Chronic Pain: There’s Got To Be a Way Through It

   Over 100 million Americans are currently suffering with some type of chronic pain, and this number continues to grow according to the US Pain Foundation.  

   I love the quote by Michael J. Fox, “Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation.  It means understanding that something is what it is and there’s got to be a way through it.”

   Too often chronic pain patients and/or their loved ones get caught up the overwhelming ‘spin cycle’, as I would call it.  Doctor’s appointments, lack of concrete information, overwhelming pain, medications, side effects, exhaustion, insomnia and the ongoing search for answers… to name a few items.  Any of these items or all of them can leave a patient and/or their family searching for information on their condition, possible treatments and ways to get relief, if not a cure or remission.  The problem comes when there is a lack of viable information available to patients, family members and loved ones which at times make us feel resigned to the fact that we may have to just live with chronic pain.

   As patients we have to be willing to ask the hard questions.  We have to be willing to stand up for our rights.  As a patient you also have to be willing to be your own best advocate.  Yes, this is extremely hard when you have chronic pain or any debilitating condition, but if you won’t who will…

   The majority of people rely on their primary physician, surgeon or pain management doctor to convey information to them regarding their condition.  This is a grand idea and I highly recommend speaking with your physician to gain information regarding your diagnosis and prognosis.  Setting a proper treatment plan in place and following it.  Yet, what happens when you’ve taken these steps and you or a loved one is still in pain or still having issues with their diagnosis?  

ac·cept·ance

/ækˈsɛptəns/

noun

1. the act of taking or receiving something offered.

2. favorable reception; approval; favor.

3. the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory.

4. the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable.

   I know all too well that patients and their families are conditioned to accept that they have to live with pain, but as an individual that lived with chronic pain and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) for approximately seven (7) years.  I am here to tell you that you don’t have to ‘resign’ yourself to living with chronic pain the rest of your life because there are ways through it and there is hope.

   When I was diagnosed with CRPS I too had problems finding answers.  I went through my own personal ‘spin cycle’ and had to find a way to wring myself out.  Life without remission was not an option.  I knew in my heart that I had to find a way, with or without my doctors, to regain my life. 

   I went on my own personal quest when my physicians had nothing more to offer me other than to keep me on high levels of pain medications.  I was not willing to wait for the answers.  Instead, I went in pursuit of them. 

   Research turned up many treatments that people spoke of throughout the US and overseas.  I tried most of them, trust me.  I was treated with traditional medicine until my own physicians threw up their hands; I tried hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT); mud packs for pain; ketamine; integrative therapy in Frankfurt, Germany that included stem cell therapy, regional hyperthermia, & much, much more…; and finally found remission through a form of complementary medicine.

   I am not here to say that my way is the right way or that it is something that you have to do.   I am not saying it is easy.  What I am saying is, “Never resign yourself to living with chronic pain because there is hope if you’re willing to seeking it…

hope

noun

: the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it could happen : a feeling that something good will happen or be true

: the chance that something good will happen

: someone or something that may be able to provide help : someone or something that gives you a reason for hoping

   Finding hope while dealing with chronic pain or debilitating conditions can be difficult, but is necessary to regain your life.  Don’t allow your hope to be stripped away from you during your time of need.  This is the very time that you need to ‘find your way through it’ and you DO need HOPE!

   If you would like more information on the author, Traci Patterson, or how she got into remission please feel free to contact her. 

Traci@AdvancedPathways.com  |  714.717.6633