chronic pain

The Pain Treadmill…Still Learning

Following a Pudendal Nerve block in late November 2011, I was so appreciative of the support and efforts of my Chronic Pain Team for providing me the opportunity to be able to spend a ‘comfortable’ Christmas break, with my family & loved ones. It is amazing, upon reflection, how severe/chronic pain, occuring in an ongoing basis, effects your mood and the persona that you illuminate to others. My daughter had very gently tried to make point of the fact that “sometimes when you are in bad pain, you can be really difficult to live with”. OUCH! This very blunt truth had provided a different type of pain altogether. Apparently whether I provided the information or not, my loved ones had become very good at predicting my pain levels, according to my mood, or lack there of.

My G.P.’s Secretary also had made two comments over the past week, which have indicated to me that I would be a really lousy poker player as my face reveals all. When I saw the Secretary a week ago, my nerve block was still working quite effectively and I had just spent a lovely time having lunch with my mother, Aunty and a dear friend. She commented firstly on my appearance, ‘ I looked well’. She commented that this was the first time that she had seen me not in severe pain and it showed. Yesterday the nerve block has all but run out completely. And her observations were immediate, “Are you okay? You’re in pain aren’t you.”

I am trying to take all of the information that others have provided onboard, as my focus this year is on acceptance of my illness and personal growth in this regard. Up until now, life has been likened to that of a roller coaster ride, that would speed up and at times slow down, but it was a ride that I was and am still, unable to disembark from. Just as we feel different emotions on the roller coaster ride E.g. Fear, anticipation, exhilaration etc., living on a never-ending ride, such as Chronic Pain, can also play havoc with the variety of emotions one person may experience. I have begun attending a Tibetan Healing Buddhist course with the hope that I will be able to further advance my meditation skills. I have found meditation to be an amazing skill / technique when dealing with a body that can have areas feeling like there’s a fire raging within me and a factory of builders hammering nails inside my pelvic region.

The challenge ahead is now in attempting to find a balance between living a productive life and coping with the day to day pain monster. Chronic pain continues to affects many reader’s areas of life, but managing the pain with as much style and grace as possible is sometimes challenge enough and an achievement in itself.

Do you notice a change in your outward feelings and emotional venting according to your pain levels? Withdrawing or ‘going quiet’ can be another indicator to others. How do others react to your reaction? Are they supportive ? Or do they leave the room through the nearest exit? I would love to hear your thoughts and any solutions that you may find work for you when you are emotionally feeling overwhelmed.

Health & Happiness


2 thoughts on “The Pain Treadmill…Still Learning”

  1. Hi Carmel,
    The nerve blocks are a very temporary solution but do give me 6-8 weeks of manageable pain relief when combined with medication. I have an excellent Pain Clinic that I attend at RPA hospital and they’re are still searching for the best way to manage the pain, as there is no cure for the condition at present.
    Thanks for your replies, it always brightens my day.
    P.s.- Life works in mysterious ways, I hope you remember the time you gave me a Voucher for one of the little shops in Kiama, and I told you that I bought a meditation CD. Well, guess which CD I now use when in theatre, or hospital or at home and need some soothing music. Yep, my CD of Enya. I have never lost it even with all the moving house. Hugs og love to you and Barry.

  2. Hi Narelle, I have never been in chronic pain but like you, others can tell if I have a bad headache, ones persona changes.
    Similarly I can usually tell by my childrens faces if they are experiencing pain or severe discomfort if their neck/back etc are “out”. I have met a couple of people who manage to “mask” it but I don’t know how long they can keep it up.
    Are you able to have nerve “blocks” regularly?
    Thinking of you xxx

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