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Motivation vs chronic pain

jj-from montrealjjj-from montreal Posts: 60
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Chronic Pain
Am I the only one who finds it really tough to get motivated when its difficult to move. The meds make my mind fuzzy, the pain makes me weak, any tricks in motivational ideas
Im trying to keep going forward; some days its like climbing Mount Everest and knowing I will never reach the top. If I let go/give up I will plunge to my demise and all the effort it took just to get to where I am now will be for nothing.
Ideas most welcome

A little back ground;
I’m a 48yrs old male, I have moderate to severe chronic pain everyday of my life for the past10 years,
I was diagnosed with sever stinosis in the neck, severe D.D.D
At 37 I had to have a lamanectomy from C3 to C7 inclusive, do to herniated disc that affected my spinal cord. The doctors have made it very clear that there is real nothing left to try, medically.
Presently I can not feel with my hands, no sensation, I have pain from my head to my toes. I have been on every type of pain medication and all stopped working after a while
Now I take Lyrica and and medical marijuana
(My advice to the world ,” acceptance, never give up, keep your self occupied . get physiological help, just to put things into prospective. Try to smile)


  • Re question #1: No, you are not the only one who finds it really tough to get motivated when its difficult to move.

    Its a mind game of "one step at a time" for me sometimes, set the bar low. I have spinal stenosis so if I can sit for a couple of minutes, it usually enough to help me recharge:
    -I just need to get into the shower, then I can rest a few minutes
    -I just need to get dressed, then I can rest a few minutes
    -I just need to make some breakfast, I can sit for a few minutes

    As for meds clouding your mind - don't have a good answer, everyone's cloudy level is a little different...
    Jan 2009 L5-S1 ALIF
    May 2017 ALIF L4-L5 with PLF rods added L4-L5-S1
  • agree with aimless, set small, achievable goals. then, remind yourself of how many of them you got accomplished in spite of the pain. and know that the only person to compare yourself to is you - you know how much pain you're in, and what a big accomplishment perhaps getting up and fixing a meal is, even if this is easy for a healthy person.

    the other thing that works for me is music. sometimes a really upbeat corny song will completely alter my mindset. for example, and here is the most embarrassing thing I have ever posted here, for me, listening to ABBA works. all of a sudden I am in 7th grade and running out to play after school. I can't explain it.

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  • Simply getting a shower, getting dresssed and having breakfast in a routine every day, goes a long way towards feeling motivated.

    Jenny is right about small accomplishments each day.

    Baby steps are huge leaps in the world of chronic pain.

  • That's how it's been for me. It's like you're able to do something one day, then later on you pay- at night or the next morning. Sometimes I need a sense of accomplishment, even tho I know it will increase the pain. I have days that I feel like nothing, a loser, a burden, just taking up space.
    Motivating yourself is hard, but take baby steps with what you do. And congratulate yourself for doing it. If you have a bad day, think Tomorrow's another day.
  • Let me start off by saying that I am by no means a motivational speaker :$ ,and it is a challenge for me..but I think that even healthy people that don't have pain get bogged down with that.

    I like what was mentioned about the baby steps and small goals..maybe that's my problem.I'm always making these huge lists that include having a yard sale and painting/scrubbing walls,steam cleaning the carpet & furniture-not much on that list has been crossed off lately.Not since July.

    The only thing that I can add here is try to remember that it's not Mt.Everest,and it really doesn't matter if you reach the top anyway,as long as you're on your feet and moving forward.
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  • I too have some serious motivational issues, especially when my pain is at it's worst or I'm having a flare up and am seriously lacking energy. But when I read what the other's here on the board force themselves to do, even if it's just getting to the shower, that helps to motivate ME. If you want motivation, you've come to the right place to find it! It actually makes me feel better just knowing that I'm not the only one who lives like this, like a mole or slug. Not that I'm happy that anyone else is in pain of course, that breaks my heart. But knowing that the others who are in pain face the same difficulties that I do. I guess that I always figured that everyone else just went on like a "normal" person. And BTW, I loved the story about the Abba music and I don't feel that "Chicagogal" should be ambarrassed at all by that admission. Some funky tunes always make my step a little lighter also! Who can sit still to a little Van Halen, Rolling Stones, or even some really great Country music? Not me!
  • what motivates me is the fact i have to work and pay the bills. i would like to stay at home but unfortunately work and taking care of my family are priorities and sitting around in bed would drive me nuts. i am not on workman's comp or any disability. the only time i was out was when i had my last surgery. i had to attend a conference for a week so i had to have my dr exit me early or i would not have a job at my school. they would have moved me and put me somewhere i did not want to go. these are things that motivate me. i am also in pain all the time every day. i have to work for 4 more years so i can retire at 65.

    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,349
    I have to say that there is some type of motivation in everything I do now.
    35+ years when it all started, I didnt know better to think towards the future, 20 years ago, I figure I could overcome anything, 10 years ago, I started to smarten up.
    Now, I know what I have to deal with and I try to find some get up and go in everything I do.
    If its working out in the garden, if its writing some new code, if its visiting friends, or even making the posts that I do here.
    As "C" and Jenny said, dont go for the big one first. Take small if necessary baby steps and then build on that.
    Make sure you have a sound foundation on which to build and then from there go forward. Without having the solid base, manytimes as we venture on in our spinal chronic pains we might fall and it gets tougher to get back on tract.

    That my internal motivation.

    Externally it is so much easy. I want to grow old with my wife, I want to see my children have children . I want to enjoy my family every single day.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • One step at a time and a plan... like today I will be showered and dressed by 8am, I will do this or that chore...etc. BUT, if I need to break away from the plan, you know what, I won't be arrested, or put in front of a firing squad. Right now I'm not working outside the home, so if I need to rest, I do it. And everything's ok. That has been my biggest motivation, everything will be ok. Acceptance of what my body is dealing with, that was a difficult thing for me, but once I started to accept it, I was able to let myself do what needs to be done to feel better. Like rest, sit in the hot tub ,let the yardwork go an extra couple days,cook a frozen pizza for dinner, take a nap. I can now do this without feeling guilty. I can't do what I used to do,but I don't have to do it either. So my motivation is like everybody else's on here, make a plan,set some goals, and be reasonable with yourself.
    I get alot of help by reading what everyone on this site are going through,lot's in worse shape than me!Hope you feel like taking on the world ! Have a good day
  • Hi JJ, like the others say, make a plan. Mine is:
    6am get out of bed.
    9am walk the dogs.
    9.30am rest.
    11 am brother takes me out in car.
    1pm return home and rest.
    6.30pm have dinner.
    8pm rest in front of TV.
    12am get ready for bed.
    sometimes I am fairly active within my daily routine, shopping, walking etc.sometimes I rest and sleep excesively. However sticking to the times I have set myself, does on bad days give me targets to meet.
    Keep on in there. Tig.
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