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How to manage my daily pain

HI all

These are some of my techniques I use to deal with daily chronic pain. 

I have leaned not to eat food when I first awaken.  Why you might ask?  Pain meds are more quickly absorbed on an empty stomach.  I wait until my pain starts to calm down then I may eat something.  I have cervical issues so I usually take a pain pill and muscle relaxer at the same time.  Now sometimes this process hits a snag.  If I develop a headache after taking my pain pill and muscle relaxer then I have to take a Headache prescription strength pill.  Now that combined with my other two pills will ruin my just started day by making me extremely sleepy.  I usually have a fifty percent chance of getting it right!!!

Now I can plan my day but wait....I can rarely makes plans ahead of time because who knows how I will be feeling.  I know you all can relate to this.  My wife says " lets go shopping all day, you can carry all my heavy bags"  After a few stores  I am looking for water for.....you guessed it, something  to take my pain meds with.  I start looking at my watch, surely we have been at this for four hours, but its really only been thirty minutes.  I am ready for my ice bag.  As you can guess, making plans with chronic pain is near impossible.  I never know how I will be feeling and when I do feel ok, who knows for how long.  I ask my wife," can we do somethings less physical"  She replies "lets go to a movie".

We go to the movie theater, get popcorn and drink get seated and then....My neck starts hurting again.  I look at the time thinking this movie must be over by now.  Its only been about thirty minutes.  I don't know about everyone else but when I am hurting I cant sit still.  Here I am twisting turning in my seat.  I finally get up and walk to lobby and you guessed it, take a pain pill.  I get back in, sit down and my wife asks me are you alright?  Of course I am my dear loving wife, could you take out your finger nail file and perform a two level discectomy for me please!!!  My point being I think we all have different techniques that get us through our day. 

How about the rest of my SH fellow sufferers, I would love to hear how you all cope with your daily routines.  I might even learn a thing or two.




  • Hey, DMO...

    I do the same as you--take the morning pain medication on an empty stomach.  Mornings continue to be the toughest part of my day, and I figure it's just because of the lack of movement in the overnight hours. 

    As far as plans are concerned, I think I can safely say that it's difficult for any of us to commit to anything because pain is not a predictable entity.  I have no clue whether or not it's going to be a good or a bad day three weeks in advance.  Unfortunately, the invitations to things have all but disappeared.  I get it, but if the shoe was on the other foot, I would still invite a person to events regardless of whether or not they had to cancel last minute.  I suppose having an up close and personal view of the way chronic pain "works" makes me a little more empathetic to those who cannot predict whether or not tomorrow is going to be "ok", much less a few weeks in advance of an event!  Oh, and do I EVER hear you about the sitting for any length of time!!!!  Looking back, I wonder how many of my classmates thought I had bad hemorrhoids due to the way I would squirm around in my seat during the 2.5 hour classes :o Oh well--at least no one ever handed me a tube of Preparation H...

    How I get through my day obviously depends on where my pain level decides it wants to be.  Although I can try to do as much as I can to "get ahead of it", sometimes those efforts are in vain.  It happens.  If it's not such a great day, I usually have to add a breakthrough med, and spend some time under my heat lamp.  Then there are those great days where I have little pain and a lot of energy, so I USED find myself trying to do all those things that fell by the wayside due to the bad days.  I've learned the hard way NOT to let myself get carried away, as I'm just setting myself up for a few more rough days by overdoing it!  It is definitely a balancing act, isn't it?  ;)   

    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,527
    one thing that has always helped me is to look at the lighter side of chronic pain.... 
    a day in the life

    seriously, i try to keep my self occupied as best as possible.  i am fortunate that i can spend 4 or more hours a day on spine-health and our other forum sites (arthritis-health and sports-health) so that i can focus in on helping others.

    i space my medications out, because from after 4:00 in the afternoon, starts the worst part of the day for me.   i start with legs shaking and aching, needing to lie down and stretch my legs, a little ice on my back.

    up for dinner, a glass of wine with dinner, watch some tv, do some reading and start planning out the upcoming week.
    the more i keep occupied, the easier the day will be.

    i have all my medications, but i try to wait until i know i start to need them.  and that does not mean waiting until the last minute.  i never want to get into a position where pain starts to take over ..   pain is there, but i refuse to allow it to consume my life.

    there a rough days, there a terrible days, some not so bad days and an occasional good day.   adjusting to the ongoing roller coaster ride for chronic pain patients is important.

    and of course, having someone to share all of this with
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • hello Ron and Kimmy,

    I can tell real people in chronic pain by way they describe their day.  Not to judge anyone but I think this pattern is evident in all people who suffer over  a long period of time.  I agree it is so hard to tell what kind of a day you are going to have because pain levels spike up and down daily and weekly.  I have not had any luck with long acting pain meds.  I tried a few but they either made me sick or did not work.  I take hydromorphone short acting so I thought exalgo would be ideal for me for long acting.  I was wrong, it did nothing and I don't know why.

    I am having my two level acdf in two weeks and am actually looking forward to this hoping to get a reduction in pain with a corresponding reduction in pain meds.  Ron I know you have multiple problems that required multiple surgeries and its amazing you are able to stay focused on SH helping others.  Unfortunately the last six months I have been dealing with lower back pain also.  I had mri which showed another herniated disc at L5-S1.  Now I am worried I will need lumbar fustion as well someday.  I am so happy to have you all here at SH to help me through this but most of all someone who understands what this is all about. 

    I need to get my mind around the fact that these issues are my new normal and to adjust myself to them.  I have decided I need to slow down and not push myself so hard.  I worry that we chronic pain sufferers will lose part of our ability to handle chronic pain.  By this I mean the limiting or elimination of pain meds.  I believe in the total all around process of using all available means to reduce pain.  But lets face the fact that pain meds are a large piece of the puzzle in controlling pain.  Thanks for your support.


  • xerxes501xxerxes501 New YorkPosts: 9
    This sounds very similar to my days.  I have 4 bulging discs, c4-c7, and have been through too many epidurals, facet blocks, and RFA.  It's been two years since the accident and while I do believe my pain has changed, it is still omnipresent in my life.  Like you, I too love hourly by the pain meds that guide my daily actions.  Forget it if there is rainy weather, all I can die is great pain and lay down.  and th humidity where I live in ny blows my pain off th scales.  We just had a heat wave and I could not leave my couch in the ac.  My upper back along my shoulders and along my spine felt like they were on fire for 2 weeks.  I'm coming up on another round of diagnostic tests to see what the issue still is.  Ironically after my dual cervical RFA the right side seemed better, while the left side seemed worse and continues to lock up even after more steroids and procedures.  The woes part is that I used to be physically active with my 3 young kids.  Now I'm lucky I can be on my feet to cook dinner.  Even with my meds a decent nights sleep is elusive.  
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello xerxes501 !
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • amen xerxes,

    I am lucky to get two hours sleep before I have to get up out of bed, move my neck around and sit with ice bag.  My cervical issues cause great pain in my left shoulder blade.  When I lie down in two hours or less I get stabbing pain in my left should blade and bicep.  I miss my sleep so I take multiple naps whenever I can take them.


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