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Friday, October 17, 2008
I was in the mindset that pain is something I just needed to put up with. I had surgery 7 years ago and again just this past Wednesday. Unfortunately, surgery was my only option to correct my current problem. I had a bone spur in the canal at the base of my spine. The doctor told me that this spur was very close to my spinal cord, but he was able to peel away the nerve and get the spur out. Sounds kinda scary, doesn't it? The doctor also decompressed a few areas, so I am now pain free, with the exception of where I was cut of course. My surgery was a success and I am very grateful. I was able to come home yesterday and am now on the road to recovery.
Due to all the back issues I have faced throughout my life, I learned that I can help my pain if and when it resurfaces.
Pain is personal. The amount of pain you experience may not be the same as what others feel, even if they have the same disease or condition as you.
Ask your doctor what you might expect if you going for a test or surgery. Prepare yourself and you will feel more in control. Write down any questions you may have. You can discuss with your doctor your choices regarding pain control.
Non Drug Pain Relief
I chose not to medicate myself with drugs whenever possible. I am not a 'pill' person. I found these methods are helpful for mild to moderate pain.
> Learn about your disease, surgery or procedure to better understand how it will affect you.
Educating yourself can reduce the amount of anxiety you may feel.
> Relaxation: Simple techniques as abdominal breathing and jaw relaxations can help you cope better.
> Cold packs, moist heat, massage therapy, rest and TENS therapy are some ways to help reduce the pain you feel. *TENS therapy stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
I am lucky to have my brother who is a massage therapist. He has helped me so very much in controlling my pain. Yes, the treatments are not comfortable, but I would be pain free for weeks at a time.
> Exercise: I have discovered that stretching and pilates have helped me. I not only feel more relaxed, but could also feel and see a difference in my body.
Slow Rhythmic Breathing for Relaxation
1. Breathe in slowly and deeply
2. As you breath out slowly, feel your body beginning to relax, feel the tension leave your body
3. Breathe in and out slowly and regularly. Whatever is comfortable for you.
4. To help focus on your breathing, you may say to yourself...IN, two, three... OUT, two, three or replace those words with peace or relax.
5. Imagine that you are doing this in a place that is very calming and relaxing to you...such as lying in the sun at the beach
6. Do these steps once or repeat up to 20 minutes.
7. End each step with a slow breath. As yuo breathe out say to yourself,,,,I feel alert and relaxed.
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