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Communicating pain for chronic pain sufferers

Sep 01, 2015 5:15 PM

I've been having a lot problems with my shoulder so I had an mri.. my rheumy thinks its a small tear so she sent me to an orthopedic surgeon who sent me to PT (a lot more in between but trying to keep it a short story lol)

I've been doing mild PT exercises for about 2 months now at physical therapy .. the bicep tendon pain that was preventing me from being able to lift my arm felt a lot better after the ortho gave me a corticosteroid injection in a different location then where my rheumy did it previously however I have pain in the joint area and under my arm pit that the shot didn't help with. Its been aching a lot more since last and I wasn't able to get much sleep so today when I went to PT i asked him if it should be getting better by now and he said yes so we decided to put it on hold till I talk to the doc.

During that conversation I said "its not painful" and he asked what I meant since I said it wasnt getting better and I said well its not painful like it was before because I can still lift my arm .. its just non stop aching in the front and under my armpit.

Now what I realized when I was leaving is ...because I've lived with pain everday for almost 10 years my pain tolerance is probably much higher than someone who doesn't deal with it daily. So for people who dont deal with chronic pain would probably consider this pain a 10 where to me it feels like a 4-5. I've learned over the years how to stay somewhat functional at many different pain levels that I may have felt crippling to me 12 years ago.

I'm starting to find this to be a big problem for me

Do you find this to be the case for you also?

Sep 02, 2015 9:45 AM

Absolutely!!! I know that many folks would probably end up in the ER if they had pain with the severity and duration that we ensure. However, that being said, each person deals with pain in their own way and also we all have different tolerance levels. The pain I deal with every day, I'm "used to" and when another area begins to hurt, I can't take it. It overwhelms me. I wish I could still work as I haven't worked in 12 years. I never know what each day will bring. I never know if I'm going to be in too much pain or if I'm dealing with anxiety, etc. I feel like I'm worthless and contribute nothing to this world but I know that with taking care of my aging parents (driving them to appointments, taking care of insurance needs, Making phone calls for them, etc.) it's ok, guess I sometimes throw myself a pity party and that's ok too. Few moments of whining and then off to do whatever needs doing. I wish you well and hope you get that problem sorted out. I had that type of pain once in front of my armpit and in the bicept, but the bicept tendon had a small rupture. It's really agony. I've had it happen a couple of times and can sympathize with what you're going through. Good luck!!

Sep 02, 2015 11:24 AM

Linda you are right on target! My hubby not daughter's(of many others) could function it they lived with any of our daily pain. And trying to get them off doctors to comprehend even half of it, not happening. Just last night I told my hubby I managed to push myself to walk 15 minutes on the treadmill, until I was short of breath and all my joints and muscles were screaming to stop. His response, "Well I guess your going to walk in the park with me is out, huh?" Uh, yeah! πŸ™πŸŒΌ

Sep 02, 2015 11:27 AM

Hi Alwayz - thank you for your response. I did the ER thing for many years when I first started dealing with severe pain on a regular basis. There were times when I thought for sure I was dying. I do think back then this pain would have prompted me to go to the ER but I'm so used to hurting I just take it day by day and discuss with my rheumy and if it becomes unbareable I still wait it out until I see my rheumy. This shoulder pain has been going on for a year. I probably shouldn't have waited it out for 8 months to have it looked because the shoulder shots weren't helping and they usually do. I just get tired of spending half my life at the doctors lol

When I read your response it made me cry because I understand how it feels to feel worthless. I've been there too .. more times than I care to admit but I have to tell you... I read your posts just about everday.. your so kind, thoughtful, helpful and understanding. You might think thats a minor thing but it's not.. not by a long shot.

Going through what we all do everyday can beat you down and drain the life right out of you...its so hard to go through that alone (I did it for a long time) and just having you and all the other wonderful people here to talk to and listen to is a big deal and it really helps. You contribute more than you could possibly imagine and I for one am grateful for your contributions!!! xx

Sep 02, 2015 11:32 AM

Linda, now you have me crying. (Happy tears). You have touched my heart and I can't thank you enough. I've always been a caregiver and I feel better knowing that perhaps I was able to brighten someone else's day and let them not feel so alone or overwhelmed. It takes my focus off of myself. I'm glad that you have found me to be helpful and I appreciate that you read my posts and feel that in a contributor to this group. I hope you have a blessed day and {{{hugs}}} for a peaceful day with less painπŸ’•πŸ™πŸ»πŸŒ»

Sep 02, 2015 12:32 PM

Oh boy Flappyslady I know those kinds of things all too well.. before I got dxd I could barely get out of bed the pain was so bad and I rarely ever got a break and my husband would make stupid comments like that. The hard part was I've always done everything. . Managed the money, did the taxes, cleaned the house, ran errands, worked full time and all of a sudden I couldn't do it anymore .. he was so used to it he had a hard time adjusting especially because I nor the docs at the time knew what was wrong. I'd get so stressed out over it all and it just makes it worse for us .. not them.

He used to suggest all these brilliant ways that I could get better .. like exercise and changing my diet or taking this that and the other vitamin. I know he was trying to help but man it made me absolutely nuts trying to explain what that wouldn't work or help.

Thankfully he's gotten better about it the last few years and if I say I'm going to do something he thinks will put me in pain he gives me crap about it which is a lot better than the opposite like he used to do. I'm really grateful because I know most people don't ever get there. I know he will never understand unless he gets sick too but they can be thoughtful and have some compassion if they choose to.

Do you have joint problems? If you do you might want to stay away from conventional treadmills. They are high impact and really bad for people like us. I eventually bought an eliptical type machine that is very low impact and it actually burns more calories in less time. I do like 5 minutes ever 2-3 days and it doesn't make me feel like I'm going to die.

Swimming is also great because its zero impact on your joints n i mostly just float around more than I swim lol but it does keep some strength in your muscles.

Sep 02, 2015 12:49 PM

Thank you Alwayz! I'm also the caregiver type .. oldest of 7 with 5 kids so I'm almost always taking care of someone in one way or another. It became impossible to keep being that person and it really took a toll on me. Its like trying to modify your own dna .. impossible.

I did let go of it to some degree because me being worse off because I was stressing over what I can't do for/with someone just got to be too much wasn't worth it and we have to take care of ourselves. . If we don't then we can't help others at all.

I hope you have a wonderful day! ((Hugs))

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