With my conditions (I have a mega long list, so we will leave that for another post), I have pain 24 hours a day every day. My normal “good” day is what most would rate as an 8-10 on their pain scale. On my extremely difficult pain days (which are at my personal 8-10) it can be extremely hard to deal with. We all have a different pain scale. When you are not in pain all of the time, your threshold is much lower. When you have pain non stop you build up a tolerance and acceptance of a new normal. Just like with most things, your body adjusts.
Now, I could run to the ER every time my pain levels spike, but that would be a waste of time and money. I only go into the ER if I am worried that something else may be going on besides what I already know. So what do I do when I just can’t deal?
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Tips for Handling Difficult Pain Days
Below are some things that work for me over these many years. Do they make my pain magically go away? Well, no…of course not. If you are looking for a miracle, there isn’t one. All we can do is try to make it more tolerable.
One of my biggest tools for difficult pain days is a distraction. Distraction can come in many forms. Maybe binge-watching your favorite television show? Art? Music? An activity that doesn’t aggravate your pain condition? For me, the best distraction is climbing under a pile of blankets and reading. Totally submerging myself into a book and getting lost. Noise aggravates my pain because I literally feel it. It isn’t hearing it that hurts me. It is the vibration of it on my body. On my really bad days, I prefer the quiet. Who am I kidding, I prefer quiet every day.
I just joined an online book club through Instagram! We haven’t started yet, but I think we will be reading the Harry Potter Series first, which I’m probably the only person in the world, but I have NEVER read even one Harry Potter book. I have never even watched the movies!
I read on my old iPad which is now just a Kindle reader for me. It’s perfect because I always read in the dark and my Kindle had no light on it. The iPad lets me do that. I have severe insomnia as well as a nightmare disorder, so I do a lot of reading at night while everyone else snores away. Right now the Harry Potter series is part of Kindle Unlimited.
Find a Calming Technique
I talk to myself in my head a lot, even more on my difficult pain days.
I have a friend that is a Holistic RN and also does reiki, it is extremely calming. I’m going to read and learn more about it and how you can do it for yourself. But the times I have experienced it, it was very helpful. Even brought me down from a panic attack that was induced by my pain levels rising in a loud echo filled building.
There are a ton of books available on Amazon to learn more about Reiki. Also, try to find someone experienced in Reiki so you can see what it is all about from someone that is a professional.
If my arms and hands are not the biggest sources of pain on my difficult pain days, then I will journal. I use my bullet journal to keep track of everything, including my pain levels, triggers, type of flare, and more. My pain brian causes me to not be able to easily remember things that I need to tell my doctor. By keeping track in my bullet journal I can access the information easily without stressing myself out.
I know that I mentioned that sound is a huge pain trigger for me. But Binaural Beats are different. You have to listen to them through headphones and the sound is not directed at your body. They are specific sound frequencies that can manipulate your brain waves. They have been such a huge help to me over the years. I highly recommend trying them if you have never done so before.
Ok, so to be honest, this one has not been tried by me yet. It is on my list to try and I have heard amazing things about it for helping difficult pain days. Another calming technique. I am adding this to my list of things to try in 2019! If you have tried it and use it, please let me know what you think!
I would love to hear about what works for you on your most difficult pain days. Please feel to reach out. There are other things that I have tried that I have not listed here because they didn’t really help me. But I am very open to trying other things that I have not done before as long as they are safe.