April 9th, 2002


thoughts and research about pain

I've been having a lot of ear and face pain. It's gone, and now I can't sleep. Hmmmm... I seem to be noticing a pattern here... Take the pain away and I have energy...

I've been doing some more research, and I've decided to go talk to the doctor about the pain. Antibiotics or no antibiotics, the fact is I have pain a lot. The ear pain will go away when the ear infection goes away. The face pain may not. The joint pain won't--it's always here, especially when the weather is weird. I've been afraid because of the addiction hype about pain meds. But the fact is I'm getting good relief from this stuff, and I'm only taking one every so often. Right now I don't feel fatigued, and if I go to bed I can probably put the mask on without feeling like I want to scream. And if my mind would stop coming up with all these ideas, I could probably fall asleep very easily. I really need to get a handle on the pain stuff--it could make a difference in my being able to do normal everyday stuff or not. I don't like to think about it--it makes me feel like I'm some crotchety old lady. But denial never did anything good for me. I'm not a doctor and I don't do self-diagnosis; but I do do my homework, and as far as I can tell there are a couple of possible things I could be dealing with. It's a relief to know that there are real names for this. Dad suggested learning some self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques. I, of course, got offended. What have I spent all this time in therapy for? It's not "all in my head". Not that I think relaxation techniques are a bunch of hype, but there's something to be said about a multidisciplinary approach. Relying solely on mind techniques is as bad as relying solely on drugs, and I shouldn't feel guilty about doing what I need to do.

One of the things I learned doing my research is that pain can be triggered by lowered levels of certain chemicals just like depression. In fact, they're the same chemicals. My mom recently asked me if I was on an antidepressant. I am. But it's not doing its job. I assumed that was because of situational stuff. But maybe I should rethink the issue. I don't want to be on tons of meds, but if I don't get the pain relief I'll just be staying on the downward spiral.

So tomorrow I'll "call the man" as Mom and I say. *grin*

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