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Thinking clearly while in the pain tunnel

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    Thinking clearly while in the pain tunnel

    Any advice on keeping level headed during pain? I had an especially bad bout, it was a 9 for four days. I lost reason, I got tunnel vision. I couldn't think of anything else, things that were good, that I liked or were important to me. I was in the tunnel. The pain finally broke and it was like I could see outside again, the wind, the weather, other people.

    Does anyone have advice for protecting yourself when you disappear into the pain tunnel, I am hoping there is something I can do to help me keep thinking straight when I am in so much pain I can't and I start wishing I would run into O.J. Simpson when he was having a bad day.

    #2
    I am in that same place a lot and have been for a long time. Last night in bed I couldn't lay still. You have to tell you self to keep going and just do things even if you don't feel like it. It all seems to pass. Life's a bitch and then you die but this shit sucks big time. Listen to music or play on the computer or do some easy. I felt like going to the er but just put up with the pain and that is about all you can do. It is called life on the edge for some reason. You can ask for help but I haven't found anything that helps yet.

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      #3
      Originally posted by stevegalliazzo View Post
      I am in that same place a lot and have been for a long time. Last night in bed I couldn't lay still. You have to tell you self to keep going and just do things even if you don't feel like it. It all seems to pass. Life's a bitch and then you die but this shit sucks big time. Listen to music or play on the computer or do some easy. I felt like going to the er but just put up with the pain and that is about all you can do. It is called life on the edge for some reason. You can ask for help but I haven't found anything that helps yet.
      Thanks steve. I have some disc injuries but not SCI. I will keep trying to think of stuff. It just alarms me how much my thinking changes. In pain, life gets very narrow, pain breaks suddenly I can look around me again.

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        #4
        Originally posted by grommet View Post
        Thanks steve. I have some disc injuries but not SCI. I will keep trying to think of stuff. It just alarms me how much my thinking changes. In pain, life gets very narrow, pain breaks suddenly I can look around me again.
        Can totally relate to this. My pain for years has come mostly in two week cycles. The last three or four days are total hell. The day after it breaks is my mind recovery day. I think about it like, if your were tortured by the enemy for four days, (not to mention the kind of torture the rest of the time) then rescued, it would take a day to get over it. So give yourself a break on that day for sure.

        As for a way to be level headed during the last four days, if you can keep your mind occupied with something else, it helps to not be only a ball of pain, which really messes with your self worth.
        T12L1 Incomplete Still here This is the place to be 58 years old

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          #5
          If you have not previously worked on a meditation therapy for this, you might want to investigate Mantram Repetition Meditation. It has been found helpful for both PTSD and chronic pain in Veterans.

          http://www.jillbormann.com/4.html

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhW17rHPr9A

          https://www.bmcm.org/learn/mantram/

          (KLD)
          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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            #6
            If it becomes unbearable laydown close your eyes and take a break. That is what I do. It doesn't always work but it gives you some rest from the struggle. Eating food slowly also seems to help and you focus on other parts. Also taking a shower seems to be a nice change.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by flying View Post
              Can totally relate to this. My pain for years has come mostly in two week cycles. The last three or four days are total hell. The day after it breaks is my mind recovery day. I think about it like, if your were tortured by the enemy for four days, (not to mention the kind of torture the rest of the time) then rescued, it would take a day to get over it. So give yourself a break on that day for sure.

              As for a way to be level headed during the last four days, if you can keep your mind occupied with something else, it helps to not be only a ball of pain, which really messes with your self worth.
              I am glad you understand. My problem is that during a long severe pain episode, after a while I can't seem to control my thinking anymore. Over the years I have learned all sorts of things and had some good success. I remember having a really fun day with friends. I went out even though I was sweating from the pain but although it was there all the time I kind of 'laughed above the noise. I just had fun anyway. Maybe I am not being busy or social enough now and that's the difference. I just know that by the fourth day I was no longer the same person, I started to feel crazy and the pain was my only center. All ideas came from it and it was the only thing I could see. My thinking got very small. It's like a kind of psychosis. Not really but my thinking changes so much that I stop seeing the future and start thinking bad ideas are okay.

              Pain can grab your brain. Maybe I really do just need to find a way to be busier so that when this comes again I stay occupied anyway. It worked in the past.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                If you have not previously worked on a meditation therapy for this, you might want to investigate Mantram Repetition Meditation. It has been found helpful for both PTSD and chronic pain in Veterans.

                http://www.jillbormann.com/4.html

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhW17rHPr9A

                https://www.bmcm.org/learn/mantram/

                (KLD)

                Thank you, I checked out the links. I didn't find enough information but I think the idea could be helpful.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by stevegalliazzo View Post
                  If it becomes unbearable laydown close your eyes and take a break. That is what I do. It doesn't always work but it gives you some rest from the struggle. Eating food slowly also seems to help and you focus on other parts. Also taking a shower seems to be a nice change.

                  It's interesting you mention showering because so many times I have noticed I felt so much better after a shower. Maybe it is focusing the mind elsewhere. From all I have learned about pain, it is only present in the brain - the brain decides. I am less active than I used to be and maybe that is affecting my thinking more than I realize when I have these tough episodes. Without a distraction - something else to think about, I just get 'crazy pain brain syndrome'. Thanks for the support, I think I can keep back the crazy if I keep myself busier. It's so subtle, the change that can start to happen when you begin doing less and your health becomes the bigger part of your life. I think that's maybe when crazy starts happening for me.

                  Looking forward to the Abilities Expo this weekend. I am usually surprised by what I run into. Heck last time I found my new powerchair.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by grommet View Post
                    Does anyone have advice for protecting yourself when you disappear into the pain tunnel
                    Exercise and changing body position helps me provide lasting lower back pain relief. Using a standing frame or inversion chair may provide quicker pain relief but may not last as long.

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                      #11
                      Distraction is the only thing that saves me from the tunnel. I'm lucky enough that I rarely hit 9 and at 6 or less I can meditate and separate the pain from there suffering and put the suffering aside. That 7+ region is just awful and all I can do is wrap my arms around my transition region, where I get unbearable dysesthesia, and close my eyes and try to meditate. Fortunately my high excursions seldom last more than a few hours.
                      T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by August West View Post
                        Exercise and changing body position helps me provide lasting lower back pain relief. Using a standing frame or inversion chair may provide quicker pain relief but may not last as long.
                        I've been doing plenty of exercise. PT wants me to do less and I have been. Definitely helps with pain.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Mize View Post
                          Distraction is the only thing that saves me from the tunnel. I'm lucky enough that I rarely hit 9 and at 6 or less I can meditate and separate the pain from there suffering and put the suffering aside. That 7+ region is just awful and all I can do is wrap my arms around my transition region, where I get unbearable dysesthesia, and close my eyes and try to meditate. Fortunately my high excursions seldom last more than a few hours.
                          I've had to revise my number scale many times because the doctors and nurses always ask the question and it's not really answerable when they say "10" is the worst pain you've ever felt. According to that metric, everything else has been a "1". But I use a modified scale I came up with. 6 means it hurts a lot, 7 means it hurts a lot and it's getting hard to think of anything else, 8 means I can't think of anything else but I can still do things, 9 means there is nothing but pain, can't think or do anything, it's every second one second at a time. For me a 10 is a whole other universe so I don't really use it. I think a 10 is when you are screaming or throwing up, an agony you'd do anything to stop. I've only truly had that once in my life and I remember in between waves I looked down the hospital hallway and thought I understood why they didn't have windows that opened.

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                            #14
                            Anyone else see this: https://www.carecure.net/forum/showt...=1#post1842462

                            Lithium is very effective at reducing severe neuropathic pain?
                            Oh I hope so.
                            T3 complete since Sept 2015.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Mize View Post
                              Anyone else see this: https://www.carecure.net/forum/showt...=1#post1842462

                              Lithium is very effective at reducing severe neuropathic pain?
                              Oh I hope so.
                              This study has been completed and will soon be published. https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/s...1855594&rank=1

                              In the meantime, you can ask your dr to prescribe it off label. It does have to be monitored closely.

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