How about pain?

I wrote this post some time ago, then decided to save it for next month when my keyword is “Health”. Today I have one of my blinding headaches again, though, so obviously these thoughts surfaced once more as I’m going to have to admit I won’t be reading or writing anything much for a little while.

Incidentally I’m ALSO contemplating not writing so much in general, as I can see how I use blog time where I could otherwise have doodle time. So I may actually try that out for a while, as part of this month’s keyword “intention/focus”. More on that in my status report at the end of the month I think. On to today’s topic:


We’ve talked about Resistance in the form of procrastination, fear, interruptions, lack of energy, lack of ideas etc. There’s another form of resistance I’d like to ask you about – physical pain.

headache monsterThe one thing that disturbs me the most is my body. Headaches, stomach pains, fatigue, even hunger or cold. I. Can. Not. Concentrate. I’ve succesfully overcome most of my backaches (as in, they’re gone), my continually sore right thumb is a nuisance but not stopping me as such apart from the things it obviously can’t do. But the others – I can’t seem to beat them. I’m floored and useless every single time. When I wake up at 4 am for instance and get the brilliant idea of getting up to write down my thoughts instead of ruminating, I end up just sitting here shivering and unable to think as well as I did under the covers, since the house is only about 15-18 C at night. (I guess I need to have a set of really warm clothes in my office or the bathroom for such occasions. Something that doesn’t itch 😉 )

Can you do your work through physical pain or discomfort? Both the light rumble and the cold sweating, headsplitting kind. Mind you, there’s nothing actually wrong with me – it’s really over the top over nothing. At a frequency that would get you fired from virtually any normal job (as if I’d want one, LOL).

Not ok. Some people tell me I should be nice to my body and coddle it like it was a beloved infant. Please. I can’t stop the world every time the baby wants its way, which is me on my bum doing nothing, ever. It hates exercise. With a vengeance *. It wants sugar – lots. The way I see it, I have a body, it’s not what I am. I have to keep telling it off constantly. But I obviously need to do something different to make it cooperate with me and not with Resistance. I’m pretending to going along with the fatigue, but the rest is not going too well on the acceptance front.

Can somebody give me a crash course on body language, pls? I’m dead serious, I need to figure this out, and it’s proving to be a tough nut for me (Such as the water issue). I’ve been reading about reprogramming your brain circuits, “carving new tracks” so to speak, to replace old thought patterns, and I do believe it’s possible. I somehow need to change the story I’m telling about the body itself. I’m going to look into the philosophies behind Reconnective healing et al, but I’m interested in hearing if and how you manage to work through various types of discomfort that are not really “dangerous” as such.

Seems to me it would be a great skill if you could choose to not pay attention to these things, after having established that you’re not about to croak? Being comfortable with discomfort.

Or, as one author put it, who’s driving the bus?

Do different people have different levels of tolerance or body perception, is this simply an HSP thing?? Such as the professional athlete who keeps running with a broken rib. Can you change it or is it one of the hardwired parts of your brain/personality? If you can change it – how about other traits such as my need for alone time to center and concentrate? Could I make myself less noise and interruption sensitive? I know I’m probably reinforcing it by telling this story again and again, to justify my demand and to change the habits of other people, but could I do the opposite or is that too deep? I mean, basically I don’t want to have to be around people all day every day, so my inability is in fact a great excuse, but the theory is interesting anyway. Or is the problem in reality that I keep telling the story of interruptions (and pain), thereby cementing the event as well as my anger about it? This is a more esoteric variety, but curious nevertheless.

stdfract

* As an aside, I’ve invented a new sleeping pill. Whenever I feel that it’s one of those nights that will take me hours to fall asleep, I think about running. I feel the gravel under my feet, I see the trees and the light, I smell the air, I feel light and athletic (I actually night-dream of running so lightly sometimes, so I know how it feels). And BOOM, within 5 minutes or so of starting this fantasy I sleep like a log. That’s how much my body hates exercise, LOL.

30 thoughts on “How about pain?

  1. Hi Pia, Your experience of pain sounds overwhelming for you. No answers but I wanted to say hello and hope you have some helpful responses. For me, just a headache puts me off painting, but it doesn’t last so I am lucky. My best wishes, Philippa

      1. Everyone varies on that. It might not help to judge it as ‘abnormal’. It sounds as though you have some awful pain. There will be others more able to give you some helpful ideas!

  2. Ja, jeg kan være kreativ med smerter, hovedpine (så længe det ikke er den der “jeg kan ikke se klart”-udgave), træthed og så videre. Ikke så effektivt som uden, men da jeg også måtte lægge mig syg flere dage end ikke, så har jeg efterhånden lært det. Det eneste, der virkelig kan slå mig ud, er kulde. I går blev jeg nødt til at tilbringe lange perioder ude i kulden, og så stod/sad jeg op ad varmeapparatet i en times tid, da jeg om hjem. Men jeg kunne altså godt strikke samtidig 😉 Efterhånden har jeg lært, at jeg ikke er ved at dø, når jeg får de der underlige anfald – som FODMAP-kuren delvist har taget sig af – så jeg fortsætter for halv kraft – og tegne, skrive og læse er noget af det, jeg godt kan foretage mig alligevel.
    Hvorfor pokker har du ikke en notesbog/skitseblok ved sengen?
    Social fobi, som det med et moderne ord kaldes er en helt anden sag. Du “aflader” – ligesom jeg – dine batterier sammen med andre, og da er alene/familie-tid en nødvendighed, før hjernen virker igen.
    Rodet og i hast

    1. Min hjerne bliver simpelthen til havregrød, jeg føler ikke jeg kan tænke sammenhængende når jeg har fx. kraftige smerter. Tegninger bliver inderligt ligegyldige. Men jeg tvinger mig til at fx. strikke eller tørre støv af eller lignende, med mindre det er den type hovedpine hvor jeg nærmest er køresyg samtidig og har lyst til at gå med solbriller indendøre.

      Jeg vil ikke sige jeg har social fobi, jeg er jo ikke bange for at være sammen med andre mennesker, heller ikke fremmede. Jeg kan bare ikke – igen – koncentrere mig hvis de knævrer hele tiden. Jeg hører heller aldrig radio. Og hvis jeg skal interagere, ja, så dræner jeg mine batterier, også selvom jeg har det sjovt!

      To forskellige ting – men alligevel en overdreven sensitivitet i begge tilfælde (Hvorfor jeg nævnte HSP, hvis du kender det?)

      1. Åh, jeg troede egentlig bare social fobi kom i mange grader. Nu har jeg set på HSP’s side. Det beskriver også mig. Jeg må konstant bede mine kære børn om at tie stille, lade være med at lave underlige lyde, slukke computerspillets lyd, klodse den lille bærbare, de spiller på, op sådens ventilator ikke brummer, skruer ned for radione når jeg kommer ud i køkkenet til min mand der laver mad … går (længe) på toilettet og læser gamle dameblade når vi er på besøg 😉 … Du kender det sikkert alt sammen.
        Ligesom Birdie vil jeg anbefale dig at gå på diæt. Det gør så stor forskel. Når jeg lever efter FODMAP-diæten har jeg færre og mindre slemme anfald af hovedpine og mave-ting, større social udholdenhed uden at løbe flad, større “pyt-muskel” overfor mine børn, flere ideer (bivirkning :D), og generelt mere energi. Fornemmelen af “osteklokke”, “todimensionel verden” eller hvordan sytten jeg skal beskrive den der underlige ligeglad-hed-ulyst/væmmelse-ting er der også langt imellem nu. Jeg får nørklet noget hver dag, tegnet noget (næsten) hver dag, leget og spillet mere med børnene, hjulpet med lektierne, ryddet lidt op … kort sagt en mor-hverdag der nærmer sig det normale, plus at mit søvnbehov er blevet mindre. Jeg kan nu tænke, når jeg har det rigtigt godt en dag: “Ih du godeste, er det sådan her andre mennesker har det hver dag? Så forstår jeg bedre hvordan de kan nå alt det, de når.” Forhåbentlig kommer der flere og flere dage af den slags …

    2. Hvis du mente skrive og tegne i sengen midt om natten, så ville jeg være nødt til at få mit eget soveværelse hvor jeg ikke forstyrrer – og sådan et har vi ikke!

  3. Hmm. Well no I cannot work through a migraine. And it sounds like you are an undiagnosed migraineur. It requires me to lie down and preferably sleep it off. And working through fatigue, well no. If I need to rest, then I need to rest. It passes much quicker if I accept that. Unlike you I am very much my body. I am the whole of myself, and I’m learning to take care of myself, mostly. When I slipped off the bandwagon, diet wise ( I usually follow an ‘ancestral diet’ ie. no grains at all, no pulses, no refined sugars or any processed foods at all etc) I really noticed a difference: more fatigue from blood sugar highs and lows, my digestive issues returned (I won’t detail these 😉 ) and more headaches – up to three a week, though not all blinders, thank fully.

    I have recently returned to good eating (for me) and I am seeing improvements to everything, though it has been a case of getting worse before it got better. Sugar is a major migraine trigger for me so I am eliminating it. I find that easier than just having a little. Every now and again I will have some dark chocolate, but that’s it.

    Take a look at this site – you may find it helpful http://www.mymigrainemiracle.com/ I read the book and it persuaded me to go back to what I really knew worked well for me anyway.

    Some good recipes in it too.

    Btw, I was an undiagnosed migraine sufferer for years – firstly they said I had sinus problems, then I was told they were tension headaches… In fact tension can also be a migraine trigger, but I am finding a lot of help with this from this woman http://gokhalemethod.com/esther_gokhale simply repositioning my shoulders worked wonders. She runs green online workshops too – I signed up for one on Feb 8

    Is that enough? Ha ha I expect so!

    1. Yes to the migraines which are also accompanied by tension in the right side of my neck which cannot be stretched or massaged away, in fact I don’t know which is the hen or the egg in this case. And since it’s pretty much running in a cycle, I’m guessing it’s hormonal since my grandmother had the same issues at my age. No painkillers work on this, so I don’t bother, when I’m also nauseous I have to accept horisontal all day. I insist on getting up to shower and dress properly, though, no matter what, otherwise I just feel too dingy (as well as having the horses outside to attend to).

      Last time I saw my dad he mentioned that I probably was a “migraine type” because of the odd tunnel vision experiences I had as a toddler. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but there was some visual connection to certain migraine types apparently and then something else which eludes me since it wasn’t the main topic of conversation that evening. I remember the tunnel vision, I’d be sleeping, wake up and walk into the living room, and everybody’s heads would look tiny, like they’d been, not shrunk as such, but “zoomed out” far away like.

      I’ll take a look at your links when I’m better, I really shouldn’t be reading or writing right now, but I’ve fled to knit in the kitchen which is the most quiet today, so I can’t resist a peek on the screen now and again.

  4. Oh yes I forgot the hormonal link, mine really ramped up when I went into peri menopause. They are foul foul things. Last year I had a couple so bad I was vomiting every ten minutes for hours. It was so hellish I was just sobbing whilst I retched in the end. This motivated change like you can probably guess! I will do anything so I can avoid feeling that way again. I literally dread it.

    1. Had something like that some years ago, 12 hours stints. Eventually I figured out it was the muscle relaxants I’d been prescribed to help with the exact opposite. I was a wreck for a week after each attack!

      Fwiw I do eat “pretty well”, not many processed foods or dairy, no wheat – but I do still get rye and oatmeal, seasonal vegetables. It’s pure laziness that I don’t go full out, I feel like it takes too much energy to constantly supervise shopping, find recipes and preach to deaf ears. I don’t really feel like cooking every day if I’m in the middle of something else, so I end up grabbing what’s there – a lot of which wouldn’t be there, if I was alone. 😉

  5. Sorry to hear of your awful pain. I have had exactly 2 migraines in my life and I definitely could not do anything but hide in bed for the duration of them. As for stomach issues, if they are intense, then I can’t really push on… for instance, yesterday during my workout I felt lightheaded, and this started a bout of nausea. Husband thought it would be a fab idea to get me out of the house and my mind off of it, which I knew was a poor solution but I gave it a go… and yes, it did indeed make things much worse. I developed a headache and needed a nap afterward (darn when I don’t listen to my intuition!)

    I am like Birdie and am very IN my body. I have been coddling myself as of late, though I completely understand the unappeal of it. On the outside, it seems like a complete waste of time. One of my mantras lately has been “Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong”, and it seems for me, when I give myself rest and bubble baths, my energy and stamina lasts longer than when I ignore my needs to unwind and do nothing.

    Lately, I have been investigating the idea of pain being the result of repressed anger and resentment. I’d been resistant to the idea for years, but for some reason have been open to it recently. A night after reading about the topic, I had a recurring dream involving my mother. I woke up from the dream and immediately thought about repressed resentment– could this dream (which spoke of an injustice) be about something like that? I went through my life in my head, events with my mom, and an event in my early 20s totally clicked for me, and I began crying and just feeling like an abandoned child, all these emotions flowed out of me. I decided to begin forgiveness, and definitely needed lots of coddling, and ever since then, the perpetual swelling and pain in my jaw that’s been there for 5 years has all but gone away. I’d been taking painkillers daily for it, often multiple times a day, but haven’t had a need for them in weeks. Coincidence or not… I don’t know. I’m compelled to investigate further and have ordered a couple books on the topic.

    1. I also wanted to add that the jaw pain, though very awful, wasn’t serious and was related to TMJ… which is possible to clear up on its own. Either way, very VERY happy to’ve not had to deal with it lately!

      1. The body is very much the “feeling brain”, it’s not that I hate it or want to treat it like a beat up car, I just don’t want my emotions/unconscious to run the show. Because the lizard brain just wants you to stay calm and out of trouble, it doesn’t care about the life quality of your ego. 😉 Fun and fulfillment just isn’t a priority! As for its choice in foods, it just wants cake and I’m pretty sure that’s not going to make us healthier. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to say no to cake all the time? There’s a massive chunk of energy and brain power that could be used otherwise, but the only way to shut it is to give in and I won’t. This must be what recovering alcoholics or ex-smokers must feel like. People say 3 weeks to start and end a habit? Well, here’s my middle finger at you….

        And I mean, just because I’m hungry or have cramps doesn’t mean my thinking abilities have to fall out, does it?

        I’ve had those sudden memories and surges of long gone emotions in the last couple of years, utterly dreadful, but I see it as a way of a house cleaning going on. I should probably treat myself to some massages geared towards these things, but it’s a bit costly for me at the moment.

        1. 3 weeks to end a habit! Har de spist søm! Jeg holdt op med at ryge 20 King’s om dagen for mange år siden 27 år faktisk, og jeg kan stadig savne det! Lyt ikke til den slags nonsens.
          Sult og kulde er de to værets ting. Dels sætter de hjernen i paniktilsatnd, dels fører de to ofte til muskelspændinger, hovedpine … you name it. Min løsning er altid at have sunde kager i huset. Speltmels-cantucchini eller kokosmakroner. så nyder jeg en kage og en kom varm the, det er nærende for krop og sjæl og man snyder sin krybdyrshjerne 😉

          1. Det kan godt være man skal forkæle den bare en lillebitte smule, så man får fred. Heldigvis bor vi jo ude på Lars T’s mark, så man bliver ikke fristet til en lille tur forbi bageren 😉

        2. I understand, especially about cake. I really, really want cake right now. As for migraines, well, I’m in the middle of my third one. Back to bed, basically…

  6. I definitely sympathise, Pia, my own fatigue has been even more overwhelming than usual this winter and my body isn’t up to anything much at the moment so I know how frustrating it is when there’s such a long list of fun and exciting creative things that you want to be getting on with and your body just refuses to play ball. I hope you find a solution that works for you…

    1. Drat Heidi, I thought you’d found the golden solution and was just busy doing your thing!

      I didn’t mean to just whine, I seriously want to do something about this. Perhaps that IS the only solution, just do it. Not talking about never resting or ignoring your physical signals, but being able to shut out the ones that are not important. Be able to function despite discomfort. Because I don’t think we can ever get RID of discomfort.

      Weren’t you trying some sort of programme? Not working? Trying too hard to make it work? That one is a killer too… It’s all about the balance and it can be so hard to find the sweet spot!

      1. no golden solution yet, :-(, I’ve been too unwell to read or write blogs much which explains the recent silence…

        You weren’t whining at all, I think it’s important to talk about these things – otherwise we’ll be in the artificially positive Facebook world where everyone is always having a great time doing exciting things like running triple-marathons and travelling the world and no one ever admits to be having a shit time …

        I’ve been trying a couple of new treatments this autumn, first a medical trial of a graded exercise therapy (made me worse, so my body doesn’t respond to exercise either!), then a medicine that many CFS get help from (it has helped a little bit but unfortunately not radically). My new year’s resolution was to learn not to push myself so much all the time, so I have cut back on the amount of things I try to do (very boring). On this front your keywords of intention and focus definitely resonate with me too.

        Yes I was doing a CFS self-help programme (the Gupta programme) and I did find it helpful but unfortunately I have lapsed badly recently while I was trying those other things. The problem is that it does require quite a big push, so I’m trying to summon up enough energy at the moment to give it another go. Perhaps I too need to “just do it”…

  7. Yes to all the things Birdie said. For me, it’s all been related to diet and, as I’m finding out now, hormones (or the sucktitude that is peri-menopause). And even that can be majorly effected by diet. I could talk about the paleo template all day, but I know it’s still not the whole picture, and frankly, the biggest drain has been thinking about it—my health or lack of it—too much, always trying to figure it out.

    As for working through pain, I’ve had to work through many migraines and/or tension and muscle knot related headaches. At the right stage of a migraine, it can actually help by way of sheer distraction. But once past a certain point, it’s terrible. Especially when the nausea and pain give you the old one-two. Can you work through it? Yeah, if you have to, but it is not a sign of toughness or a kind thing to do to yourself.

    The idea of resistance is very interesting. There is a chapter on resistance in a guided imagery book I’ve been using. It is something that I know is important, but that I’ve been circling and poking with a long stick like it might be dangerous. Why is examining resistance difficult? More things to figure out.

    I hope you feel better soon.

    1. That’s how I’ve felt too, that changing your diet that radically consumes all your attention and energy. We did a low-carb thing some years ago for G to lose weight, and over a 1 year period or so he did – 50 pounds – but I got so sick of supervising and researching the whole thing, reminding and teaching and NONE of it stuck. So I lapsed (I was in the beginning stages of stress fatigue even then, from other things too), he did nothing on his own, and well…

      Breakfasts are particularly challenging I think.

      Some things have become habit, like no wheat flour in the house, lactose free if any dairy (except butter), he will suggest salad on his own, but other than that we’re a “near vegetarian” to a “meat and taters guy” combo…

      To keep this place spic and span in every way I would need to do fulltime housewifing and you wouldn’t believe all the levels of cranky I can turn out if I do that for a while…. So I refuse to think about cooking every day unless ideas happen on their own.

      For about 6 months I’ve done the wild yams cream you suggested btw and for a while it seemed to be working, turning my cycle from 3 back up to 4 weeks, lesser symptoms. Now it seems I sometimes get a break, other times it hits me full force.

      Baaahaaa at your resistance to look at Resistance. You need to tackle that chapter head on! (what’s the book?)

      On headache day 3 here, but managable.

  8. Guided Imagery for Self-Healing by Martin Rossman, MD

    A lot of what is being said about progesterone creams is that they build up in the fat under the skin, and the body often then needs a break from it. Many doctors now recommend that it be rubbed into the mucosa instead of the skin. You should look up this info and see what you find out. When your head is better.

    Off to beat the resistance to moving boxes.

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