When it comes to pain management there is a lot of confusing information “out there” these days. Along with that comes, unfortunately, much negative and oft-times misleading propaganda around the medicines many of us with Chronic Pain rely upon. Having Chronic Pain
is a hard row right about now…
As if it’s ever been otherwise but,
In respect to the medicines we need, specifically pain medications, imagine a diabetic being told that insulin was a “questionable” medication and then making it extremely challenging to get (while still holding your head up. There’s a lot of judgement, shame and fear to go along with all of this). For many of us with Chronic Pain this is all, frighteningly and sadly, the exact position we find ourselves in at the moment.
But there are wonderful resources available! And too, organizations working on our behalf. This is all very reassuring to know, especially when such groups hold some serious clout, as does The American Cancer Society. You do not necessarily need to have cancer to benefit from their fine pain resources, work and research, including several really excellent articles on pain management and pain medication.
A Pain Control Plan That Works:
- Understand your condition and too, about pain and Chronic Pain. The more you know the more you can do to take care of yourself and too, ease the fear and anxiety that often accompanies our mind’s fight-flight natural (un-answerable, in the case of Chronic Pain) response to pain
- Keep a record of your pain in a log or diary. In this way you can, hopefully, ferret out any underlying patterns and pain triggers and too, be better informed to help your Doctor to help you
- Don’t give up until you find a supportive Doctor. Pain is real! And in our society’s current environment you need a strong advocate if you’re living with Chronic Pain
- It’s a daily challenge but work to balance the rest your body needs (living in pain takes a lot of energy) and the activity that has been shown to, in many cases, help with pain management and too, keep your body, mind and spirit strong
- Distraction is a powerful coping skill…try to stay busy with things you enjoy and too, be mindful of falling into patterns of rumination and catastrophizing. Both are NOT helpful when it comes to living with constant pain….are they ever helpful?!?
The Following are from The American Cancer Society and Address Pain Medication Management Specifically:
- “If you’re taking pain medicine on a regular schedule (around the clock) to help control chronic pain, take it when it’s time to take it – even if you’re not having pain.
- Do not skip doses of your scheduled medicine. The more pain you have, the harder it is to control.
- Use your short-acting breakthrough pain medicine as instructed.
Don’t wait for the pain to get worse – if you do, it can be harder to control
- Be sure only one doctor prescribes your pain medicine. If another doctor changes your medicine, the two doctors should discuss your treatment with each other.
- Don’t run out of pain medicine, i.e. plan ahead – Remember that prescriptions are needed for almost all pain medicines. They can’t be called in and drugstores don’t always have them in stock. It can take a few days to get the medicine, so give yourself time for delays.
- Store (and dispose of) pain medicines safely away from children, pets, and others who might take them.
- Never take someone else’s medicine. Medicines that helped a friend or relative may not be right for you.
- Do not use old pain medicine or medicine left over from other problems. Drugs that worked for you in the past may not be right for you now”.