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I am not done yet about Realistic Expectations
June 01, 2015

"Yes You Can"
Living with Back Pain Newsletter

Hi Everyone,
My name is Dave and I run the website at living-with-back-pain.org. Just like you, I am living with back pain and have been for many years. I started his website to try and help people, like myself, who are living with pain that will never go away.

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Another Edition of "Yes You Can", #0013

Well, here it is another edition of "Yes You Can". This month we start off with a discussion about having realistic expectations for things in your life when you are living with chronic pain.

Our distraction this month is a testimonial for the effectiveness of acupressure mats and a brief discussion about why and how it does what it does.

If you or someone you care about are using prescription pain medications you need to read this month's article from the web. It has graph and statistics that will knock your socks off.

The latest article posted on Living with Back Pain covers a subject that I have recently been researching. I hope you will find these pages about pinched nerves interesting.

I hope you enjoy it.

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Tough Talk About a Tough Problem

Realistic Expectations

When you are living with chronic pain it is important to understand and accept exactly what that means.

Living with chronic pain means you are living with pain that will never go away and you must have realistic expectations for what that means. Realistic expectations for any treatment that you may undergo. Realistic expectations for any medications you are taking. Realistic expectations regarding your friends and family. And most important of all, realistic expectations for your life.

How much can treatments really do?

Realistic expectations for any new treatment plan will depend on exactly what is causing your pain. However, if you have already seen multiple doctors, surgeons, and therapists, and they have all told you the same thing.

At some point you need to start believing them.

I am always in favor of getting a second opinion, or a third opinion. I am always in favor of seeing a different type of specialist. But, after you have seen a physiotherapist, and a neurosurgeon, and an orthopedic surgeon, and a neurologist, and a rheumatologist and all of the other types of doctors that may have a way to evaluate your pain; If they tell you that nothing more can be done, you need to accept it.

If You Continue Searching

If you persist in going from doctor to doctor eventually you'll find someone to do another surgery, or give you a different medicine, or start the different treatment, even though it may not be in your best interest.

How much can medications really do?

You need to have realistic expectations of how much relief medications can provide. There is a place in the treatment of chronic pain for a variety of medication.

However, they must be prescribed an appropriate doses, and they need to be monitored but professionals trained in the management of pain medications.

You Must Never take More than is Prescribed by your Doctor

All medications have risks and side effects, and these are more severe with increased dosages. Some people think that it a little bit is good, a whole lot ought to be better.

This is a dangerous attitude.

People die every year from gastrointestinal bleeding related to anti-inflammatory drugs. Muscle relaxers, narcotics, and anti-anxiety medications alone or when taken together, can make you so relaxed that you quit breathing. People go to sleep and never wake up.

You need to accept that no medication is likely to make your pain go away completely. It is important that your doctors knows all of the medications that you are taking; and it is very important that you never take more than is prescribed.

What can your family and friends really do?

Your family and friends can love you and support you but they cannot make your pain go away. They are a tremendous resource and they can help you. Nevertheless, it is your pain and you must learn to deal with it.

Don't drive them away

The people around you can be a fabulous support group assisting you in many different ways. But, you must not blame them; you must not impose on them; and you must not annoy them or they will scatter like a covey of quail.

If you want to have a friend you must be a friend.

Ask about your friends and how they are doing and what they are doing. Become genuinely interested in their lives. Do what you can to help them with their problems. Do not always talk about yourself and your chronic pain.

Everyone has a Cross to Bear

Everyone has problems in their life that they are trying to live with. Understand that just because you have chronic pain does not make you special or more deserving than anyone else.

All Of this Does Not Mean
that you cannot have a Wonderful Life

Ultimately, your life will be has wonderful or as un-wonderful as you make it. Have you ever thought about Richard Hawking the famous scientist? If anyone has a reason to complain it is him.

Yet, in spite of all the things that could have held him back, he is a famous scientist jet-setting around the world. He has a loving family and an active social life.

You say, "He has a high IQ it was easy for him. I could never do that."
or maybe you say, "He had good parents. They helped him. I don't have anybody to help me."
or perhaps you would like to say, "He just got lucky. I can never catch a break."

I say Baloney !!!!!

I believe that he did not view the problems that life threw at him as limitations. He refused to accept his limitations and I think that he probably worked harder than everyone else.

Life is what you make it and I hope that you decide to make yours a good life.

People must choose to suffer.

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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What Is In A Distraction?

Is pain that you can control less painful
than pain that is out of your control?

I have been pondering this question for several months and I am still undecided. I have one of these acupressure mats and I use it nearly every day.

It uses a few 1000 sharp points to stimulate the skin. They have been using different forms of this technique for centuries in the Far East for controlling pain and as an aid to meditation.

Endorphins?? Gateway Theory??

I think it does make my back pain better but it is not clear to me how it does that. Researchers like to say that it stimulates endorphins and I am sure that it probably does.

Neuroscientists like to talk about the "Gateway Theory" of pain. They theorize that the stimulation of certain nerves will close other nerve pathways and prevent the pain signal from reaching your brain.

I Think that it Works as a Distraction

All of these ideas probably have some degree of truth in them. However, my idea is that it works as a distraction. Because the sensation, or the stimulation, from those many sharp points has a way of getting your attention.

The sensation of this new stimulation distracts your mind from your chronic pain. To me, this works in much the same way as the visualizations, and the cold showers, and all of the other distractions that we have discussed.

Stimulation = Less Pain

The bigger point is that it does work. We can argue about how works and why it works but it really is effective. If you get a chance to give it a try do not pass it up.

Well that is my distraction for this month.
How much pain relief do you really want?
How much pain relief can you stand?

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Latest from the Web

This article and video presents both sides of the debate on narcotic pain medications. The graph comparing deaths from prescription pain medications and deaths from heroin made my jaw drop.

These are incredible statistics.

If you are using narcotic pain medications you must read this article.
The debate over prescription painkillers, explained

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Latest News from living-with-back-pain.org

I have been researching the many different ways that a nerve can be pinched and the problems that it can cause. The nerves control everything and if they are not working correctly the symptoms even beyond pain can be horrendous. But, there are things that can be done.

Your Pinched Nerve and What Causes It

The Best Pinched Nerve Treatment finds the easiest way to Relieve the Pinch

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Well, that is it for this month.

A lot of food for thought in this month's edition. I hope it helps you to think about your situation objectively and keep it in perspective. I know you can enjoy a good life in spite of whatever chronic pain you are living with.

Shoot me an e-mail at living40@living-with-back-pain.org and let me know what you think. Good or bad I read them all. Stay busy and enjoy your life because "Yes You Can" have the life you want.

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