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Old 04-11-2013, 06:46 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bemyself View Post
I can't recall if it's been mentioned already, Davey, but I wonder if you might find the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn helpful. He started up a thing years ago (at U of Massachusetts hospital I think) to train people in chronic pain in mindfulness meditation.

I bought one of his CD's a while ago - pretty cheap, and is effectively like being in a guided meditation class, and explicitly for coping with bad pain.

I have practiced meditation for many years, even before I had problems with alcohol, although I've only recently gotten into the mindfulness stuff. It helps a bit with the pain but there are limits to it's use.

To give you an idea of the level of pain I'm in i'll use two situations.

Let's say you have a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being agony and 1 being no pain at all. Years ago I injured myself and switched up the wound with fishing line because I didn't want to go to hospital, no aanesthetic obviously. That I would rate a 3 on the pain scale.

Before suffering this illness I was very active and once I dislocated my shoulder. We were in the middle of nowhere, 2 days from help so my only choice was to relocate it. None of us had medical training, we only had a rough idea of how to do it. Several tries later it popped back in, no pain killers used. That I would put at an 8 on the pain scale.

My daily level of pain varies between a 5 and a 9, with different parts of my body affected to varying degrees, but every muscle is painful. So as you can imagine, meditation doesn't do much
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:19 AM
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Muscle pain can be very painful in my experience. Add to that the inflammation generally associated with it and pain management can be tricky but not impossible. I'm sure it's very frustrating right now.

Please keep hanging in there.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Received View Post
Muscle pain can be very painful in my experience. Add to that the inflammation generally associated with it and pain management can be tricky but not impossible. I'm sure it's very frustrating right now.

Please keep hanging in there.

Yeah I am still hanging in there, believe me at the worst times it's tempting. When I originally came to this forum I didn't think there was a real cause to my drinking, but after reading lots of threads and really examining myself it does seem the pain is the major motivating factor. I may have fallen into drinking accidentily because originally I liked the taste, but after a while I was medicating this pain issue.

Two weeks until I see the specialist pain clinic, so I'll just battle through until then.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:09 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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I have some empathy with you Davey. I've broken my leg bones and refused to go to hospital until the following day. I've broken my leg brace in the past, (jumping out of a tree) the metal breakage lodging in my calf.

And the pain of all the corrective surgeries, body plaster casts, from childhood and up. Yeah, I too have an amazingly high pain threshold.

I have been able to use meditation to really help with my pain challenges. I learned to place my pain sensations "elsewhere" while I stayed "present"

Takes some practice and a learning curve, bit very doable. You may choose to re-visit meditation techniques.

Like you, I stayed away from pain killers thru out my life, as they didn't really help, unless I played with them with alcohol, which is not smart. I played with them when still using back when I was really into drinking.

Once getting sober, I only used pain-killers for surgical procedures, and then would simply quit when the "surgical pain" was diminishing enough.

My last surgery back in August really helped in getting rid of a lot of my physical pains. I had my right leg amputated really high on the thigh, and I had most of the circa 1969 hardware taken out of my right hip too. These two procedures really helped reduce my pain load.

I'm a great believer in mind-over-pain experiences. Both physical and emotional / psychic pains too. It's really amazing what all of us can do when we put our heart and minds to a task.

I look forward to you having great results with your new medical and pain management consultants.

Take it easy, Davey.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:59 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Hey there, I agree: Chronic pain is hard. I have very bad pain from TMJ and dental issues, never have had enough money at once to 'fix' it, as it would cost thousands, even with insurance, so I've taken meds, had acupuncture, physical therapy/stretching and still, it is hard.

What makes me sad and angry is when people act like you're making it up, or you are somehow weak, like you should or must man up, and just suffer.

This is huge drinking trigger for me: I just want to be free from pain for a while, and even if it messes up my life, it;'s somehow like I don't even care, I just want to feel free, for a while.

I wish I had a better solution, such as the means to seek treatment for the causes, as opposed to just treating symptoms.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by HuskyPup View Post
What makes me sad and angry is when people act like you're making it up, or you are somehow weak, like you should or must man up, and just suffer.

Well I have a diagnosed, provable condition so I've never been accused of making it up. The condition I have is known to cause pain and fatigue, along with some other unpleasant symptoms. Most people with my condition are on some form of painkillers.

Originally Posted by RobbyRobot View Post
And the pain of all the corrective surgeries, body plaster casts, from childhood and up. Yeah, I too have an amazingly high pain threshold.

I have been able to use meditation to really help with my pain challenges. I learned to place my pain sensations "elsewhere" while I stayed "present"

Takes some practice and a learning curve, bit very doable. You may choose to re-visit meditation techniques.

I have to say I wasn't trying to make it seem like I was tough or anything I hope it didn't come across that way. Yes I have a high pain threshold but I hope it didn't seem arrogant, I was just trying to provide something people can relate to.

I am very interested in your meditation techniques. I have meditated since I was 10, but I never looked into mindfulness or the techniques you use. If you could provide me some links, or book ideas, or just your own advice then I would be very interested. Because if it can reduce my pain without drugs then it's really worth trying.

I meditate daily but I think it provides only minimal benefit. In the end though my knowledge of the practice is limited to a few techniques and I'm always willing to learn more.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:29 AM
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Hi Davey- I really feel for you. I know what it's like to have unrelenting pain and limited resources to treat it.

I had shoulder surgery recently, after having been clean from opiates for 8 months. I did use pain pills (as prescribed) for three days. After my pain was manageable my husband got rid of them. I also had him dole them out to me at regularly scheduled times. He had complete control.

Is it possible that you might have someone that could help you out with this?
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:35 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lovetosail View Post
Hi Davey- I really feel for you. I know what it's like to have unrelenting pain and limited resources to treat it.

I had shoulder surgery recently, after having been clean from opiates for 8 months. I did use pain pills (as prescribed) for three days. After my pain was manageable my husband got rid of them. I also had him dole them out to me at regularly scheduled times. He had complete control.

Is it possible that you might have someone that could help you out with this?
No one knows the problems I'm having with alcohol and I would rather keep it that way. If I suggest to someone that they need to control my medication use then it will give the game away. I have never used prescription opiates and want to keep it that way if possible.

To be accurate I have used opiates but they were over the counter ones and I used them sparingly. Never more than 3 days at a time as the label suggests, I'm too scared to get addicted to something else. Alcohol is bad enough.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:37 AM
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Oh, and you asked the above poster for some books on mindfulness. Thought I'd chime if it's okay. I loved "The Power of Now" by Eckart Tolle. I have the audio version on my ipod and I've probably listened to it 50 times...no joke. Everytime I hear it I get something different out of it. I also like When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. "The Untethered Soul" by Michael Singer is another favorite. It's very simply written...he gets straight to the point if you like that kind of no-nonsense approach.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:46 AM
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I haven't read the other books but The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a fantastic book.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:33 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Eckhart Tolle absolutely rocks. Norman Vincent Peale too. Much of my core philosophy is sourced back to Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, George Berkeley, Bertrand Russell, René Descartes, Jean-Paul Sartre, Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and of course Socrates, Plato, Aristotle.

And of course, wait for it, the Bible (KJV) rocks me no end. <GRIN> Absolutely ton's of paradoxes and impossibilities just waiting to be taken up and meditated on.

I'm very much a man of do or die when it comes to philosophy. All the above has great personal meaning for me, both when I was drinking, and after quitting drinking.

How does all this work for pain control? Pain is after all just another sensation, and sensations can be managed, and if they can be managed, they can be super-managed, and if so, they can also be managed out of the awareness of the present moment. They can be "sent elsewhere"

It all starts with being in the moment, and embracing the pain as much as possible, and slowly realizing that fighting the pain sensation weakens me more then does accepting the sensation for what it is: physical pain.

Weakness does not diminish the pain, but rather amplifies it, and additionally creates fear. Fear is a mind killer, which creates more weakness, and so on.

Staying present, and strong, facing the fears and the pains is counter-intuitive at first, but with practice, the pains can be moderated enough so as to experience relief and satisfaction with that relief. It's not a cure, its just management, and it requires effort and attention to detail of the task at hand.

It's difficult to put into words on a computer screen. And I'm a bit hesitant to get too personal, after my experience with Robby's thread, lol.

Anyways, all I can give is my own experiences, and they were, and continue to be, successfully woven into my life.

My amputation was elective. I could have done it early, but then my walking would have permanently ended. I loved walking. When I was 10 or 11, I walked 17 miles out of 20 for a charity walk-a-thon. My leg was bleeding in my steel and leather brace, and adults would chastise my dad for letting me walk. I was even interviewed for the city paper, lol. This was before I became a drinker at 12. After the experimental corrective surgery age 12, which went way wrong, I couldn't even walk a hundred yards, and even that was way difficult. For the first time in my life as a crippled kid, I finally knew what it felt like to be crippled. Alcohol saved me and yet dammed me, all at the same time.

Anyways, I really loved walking, and although I never again walked as good as I did as a kid, I still managed to sober up and walk, even though it was painful to no end, because of the failed surgery. From this I moved ever closer to my successful amputation. Haven't looked back since, hahaha.

As a matter of fact, I became a member of SR in June 2008. I also quit walking that same time. The pain was just too much. No amount of meditation was working. I also "suffer" from spinal-stenosis, scoliosis, advanced arthritis, post-polio syndrome.

"Suffering" is an entirely subjective experience too, of course.

Anyways, I've been able to deal with all this and keep a quality life going forward. Alcoholism recovery was almost "just another thing" for me to finally achieve. Naw, it was harder then that, lol. Just puliin' your LEG, ahaha.

Sorry. A sense of humour is often an excellent tonic for what ails me.

Anyways, if your interested, I can make a few suggestions. Perhaps it might help, and perhaps not, I dunno. It works for me, without fail, is my experience. Let me know by pm or in your thread here, either way, what your worst pain experience/sensation is on a daily routine basis, and that is where we start.

I understand not everybody can talk as openly as I enjoy talking, so no problem if this does not interest you. I'm only responding because you mentioned an interest in some advice from me in your post, and because I do have empathy with you, Davey. Pain blows big time. I hope for you all that is good and well, in your search for pain relief. A noble and worthy journey, absolutely.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:40 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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I just wanted to post a reply to this.

First thanks to lots of you, especially rob, I intend to ask his advice on pain management.

Second, I have been feeling great the last few days. Ok yes I'm in pain as usual and i'm exhausted but my mental attitude has been great. I looked in my diary that I have been keeping for the past 8 months and I noticed a pattern. After a month sober I always seem to pick up mentally, everything feels positive and good. I'm still stuck at the level of activity I was before but it's easier to deal with. It's just a reinforcement of why staying sober is so important.

It's a good night tonight, despite the cold which makes my pain and muscle stiffness worse I was able to stand outside and for the first time in 4 months I looked at the stars through my rather expensive telescope and felt so much better. I spent the rest of the night using high powered binoculars to look at the moon, picking out all the features I could and in a way it helped me realise something.

I am a small piece of matter on a very large planet, but the chances of my atoms coming together to produce me at this point in time is so incredible that I have a choice. I can choose to use this gift of conciousness, this random event, to be useful to this world. Or I can throw it away, drinking myself into oblivion.

I know exactly what I want to choose.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:16 PM
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This is great news, Davey. I read somewhere there is going to be a fantastic meteor shower this month around April 22/23.

So happy to hear you're not only feeling better but coming to some realizations.

You are worthy, you are special, you are unique and you are meant to shine.
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Received View Post
This is great news, Davey. I read somewhere there is going to be a fantastic meteor shower this month around April 22/23.

So happy to hear you're not only feeling better but coming to some realizations.

You are worthy, you are special, you are unique and you are meant to shine.
You are right, every human is special, not just myself. I intend to stay sober but hey if I fail then I start again and I shouldn't kick my own arse over it. I'm realising the longer I stay sober the better. Staying sober the rest of my life is the ideal, but failures occur and this is where i've messed myself up before. I always gave myself such a hard time. If I fail again I need to remind myself that I've been sober for a good period, I'm helping my health, I'm helping myself stay sober each time I resist.

All of this is important. It's 1am here in the UK, every muscle hurts like hell, I'm exhausted, I feel sick (which is why I can't sleep) but I'm sober and regardless of what happens I'm dealing with an unpleasant illness. It would be so easy to drink but instead I'm sober and I'm going to try and sleep besides the pain.

If I drink it's stupid, but at least each time the period between drinking and being sober is getting longer and this is great for my health and long term sobriety.

To be frank I have everyone here to thank for this. Because I would not have considered my real problems if it were not for the peopel of this forum challenging my idiotic ideas.

I have a long way to go, but you have all made it easier. I will try and remain sober, but if I fail I know I have you guys to fall back on.

Thank you everyone.
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