Lupus and Pain Management
Conquer pain before it conquers you.
Pain can conquer your lifestyle if you let it. Chart your pain, so your doctor can help you devise a treatment plan.
So what do you do when you have charted your pain, your doctor has given you pain medications and still you are in pain?
You are having a great deal pain and are at your wits end. Now is the time to take control of the pain before it takes control of your life. If you don't take control, the stress of being in pain is going to cause your health to continue to spiral downwards.
You need to spend some time taking care of YOU.
The stress of being ill has weakened your body and your body is behaving like any machine. When a machine is used too often, for too long a time, without a resting and servicing period, the machine begins to break down.
It is not noticeable at first. It starts with just a few creaks and squeaks. But soon, the machine is going slower and develops problems that begins to affect its performance before it completely breaks down.
This is what your body is doing; it is trying to get your attention. The pain is not only aggravating, it is a big warning sign. It is your body telling you it needs a break.
Meditation is one form of pain relief as are acupressure and acupuncture sessions. But sometimes it takes medication to knock down pain to a manageable level.
One thing you can do is to try and get the pain under control. Now, I don't mean just taking one pain pill, or even a couple of pain pills in a day. You need to break your body's cycle of pain. To do that you should go on a full 24 hours of intensive pain medication, followed by another two days of milder pain medication.
Do you know why an athlete trains and practices over and over? It is NOT because he needs to learn the skill, but to get his muscles to react automatically. It is called muscle memory. Well, your body has trained itself to be in pain.
When most people are in pain, they want relief right now and when the pain doesn't subside after taking one pill, they give up. Sometimes eliminating that pain is not possible with just one dose of medication, especially if you have been in pain for several days, or weeks. The body has trained itself to be in constant pain. The muscles now think that to be in pain is normal.
So .. you need to break the cycle. By taking pain medication on a strict time schedule for at least 3 days, EVEN if the pain goes away by the end of the first day, you can break this cycle of everyday pain. Granted, you may not get rid of all of the pain, but at least the pain will be reduced to a manageable level.
I strongly urge you to try this.. take 3 days for yourself.
- Take medications ON TIME. If the medication calls for taking it every 4-6 hours .. then choose 4 hours as your time interval. Use an alarm clock if you have to .. but keep on schedule.
- Double your water intake. By hydrating yourself, you will lessen your chances of becoming constipated from all the pain medications.
- Begin a pampering session for yourself .. with bubble baths, relaxation tapes, read a book, or watch a favorite movie.
- Just do anything that relieves stress for YOU.
- Continue taking the pain meds, even if you are having less pain.
- Use the medications on a six hour schedule on day two.
- If you have been in bed .. make sure you exercise your legs to keep your circulation from developing problems. If you cannot exercise, then massage your legs. The last thing you need right now is a blood clot from being so inactive.
- Simple bicycle peddling motions or simple massage of the calves of the legs will help to keep your blood moving. The wearing of support stockings will help to eliminate any problems as well.
I mean .. really .. what have you got to lose by trying? If this schedule does not work, then you need to contact your doctor. Explain to him what you have done, and that you are still in pain. Obviously, if the pain is still there, you are either in need of a stronger pain medicaiton, or the pain medication is not the right one for the job.
- Continue taking the medications.
- If the pain is still there with a vengeance, then continue same medication schedule.
- If the pain is less, begin to cut down on meds. Still take them, just wait a bit longer in between doses.
Whatever the reason, your doctor needs to know you are in pain. Remember, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. If the doctor doesn't know you are in pain, how do you expect him to know what pain medications to give you?
Brenda "Rion" Sewell
The materials and information on this site are intended for educational and informational purposes only. The materials and information are not intended to replace the services of a trained health professional or to be a substitute for medical advice of physicians and/or other health care professionals. You should consult your physician on specific medical questions, particularly in matters requiring diagnosis or medical attention.
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© 1998 - 2004 Brenda "Rion" Sewell