What I do to lessen the impact of pain on my mood

Contributed by: Jan
Reviewed by: Evelyn Corsini, MSW, May 2012

Jan is a 50 year old divorced woman with two grown sons and one grandchild.  She is from the Hampshire area of the United Kingdom.

Since a fall in 2009, I have gone downhill pretty quick. I was medically retired in October 2011. I have chronic nerve pain in my leg and back buttock area on my left side, lumbar stenosis and degenerative disc disease.  It is 24/7 and varies between “I can manage whilst cringing”, to “I’m not doing anything, LOL” (laugh out loud)!!

I was put on the various prescription pain medications. But all caused severe side effects that I refused to live with, and did nothing for the pain, or certainly not enough to put up with side effects.

So I made the decision to deal with this via non medicinal means. I’d read about an acupressure pen. I decided to try it and use it in the acupoints it listed for back and leg problems. It is a god send. OK, the pain is still there, but a lot more bearable. I use it 3-4 times a day along with parecetamol, (known in the US as “acetaminophen”), that I can buy without requiring a prescription from my doctor.

I also do aqua exercises in my gym’s pool, gentle stuff and then into the hot tub. I also use my head, to change my thoughts and distract myself.  But I also go out to walk, all be it by stopping every 80 yards or so, and all be it, only short walks. But I do it, and of course I rest, pacing is vital. I’m not that great at it, LOL!, but it does work.  I find all of these practices much better for me mentally and physically.

Yes the pain is always there, but by doing what I do I can lessen its impact on my mood and what I do. In fact I am just about to try working for the first time in a year. Just 10 hours a week but it will be great to be out mixing again and at least I’m at a point where I feel I can try, which is huge. I made the choice to try anything that is not a tablet, bar paracetamol (acetaminophen), and I’m happier for doing so.

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