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"What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"
- George Eliot
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"If I had to live my life all over again, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time."
- Nadine Stair
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"A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary."
- Dorothy Canfield Fisher

  A dove and its reflection in a calm pool

Finding Ourselves

We all have hang-ups, guilt and doubts about ourselves and how we are living our lives. Finding Ourselves is where I want to help you see inside yourself. Each time I will pick a topic that I see that many of you are asking about, doing or don't understand. I want to teach you why this behavior is happening, what brings it on, what is behind the behavior and how you might find positive ways to handle your lack of control, your frustration, pain and confusion.

Remember your 'behaviors' are 'symptoms' not causes. I want you to remember no matter what you are doing, have done or are thinking of doing it is not your 'fault', because you learned how to react. This is not 'you'. But now you are growing up and you are responsible for all of your actions and the consequences they bring. And you will, no matter what you think, pay for your actions one way or another. Learn how to make your consequences work for you so you can be and get what you want. You can have so much power over your life it is amazing; the difference in a winner and a loser is how you see and act on your behavior.

(Click here to choose a different article from the archive...)

Pain And Pain Management Series - Part 2

Pain has invaded your life and has changed it forever. This is a force that must be reckoned with. Now how are you going to do that?

First you cry!

Now what?

There is this force that can bring you to your knees. It has taken over your life and then it runs your life. It is with you everywhere you go and controls what you do. Parts of your life are gone because of this pain. Your relationships are all affected by this pain. Your whole personality is affected and changed by this pain. Your life is no longer your own because of this pain and for the first time in your life you actually have thought of death as an option on how to deal with this new force - Pain -.You are no longer the "you" that you were before and your life has been turned up side down and everything has changed forever if your pain is chronic.
Now, why does the medical profession take such a powerful variable in a patients life and either deny it is real, treats it lightly, only finds short term care and never factors in all of your life as part of the pain control process?Speaking as one who is in the medical profession and also as a patient of pain, I know that the medical profession has not even touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dealing with pain. There are over 10 million people in this country who fight for their lives against pain.
There are far fewer people with many other diseases or symptoms that get more energy and funding spent on them than pain does.
The medical profession is living in fear of the DEA and spends more time covering their prescription pad than in finding helpful options of pain control for patients.
I believe there should be a specialty in pain control and that only that profession can treat pain. Someone has to learn all about pain, what it does to a persons body, a persons mind, and a persons life. It is like any other specialty and you wouldnt go to a neurologist to have a baby, now would you?Yet, doctors treat pain as an afterthought or they even deny it and put the "blame" on the patient. Since it is a medically accepted concept that pain is totally subjective to the person and how they relate to that pain. Anything in medicine that cannot be seen and cut out the medical profession finds hard to deal with, and does not quite know how to approach it. This is where I believe the closest to authority in pain control today would be a Psychiatrist. At least it would take the least amount of new training to make them pain specialists. I do believe they would need training to become specialists. We need to take the medical profession and teach from the top to the bottom of the medical ladder how to deal with pain in a holistic sense because pain affects your life in a holistic sense. Pain control involves more that chemical control but it very much includes chemical control. As a nurse I have watched most of my profession be insensitive and very narrow in their judgement and control of pain for their patients. I have watched the doctors withdraw dying patients from narcotics because they felt they were addicted and that is so taboo in medicine. Medicine has a real conflict about narcotics and their not understanding the addiction process of pain medication. That has to be the first accepted and understood fact. All people who take narcotics for more than two weeks straight become chemically addicted in the physical sense. We as the medical profession have to get it "clear" what the words mean that swarm around narcotics because this is the greatest conflict going on within the medical profession in dealing with pain. All narcotics are physically addictive and all people who take pain medication for more than two weeks become physically addicted. This is natural and normal it can be worked with and I believe can be avoided by many creative ways that even I have formulated. Now dependency has to do with our minds where you take the narcotic and become dependent on it so you are unable to "gauge" your true sense of pain because your mind has become dependent on taking the narcotic just as when you become dependent on cigarettes. A bond is formed between you and the narcotic and it gives you a mental sense of well being. This is not healthy and can interfere with your total pain control program. You at this point are no longer "in control" of your pain it has control over you. This needs to be a red flag to you that you need to re-evaluate your pain control program. I also believe we all need a pain control program that makes us in charge of our pain program and that the medical team is a support system to the patient. This takes away that horrible sense of parent/child where you can feel shamed and embarrassed about asking for pain medication and I do believe this is what stops so many people who live in terrible suffering because they are too afraid to ask for help with their pain. We are taught to feel we are weak or that there is something wrong; like we are addicts if we ask for pain medication. This is very wrong and needs to be "taught" out of the medical profession by knowledge. Pain is just like any other disability that needs attention and it needs a program, because I have developed a great pain control program for myself and I am able to stay in control of my pain, my life and as my pain changes I am able to change my program to accommodate the changes. I use to have to suffer and do without because of the medical professions paranoia around narcotics. This comes from the DEA which regulates narcotics and they are people who know nothing about pain yet are put in charge of monitoring doctors prescription of pain medication. They have a very ignorant concept of pain, pain control or narcotics, yet doctors are supervised by these people. You want to change the medical professions views on pain, start with writing the DEA and then start teaching your doctors about pain and how it affects your whole life. We are going to have to do the work to make the changes take place within the medical profession. We are many millions, at least 10 million and I believe more; that gives us power and who knows about pain better than people who live in pain everyday.Back to the language for what happens when a person is kept on narcotics for a long time or for life. Your body becomes "tolerant" of a narcotic after you are on it for a length of time. This makes it so you need to take more of that narcotic to get the same affect. This is also a red flag as this is how you get into trouble with increasing your dose of narcotic so that you can receive pain relief. Most narcotics are interchangeable so that going from one to the other uses the same nerve receptor sites in the body and this will not change the increased amount you need to get the needed pain relief. But you can change classes of narcotics and also of lesser pain medications; interchange them, and this can help avoid this "tolerance." Doing this interchanging is also good because it can give you a "level" blood saturation point in the body of that pain medication which is how to make pain medication work better for you. If you notice we take pain medication when we hurt so bad we can not tolerate it. But if you keep a constant level of pain medication in the body instead of taking the pain medication every 4-6 hours letting the pain take dominate control again, you will be able to take less pain medication and receive more positive benefit. This is why the mindset has to change within the medical profession and with the patients because hospices have a much better window into how to control pain for their terminal patients. They give two to three "levels" of pain medication so that the patient takes these different strengths and they keep a constant "low level" of the pain medication in the body instead of having to build it up every time the pain becomes intolerable.
In your pain management program there needs to be nutrition by someone who knows how foods affect the body and pain which it does in unbelievable ways and is a very powerful asset to pain management. How you live your life affects your pain and pain control. When you do things physically and how you plan out your day all affect your pain and pain management. I have formulated a program where I am able to capitalize on the times when I know my pain is less to do physical work and I know the rhythm of my pain and my biorhythms which helps me to use my rhythms as a leverage in dealing with my pain. How you handle your emotions affects your pain and pain management. How you define words and concepts in your life and in yourself has a tremendous affect on your pain and pain management. How and what you let into your mental thought process is very strong in how you are able to deal with your pain. I have taught myself amazing little tricks so that I dont even remember that I am in pain. I have pain in so many areas that if I focused on them all I would go nuts and there would be no way to control my pain. When I realized this is when I took control over my pain management and my doctor "now" luckily trusts me and knows all that I have formulated into a pain control program that works. It is an intense process that took all my skills as a Nurse, a Therapist, learning Nutrition, and learning about how the body works with pain and pain medications. I learned Biorhythms, mental exercises and Focus therapy, Post Traumatic Stress Therapy, and many other additives, which all have proven to compliment each other; this has given me a very finely tuned pain control program.It is important to keep a journal about your body. I have learned to do this quickly each day with just key words so that I dont "focus" on my pain and my pain program. I have found that pain has taken enough of my life I have too much I want to do and to be to give anymore of my life to pain.Then there is teaching your family and friends about pain and how it affects you so that you are conscious that your pain affects you in many ways that your family feels and reacts to. They are dealing with the affects of your pain and it is important to include your family for support and your pain management program. They can be an added asset to things you can do or change to make your life much more manageable with your pain.
The worst thing you can do is just ignore your pain or down pain pills when you need them. The dynamics that the body goes through to protect itself is a sophisticated process that causes and controls pain throughout our bodies. Just because most of the medical profession is still ignorant of all the dynamics that surround pain and pain management does not take away your responsibility and your lack of knowledge about your pain. It is your life, it is your pain. Again knowledge is power and you can get all that power through learning all that you can about pain, nutrition, body mechanics, all kinds of body works, psychological affects and family affects. There is so much information out there, yes you have to put it together and no this isnt right but this is what we are left with until the medical profession learns and becomes knowledgeable about pain and the whole biopsychosocial pain process. This is your life; I want to empower you to be in control of your life and not wait, you be the teacher.

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