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Real Pain and Real Psych or Brain/Body Links



  • You were one of the first woman i met when i joined Sh back a few years ago, and you were always so kind and helpful to me. You now that I truly thank you.

    Chronic pain really is a bitch and learning what I call my new normal really has been a journey. One that has been full of challenges, full of tears, full of fears, and also one that I try to find thanks to some of the friends I have been blessed to meet ( no drama queens) a giggle. I so believe that depression/ mental isuue really do go hand in hand......what came first i have no clue. I also believe that medicine plays a big role in it as well. They all change the brain. Funny how the average brain weights 2.5- 3.5 lbs, and yet it carries the rest of our lbs around and can really throw us for a loop.
    I have been blessed during this journey to be able to seek outside help with a therapist and what a blessing it has been to my recovery. Like you my issues are not going away. However how i chose to deal with them is up to me. Some days are good, and other days just plan suck. However any day that i am not in a hospital with stroke issues or aneurysm issue is a wonderful day. I have had many days where i just could not get out of bed, took me days before i could reach out for help to call psych doc who would gladly help me, but i just could not do it.
    It is also documented anesthesia patients, and surgery patients are at higher risk for said patient. SO really what is big deal, the more info we have the more we are informed. I know I found after brain surgery i found depression to be a real problem. Even after my 2nd child also. Thank goodness the information is there.
    I don't understand why people get all upset, but i guess i have never been told the problem is in my head.....well except for aneurysm.
    Thanks to this forum and the wonderful few woman i have gotten close to, they have taught me to run from bad doc's .
    It is hard where family and children are concerned, I too deal with that. My son has just broke down the other night crying his eye's out after stuffing his fears, that he is afraid of not knowing if i will be alive or dead every day........guess what he is going to therapist tomorrow. Parents i believe are not always the one to get through to the kids. Breaks my heart though. I am not the old me, but i still am an outstanding trying to help all that i can, and when i can't help i try and not hurt. People get out of these threads what they will.
    You vented that is what we are here for, so keep being you. The new you with a great sense of humor, and helping others always gets us out of our own head. And when you need to rest, rest. granny panties and all !!!!!!!!! People do get there knickers twisted lately, what is up with that????

    See ya soon.

  • Thanks for your post ERnurse.
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  • Posting this was very hard for me but very cathartic, too. Many of your comments made me cry. J-when I met you, you asked me for advice, now you carry me so much! Pete, I'd like to think I was a strong patient advocate, but I know after my initial injury I became a more empathetic nurse. I really never knew what pain was before and still there are many that have more and deal with it better than I do. Marianne, I am Angie. I'm glad someone else refers to Kubler-Ross, too. Cath, Kat, Patsy, Paul, everyone thank you.

    I want to thank all of you for your support, this post was really pouring my heart out. Besides helping myself, I hoped that at least one person might realize if a tough bitch ER nurse(so I've been called by Mr.ER) went for mental help, it might be OK for them, too. I am lucky enough to have found a psych guy who specializes in chronic pain. He literally had a patient whom he later counseled that had cut her leg off due to nerve pain. I feel like he's the only "head" guy who understands. When I told him I gave myself a timeline until I would not accept things anymore, he said, "Well, I guess we better get working on things because we've only got till then!"

    Again, thank you all for support, you moved me to tears reading how many knew what I was talking about. I've finally accepted a Boston Scientific SCS procedure soon, though I will stilll take pain meds for my back and depression meds for some time(kind of hard when you lose your identity-I am no longer my screen name from when I first created it.) The night I had the trial pulled, I cried all night and so I have a lot of hope now for pain relief since it helped my legs so much.

  • I just caught that you call your hubby "hunka hunka burnin' love!" So funny because in between calling Mr. ER a caveman(on his less than sympathetic days) I call him "my sexy beast!"
  • Hi Angie,

    The platinum infrared heating pad radiates heat approximately 2 1/2 inches into the muscles, whereas the standard heating pads radiate about 1/2 an inch into the muscles. It is a lot larger in size than the standard heating pads so you get much broader coverage. The covering is black velvet (another sweet comfort). It comes with two adjustable velcrose straps, so you can adjust it to bend around your knees, legs or feet.

    Like you, I had never heard of this kind of pad. Charry, is the person who recommended it and I will be forever grateful to her. It has done wonders for my back muscles, my knees and my hips. I did ask my Neurosurgeon and PM doctor for the "go ahead" before I purchased it, just to make sure it wouldn't harm any of my hardware.

    I will gladly PM you the link, as I purchased it through a vendor.

    If you decide to purchase one, please let me know how it works for you. From all that you have described, I think you will find great relief.

    I wish you well and hope your antibiotic treatments will be over with soon.

    Keep up the good work on helping yourself and the many other lives you touch.

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  • Bigcat-thanks for the Pm.

    Tammy-I think I gave the wrong impression when I posted, antibiotic IV PICC line was a little earlier this year, that is currently done though I take prophylactic antibiotics before any kind of procedure. Hey, at least with the IV antibiotics I didn't have to worry about the constipation issues! There is a bright side to it. Thanks for the links, definitely checking them out, I don't think I can use it on the spots when/where my perm scs will be, but definitely can put it on my lower butt and thighs.
  • You know, though some of the shared stories have made me cry, I can't help but laugh when some of you post. I remember so many times you've lifted my spirits in chat!

    I KNOW the perm SCS will work well for me, just have to hold out till my date and then the temporary healing time. I do finally have some hope because of it. Frustrated Dad, thanks for all the info. Now Bionic Woman, even though you stole my new name idea(and you did, I just know it was a conspiracy!), I so appreciate your medical expertise. You are one on this site truly qualified to give health advice.

    Anyone else having problems, hang in there, some day some way, medical science will catch up with what we need. I had hopes that when the First Lady Bush had neck surgery, it might bring national attention to true chronic pain sufferers, but then her recovery seemed all hush hush. I think it will take many celebrities or other famous people coming out in the open not about addiction, but about their chronic pain and frustrations(maybe they don't have as many frustrations as us normal people, I don't know, I'm not famous. Well, maybe infamous since Eve and I got spanked together! :) ) I mean, look at how much Superman-Christopher Reeves really was Superman to me-brought attention to his injury and the potential of stem cell research. How about Michael J. Fox and Parkinson's?

    I care so much for you Jane, Eve, and Tam(and Louise if you are lurking) and so many others. I commend anyone brave enough to share their humbling stories of failures and also successes.

    Everyone please remember that tone of voice and emotions are difficult to communicate online without seeming fake and insincere, so pardon my bluntness, it's how I talk(Cath knows this!)
  • ernurse said:
    now bionic woman, even though you stole my new name idea(and you did, i just know it was a conspiracy!), i so appreciate your medical expertise. you are one on this site truly qualified to give health advice.
    sorry, you're welcome, and thank you - respectively :))(

    i'm a huge fan of elizabeth kubler ross, too. i think she's really understandable and most people can find themselves in her explanations and use them to work through things.

    i also think there's another theory that offers a lot of insight to how we progress through the challenges of chronic pain, and it also shows some of the paths where people go "off track" and get stuck in negative patterns. john fisher's process of change is normally found in industrial and organization psychology, aimed more at business type environments, but i personally think he's hit on an explanation that encompasses life with chronic pain better than he'll ever know.

    here's a basic diagram of his transition process and it shows the "paths" that kind of split off of the main "healthy" path, leaving people in problematic situations:


    i think on fisher's diagram, the "drama queens" we see often end up veering off the main path and getting stuck on the 3 common paths - denial, disillusionment, or hostility.

    denial, for example, would be the "yeah but" people who repeatedly ask for advice, suggestions and guidance, but meet every suggestion -- even if it's just a suggestion to obtain more information on a specific topic -- with resistance and long lists reasons why that particular thing won't work for them. on a message board, you find yourself reading a thread that shows no real acknowledgment of the possibilities since the first post, in spite of 20 responses with very realistic ideas and suggestions.

    the disillusionment folks, on the other hand, take the suggestions/encouragement and start moving toward a particular treatment or procedure. while it looks like they're going embrace the possibilities, there's really a subconscious "event" brewing under the surface, waiting to obliterate those possibilities. those are the folks we see canceling procedures at the last minute for odd reasons or finding themselves embroiled in a mix of problems that are always someone else's fault and totally beyond their control, with no possible resolution other than just giving up.

    and the hostility folks - well, i think they're the most obvious "drama queens." the place we see folks on that path show up clearly is when they sequentially dismiss entire categories of practitioners because they "tried that once and it didn't work." they're adamant that they will never again consider certain approaches or modalities, because they're "quackery" and over time, the abject hideousness of their previous experience with that modality (or the experiences of their friends/family members) grows like a redneck fish story.

    i think the hostility path has the deepest connection with the mind/body issue that brought this topic up to begin with, because it's so incredibly easy to get caught in a cycle beginning at the guilt point, moving into the depression area, but then repeatedly miss that turn that leads into gradual acceptance and getting stuck in the hostility, which creates a somewhat natural path back to guilt.

    i think getting stuck in that guilt-depression-hostility cycle has a huge impact on the ability of people to heal. i also think it feeds directly into what "c" mentioned in the other thread, about pain becoming so much of a person's identity that they can't figure out how to let go and move on to an identity based more on health.

    anyway.. that's probably more than anyone wanted to hear from me on that topic.. but with my professional background (counseling, hospice, aging, grief & loss, etc), i think about stuff like this alot... ;)

  • Hmm, this Transition Process diagram is interesting and can see how it could be applied to me. Thanks for chiming in! It is hard to break the cycle and stepping back, I can see where I've made it tougher for myself.

    BTW-I would like to create a new screen name to represent the new me in August and since you stole my name, got to think of something else. You can keep the BionicWoman name, I won't sue for copyright infringement only because you've helped me in the past. I might go for BionicBeauty or Electrifying.
  • You probably want me to keep the name, 'cause I get some pretty nasty messages now and then. It's one of the downsides of being so opinionated. :rollinglaugh:

    I think we can all see ourselves on that diagram at some points in our lives/treatment, because we all fly off the rails of all these transitions every now and then. We're humans and that makes us imperfect beings who often require a learning curve to get where we're going. I think it only becomes problematic when a person gets "stuck" repeating a particular cycle, can't move past it, and become so closed off that they get beyond defensive if you point it out to them.

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