How many hours a day do you spend thinking about your issues?

How many?

10 minutes 

An hour

All day?

Or do you de focus and force some mental hygene into your daily think?



  • Great question William... I can't answer it very well, because what does it mean to "think about your issues".  When my disc first failed, the answer was clearly all day, focused thinking, evaluating each pain for clues... 

    Post surgery, I work, play with the kids, plan for the future, try to exercise... So I'm trying, but still the chronic pain is always there.  What would it mean to not think about it?  I do get lost in a task sometimes and it's blocked out for awhile.  Most of the time I can relegate it to the background, and I don't spend time worrying every time it gets a little worse.  

    But still the answer has to be most of the time, not because I want to think about it, but because it's constantly asking for my attention - In a way, that's what pain is... and getting more serious, I think that's why chronic pain is so tough - it's a request from your body to your mind to focus on something we can't do anything about.  

    Focusing on things you can't do anything about is not healthy at all.  For most of us, it's easy to stop thinking about politics, work problems, even people problems and do something else.  But imagine how unhealthy it would be to have someone constantly show you a picture of your least favorite politician over and over and over again, all day every day... the challenge with chronic pain, as you note, it to find ways to refocus off that image and get some mental hygiene in the process!


  • David,

    From what I can tell, you are the absolute best I’ve ever seen at this... I recognize the “own worst enemy” comment - here I am, able to travel, jog a few miles without pain, work my regular job, and my neck doesn’t prevent me from doing anything.  And sitill I probably spend 30-60 minutes a day wondering whether surgery was the right thing to do, would I feel better or worse if I had waited longer, blah, blah, blah.  It’s completely pointless, worse than a waste of time and energy, and still I do it every single day!  


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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,830

    I do not think about it, unless I move the wrong way. Even then it's like, ok, that hurt and move on. I cannot imagine what rabbit hole I would go down if all I thought about all day is being in pain.

    Kevin, I know what it's like to go through the constant worrying, especially about the "what if's".  I just got a new diagnosis which wasn't good. We both cried and talked, got it out of my system and life goes on. Next to my husband and family, this forum is my biggest supporter. 

    William has a way of pulling things out of us and making us really think.
    Thank you William

  • When ever i open a bottled drink  i think about how much time i have left until my hands are too weak to do that..were about halfway there.

    When i turn at nite on my pillow..i wonder if this time will the one where i herniate,re injure or just plain blow out another disc.

    When i walk across wet surfaces and ready myself to fall

    But other than that? Not too awfully much.i got better things to do than worry about given things

    Variables like slips and falls can be mitigated by mindfulness.

    I rather live with the constants...

    Pains gonna be there

    Its gonna hurt to get up

    Dont eat cheeze..the strain is too much on the old back...

    James Taylor is an under rated artist 

    McDonalds burgers are gone be tiny....forever

    But they are better  than white castles itty bitty iterations....

    Canon cameras are better than Nikon

    Dont eat Jalapeno poppers before bed

    Squirrels are cool..otters are more-er cute

    A warm fuzzy kitten in hand is better than all the peekaboo kitty videos on the computor

  •  It is only human nature to at times focus on certain things.

      I was blessed in a sense to witness true strength first hand and often use that as a tool to help me deal with my own health problems. Having loved and lived with someone battling advanced cancer has taught me so much.

      I have had a couple members wonder why when chatting with me I dont go on and on about myself and my pain and problems..yes lately I've been somewhat more vocal about things I've been threw but that was more or less just to put them out there so others will know my story. I've even told these members I'm not one to discuss my pain all the time it's how I've learned to deal with it. Does it mean mine is any but I'd rather focus on other things and by doing that it helps me both mentally and physically. 

      Broncofan as I said we all question at times if only thing were different or if we did something different would our outcome still be the same..its only normal...that not the same as being totally self absorbed and in a cycle of non stop thoughts. That is never a good thing.

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  • That IS a hard question, I don't think about my pain directly unless it's so intense it demands my attention and then I have to find ways of distraction. I do find myself thinking about how doing this or that will affect my pain. I'm in an acute phase right now so yesterday I had to decide whether walking around the garden center was going to be more physiologically beneficial than how it would affect me physically. I did, it was worth it, the beauty lifted me above my pain for awhile. 

    I just came through about a month of the lowest pain levels I've had in a long time, it was great! I was so thankful and praised God every day but last Sunday when I wasn't thinking about my pain, I twisted wrong and it came back to bite me hard, it can sneak up on me like that. So in that way, I have to be vigilant about my pain but I don't spend every moment worrying that I might move wrong. Some days I struggle with my limitations but I don't allow myself to dwell there. Acceptance, gratitude, doing what I can, loving God and family and friends, those are the  keys for me. But how much time do I spend each day thinking about my pain, honestly, it depends on the day. 

     One of my favorite hymns says it well

     "Day by day, and with each passing moment, Strength I find to meet my trials here; Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment, I’ve no cause for worry or for fear. He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure, Gives unto each day what He deems best, Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure, Mingling toil with peace and rest."

  • Boo

    Thats a rough row to hoe. We won't  talk about cancer today.  I think that most Spineys look outward  after a point because looking in is looking into the edge of nothing ness  Whats in there,whats beyond and ultimately our part in it. So we look outwards outwards and that's our face the world sees. But dont understand and only take our face.. at face value.

    I was one to look inward.. critically and openly and asked the questions




    I knew what happened

    I knew the Bio mechanical,chemical and psychological causes...

    Who-was i to become

    Why-do i feel what i feel,when i feel

    How do i move on?

    We talk .we talk about pain in all tenses....sometimes or not realising we are talking about the same person in different times of their  lives

    Sometimes or not realizing we are also talking about our states of mind in time context i think.

    But the only time we are sure is now

    The past and future lumped into the uncertainty of I DONT KNOW...!

    sometimes the first impressions  leave a lasting impression and that carries over into the future of -and on how we react toward any issue.

    Like you i had living examples of how to deal with setback in chronic  and acute i had a...ahhh "blueprint" of sorts to follow.

    Many are not blessed with that and are out in the raw having to face the pain-inside and out all alone and without any guidepost or reference to start from or lean on.

    Its that darkness that kills the courage and we learn to fear the other side of the to pain sees the reflection  but dont know what that dark water has beneath it. 

    Thats why when i see that folks are getting on with getting on and moving, i am motivated to keep on too.

  • Joanne..what limitations? I simply work within the rules..which happen to have hidden clauses,traps and change the rules ast pain goes moments.

    Ime getting better at following them which opened up a whole new world with certain things unchangeable.

    Just like before hurt,

    Mitigating and aggravating factors are in play and i wish they werent there..but thats wishfull thinking because there were always rules in play.

    I run,i get that stitch in my side,my mechanically induced asthma kicks in..and that was just to the ice cream truck! (I was a fat kid) now walking is a conscious mindfull effort  and it scares me to lose focus... less i fall and do bad things to myself.

    So i try and focus on the good things.

  • @William Garza

      Yes I totally understand what your getting at.

      I use terms like I was given a gift or tools.

      Being both his illness and my beginning of my spine journey all started together. I learned to live life for today and not fret what tomorrow will bring. Sure I have my moments we all do but then I have those gifts and tool to reach for not everyone does like you said.. I also went through many months of hospice counseling that gave me alot of good coping skills. I really do believe everyone faced with a life changing illness need counseling to help them. I would really love to see more programs for people dealing with chronic pain it's a way to help them see how life is still livable it may have change some..but still very much worth many only focus on what they've lost.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,830


    Again, thanks for your insight. I have read your reply over and over and that is where I am, acute. Or was, now acceptance. I have had to accept the fact that I know what my future will be, even though not what I wanted. Funny how one day, one test, can change everything. Then you have to regroup, accept the new and move on. Your choice was walking around the garden center. My choice was to be here, on the forum.
    Happy Mother's Day!

  • William, you say tomato and I saw tomaato  ;)

  • Mmmmm..tomatoes.....

  • MikethepikeMMikethepike MIchiganPosts: 461
    edited 05/13/2019 - 7:24 AM

     For me too much, I would say 1/2 of my waking hours. I try to focus on other things And it just keeps popping back into my head. Everything hurts.  Sitting at the computer is a tough one. My easiest time is at Night,  after taking medication and watching TV. But when I wake up in the morning my ears start ringing and my body starts hurting more. Good question William , I am being truthful ,  take care and God bless  oh by the way any suggestions I appreciate it. 

  • This is a good discussion on the power of positive thinking. 

    I do believe positive thoughts have an effect on healing and negative energy and thoughts can also.

    I have seen people put hooks through their skin and hang by them- so that person likey has very good control of his pain through mind over matter or whatever technique he uses.

    Everyone is made different. We already know what works for some does not for others. This is chemically differences- some meds work for some and others- nothing, and physical difference- some people are very flexible and some are naturally not. Some can throw a baseball 90 mph and some cannot.

    Everyone CANNOT become a major leage pitcher no matter how much he practiced- it takes a natural ability also.

    I have a dear friend who is always sending me links to motivational speakers who often say you can forget your pain through positive thinking. Some will use situational control by having you think about how others have it worse right now. If you have pain and problems- it could be worse.

    Think positive!

    Ok - so i am lying on the ground after falling and I have a broken leg- the pain is severe- does thinking “wow I could have 2 broken legs right now” make me feel better?

    I don’t think so. Treating the broken bone- that is what I need right now.

    My pain is from damaged nerves. It is difficult to forget. It can be suddenly excruciating. Treatment options are limited. I have zero meds- except tylenol and nsaids. All I can do to treat it is rest. 

    It is not just the pain, but the thought of never getting better- is difficult to deal with. Not being able to do 90% of what i used to- is difficult.

    Asking for help is difficult.

    All this plus chronic pain is tough to deal with- positive thoughts will always help- however it is not a one size fits all thing.

    I have a lot of blessings in my life to be happy for.

    I try to be a happy person.

    My pain does not rule my life- but it is hard, or nearly impossible to just forget it. It is a part of my life now- like mosquitoes in summer time.

    If we could all just ignore our pain, the world would be a better place. 

  • 3shims

    I can only give enough attention,in the proper amount and for the proper length if time to acknowledge that i have or am in pain and after that move on.

    To me its more of not concentrating on the negatives rather than focusing on the positives  to be sure i do devote more time actively seeking positive outlooks on and in every sutuation.

    I catastrophise when i focus too long on the negatives,thats a byproduct of depression of sorts in my opinion. What if- dominates what is..and overshadows what could happen.

    Its a discipline to take to task,because we are in pain 27\7 and its not a passing thing..its here its real and its not stopping anytime soon for some of us.

    "My pain does not rule my life- but it is hard, or nearly impossible to just forget it. It is a part of my life now- like mosquitoes in summer time"

    As part of my life..i was finally able to assimilate it and move simply..."is" its not a hurdle,hindrance or psychological hurt. I have a nose and ten toes..hands,hair and i have pain. It just turned into another normal aspect of my life.

    I have one leg shorter because i wore it out,my eyes are growing bad,i can barely open a bottle of water...i hve

    It to me is a fact and matter of is of no more importance than a psychological appendage

    It ceased being a mental,emotional and to a point,spiritual appendages.

    Of course it is a physical aspect..a check engine light always on in the psyche but i ignore it because i know what it is,what aggravates it,what helps it .That its always there weighs on the balance everyday but i treat it like a scar...its there,i know its will always be there..i give it no more importance than not to scratch t it.

    Its not always positive thinking to me, its more thinking less negative.

    Copeing skills are a learned response more i believe than nature\nurture..train the mind to react to X-Y-Z in a maner conducive to your specific positive balance. No life is perfect,how Spineys balance the mind-body-spirit in terms of pain management of the mind and spirit help the overall experience i hope.

    I take tylenol as my relief,i am a victim early on of the W.O.O. 

    I try to be a happy person..and settle with being content, there is no grandiose place and time...just now and today. 

    One step at a time

    One breathe at.a time and i ask for nothing else.

    Is it fatalistic? Is it me dead inside? Is it given up and given in?


  • MikethepikeMMikethepike MIchiganPosts: 461
    edited 07/31/2019 - 1:20 PM

     Well, I do see a therapist every other week but he’s not a per say pain therapist.  The broken neck wasn’t really the painful part at first  it was the stuff that came later, nerve pain throughout my body, muscle pain, atrophy that make me weaker,  spasticity, also the arthritis that is Getting worse. In the knees ankles wrists elbow neck shoulders. Whenever they do an x-ray It shows up. Thanks Ron and  everyone else on this forum.  My therapist has given me some ideas on how to cope with it. Meditation helps a little, Also medication helps but just for short periods. Take care and God bless

  • I try so hard to focus on other things music, this Forum, friends, family, outside birds etc. reading etc. But there are times when it takes most of the day and I hate that. Everything I go to do is either made so difficult like this past couple of weeks a body stalker is on me big time. Sometimes even with your best effort it takes the day.

  • David great humor we need that.

  • Lol. .. Hope sorry I didnt realize your stalker was your pain..David too funny.

  • Thank you David lol..I thought so too but hey cool name for something we all know well

  • Oops should of spelled that out clearer. I just like the name instead of some other things I can call them :# Stalker describes for me how pain or some new problem can pop up out of the dark and or whenever and it is hell to get rid of.
    Have a good day

  • Hey no biggy..I like your name for it though  :)

  • Oh boo9989 not upset at all it would take so much more than that to upset me. I loved Davids reply we need to smile.

  • Yes we did...thanks David for putting smiles on our faces  :)

  • I know for me as with Mike most of my day is consumed by the thoughts. This is crazy how emotional I am getting just reading. The knowledge that someone actually does understand what it feels like. 

    Really Thanks everyone

  • I will think about it whenever I am free or else if it comes to my mind. Approximately I'll think about 1 to 2 hours a day. Even I will try some tips accordingly.

  • Many times during the day.

  • Mine comes and goes more often lately kool. The cervical neuropathy has risen its ugly head  much lately so its hard to escape from the thinking of it.

    Its part of a broader act of loosing my hands. 

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