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Emotional pain vs Physical pain

2

Comments

  • Great topic and I'm a believer! I've had so much counseling in the past over childhood issues and it brought me freedom, changed the way I perceive past emotional pain. I lost the love of my life to cancer, grief counseling is moving me through that pain. 

    Chronic physical pain brings with It great loss, many of which have already been mentioned. It took me awhile to connect with a pain management counselor, they seem in general to be a rare breed, at least in my area, but I'm learning new coping skills. I'm learning the way I THINK about my pain has physiological effects and relaxation techniques really do help. And as Sandra mentioned, an attitude of gratitude is essential. Oh sure, I still have those dark days and an occasional pity party especially when I have a set back (Capt denial grounds the ship, lol, love that William)  but I know where to go and what to do. This site is one of those places and is one of the things I'm thankful for. So is it worth the pain of getting myself ready and driving there every week, or humbling myself to ask someone to take me if I can't drive, absolutely! 

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,476

    Like you Joanne, this site helps keep me grounded. As I read about other member's struggles with pain, family matters, or being alone, I realize I should not complain. When we talk about subjects like this, it gets down to who we are. Dig deep and let it all out.


    Sandra
    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
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  • Joanne, this might sound crazy but my injury and Chronic pain I consider at times a blessing . Before I was injured, I was healthy, I’d never been a in patient in a Hospital before. I heard of chronic pain, but had never experienced it. So now, instead of seeing it through other people’s eyes, I can now see it through my own. What I used to take for granted, I now value more then ever! Yes, I lost friends and Hobbies , but what I gained was worth a lot more. I’ve been married to the same woman I dated since the 10th grade and it will be 41 years this June. Before my injury I thought I was strong and tough, but after surgery, found out that she was the rock! She has stood beside of me through thick and thin, so yes I’m fortunate! This Chronic pain has brought me so much! It’s brought me closer to my Faith which at times I’ve neglected.. My past life I had a career I loved. It’s now in my rear view mirror But with all the extra time I have now I use it wisely. I’ve written a few contemporary Christian songs, instead of my usual Blues or Rock ( which I still enjoy playing) and I spend time on here talking with some of the most gifted people I have ever met. I’ve used this analogy quite often , But always look through the windshield where your heading and forget the rear view mirror and where you’ve been....David. 

    DavidG

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • I totally get what you're saying, David. My pain constantly reminds me of how dependant I am on God's grace from day to day, hour to hour. It has given me a ministry of sorts, a greater purpose. I've struggled to figure out where my place is in life since my husband died, we mentored and counseled together in our church of 30 years. I never thought it would be my pain to give new purpose to life! But God is the master at using pain for ultimate good. Hope I'm not violating any rules by talking about my faith but it's who I am. I love your analogy and sometimes I've had to look back to make it possible to forget and move forward. Thanks for all your insightful comments, I'm blessed to be a part of this group! 

  • This is a great thread.  Thanks to all that has input.  I need to write a gratitude list every day. 

    Vegas

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  • Thank you Ron for the kind words.  After more than 20 years dealing with chronic pain, I have really come to realize how unresolved emotional issues seriously affect physical pain.  Everything we feel is processed in the brain so it makes sense that the two would be somewhat intertwined. 

    My MD sent me to a psychologist which I felt like was a waste of money.  He reminded me that like any doctor I would have to interview a few to find the one that best suited me.  He was right.  Once I found the one that I felt really understood what I needed, it was a phenomenal experience that I am so glad I didn't miss.  I learned coping skills that I still use and just having someone to validate my feelings about certain issues in my life really helped me.
     
    Like someone else mentioned, accepting a new normal is a challenging thing for most of us and any help we can get in doing that is a good thing.  

    I am a person who likes to plan ahead for what's around the corner so the psychologist helped me to let some of that go and to approach it differently.  I still plan, but learned not to feel like a failure if my situation just doesn't allow that to happen and to switch to plan B.  I came from a very hard working family where absolutely nobody had ever been on disability.  It was hard for me to accept the fact and really hard to tell my parents.  Those are the very things the psychologist helped me with.  All that nonsense was put there by me.  My parents were completely supportive.  It feels so good to just let some of that go.  Those "standards" we hold ourselves to.  I learned that the majority of those standards were mine alone.  Nobody else expected that from me or saw me as a failure.

    Anyway, just wanted to explain how it helped me.

    Cindy
  • Cindy, Thank You for sharing your story! I think most of us can understand what you were going through. The physical pain is bad enough but then we add the emotional portion and it can become overwhelming to anybody. At first we all put that fake smile on as were screaming from the inside. I really wish this therapy was started before the surgery. Most of us never had a clue....David

    DavidG

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,476

    Cindy

    Your psychologist sounds so much like mine. Planning ahead was my own worst enemy and he helped me control the "what if's".
    I learned to set goals every morning but not anything that I knew was impossible, keep it simple. 

    Sandra
    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • Timely discussion for me.  I was about to create a new conversation titled 'so I did a quiz to see if I was depressed'  because I've been told I'm depressed by my husband.  

    If you're sniffing the sock off of the floor, chances are it stinks and you know it but since we're here....

    Then I asked myself, mid quiz, how closely my 'ability to concentrate' or 'take joy in activities I once enjoyed doing' pertain to depression or to my physical inabilities (neRvE pain, sleep dep, drug side effects, weak numb leg and an overcompensating gait)

    I am not motivated to end my life.  In fact, I take great joy in the small things, even as they are.  The beauty of nature and the laughter of the kids. I paint, do photography and pursue what I can post surgery, along with the challenges of physiotherapy and walking with a cane.   I feel weak and defenceless and just had the staples out today. I'm laced in pain that nerves get into with the discectomy, but why must my husband get on the last nerve?

    I'm trying so very very hard and if I am depressed then I am but I'm alive and grateful to sleep again.  It will take time but people are impatient and I believe this impatience let me back to work too soon and now I have 2 massive herniations I'd rather have kept inside my back but they're gone now.  Instant degenerated disc.

    I want to get what I can out of life but the snail needs to run this one.  It's one thing to have one surgery for spine causing drop foot then another for my L4, now buckling my affected leg at the knee.  My 2 childbirths were also difficult and all 4 events were emergency and complicated and they all worked out in the end but I feel like I have PTSD.

    I need to hang in there and keep my chin up and not hear the labels and just get better.  Call a koo.koo.doc if I need.   I just don't trust or like many people,.doctor's. I've opened up to counseling before and I'm just done right now with hospitals and medical and the hunt for the right person for me.  Not to mention how exhausting it is.   

    I've never been so tired or so in pain before and I'm ragged.   This, I know





  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 377

    I definitely agree there is a stigma associated with seeing a counselor or psychiatrist. I'm a Marine, 20+ years in the Marine Corps and always considered myself a stud muffin. But, there is nothing like chronic pain to put you on your knees and change your mindset. I am fortunate that I had a great family MD that referred me to a psychiatrist with considerable experience with chronic pain patients - finding him was not easy as there does not seem to be many with that specific experience. Interestingly, and unfortunately, he too has chronic back pain but he is still able to work. My son was medically retired from the Army after 18 years because of his back problems. He was in the initial Iraq invasion and another one year tour in Iraq and one year in Afghanistan. In addition to his back issues he has PTSD and would not see a counselor because of the stigma and implied weakness. Fortunately, I've been honest with him about my experience and he sees a psychiatrist and takes his antidepressant and he is doing so much better. The antidepressants and anti-anxiety prescriptions do not eliminate depression or anxiety but they help and it is good to have someone listen to us without judgment although my psych says most of how I feel is up to me and no drug is omnipotent. I also agree that the emotional side of chronic pain is not a routine part of our medical treatment and that is very unfortunate. Adjusting to our new lives and limitations is very difficult and it would be great to have this aspect of medical care become as routine as post surgery follow-up. We are our own best advocates! Jerome

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