The Patient Experience #1: Chronic Pain

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Is there a way that chronic pain and I can agree to get along?

If so, let me know, because right now the relationship is dysfunctional.

Within our healthcare system,

maybe the solution lies in entitling people with disabilities and Seniors to more than a drug card so opiates are free.

And painkillers, mask the pain, they don’t treat it.

It would be nice if our benefits covered naturopathic treatments

such as Acupuncture, Chiropractor, Osteopathists and Registered Massage therapists.

Then we might just all get along a lot better.

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34 thoughts on “The Patient Experience #1: Chronic Pain

  1. As a patient suffering with all over chronic pain, daily……………..I couldn’t agree more. I used to get prescription Lidocaine patches which really helped with the back and neck pain. But, now the insurance companies refuse to cover Lidocaine patches to anyone, unless you have some condition that only people that have had Shingles get, sometime after having Shingles. They would rather me be on opiates which, as you know, are dangerous and simply do not work. You build up a tolerance so fast and it’s not worth the risk to keep increasing the dose, because as I’ve been told many times, we’ll keep increasing the dose and one day you will die because you never know what dose it is that is going to be too much for you. But, I’m forced to keep taking it because I will feel so much worse going through withdrawals trying to get off the shit. It’s kind of ironic…….I just got over having Shingles. I told my doctor that in a few months she could prescribe me Lidocaine patches and since I’ve now had Shingles, they should be covered. Now, that doesn’t help with the rest of my body, like things such as massage therapy would. I used to get massages on a regular basis and they did help a lot. I just can’t afford it anymore since becoming permanently disabled. When it comes to medicine, nothing seems to make sense. I’m all about being “natural” but the insurance companies have to help to keep the pharmaceutical companies in business at whatever the cost; that being our lives!! Peace out!

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  2. Very interesting, and I definitely agree. I’m both a frequent patient and a nurse. My attitude completely changed about two and a half years ago when I got a rare syndrome called Nutcracker Syndrome that caused me chronic pain whenever standing, walking, really any kind of movement. I was in a pain management program, but opted out of treatment (they didn’t even offer narcotics, but I didn’t want them regardless because of my job as a nurse), but anytime I went to a new doctor they assumed I wanted drugs and that I was faking. It was such an eye opening experience. Prior to the experience I never assumed any one of my patients were faking their pain, but sometimes I would have patients tell me there pain was a 10 and they’d be falling asleep. I soon learned that sometimes sleep is an escape for pain. I never had pain at a 10, more around an 8, but still it was really an eye opening experience and a chance for me to educate a lot of my fellow nurses about pain management and to listen to their patients because they have no idea what’s going on in their bodies. That doesn’t mean I have any idea either…everyone’s pain is different, so I don’t even try to relate, but it helps me understand to a certain degree. Anyways, I 100% agree about insurances covering holistic approaches. Especially since addiction is such a problem right now in this country and a lot of it is started from doctors over prescribing pain medication. For people who have chronic pain it can be hard coming over pain pills and that can lead people to addiction, which then leads to costly trips to hospitals and recovery centers. I would think insurance companies would be all for holistic approaches. I’ve heard mixed reviews about accupuncture, but have also been open to holistic approaches and anything that can be less harmful to my body than narcotics than can be very damaging to your liver after extended use. Sorry for the long comment, but your post really got me thinking! Great post!

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    1. Thank you, what a great comment! You really breathed life into what I was touching upon, so certainly no need to apologize for the length of the comment, you excelled at quality and elevated my writing. Gratitude, Harlon

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  3. my heart goes out to you….I can relate to your frustration.

    I’m not sure if this will help you, but I bought one of those Omron Electrotherapy TENS unit thing-a-ma-jingies at Walgreens. I place it on muscles where I have chronic pain. It helps.

    Also, Biofreeze is a gel that works far better than icy hot or therma care.

    Other home modalities I use are “homedics” massage cushions and some products from “relax the back”.

    As far as joint pain, I use self release and massage on nerve areas that benefit the most, depending on where the pain is located.

    I wish you peace and relaxation. You’re in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it’s so wonderful that people are sharing their remedies. It motivates me to try new and different things. I think if I come up with my own personal “combo platter” for pain management then it really is manageable. Relaxing is always good advice and thanks for reminding me that I can do that, just relax and be still within the pain. Blessings, Harlon

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    2. Hey! I am a chronic pain sufferer as well and my blog has a solutions side. You use some of the same things I use. However, I would recommend a homeopathic cream I have listed on there. The pain relief is worth it! You can buy it at natural food stores around you, or online.

      Best wishes!

      Evan
      http://www.suffer.live

      Liked by 1 person

  4. For me, pain is a reminder, a reminder that i’m a live being with a central nervous system. My tolerance is high and I can endure some pain, in fact, I get some pleasure knowing pain, I know that sounds weird. Perhaps if you can view pain differently, it’s more easily tolerated? Brian, rest his soul, suffered for 16 years taking medications, recovering from horrible diseases and infections, and then ultimately died of colon cancer. Occasionally he’d take some advil for headache pain, but for the most part he didn’t need or want pain killers, even in the late stages of cancer. The doctors prescribed him narcotic painkillers, which he never took, and he never complained of pain, to this day I admire his ability to combat pain with his mind. Anyway, just a story I wanted to share, pain sucks sometimes and I hope things get easier for you. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Les, I am finding meditation to be very helpful and i think that speaks to the power of the mind. I am strengthening my mind/body connection which seems to have gotten a bit rusty as of late – and the awareness hat the pain is physical and the mind can have a say about how I react to it is really quite powerful. I am finding if I keep on top of it – walks in nature, light yoga and other things all do a little bit and a bunch of little bits can make a big difference. Thanks for the hugs, Harlon

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    1. Thanks, it comes and it goes, and I am getting better at learning how to pre-empt it, manage it and be with it. I think that calls for a Mimosa for Sunday Brunch don’t you think? ๐Ÿ™‚ Harlon

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  5. Getting insurance to cover more naturopathic treatments is an honorable goal which would help so many. I hope you can find a way to get more of these kinds of treatment. I also admire your dedication to learning mindfulness as one coping strategy. Earlier today I was picking up branches at my church and saw a woman about my age walking down the sidewalk with a cane. I asked her how she was doing. “I’m hurting,” she said. I appreciated her honest answer. She told me about her surgeries and chronic pain and that she has been walking around her house but decided it was time for her to get out and walk outside on this beautiful day. I appreciated her getting out and walking. It takes courage and ingenuity to deal with chronic pain. I hope the days ahead will give you more relief. More smooth, green spaces like the spaces in between the thorns on your picture. I pray and imagine your pain getting smaller, to be replaced by joy and peace.

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    1. Thank you JoAnna for your prayers – having people care and be empathetic is incredibly powerful. It’s easy for people to dismiss another person’s pain, but pain is such a personal experience. Certainly the most effective tool for me is when I get up – I move, I walk around the garden, do some work in the yard, go for a stroll. I think sitting still in the pain and not fighting it can be helpful, but moving through the day allows me to feel that it’s not getting the better of me – I think your prayer is already working ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs, Harlon

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  6. And I have tried all of that and more, dear Harlon! I’m sorry you have pain…wish I could make it go away. I know that when I started doing more…the pain had a subtle change…like it was supposed to be there because I did something good for my body. I think sometimes you have to trick your mind/body. But I am no expert…just a friend who wishes I could give you a magic potion to make it stop…
    Much love โ™กโ™กโ™ก

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    1. Dear Lorrie, thanks for the magic potion, ingredients include YOU! I agree with you about tricking the mind/body connection so that pain is just a part of being – I am exploring lots of different ways and sometimes it’s just a bunch of little things that help (mindfulness works and I don’t know why but I am not going to question it) and of course there are the usual things that don’t help – stress (which I can control), the weather (cant do much about that). I think taking it out of my mind, expressing it, being active and connecting to the places where I find joy or just doing the “Netflix and Chill” thing make it just a dull roar that is the part of the symphony of living. Love, Harlon

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      1. I get it, Harlon! I love that mindfulness works for you too. I am also very sensitive to the weather and I swear, the older I get the hotter I need it to be. I used to say that anything above 60 was fine. Now my magic number is 85!!! And lots of humidity!! Good thing I’m in Florida most of the time ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, even if it gets a little cooler down here my body does not react well.

        We’ll here’s to meeting life challenges with full on love, acceptance, and understanding! Much love to you Harlon โ™กโ™ก

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  7. I am in constant, sometimes unbearable pain. The chiropractor helps some, also the acupuncturist, but my favourite ‘alternative’ treatment in reflexology. None of them take the pain away entirely, and I pay out of pocket for them all. I’m not in the U.S., where (when I was there) I paid a lot more and got less help for what that’s worth. Living with chronic pain isn’t easy, but I have learned to appreciate the moments – and there are moments, even not pain-free ones – and I think I love my life more now, even though I wish it were more pain-free.

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    1. Thank you for your great comment. What’s great about this post is so many people have shared what works and I think part of my journey is exploring the different ways that I can manage it. If I feel if I am managing it, even though it still is there, I feel a bit more empowered and it does make me appreciate all the moments in life (with pain or without pain) more – it’s a struggle, yes,but I am alive and pain, like emotions, have their ups and their downs. Hugs, Harlon

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    1. Thank you and acceptance is a big part of the healing or at least of the managing of pain. I am learning there is no silver bullet for pain, it’s a bit of this and a bit of that and medicinal marijuana can certainly be a part of this and that. Thanks for your kind words, Harlon

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    1. I am sorry that you are hurting as well, and thank you for sharing that with me. I think you made a very powerful statement when you said “I live with it too”. I think that’s important, that I not let the pain stop me from living and doing the things I enjoy. And connecting with the things that give me joy is a great way to alleviate the pain and/or distract me from it. Peace, Harlon

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  8. Totally agree. I wish more insurance would cover naturopathic treatments. It’s stupid. Love your image for chronic pain. It is hard not to resist pain, but I have found the resistance exacerbates it.
    Sorry you are hurting, Harlon. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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      1. I really do think moving in Nature is helpful, if you can. It somehow tricks the brain away from the nerve response. Maybe it’s just the distraction, or maybe endoprphins. I don’t know, but I do know it is healing. And thanks for what you said ๐Ÿ™‚

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