At my first pain clinic appointment I was told that they couldn’t fix my pain. I was a little surprised by this as I was expecting physical treatments like steroid injections or new medications. Anything that would give me a quick fix by people who would understand what I was going through.
Instead I soon realised that what was on offer was pain management. Ways to alleviate stress, and therefore be in a better mental condition to live with the pain I was experiencing.
In the pain management group I signed up for the talk was more about diet and mindfulness, not a steroid injection or a magic wand in sight! It was not what I was expecting at all. But the more I dug into my own experiences the more relevant a factor stress became.
I was on the back foot to begin with. After all I meditate daily, and my pain began as a physical result of a car accident rather than a stressful incident. Although the accident brought it’s own stresses, none more than the permanent nerve pain that began following the incident.
But I was open to listening and understanding, and soon realized that stress and chronic pain go hand in hand. Therefore managing stress became paramount if I was to be able to cope from day to day with CPS.
When the suggestion of seeing a clinical psychologist was brought up my immediate reaction was ‘nope, no need to go down that road’. But in looking at the whole picture of my situation I began to see how that bigger picture was now playing a part in the way I dealt with, experienced and managed my pain.
I had triplets to raise, a family to support. A long history of mental illness that had never been fully addressed or discussed. There was childhood sexual abuse that had been kept brushed under the rug. All problems that without pain I was dealing with quite well with on my own.
But now add in the factor of daily widespread electrical nerve pain, the stress of not being able to support my family workwise and a whole bag of worms now opened with it. My past it seemed was also now catching up with me.
I had to be willing to look at past suppressed resentment and fears in order to make my pain more manageable. Everything became relevant, no matter how insignificant or irrelevant it seemed.
In short I accepted help and in doing so have gradually improved my pain levels and lessened the hell-born flare ups.
I still have a long road ahead. But with understanding of the direct correlation between pain and stress. The road may become a little easier to navigate. Minus the steroid injections and magic wands.