Finally: Is this the first real sign of progress?

A successful day. My first real one since finishing the INPUT pain management course.
Everything worked today:

  • Completed a full stretch program.
  • Started ramping back up to baselines on circuits
  • No more withdrawal symptoms from Tuesday drop
  • No stomach complaints (as a result of the drop)
  • Had a full active day*
  • Pacing seemed to work.

So all in all, a success (especially when you base it upon the past few months).


Now when I say, “a full active day”, I am basing that statement on the activity I have managed over the past few months.
Since returning from INPUT, my pain level has been up around the 6/10, with flare ups around 8-9/10.  After dropping another 5mg on Tuesday, not only did I ache as if I had the flu again, but for the last two days, the spasms in my lumbar region have been driving me mental.

If there was to be a downside, it’s that today is Sunday, and I will dropping another 5mg this Tuesday, which means if this week (and the last 4 months) is anything to go by, I’m going to be tagged out until Saturday again next week.  But, I’m hoping that now I am beggining to ramp up the circuits back to my baselines, I’ll be able to get back to increasing my pacing levels again.
(I had to introduce a set back plan during the last week of INPUT when my back completely gave way during the first few minutes of a gentle stretch routine!).

But, we don’t do downsides any more do we? No.  As per ‘thoughts and feelings’, we should try to manage those as much as we manage the pain. 
Whilst I don’t think for one minute that my pain is going to reduce in the slightest in the future, the one thing I am more confident with, is that I am finally starting to manage the ‘negative’ thoughts I have during ‘flare ups’.
The morphine has not helped at all with the pain and has had a major negative impact on handling the ‘negative thoughts’ that occur.  What makes it even worse are the side effects/withdrawal symptoms of trying to get off the damn things.

Still, again thinking positive, I can’t be too far away from the pharmaceutical level. (I will create a separate post on the pharmaceutical level in the not too distant future).  We must be talking weeks away from it now, which means one less thing to worry about and hopefully should leave me able to concentrate more on applying the techniques learnt at INPUT.

Apart from an hour and a half at the local supermarket, I stuck to my pacing plan for all my daily activities (i.e. tasks such as standing, sitting, bending, etc).  It just wasn’t practical to maintain that whilst in the middle of everyone else doing their pre-Christmas shopping, but I was mindful of my actions whilst in the store even if I was not able to go sit down every 20mins. (I’m still not too sure how I can approach that one even with pacing up). Remember the idea of pacing is to start off below your baseline and gradually increase your tolerance/strength to certain activities.  What nobody at INPUT could tell me, was how to manage activities that cannot be paced up because of a physical limitation. 

The main point being about today was that yes, I am still in a high level of constant chronic pain due to the amount of time I have spent weight bearing. But, mood wise, I feel the best I have done for weeks, if not months, if not years.  And all because I feel more positive about being able to manage the chronic pain.  It’s like part of me is finally beginning to accept that the pain will never ever go away, and just maybe that I will be able to handle it.

The idea being not to let “the pain control me”, rather “I manage the pain”.  Sounds almost like an advert for the INPUT Pain Management Course, but trust me, the jury is still out on that one. 
Tomorrow’s another busy day. Let’s see if I can have two good days on the trot, and also how bad I react to it later on in the week.

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