The meaning behind ‘Pushing Through the Pain’
Hello, all! I want to start by talking about a very concerning matter. Last month, I started my column about chronic pain, “Pushing Through the Pain.” A few readers commented that the title suggested I thought people should ignore, accept, or just live with pain. This is not how I meant it to come across. “Pushing Through the Pain” is meant to be empowering!
Most everyone who reads these columns likely suffers from numerous health issues. I have met people who let their health consume their lives, and watched them become bitter over time. I get it. Living with several medical conditions can be overwhelming and tear you apart inside. That is emotional pain. In my mind, “Pushing Through the Pain” means not letting your health bring you down. Keep fighting! You need to keep going, pushing through all of the obstacles life throws your way.
Pain is a pain!
The severity of pain varies among individuals due to its types and causes. We all suffer from pain at some point in our lives, whether hurting your arm in a fall while learning to ride a bike, getting a headache, or having a toothache. Pain basically is a signal from your brain to an area of your body as a way of alerting you that something is wrong. That signal should never be ignored.
There are many forms and levels of pain that a large portion of the population feels on a daily basis. It is beyond aggravating when others question how much pain you are in, or act as if they don’t believe you are in any pain at all. That is absurd and steps over the line. The truth is that NO, my pain is not in my head. NO, I’m not making it up for attention. And YES, depending on where and how severe the pain is, it can be severely debilitating.
Hope of again being pain-free
I went through countless doctors to find one who really listened to what I had to say and involved me in finding the right treatment. Eventually, I arrived at a specialist who knew I was struggling because I was in so much pain, and my primary care physician wasn’t helping much. He referred me to a pain management specialist. These specialists work to help a person who lives with horrible pain lessen it, so you can start feeling better and be more productive. Mine understood that living with pain keeps me — like anyone — from actually living life. Talking to me, he could tell I wasn’t someone just out for pain pills, and that I was in a lot of pain and didn’t know what to do.
After I gave him a brief overview of everything that was going on, he said a phrase I hadn’t heard from anyone: “No one should have to live in pain. Living with pain on a daily basis is hard on the body physically and is emotionally exhausting as well.” He vowed to do everything he could to get my pain down, and part of my life back too!
Finding a new option
I don’t particularly like taking pain pills. It’s not the side effects, because mine is mainly tiredness. It’s that I take enough pills as it is for all of my other health conditions, and don’t want to take more than I absolutely need. My specialist told me about a pain medication that might be a better fit for me, called a fentanyl patch. The patches deliver a small amount of pain medication continuously, day and night. You just have to change the patch every 72 hours. So I tried it.
It was like night and day!
After applying the patch, I was a bit tired and decided to take a nap. When I awoke, my pain was considerably lower and I was able to move around much easier. I was able to walk around my house and move things that I hadn’t been able to move because of the pain. After a few days, my body adjusted and I wasn’t getting tired anymore. I still experienced some pain, but not nearly as much. My pain management doctor started me off on a low-dose patch, and increased it in small increments until my pain was at a much lower level. I still had a script for pills for breakthrough pain if I had some. But wow, what a difference!
My advice for everyone living with pain
In general, the best way to get rid of symptoms is to gain control of your disease. But sometimes controlling the condition doesn’t stop the pain. My suggestion, if you are having serious trouble controlling your pain, is to talk to a pain management specialist. These specialists are most likely to know how to help you function better. Never stop looking until you find that doctor who will listen to what you have to say, and who is proactive in helping you get back to living life!
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.