Ten Signs That You Need a New Pain Management Plan
Is your pain management plan working?
Here are 10 signs that it is NOT!
1. I often or always have to cancel plans
How many dates/appointments/commitments have you had to cancel in the past month? How about past week? If you are canceling due to pain from your chronic illnesses more than once or twice a month, you need to make some changes. It could be the products you are using to combat pain with or your own behavior that needs to change. Are you respecting your body and modifying how you live? Do you pace your activity or are you running yourself into the ground?
2. I dread waking up in the morning
Do you wake up with a pain level that is equal or worse than what you went to bed with? That was my life when I was treating my chronic pain with prescription medications. Opioids may have masked my pain enough to allow me to fall asleep or they would knock me out, but they didn’t improve my life. Each morning I would wake up in more pain than I went to bed with and almost always woke to a headache. An effective pain management plan shouldn’t have you dreading mornings, it should make you look forward to the next day. I began enjoying mornings the day after I began medicating with cannabis. As time passed, mornings became the best part of my day. Since adding PEMF therapy, I look forward to waking up and going on adventures every day!
3. I am afraid to go to sleep
Do you fear going to bed? I did! Why? 1. Pain rarely allowed me to sleep more than a few hours at a time. 2. Unless I drugged myself to the point of passing out, pain would keep me awake. 3. I knew that my pain level would only increase throughout the night. My painsomnia became so bad that I was rarely sleeping more than 2-4 hours at a time. I tried doing everything possible to distract my mind and would be up doing crossword puzzles or playing Words with Friends. Since switching to a natural and alternative approach to pain relief, I no longer fear going to bed. In fact I look forward to it. Why? Because my pain management plan doesn’t just mask pain. It actually addresses my pain sources. Instead of hiding my pain for a few hours, it promotes healing. I reach restorative levels of sleep and wake up ready to take on the day!
*Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and I am not issuing medical advice. This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission from sales. The proceeds offset the expense of operating this site and fund the giveaways in my Fitness Buddy and Disneyability groups on Facebook.
4. I had to give up my favorite hobbies
If the reasons you have for not being able to continue with your favorite hobby are chronic pain and fatigue, you need a new pain management plan. Combined with self care practices of pacing, acknowledging your body’s boundaries, and asking for assistance, a good pain management plan should allow you to do what you want. During the first 5 years of treating my conditions naturally and alternatively, I was able to resume my favorite past times, just not in the way that I had done them before. Then approximately a year and a half after adding PEMF therapy to my plan, I was able to start partaking in those activities more like I did before my chronic illnesses hijacked my life.
5. I spend my days and nights home alone
If chronic pain is preventing you from leaving the house, it is time to make a change. However, before you make a change, make sure that you are doing everything possible to get out. For example, are you willing to accept assistance from a friend or family member? Are you okay with using a mobility aid? Are your expectations of a day out with your illness/disability realistic?
6. Every time I turn around, I am being prescribed something new to combat side effects from my pain management plan.
How many prescriptions are you taking in hopes of relieving pain from your chronic illness? I was given one prescription when I was first diagnosed, then within months a second, then a year later another, and so on and so on until I reached the point of being prescribed ten prescriptions. Sadly not one of them addressed my illnesses or pain, instead they occasionally masked my pain. My pain progressed quickly and new symptoms were popping up all the time. But these symptoms were NOT from my illnesses, even though everyone including my doctors blamed them on my diseases. The new symptoms were actually side-effects from the medications that were supposed to be helping me. Funny how I never had urinary tract infections before taking opioids, to getting them several times a year after. Then NOT having another since quitting opioids six years ago. Don’t blindly accept that every new symptom is part of your illness, question everything!!!
7. I get anxious when I think about leaving the house
Before treating my chronic pain naturally and alternatively, I developed an unhealthy fear of leaving the house. I feared the pain I would experience just to get ready. The fear of how much pain I would endure while out paralyzed me. The fear of how long it would take to return to the pain level that I could at least exist at kept me home. Does this sound familiar? A good pain management plan, along with healthy self care practices, will allow you to get out without fear. This fear carried over after I switched my pain management plan, but after seeing and most importantly feeling how much my recovery time decreased, I learned to work with my body and became less fearful. Now? I am fearless. I don’t do what I can’t handle, I listen to my body, and most importantly I have a pain management plan that allows my body to heal from any pain accrued throughout my day.
8. I am always angry
How’s your attitude? During my pharma years, I was angry, bitter, and to be brutally honest I was not someone I would want to be around today. At the time I blamed my chronic pain, but that wasn’t the only reason. Pharmaceutical pain medications made me aggressive, short tempered, edgy, and depressed. Since ditching pharma, I am happy, fun, excited for life, patient, and have a zest for life that I never thought was possible to have with multiple chronic illnesses. If you are struggling with depression, take a look at your medication and talk to your doctor asap!
9. I just want to enjoy a day doing what I want and not have to spend weeks or months recovering from it.
If your body is requiring weeks or months to recover from an outing or activity, you may need to alter your pain management plan. You may also need to make adjustments to how you go about what you are doing. Your body is different and you need to accept it. Working with it and making modifications is the best thing you will ever do for your life and body.
10. I want to die
If you think that dying would be better than living and are considering suicide, seek help NOW!! Contact the Suicide Prevention Life line at 1-800-273-8255 or suicidepreventionlifeline.org . A poor pain management and lack of a healthy self care plan will only intensify this feeling. Don’t give up! Even if you can’t see it now, your life is worth living and there is hope for pain relief. The process of figuring out the changes that need to take place isn’t easy and often requires getting over our own egos, but it is so worth it!!! Imagine if I had committed suicide like I had planned in 2012? Look through my Instagram and Facebook feeds and see everything I would have missed. Who knew I would be able to do what I can today? I sure didn’t? But I am glad that I decided to hang around. With a strong determination to improve how I lived and treated chronic pain I have learned to love life, even the bad days.
If you answered yes to any number of these signs that your pain management plan isn’t working, then it is time to make a change!!!