Learn from patients with pain similar to yours

CatchMyPain Community and Pain Diary App to manage chronic illness

Barbara's story: Listen to your body!

May 23, 2014 4:57 AM

Barbara has shared her personal experience and thoughts about the importance to listen to your own body and not to get intimidated, when you react differently then others. Now that we have launched the community, we would like to ask you for your opinion about this topic. Here's the article again, for those who haven’t read it before:


Let’s talk about a subject that brings together all the subjects mentioned before! This includes your attitude, how your body reacts to pain and then your perseverance. As stated by Dr.Dommerholt, everyone reacts to pain differently. While the reason is not fully understood, it must be taken into consideration when any treatment or therapy is being discussed.


You have noticed that you seem to react to pain so much quicker than your best buddy. It starts to upset you. Perhaps you have been criticized because of this. Wimp is becoming your nickname. Hopefully this scenario is not true. Let us suppose it is. Somehow you have to rise above this and recognize that your internal makeup is not the same and that you have to approach your pain and responses to pain logically and not emotionally. Your pain is real. If you ignore the warning signs and try to push on, there can be serious consequences physically and emotionally.


OK, now you are an older and wiser individual and realize this. You still wish you could overcome this tendency. Stop a moment and look around. Look at some top athletes. I am going to use two tennis greats, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Look at their style and look at the consequences. Federer does not play a power game, he plays a ‘thinking man’s game’ of tennis. However, tennis has changed into a power game and Nadal fits right in this category. But at what price? He suffers from pain in his knees and encountered a long absence due to an injury. If you watch tennis you will notice that Nadal has made some changes in his game because he listened to his body and started to play more Federer-like. And Federer? Yes, Federer has a problem with this power game, but he can still play a great game at his age.


I admire both players, but when it comes to my life and my pain, I will choose the ‘thinking man’s’ approach to pain. I will listen to what my body is telling me. I will follow the therapy that is given me, but I will also tell my therapist how it is affecting me. I am the one who feels the pain. I am the only one who can listen to what my body is telling me.


I will keep my attitude positive, I will become familiar with my body’s response to pain and I will persevere.


Barbara Zarrella, Florida, USA



What is your experience about this topic?

Jun 07, 2014 6:34 PM

hi I do the same keep positive only you can fight this battle through the pain barrier I've had pain of and since I was I know anything else but pain but I have a fighting fit hear

Jun 13, 2014 12:09 PM

my body is telling me constantly to listen I have pushing myself as a nurse in ICU and now I can hardly walk I used to feel guilty about being off work but at this point that is the least of my concerns

Jul 08, 2014 10:42 AM

I have been sick and in pain for over a year now. in the beginning I tried to ignore and put off the pain thinking it would pass now it's taken over my whole life and my husband and kids hurt me sometimes when they say you always sick anymore what's new. I have gotten little to no answers to what is wrong with me and it is becoming very depressing to live like this.

Jul 08, 2014 11:01 AM

I don't know if you like to read or not but I highly recommend you look at "The Full Catastrophe Living" by Kabat-Zinn. it's about stress and life affecting yr life when u deal with chronic health issues/pain.

Jul 08, 2014 4:59 PM

I got a lot out of that book and the CD. Unfortunately I do not listen to the pain release meditations as I should.

Jul 09, 2014 7:09 AM

I tend to slack on my meditations too. However I did do research this last semester looking at using mindfulness meditation for pain management. I did show that pain patients who do this kind of meditation show a better quality of life. So I need to start following thru better lol.

Aug 04, 2014 11:13 PM

I have been introduced to mindfulness meditation recently and I must say for something so simple it gives some relief. my pain psychologist said that it gives you brain respite from the pain. something everyone can do and there's no cost. the other thing is to put yourself, in your mind, somewhere you enjoy being. your happy place. mine is the ocean and beach. I also plan my social life when I can. a very slow day or two the function then a day or two if necessary to get over it by being kind to myself. in my case I rest, watch TV, listen to music, sleep, have a spa bath (usually a4hr one) , read, etc. no house cleaning, travelling in car, cooking or bending in any way. I accept that I will never be pain free which is a work in progress and take my medication accordingly. I have had a neurotomy L4 L5 S1 and as a direct result have skin pain now which may or may not cease. I have a cream that has been mixed to ease this provided by orthopaedic surgeon. I have heard people's stories and there are successes and disasters so I will put up with my pain until I have no choice but to take the next step. I have sponylolisthesis too (a sliding vertebrae) which can be fixed with surgery so I have this available to me when the time comes. I guess what I'm saying is that you know your body, you know what's tolerable and what's not, no one can give you a guarantee that you will return to your pre injury self. that you has gone now so only you can make decisions regarding your future. Try not to be in too much pain if you can as you can develop chronic pain syndrome by pushing through and not listening to you body. we all have adjustment syndrome which is acceptance of what's happened and adjusting our lives accordingly. it's not easy but it could be so much worse. that's my opinion. I am thankful that I don't have an incurable fatal disease. Listen to your body! this week I have experienced a pain flare which has put me to bed and rest for a week. I am told that these will occur from time to time so I have to recognise their onset and then put myself into recovery. I must say complete bed rest has been great in that the pain is markedly reduced another learning curve for me. I'm sorry I've rambled on but everyone's pain is real and no one else knows what it's like. get a house cleaner, a car with heated seats, a walker with wheels so you can sit easily when and wherever you need too, a good Physio, pain specialist, family doctor and get a few opinions re your condition prior to surgery. take care of YOU.

Aug 04, 2014 11:24 PM

I should add my current diagnosis is:
adjustment syndrome
chronic pain syndrome
chronic anxiety depression
Spondylolisthesis L5S1
facet joint damage almost gone L5 - fasciitis
degenerative arthritic change
sciatica
skin pain caused by neurotomy which should subside in time.


Aug 06, 2014 5:28 AM

you are very inspiring I just have a severe headache... :/

Aug 06, 2014 5:28 AM

you are very inspiring I just have a severe headache... :/

Aug 13, 2014 4:13 AM

and I a sore hip. don't compare yourself, it'll eat you up inside believe me...

Oct 06, 2015 8:09 AM

good article! thank you for posting

Ready to start relieving your pain?

Join Community