiring good hobbies and expanding your interests.

    Exercise is one of the best things you can do but it isn't easy. Often you need a good physical therapist to assist doing the right exercises and keep you from causing more pain or re-injury. I've seen a lot of them and have learn a few things from each of them. Non of them had all the answers, but by learning a little from each one I can now manage my own exercise program. Finding sports you can do with others is very helpful in keeping going when you really don't feel like doing it.

    Taking life at your own pace is very important. Often the lifestyle that works the best is one of doing a lot of small things rather than thinking you need to find one thing to fix it all. I know have a very active lifestyle and do many things I thought I'd never do again. It took doing a little every day to improve got result when nothing else did. It was a very slow process but it still has taken me much further than I thought I could go.

    I always set goal for myself. Some of them are work and some of them are just plain fun. Rewarding yourself for doing the right things is very important if you want to hang in there over a long time. It was hard for me to set reasonable expectation for myself just as I was instead of shooting for something that way way too much.

    Give him all the love and encouragement you can and let him find his own way to a better life.

    Good luck to both of you!
  • ...that's so important. Well done.
  • I'll admit, I didn't read all of Dennis' post, but I did get the main points, and he has a lot of good ones:

    set goals, attainable goals; and reward yourself when you meet them;

    remain positive;

    exercise, even if it's just a 10 minute daily walk, or just around the block;

    take life at your own pace, even if it's one hour, 10 minutes or even 1 minute at a time on those really bad days;

    don't sweat the small stuff, there are bigger problems to worry about, like getting stronger;

    take your physio seriously, if you don't do your home exercises, how do you expect to get better?

    I find that helping others, helps me. It takes my mind off my own problems for that period of time;

    Take up a hobby. Keep your mind active. I've found that old saying "Idle hands are the devil's workshop" rings true. The more idle I am, the more focused I am on my pain. I can do things sitting in my recliner that keeps my mind and my hands occupied and off of my pain;

    There is more to pain management than meds. Check out Ron's The "Blend".

    When we have our good days, remember moderation is key, don't overdo it. You want those good days to last as long as they can!

    These are the things I try to remember each day to keep on keepin' on. I do have my bad days, everyone does, but I do try to not let them keep me down. I always find something good in the day to smile about, and hang on to the good things in life to get me through. I've come to far to not let them! All the best to your son!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    Living with Acute and worse Chronic pain can take its toll in both the physically and emotionally aspects of daily life.

    I think its easy to figure out the physical ones. The things you used to be able to do. We've all been there. I played all sports in high school, played them to my best, hard and rough. Thats where we all believe my spinal problems do start (football).
    Over the years, I played in various touch football leagues as well as many softball leagues.

    I played these sports after 1,2,3,4 lumbar surgeries and 2 cervical surgeries. Each time, I was some what compromised and I had to hold back in the things I did before. But I still played and enjoyed these sports.

    Finally, it wasnt my spine that stopped me, but the years mounted on, the pounds kept coming and I could no longer play the way I wanted to.

    But my desire to move ahead was always there. I've always had a fire burning to figure out what I could continue to do.

    I couldnt do many active sports due to my spinal limitations, but there were so many other sports and activities that I could and dozens I hadn't even tried but knew I could do.

    My motto in life has been , not what I can no longer do, but how much more can I do. I have more positive approaches to day to day life now, much more than I did before any of my spinal surgeries.

    It was simple. I could sit back, feel sorry for myself, let the spinal problems mount up, etc.... OR not allow any of that to happen.

    As Kelly stated... Setting one goal at a time, one objective to met is the best approach. Dont become overwhelmed in figuring you have to do it all.

    Small strides work best. Just never give up and never give in!
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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