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pain cycle, fear, et al.

Posted by ChrisO on 5/19/00 at 11:15 (020596)

It has occured to me this week that one of the missing ingredients for me is knowing when I'm caught up in the 'pain-cycle'. I've discovered now that, while I thought I was (again) on the sure road to recovery last week, this week, as a result of a surprise relapse, I've emotionally gotten innured back in to the psychological pain cycle and allowed myself to once again become utterly confused and frustrated while I try to chase down a miracle cure. That negativity, of course, lends itself to more pain, discomfort and most of all, plantar rigidity. Catch-22. Which comes first, the PF or the frustration? I allowed the frustration to keep me awake one night and the longer I stayed awake, the more my foot hurt. Hmmmmm..
So here I am again, deciding to let myself emerge from the cobwebs of confusion and frustration and taking charge with patience and TLC of my tootsies. Guess what? Today's a better PF day! Hmmmmmm.......

Re: pain cycle, fear, et al.

Bob G. on 5/19/00 at 11:34 (020598)

Hang in there, Chris! Love your feet.

Have a great day!


Re: pain cycle, fear, et al.

Lori E. on 5/19/00 at 13:28 (020600)

Chris,
I understand where you are right now. I have been there. Not being able to sleep and desperate. I found that I was clinically depressed from being in chronic pain. If you are depressed, (you can check the symtoms out on the Mayo site look under depression and chronic pain,) please get some help from a professional. I did, and I not only got some medication for my depression, the side effect of the antidepressant I take makes me sleep better. Not bad for a side effect. Although, the first antidepressant I took (prescribed by an internist, not a psychiatrist) made me stay up all night and want to jump out of my skin. So it may take a few tries (both with drs. and medication) to get the right fit for you. Be sure to state what is/is not acceptable to you as a side effect, and stick to it. If sleep loss is not acceptable (as it was for me,) go back and work with your dr. or find one who wil,l to get the right medication for you.
I also know that before I was getting good sleep, I was also trapped in a pain cycle, like you...lack of sleep, more pain, more pain, lack of sleep. Remember that your body is trying to heal itself, so you will probably need at least an extra hour of sleep anyway. I am still in pain, but after I got help for my depression, it has made this ordeal a little more managable on a day to day basis.
I hope this helps, and take care of yourself.

Re: pain cycle, fear, et al.

Beverly on 5/19/00 at 16:48 (020611)

Chris,

I can so sympathize with you. I was always a very perky person before PF. Not that it was my first health problem, but it is the only one I can't seem to get under a manageable condition. It does lead to depression.

I am seriously considering anti-depressants, and many people on the board have reccommended them. At the moment, my mental health is better, because I've found ways to lighten my personal stress load.

My standby for sleeping is Dr. Bernie Seagal's guided imagery tapes. (found in any big bookstore) And there are scads of others on the market too. I first discovered guided imagery when my mother was dying and in a coma about four years ago. Those tapes were the only thing that got me to sleep. They are not as fast as a pain pill, but when I can go to sleep without pain pills and instead use the tapes, I feel so much better the next day... not hung over, and I believe the tapes work on the subconscious mind to help reduce stress.

Finally, I believe nothing is more powerful than hope. I scan this message board for success stories. Everytime I read one, it gives me hope.

Good Luck,
Beverly


Re: pain cycle, fear, et al.

Robin B. on 5/19/00 at 17:27 (020612)

PF is such an ugly condition. Almost as bad as coping with the pain and struggling to find something to relieve it is fighting the despair and depression. PF epitomizes the vicious cycle, no doubt about it.

The hardest thing in the midst of all the negativity is to retain hope, to keep trying one more day and one more day after that to find the right combo the alleviate the pain and begin the recovery. Even though I don't really cope with daily pain anymore from PF (unless I greatly overdo things), I can remember clearly many bleak days when I wondered if I would EVER get even a smidgen of relief. My days of real chronic 24-hour pain didn't actually last that long -- maybe about a year total -- although it felt like five or six years total. The pain was so exhausting. Just coping with the pain, then trying to push my way through the day, looking forward to the time I could fall asleep again and escape it, took all the energy I had. I have come to the conclusion that there is little in life more exhausting than chronic pain.

While there ARE no miracle cures, there are indeed combinations of things that work for different people. Try to maintain hope while you experiment with what works for you, Chris. I hope you find it soon, and in the meantime, I also hope you find ways (such as this board) to boost your spirits. I'm convinced -- there's a right combination for everyone. At the same time, I periodically urge people to not be afraid to digress from the pack. My own recovery from PF has been spawned by an odd collection of remedies -- while some of the traditional ones (i.e., stretching) definitely didn't work for me. Keep trying to find out what works for YOU.


Re: pain cycle, fear, et al.

Bob G. on 5/19/00 at 11:34 (020598)

Hang in there, Chris! Love your feet.

Have a great day!


Re: pain cycle, fear, et al.

Lori E. on 5/19/00 at 13:28 (020600)

Chris,
I understand where you are right now. I have been there. Not being able to sleep and desperate. I found that I was clinically depressed from being in chronic pain. If you are depressed, (you can check the symtoms out on the Mayo site look under depression and chronic pain,) please get some help from a professional. I did, and I not only got some medication for my depression, the side effect of the antidepressant I take makes me sleep better. Not bad for a side effect. Although, the first antidepressant I took (prescribed by an internist, not a psychiatrist) made me stay up all night and want to jump out of my skin. So it may take a few tries (both with drs. and medication) to get the right fit for you. Be sure to state what is/is not acceptable to you as a side effect, and stick to it. If sleep loss is not acceptable (as it was for me,) go back and work with your dr. or find one who wil,l to get the right medication for you.
I also know that before I was getting good sleep, I was also trapped in a pain cycle, like you...lack of sleep, more pain, more pain, lack of sleep. Remember that your body is trying to heal itself, so you will probably need at least an extra hour of sleep anyway. I am still in pain, but after I got help for my depression, it has made this ordeal a little more managable on a day to day basis.
I hope this helps, and take care of yourself.

Re: pain cycle, fear, et al.

Beverly on 5/19/00 at 16:48 (020611)

Chris,

I can so sympathize with you. I was always a very perky person before PF. Not that it was my first health problem, but it is the only one I can't seem to get under a manageable condition. It does lead to depression.

I am seriously considering anti-depressants, and many people on the board have reccommended them. At the moment, my mental health is better, because I've found ways to lighten my personal stress load.

My standby for sleeping is Dr. Bernie Seagal's guided imagery tapes. (found in any big bookstore) And there are scads of others on the market too. I first discovered guided imagery when my mother was dying and in a coma about four years ago. Those tapes were the only thing that got me to sleep. They are not as fast as a pain pill, but when I can go to sleep without pain pills and instead use the tapes, I feel so much better the next day... not hung over, and I believe the tapes work on the subconscious mind to help reduce stress.

Finally, I believe nothing is more powerful than hope. I scan this message board for success stories. Everytime I read one, it gives me hope.

Good Luck,
Beverly


Re: pain cycle, fear, et al.

Robin B. on 5/19/00 at 17:27 (020612)

PF is such an ugly condition. Almost as bad as coping with the pain and struggling to find something to relieve it is fighting the despair and depression. PF epitomizes the vicious cycle, no doubt about it.

The hardest thing in the midst of all the negativity is to retain hope, to keep trying one more day and one more day after that to find the right combo the alleviate the pain and begin the recovery. Even though I don't really cope with daily pain anymore from PF (unless I greatly overdo things), I can remember clearly many bleak days when I wondered if I would EVER get even a smidgen of relief. My days of real chronic 24-hour pain didn't actually last that long -- maybe about a year total -- although it felt like five or six years total. The pain was so exhausting. Just coping with the pain, then trying to push my way through the day, looking forward to the time I could fall asleep again and escape it, took all the energy I had. I have come to the conclusion that there is little in life more exhausting than chronic pain.

While there ARE no miracle cures, there are indeed combinations of things that work for different people. Try to maintain hope while you experiment with what works for you, Chris. I hope you find it soon, and in the meantime, I also hope you find ways (such as this board) to boost your spirits. I'm convinced -- there's a right combination for everyone. At the same time, I periodically urge people to not be afraid to digress from the pack. My own recovery from PF has been spawned by an odd collection of remedies -- while some of the traditional ones (i.e., stretching) definitely didn't work for me. Keep trying to find out what works for YOU.