The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

Written by: Carol Jeffrey

10410908 10201354916388597 4209510695619029275 n 300x300 The Winding Road of Chronic Pain

We’re traveling down this windy, crazy, hazardous road of chronic pain. Often we’re speeding in the darkness with our headlights off, violently crashing into unseen obstacles. We shake off and often minimize the damage caused by these collisions. But if we don’t attend to these damages as they occur…our vehicle will soon be totaled.

Wildly we slip and slide out of control in the storms that overwhelm us. So we pull over, rest and wait for the storm to pass. But if the storm lasts too long, we stop clearing the windows, and cease to look if the sun has reappeared. This type of apathy is a slow and silent killer of hope.

Bridges often crumble beneath the weight of our burdens. This type of loss and isolation is one of the greatest hardships of chronic pain. If we are to avoid being stranded on an isolated island, and trapped in a deep dark pit of depression…survival requires us to adapt, learn new skills, maintain healthy relationships, and build connections to life.

We easily see when others are in need, and graciously pull over to offer assistance. After all, this is a welcomed distraction from our own painful journey…but lets not make it a road-stop. While it’s easy to identify needs and solutions for others, it’s equally as difficult to acknowledge our own need for fuel or repair. Our engines will cease to run, if we allow our ego to fill our gas tank with gallons of guilt, instead of letting another fill us with fuel.

At times we’re impatiently and painfully held up in surgical construction or we may find ourselves on a needed detour learning new paths that promote health. Pit stops are required, to clear the windshield, change the tires, tweak the engine so that we may travel with optimal performance. Maintenance and checking our route is essential for a less burdensome journey.

We are not alone in our chronic pain journey, for our doctors, friends and family are passengers…who’s needs also need to be acknowledged. It’s easy to forget that it’s a challenging and painful journey for them as well.

We are in control of our life and choose whether the pain steers us wildly off of a cliff or whether we take control of our vehicle and steer it in the path of our desires.

The Winding Road of Chronic Pain is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

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Mental Illness

Fotolia 41734006 S 300x200 Mental Illness Robin Williams was not only phenomenal actor but a wonderful human being.  Unfortunately Life’s challenges, combined with what is likely some genetic brain chemistry associated with mental illness take a heavy toll.

This has been a very sad week, losing one of the brightest actors and comedians to ever live.

With my last patient, a nurse this morning we had a frank discussion about why mental illness is still under recognized, under treated, and stigmatized.

I find it very helpful for both patients and professionals to look at it like this.  It is our brain and nervous system that determines how we interpret the outside world. When our brains and nervous systems fail to work properly, or are compromised by illness, drugs, or genetic changes, life challenges can push us and overwhelm then come to the forefront.

This is nothing to be ashamed of!!!

There are all different types of mental illness, ranging from depression to schizophrenia to bipolar disorder and of course so much more.

Because we are all unique biochemically and neurologically, some brains demand more but we all require in balance neurotransmitters (brain and nervous system chemical messengers) including dopamine, GABA, norepinephrine, serotonin and all the other co-factors which are essential to make our brains and nervous systems “hum”.

And taking good care of YOU is the FIRST LINE of good health care!

What a lot of doctors and patients fail to realize however is that just as lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol, obesity, and poor nutrition contribute to neuropathy and chronic pain they also can contribute significantly to mental illness.

Our brains are the most sensitive portion of our nervous system. This is why diligence and our lifestyles are so important throughout our lives.

And this is also why it is so important to make sure that any mental stress or resultant illness is dealt with compassionately, and professionally very early on.

Your healthcare professional knows that adding certain drugs, as well as nutrients may help lift the veil of mental illness and compliment good therapy and self care.

There’s also good evidence that exercise, yoga, meditation as well as cognitive behavioral therapy can go along way towards helping many people with mental and physical illnesses.

But the most important thing that you need to do is to recognize that dealing directly with mental illness is just as an important part of your health as maintaining normal blood pressure or brushing your teeth.

It’s time we lifted any stigma associated with mental illness early and care for ourselves, and every one around us compassionately and completely!

Mental Illness is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment

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