In our residential PM which lasted four weeks we had about 20 chronic pain patients and we were all assessed prior to going, we achieved many new things and here are some of them. The hospital teams view on flare ups is that pain inherently fluctuates and does not remain static, these flare ups are periodic, have no rhythmic manifestation and the best we can hope for is to address them as they arrive. In our infancy we continue to strive for increased performance in the knowledge that subsequent pain will arrive and from some mobility to immobility is a short and frequent happening. We have learned to sustain middle order levels of pain by our own scale and it is those emotive increases and the accumulative symptoms by default that is so debilitating.
We were asked to make a list of what makes the pain worse for each of us and what makes the pain less, this is then our individual blue print of what we can achieve within the confines of manageable functional pain. This for us is a moving threshold and the nearer we progress to its limit the less disproportionably we can do. Continuing that pendulum of pain and immobility can continue for some time and we should not feel guilty for having attempted to improve our performance, tenacity can be attuned to our own needs and in most cases just requires intermittent tuning.
Chronic pain is multi faceted layers of coping individual to us these many stratus are what it means to us, it is not created by one entity and the best mode of improvement is a varied approach to managing it better. No one list exists that if performed would automatically improve your situation and each element have to be addressed in conjunction with another, similar to juggling many balls at the same time for the most benefit. The mode of best practice is developing, honed out of many hours of others trial and error, pain and anguish. We should adapt these for our own use and find what works for us, it is eradicating time relative to experience and should foreshorten the time taken to glean optimum results for everyone.
The strategy required to endure pain is different than the flare up strategy, the pain is usually more intense, requires some immediate action and has that unnerving element of the unknown. Thinking positively is key and easier said than done, we were encouraged to write down our new strategy and move forward through each step. Sometimes it will not work and that is frustrating and upsetting, the probability for increased depression is understandable, and while dealing with increased pain we are mandated to deal with the supportive elements even more effectively than usual.
The array of feasible possibilities is endless and some are worthy of closer evaluation, many are not an option when flare ups occur, getting through is success and should not be seen as failure, surviving in your head is equally important.
We looked at relaxation techniques and meditation, we looked at pacing and accepting challenging status, we examined our conscious, that little voice in our heads that tells us we could do more, or faster and better, these may well be unseen issues in our healthy persona but seems to take disproportionate importance when the pain increases and we are unable to function as we would like. We are our own biggest critics and need no reminder of our limitations, better mental health is paramount. Improved communication also helps at this time, we feel inadequate enough without having to explain what we cannot do.
We need to practice what we would do when the pain increases prior to flare ups, and have a clear strategy even if it is wrong we will learn something from it to take it forward, before the increased pain arrives. We looked at the support from partners and supporters, how they feel at this time and that feeling of hopelessness in being unable to help us, our partners were invited to the last week session to hear from them, it was poignant and revealing listening to how difficult it can be when the specific
The continuing dilemma is knowing our limitations and working within them, this takes some acclimatising too and some acceptance of our new status, most limitations become practical and we understandable place priority on issues which are sometimes a measure of how it make us feel about ourselves and not the task.
Flare ups can be managed more effectively and possibly never eradicated they can happen without any reason or action on our behalf, for me every day has peaks of increased pain, I live in limited capacity and start every day optimistic and encouraged by what I have achieved however limited my attainment, I know I have done my very best and at some peace with myself.
Take care and be kind to yourself.