This is NOT an S&M post. So sorry.

      No Comments on This is NOT an S&M post. So sorry.

It is about pain, though.  Or rather, the management thereof.

I don’t know if I have anything on this blog that can be considered “usual fare”,
but if I do, this is not it.

* * * * * * * * * *

PAIN MANAGEMENT

While I write about a myriad of things on this blog, there are certain subjects I tend to avoid.  One of the things I’ve never intentionally avoided but also have not directly addressed in any kind of serious way is pain.  But pain is something I experience every day.

Getting achy-breaky is, understandably, a natural part of the aging process.  We move slower as we get older.  We creak.  We need to stretch more.  We don’t have the hormone/blood sugar/endorphin levels we once did, and our bodies are typically affected in various (read: negative) ways.  So you may be reading my statement of everyday-pain and shrugging your shoulders, saying “Meh.”

If so, this post is probably not for you.  Feel free to move along.  I’ll wait.

.

.

.

.

.

So.

For those of you still here…

Pain.

The two kinds of pain that cause me the most distress are (1) headaches and (2) back problems.  Both are affected by diet and exacerbated by stress.  Neither is “easy” to deal with.

Most days, though, I do exactly that:  I deal.  I paste a smile on my face, stretch a little, wrestle my nerve endings into submission, and just get on with my life.  The majority of people who know me never have the slightest inkling that I’m ever hurting, or how much.

A few of you are aware of what my Sunday was like.  To summarize:  It was, by far, the worst amount of pain I’ve ever endured in during waking hours.  To the point that I was drifting in and out of consciousness for hours.  My two primary pains were feeding off each other like cannibalistic warmongers, and the emotional distress I was in only increased their appetites.  Head.  Back.  Heart.  Back.  Head.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Upfugh.

I have a chronic condition that plays into this feedback loop, but for the purposes of this post, that’s neither here nor there.

And what exactly, you are wondering, is the purpose of this post, Feve?

I’ll tell you!

The purpose of this post is not to whine or complain or attempt to garner sympathy.

The purpose of this post is to share what works for me, in a way that might be helpful for some of you.  If even one person benefits from the information here, I will rest easy having shared this vulnerability with you.

Vulnberability? you are wondering.  What do you mean by sharing vulnerability, Feve?

Well, I mean that I really suck at sharing with others what I perceive to be personal flaws or weaknesses in myself.

Except…  What if sharing these ‘weaknesses’ could help somebody else be stronger?

Ah.  That was my thought as well.

So after my Searing-Pain Sunday had subsided into the ether (otherwise known as ‘Monday’), I gathered my wits about me (which was rather difficult to do; when my wits scatter they often end up needing bail before they can come back to where they belong), and I had a little chat with my ego.

Ego:  You can’t tell people about this. It’s a weakness.
Me:  Just a moment, please. I need to find the duct tape and throw you in the closet.
Ego:  No, really. It’s not like it matters any—hmmmsph!
Me:  I’ll let you out in a jiffy. Just need you to shush for a bit.
Ego:  Mmhmhmhmph!
Me:  Silver really is your color.

Heh.  I think you get the idea.  😉

It’s taken me a bit to put this together, but without further ado:

Back Pain:  I have been suffering from back pain ~ specifically, lower back pain ~ consistently for nearly four years.  It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg argument as to whether it had always been there (I have an incredibly high pain tolerance – blame my childhood) but became noticeable/intolerable due to my working conditions, or if the condition itself was *brought on* by my working conditions.  But it matters not whether it was chicken or egg; the pain came home to roost and has been clucking consistently ever since.  On good days I ride between 2 and 5 on the pain scale and it feels mostly like severe tension.  On bad days it’s between 8 and 10 and feels like flames are licking my back from shoulder to buttocks.

Yeah.  Good times.

Headaches:  This has been an issue my entire life.  Over the past few years they have gotten consistently worse.  And ~ lucky me! ~ my headaches are medically “unclassifiable”.  Figures.  Sigh.  Think MIGRAINE+.  Add in a few trips to doctors, a cat scan, blood tests, and ER visits.  Multiply by my unwillingness to use drugs of any kind, even the ones that are supposed to help you.

Yeah.  Problem.

And the two work in tandem to mess with my sleep cycle as well.  Which, as anybody who understands the human body will know, just makes everything worse.  It creates a continual feed loop of suffering.

So, with those three things in mind (back pain, headaches, lack of sleep), below is a list of what works for me:

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a medical professional.  The purpose of this post is not to give advice; it is to share information.  Your experiences may be entirely different than mine.  Feel free to share yours in the comments section.  Conversation is always encouraged.

For my head:

  1. Water.  I drink it.  Lots of it.  With ice and occasionally a slice of lemon.  Hydration is key.
  2. Alcohol.  I avoid it.  Not only does it dehydrate the body, many common alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, sherry, vermouth, etc.) contain tyramine (a naturally-occurring result of the fermentation process), which is a common migraine trigger.
  3. Diet.  I’ve identified and eliminated ‘trigger’ foods.  For me, that includes:  highly processed and preserved foods, milk chocolate, onions, peanuts, and certain types of cheeses (again, the fermentation process leads to high levels of tyramine).  I have also severely limited (as opposed to eliminated) my intake of sugars, eggs, milk, butter, and tree nuts.
  4. Stretch.  Specifically, neck and shoulder stretches.  I do them.  Often.  At intervals throughout the day.  Muscle tension can aggravate headaches.
  5. Lavender.  I spray my pillows with it.  It’s a calming aromatherapeutic fragrance.
  6. Environmental noise.  I avoid it.  Especially indecipherable voices (I hate crowds) and deep bass sounds.  Cacophonous external stimuli only worsens the clattering in my head.
  7. Cold compress.  An icy cold wash cloth pressed against my forehead or the back of my neck does wonders.
  8. Sleep.  When I can, I sleep it off.  Provided I am able to sleep, that is.  (See #7 and #8 below.)

NOTE:  As much as I hate drugs, I do use them.  As minimally as possible.  The thing about NSAIDs is that they won’t take your pain away.  They’ll *block* the pain.  So once you feel a headache coming on, you have to take them right away.  Your headache won’t go away, but it also won’t get any worse.  That’s a hard concept for me to wrap my head around, and because I avoided taking any kind of medication for the majority of my life, NSAIDs are not a good option for me.  I don’t take them properly.  I do, however, take nortriptyline.  I’ve only been on it for a couple months.  It’s taken some getting used to, but as a preventative, it’s making a difference.  Also:  orgasms are a fantastic cure-all.  🙂

For my back:

  1. Water.  I drink it.  Lots of it.  With ice and occasionally a slice of lemon.  Hydration is key.
  2. Caffeine.  I avoid it.  Caffeine pulls water from your system, which means your body can’t filter toxins the way it should.  Which can exacerbate pain.  Again, hydration is key.
  3. Stretch.  I do it.  Often.  Slowly.  At intervals throughout the day.  If only for a short period of time.  Even when it hurts to do so.  Especially when it hurts to do so.  For anyone who is a desk jockey, and experiences lower back pain, this video is worth watching.
  4. Vitamin D.  I absorb it, via sunlight or vitamin supplement, or both.  Daily.  Strong bones mean a strong support system.
  5. Omega 3’s.  I take them.  As a vegetarian, I won’t take fish oil, so I use the vegan kind (flax, sunflower, and sesame oils).  Two capsules daily.  (You can take up to six but they can be a bit hard on the stomach.)  It’s a natural anti-inflammatory.
  6. Massage.  I go to massage therapy regularly.  My massage terrorist is fabulous.
  7. Valerian.  I take it before bed every once in a while.  It’s a natural relaxant and as such, reduces tension, which promotes healthier sleep.
  8. Sleep.  I’m not always good at this at night, but I try.  A rested body works much better than an exhausted one, and sleep promotes restoration and healing.

NOTE:  If you have back problems, and are interested in learning more about natural health alternatives for treatment, I highly recommend this article.

 * * * * * * * * * *

If you have any questions, please ask.  I am happy to share.

Thanks for tuning in.  We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming shortly.

0 thoughts on “This is NOT an S&M post. So sorry.

  1. Jayne

    I have a sister who was hurt on the job (neck and back I think) and over 30 years??, pain killers have deteriorated her brain. I don’t think she has ever seriously tried to manage her body as you do. Good that you are going at it from a healthier angle. You’re probably buying yourself years with your Smotchy. xo, J

    Reply
    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      I’ll take all the years with Smotch that I can get. 🙂

      I’m sorry to hear about your sister’s injury.

      Pain killers ~ the narcotic kind especially, and there are very few that *aren’t* narcs ~ can have some devastating effects. I used to have a friend who suffered from persistent migraines, and they started at the onset of puberty. Her parents took her to a doctor, of course. He prescribed drugs. She’s been on them, in increasing dosages, ever since. They’ve done terrible things to both her body and her mind, and she knows it. She also fears getting off of them, so she sticks with what she knows. It’s sad.

      Reply
      1. Jayne

        Yes, exactly as my sister is. It has to be overwhelming to tackle pain on a daily basis. I can see where I would want relief from anything for a short time at least to then stick with that because it does relieve the pain. I would guess a support system would help but not everyone has one.I guess that’s ANOTHER thing to work on outside of the pain. Damn, it’s like parenting. One thing leads to another. It’s all a dark, Dean Koontz-Stephen King version of the children’s book “If you give a mouse a cookie”!

        Reply
        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been on preventative meds, is that it’s not until the pain *isn’t there* that you realize exactly how much pain you were really in. I’ve built up such a high tolerance for pain over the years that the absence of it (I actually have full days that are headache-free sometimes now!) really brings to light the reality of what I had, for so long, come to accept as “normal”.

          If You Give A Mouse A Cookie is a great book. I know it was written for children, but as circular tales go, the metaphorical message is a powerful one. In my opinion, it’s a story for children of all ages… Especially the grown-up ones.

          Reply
          1. Jayne

            I actually know I am taking my situation as “normal” because it has been this way for a long time so it’s difficult to recognize and make changes. It’s not physical pain but just a funk kind of normal. bleh

            I find a lot of things relate to children’s books. I was a preschool/ kindergarten teacher for years so I can relate life to children’s books. They’re quicker to read!

  2. wildoats1962

    The Postal Service has a device called a “Lean-stool” that is used for the manual sorting of mail. It is a torture device. In WWI the field packs were about as poorly designed as they could be. So after the veterans returned from the war a number of them started working for the Post Office Department and decided to punish the clerks with unending back pain..

    I used to get really bad headaches in my teens. Thankfully I probably have less than one headache a year now.

    Doctors used to treat patients in a much more holistic way. The novel “Aerosmith” is about one doctors journey through life shortly after the start of the 20th century. There is much that modern health workers could learn from that book. When the drug companies started funding the medical schools a lot of holistic treatments went by the wayside. And I can’t resist throwing a political comment out there. Public Health departments were started because it was in everybody’s best interest to limit disease outbreaks by treating people whether they could afford it or not. Diseases don’t discriminate. I’ll back off the politics now.

    I was concerned about you. I know you try to pick what goes into your body, but sometimes the drugs really can be a blessing. There are a myriad of triggers out there. Aspartame, allergies and intolerance, produce stress, so the body reacts. Iodine gets to Bonnie. No iodized salt for her, and it gets added to everything. And pain is how you tell when something is wrong. Hanson’s disease is an inability to feel pain. That sounds good until you lean against a stove and don’t realize you’re cooking your hand.

    Light and sound are triggers for a lot of people. Take care.

    Wild

    Reply
    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      I appreciate your concern, my friend. Some days are just Bad Days. We all have them.

      I wonder what triggered your headaches in high school. I know I am very sensitive to overhead lighting. Those old ballast lamps with fluorescent tubes buzz-buzz-buzzing are the worst. School buildings are notorious for their unhealthy lighting conditions. As are medical facilities, ironically.

      My mom has a bad reaction to iodine. Hers is a gall bladder issue though. She has to be careful about seafood.

      Thanks for the book recommendation, Wild.

      Reply
    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      Thank you for reading.

      Heating pads and ice packs work wonders. One of my colleagues has an adjustable belt – it looks like a weight lifting belt – with slots in it to contain icepacks. I need to find out where she got that contraption. It would be a nice thing to have.

      I have a muscle rub called Flex-Power that I use on my back and shoulders. It’s warming, and when I have the time to just relax and feel it work, it’s relaxing. Cayenne is surprisingly good for muscle aches as well. There are some topicals that contain cayenne – as well as curcumin – and it can also be taken in capsule form.

      Reply
      1. the muscleheaded blog

        The hot tub is the perfect solution for me — I can sit in there 15 minutes after a workout and most of the stiffness will ease up nicely.

        I do know somebody who uses a TENS unit with great success, as well.

        Cheers! 🙂

        Reply
        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          My husband used to sit in the hot tub after a work out at the club. Eventually he started going to the club *just* to sit in the hot tub. 😛

          Reply
  3. The Suburban Domme

    I hated hitting the “like button” on this one…because I don’t like the fact you are dealing with the pain…….but I “like it” because…damn..I feel your pain…having spent most of last summer under the influence of some “crazy making” drugs thanks to a back injury that is now about 43 years old……and just did a round of steroids and back on a couple of the crazy making drugs trying to manage the pain again this summer… I so feel your pain. 🙁

    Leaving gentle {{{hugs}}} here.

    Reply
    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      I understand about the ‘Like’ button. I am always hesitant to use it whenever anyone is hurting. For me, ‘Like’-ing something typically means, “Something about this piece of writing resonated with me.” I figure it’s the same for most people. I’ve actually considered posting questions about that. When it comes to engagement and interaction, I’m always curious about what motivates people. Why do you ‘Like’? What prompts you to comment? That sort of thing.

      I’m sorry you’re dealing with such pain, my friend. I haven’t experienced steroid shots, but I know people who have. It sounds… not fun. Not fun at all. 🙁

      (((Hugs))) back at ya, Serendipity. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

      Reply
    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      People, being the careless creatures that they are, would too easily create a hostile and abusive space if such buttons were to exist. For that reason, I’m glad they don’t.

      Too much button pressing, and I’m liable to snap. 😛

      Reply
  4. stephellaneous

    This is fantastic. Thank you for pointing me in this direction. This is good stuff, that I can certainly use and apply in my own pain management. Chronic headaches that no one can figure out, fibro, arthritis…hell, you know. I don’t need to list it all out; you already know. I think dietary changes would be life-changing for me. I need to stop making excuses and get to it.

    Reply
    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      I know it seems daunting at first, but once you begin – and begin *feeling better* as a result – it gets very easy, very quickly.

      I saw your reply with your email addy. I will send you some more info soon. 🙂

      Reply
        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          You’re welcome. I just sent you an email. Forgive the typos; hubs was using the computer so I typed it on my smartphone. Who in hell ever decided touchscreen typing was a Good Thing is on my shit list for life.

          Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge