My name is Angel I'm 19 years old and I've been struggling with intense chronic pain in my wrists and arms for the last six years of my life. My pain has gotten so bad that I've had to drop out of school and quite my job. I have extreme anxiety about people touching me or being near me. I'm having a really hard time keeping up my hopes up and not letting my pain get the best of me. Does anyone have suggestions on how to cope with all the struggles that come with having/ dealing with extreme pain?
Hello Angel, welcome to our community. I am 19 years old too and living with chronic pain. One suggestion I have is to experiment with a variety of ways of doing things to try to ease the pain or make it easier to deal with. Remember that not everything has to be done at once and it's okay to take a break. It may help to see an occupational therapist who can help you to find new ways of doing things, and they can help to see if assitive equipment could help you. Hopefully these suggestions help somewhat. Have you talked to a doctor yet about your pain? and have they done any tests?
I'm a bit older, 27, I've had a lot of sicknesses and health problems since I was a kid, but my bad pain started at age 24. I had to quit my job, move back in with my parents and leave most of my friends. It was a really hard time. How do you make new friends when going out hurts! But I was persistent. I have severe, constant nerve pain in my face, and something as simple as wind/air conditioning can make it hurt so bad I can barely see and sometimes the pain makes me throw up. But eventually I decided I was gonna be in pain where ever I was, so I made the effort to go to church group get togethers and church it's self once a week. 2 outings a week were do able, and the rest of the time I could hide at home and recover. I threw up in the bathroom, and cried occasionally, but I stayed at the activities, and I made friends. I made sure people knew about my pain, and they were all very nice and understanding. I am sure not being able to do things with your hands makes participating harder than having face pain, but maybe you can find ways around it.
As far as coping with pain in general, working with doctors is important, but when they fail you (which seems to be often with chrinic pain) you can expieriment on your own. Does hot or cold packs help? Does Lidocaine patches or cream, or other pain creams help? Does covering the painful areas with clothes make it worse or better?
If you can wear clothes maybe brightly colored arm warmers and fingerless gloves could be a signal to your friends not to touch you there. I paint my face with bright colors and my friends and family know that is a signal that my pain is bad and they shield my face from wind and make sure not to bump me there.
Mental excersizes to relax are sometimes all I can do. I listen to instrumental music in a dark room and try to think about the music and my breathing and nothing else. I do that alot when I can't sleep.
Good luck, I hope some of the stuff I've learned can help!