• How do you deal with chronic pain resulting from treatment that interferes with your life?

    Asked by bavin on Monday, December 3, 2012

    How do you deal with chronic pain resulting from treatment that interferes with your life?

    I am almost six years out from treatment and still have severe chronic pain. Trying to focus in school (I'm 19) can be a challenge. I have been to a pain management doctor who has just told me to manage my stress level better. I wanted to know if anyone had a way (besides just drugs) to cope.

    17 Answers from the Community

    17 answers
    • Harry's Avatar
      Harry

      Maybe you should see a different doctor? :-)

      Check out complementary therapies such as accupuncture, meditation, reiki, etc. There's quite a number of these non-traditional therapies that help some people deal with pain and stress. If appropriate for you, prayer is on the list. This looks like a fairly complete discussion from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alternative-medicine/PN00001

      about 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      What type of pain are you experiencing?

      about 4 years ago
    • bavin's Avatar
      bavin

      FreeBird, I am experiencing a shooting pain from the left side of my neck (around where the cancer/surgeries were) up to the left side of my head like a migraine. Stress can exacerbate the pain, but it is a constant pain. I've heard different opinions of nerve pain, muscle, everything. Possibly scar tissue from the surgery then radiation.

      about 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      Wow that is something. I hope you can find a solution for that soon.

      about 4 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar
      Harry

      You really need to see a doctor who takes you seriously. Unfortunately, many doctors don't take 19 year old girls seriously. I don't have this problem, but my daughter did.

      about 4 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar
      Queen_Tatiana

      I encourage you to find a new doctor for your pain management; a doctor that has respect for you and will work with and for you. I am not the cancer patient, but the caregiver and I do have chronic pain from Lupus and Arthritis and I while I do wear a pain patch I also use reiki, massage therapy, and yoga to help with it all. It does help.

      Please let us know how you do with this. I wish you the best.

      about 4 years ago
    • Mollie's Avatar
      Mollie

      I've had chronic pain for 10 years. I use the fentanyl patch and see a psychologist. The emotional therapy is just as important as meds, at least for me...hope that helps

      about 4 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar
      Harry

      I had a chance to discuss this with my daughter last night. She confirmed what I remembered. Doctors just wouldn't take her seriously until she stopped looking 19 (which took a long while for her). Far too many doctors dismiss complaints from young women (and not always just the young ones) as "imaginary." If you talk pain and the doctor talks stress, it's a sign you need a different doctor. Yes, stress might be involved, but it's a feed-back loop. You feel pain because you are stressed and you feel stress because you feel pain. So, you should try to reduce your stress level, but you need to also have your pain treated.

      Drugs are one way, but you are correct that you don't want to take them long term. The complementary therapies I mentioned can deal with both pain and stress. And, the doctors might take a look at the old surgery sites to see if there is any lingering damage.

      about 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      Have you tried hypnotism. I do suggest another pain management Dr. try to find one that is a trained hypnotist. My cancer care center gave me relaxation tapes with my admission packet. But there are a tapes you can purchase out there ask your pain management for a recommendation. Have you looked into music. I personally like classical music, but you can find kinds that are very soothing. Listening to music changes the chemistry of the brain and the right kind of music reduces stress. Also it is a whole lot of fun exploring the different kinds of music

      about 4 years ago
    • storknurse's Avatar
      storknurse

      You have been given some good ideas here. Casa Colina Rehabilitation Hospital in Pomona, California teaches a multi-modality approach to pain in addition to having pain management specialists on staff. I attended a 6 week class there for people with fibromyalgia pain. It included medication, nutrition,aquatic therapy, Tai Chi, relaxation /meditation and psychological /group support. Reading what you have said I wondered if you would get some relief through the gentle stretching of Tai Chi and aquatic therapy. I was in the pool with people who have similar pain as yours pand they felt that it helped. I have a lot less pain (fibro, RA, and post lobectomy for lung cancer) when I combine these modalities.

      about 4 years ago
    • boomerchop's Avatar
      boomerchop

      I would suggest trying yoga, which deals with the mind-body connection. Try to find a yoga teacher familiar with yoga therapy and cancer patients who can tailor the work to your situation. Besides dealing with the physical manifestations of pain, yoga will also deal with the mind's reaction to pain. Good luck, Paul

      about 4 years ago
    • Jahnsart's Avatar
      Jahnsart

      I use acupuncture and most of all meditation...I did a ten day silent course of meditation to really learn how to meditate...It was a great way to practice daily and a great way to learn how to manage my pain...Vipassana Meditation works for me...you can find more about it by going to www.dhamma.org

      about 4 years ago
    • Knockonwood's Avatar
      Knockonwood

      I have been using a hypnotherapist to deal with side effects of chemotherapy. Here is a link to an excellent mp3 for relaxation. Pain can really tense your whole body. Try this every night to go to sleep.

      http://hypnosishealthinfo.com/stress/orange-blossom

      about 4 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling

      Many of the suggestions are excellent (yoga, reiki, hypnotherapy, TM, and so forth). A focus on breathing to alleviate pain is good. Oxygen and vitamin C are amazingly healing.

      I believe the best advise is to find a different doctor. You need a doc with some ideas in his or her head on how to help you instead of laying the blame back on you (manage your stress). It is really incumbent on such a doctor to be just a tad more specific or he/she isn't worth seeing. For all you know, some sort of laser or nerve treatment can deal with some remaining scar tissue which may be causing you pain.

      Don't give up. Lots of very good luck in your search for relief.

      about 4 years ago
    • Shoeless' Avatar
      Shoeless

      I had nerve damage from the surgery resulting in constant pain. I ended up seeing a pain specialist who performed a nerve block, which didn't get rid of all the pain but at least brought it down to a bearable level. I still occasionally have to use a lidocaine patch but it's much better than it was before. And then there's the gabapentin and amytriptoline for nerve damage - it helps.

      about 4 years ago
    • KatieL's Avatar
      KatieL

      I think I would try finding a pain clinic or a different doctor. Also, massage has helped me when I have pain; meditation can be helpful, but it's hard to meditate when you are in pain. You might consider acupuncture or acupressure. A fellow myeloma patient of mine reminds fellow patients that one doesn't need to be in pain--there are options and strategies and some health care person can help you find them. Best wishes. Hope you find something that works.

      about 4 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar
      Tracy

      Hi,
      I have been out of treatment for a very long time. I have had problems with Migraines and now I have Intracranial Hypertension (too much pressure in the head), I had extensive surgery in my neck which caused nerve damage so I have had pain most of my life from this. I use the Salon Pas arthritis pads or ice packs on my neck to help the muscles relax (hot then cold). Plus lots of meditation, I found the hypnotic cd's to be really helpful. The pain meds are great but when they wear off you end up with rebound pain. Its really frustrating to go through this every day - I understand what you are going through. Tracy

      about 4 years ago

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